Disturbed in a Positive Way – by Author Alicia Joseph

DISTURBED in a Positive Way
by Alicia Joseph

Not long ago I saw the band Disturbed play at a venue near me, and I won’t soon forget the experience. The concert was powerful, and it was emotional. I’ve never been to a rock concert where so many people cried, or were trying not to cry.

Disturbed is a heavy metal/nu metal band, and they’ve written songs centered around suicide. One of the videos to these songs depicts a woman who hangs herself. The video is graphic and it comes with a PSA from the lead singer, David Draiman, pleading with people who are thinking about taking their own lives to seek help and to know there is another way. The National Suicide Helpline is displayed in the video, just as it was displayed on the big screen during the concert.

Draiman spoke eloquently and deeply to the audience. This is a man, and band, who create a deep connection with their fans. They refer to the crowd as their family, their blood.

In the middle of the set, the band moved from the main stage to a smaller stage in the center of the floor to be more intimate with the crowd. Draiman called for the house lights to come up and he asked for anyone who has dealt with substance addiction or depression, or knows someone who has, to raise their hands. With the lights on, I could see clearly throughout the venue, and more people than not had their hands raised. Draiman then asked for everyone to look around and see that they aren’t alone.

Powerful moment right there.

This is when the band sang their inspiring songs about defeating one’s thoughts of suicide. The house lights stayed on, making the moment all the more sober. A mother and son sitting beside me embraced while they cried. Tears gushed from the woman’s eyes and down her face. Through cries they battled through the songs. A man beside the woman caressed her shoulders.

A few minutes later, she passed by me. I was sure the moment was too much for her. She needed a break. When she came back, I thought of giving her a quick hug, but I didn’t know her and she didn’t know me, and maybe that would have been unwanted by her.

While the songs played, I looked around. The woman and son weren’t the only ones crying. There were many tearful eyes about me. So many strong-looking men stood with their arms crossed over their chest and stoic expressions on their faces and tears in their eyes. It was all so much I almost cried myself but held it back. The pain being suffered around me was palpable.

Before the show, at the meet and greet, a fan had given the band a letter. The lead singer called this fan to the stage and asked for his permission to read the letter aloud. The shocked young man stepped onto the stage and nodded Draiman his consent. The letter explain that this man had attempted four times to take his own life and was going to do it again until he heard the song “The Light” by Disturbed. The man stayed on stage as the band played the song marking one of the most powerful and emotional moments I’ve ever witnessed at a concert.

Disturbed, like other rock bands I’ve recently seen play, were very inclusive in their message. Draiman preached tolerance of all people, of all races and religions, and he even included gays and transsexuals, which I appreciated very much. Everyone around me cheered this message. I didn’t hear any jeers or sneers.

The band ended the show with the lead singer telling everyone to take care of themselves and to take care of each other.

I went to bed that night feeling so empowered and appreciating my life. If you ever get the chance to see this band play live, please do. It’s an experience like no other.

This post is to let people who need help know it’s there for you, not promote my books. But if you are interested please read on.

“When a train runs over a penny, the penny changes form, but it can still be a penny if I want it to be. Or, I can make it be something else.”

Lyssa and her best friend Abbey discover a hideout near the train tracks and spend the summer before sixth grade hanging out and finding freedom from issues at home. Their childhood innocence shatters when the hideout becomes the scene of a tragic death.

As they’re about to graduate from high school, Abbey’s family life spirals out of control while Lyssa is feeling guilty for deceiving Abbey about her sexuality.

After another tragic loss, Lyssa finds out that a penny on the track is sometimes a huge price to pay for the truth.

AMAZON BUY LINKS

Alicia Joseph grew up in Westchester, Illinois. She has many works-in-progress that she hopes to finish soon. Life permitting.

When she is not writing, Alicia enjoys volunteering with animals, rooting for her favorite sports teams, and playing “awesome aunt” to her nine nieces and nephews.

Learn more about Alicia Joseph on her blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Soul Mate Tree Box Set: Twelve Titles on Sale for 99¢

Friday Feature The Soul Mate Tree Box Set
https://wp.me/p1tsn7-1QH

Friday Features

The Soul Mate Tree box set

on sale for 99¢

July 1 – July 3

THE LEGEND OF THE SOUL MATE TREE:

I am old, I am ancient, my purpose is clear
To give those who are needy a treasure so dear.
They who come to my roots, touch my bark, stroke my leaves
Find the soul of their lives if they but believe.
When I call and you listen, your prize will be great
If your heart remains open and you don’t hesitate.
Do you yearn? Be you lonely? Is your time yet at hand?
Reach for me and I’ll give to you. I’m yours to command.
For your trust, for your faith, keep my secrets untold
And I’ll gift you forever, to have and to hold.

An ancient legend spanning eras, continents, and worlds. To some, it’s nothing more than a dream. To others, a pretty fairy tale handed down through the generations.

For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.

Blurbs for The Soul Mate Tree books:


Book One: Realm of the Dragon, by CiCi Cordelia, Blog post

For sheltered Lily Kiers, it’s all too real. Her escape from danger, straight into the arms of her destiny.

Thrust into a realm made of fantasy and unbridled passion, Lily faces violent resentment and jealousy from extremely powerful enemies. Amidst fierce creatures whose very existence defy all common sense, Lily pieces together a past she could never have imagined.

Claimed by Kord, Prince of Battle Draconian, their love will not be denied, even as malevolent forces plot to rip them apart.


Book Two: Can’t Stop the Music, by C.D. Hersh, Blog post

For college senior and hippie wannabe Rosemary—Rose for short—a teaching job is within her grasp, but she wants more. She wants love, the kind of love that has bound her parents for so many years. When she’s dumped by her current boyfriend because her morals can’t bring her to give in to free love, she finds herself at Woodstock in the middle of the biggest free-love, music festival of the Sixties. Alone, again. Until a magical tree grants her wish and she finds the man of her dreams—and loses him before she really knows who he is.

Dakota meets the girl of his dreams at Woodstock, but a jealous wannabe girlfriend drives them apart before he can discover Rose’s last name and where she comes from. After he sees a disappearing tree that promises him true love, a frantic search to find Rose comes up empty-handed.

Magic and music brings them together at Woodstock in 1969. Misunderstandings tear them apart. Will two flower children find one another again, or live with missed opportunities?


Book Three: Between Venus and Mars, by S.C. Mitchell, Blog post

Zana Starchild is on a mission to restore her tribe’s livestock and save herself from one more meal of kelp. Sure, it’s technically illegal to visit Old Earth, but to a rim rat like Zana, galactic laws are really just guidelines. Her wrecked starship just means she’ll need to use her backup plan to get off the abandoned world, an old Earth legend her uncle passed down to her.

Pulled from a relaxing shower, across the galaxy to Old Earth, Galactic Marshall Kyle Kepler finds himself naked and marooned with a quirky rim rat. Zana’s broken more laws than Kyle can count, and he plans to arrest her, just as soon as he can find transport off the planet and a pair of pants.

A junk heap of a starship, a magical tree, and a roving gang of mutant kangaroos are just the beginning of rollicking intergalactic journey filled with laughs, love, and adventure.


Book Four: The Trail to Love, by Tina Susedik, Blog post

Jack Billabard, mourning the loss of his wife and baby in childbirth, vows to never to love again. After their funeral at Fort Laramie, he rides into the Wyoming hills beyond the ranch he built for his wife. Through his grieving tears, an ancient tree appears, giving him the hope he doesn’t believe is possible. For the next four years, he acts as a guide on the Oregon Trail, taking families to a new life while his looms lonely and stagnant.

The night before her abusive husband’s death, an ancient tree appears in Sarah Nickelson’s yard as she agonizes over how to survive her marriage. The tree gives her hope she can’t help but reject. After all, a tree doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. After her husband ‘s death, and with no options as a widow in Independence, Missouri, Sarah decides to travel to Oregon City as a Mail Order Bride.

During their trek west on the Oregon Trail, Jack and Sarah encounter one another, each afraid of being hurt again. Can they survive dogs and puppies, wind and rainstorms, Indians and unfavorable fellow passengers, while their love blossoms? Will the tree fulfill its promise?


Book Five: Make Me a Match, by Mackenzie Lucas, Blog post

Widower Mark Cage is rusty at relationships. He owns the micro-brewery that supplies the restaurant and bar at St. Augustine’s premiere spa resort, Essence, with its award winning local craft beer. And he’s been focused on building his business and raising his teenage daughter ever since his wife died ten years ago. Nothing else.

When he runs into a sweet kindergarten teacher who is vacationing in St. Augustine and staying at Essence everything changes. A sudden, inexplicable encounter with a mystical tree known for its legend of bringing lovers together, convinces Mark the schoolteacher is his destined match. However, his encounters are disastrous.

His only hope of persuading the woman he wants to even consider a date with him is working with Essence’s on-site relationship guru, Athena Sullivan. A reknowned relationship coach, Athena is the opposite of everything Mark wants in a woman. She’s feisty, independent, and challenges him at every turn. Sparks fly between the two from their first meeting and flare into a blazing inferno as Athena helps him navigate the dating scene.

After a series of too-perfect, mis-queued dates, Mark realizes maybe the woman of his dreams is not a sweet schoolteacher after all. Maybe she’s a feisty, independent, sexy relationship coach who stands up to him and is everything he’s always wanted or needed in a woman.

If he opens himself up to true love, he might just find second chances at love are possible and that his perfect soul mate is closer than he thinks.


Book Six: A Promise Remembered, by Erin Riley, Blog post

Two souls entangled in an eternal echo of true love…

Rowan and James have been drawn together in every existence since the beginning of time. But love’s sweet promise is cut short after an unthinkable tragedy strikes two young families, shattering the bond in this lifetime.

Is love stronger than death? Can Rowan and James find another way to each other? Against all odds, a forgotten promise is remembered and kept, reuniting two souls destined to be together.


Book Seven: Never Give Up On Love, by Maggie Mundy, Blog post

Sometimes you want to die, but it’s not meant to be. Vincent became a vampire in 1847. He fights to keep humans safe from rogue vampires, but can never find love. One thing makes him go on and not find a way to die. The Soul Mate Tree saved his life with its shade and showed him a woman in the future who would need his help and show him love. He could be more than the bloodsucker he had become.

In 2015, Adele is a vampire hunter by night and a photographer by day. She has never allowed love into her life as it would only complicate things. Then she meets Vincent, and the attraction is instant.

Vincent must try and convince Adele to love him while they both fight off rogue vampires?

How will she cope when she realizes the man she has fallen in love with, is what she has been trained to kill.


Book Eight: Once Upon a Lady, by Addie Jo Ryleigh, Blog post

Respectable Lady Katherine Baxton, striving to meet the requirements of her station, has become the ultimate dutiful daughter. And now, the Duke of Blackthorn’s betrothed. Far from a love match, Kate is nevertheless determined to do as expected and marry.

That all changes the night she panics at her impending future and runs, stumbling upon a private grove, a mysterious tree. . . and a half-naked man.

The youngest son of a viscount widely thought to have purchased his title, Jackson Cooper demonstrates his disdain for the aristocracy by affording himself every luxury available—drinking, wenching, and gambling—while eschewing anything representing the ton. Jackson has little care for his reputation and no desire to marry. His escape from London is all but complete.

Until fate—in the form of a beautiful, mysterious lady—interrupts his plans, enticing him with the very thing he never wanted.


Book Nine: Sweet Sacrifice, by L.D. Rose, Blog post

Former Navy SEAL Sebastian “Bash” Lockard died in Afghanistan after leaping on a grenade to save his comrades. Little did he know his act of heroism would grant him a ticket into Heaven’s elite army as one of the few and powerful Archangels. Struggling with his new existence, Bash still retains his human memories, leaving behind a wife he loves with all of his heart. Although he’s forbidden to see her, he can’t resist her lure, or the mortal desires he harbors for her.

As a young widow and nurse, Irene Lockard still mourns her husband two years after his untimely death. His absence is everywhere, and when her best friend weds, she hits an emotional rock bottom. As if summoned from the skies above, Sebastian appears before her, and they share an unforgettable night. But when he once again vanishes, she wonders if she’s truly gone mad with grief.

The only way Sebastian can remain with Irene is if he makes the ultimate sacrifice. But will she overcome her fear of losing him again to another war?


Book Ten: Soul Song, by Mikea Howard, Blog post

Dottie thought she had it all: a successful singing career, a handsome fiancé, and a starlet’s wardrobe. Sudden betrayal brought it all crashing down around her. Those she trusted most played her as nothing more than a pawn. One misstep while fleeing the scene trapped her in another world alone, save a mysterious visitor.

Guatimozin, an eagle shifter, has spent ages assisting people through the realm between life and death, leading them to join loved ones on either side. No one had ever made him want anything for himself until he discovered this city girl.

Forces plot against them and time is short. Soon, their chance for a happily ever after will be too late.


Book Eleven: The Storm Within, by Cerian Hebert, Blog post

Healed from her own loss, Juliana Hopkins wants nothing more than to mend reclusive artist Aidan Byrne’s heart, and help close a chapter in his life that has haunted him for over twenty years. Risking their newfound love, Juliana is determined to release the ghosts he can’t let go.

Aidan has been in love with Juliana since the first moment he saw her, but if she can’t leave the tragedies of his past alone, he won’t be able to make a life with her.

She offers him a love he never dared to want, but loving her could rip open all the old wounds he’d never been able to heal.


Book Twelve: Finding Faith, by April A. Luna, Blog post

Faith Kometo cleans out the church coffers of a quaint village, flees on foot from pitchfork-wielding townsfolk, and ends up entangled in the veil between parallel worlds by a primordial spirit with Hayden Cox, an elite scout with the Order of Hunters, hot on her trail.

It’s taken Hayden two years and three timelines to trap his gargouille prey—a member of the Kometo clan. Now that he has his target in hand, he’ll stop at nothing to unearth the truth behind the order, genocide, and love’s pull.

TAG
C.D. Hersh, Friday Feature, The Soul Mate Tree,
Realm of the Dragon, CiCi Cordelia, Can’t Stop the Music, Between Venus and Mars, S.C. Mitchell, The Trail to Love, Tina Susedik, Make Me a Match, Mackenzie Lucas, A Promise Remembered, Erin S. Riley, Never Give Up On Love, Maggie Mundy, Once Upon a Lady, Addie Jo Ryleigh, Sweet Sacrifice, L.D. Rose, Soul Song, Mikea Howard, The Storm Within, Cerian Hebert, Finding Faith, April A. Luna,

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The Fantasy World of Author Gina Briganti

IvyRose
IvyRose: The Evolution

When I started writing The Dreaming in 2009 I had no idea that IvyRose would become a beloved part of the Natural Gifts series. Journey back with me to when Dana was at a signing in New York and Ivy, pregnant with Rose, wore lavender essential oil to calm her nerves as she met one of her personal heroes. Dana felt connected to Ivy from the start and accepted Ivy’s phone number when she offered it. Dana and Ivy met later on at Dana’s house, which is when Ivy brought Dana her handmade lip gloss and shampoo. Ivy wistfully shared that she would love to market her body care someday. Dana saw a flash out of the corner of her eye and told Ivy that she had a feeling she would.

In Desert Sunrise, Dana and Lucy took a working trip to New York to meet with Ivy and the ever-adorable cherub Rose, to look at office space for the company they would call IvyRose. The friendship these women share, the vision, the hard work, and their drive to make the world a better place moves me so much it leaves me breathless.

When Life Force Holistic Health Center opened during No Yesterdays, it did so with a whole wall of IvyRose products. Top notch, eco-friendly, wonderful, and just plain fun.

You’ll see more of IvyRose when you read Deep in the Dreaming. I’d tell you more, but, you know, spoilers.

Deep in the Dreaming Ad 1 (1)

A parallel world. A trapped soul. To save her friends, they’ll battle addiction, magic, and eternity…

Elena Zucchero has lived and lost in reality. Now she fills her heart through her work as a hypnotherapist by helping her patients improve their lives. But when a nightmare plagues her sleep, she learns her friends have gone missing in an addictive alternate plane. And the only way to save them may require feeding the demons of her handsome new client…

Draper Montgomery painfully resists the call of the Dreaming. But despite his dangerous cravings, he senses his enchanting therapist has a wound he can help heal. And to satisfy his heart’s desire, he may just have to risk the very foundation of his mind…

As Elena and Draper discover a deeper soul connection, the therapist struggles to keep her distance in the hunt for her friends. If the people she loves even want to be saved…

Will the perilous hunt to rescue her friends lose them their lives and their souls?

Deep in the Dreaming is the fourth standalone book in the captivating Natural Gifts paranormal romance series. If you like mysterious worlds, conflicted characters, and love that conquers all, then you’ll adore Gina Briganti’s enthralling tale.

Buy Deep in the Dreaming to slip into another world today!

AMAZON BUY LINK

Watch the YouTube video here.


Gina Briganti writes paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi romance in north Texas. Her constant companion is a special soul who masquerades as a dog.

Visit her website and blog for book trailers, newsletter sign up, and whatever else she thinks up.

Stay connected on Facebook, Gina’s Amazon Author Page, YouTube, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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California Can Wait – New Release for Marci Bolden

I’m so excited to announce the re-release of California Can Wait with its fresh edits and gorgeous cover. I absolutely adore this romantic novella set in a small newspaper office in Texas and hope you will too.

When reporter Andrea Davidson inadvertently ruins her career over a bad tip, she hits the road to start her life over. She has big plans for a new life in California but fate has other plans. She loses everything when she is robbed in a small West Texas town and has a run in with the editor in chief of the local paper.

Graham Bradley isn’t impressed when a smart mouthed woman tries to tell him how to do his job. At least not until he realizes she is right! But it doesn’t take long to also realize he wants more than just pointers on how to make his paper more successful. The chemistry between them is off the charts in the best possible way.

Starting over will have to wait.

EXCERPT
Graham looked at Andi. “I could use help.”

“Obviously,” she said.

“So. When can you start?”

She leaned closer to him, tilting her head as she looked up curiously, as if she didn’t understand him. “Excuse me?”

“I’m probably going to regret this, but I’m offering you a job.”

She laughed. “I didn’t come in here looking for a job.”

“No, you came in here hell-bent on telling me how to do mine.”

“Somebody had to,” she practically sang.

“I need someone who knows her ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to putting a paper together. I’ve been looking at that layout for almost an hour and still couldn’t get it right. It took you ten minutes.”

“The flag is too big.”

“You also graciously corrected my grammatical errors,” he said, ignoring her criticism. “I need some backup, not just with editing and layout but writing as well. I can’t run this paper alone, not to the standard that I want.”

“You don’t know that I can write.”

“If you can edit like this, you can write.”

She lifted her shoulder and let it fall casually. “I’m just passing through town.”

“How far are you going to get without that cash you had hidden in your suitcase?” He grinned when the defiant look on her face fell. “I was at the diner to interview you about the break-in.”

“Oh, so you don’t normally go around harassing defenseless women?”

“Defenseless?” He laughed. “Hardly. It seems you need the money as much as I need the help.”

The fun of the game faded, as did her smirk. “I’m just passing through, Mr. Bradley.”

Graham stared her down for a moment before he shrugged. “Right. That’s okay. You probably couldn’t handle the stress anyway.”

Andi creased her brow. “What?”

“The demands of publishing a daily paper are pretty intense. It takes someone who can work well under pressure.”

“And you don’t think I can?”

He was playing her with his feigned innocence, but damned if she didn’t feel herself falling for his manipulation when he said, “I’m just saying it takes a special breed to survive in journalism.”

“A special breed?”

“You know, long hours, lousy pay—”

“Constant scrutiny by inept editors,” she added.

Graham nodded. “There is that.”

“I think I can handle the job.”

“Great, so you can start right now by cleaning up the rest of the layout.”

“I didn’t say I was taking the job,” Andi clarified. “I said I can handle it.”

“Of course you can,” he said in a patronizing tone.

She guessed that the fire in her eyes was enough to burn him alive, but he simply smiled in a way that made her want to do nothing more than prove him wrong.

“And I’m sure that if you weren’t in such a hurry to get wherever you are going,” he continued, “you’d have me and this paper turned around in no time.”

“I’m quite confident.”

“But you have places to be. Where are you headed again?”
“I didn’t say.”

He nodded dramatically. “Right. Well, I’m sure you have some great life you need to get back to—”

“I do,” she said, cutting him off. As she did, she wondered if he somehow knew she had nothing. Nowhere to go. No job waiting for her. No welcome party planned when she reached her destination. A destination that she hadn’t really figured out or planned for beyond California. She scoffed, more at her own situation than his words. “I’m sure you can find a preschooler with scissors and a bottle of glue who could use some candy money.”

He covered his heart with his hand. “Ouch.”

Pushing herself up from his desk, she slipped around the wing and headed for the exit before she did one more stupid thing with her life. “Good luck, Mr. Bradley.”

“Good luck to you, Miss…Andi.”

As a teen, Marci Bolden skipped over young adult books and jumped right into reading romance novels. She never left.

Marci lives in the Midwest with her husband, two teenaged kiddos, and numerous rescue pets. If she had an ounce of will power, Marci would embrace healthy living but until cupcakes and wine are no longer available at the local grocery store, she’ll put that ambition on hold and appease her guilt by reading self-help books and promising to join a gym “soon.”

Learn more about Marci Bolden on her website. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter.

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Blackflies & Blueberries – Virtual Book Tour with Giveaway

Welcome to the 1-Week Virtual Book Tour for Blackflies and Blueberries (Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, #2) by Sharon Ledwith!
About Blackflies and Blueberries:
The only witness left to testify against an unsolved crime in Fairy Falls isn’t a person…

City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls, and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future. 
Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder. 
Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.
Blackflies and Blueberries Cover:
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal
Publish Date: May 17, 2019
Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing https://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/
Follow the Tour:
About the Author:
Escape to the past and have a blast
Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.
Learn more about Sharon Ledwith at the following online places:
Sharon’s Website: www.sharonledwith.com
Sharon’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/seledwith
Twitter: @sharonledwith https://twitter.com/sharonledwith
Amazon Author U.K. Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B0084DUHJO
Buy Blackflies and Blueberries:
Mirror World Publishing: 
Amazon:
Kobo (CA): 
Barnes & Noble: 
Apple Books: 
Enter the Giveaway:

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(Up)Dating Adventures by Author HL Carpenter

(Up)Dating Adventures

by HL Carpenter

Image Courtesy of Dreamstime Free Photos

“I regret I am the bearer of bad news.” Stalwart Code hoped Bizzy Author was not the fainting type. “Your website is not responsive.”

“Not responsive?” Bizzy peered at the computer screen, without a vapour in sight. “What does that mean?”

Impressed by her calm demeanor, Code said, “It means readers who visit using smart phones, tablets, and gaming devices cannot properly see your content.”

“Ah! That explains the death of my book sales, does it not?”

“In part.” Code drew a breath. Sometimes he hated his job. “I am afraid I must impart more bad news. Your site is also the victim of Neglect.”

Bizzy gasped. “Not that diabolical criminal!”

“Unfortunately, yes. Neglect is a sneaky rascal, but he leaves clues.” Code pointed to the copyright at the bottom of Bizzy’s home page. “Here is one. That date is two years old.”

“This is far worse than I believed.” Bizzy clutched Code’s muscular arm. “Please! I beg of you. Help me set this right.”

“Are you certain?” Code asked. “I am happy to be of service, yet you must be aware the trek will be long and perilous. You will need much bravery and determination to carry you safely through the hazards of the Land of Website Updating.”

Bizzy fluttered her eyelashes. “If you consent to be my guide, I will go boldly forth.”

“Your request and my desire are one.” He smiled. “Let us begin.”

They stopped first at the Bank of Goals, a fortress guarding the gateway to the Land of Website Updating. Bizzy withdrew three goals: Build Your Presence, Spread the Word, and Sell Books.

“Excellent choices.” Code took her hand. “Next stop, the Design Studio.”

Once in the Studio, Bizzy debated the merits of a nice-but-not-so-easily-changed traditional website or a content management platform called WordPress.

“The matter is one of personal preference.” Code winked. “Are you a conventionalist or a do-it-now gal?”

“No waiting around for me.”

Bizzy grabbed a WordPress ready-made theme off the shelf, and added colors, fonts, and images. She tossed plug-ins, widgets, and extensions into her bag too, when Code said they were the simplest way to add audio and video as well as social media links to her re-designed website.

“Thank you for the tip.” She grinned. “A woman never knows where the road through the Land of Website Updating will lead. Mayhap I shall establish my own shopping cart one day.”

“You are indeed fearless.” Code took the bag and held the door open. “Let us proceed to the Content Factory.”

“No need. I shall create my own content. I maintain a running account at the Idea Store.”

“Fearless and talented.” He ran his fingers along her back. “Shall we begin the real journey now, my dear Bizzy?”

“I thought you would never ask, darling Code.”

She leaned against him and they contemplated the adventures ahead.

Logo Valley awaited, a maze of false starts and dead-end canyons from which they would mine a brand. After navigating the valley, they would brave the rapids of Cascading Style Sheets, ride the powerful Search Engine Optimization train to the wild frontier town of Marketing, create a Child Theme, and endure the unrelenting toil of Recurring Maintenance and the perils of Email Marketing. Their tale would be faithfully chronicled on the pages of the virtual home they would build together.

After all, what is a website but the happy marriage of Bizzy Author and Stalwart Code?

And on that happy ending, we invite you to enjoy an excerpt from our mystery, Murder by the Books.

A letter from beyond the grave brings accountant Fae Childers face to face with murder, embezzlement, romance, and a hidden family legacy.

Then the fortune-telling grandmother Fae never knew existed, whose name and psychic abilities she now learns are also hers, issues a challenge from beyond the grave—a challenge that brings Fae face to face with murder, embezzlement, romance, and a hidden family legacy.
When the mystery of Fae’s past collides with the troubles of her present, the situation veers out of control. Her very life is threatened. Who can she trust? The man she’s falling in love with? The former fiancé who has already betrayed her once? Or only herself?

With justice, romance, and her future at stake, Fae must overcome personal and professional obstacles to save herself and those she loves. And she’s going to have to do it fast, before someone else dies.


Mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, they enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity.

Visit their website to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happeni
ng in Carpenter Country.

Stay connected on Twitter, Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, GoodReads,
and their Amazon Author Page.

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That First Book Signing

That First Book Signing

by Carol Browne

If like me you are introverted and social phobic, a book signing will be a very scary proposition. In my case I also live in a rural area without access to transport so just getting to a book signing event is a challenge. I was an eBook author for the first couple of years of my career too and so I didn’t have a book to sign anyway. This year, I did my first book signing courtesy of my supportive boss and his wife who not only allowed me to use part of their establishment (the pub where I work) but provided coffee and cakes for the people who attended.

A writer’s life might appear to be very glamorous to outsiders, but it’s usually quite the opposite. I do a variety of jobs to keep from starving in a garret and they are mostly very menial: cleaning and washing up, for example. And when I attended this, my first real book signing, I didn’t roll up in a Porsche, I had to walk there dragging my paperbacks behind me in a shopping trolley. Even with wheels, that thing got damn heavy after the first fifteen minutes. I had nearly forty books in it—well, I had no idea how many to take.

Of course I was nervous but it turned out better than I expected. I sold twenty books and met some very interesting people. They all seemed so pleased to be there, and to be meeting me! Suddenly Cinderella had gone to the ball and she could forget about the washing up and the cleaning for a while.

It was Holocaust Memorial Day in Britain on the 27th and so I was specifically promoting my book Being Krystyna—A Story of Survival in WWII. I discovered when I spoke to people at the event just how many of them have interesting stories to tell, especially about the war. One woman said her mother was born in a Japanese POW camp and the other female prisoners pooled their resources to provide food and clothing for the baby. I found out that my boss’s grandfather had been a prisoner of the Japanese too for three years. There are so many stories we shall never know about, stories of heroism and endurance.

Here are some more things I learned at the event that it is useful to share with other authors yet to experience a book signing:

1. Take book swag—postcards, bookmarks, etc.—because people love to get a freebie and they might pass them on to someone else. While I was promoting my non-fiction book, I handed out postcards that publicised my fantasy novel.

2. Have change ready for people who pay cash, as most will. You certainly don’t want to be taking cheques and if you’re like me you won’t have credit card capabilities! (My book was £4.99 and I had a stash of pennies in anticipation of all the five pound notes I was going to get, and did.)

3. Practise your signature before the event unless you’re that lucky person who has a naturally lovely and easily written moniker. Mine is a disappointment and that was a worry to me—who wants a spider scrawl on the first page of their pristine new book? And make sure you have a decent pen (and a replacement), one that’s not going to run out halfway through your signature or spit gouts of ink onto the paper. (I’m pleased to say, I was surprised and gratified at how my signature worked out on the day!) Don’t know what to write? Ask the person who the book is for (make sure to get the correct spelling) and simply put ‘To …., Best Wishes’ and then your signature.

4. Don’t worry that you’ll run out of books. You can always take people’s names and addresses. (I took a book of receipts in case people paid up front but as it turned out I didn’t need them.) If you are involved in advertising the event beforehand, you can suggest people buy your book first and bring it with them to be signed.

5. Have business cards to hand out. This was something I didn’t get round to. I didn’t have flyers or attractive posters either. And what that taught me was that next time I will be better prepared, but that it doesn’t spell disaster because most people who want to come to a book signing are coming to see you, the author, not all the bells and whistles you have brought with you. (People were so delighted to be given a mere postcard, you’d think I was handing out bank notes!).

6. Most importantly, stop worrying about everything having to be perfect. You have a talent to be proud of and you have achieved something most people haven’t. Enjoy that feeling of being recognised as a creative individual but at the same time remember that you are still just a human being and you can only do your best and no more. Don’t be afraid of doing a book signing either. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

If I can do it, anyone can. The important thing is, just have fun!

Here is a brief introduction to my book. Thank you for reading it.

It’s 2012, the year of the London Olympics, and for young Polish immigrant Agnieszka, visiting fellow countrywoman Krystyna in a Peterborough care home is a simple act of kindness. However, the meeting proves to be the beginning of a life-changing experience.

Krystyna’s stories about the past are not memories of the good old days but recollections of war-ravaged Europe: The Warsaw Ghetto, Pawiak Prison, Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, and the death march to freedom.

The losses and ordeals Krystyna suffered and what she had to do to survive, these are horrors Agnieszka must confront when she volunteers to be Krystyna’s biographer.

Will Agnieszka find a way to accomplish her task, and, in this harrowing story of survival, what is the message for us today?

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Born in Stafford in the UK, Carol Browne was raised in Crewe, Cheshire, which she thinks of as her home town. Interested in reading and writing at an early age, Carol pursued her passions at Nottingham University and was awarded an honours degree in English Language and Literature. Now living and working in the Cambridgeshire countryside, Carol usually writes fiction and is a contracted author at Burning Willow Press. Being Krystyna, published by Dilliebooks on 11th November, 2016, is her first non-fiction book.

Stay connected with Carol on her website and blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Cover Reveal: Blackflies & Blueberries by Author Sharon Ledwith

COMING SOON from Sharon Ledwith

Mirror World Publishing is happy to reveal the cover for Blackflies and Blueberries by Sharon Ledwith! This exciting Book 2 in the YA paranormal series Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, releases May 17, 2019.

About Blackflies and Blueberries:

The only witness left to testify against an unsolved crime in Fairy Falls isn’t a person…

City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls, and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future.

Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder.

Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.


Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/YA time travel series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook and Twitter, Google+, Goodreads, and Smashwords. Look up her Amazon Author page for a list of current books. Be sure to check out THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS TIME TRAVEL SERIES Facebook page.

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The Highs and Lows of the Fantasy Genre

Exile doubleMy beta reader posed a question to me this week after I told her that a story I’d written wasn’t suitable for submission to a call for high fantasy. “What on earth is high fantasy?” she asked.

It took me back to my days as a newbie writer when I was unfamiliar with a great many literary terms that I now use without a second thought. How quickly I had forgotten that feeling of not knowing something that everyone else seemed to know, while being too embarrassed to ask for an explanation!

Publishing is an industry like any other with its own jargon and conventions and we can’t expect new members to understand all the terminology from the outset. New writers are emerging every day and somehow they have to learn writerspeak as quickly as possible if they are to fit in and benefit from membership of this club of ours. Who better to educate them than those already initiated? Genres and sub-genres are a particularly complex subject and the old lags perhaps have a moral duty to help the new intake understand the lingo and conventions so that the entire industry maintains current standards.

So what do we mean by high and low fantasy?

The Exile of Elindel, Book I of my epic fantasy trilogy, is a good example of both categories. It is partly set in the real world of Anglo-Saxon Britain (low fantasy) and partly in the make-believe world of Elvendom (high fantasy).

High and low fantasy can exist in the same book, the same world too, and they can interact with each other, even overlap, but there is a major difference between them, and certain rules must be respected by the writer.

Take high fantasy, where everything is made up. The only limits are imposed by the writer’s imagination. Of course, the reader may have certain preconceptions; for example, about elves, who are usually expected to live in forests, have pointed ears and wield magic. But because this is high fantasy the author can play around with the genre. For my part, I decided that my elves would only have magic if they were royal elves. They also have the ability to understand the languages of men and animals and it made sense to me that they would be vegetarians. I could have chosen any number of mythological or magical creatures to add colour to the narrative but, in Book I at least, I decided to make up my own. No unicorns or pixies for me, just shendkin and fetchen. (You’ll have to read the book to find out what they are!)

Low fantasy places greater restrictions upon the author; it has rules and boundaries. In The Exile of Elindel, the low fantasy element consists of an Anglo-Saxon settlement in 500CE, and while some might criticise the accuracy of my historical research, the characters I portray must adhere to the strictures of their nature, setting and time period. This isn’t Dark Age Britain: The Hollywood Years with extras sporting wristwatches. The mead hall can’t have wi-fi and no one is going to send or receive a text. The Saxons didn’t have bicycles, potatoes, chocolate or bananas. There wasn’t any canned food or ball point pens. Electricity hadn’t been discovered. There were no newspapers or clocks. Shopping as a concept had yet to be invented. Even reading and writing were beyond the ken of most people.

In the same way, because these people are real humans whose existence is based on fact, they can’t sprout wings and fly. Nor can they shoot laser beams from their eyes.

But if they can, they’ve entered the realms of magical realism and that’s an entirely different genre!

BUY LINKS:
Amazon UK – https://tinyurl.com/ybhgaa3c
Amazon USA – https://tinyurl.com/ydayn6n3

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Stop the Plane and Order Me a Carriage

Stop the Plane and Order Me a Carriage

by Susan Lodge

Wedged in the middle seat of the middle row of a 747 for upwards of twelve hours, my mind dwelt on the fact that bobbing along in a post chaise, or swinging in a hammock below decks, could not be much more agonizing then travelling economy on a long haul flight. I used to enjoy airplanes. I could happily gaze from the window seat marvelling at anything that appeared through a chink in the clouds. But one flight to Australia was a test of both mind and body.

It all starts go wrong at check in. I cannot secure a window seat, the flight is delayed and when we finally get to board …

Gripe 1. The trek through business class to get to economy.

I openly salivate over the spacious seating in business class as we are herded down the aisle to steerage. The occupants of those designer cubicles tantalizingly stretch their limbs and flex their toes as we pass. I avoid their apologetic eyes and pitying smiles.

Gripe 2. Hand baggage

This appears to have evolved in the last few years from modest shoulder bag to sturdy case complete with wheels. As they are being hoisted, with a great deal of grunting and thrusting into overhead lockers that are clearly not built to accommodate them, the boarding process reduces to snail pace. Why do they need that much hand baggage ? There’s not room to swing a cat let alone unpack and utilize a case full of gear.

Gripe 3. Invasion of space.

The passengers sitting either side of me have claimed the hand rests rendering me straitjacketed in seat. Even worse a rogue foot is gradually edging its way into my allotted leg space. I try to stem the steam from my ears and reflect how lucky I was on my last flight when I sat next to the perfect passenger. He was totally besotted with his female companion and they seemed to merge together in one seat – thereby leaving me a nice lot of space. Not sure what he was trying to achieve in such a restricted area. But if they were fidgeting (so to speak) they were at least being quiet about it.

Gripe 3. Reclining seats

I have the desire to lop something heavy into the seat in front when it falls back into my already limited personal space. Batman Returns is now being viewed two inches from my face. I can’t focus on the screen so switch it off, put my head back and try to relax.

Gripe 4. Touch screens attached to back of seats .

I don’t begrudge the small person behind using their touch screen even though they have not quite mastered the art. The incessant tattooing vibrates on the back of my head. After fifteen minutes it is clear they can find nothing to amuse them on the TV or film menus. The assault stops and I hold my breath willing them to go to sleep – but alas they have become bored and proceed to drum their feet on back of my seat. My unscheduled full body massage is now complete.

Gripe Five. Food.

I manipulate the multiple contents of the tray carefully, arranging the most promising item in secure position. However as I unpack the plastic cutlery I decide to take Food off gripe list. Its arrival has caused the person in front to get their seat out of my face and the tattooing on the back of my head to stop.

There is, of course, an upside to this journey.

As the plane transports me to the other side of the world, my fellow passengers doze off. Ah bliss – I can now switch on my Kindle and in my forced confinement escape to my own private library.

Now, let’s get back to the travel in Regency times. There was a particular coach journey that Esmie Elstone has nightmares about, whilst she endeavoured to escape the repercussions of an unfortunate wager.

Indulge in a bit of romantic intrigue with my latest release.

Esmie Elstone is thrown into panic when she hears of Captain Rockford’s return. But she is determined that the days of him interfering with her life are over. His ruthless meddling during his last visit had resulted in her being foisted on her aunt for a third pointless season in London.

To alleviate the boredom of society life, Esmie helps run a discreet betting enterprise under the guise of a sewing club. But there are some things you just shouldn’t wager on, and Esmie’s integrity is soon put to a dangerous test.

Richard Rockford had known Esmie almost all her life. As neighbours, her father, Admiral Elstone, had depended on Richard to keep an eye on his daughter when he was away at sea – a responsibility he had always taken on willingly. But her cruel and thoughtless actions, from the day he had left four years earlier, had shaken him. Now, he was back, and he wanted answers.

But when Esmie tumbles into a treacherous conspiracy, can he really turn his back on her?

Susan Lodge’s first publishing success was a story purchased by a major UK magazine followed by a drawer full of rejections. Finally a breakthrough gave her the confidence to seek and secure a publisher for her historical romance novels Only a Hero Will Do and Rebellious Cargo.

After working in several cities including London and Bristol, she and her husband moved down to the Hampshire coast to raise their family.

Learn more about Susan and her books on her website and blog. Stay connected on  Facebook, Twitter and her Amazon Author Page.

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