Thursday, August 31, 2017

Book Spotlight: What I Gain Through His Pain by Nicole Benoit-Roy

Write Now Literary is pleased to announce What I Gain Through His Pain, by Nicole Benoit-Roy. Virtual Book Tour. August 1-31, 2018. @wnlbooktours @nicoleroy52
Genre: Christian Non-fiction

In a society filled with easy Christianity and cheap grace, Nicole Benoit-Roy takes her relationship with Christ to a much deeper level. Since becoming a Christian, she has been learning about her newfound Savior, Jesus Christ. She is an educator who vows to be a student for as long as she lives. The more she learns about the cross of Christ, the more she realizes the importance of it in her life. As she meditates on His suffering, she concludes that His pain is the reason for every blessing in her life. In this book, "What I Gain Through His Pain," she shares her story about the benefit of the cross as she expresses gratefulness for His pain.


Something Fishy

Daddy practiced Voodoo, but even as a child I considered it foolish. During summer vacations in Haiti, the family expected my sister, my next younger brother and me to go to Lèogane. As the summer months drew to a close, my father lined up every child in the house to bathe us with a special Voodoo water made with crushed leaves.

As I got older (though not much older), I grew to detest the act and so I decided not to go on vacation anymore. I thought it ridiculous to allow myself to be bathed with stinky water. I never believed in the Voodoo stuff either. I had a good sense of who I was since early childhood. I knew God made me, and no evil could harm me (Now I know evil can’t touch me without His permission). That knowledge made me very bold and never afraid of any Voodoo stuff. My father had a special table with a white small washbasin and other Voodoo items on it. No one was supposed to touch them. However, on many occasions, I pretended to be cleaning just to touch and rearrange everything on that table. I held no fear. I just knew they lacked any authority over me. It's weird though, no one told me that Voodoo held no potency. It was always a gut feeling. I was always very bold about expressing my belief every chance I got.

My father use to hold Voodoo ceremonies where kids in the house were expected to eat out of special wooden bowls. All that I shunned eventually. Because my brother Kesnel and sister Carol were twins, the ceremony held every year honored the twins (a Voodoo ritual) even though Carol died as a baby. Those were the kinds of things that made no sense to me, leading me to refuse to take part in them as soon as I grew old enough to say no. With me so hardheaded and strong-willed, no one in my family could force me to take part once I said no. Not even my father.

On one occasion, something terrible happened in my family, causing my father to be the focus of suspicion. I felt his pain afterward. He needed so much to have someone on his side. Unfortunately, not even his favorite little girl was willing to be that someone.

In desperation, one evening in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti, he pulled me aside. In a private conversation, he explained his own version of the incident after he visited my mother in the U.S. in 1982 for the first time.

He said, “Nicole, I know you’re getting older. You can understand what I’m about to tell you.”
I was 14 years old then.

“When I went to New York,” he continued, “I swear I did not take your mother’s soiled panties. It’s only after I came back to Haiti I saw them in my suitcase. I swear I did not take them.”

I listened attentively, but my eyes stared at the cement floor as we sat on the edge of my bed.
“You believe me, don’t you, my girl.” He held onto my left arm as if begging me to say yes.
I’d heard the rumor that he wanted to use her underpants to hurt my mother through witchcraft so often that I’d already made up my mind of his guilt.

My father returned to Haiti finding himself in an awkward predicament. At that age, I was naïve and awfully honest.

“Well, I can’t say whether you did it or not. I wasn’t there. You’re the only one who knows if you did it or not,” I said.

Suddenly, the look he gave me told me he wanted another answer. His eyes turned red. His pain turned into hatred.

I knew then I was not his favorite little girl anymore and I would pay.

In retrospect, I realized I could have answered differently had I known better. I still feel his pain even now as I write about it.

As soon as my mother found out her panties were missing, she demanded that my father purchase a plane ticket and return them to her.

When he did, she burned them in his presence.

My father continued to make his regular weekly visits from Lèogâne bringing us fresh produce every time. Our relationship was never the same, however. At times, I’d purposely stayed away to avoid seeing him altogether, not showing up until after he left. He was the enemy of the family. He knew it. That made him very uncomfortable and angry.

During one of his visits, he threatened to beat me because I did not greet him. Of course I put up a fight. He tried to pin me to the ground. I escaped from his grip and ran to a nearby stony hill. I picked up a stone and made the motion to throw it at him, but an invisible power stopped me. I knew Who kept me from flinging the stone, and I’m glad He did. Deep down inside I really loved my father. I believed that he gave me so much love and attention that he made it possible to never feel insecure about myself.

During my college years at Stony Brook University in New York, our father-daughter relationship remained broken. I recall lying on the bed in my dorm room reminiscing about my childhood. My entire family lived in the U.S. by then. My mom and dad separated shortly after the panties incident, although they waited to divorce until eleven years later. I finally realized the pain my father must have gone through to have his whole family against him, and the pain he continued to feel every time he and I met.

“Look at Nicole, the daughter I loved so much. Now, she can’t even talk to me,” he sometimes said.
At that time, we were on greeting terms. As I empathized with my father, I decided to put an end to our broken relationship. I picked up the phone.

“Hello,” he said.

“Hi, daddy, how are you?” It felt uncomfortable saying “daddy” but I also realized that doing the right thing was never easy.

“Who’s this?” he asked.

“This is Nicole,” I said. “I just call to tell you that I love you. Bye.”

“Ok,” he said.

I hung up the phone, feeling a burden lift from my chest.

For the first time I began to understand the power of forgiveness. I still had a long way to go.
Our relationship continued to improve after that phone call. My father is now ninety-two years old, and I love him as if nothing ever happened between us.

The Bible says in Deuteronomy 5:16, “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you.” (NLT). I desire to obey God's Word. Through this experience, I learned that making mistakes is what we (humans) specialize in the most. What’s essential is that we learn from them.

Purchase Links
Barnes & Noble:

Amazon: ebook:

Nicole is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in educational leadership at Andrews University. She directs the Children Ministries Department at her church. She works as a special education teacher by day, a literature evangelist by night, and writes during the wee hours of the night. She enjoys reading and playing the piano (beginner). Nicole struggled with college writing, which lead her to eventually drop out. For this reason, one of her many goals in life is to become a best-selling author to the glory of God. Nicole and her husband, Roosevelt Roy, have been married since 1994, and are the proud parents of a handsome brown-eyed son, Nolan. They currently live in Brooklyn, New York.

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Tour hosted by Write Now Literary

Monday, August 28, 2017

Musing Monday - Aug 28

Musing Monday is hosted by Ambrosia at The Purple Booker It is a weekly meme that asks you to choose one of the following prompts to answer:

I’m currently reading…
Up next I think I’ll read…
I bought the following book(s) in the past week…
I’m super excited to tell you about (book/author/bookish-news)…
I’m really upset by (book/author/bookish-news)…
I can’t wait to get a copy of…
I wish I could read ___, but…
I blogged about ____ this past week…

THIS WEEK'S RANDOM QUESTION:   Not sure yet. Not posted.

I looked at both my blogs this weekend and saw I hadn't participated in Musing Monday or Mailbox Monday since July 31. I am a bad little blogger.

I'm just about done with The Competition by Donna Russo Morin, the second book in her Da Vinci's Disciples series. I'll post my review soon. Also coming is my review of Poetry and Ponderings by Diamante Lavendar--which is horribly overdue.

Here are answers to the Musing Monday questions I missed while off selling houses, playing wife and mom, and moving my father-in-law into assisted living.

From 8/21: Do you steer away from heavy emotional books?

Heck no! I love emotional books. Getting to know characters and watching them thrive against everything life throws their way is awesome. That said, I will occasionally reach for a lighter read to give my emotions a break.

From 8/14: What are your feelings on YA? Do you think it is just for young adults or do you think it’s cool full grown adults like it too.

I've read a fair amount of YA and I am 49. I didn't even like the Little House books until I was in my 20s, so there was no way I was appreciating Harry Potter until after the age of 45. One of the main reasons I enjoy this genre so much is that it keeps me in touch with my children. It lets me know what's popular and what they might be reading.

From 8/7: Do you ever wish you could go back and fall in love with reading all over again?

Not really, because once I discovered my love for reading it never got old. I love reading just as much as when I was younger...if not more.

That's it for me today. Hope you have a great week.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Author Interview: Melissa Pimentel, Author of The One That Got Away

Melissa Pimentel grew up in a small town in Massachusetts in a house without cable TV and therefore much of her childhood was spent watching 1970s British comedy on public television. At twenty-two, she made the move to London and has lived there happily for thirteen years, though she has sadly never come across the Ministry of Funny Walks. She spends much of her time reading in the various pubs of Stoke Newington with her husband (everyone thinks they're weird but they don't care) and being awoken in the night by her two squabbling cats, Roger and BoJack. She works in publishing.

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in a great little town in Massachusetts called Hudson. Our main claim to fame is that Nuno Bettencourt from the band Extreme comes from there. It was a great place to grow up – small and safe but with room enough to explore. I’ve lived in London for fourteen years now but still consider Hudson “home.”

When did you begin writing?

I used to write all the time when I was a kid – lots of tortured teenaged poetry in particular – but I sort of stumbled into novel writing by accident. When I was in my late twenties, fresh from a divorce, I started a blog about my dating exploits, which led to an editor getting in touch and asking if I could try to novelize it. I had absolutely no idea if I could do it – I had many, many doubts – but I managed to write the first half of it and the publisher bought it… which meant I definitely had to finish it! Now that I’ve been writing steadily for several years, I can’t imagine my life without it.

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I work full time so I have to squeeze it in when I can, though I find my most productive writing time is straight after work. I even stay in my office – I just switch off my work email, open up whatever I’m working on and go. (Okay, I usually spend about 20 minutes looking at random stuff on the internet before I actually start writing. But I get there in the end!)

What is this book about?

THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s PERSUASION. In it, we follow Ruby Atlas, a successful advertising executive living in New York City whose very ordered world is suddenly turned upside-down when she’s reunited with the long-lost love of her life at her sister’s wedding.

It’s essentially a story about the choices we make when we’re younger, the ideals and goals we hold for ourselves and how they change as we get older. And second chances!

What inspired you to write it?

PERSUASION is my favorite book by my favorite author. I think it’s completely perfect – gentle and subtle and funny and sweet. I love the slow-burn that builds between Anne and Captain Wentworth and how we watch both of them overcome their hurt pride and preconceptions. I thought it would be fun to try to bring it into the modern world – and it was!

Who is your favorite character from the book?

I love all of them, but Ruby’s father, Alec, is probably my favorite.

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

I’m going to use one of my favorite phrases here: “At all good bookstores!”

What is up next for you?

My third novel, JENNY SPARROW KNOWS THE FUTURE, has just come out in the UK so that’s been taking up most of my head space, but now that it’s out in the world I have a few ideas that I’m kicking around… I’m sure I’ll get started on one of them soon as I get restless otherwise!

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Book Spotlight: The World to Love and Not to Love by Horace Allen

Understanding the true nature of the world's system, contrasted with God's creation, will bring clarity to readers and help Christians make right choices to live God's way. God's standard of righteousness is contrasted with politically-correct responses and declining ethical and moral standards.

There are two worlds--God's creation and the present world system. God loves His creation and has a restoration plan for it. But the world's system organized under the direct influence of the devil is in direct opposition to God. Horace E. Allen reveals the true nature of the world we should not love.

Social and political correctness have replaced God's standard of righteousness. The result is a world system in constant moral, social, and ethical decline. This declining moral system is constantly being redesigned by man's imagination to accommodate his unrestrained sinful desires. What was once immoral is now accepted as normal. Christians who determine to maintain a biblical standard are put on the defensive and labeled intolerant.

Understanding the true nature of the world God created and this world's system will help us make right choices to live God's way.

There is a clear line between what is godly and what is ungodly. Likewise, there should be a difference between the standards of believers and nonbelievers. The World to Love and Not to Love will give readers clarity about the dividing line between the secular and spiritual worlds.

Read an excerpt here!

Publisher: Redemption Press (June 28, 2017)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1683142144
ISBN-13: 978-1683142140

Purchase from:

Redemption Press
Barnes and Noble

Horace Allen is licensed in New York State as a professional marriage and family therapist with a B.S. degree in psychology from New York Institute of Technology; M.S. degree in counseling from St. John’s University of Queens, and a D. Min from Andersonville Baptist Seminary. He served as senior pastor at the East End Baptist Church, Brooklyn, New York for thirty-four years. Now semi-retired in Florida, he conducts seminars, speaks at conferences and maintains his therapy practice through video and telephone sessions. He and his wife of fifty- two years have two children and two grandchildren. Dr. Allen is also the author of Thinking with the Heart: Principle, Practice and Purpose for Spiritual Wellness.

Interview with Jason Reid, Author of Dinner Conversations

Jason Reid is an entrepreneur by trade and a dad by passion. He currently lives in Murrieta, California with his wonderful wife and amazing four children. Over the years he has written numerous business books, a novel, and children’s The Protector Bug book series.



Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am an entrepreneur, husband and father who really enjoys his time with his family.

When did you begin writing?

I started writing about 10 years ago, I was looking for a new hobby. I wrote a novel called Liar Loan, a few business books as well as two children’s picture books and five of the best screen plays that you may never see… LOL

Do you write during the day, at night or whenever you can sneak a few moments?

I don’t have a set pattern, this latest book was written over 5 years, one conversation at a time.

What is this book about?

It is a collection of conversations that I have had with my kids as they were growing up. Mostly funny stuff that they have said to me over dinner.

What inspired you to write it?

Facebook, I posted all our conversations on my Facebook over the years as a fun way of memorializing our time together. Finally, some friends said, “Hey you should turn this into a book”

Who is your biggest supporter?

My family are my biggest supporters

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

The book is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Do you have a website and/or blog where readers can find out more?

I currently just have a Facebook page @DinnerConversations where readers can follow our recent family conversations, post their own fun family conversations, fun and interesting articles, events, etc

What is one piece of advice you would like to share with aspiring authors everywhere?

The best advice I have is to write for you, if it makes you happy then do. Don’t write for the critics, why would you want to make them happy?

What is up next for you?

I am working on a new screenplay about an old mall in middle America and a not so young guy who wants to prove to his father that he can turn it around.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Yes, life is way busier than it was 30 years ago--there are many more distractions. Make sure you take the time to have dinner with your family and above all, enjoy the conversations!

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Guest Blogger: What to do if You Have Just Decided to Write a Book by Brenda Berg

So, you’ve just thought of a brilliant idea for a new book. You may have had this idea a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been brewing in your mind. You’ve been trying to think of how the story can start and end and all the other twists and turns that will happen in the middle. But come on, if writing a book was easy then everyone would be doing it. Whether you’re writing fact or fiction, here’s a list of things you need to know now so you can make your career as an author as successful as possible.

Remain Quiet and Collected

The first thing you may want to do is to run outside and scream from the rooftops about your new idea. Kind of a eureka moment. However much you feel the urge to do this, at this stage of your career, don’t. Friends and family, despite meaning well can put a lot of pressure on you. It’s fine to tell a few people about your idea but don’t advertise what you’re doing. That stage is later when you have something to show them.

Be Real

I’m not saying that your idea isn’t the next big hit and they’ll be making films about you and your successes in years to come. However, until that time comes, you have to keep your feet on the ground. It’s very rare that the first publisher you go to will love your idea and front you a few million to keep you going. Writing is hard work, and initially, you’ll get very little money back. Statistics show that over 6,000 books are published around the world every day, so you’ll need to work hard to make yours stand out from the next.

Create Your First Draft

Now that your head is screwed on and your feet are on the ground, you can set about writing your book. Aim for the first draft. From start to finish, write your book once all the way through, chapter by chapter. You can be sure they’ll be bits that you want to change as you go, feel free to do so, but this will simply be the foundation of your work. If you can, seek the help of professional writers, such as the ones at State of Writing. They’ll be able to help you plan your work as well as providing you with tips if you get stuck.

Continuously Rewrite

When your first draft is complete, you need to go back through several times to rewrite. It may pay at this point to take a break for a week and let your ideas collect before reading through again. You may want to change the story in place or bulk up some characters. This is easily the most time-consuming part of the process. Some writers may even go through their work more than 50 times.

Finalizing: Part One

Let’s say you’ve gone through your story 100+ times. You’ve read it through and maybe even had a family member or friend read it through and they love it. Great, it’s time to start finalising your work. To start with, you’ll want to edit and ensure all the grammar is correct. You can do this yourself or promote the help of a professional service, such as UK Writings. This will allow you to refresh your skills as a writing, picking up on grammar mistakes that you may have forgotten about or developed bad habits of using, a common practice that many of us writers fall into.

Finalizing: Part Two

The second step of ensuring your content is ready for the primetime is ensuring that no aspects of your work are plagiarised. This is essential as, even if not deliberately, you may have accidentally copied someone else’s work. This is a copyright violation and, if not completed, you may find yourself with an expensive legal battle. One of the most popular websites among writers is Plagium and Academized that ensures this task is free of plagiarism and carried out to a professional level.

Finalizing: Part Three

The third and final part of finishing your work is proofreading. After all the other checks have been completed, one final proofread is essential to make sure everything is ready for the public eye. Again, you can do this yourself, but it’s highly recommended that you invest in a professional service, such as Write my paper. It’s extremely difficult to proofread work that you’ve written because the mind tends to read what it thinks should be there, sometimes missing mistakes. A second pair of eyes is always recommended. Once this has been completed, your book is ready for the public eye! Good Luck!  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Spotlight & Giveaway: The Church of the Holy Child by Patricia Hale

The Church of the Holy Child

by Patricia Hale

on Tour August 15 - October 15, 2017


The Church of the Holy Child by Patricia Hale

A woman with a history of domestic abuse is missing. Her sister hires private investigators Cole and Callahan.

When the woman is found dead, her husband is charged but when a second body appears showing the same wounds, questions arise and what looked like a slam-dunk becomes anyone’s guess. The case goes to John Stark, a veteran cop and close friend of Griff Cole.

The bodies are piling up, and one person knows where the killer is. Father Francis, a priest at The Church of the Holy Child, listens to the killer’s disturbed account of each murder and wrestles with the vows that bind him to secrecy.

The case takes an unexpected and personal turn when Cole’s ex-wife goes missing and a connection to his past points to the killer.

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Suspense

Published by: Intrigue Publishing LLC

Publication Date: August 15th 2017

Number of Pages: 259

ISBN: 1940758599 (ISBN13: 9781940758596)

Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 

Read an excerpt:

Inside the wooden confessional there’s a man who talks to God. At least that’s what my mother told me the last time we were here. But a month has passed since she disappeared so today I’ve come to the church alone. I no longer believe that she’s coming back for me like she said. Instead, I’ve become her stand-in for the beatings my father dishes out. That’s what he calls it, dishing out a beating, like he’s slapping a mound of mashed potato on my plate. He swaggers through the door ready for a cold one after coming off his seven to three shift, tosses his gun and shield on our kitchen table and reaches into the refrigerator for a Budweiser. I cringe in the corner and make myself small, waiting to hear what kind of day he’s had and whether or not I’ll be his relief. More often than not, his eyes search me out. “’C’mere asshole,” he says, popping the aluminum top, “I’m gonna dish out a beating.” If anyone can help me, it has to be this guy who talks to God. I open the door of the confessional with my good arm and step inside.

Twenty-three years later


His breath was warm on my neck, his lips hot and dry. His tongue searched the delicate skin below my ear. Heart quickening, back arching, I rose to meet him.

The phone on the nightstand vibrated.

“Shit,” Griff whispered, peeling away from me, our clammy skin reluctant to let go. He swung his feet over the edge of the bed and flashed me his bad-boy, half-smile. “Cole,” he said into the phone.

At times like this, cell phones rate right alongside other necessary evils like cod liver oil and flu shots. I leaned against his back and caressed his stomach, damp dunes of sculpted muscle. Not bad for a guy north of forty. Griff still measured himself against the hotshots in the field. But in my book he had nothing to worry about; I’d take the stable, wise, worn-in model over a wet behind the ear, swagger every time.

He pried my fingers from his skin and walked toward the bathroom still grunting into the phone.

I slipped into my bathrobe and headed for the kitchen. I have my morning priorities and since the first one was interrupted by Griff’s phone, coffee comes in a close second.

Twenty minutes later he joined me dressed in his usual attire, jeans, boots, tee shirt and sport jacket. Coming up behind me, he nuzzled my neck as I poured Breakfast Blend into a travel mug. Coffee splashed onto the counter top.

“Gotta run,” he said taking the cup from my hand.

“What’s up?”

“Not sure yet. That was John. He said he could use a hand.

“Sobering up?

Griff flinched like I’d landed one to his gut.

“Sorry,” I said. “Cheap shot.”

“Woman found dead early this morning.”

“When’s he going to admit that he can’t run the department with a pint of scotch sloshing around in his gut?”

“The job’s all he’s got left, makes it hard to let go.”

“I’m just saying that he shouldn’t be head of CID. Not now. I’m surprised Haggerty has put up with it this long.”

“There’s a lot going down at the precinct. Internal Affairs is having a field day after that meth bust.

They’ve got so many guys on leave right now that a bottle of Dewar’s in John’s desk is the least of Haggerty’s problems.”

“I just don’t want you to get sucked into CID.”

He slipped his hands inside my robe and nuzzled my neck. “No chance of that. Nobody on the force feels like this.”

I pushed him away halfheartedly.

I’ll call you when I know what’s going on.”

The door closed behind him.

I sank onto a kitchen chair and flipped open the People magazine lying on the table. Griff and I had just finished an investigation for an heiress in the diamond industry whose sticky handed husband had resorted to blackmailing her brother as a way around their pre-nup. The ink on her twenty-thousand-dollar check made out to Cole & Co. was still wet. And being that I was the & Co. part of the check, I’d earned a leisurely morning.

The phone rang just as I was getting to the interview with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell on the secrets of a long-term relationship. Caller ID told me it was Katie Nightingale, our go-to girl at the office. Katie kept track of everything from appointments to finances to take-out menus.

I lifted the phone and hit ‘answer’.

“Britt?” Katie spoke before I had a chance, never a good sign.

“What’s up?” I asked.

“Missing woman.”

“Since when?”

“Last night.”

“What makes her missing? It hasn’t even been twenty-four hours.”

“The woman who called said her sister was leaving an abusive husband and was supposed to let her know when she was safe by ringing the phone once at seven-thirty. The call never came. Now she can’t get hold of her. She said her sister carries your card in her wallet.”

“What’s her name?”

“The woman who called is Beth Jones. Her sister is Shirley Trudeau.”

I nodded into the phone. I can’t remember every woman I encounter, but Shirley’s name rang a bell. Since giving up my position as a Family Law attorney with Hughes and Sandown, I’d been offering free legal aid for women who needed advice but couldn’t afford it. Mostly I worked with wives trying to extricate themselves from abusive marriages. Given the reason I’d abandoned my law career, it was the least I could do. Shirley hadn’t been living at the women’s shelter, but she’d spent enough time there to have Sandra, the shelter’s director, hook her up with me.

“And Beth thinks Shirley’s husband found her?”

“That’s what it sounded like once she’d calmed down enough to form actual words.”

“I’m on my way.”

I set the phone down, making a mental note to call Sandra. She’d upgraded from a caseworker in Connecticut to Director in Portland, Maine a few months ago. I’d stopped by her office to introduce myself when she started and left my business cards. Our paths didn’t cross that often but we respected each other’s work and always took a few minutes to chat. I knew she’d been on the swim team in college and that she could bench-press her weight. We were close in age and like minded when it came to the politics of non-profits. No doubt Beth Jones had called her too.

After a shower and a quick clean up of last night’s wine glasses, Chinese takeout containers and clothes that we’d left strewn around the living room, I locked the apartment door and began my fifteen-minute trek to our office on Middle Street. I savored my walk through the Old Port, the name given to Portland, Maine’s waterfront. The summer heat that a month ago had my shirt stuck tight against my back was a thing of the past and the snow and ice that would make walking an athletic event had not yet arrived. The cool, crisp air was like a shot of espresso. As long as I didn’t let my mind wander to what nature had in store, I could enjoy the rush.

I hit “contacts” on my phone and scanned the names for Sandra’s.

“Sandra, it’s Britt,” I said when she answered. “I wish this was a social call, but it’s not. Shirley Trudeau is missing.

“I know. Her sister called this morning. I’m on my way in now. How did you find out?”

“Her sister hired us to find her. “Was someone helping her leave?”

“She had a caseworker, but I wasn’t in on the plan. I’ll know more once I get to my office and talk to the person she was working with.”

“Okay if I call you later?”

“I don’t know how much I’ll be able to tell you. You know the rules. If she was on her way…”

I stopped mid-stride and lowered the phone from my ear. Sandra’s voice slipped away. That dead body that Griff went to look at… my gut said, Shirley Trudeau.

Excerpt from  The Church of the Holy Child by Patricia Hale.  Copyright © 2017 by Patricia Hale. Reproduced with permission from Patricia Hale. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Patricia Hale
Patricia Hale received her MFA degree from Goddard College. Her essays have appeared in literary magazines and the anthology, My Heart’s First Steps. Her debut novel, In the Shadow of Revenge, was published in 2013. The Church of the Holy Child is the first book in her PI series featuring the team of Griff Cole and Britt Callahan. Patricia is a member of Sister’s in Crime, Mystery Writer’s of America, NH Writer’s Project and Maine Writer’s and Publisher’s Alliance. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and two dogs.

Catch Up With Our Author On:
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Tour Participants:

Stop by these awesome hosts to learn more about Patricia Hale and her  amazing book, The Church of the Holy Child. Plus, there are some great reviews, interviews, and giveaways!!


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Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Author Interview: Night Court by Erica Gross

When did you first discover poetry?

I can’t remember. Poetry was always around me from the time I was a small child. I heard poems in both English and German, which my parents recited to us and to each other. I reluctantly said a temporary goodbye to poetry in my mid-twenties, as I was occupied with working and starting a family. When I was thirty-five, I decided to go back to school, finish my degree, and get an MFA. Since then, I’ve never looked back.

What was your first poem titled and what was it about?

Here is a very early poem, which I wrote when I was ten:

Wait World

Wait! Wait for me
wait for me to catch
up with you
Hey, world
wait up! If you’ll
just wait a second
I’ll be caught up
so wait, will you?
I’ll be caught up

How many poetry collections have you published? How are they similar? How are they different?

I have one other poetry collection: my chapbook, titled Wild Place, which I published in 2012. The poems in Night Court, my new collection, extend the themes I explored in the first book: love, death, grief, and nature. Some of the poems in Wild Place are re-printed in Night Court. The new book has more political poems than the first, as well as poems about my family’s experiences with mental illness.

What theme ties the Night Court collection together?

Night Court is composed of five sections, each organized loosely around a theme. Each section except for the last has an “anchor” poem that also connects it to the other sections. These poems have “The Art of” in their titles. The first section is a kind of trip through my thoughts when I can’t sleep, which is most of the time, the second section is mostly about parents and grandparents, the third, marriage and motherhood, the fourth contains poems of the senses (this is where my food poems are) and the fifth wraps these themes up with poems that point to the future.

Is there a poet you admire or emulate?

I admire so many, and my list gets bigger all the time. I read Linda Pastan, W.S. Merwin, Seamus Heaney, Elizabeth Bishop, Sharon Olds, Robert Duncan, William Carlos Williams, Louise Glück, Wanda Coleman, and Denise Levertov, among many others. I’m a fan of contemporary Irish women’s poetry. I think Ocean Vuong is amazing. His line, “I’ll tell you how we’re wrong enough to be forgiven” from the poem “On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” is like a burr in my skin.

What is up next for you?

I’m busy promoting Night Court right now, but I’m also working on a memoir, creating poetry and video classes, writing and publishing poems and articles, and working on videos.

Erica Goss is a poet and freelance writer. She served as Poet Laureate of Los Gatos, CA from 2013-2016. She is the author of Night Court, winner of the 2016 Lyrebird Award, Wild Place and Vibrant Words: Ideas and Inspirations for Poets. Recent work appears in Lake Effect, Atticus Review, Contrary, Eclectica, The Red Wheelbarrow, Main Street Rag, Pearl, Rattle, Wild Violet, and Comstock Review, among others. She is co-founder of Media Poetry Studio, a poetry-and-film camp for teen girls: . Please visit her website, Facebook page, LinkedIn, and Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Coming in 2018! Barbour Launches Unique Historical Fiction Series

Read my Family Fiction This Week news today and discovered Barbour Publishing is launching an 18-book historical fiction series that follows one family tree through American history. Now, for those of you who don't know it: I love historical fiction and I am partial to American history. I live here after all. I can't remember the last time I have been this excited about a new series.

The series is slated to release over three years starting in February 2018 with The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse. According to the site, "This book, which takes place in 1620, features voyages on two ships, the Speedwell and the Mayflower, and will set the stage for subsequent books with its focus on adventure, romance, and a thread of espionage that is woven throughout each of the 18 stories.
"Releasing every other month by a team of well-known authors, the Daughters of the Mayflower will satisfy voracious readers of Christian fiction continuously for three years. The books are written in such a way that they can be read in succession or stand alone, making them perfect for readers interested in specific time periods in American history."

You can learn more about this series and the first six books being released at

New Release: Dog Dish of Doom by E. J. Cooperman

The start of a great new series, Dog Dish of Doom (Minotaur Books, August 15th, $24.99) stars amateur sleuth Kay Powell. A talent agent for show biz animals, Kay discovers she has a talent of her own: solving crimes.

Kay Powell wants to find that break-out client who will become a star. And she thinks she’s found him: His name is Bruno, and he has to be walked three times a day.

Bruno’s humans, Trent and Louise, butt in a lot, and Les McMaster, the famous director now mounting a revival of Annie, might not hire Bruno just because he can’t stand Trent in particular.

That becomes less of an issue when Trent is discovered face down in Bruno’s water dish. With a kitchen knife in his back.

Laugh-out-loud funny, this series debut is a delight.

Praise for E. J. Copperman’s DOG DISH OF DOOM:

“Admirers of old comedy sketches and anyone looking for a laugh-out-loud mystery should pick up this series launch by Copperman.”

Library Journal (STARRED)

"Readers will root for Kay to be more than pals with Sam Gibson, proprietor of Cool Beans coffee house—and, of course, to keep Bruno as more than a client. [Filled with] resilient, warm, funny supporting players."

Publishers Weekly

"Well-drawn characters, including a heroine who talks directly to the reader, and effectively framed with details of the theater enhance this humorous cozy."









E.J. COPPERMAN is someone you could sit down and have a beer with, if that’s your thing. Or a hot chocolate. Or a diet soda. Actually, you can have anything you want as long as you don’t care what E.J. is drinking.

E.J. is the author of a number of mystery series: Agent to the Paws begins with Dog Dish of Doom and other series include the Haunted Guesthouse mysteries, Asperger’s mysteries, and Mysterious Detective mysteries.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Book Review: While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax

A story of life changes, new discoveries and friendships fills the pages of While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax.

In a brilliant move, Wax wove a story of four lives that intersect at an historic apartment building in Atlanta around the insanely popular Downton Abbey television series. Published near the height of the series' popularity, this novel tells the story of three women from different backgrounds and in different stages of their lives who become fast friends thanks to the concierge's decision to air weekly episodes of Downton Abbey.

Not only are Wax's characters likable, complex, and realistic, the secondary characters provide some comic relief to balance out the unfolding drama. I found a little bit of me in each of the women, which is always nice. Claire, Brooke, and Samantha almost became like my friends and I was sad to see them go; though getting to the end was worth it. There aren't many books that make me stay up past two in the morning to finish these days--busy realtors need their sleep--but While We Were Watching Downton Abbey is definitely one I couldn't put down until I read it to the satisfying end. Wax has a ton of other books to check out, which I definitely plan to do.

This is women's fiction at its finest. Pick up While We Were Watching Downton Abbey by Wendy Wax and discover it for yourself.

Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Berkley; 1 edition (April 2, 2013)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0425263312
ISBN-13: 978-0425263310

I received a copy of this book from the publicist. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

I read this book for the following challenge:

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Book Blast: Audition for Murder by P. M. Carlson

Actors Nick and Lisette O’Connor need a change. They leave New York City for a semester as artists-in-residence at a college upstate, where they take on the roles of Claudius and Ophelia, two of the professional leads in a campus production of Hamlet. Threats and accidents begin to follow Lisette, and Nick worries it might be more than just petty jealousy. Maggie Ryan, a student running lights for the show, helps investigate a mystery steeped in the turmoil of 1967 America.

Don’t Miss These Great Reviews:

“P.M. Carlson’s energetic and insightful novels are back in print — hallelujah!” — Sara Paretsky
“An extremely well-written tale, with a plotline that offers a jolt per page.” — CF, Booklist

“Very literate, sprinkled with surprises and offering that rarity of rarities — fully fleshed out characters.” — Bob Ellison, Los Angeles Daily News

Book Details:
Genre: Traditional Mystery
Published by: The Mystery Company / Crum Creek Press
Publication Date: October 2012
Number of Pages: 233
ISBN: 1932325212 (ISBN13: 9781932325218)
Series: Maggie Ryan and Nick O’Connor #1

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords  | Goodreads 


Lisette stumbled on the way to the car, and Nick caught her elbow to steady her. Rob had unlocked the back door, and Nick helped her in while Rob let Maggie into the front passenger seat and then went around to the driver’s side. There were a few snowflakes blowing in the wind, and his pale hair licked about his forehead like little flames. He sat down, closed the door, and stared at the wheel a minute.

“God,” he said. “I’m stoned. A little.”

“Do you want someone else to drive?” asked Maggie.

“No. I’ll be fine.” He raised a dramatic finger and declaimed, “Good wine is a good familiar creature if it be well used.”

“Every inordinate cup is unblessed,” countered Nick, who had maybe had a drop too much himself.

“I’ll be extremely careful,” Rob promised. He turned the key and started out of the lot. Lisette lurched against Nick as they rounded the corner onto the highway.

“Are you okay?” he asked.

“Very tired,” she said.

Nick tipped her chin up and studied her a minute in the headlights of the car behind them. “You look bad,” he said, concerned. He could see her honey-brown eyes in the wavering light. The pupils were tiny. “Do you feel sick?”

“M’all right,” she said. The eyes closed. Nick leaned forward.

“Rob, she looks bad.. Could we get her to a hospital, do you think?” Maggie turned to look at Lisette.

“She says she’s all right,” objected Rob. “Are you sick, Lisette?”

She made an effort. “Just tired. Bed.”

“I’ll just take you home,” said Rob soothingly.

“Home,” murmured Lisette. Her cheek was cold and damp. Nick felt panic rising.

“Rob, please!” he said.

“Come on, Nick,” said Rob. He had stopped at a stoplight, and turned to look back at them, the red glow making his hair shine like embers. “The hospital is miles away, and she says she’s just tired. I believe her. I’m tired too.”

“Nick’s right,” said Maggie suddenly. “She’s not just tired.”

“Jus’ tired,” repeated Lisette.

“See?” said Rob. “You two alarmists are interfering with her rest.”

Maggie leaned across Rob, switched off the ignition with one hand, and opened his door with the other. “Out, Rob,” she said.


“Out. Get out. Now.”

“You’re crazy!” He stared at her unbelievingly. The light blinked to green.

“Sorry, kid,” she said, leaning back against her door and placing an elegant French boot, still muddy, against his thigh.

“My God! My coat!” Shocked, he flinched away from the boot. She shoved, and he suddenly found himself outside, arms flailing for balance. Maggie slid smoothly into the driver’s seat and turned the ignition. The car moved forward and left Rob on the pavement, staggering. When they were clear of him Maggie pulled the door closed and made a rapid U-turn, then pressed the accelerator. The car vaulted up the hill toward the hospital.

By the time they had run their third red light, a patrol car was chasing them. Lisette was slumped against Nick, and he braced himself to keep them both from ricocheting around the back seat as Maggie traced a complex, competent line through the other traffic. He was dimly aware of the flashing lights from behind intersecting the rapid flow of the light from street lamps. She did not slow, and the sirens and lights behind them got other traffic out of the way. When she turned into the hospital driveway the patrol car seemed to relax a little. She skidded to a halt in front of the emergency room and was out opening Nick’s door instantly.

“Need help?”

“She’s not heavy,” he said. Lisette was unconscious.

“I’ll follow when I’ve talked to the officers.” She made sure the emergency door was open and then walked toward the patrol car. Nick carried the limp body into the emergency room.

Excerpt from Audition for Murder by P.M. Carlson. Copyright © 2017 by P.M. Carlson. Reproduced with permission from P.M. Carlson. All rights reserved.

P.M. Carlson taught psychology and statistics at Cornell University before deciding that mystery writing was more fun. She has published twelve mystery novels and over a dozen short stories. Her novels have been nominated for an Edgar Award, a Macavity Award, and twice for Anthony Awards. Two short stories were finalists for Agatha Awards. She edited the Mystery Writers Annual for Mystery Writers of America for several years, and served as president of Sisters in Crime.

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