Friday, April 30, 2010

The Way to Stillness by Anne Vincent - Book Review and Giveaway

An inspiring story of one woman's life in service to others is what you'll find in The Way to Stillness: Powerful Tools for Those in Helping Professions by Anne Alexander Vincent and Gayle Alexander.

Now retired from over fifty years as a master counselor, gifted teacher, and minister, Gayle Alexander's story is shared with readers through her daughter, Anne. The Way to Stillness explains Gayle's unique approach that has become known as the Love Motif.

Wishing that every individual find and embrace all that which is in them as truly good, the Love Motif, has helped people find peace, joy, and fulfillment in life. Discussing patience, unconditional love, compassionate awareness, and other components of the Love Motif, the authors also share examples and results from Gayle's work.

While the subtitle of this book is "Powerful Tools for Those in Helping Professions", I believe that people from all walks of life can find value in The Way to Stillness.

This would also make a perfect gift for educators, ministers, physicians, therapists, and nurses.

Title: The Way to Stillness
Authors: Anne Alexander Vincent and Gayle Alexander
Publisher: Cottage in the Woods
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0984087605
ISBN-13: 978-0984087600
SRP: $14.95

Now that you've read all about The Way to Stillness, don't you want a copy for yourself and a loved one? Here's your chance to win a free copy!

How to Enter:

1) Mandatory: Follow this blog or let us know you are already a follower. Comment must include a working email address so that we can contact you if you win.

2) Get three additional entries for blogging about this contest. Leave a comment (with link) here telling us where you blogged about it.

3) Get two additional entries for tweeting about this contest. Don't forget to let us know here that you tweeted and leave us a link.

4) Get two additional entries for posting about this contest on Facebook. Leave us a link here.

This giveaway will run from today until 11:59 p.m.(Eastern) on May 7th. A winner will be announced in later in the month.

* Open to residents in the United States and Canada only.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Power of Your Child's Imagination by Charlotte Reznick, PhD. -- Book Review

Kids seem to be dealing with more and more stress these days. Problems crop up that I never had to think about during my childhood. Thankfully there are helpful books like The Power of Your Child's Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success by Charlotte Reznick.

A nationally recognized child educational psychologist and associate professor of psychology at UCLA, Reznick has created Imagery for Kids, which she has used for more than twenty-five years to help children reach their full potential.

The Power of Your Child's Imagination will help your child thrive in an ever-changing and challenging world. Using the Nine Core Tools, parents are now able to apply Reznick's principles in their own homes. Broken down into two sections, this book will explain what the Nine Core Tools are, the benefits of using them, and how you can harness your child's imagination to transform her life.

The second part of this amazing book shows you how to put the tools to work, using examples from the author's own practice to help guide you along. Reznick discusses how you can use the tools to tackle problems such as:

* Stress-induced headaches and stomachaches
* Phobias, panic attacks, and social anxiety
* Bed-wetting and sleepless nights
* Hurt, frustration, and anger

And so much more!

The author also provides tips for less stress and better parenting too. This is something that I truly appreciated, because I need to reduce my own stress levels before I can help my kids.

While I haven't put these tools into practice yet, I am eager to, and hope that my daughters' natural love of art will make this successful for our family.

If you're looking for how you can better prepare your children to handle life's daily struggles, then see how The Power of Your Child's Imagination can help.

To download a free e-book with more information on The Power of Your Child's Imagination: How to Transform Stress and Anxiety into Joy and Success and Dr. Reznick , visit For a limited time Dr. Reznick is offering a very special gift to each person who purchases a copy of her book, including over 80 free gifts, please visit for all details.

Title: The Power of Your Child's Imagination
Author: Charlotte Reznick, PhD
ISBN-10: 0399535071
SRP: $14.95

This book is also available in a Kindle edition.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Mysterious Case of the Badman and the Crocodile by Graham Parke, Author of No Hope for Gomez!

Today's guest blogger is Graham Parke, author of No Hope for Gomez!

Graham Parke lives in the Netherlands with his wife and his son. He is responsible for a number of technical publications and has recently patented a self-folding map. He has been described as both a humanitarian and a pathological liar. Convincing evidence to support either allegation has yet to be produced.

No Hope for Gomez! is Graham’s fiction debut. You can visit his website at

"The Mysterious Case of the Badman and the Crocodile" by Graham Parke

You don't always get published on your first try. In my case, not necessarily on your second or third either (or, for that matter, your hundred and seventeenth.) So it's a special occasion when you first hold your printed book in your hands. It's the culmination of years of wishful thinking and banging your head against the wall. And the special-ness of the occasion is intensified considerably when you've had a hand in the cover design.

So it's easy to forget that not everyone immediately shares your enthusiasm. Or will even bother to pretend to. Case in point; Damian, my three-year-old son. What was his reaction when his proud daddy waved this oddly picture-less book in his face? This colorless waste of ground-up trees that was so utterly devoid of speaking animals, fairies, and animal-saving teenagers? His reaction was this; he pointed at my book and said, quite seriously, 'Bad man!'

Now, some explanation may be needed here. Firstly, the fact that he spoke up in English at all was interesting. The little guy basically has a choice of four languages. There's Dutch, which he speaks at day care. There's Serbian, which he uses to communicate with his mother. There's English, which he uses to communicate with his father. And then there's that fourth language, the one he is actually fluent in. (Sadly, he is also the only person to speak this unnamed language in our known universe, which is probably why he uses it mostly in conversations with himself, and when he wants to end phone conversations with his grandparents.)

Secondly, I had made the mistake of choosing a prime piece of real-estate, time wise, to connect with my son. Dora the Explorer had just started. And TV is a powerful force, especially when Dora is on. This, by the way, was the Dutch version, where Dora the Explorer teaches the viewers Dutch and English (not the English version, where she teaches English and Spanish – what a wasted torrent that was, luckily we found out in time before the culmination of languages actually damaged Damian's brain).

And, lastly, the reader should know that many things can, in fact, be Badman. From the little old lady with the apple in Snow White, to the invisible foe who tries to steal Damian's pacifier when he's drinking his milk.

(Edit: Badman has since managed to make all pacifiers disappear from the house. Both Damian and I believe that he may have been aided by a crocodile. If you have any information, please contact your local writer’s association!)

However, the bad man referred to in this instance, I discovered with relief, was not daddy for writing a book without pictures and then bothering people about it during Dora the Explorer. It was also not the book itself. It was in fact the image of the Worrier on the front cover, created by C. Rodriguez Vega. This Worrior is somewhat of a homage to Rodin's thinker, only with an even less sunny disposition. He sits on a rock and holds his head, worrying. And, if you look close enough, you can see that he is indeed a bit of a Badman!

INFO: I’ll be giving away signed copies of a limited edition novella set in the Gomez universe. It’s not available for purchase, but I’ll be sending copies to readers periodically from my forum. You can get there thru;

Reviews for No Hope for Gomez!

"Extremely witty and clever writing that contains keen insights into human nature." -- California Chronicle

“A quick and unputdownable read that flies in the face of reason, and smashes against the wall of detective novels. It's a Coens Brothers' film formatted in book form.” -- Book Review

"The antics in this book will leave the reader laughing. Graham Parke is a genius." -- Readers Favorite

“A veritable page turner of nonstop laughs. Buy a copy and find out for yourself!" -- Reader Views

Follow Graham's virtual book tour all month long at

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Another Silly Turf War by Richard Arneson, Author of Citizen Dick (Guest Post and Giveaway)

Today's guest blogger is Richard Arneson, author of Citizen Dick.

Dick Citizen, an unambitious, twenty-five-year-old with an obsessive hatred for his first name, an uncanny ability to hit a golf ball long and straight, and a bizarre skeleton in his closet, stumbles backwards into the last place he should be—Corporate America; more specifically, he stumbles into a PR position at CommGlobalTeleVisa, the 3rd largest telecommunications corporation in the United States, its name synonymous with ineptitude and shoddy, C-level leadership.

For Dick, boredom soon sets in, so he writes farcical press releases—to pass the time and for the enjoyment of his co-workers—about outrageous, bogus product offerings CommGlobalTeleVista has in the works.

But when one of the press releases gets leaked to the press, Wall Street responds favorably to the moribund corporation for the first time in several years. And when Noble Tud, the sleazy, hirsute, golf- and prison-obsessed CEO discovers Dick is uncannily lucky—he’s had fourteen holes-in-one—he decides to carry out the press release’s claims that CommGlobalTeleVista is about to take over a large meat company. And if doing so edges their stock price north of $75/share, Tud will receive a $100M bonus.

"Another Silly Turf War" by Richard Arneson

Like most people, on occasion I’ll do some work at Starbucks—but I’m not crazy about it. They’ve gotten a little too big and powerful for my liking, kind of the Walmart of coffee shops…except without the competition. If the work I do at Starbucks has anything to do with my writing, it’ll be proofreading or editing. I leave the creative stuff for the tree house I work in and now call my office. It’s loaded, with air conditioning, a phone line and cable TV. I found a cheap, dorm room-sized refrigerator that I’m going to install over the weekend and pack with beer. By June, it’ll have a small, flat screen TV. I’d love a second story, maybe even install a urinal some day.

I like to switch off between three Starbucks, not wanting to spend too much time at any one. I think spending too much time at a public place can put people off, make you look a little desperate, even creepy, like there’s an employee you might be stalking. Not that I know anything about stalking; she really was my girlfriend.

Over time, I’ve noticed that each of the three Starbucks I frequent has become the hangout for the private school students near them, a soda fountain for the aughts. I’m assuming. And you can smoke if you’re sitting outside on the patio, so the academic toughs drink lattes and smoke clove cigarettes and leer at passersby. But I’m not scared of them—I went to public school, where we smoked real cigarettes, drank beer, and made average scores on our SATs. And let’s face it, even Mike Tyson couldn’t look intimidating wearing khaki pants and a baby blue, button down dress shirt. If back in high school somebody had suggested we head out to get a frappucinno topped with whipped cream and nutmeg, we would have teased him until he opted to stay home Saturday nights to watch The Love Boat.

But the students seem to have claimed their respective Starbucks as their own, their turf, their ‘hood set to Norah Jones music. I’m waiting for the day—and trust me, it’s coming--when a kid from one of the neighboring Starbucks has to buy his 2,000 calorie drink at one of the other two. Smart looks will be exchanged, then a few words, probably a challenge to a game of Scrabble, trash talk about the upcoming moot court competition. Then an iced coffee will hit the floor and everybody will scatter, tan, dimple-legged women in tennis outfits hiding behind free-standing shelves loaded with over-priced mugs. The unemployment club will grab their cups of ice water and head to the restrooms. Then the two will face off, a pair of khaki-clad kids with something to prove and nothing to gain—just another silly turf war, but with a dash of cinnamon.

Richard Arneson’s thirteen years working in corporate America drove him up a tree—literally. Once he escaped the telecommunications industry after ten years of service, he built a tree house—ostensibly for his two young sons—installed electricity and cable TV, and set out to fix himself, deciding that dealing with the memories of working in the goofy-as-hell world of corporate America could only be accomplished by getting them down on paper. Citizen Dick is the result.

Arneson is currently working on his next novel, The Tree House, which, ironically, is not being written in his tree house but in the cab of his 1950 Chevy pickup truck. He lives in Dallas, Texas with his wife and their two sons. He has plans to build a second story on his tree house in early 2010, one large enough to accommodate a baby grand piano and two dental chairs.

Visit his website at:

1) Mandatory: Follow this blog or let us know you are already a follower. Comment must include a working email address so that we can contact you if you win.

2) Get three additional entries for blogging about this contest. Leave a comment (with link) here telling us where you blogged about it.

3) Get two additional entries for tweeting about this contest. Don't forget to let us know here that you tweeted and leave us a link.

4) Get two additional entries for posting about this contest on Facebook. Leave us a link here.

This giveaway will run from today until 11:59 p.m.(Eastern) on May 7th. A winner will be announced later in the month. Contest is open to residents of the United States and Canada.

Follow Richard's virtual book tour all month long at

No Greater Love by Kathi Macias - Blog Blast

As you know, Kathi Macias has been on a virtual book tour this month to promote the first book in her new four-book Extreme Devotion series, No Greater Love. Released by New Hope Publishers, this series promises to be some of Macias's finest work.

Jerry Jenkins, coauthor of the Left Behind series, had this to say about No Greater Love, "A sweeping epic...You'll feel as if you were there."

You can view the video trailer for this book at YouTube.

No Greater Love by Kathi Macias explores the evils of Apartheid while exposing the hope and courage that finally brought it down. Beginning with a forbidden romance, this story follows the unexpected heroine in her pursuit of honor, love, and sacrifice, ending with a promise of peace that floats on the wind and echoes in the heart of all mankind.

I felt honored to have been asked to provide an endorsement for this book. It is one of the most powerful books I've ever read.

Next month, Macias will go on a virtual book tour to promote the second book in this series, More than Conquerors.

With violent crime on the rise and the political climate changing throughout Mexico, the opportunity for open Christian witness is rapidly decreasing in many areas. Hector Rodriguez pastors a church on the outskirts of the once-peaceful and tourist-popular border town of Tijuana. He has also visited other small churches in the remote and not-so-Christian-friendly towns of Chiapas state, delivering Bibles and ministering to those in the most persecuted areas.

Hector’s mother accompanied him on one of those trips and stayed behind to teach reading—using the Bible as her primer—to a handful of Christian converts living among the Mayan population in San Juan Chamula, where superstition and paganism run rampant, and resentment of outsiders runs deep. In a reaction to that superstition and resentment, Hector’s mother pays a serious price for her unwanted presence—and Hector must then choose whether or not to continue his work in some of the most dangerous areas of Mexico.

View the trailer at YouTube!

New Hope Publishers has termed this new series, "Fiction with a Mission". You can read Kathi's post about this here.

Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer and radio show host who has authored 30 books and ghostwritten several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women’s clubs and retreats, and writers’ conferences, and recently won the prestigious 2008 member of the year award from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) at the annual Golden Scrolls award banquet. Kathi “Easy Writer” Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband, Al, where the two of them spend their free time riding their Harley.

You can find Kathi online at and at her blog

I've been a fan of Kathi's work for quite a while now. She never ceases to amaze me. Every book of hers that I read, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, touches me in some way.

If you've never read any of Kathi's books, I highly suggest you start with this new series. You won't be able to put these books down!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Back to the Homeplace by William Leverne Smith -- Interview and Giveaway at Linda Weaver Clarke's Blog

My friend, Linda Weaver Clarke, has another fabulous interview with a chance to win a free book posted at her blog today.

Here's more information on Back to the Homeplace by William Leverne Smith:

The Homeplace farm had been in her family for over 150 years. Mildred McDonald Bevins and her late husband were very concerned that it stay in her family intact as she prepared her will. Her children were scattered, and she felt the need to bring them all Back to the Homeplace. To assure this, she prepared an unusual will that required them to return to the Homeplace for two years in order to participate in the will bequests. The year is 1987 on the Homeplace in the hills and river valley of the Missouri Ozarks. The varied backgrounds and viewpoints of the adult children coming Back to the Homeplace ignite controversy and expose long kept secrets as each family member searches for his or her share of the family legacy. While the older family members stake their claims to land and fortunes, the younger ones search for love and acceptance. At the heart of the story is how we do or do not effectively communicate among family members - parents with children, among children and grandchildren. What happens when they come Back to the Homeplace?

William Leverne Smith was born and raised on a Midwestern farm. A passion for family history and genealogy studies provides background for his writing. He and his wife live in a cabin in the Missouri Ozarks.

You can find Bill online at and The Homeplace Series Blog

The Back to the Homeplace Giveaway runs from April 26th through May 4th, and is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada. Click here to visit Linda Weaver Clarke's blog for more details on how to enter.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Confessions of a Rebel Debutante by Anna Fields Giveaway at The Girl from the Ghetto

I'm in such a generous mood lately I figured I would tell you about another blog giveaway. Well, I'm also trying to win a copy of the book, so I'm being a tiny bit selfish about it.

The Girl from the Ghetto is running a giveaway where you can win 1 of 3 copies of Confessions of a Rebel Debutante by Anna Fields.

A strict regimen of Southern-belle grooming should have prepared Anna Fields for a lifetime of ladylike behavior.

But it didn't.

As it turned out, Anna—a smart, outspoken, bookish girl—was a dud at debbing. After being kicked out of cotillion classes, the “Rebel Deb” left North Carolina to seek her fortune. Her first stop was Brown University —right in the heart of Yankee-land—and then the crazy world of Hollywood talent agencies and celebrity-packed restaurants. After a disastrous stint as Diana Ross’s personal assistant, Anna headed off to the Big Apple, where she worked for one of Bravo’s Real Housewives. It’s a rollicking, unlikely success story from a natural-born storyteller.

Sharp, sweet, and sassy, Confessions of a Rebel Debutante proves you can take the girl out of the South, but you can’t take the South out of the girl!

Stop by The Girl from the Ghetto for details on how to enter and the many ways you can increase your chances of winning. This contest is open to U.S. residents only and ends at midnight on April 30th.

The Forgotten Warrior by Kathi Oram Peterson - Interview and Giveaway at Linda Weaver Clarke's Blog

Linda Weaver Clarke is running another fabulous giveaway at her blog. She recently interviewed Kathi Oram Peterson, author of the YA fantasy novel, The Forgotten Warrior.

Forgiveness has never been an attribute of sixteen-year-old Sydney Morgan's. Loyal and loving to her mother and sister, a crisis forces her to find her absent father, which in turn begins a chain of events leading her to the last place and time she would have ever expected.

The Forgotton Warrior follows Syd as she is transported back to Book of Mormon times by touching a mysterious clear stone. She meets Chief Captain Helaman; nursemaid, Mariah; and the stripling warriors. They believe Syd to be a boy, and worse yet, Helaman's second-in-command, Tarik, thinks Syd is a Lamanite spy and threatens to kill her.

Come follow Sydney as she desperately tries to find her way back home, fights to gain Helaman's respect, and despite herself, falls in love with Tarik.

"It is an entertaining young-adult book that makes readers feel they are in the middle of the stripling warrior camp as the story is told by both Syd and Tarik, Helaman's second in command." --Christine Rappleye, Mormon Times

Kathi Oram Peterson was born in the small town of Rigby, Idaho. Since childhood, she has loved reading and writing stories. After winning the Heart of the West (1994) and Golden Pen (1995) contests, she put her writing on hold to finish her English degree. Upon graduation, she worked for a curriculum publisher writing and editing concept and biography books for children. She now devotes her time writing inspirational fiction.

You can visit Kathi online at and at her blog, Kathi's Writing Nook.

Kathi is offering a copy of The Forgotten Warrior to one lucky person who leaves a comment on her interview with Linda. You can visit Linda's blog to enter.

This giveaway runs from April 19th - 26th, and is open to residents of the United States and Canada.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Author Spotlight: Transform Your Loss by Ligia Houben

After many years of study and teaching in the areas of psychology, loss and healing, thanatology, gerontology and religion-spirituality Ligia Houben has created THIS TRANSFORMATIVE SYSTEM that is the resource many people have implemented in their lives and have been able to FINALLY transform their loss or transition and change their lives.

In this book she will share with you what grief is, its dimensions, and how to identify the different manifestations. You will be able to process your grief through interactive exercises, meditations and affirmations.

Transform Your Loss: Your Guide to Strength and Hope by Ligia Houben may change your life completely. We all go through losses... and we can transform them. We all have the resources inside of us... allow her to guide you to transform your loss and transform your life.

Read the Reviews!

"In a well-organized and engagingly written book, Ligia Houben offers a map to guide people through the grieving process. The personal anecdotes make it much more “real” than books that describe situations of loss in merely abstract terms, and the interactive exercises throughout encourage the reader to explore personal reactions to loss. The author conveys genuine empathy as she talks to readers about what they are feeling, and I found myself trusting her completely as a caring guide who wants to provide grieving people a positive approach to help them move ahead toward finding the strength and hope truly to transform their lives". -Stephen Sapp, AB, MDiv, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Miami

"In this wonderful piece Ligia M. Houben writes to all of us in a very personal and direct manner from her own heart and experience. Although the book describes many personal stories of loss and transformation, it also serves as a tool box of valuable resources to help us deal with grief and loss. The author elaborates the multiple dimensions of loss, and the process to deal with grief." --Rev. Dale Young

Ligia Houben is a motivational speaker and educator in the area of life transitions, and known for her caring and enthusiastic personality. Ligia has a passion for life and believes all of us are able to fulfill our purpose if we can only change our attitude and beliefs. Her work has been centered in the area of grief and loss, expanding into meaning and growth. Ligia has delivered her message from corporations to hospitals. She works with the bereaved, the person who needs to face a new stage in life, children of aging parents, or people searching for more meaning in their lives. She consults with individuals and corporations on life transitions and spirituality with the purpose of providing tools to transform losses and challenges.

Ligia obtained her B.A. from the University of Miami in Psychology and Religious Studies and a Masters Degree in Religious Studies and Gerontology from Florida International University. She also has a graduate certificate in Loss and Healing from St. Thomas University, a certificate in Thanatology and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Grief Counseling. Besides being a speaker, she is an author, coach, counselor and consultant. She is an adjunct professor of Kaplan University, Florida International University and Miami Dade College where she teaches courses on
Ethics, Religion and Death and Dying.

Ligia is the author of the self-help book in Spanish Transforma tu perdida. Una antologia de fortaleza y esperanza. The English version, Transform your Loss. An Anthology of Strength and Hope, will be available soon. This book contains "The Eleven Principles of Transformation™" which is a system that involves the emotional, spiritual, and cognitive aspects of the person as they face a transition or loss. Ligia created this system of transformation to help people transform their losses and change their lives.

You can visit Ligia online at

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Heart and Soul, A Poetry Collection by Marilyn Randall -- Review and Giveaway

A moving poetry collection comes to you from Marilyn Randall. My Heart And Soul contains selections on social issues, interracial relationships, recovery, and a search for peace. This emotion-filled collection includes poetry of courage and hope, of love and joy, and prayers for strength.

Having lived through sexual abuse, loss, and alcoholism, Randall has found sobriety and peace in her ever changing world. She shares her experiences with flowing verses that describe her experiences in a way that inspires the reader.

While I can't say that all of these poems touched me in a personal way, I did have some favorites: "Morning's Glory", "The Brightest Star", "Kaleidoscope", and "Bridge of Hope".

In addition to the colorful cover art, the book contains several black and white photos to go along with some of the poems.

Poetry lovers and those searching for inspiration will enjoy My Heart and Soul by Marilyn Randall.

Title: My Heart and Soul
Author: Marilyn Randall
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
ISBN-10: 1450054927
ISBN-13: 978-1450054928
SRP: $19.99 for paperback version

Also available as a hardcover and in a Kindle edition.

How to Enter:

1) Mandatory: Follow this blog or let us know you are already a follower. Comment must include a working email address so that we can contact you if you win.

2) Get three additional entries for blogging about this contest. Leave a comment (with link) here telling us where you blogged about it.

3) Get two additional entries for tweeting about this contest. Don't forget to let us know here that you tweeted and leave us a link.

4) Get two additional entries for posting about this contest on Facebook. Leave us a link here.

5) Get two additional entries for following Book Tours and More and leaving a comment on one of our posts. Let us know here that you became a follower and which post you commented on.

This giveaway will run from today until 11:59 p.m.(Eastern) on April 30th. A winner will be announced in early May.

* Open to residents in the United States and Canada only.

Latest Writer2Writer Article

You can find my latest article for Writer2Writer at their Time Management site. "Seasonal Articles: Plan Ahead & Earn Extra Writing Income" made it out to subscribers in the February newsletter.

Check out the article here!

Evolution of the American Family by Dr. John E. Bell, Author of Invasion of the Baby Daddy

Today's guest blogger is Dr. John E. Bell, author of Invasion of the Baby Daddy.

Every unwed mother's nightmare comes to life in the pages of this book, a compelling and moving debut novel that echoes the emotional and cerebral frustrations of unwed mothers throughout the ages. Its unforgettable characters and authentic storyline are interwoven with current and real facts about the volume of unwed mothers in our society today. In the story, Dr. Sands believes he has found his perfect mate only to discover that she is pregnant from a previous relationship. Not fully aware of the ramifications of this colossal news, Dr. Sands and Rachel date via long distance during her pregnancy and ultimately decide to get married. In order to make a life together, Rachel must move to Tennessee to start a new life with her husband. But the Baby Daddy has other plans for them. Determined to make this marriage work, Dr. Sands goes to extraordinary lengths to try and negotiate with the Baby Daddy. Brimming with honesty from the author's own experiences, Invasion of the Baby Daddy comes alive with unique freshness, candor and rich detail.

"Evolution of the American Family" by Dr. John E. Bell

I wrote this book based on many devastating challenges that I have seen and experienced in the American family evolution over the last 18 years. I also wrote the book in hopes that it helps men and women make better decisions in their lives as it relates to responsibility and family obligations that affect the next generation. I hope my thoughts today will reflect that dedication and pursuit of successful family planning in the future.

I feel the American family structure is currently changing and has been changing over the last 20 years. For example 6.4 million children are born out of wedlock today. Over 50% of marriages end in divorce and most families today never have evening dinner together any more. We are now in the hurry up and going nowhere society. The facts alone are alarming, but also very true of our society.

Another example of the decay of the American family is specifically African-American families having a 72% single-parent household. Latino families have a 40% single-parent household. Caucasian European families have a 36% single-parent household in America, according to the 2007 Census report. It shows how the American family is ever-changing and also what challenges American families will be confronted with in in the future. It seems to me, the root of many of the problems of unwed mothers has been the acceptance of the decay in the American family. A lack of education and the instant generation is what society and our family life have evolved into.

Most of the women and men who have unplanned children early in life, have a low education and no goals that prevent the detour of the mistakes of unplanned pregnancies. Furthermore, a greater issue is when most of the American families repeat the mistakes of the previous generations before them because the societal conditions that existed for the previous generation have not improved for their children. Unfortunately, this now becomes a generational issue for the next parents of the children of today.

The problem that can interfere with a blended family having a great life could be the Baby Mother or Baby Daddy, who is attached to the child itself, that attempts to separate a family when the biological Mom or Dad wants to move on. The Baby Mother cannot leave a state with the child to live out of state, even if she has married someone else. This is a court order called joint legal status that gives a Baby Daddy as much custody over the child as the Baby Mother, even without a marriage. As one can see, this can leave a blended family with severe hardships and ultimately cause a devastating divorce. Joint legal status court orders are a state-by-state issue. You must check your state to make sure that this law does not affect your relationship if you are planning on moving on from a Baby Daddy or Baby Mother.

I urge every unwed mother to actually never go to court without an attorney against a Baby Daddy. If a woman represents herself in court without legal representation , she is a fool. Women must use an attorney to voice and present their issues to the court against the Baby Daddy in order to preserve the right to keep the freedom of having her life to move on with the child. Rachel, a character in the book, "Invasion of the Baby Daddy" did not have an attorney trying to play the system that the woman gets the child. Unfortunately this strategy proved most devastating to her life. Most importantly, be honest about your life and your choices in life and the challenges that a woman has to consider when she has a child in an unplanned parental situation.

Author Dr. John Bell has a Masters degree in Health Services from Strayer University and currently serves as a professor at Strayer University at Shelby Oaks campus in Memphis, TN. Dr. Bell has a Doctorate of Podiatric Medicine from Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Bell is currently a practicing Surgical Podiatrist at 4 locations throughout the Memphis and Greater West TN community. He is a Veteran of the Gulf War serving 10 years in the U.S. Navy. Bell is also a member of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Dr. Bell has one daughter.

You can visit Dr. Bell online at, where you can see videos, podcasts and read more about his medical career and accomplishments.

Follow Dr. Bell's virtual book tour all month long at

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Fringe Benefits by F.M. Meredith -- Book Review

A bored, self-centered housewife, a cop who plans the perfect murder, a teenage son who can't handle life at home, a violent rapist who only attacks on Wednesdays, and a series of odd break-ins, come together for an engaging police procedural in Fringe Benefits by F.M. Meredith.

Officer Cal Sylvester has been known to step out on his wife before, but he gets more than he bargains for when he hooks up with the greedy wife of a fellow officer. Darcy Butler, the wife of Sylvester's rookie partner, Gordon, is a looker, but his plan to make their affair a more permanent relationship is squashed when Darcy refuses to marry someone who makes as little money as a cop. So Sylvester plans the perfect murder to get his hands on his wife's insurance money.

Sixteen-year-old Adler "Patch" Costello has always been a screw up. Unlike his angelic sister, Jill, he's been a thorn in his parents' side since the day he was born. Unable to deal with his parents' constant criticism, Patch takes to the streets, unaware he's about to become a pawn in a dangerous chessboard that leads to a future he can't conceive.

Members of the Rocky Bluff P.D. work hard to keep the streets of the growing beach community clean, investigating odd break-ins, arresting drunk drivers, and searching for a knife-wielding rapist who only attacks on Wednesday; not knowing that one of their own is operating on the edge of the law.

In the third book of the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, my favorite character is introduced, Gordon Butler. A rookie cop, who if he didn't have bad luck would have no luck at all, is partnered up with Cal Sylvester a veteran who isn't above taking advantage of the fringe benefits of being a cop.

Gordon is a cop eager to do his best, but the poor guy is the butt of most jokes. His efforts to be a good cop despite his many mishaps, is what endeared him to me in later books in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. What happened with Darcy had been mentioned in future installments, but it was good to finally know the entire story behind how Gordon found himself single again.

Fringe Benefits definitely has an edge to it. You've got a cop who plans to off his wife to collect the insurance money, a teenager whose home life is so bad that he would rather live on the streets than deal with his parents, and the rising crime rate that growth seems to bring.

Abel Navarro, who was more of a supplementary character in earlier books, also gets some time in the limelight. He's frustrated because he keeps arresting drunk drivers, but the D.A. doesn't even bring the cases to court. Navarro gets his own lesson in fringe benefits when he arrests a fire chief from a nearby community for drinking and driving, but discovers he shouldn't have wasted his time. Abel's wife, Maria, is only mildly supportive, and hopes that her husband won't make too many waves that could interfere with his chances for a future promotion.

As with previous and future installments in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, there is a perfect mix of police work and how being involved in law enforcement impacts the family.

I've always been more of a mystery type of person, where the identity of the actual perpetrator is unknown until the very end, so it surprises me how much I've enjoyed reading the books in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, where the reader typically, though not always, knows who committed the crime and journeys along with the detectives as they uncover the clues that lead to an arrest.

It took me a little over a day to finish Fringe Benefits, and if I didn't have a TBR pile that rivaled the Empire State Building, I would reread the next three books in the series. While I am sad to be done--for now--with my Rocky Bluff P.D. friends, I'm hoping next year will bring another superb installment from F.M. Meredith.

Fringe Benefits is available through the author's website and also comes in a Kindle edition.

Here is a list of the Rocky Bluff P.D. books in order:

Final Respects
Bad Tidings
Fringe Benefits
Smell of Death
No Sanctuary
An Axe to Grind

The first three books are only available from the author's website, though Final Respects, Fringe Benefits, No Sanctuary (Book 5), and An Axe to Grind (Book 6) are all available at the Kindle Store. An Axe to Grind, the most recent release in this series is available in a Kindle edition for only $1.99.

Once you read one book in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series you're going to want to own them all. Meredith creates characters you can't help but want to know more about.

Author Spotlight: Triumphs and Tragedies: Twenty-Five Aspects of the Life of a Liverpool Sailor by Peter Wright

Barry Eva, the host of A Book and A Chat, described Triumphs and Tragedies: Twenty-five aspects of the life of a Liverpool Sailor. this way:

In Triumphs and Tragedies, Peter shares with us 25 different pieces of his life, from his early days and the loss at sea of his father, through in the hard drinking, hard living life of a Liverpool sailor.

I asked Peter why he felt compelled to share his stories. Here's what he said:

"...I have a deep-seated inner desire, to show the reader that we all experience our own triumphs and tragedies as our lives steal by us, and that they become the true fabric of which our characters are made. I think that it is not only freeing but rewarding to bare our souls to another human being. It is a way of forgiving ourselves.

And to other aspiring authors, like myself, these stories are demonstrations of how the simplest phase or chapter in our lives, can be written with an eye to the true detail."

Peter Wright was born in Wallasey, England in 1926, eight years after the end of World War 1, a conflict which left a profound impression on him, not only because his Uncle Tom had been killed during the last offensive, but because of the appalling slaughter that he, even at an early age, considered senseless. His father, a marine engineer, died at sea following a collision with another ship.

After six years at a Dominican boarding school for boys, Blackfriars, where his mother hoped he would enter the Catholic priesthood, he went to sea as a deck apprentice with Elder Dempster Lines of Liverpool. Three years after gaining his Masters certificate, he immigrated to the United States where he worked as Port Captain, Stevedore Superintendent and Marine Surveyor.

His social drinking at sea eventually turned into addictive drinking after his arrival in the U.S. It went ignored for several years, but loss of jobs and family made it clear that he was on the road to self-destruction. Frequent visits to hospital and Recovery Clinics and a deep-seated belief in his own spirituality convinced him that Alcoholics Anonymous was his only salvation. And that is where he got sober.

He retired in 1991 and lives in Northern California. You can find more about Peter and his work at his website.

To listen to Peter's interview with Barry Eva, click here.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bad Tidings by F.M. Meredith -- Book Review

I read through Final Respects so quickly and was so eager to continue with the Rocky Bluff P.D. series that I moved right onto Bad Tidings, which I finished in under a day.

In the second book of this series, Lieutenant Tom Gilbreath is often the one who gets to deliver bad news. Little does he know that he's about to receive some bad news of his own.

Officer Joe Guzzo has a perfect wife, but suffers from a wandering eye. Is it any wonder he and many of the other officers in the department notice Officer Georgia Lindquist is a knock-out?

Two murders rock the once small beach community of Rocky Bluff and keep Lt. Gilbreath busy while he faces a crisis of his own.

As I already mentioned, I moved swiftly from Book 1 into Book 2 of the Rocky Bluff P.D. series. Not only did I not want to lose my momentum on learning the back story of characters I have become attached to through the reading of the other books in this series, I was so impressed with the first book that I didn't have the desire to read anything else but Bad Tidings this week, which also explains why I'm reading Fringe Benefits right now.

Like Final Respects before it, there are several smaller crimes that take place, but the two murders are the focus of the story. As has been true in every Rocky Bluff P.D. book I've read, the reader not only gets to watch the detectives unravel clues and capture criminals; he also gets a chance to see how each officer's job affects his family.

Now divorced, Doug Milligan has thrown himself into his job and is considering taking Officer Lindquist out on a date. Problem is, several others guys, single and married, are interested in the sexiest member of the department. Is jealousy going to affect their working together?

In addition to familiar characters, readers get a chance to meet some new faces. But again, as someone who read the later installments of this series first, I truly enjoyed moving back in time to see where characters like Frank Marshall were in Bad Tidings as opposed to where they are in An Axe to Grind.

With Joe Guzzo, Meredith created a cop that you really don't like too much, which was new for the series when the book first came out. In Final Respects, the cops were all good guys. They dealt with stuff, but they didn't have serious flaws that made you want to beat them with a stick. Guzzo, on the other hand, while a good cop, he's a jerk as a husband. He's stepping out on his beautiful wife, and his son doesn't seem to be too high on his priority list either. What ultimately happens with him didn't come as a surprise, but I have to admit I spent some of my reading time wondering how Meredith was going to deal with Guzzo.

Bad Tidings by F.M. Meredith is an excellent police procedural. Meredith's level of research is obvious, and she shares her knowledge without losing the reader in a bunch of jargon and unncessary details.

You can purchase this book from the author's website. If you are interested in picking up a copy of Bad Tidings, you better do it soon. Once the author's copies are gone, it will no longer be available. And let me tell you, if you get into this series like I have, you won't want to miss this one.

Title: Bad Tidings
Author: F.M. Meredith
Publisher: The Fiction Works
ISBN: 1-58124-788-5
SRP: $12.99

Final Respects by F.M. Meredith -- Book Review

Start your day off right with a superb crime novel. Final Respects by F.M. Meredith is the first book in her Rocky Bluff P.D. series. Now six books into the series, it still gets compliments on how well it shows how the job affects family life and vice-versa.

Final Respects is a strong opening installment for this series. I had begun reading the series when Smell of Death was released, then read and promoted the next two books: No Sanctuary and An Axe to Grind. After being with some of these characters for three books, I wanted to know more about what had brought them to the current point in their careers; so I purchased Final Respects, Bad Tidings, and Fringe Benefits (I am reading this one now).

In Final Respects, mortician Stuart Honich is tortured by the owner's three daughters who insist upon playing amongst the caskets and bodies in the mortuary. The girls despise Stuart as much as he does them, and revenge would be oh so sweet if he could get it.

Doug Milligan has dreamed of being a cop since he was a boy, but his wife hates every part of his job. Why can't Kerrie be more like his best friend, Al's wife, who supports his being a cop all the way?

Ryan Strickland puts his career above all else. The ambitious publicity hound will do anything to further his career.

The murder of the Milligan's babysitter begins a series of events that could lead to the destruction of the entire Rocky Bluff P.D. and many innocent citizens.

I've been a big fan of the Rocky Bluff P.D. series since I started reading, but I have to say, this is one of my favorite books so far. You have the silly side of it with the young Tiedemann girls bugging the hell out of Stuart Honich, who takes his job very seriously. You really want to tell the guy to lighten up.

On the serious side you have the murder of the Milligan's babysitter, which could lead to problems that no one in the Rocky Bluff P.D. could even fathom. And in between those you have the camaraderie and competition between the members of the department.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the book, however, is how each officer's wife reacts to his job. Kerrie Milligan hates everything about Doug's job: the hours, the danger, fearing any bad news that might come, etc. If there is something to complain about, Kerrie will find it. Then there's Barbara Bertalone, who is the wife of Doug's partner, Al. She supports Al in every way. She's even excited about a new program the department is unfolding.

Having the ablity to look back at the beginning of the series and knowing what the lastest installments contain, it's easy to see that Meredith knew exactly what she wanted to accomplish with this series. She started off in Final Respects showing how law enforcement careers affect the family, and all the other installments I have read, do the same.

While Final Respects, like the other Rocky Bluff P.D. books, are perfect stand-alones, you'll get so close to these characters that you'll want to read all six of them.

You can purchase Final Respects from the author's website. It is also available in a Kindle edition.

I highly recommend Final Respects by F.M. Meredith.

Title: Final Respects
Author: F.M. Meredith
Publisher: The Fiction Works
ISBN: 1-58214-444-4
SRP: $13.99

The Literary Face of the Secret Cold War by T.H.E. Hill, Author of Voices Under Berlin

Today's guest blogger is T.H.E. Hill, author of the award-winning spy novel, Voices Under Berlin: The Tale Of A Monterey Mary.

A spy novel about the Americans who ran the pre-wall Berlin Spy Tunnel that the CIA used to tap Russian telecommunications cables, and about the Russians whom they were intercepting. The novel is ostensibly set against the backdrop of the Berlin Spy Tunnel (Operation GOLD, covername: PBJOINTLY). The yarn is told from both ends of the tunnel. One end is the story of the Americans who worked the tunnel, and how they fought for a sense of purpose against boredom and the enemy both within and without. This side of the story is told with a pace and a black humor reminiscent of that used by Joseph Heller (Catch-22) and Richard Hooker (M*A*S*H*). The other end of the tunnel is the story of the Russians whose telephone calls the Americans are intercepting. Their end of the tale is told in the unnarrated transcripts of their calls. They are the voices under Berlin. Voices Under Berlin is the proud winner of 5 Book Awards: PODBRAM Best Historical Concept, “Puss Reboots” book blog Top 10 Books for 2009, Hollywood Book Festival, Branson Stars & Flags Book Award and Military Writers’ Society Book of the Month.

"The Literary Face of the Secret Cold War" by T.H.E. Hill

I have written all my adult life, and one of the things that I discovered in doing this was that the act of putting words on paper, whether they are to be read by another human being or not, helps to focus the mind on the essence of what little knowledge you may, or may not possess. Voices Under Berlin: The Tale of a Monterey Mary is the result of the distillation of the knowledge I gained during the Secret Cold War.

War novels have a prominent place in Literature. War is a time that tests the metal of people's souls, and the process of passing through that crucible has inclined more than a few people to write about their experiences. The fiction of war is more the search for sweeping truths of global breadth than for precise details of an action that ignores the processes that take place in people's minds. The pseudo-reality of fiction seeks to subsume the individual factual realities of the many. This literary distillation process, however, can take a long time. The reason for this is that a novelist needs more time to separate the literary truth from the factual chaff than a memoirist, whose task is more descriptive than analytical.

William Brinkley's Don't Go Near the Water, a novel of war in the South Pacific, took eleven years to distill. It was not published until 1956, yet its impact was not diminished by that time lapse. It was the bestselling work of American fiction that year.

The distillation process was a bit faster in Germany, where the first of the Gunner Asch trilogy by Hans Hellmut Kirst was published in 1954, only nine years after the collapse of Nazi Germany.

The black humor of Joseph Heller's satirical novel of the Air War in Europe, Catch-22, is set in the final stages of World War II, yet it was not published until 1961, 16 years after hostilities ceased. It is often considered one of the great works of twentieth-century American literature, and its title has become a household word.

The literary essence of the Korean War (1950-1953) had to wait 15 years for Richard Hooker to publish MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors, about a Mobile Army Surgical Hospital near the front lines during the Korean War in 1968.

The Vietnam War (1959-1975) likewise took 15 years to distill into Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried.

Voices Under Berlin took 17 years to reach publication after the end of the Cold War (1945-1991).

The Cold War and I grew up together. I was born during the Berlin Airlift (1948-1949), and came of age inside the confines of the Berlin Wall. I was a direct participant in some events, and an indirect participant in others. The Russian invasions of Czechoslovakia and of Afghanistan; the rise of the Solidarity Movement in Poland. I saw Havel and Dubcek raise their clasped hands in victory on a balcony overlooking Wenceslas Square in Prague in 1989. That same year I watched in awe as the East Germans cowed the border guards into opening the wall by chanting “Wir sind das Volk!” (We are the People!)

Alas, poor Cold War. I knew it well. It was a war of infinite jest and most excellent fancy, fought more often in the shadows of the mind than to the death, yet the lives of millions hung in the balance. It is a war without monuments, but not without casualties. 136 people were confirmed killed while trying to cross the Berlin Wall into West Berlin. Major Arthur D. Nicholson, the last casualty of the Cold War, was a classmate. That makes it very personal.

In all the years that I and others like me fought the Secret Cold War, it was under the banner of “Peace is our most important product.” That was our motto, because the alternative was unthinkable. We accomplished our mission. The Iron Curtain came down without the Cold War turning hot.

On a recent visit to Berlin, we met an old German couple, who, when they discovered that I am an American, thanked me for the food and coal brought in on the Airlift that kept them and their newborn son alive that very cold winter, and for keeping them out of the clutches of the Russians. They also apologized that the younger generation has forgotten those things, and does not like America anymore.

A friend who still teaches Russian at DLIWC put their apology into perspective when he pointed out that almost all his students these days were born after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989. The Cold War is history to his students, but not to me. The Cold War and I grew up together.

The realities of the War, any war, are best explored in fiction rather than in the objective presentation of precise facts that make up the non-fiction books on the war. While Voices Under Berlin is "a work of fiction," the truth is not being stretched as far as those who have not lived the life described in it might suspect. It might not be exactly the way that someone else lived the Secret Cold War, but it is close enough so that people who fought the Secret Cold War in places other than Berlin say that they felt right at home while reading it. This is, perhaps, best illustrated by a post from a soldier who is currently fighting the Secret War in the mid-East. In a post on the Discussion Boards, he said "I thought it was hilarious how some of the SIGINT/linguist jokes and eccentricities have virtually remained unchanged in sixty years . . . I can assure you the same situations are being played out in Iraq and Afghanistan as I type this. :-) I encourage anyone currently in SIGINT to read up on this stuff. It will make you smile a bit knowing that people have been going through the same crap you did as a SIGINTer for the past 60 years!"

I wrote Voices Under Berlin, because I wanted to record what it was like to fight the Secret Cold war for posterity. When their children ask "What did you do in the Cold War?", most Secret Cold War veterans, have to say something trite, like "If I told you, I'd have to shoot you." I wanted to give voice to some of their stories so that they would not disappear when the generations of generations of Secret Cold Warriors who are sworn to silence shuffle off this mortal coil. I wanted Secret Cold War vets to be able to answer their children and grandchildren with: "I can't tell you exactly, but why don't you read Voices Under Berlin?" Many of them have.

T.H.E. Hill, the author of Voices Under Berlin: The Tale of a Monterey Mary, served with the U.S. Army Security Agency at Field Station Berlin in the mid-1970s, after a tour at Herzo Base in the late 1960s. He is a three-time graduate of the Defense Language Institute (DLIWC) in Monterey, California, the alumni of which are called "Monterey Marys". The Army taught him to speak Russian, Polish, and Czech; three tours in Germany taught him to speak German, and his wife taught him to speak Dutch. He has been a writer his entire adult life, but now retired from Federal Service, he writes what he wants, instead of the things that others tasked him to write while he was still working.

You can learn more about T.H.E. Hill and his books at

Read the Reviews!

The setting for this deftly written spy novel is divided city Berlin during the height of the 1950s Cold War. What sets “Voices Under Berlin” apart from so many others of similar venue is not just the focus on the American military linguistics resources and personnel, including cryptographers and intelligence analysts, but also the author’s combining a genuine gift for humor with a deft literary astuteness in telling a story that fully engages the reader quite literally from first page to last. Simply stated, “Voices Under Berlin” is a terrifically entertaining 312-page read and an enthusiastically recommended addition to community library collections and personal leisure time reading lists.

– Midwest Book Review

It’s not often, these days, to get the news that a spy novel has earned a prestigious award. But Voices Under Berlin, a comic novel by T.H.E. Hill, about the goings-on around the Berlin Tunnel in the early 1950s, was among the award winners at the 2008 Hollywood Book Festival. . . . We cannot recommend the book more strongly, and will be pleased to help promote this outstanding contribution to insightful and original espionage humor.

–Dr. Wesley Britton, author of Spy Television, Beyond Bond: Spies in Fiction and Film, and Onscreen and Undercover: The Ultimate Book of Movie Espionage

I thoroughly enjoyed Voices Under Berlin and I feel it holds up to its promise to be akin to M*A*S*H* and Catch-22. It’s one of the funniest books I’ve been sent for review.

–Puss Reboots

Follow T.H.E. Hill's virtual book tour all month long by visiting

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Melinda and the Wild West by Linda Weaver Clarke -- Book Review and Giveaway

A sweet historical romance is what you'll find in Melinda and the Wild West, the first book in Linda Weaver Clarke's A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho series.

It is 1896, and elegant, naive Melinda Gamble decides to give up the comforts and pleasures of the east to become a schoolteacher in the untamed Wild West. Paris, Idaho is everything that Boston isn't: peaceful, simple, and dangerous.

Melinda loves teaching. When she takes Jenny Roberts under her wing, she opens up a world to the child that Jenny's former teachers never cared enough to share. Jenny begins to blossom and Melinda is happy to see she is having such a positive impact on her students. Dealing with Jenny's father, however, frustrates Melinda to no end.

Gilbert Roberts has been raising Jenny by himself since his wife died in childbirth. Running his cattle ranch and providing for Jenny have left him too busy to consider courting. And even if he had the time, the secret that has plagued him for years, quells any desire he might have to marry again. He resents Melinda's initial accusations that he is neglecting his daughter. As they get to know each other better, Melinda's self-willed nature leaves him shaking his head more than once.

Can two people who are so different truly have a future together?

Melinda and the Wild West is a great start to what I hope will be a wonderful series. Five books are now available in A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho series. The others are:

Edith and the Mysterious Stranger

Jenny's Dream

David and the Bear Lake Monster

Elena, Woman of Courage: A Family Saga in Bear Lake, Idaho.

The strength of this book lies within its well-developed characters. Melinda is self-willed (a term she despises), with an elegance one would expect of a well-bred young lady. Melinda certainly doesn't see herself giving up teaching to get married and take care of some man for the rest of her life. She is frustrated by Gilbert, which makes her attraction to him that much more difficult to bear.

Gilbert, on the other hand, has dealt with the loss of his wife alone. He keeps more than busy raising Jenny and operating his cattle ranch. He's not prepared for someone like Melinda, and he certainly can't understand his attraction to her.

Melinda's Aunt Martha and Uncle William, who she boards with in Paris, Idaho, are not complex characters, but the story wouldn't be the same without them. Martha is the matchmaking half of a couple that has been married for many years and remains as in love now as they were back then. They provide a sense of belonging to Melinda in her new home. They are sweet and funny, and are the perfect surrogate parents for Melinda.

Several true experiences from Clarke's family members and ancestors make their way into the book. She lists them in a note at the end of the book. Clarke also does an excellent job of dropping the reader right into the time period with many historical details.

Memorable characters, an engaging plot, and the heartbeat of the untamed west combine to make Melinda and the Wild West a book that historical romance readers will enjoy.

Title: Melinda and the Wild West
Author: Linda Weaver Clarke
Publisher: American Book Publishing
ISBN-10: 1589823672
ISBN-13: 978-1589823679
SRP: $22.00

Now that you've read all about Melinda and the Wild West, I'm sure you'll want to add it to your historical fiction collection. The author has generously agreed to allow The Book Connection to offer a giveaway. Find the details below on how you can enter for your chance to win a copy of this wonderful book.

How to Enter:

1) Mandatory: Follow this blog or let us know you are already a follower. Comment must include a working email address so that we can contact you if you win.

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This giveaway will run from today until 11:59 p.m.(Eastern) on April 30th. A winner will be announced in early May.

* This contest is open to all residents of the United States and Canada.