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Necessities

Necessities by Boyd Taylor (Book #4 in the Donnie Ray Cuinn series)
 

Book Details:

Category: Adult Fiction, 225 pages
Genre: Suspense Crime Fiction
Publisher: Katherine Brown Press
Release date: December 5, 2017
Format available for review: print & ebook (mobi, ePub, PDF or gifted Kindle copy)
Will send print books to: USA
Tour dates: Jan 3 to Feb 28, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There is a murder and elusions to sex. Some mild cursing.)

Book Description:

Donnie Ray Cuinn returns to Austin to defend a war hero accused of murder. David Lewis lost both legs in Iraq, but he has overcome his nightmares and his disabilities by sheer willpower. He has learned to run and to box and is a successful newspaperman with a beautiful wife and son. Now the nightmares have returned and he must stand trial for murder. With twists that never seem to end, this gripping legal thriller is filled with suspense and indelibly drawn characters dealing with love and betrayal.

To read reviews, please visit Boyd Taylor’s page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Books:

 
Watch the book trailer for Necessities (Book #4 in the Donnie Ray Cuinn Series):

Meet the Author:
 

BOYD TAYLOR lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and their Havanese dog Toby. Necessities is the fourth novel in the Donnie Ray Cuinn series. In a former life, Boyd was a lawyer and a corporate officer. A native of Temple, Texas, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in government and an LL.B. from the law school.

Boyd’s first novel “Hero” was prescient in its story about fake news. His second novel, “The Antelope Play,” dealt with drug trafficking in the Texas Panhandle, an unfortunately accurate forecast. The third, “The Monkey House”, involved commercial development of a large green space in the center of Austin, all too familiar to Austin residents. Whether his upcoming novel “Necessities” predicts future events with the accuracy of the earlier books remains to be seen.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook

My Review

5 stars

David Lewis is an Iraq veteran that lost his legs. He has come a long way to get past this when a rich girl from years ago approaches him about a marriage of convenience. No one has managed to produce an heir for her family. David agrees but as soon as a son is born there is a clear split between David and his wife. There is the public family and the private completely different one.

But one night David gets a call that there is a threat to his family and he rushes to the rescue. Unfortunately things go wrong and he is responsible for the death of an innocent. Donnie Cuinn has never handled a case quite like this but David insists that he represent him in court. This is going to be a challenge for Donnie but if anyone can come through this fight it is him.

This is a great story told in two parts. I love how David’s world is fully developed before the bottom is dropped out of it. My heart broke for him. He has managed to get over his time in Iraq yet one tragic even dumps him right back in the middle of everything.

Donnie is just a great guy and I loved watching him fight for this war veteran. There is plenty of doubt added into the court hearing to make you start questioning David and keeps you guessing if he really is as innocent as he seems. And then there is the Lehrer family that just mixes it up worse.

This is a great story and a fantastic end to the series. I am reviewing this entire series so look for my other reviews.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

American Heroes by Boyd Taylor

One of the things I enjoy most about writing fiction is the discovery of something I didn’t know. For example, while researching my novel Necessities, I knew that main character David Lewis would be a double amputee. I knew he would run because I had seen videos of Oscar Pistorius, the South African Olympic runner. Pistorius has been in the news as defendant in a murder case. The facts in his case are not similar to those in my book, but the man himself is a textbook example of a highly-motivated person who through sheer will power achieved totally unexpected results; in Pistorius’ case he became a world class runner. 

But, I didn’t think of my character as a boxer until I came across the website for the National Amputee Boxing Association and watched YouTube boxing matches between amputees staged by the Association. 

San Antonio is the home base for military medicine and it sees many wounded veterans, including amputees. Since 2001, about 1,650 U.S. troops have lost hands, arms, legs or feet during wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Amputee Boxing Association is one response to the large number of amputees who seek to maintain their athletic skills and who have moved forward with their lives and have a passion for boxing. Moving forward in their cases requires extraordinary determination and force of will. It requires the strength to overcome physical and emotional pain. It requires a strong sense of self. Those are traits I incorporated into my portrayal of David Lewis.

The development of better prostheses, artificial limbs, have made sports like running and boxing more attainable by amputees. Instead of the walking leg that he has for ordinary activities, an amputee boxer uses a running leg modified for boxing. It takes time and skill to use in the ring and avoid limb injury, but more and more American heroes are doing it.

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends March 7, 2018
5 winners will each get a paperback copy of Necessities
1 winner will also get a $25 Amazon.com gift card
25 winners will get an ebook copy of Necessities
(open to USA only – 30 winners total)

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Like a Dream

YA Romance
Date Published: June 14, 2015
Publisher: Writer’s Tree Publishing
 
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After losing both of her parents through a horrible fight, fifteen-year-old Amelia Waters gets trapped into staying with her mysterious aunt Leona and two cousins. It is then where they completely dominate her life and force her to move away from her home in Stillwater, Oklahoma to Columbia, Missouri. This usually upbeat and witty teenager is now suicidal and depressed as she’s forced into their world of hatred. If she tries to flee or escape she has been reassured that her beloved grandparents will be killed immediately. The moment she settles into her petrifying reality, Amelia becomes bombarded with nightmares about the past that reveals a terrible crime. With her back against the wall and no way out, Amelia gains a few unexpected allies that help her overcome her worst enemy—her aunt Leona. They give her the strength she needs to fight and take back the life that was stolen from her. But what Amelia didn’t plan on was to fall in love with Aaron—a mesmerizing boy from her dreams. Every nerve in her body gravitates to him as they fall deeper in love. But slowly Amelia begins to realize that nothing was ever just a coincidence and there is something far greater and dangerous in store for her.
 Purchase Links

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Kobo     iBooks

About the Author
SHINA JAMES is a freelance writer, and poet from the great state of Texas. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Writers’ League of Texas. When she’s not writing or reading life-changing novels, she loves traveling, listening to music, and spending time with her husband and two kids.
 Contact Links
Website     Facebook    Twitter     Blog    Goodreads
 

My Review

5 stars

Amelia Waters loses her parents to an argument gone wrong. She is left in the care of her Aunt Leona. Leona is manipulative and uses Amelia’s fears and insecurities against her. Amelia is told that if she tries to leave her grandparents will be killed. Amelia is having a hard time and even tries to commit suicide. Things look down until she starts dreaming about Aaron She finds an escape and starts to love him when she learns that things are not how they appear.

I loved Amelia. She has gone through hell just from losing her parents to Leona’s manipulations. She is weak and broken yet rises above this and shows her true strength. It did break my heart at times to see how evil Leona truly was as she was trying to injure Amelia. Thankfully Aaron was there to help lift Amelia up.

I really didn’t know where this book was going after the dramatic start. But I loved every step along the way. The way it was going I really thought that it was going to be a stand-alone story but the ending leave open a sequel. I can’t wait to see what happens to Amelia and Aaron.

I received Like a Dream from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

RABT Book Tours & PR

Twofer Murder

Audiobook Details:

Book Title: Twofer Murder by Lauren Carr
Narrated by: Anita Alger / Mike Alger
Length: 13 hours 20 mins
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: Jan 2018
Available for review in: audiobook (Audible code)
Tour dates: Feb 12 to 23, 2018
Content Rating: PG + M (Please be aware that TWOFER MURDER is a murder mystery. There are depictions of murder and some violence–though easy on the gore contents. No f-words but there may be some mild profanity, and mild religious expletives such as “damn”, “hell” and “Oh God!”. Some depictions of brief sexual content (kissing).

Book Description:

Twofer murder? What’s a twofer murder?

Twofer Murder is a treat for fans of best-selling author Lauren Carr’s fast-paced mysteries! Lauren’s latest novel contains the main characters from her three successful series: Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose mysteries. The guys go away for a fishing weekend only to get caught up in the murder of a journalist investigating fraud at a timber company. Meanwhile, the ladies are spending the weekend in the presidential suite at a posh resort where Jessica Faraday is to accept a lifetime achievement award for her late grandmother at a murder mystery writers conference. But before they have time to get their facials, they get wrapped up in their own real mystery when an up and coming author ends up dead!

Lauren Carr’s Twofer Murder is a 2-for-1—making it a must-read for any mystery fan!

To read more reviews, please visit Lauren Carr’s page on iRead Book Tours.

 Buy the Book:

 Amazon ~ Audible

 Add to Goodreads

 About the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

My Review

5 stars

In this story all of the characters from Lauren’s mysteries are together for a double homicide. David, Mac, Joshua, Tristan, J.J. , and Murphy are off on a man’s fishing weekend. But when they get to the little town of Scary they find themselves in the middle of trouble. It seems the local lumbar plant has been reporting less timber than they have been taking from the land and short paying the property owners. When the investigating reporter that broke this story is found dead the men can’t wait to help solve his mystery, especially since the dogs are having better luck fishing.

Jessica, Archie, Sarah, and Dallas are at a mystery writers conference. There is a lot of media around an author since he was on trial for killing his wife but never convicted. He is running around causing controversy and trouble. There is also a brand new author that had more to do with evens than just an amazing story. And then the Black Diamond shows up you know that murder is close by.

I love Lauren Carr’s mysteries and couldn’t wait to get into this story with all my favorite characters. Both groups have their hands full. Of course they guys are going to run into a family of trouble makers that are the hired muscle for the timber company. Even though they are trying to do the right thing, they find themselves in trouble. But the more they dig, the more trouble they will find.

As for the ladies, they have their work cut out for them. From a concierge that is more than he appears, a new author that seems to be scared of her own shadow, a murderer that was never convicted, and now an infamous assassin that is planning on killing someone. The killer has no chance with this group of women on the case.

I loved the twists and turns, I was constantly guessing at who did it, and yet laughing at the story at the same time. I don’t know if I can look at a cheese ball without thinking of Gnarly. This is a great story and well narrated by Anita Alger and Mike Alger. If you are starting out with Lauren Carr’s mysteries, this is a great story to introduce you to everyone. If you have been reading her mysteries for a while, you do not want to miss this one.

I received Twofer Murder from iRead Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends March 3, 2018
 Enter for your chance to Win a $20 Amazon.com gift card courtesy of Lauren Carr,
author of Twofer Murder (open internationally – 1 winner)

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The Spitting Post

The Spitting Post Tour Graphic
THE SPITTING POST
Jason R. Barden
The Spitting Post
Genre: Horror, Dark Fantasy
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: December 8, 2017
Vincent must find the Spitting Post, but only the purple swan knows the way.
Vincent Carpenter’s life is a wreck. He has given up his dreams. He has lost his job after an economic disaster. His ten-year marriage is crumbling. Then he awakens in a maniacal land of frighteningly vivid realism with skull trees, glowing forests, ravenous beasts, and other psychologically haunting adversity.
While traveling through this demented unearthly world, he has a chance encounter with a beautiful maiden dressed in green; before he can start a conversation, she disappears into the unknown. Vincent must try to find her at a fantastical place known as the Spitting Post. But first he must overcome many macabre misfortunes and face nightmares that question his sanity. Will he reach her? What will the Spitting Post reveal? Will he suffer more disappointment and tragedy? Or will he find peace at last?

Review from The Romance Reviews

Vincent Carpenter isn’t having a good day. It’s the weekend and he forgot to turn off his alarm. When he rolls out of bed, he’s surprised to see that his wife, Erika, isn’t there. When he does find her, he mentions the dinner reservations he’d made for their tenth anniversary but she doesn’t want to go. What follows is a slow trip down a rabbit hole to the land of the mundane.
Until it isn’t.
Suddenly, he awakens in a strange world where nothing is normal. From the glowing forests to the skull trees, Vincent is lost in a world that would rival the minds of some modern masters of the macabre. A chance meeting with the Green Maiden forces Vincent through this nightmare world in search of a place called the Spitting Post but to get there, he must face some intense nightmares that could destroy even the strongest of psyches.
I had no idea what to expect when I started reading this story and I found it as intriguing as it was disturbing and that’s a good thing. With each new ordeal/event, Vincent finds himself more immersed in his nightmares, and we as readers, gain a bit more information. So much so that once you reach the end (Spoilers!), you’ll find yourself going back to reread sections again.
For when you do: “You must rethink everything you thought you knew. You must let your mind go back to the beginning and reconsider what it is you thought was truth, what you thought was reality, and what you thought was a dream,” and even then, THE SPITTING POST will surprise you.
Reprinted with permission from The Romance Reviews
The Spitting Post Teaser

Excerpt

When night settled in, the trees began their song of despair and completely blocked out any other noise. This is great, I thought. The beast could be right on me, and I would never even hear it. But the trees continued their sad symphony just the same.
With the thought of the beast ripping at my body and consuming my insides and the tree’s wailing, I found myself at the edge of lunacy. When dawn finally broke, the trees stopped their wailing, and the silence became deafening yet again. At last, peace and quiet. I picked myself up from the madness and marched onward. I was not a bit hungry, and my stomach was far too nervous for breakfast, so I went without. I also knew this would save time. One extra moment in this place was one too many.
Again I found my thoughts racing as fast as my feet. It would be a complete triumph when I escaped this land, or so I thought. If only I could make it to the bridge, then maybe I would be safe. As I raced on like a frightened animal about to become the beast’s dinner, I thought about the townspeople. I hoped they were safe in their new home far from here; I felt empathy for them knowing what fear the beast inspired.
I was lost in thought when again I heard the violin’s call. It was close this time—too close. I stopped and surveyed the land with terrified eyes, growing more anxious with each passing note. The ambient tune working itself into a manic frenzy. Can’t they shut up? With that racket the beast would find us, and I knew what would happen when it did. There would be no more violin playing for that musician, and I would never find The Green Maiden.
I scanned the countryside for the insane violinist and spotted him on a small hill just to my right. When I saw his ghastly appearance, I almost wished I hadn’t found him. He was a stout man dressed in total blackness with a red violin resting against his shoulder. His skin was a brilliant white, as white as a bed sheet. On his head was a black top hat, and he wore a twisted grin on his porcelain face.
“What are you doing?” I yelled. “It will hear us!”
The man said nothing and kept playing his maddening melody.
“Are you crazy?”
The man opened his mouth wide and without moving his lips, he said, “Precisely.”
Then he began to cry tears of blood, yet still he played. The blood rolled down his face and pooled on the grass. Then I came to a grotesque realization. He was not playing for amusement; he was calling the beast.

About Jason R. Barden

Jason R. Barden

Jason R. Barden began writing poetry around the age of thirteen. At age thirty three he decided to transition into fiction writing with his first novel The Spitting Post. In addition to writing he enjoys hiking and photography. Jason lives in Fort Worth, Texas where he is currently working on a collection of his poems.
Social media link: Facebook | Goodreads Author Page

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Catalyst

35094271

Catalyst (Rephaim – 0.5) by CL Roman

Sometimes the wrong choice is the only one that makes sense.

Fomor and his six celestial companions must make the choice between war and betrayal. In desperation, they escape to Earth, only to find that the war has followed them, and the choice must be made after all.

In an epic battle between good and evil, the players are not always what they seem. With a child’s life hanging in the balance, will Fomor and the others be able to find the right choice before it is too late?

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 C.L. Roman

Author’s Bio

Cheri Roman is a writer in several genres, including fantasy and paranormal young adult. She’d really like to try magical realism if she could find the time. Cheri loves writing and thrives on the constant pursuit of chocolate. She lives happily with her husband and Jack E. Boy, the super-Chihuahua, in the not-so-wilds of North Florida.

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My Review

4 stars

Formor and his six angel companions are in the middle of battle when they decide to hide out on Earth, even though there is the chance that they may not make it home. But on Earth they learn that evil is all ready there when they witness a child being sacrificed and two humans being tormented. It seems Earth is not as safe as they thought.

This novella is the beginning of the series, which I have not read. It kind of made me curious for the rest of the series yet it also confused me. Clearly it is about the battle in heaven and the angels and demons on Earth and their interactions with humans. I have to say that I don’t really understand what a Rephaim is and was a little lost.

Overall this is a quick read and an interesting introduction to the series. I am curious to see where it goes from here and I am excited to read Decent.

I received Catalyst from Ari at Candid Book Reviews for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Nadia’s Heart

 

YA Fantasy, Horror
Date Published: 11/11/2017
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In Nadia’s Heart, Part One, amnesiac Nadia knew that something was wrong, so she went in search of her missing heart. What she encountered has only brought more questions: about her origins and her ties to the people of the Land of Silence. She learned that her heart was indeed removed, and that her memory was erased by an evil Voice. But why?
Now Nadia and her glowing-eyed companion, Georgeonus, must help recover the stolen hearts of the children of the Land of Silence. In Part Two, they will do battle against the evil Voice and travel to frightening places. They receive help from a powerful Witch and Wizard, and Nadia gets her heart back—but it’s not at all what she expected. Can they rescue the stolen children’s hearts in time?

Purchase Link

Amazon

Excerpts
 From Chapter VII: The Nether Regions:
“Mabel,” said Nadia, “how did you get down here? Did Georgeonus and Holofernes make it? Are they okay?”
Mabel smiled patiently, helping Nadia to step away from the table.
“Oh, I suspect they’re fine now” was her reply.
“But—”
“Come,” she said, turning. She pulled her wand from her pocket, pointed it at the cloth, and the wrap sewed itself into pants and a belted tunic.
“But—”
“We cannot linger here,” Mabel warned, turning to walk briskly.
Nadia caught up to her. “Aren’t we in the canyon?”
“No, Nadia.”
“Then where are we?”
“We are in the Otherworld. We mustn’t linger!”
Nadia did not press the matter, but followed Mabel closely, striving to keep up. She had the feeling that they were neither in the underworld nor in a canyon. She remembered the ice castle constructed by the Voice. It seemed so long ago now. In that castle, when her thoughts perceived that perhaps it was not there at all, it would come into and out of view, disappearing before her. It was the same with this canyon. This time, she perceived her own illusion. When it faded, all she could see was light.
“Take my hand, Nadia!” said Mabel urgently, in a tone which alarmed her, and in a moment Nadia’s hand found Mabel’s, which clutched hers back. Mabel’s other hand came around Nadia’s waist and drew her close, and suddenly they were being sucked through some type of funnel. It was not comfortable; it felt dangerous, and there was great pressure all around penetrating Nadia’s cells.
From Chapter IV: The Silver Witch:
They remembered that her visit had been preceded by a magick dust.
The dust came from above, the air tingled, and miniscule, silver particles glistened as they fell. It was musical, and as they breathed, they smelled fresh air like new spring, and they felt an excitement of imminent magick. She appeared suddenly, and at first no one knew where she had come from or how; she was just there on the road. She came as naturally as if she had approached them from the road. But as the magick dust settled, they realized—remembered—that the Silver Witch had dropped out of the sky.
As she stood there smiling at them, they remembered that they had looked up at the sky at a circling dot which descended. As it approached, it formed the shape of a square, floating quilt. The Witch was soon revealed to be sitting on top in black garb and hat, her silvery skin thick and rubbery. With both hands placed on diagonal corners of the quilt, she jumped off and shook the fabric out like clean laundry and parachuted down to them, the tennis sneakers on her feet ready for the road. Softly she landed, snapping the quilt upward and folding it once, twice, three times, and again and again until it was a small square deposited into one of her pockets.
 
From Chapter III: Fighting Back:
They headed for the road, away from the castle tumbling toward them, hoping the mountain itself would hold until they could get to the bottom. But what awaited them at the bottom was a sheet of ice, and it too could crack and send them down into the frigid deep.
She had never driven a sleigh nor a team of dogs before. The pure instinct of survival now taught her. As they rounded the rough road, more slippery now as they gathered speed, their path looked grim. Giant chunks of the castle came descending down, hitting the mountain’s jagged sides and causing avalanches of huge falling debris. The children screamed, and Nadia wanted to do the same and take refuge closer in toward the mountain, but there was nothing that would shelter them. She kept focused on the dogs in front of her, thinking only of getting to the bottom. Cascading from above came another rock, and the children held onto the sleighs, terrified. Nadia tried to turn the sleigh toward the mountain to avoid it. They swerved dangerously around the edge of the road.
Something also descended from the sky. It was a black figure, but Nadia could not even think about another potential threat as the second sleigh bore down upon them, rushing behind her. They swerved back to a straight course, barely missing the rolling boulder which crashed onto the road.
About the Author

Wendy Altshuler is a writer-producer who explores myth in new media. She writes fantasy novels and creates works in stop motion animation.  Her credits include award-winning screenwriting and WGA-accredited representation. With a degree in psychology and a Master of Arts from Columbia University, Altshuler documented the work of international choreographers and wrote and produced regional programming. Her short plays have been performed at Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, at regional schools and most recently, Puppet Showplace Theatre. Altshuler’s young adult book series has been hailed as “emotionally moving, uplifting and wholesome,” and “spirited and haunting. . .with much symbolism and beauty.”
Contact Links
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 RABT Book Tours & PR
I would like to thank Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

Dead in Bed

37882664

The Senior Sleuths: Dead In Bed

By M. Glenda Rosen

Genre: Mystery

Like Nick and Nora Charles from “The Thin Man” series, Dick and Dora Zimmerman solve crimes, especially murders.” Along with Zero the Bookie (fashioned after the authors father) and a fascinating cast of other characters (such as Frankie Socks fresh out of the Witness Protection Program) the Zimmerman’s have the time-the money, the smarts and the chutzpah-to get involved in murder and mayhem, even when warned by the police to stay away…or else.

In these modern noir stories, the hard-boiled detectives are soft-boiled sleuths whose inner shell is softer and gentler, although their outer shell is still tough and determined. Of course, they can still be nearly beaten by the bad guys. But it is the puzzle of the mystery and putting the pieces together to solve it that matters.

“No doubt, thanks to my father, writing mysteries is in my DNA!  My father was a small time gangster. Really! So, it wouldn’t take a genius, a psychiatrist or a palm reader to figure out the geneses of my fascination with crime and criminals.  In my series, “The Senior Sleuths,” Zero the Bookie is a version of my dad and several other characters are based on his associates who I met, like Doc, The Gimp, Johnny the Jig, Fat Lawyer and others. What a wealth of material there was for me to claim! Believe me, I saw and heard a lot.”

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This series is the senior version of Nick and Nora Charles, with a humorous touch, a splash of noir, cracker-jack sleuthing, unusual, captivating characters, and fascinating mysteries.                                                             —Marilyn Meredith, Author of the “Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mysteries

About the Author

Marcia Rosen has previously published four books in her mystery series, “Dying to Be Beautiful.”  Rosen is also author of “The Woman’s Business Therapist” and award winning “My Memoir Workbook. For a dozen years she has given writing workshops on “Encouraging and Supporting the Writer Within You!” and “Now What? Marketing Your Book.”  She was founder and owner of a successful Marketing and Public Relations Agency for many years, created several radio and TV talk shows and received numerous awards for her work with business and professional women.  She currently resides in Carmel, California.

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I would like to thank Sage at Sage’s Blog Tours for the opportunity to share this book.