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One Dish – Four Seasons: Food, Wine, and Sound – All Year Round by Jordan Zucker

Jordan Zucker’s debut cookbook, One Dish – Four Seasons: Food, Wine, and Sound – All Year Round (Home Sauce Publications, October 1, 2019), is a thoughtfully laid out family collaboration and sophisticated labor of love. Zucker (who hosts Girls Guide to Sports, appeared on Food Network’s Grill It! with Bobby Flay, and was a recurring character on the popular TV series Scrubs) takes a base recipe, and by varying seasonally available ingredients, creatively builds 4 versions of each dish: a winter, spring, summer and fall. 20 dishes x 4 seasons = 80 mouthwatering recipes plus a round of cocktails, of course! Each dish is then paired with a wine and a music album, further exploring the seasonality of the three elements of entertaining.

For example: the seasonal variations of one dish in the appetizer chapter, the Dutch Baby, include: Mushroom & Brie (fall), Caramelized Onion & Blue Cheese (winter), Spinach, Leek & Gruyere (spring) and Roasted Tomato, Tarragon & Goat Cheese (summer). Jordan is joined by her expert cook mom, Betti, and ex-sommelier dad, Jim, in leading readers on a culinary tour through each of the four seasons. Enjoyable as much on a coffee table as in the kitchen, One Dish -Four Seasons features gorgeous full-color photos, correlating illustrations, easy-to-follow and humorously guided recipes, impeccable wine pairings, as well as integrative music soundtracks (with clever layers to the matches), and witty family anecdotes. This one-of-a-kind collaboration will bring families and friends together in the kitchen and inspire a creative approach using the base recipes as open canvases.

Jordan’s whimsical personality and quick-wit shine through each page of this extraordinary cookbook as she personally shares the experience of creating each dish with the laughter and passion of a true artist. The reader will be encouraged to eat local, and also enjoy regional wine maps, visual aids via color coded wines and seasons, and many more opportunities to benefit from Zucker’s myriad of tips and details.

Goodreads

About the Author

Jordan Zucker is an accomplished writer, actor, host, cook, and entertainer. She loves to creatively incorporate meals into every type of celebration (and who can’t find at least one reason to celebrate a day…). She has shared her expertise as a guest star on Food Network’s Grill It! with Bobby Flay, and has entertained audiences as “Lisa the intern” on NBC’s Scrubs. She continues to educate, engage, empower, and entertain through her own comedic sports series, Girls Guide to Sports, which she writes, hosts, and produces. She combined her love of football and food in her “Monday Night Matchup Menus” series, creating meals each week based on the teams playing in Monday Night Football. She has expanded into cooking for other sports on the Girls Guide website. Jordan attends live music concerts religiously and keeps abreast of current gems and classic legends in the music world. Here, she combines three of her biggest passions, food, wine, and music, to bring you her first book.

Website     Facebook     Twitter     YouTube     Instagram

Author Q&A

  1. As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was little I remember we talked about being a vet because I loved animals and was an equestrian. But as I grew older I gravitated more towards being an entertainer.

  1. Do you have kids and/or pets?

Hula is my French bulldog and appears in my book!

  1. Where/When do you best like to write?

I’m not a morning person. My brain and personality don’t kick in until midday. I usually write at my desk in my office but can usually get into a zone anywhere if I push myself.

  1. Do you have any interesting writing habits or superstitions?

An old family drinking superstition was that the last drop of the wine bottle couldn’t go to a woman or she’d be an old maid (likely rooted from the old maid card game and also likely created by a man). This has grown tiresome with multiple bartenders around the world and also my bare left ring finger so I’ve been known to abandon its absurdity in recent days.

  1. What inspired your book?

I subscribed to the old adage of “write what you know.”

  1. How does a new idea come to you?

Often in my sleep and then I have to remember it when I wake up which probably happens 2% of the time.

  1. What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?

Building the team, finding vetted resources.

  1. Do you have a bucket list? What are some of the things on it?

World ski tour (still need Alps and Andes). World Chef’s Table tour (we travel to one new restaurant for my birthday every year). Monkey tour of the world (Silverback gorillas, chimps, mandrills, orangutans). Raise a family. Sing the national anthem at a sporting event. Watch a game with Obama. Go skydiving. Learn French. Host a cooking show. Etc.

  1. What’s the best writing advice you have ever received?

You will never think it’s finished.

I would like to thank PR by the Book for the opportunity to share this book.

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One Night Gone

One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski

 

 

One Night Gone

by Tara Laskowski

on Tour September 23 – October 4, 2019

Synopsis:

One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski

“A subtly but relentlessly unsettling novel.” —TANA FRENCH, author of The Witch Elm

It was the perfect place to disappear…

One sultry summer, Maureen Haddaway arrives in the wealthy town of Opal Beach to start her life anew—to achieve her destiny. There, she finds herself lured by the promise of friendship, love, starry skies, and wild parties. But Maureen’s new life just might be too good to be true, and before the summer is up, she vanishes.

Decades later, when Allison Simpson is offered the opportunity to house-sit in Opal Beach during the off-season, it seems like the perfect chance to begin fresh after a messy divorce. But when she becomes drawn into the mysterious disappearance of a girl thirty years before, Allison realizes the gorgeous homes of Opal Beach hide dark secrets. And the truth of that long-ago summer is not even the most shocking part of all…

“A heart-wrenching and suspenseful novel of betrayal and revenge. Stunning!” —Carol Goodman, award-winning author of The Night Visitors

“Featuring a brilliantly executed dual timeline with two unforgettable narrators, One Night Gone is a timely and timeless mystery that will keep you obsessively reading well past your bedtime.” —Paul Tremblay, author of The Cabin at the End of the World

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery,Suspense Published by: Graydon House Books (Harlequin) Publication Date: October 1, 2019 Number of Pages: 352 ISBN: 1525832190 (ISBN13: 9781525832192) Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Opal Beach was about a two-hour drive without traffic from downtown Philadelphia. It was somewhere halfway between Ocean City and Atlantic City and way less touristy. The beach always reminded me of vacations as a kid, running barefoot on hot sand, creating lopsided sand castles with plastic buckets, breaking crab legs and sucking out the meat. But there was also a sense of slowing down, of taking it all in, and I needed that now. I could feel the air change, the way it clung, coated, opened everything up. Through the car windows, the Oc¬tober air was shockingly cold but also reviving. The salty air had always bothered my mother and sister, who complained it was too humid and their tongues felt strange, but I loved the way it worked its fingers into my hair and curled around the tendrils. It made me feel a little wild, a little different. Untamed. Like anything could happen. Was I really doing this? Was I really pressing on this pedal, steering, guiding these four wheels to a stranger’s beach house, where I would live for the next three months alone? It had all happened so fast. A blur, really. Annie’s friend Sharon, with that same nurse-like efficiency that Annie had, set it all up so quickly that I’d barely had time to adjust to the idea before it was actually happening. But I was used to life messing with me now, used to tripping over a curb or forgetting to eat breakfast or chipping a nail, waking up only to discover that everything I’d known to be true was suddenly different. So in some ways this journey, the picking up and leaving behind, felt like an emerging. Like Rockefeller, the hermit crab I’d bought on our family vacation one year at a boardwalk shack, I was crawling out of a dingy shell and moving into a shinier, larger home. (Unlike Rockefeller, though, I hoped I wouldn’t die from the soap residue that was left inside the new shell when someone tried to clean it too vigorously before setting him inside the cage.) I drove down a two-lane road just off the ocean, the main drag for all the beachfront houses. I could imagine that on a weekend in July it looked like a parking lot as families navigated in or out of town, canoes and coolers tied up on their roof racks. But now it was eerily vacant, and I had the sense I was the last woman on earth, that in my quiet drive alone the rest of humanity had vanished. I was trying to decide if that was a good thing or not when a giant orange Hummer zoomed into view behind me and passed without slowing down. “Well, so much for that. Asshole,” I said. The houses were dramatically large and looming, blocking what otherwise would’ve been a magnificent view. You could tell which ones were just rentals—the monstrosities with thirteen bedrooms and a six-car garage that five families could rent out at once. But further down the road, the houses had more style and character. The kind of places—lots of windows, big porches, nice landscaping—that would make your mouth water even without the lush ocean backdrop as icing on the cake. I slowed as my GPS indicated I was getting close, but even so I almost missed the tiny driveway and its faded, weather-beaten road sign declaring my new mailing address: Piper Sand Road. I had made it. The long gravel drive split off halfway up, with one side leading to the Worthington house and the other side to their neighbor’s. When I’d first met the Worthingtons for my “job interview” just a few weeks before, I’d been so nervous about the whole thing that I’d taken the wrong driveway and parked in the neighbor’s lot and stared at it for a good minute before realizing the house number was wrong. But now, pulling into the correct driveway slowly, it felt like an adventure movie soundtrack should be swelling. And our heroine finds her destiny. I could imagine Annie’s reaction when she finally saw the house in person. It was stunning. The surrounding homes were propped up on beams, like old ladies hitching up their skirts so they wouldn’t get wet in the surf, but that just gave the Worthingtons’ house an understated effect. It stood confident and modest between them, a beach gingerbread house right out of a fairy tale, with light blue curtains and sweeping eaves. I parked right at the porch steps and got out, wrapping my cardigan around me to stave off the whipping wind. The front porch was small but quaint, with two wooden rocking chairs and a small white table with flaking paint. I ran my palm along the back of one of the tall chairs, and it creaked from my touch. The chairs seemed to be more for decoration than sitting. Dolores, Sharon’s sister who lived in town, was supposed to be meeting me to hand over the keys. Yet it seemed I’d arrived first. I’d had to come one week sooner than planned, as Patty and John had been whisked away to her mysterious assignment in Eastern Europe a little earlier than expected. Patty had called me from the airport with the news. I’d pictured her in her white visor and tennis sneakers rushing through the terminals, bags bouncing off her lower back as she breathlessly gave me instructions. Still, I half expected Patty to appear in the window as I squatted down and peered inside the house. It was hard to see with the bright sun glaring at my back, but I could make out the shadowy silhouette of the large island counter in the middle of the kitchen. Beyond that room, I remembered, was the living room, with doors and stairs leading to all the many nooks of the house. All empty now, waiting for me. A shiver curled from my spine up to my neck, unwinding inside me. Calm down, you idiot, I told myself. Not everything is a trap. Think positively, and positive things will come. *** Excerpt from One Night Gone by Tara Laskowski. Copyright © 2019 by Tara Laskowski. Reproduced with permission from Graydon House Books (Harlequin). All rights reserved.

 

 

Author Bio:

TARA LASKOWSKI TARA LASKOWSKI is the award-winning author of two short story collections, Modern Manners for Your Inner Demons and Bystanders, which was named a best book of 2017 by Jennifer Egan in The Guardian. She has had stories published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Mid-American Review, and the Norton anthology New Micro: Exceptionally Short Fiction, among others. Her Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine story, “States of Matter,” was selected by Amy Hempel for the 2017 Best Small Fictions anthology, and her short story “The Case of the Vanishing Professor” is a finalist for the 2019 Agatha Award. Tara was the winner of the 2010 Santa Fe Writers Project’s Literary Awards Prize, has been the editor of the popular online flash fiction journal SmokeLong Quarterly since 2010, and is a member of Sisters in Crime. She earned a BA in English with a minor in writing from Susquehanna University and an MFA in creative writing from George Mason University. Tara grew up in Pennsylvania and lives in Virginia. One Night Gone is her first novel.

Visit Tara at: Website, Goodreads, BookBub, @TaraLWrites, Instagram, & Facebook!

 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!

https://www.linkytools.com/basic_linky_include.aspx?id=293816

 

Enter To Win!!!:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Harlequin and Tara Laskowski. There will be 1 winner of one (1) copy of One Night Gone (print). The giveaway begins on September 23, 2019 and runs through October 6, 2019. Open to U.S. and Canada addresses only. Void where prohibited.

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Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours

I would like to thank Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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Meet the Author:

Steven Wolhandler, JD, MA, LPC is a psychotherapist, mediator, arbitrator, custody evaluator, national consultant and retired attorney. He has decades of experience dealing with, and learning from, difficult and manipulative people, and helping their victims with penetrating insight, effective solutions, warmth and humor. He lives in Colorado, consults
with people internationally through website.


Connect with the author: WebsiteFacebook

GUEST POST

Self-victimizing Beliefs that Leave You Vulnerable to Emotional Predators

                Sometimes the stories you tell yourself about who you are and who you must be in order to be a “good” person can trap you and leave you undefended.  Usually without noticing, we all inhabit stories about who we have to be in order to be lovable, valued and safe with others.  When these stories put us in a one-down or vulnerable position in relation to others, I call them our “self-victimizing beliefs.” Self-victimizing beliefs make a person low hanging fruit for Emotional Predators.  Chapter 4 (Step 2 of protecting yourself) of my book introduces some of these stories, and Chapter 5 (Step 3 of protecting yourself) revisits some in detail to look at protective alternatives.

One self-victimizing belief many of us are familiar with is the belief that “I’m not good enough.”  This mistaken belief is an expression of perfectionism.  A perfectionist believes that if she isn’t perfect, everything is her fault.  Like focusing on bad things or on good things that are missing, instead of being grateful for good things that are present, perfectionism depends on the perspective you choose.  Put another way, the perfectionist hasn’t learned that “good enough” is good enough.  She mistakenly sees herself as a slacker for whom “good enough” is not good enough.  It isn’t hard to see how an Emotional Predator could use your beliefs about not being good enough or needing to be perfect to induce guilt and shame to get you to comply with her agenda.  He would let you know that you could be good enough (he may even say “perfect”) if only you would do what he wants, dangling the carrot of approval just out of reach.  But you’re good enough without him; you don’t need his unattainable approval.  If you’re a perfectionist, let yourself off the hook of perfectionism and know that “good enough” is actually good enough.

Another self-victimizing belief is a martyr complex in which we believe we have to suffer in order to feel worthy of love (or anything else we want).  A martyr type finds it easier to focus on other people than on himself – and an Emotional Predator seeks out targets who’ll focus on her at the expense of themselves.  A martyr type believes that he’ll be appreciated and valued for his sacrifices and that the person he sacrifices for will naturally want to reciprocate; he gives in the hope of getting back what he’s giving.  This makes him an ideal target for Emotional Predators (who are takers).  If you recognize martyr tendencies in yourself, work to replace them with appreciation of your intrinsic and inherent worthiness, a worthiness that exists without needing to make sacrifices.  Then choose to make sacrifices only when you know it’ll be a two-way street and the other person gives as much as you do and doesn’t just take.

Closely related to martyrdom, confusing enabling with helping is another belief that leaves us vulnerable to Emotional Predators.  Enabling is taking responsibility for something another person is responsible for.  It allows the other person to avoid the negative consequences of their poor choices.  An enabler makes excuses for another person’s bad behavior and believes the fiction that these excuses “help” the other person.  Twelve step addiction recovery programs like Alcoholics Anonymous advise that, in order to help someone let them suffer the consequences of their own choices and find their own bottom, and to do otherwise is dangerous to them and you.  Standing firm and not making excuses for others or taking up the slack when they slack off doesn’t mean being harsh or unkind.  Being kind doesn’t mean tolerating abuse.  Being a good person doesn’t require being a sucker.  But an Emotional Predator will work hard to convince you otherwise, playing on your conscience and guilt to get you to enable them.  Try to help only people who take responsibility and have already done all they can for themselves.

People-pleasers are a type of enabler.  They live by self-victimizing stories that put them in the role of making everything all right for everyone else.  Roberta, a client of mine told me, with a mixture of pride and embarrassment, “I’m really good at figuring out what other people want and giving it to them.  That’s how I get everyone to like me.”  This sounds like what an Emotional Predator will do.  The difference is she did this at great cost to herself, not to her own benefit, putting everyone else’s needs ahead of her own.  In therapy, Roberta worked hard to change this story about what it takes for people to like her.  And she wrote herself a new story that it’s okay for her to pay attention to the cost to her of the things she does for others.  Her new story didn’t make her selfish, far from it.  When self-sacrificing people first move a bit away from self-sacrifice and toward self-care, they often feel like they’ve become a selfish monster.  But it only feels that way in comparison to their prior overly self-sacrificing ways.  If you’re a self-sacrificing people-pleaser, shift your focus away others and give your own feelings and needs more priority.

One sign of people-pleasing is feeling like you have to explain or justify your boundaries and needs.  Another is easily yielding to social pressure.  Another is always playing the clown or entertainer, or always diffusing tensions.  People-pleasers relentlessly avoid conflict.  Conflict avoiders believe a story that conflict between people is always bad and they’ll always back down and accommodate, and if necessary, take blame, regardless of the cost to them.  All these things make people-pleasers easy targets for Emotional Predators.

A few other commonly held beliefs – myths of our culture – that can be self-victimizing bear mentioning.  It’s widely believed that we can cause other people to feel the emotions they feel.  This belief is embedded in our language.  We regularly say, “You make me feel” this or that.  But this isn’t true.  The emotions a person feels are generated by that person out of the assumptions and interpretations he makes about the meaning of events.  Two people faced with the same circumstance can have opposite emotional reactions: one laughs while the other cries.

For example, a stranger yells at two people standing at a bus stop minding their own business.  One of them bursts into tears because he interprets the yelling to indicate something bad about himself.  He believes that people don’t yell at others without good reason, so when he’s yelled at he concludes that he must’ve done something wrong or there must be something wrong with him.  He assumes he must be at fault because a stranger is yelling at him.  But the other person bursts into laughter, not tears, because she interprets the yelling to indicate something bad about the yeller.  She assumes there’s something wrong with a person who yells at a stranger.  Each person’s feelings are generated by how they choose to interpret events; they aren’t caused by someone else.  Emotional Predators will use guilt to manipulate you by telling you that you’re “making” them feel bad.  Don’t believe it.  Act responsibly and let others take responsibility for their feelings.

Another culturally popular self-victimizing belief is that altruism toward all is always a good thing.  An altruist meets someone else’s needs without regard for her own; she selflessly puts the other person first.  Altruism is one of the most noble and valuable capacities of human beings.  But it’s a disaster to be altruistic toward an Emotional Predator.  An Emotional Predator will take advantage of an altruist in every imaginable way, and will present false needs and plays for sympathy to keep the altruist giving, giving and giving, while getting nothing back.  I’ve never met anyone with an inexhaustible capacity to give without getting anything back (although martyrs try).  Exhausting your altruistic instincts on an Emotional Predator means you have less resources left to altruistically give to genuinely deserving people.

Another self-victimizing cultural myth that opens the door to Emotional Predator abuse is the belief that good things happen to good people who work hard.  This is a very commonly held belief, with roots in the protestant work ethic and capitalism.  This meritocracy myth burdens its believers with unnecessary guilt and shame from its unspoken inverse; if we believe that good things happen to good people who work hard, then bad things must happen to bad people who are lazy.  When we believe the meritocracy myth and a bad thing happens to us, we assume it’s because we were bad or lazy or both.  Buying into this myth leaves you open to Emotional Predator manipulation through guilt and shame.  She’ll create problems for you, then blame them on your supposed inadequacy.

In fact, life is much more random than we want to believe.  Sometimes, bad things happen to good people who work hard and good things happen to bad people who are lazy.  This doesn’t mean life is completely random and beyond control.  You can increase probabilities of good outcomes by working hard and being good, but you can’t guarantee them.  And being a good person with a work ethic yields internal rewards apart from external outcomes.  But when bad things happen to you, it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you or you deserved it.  And as I explain in my book, if the bad thing that’s happened to you is being targeted by an Emotional Predator, it means you are an exceptionally good person because that’s who Emotional Predator’s target.

Freeing yourself from self-victimizing beliefs insulates you from Emotional Predator abuse.  When you’re more insulated a few things happen: it becomes easier to conceal the emotional reactions you do have and to respond strategically, and your inner resources are less drained – all of which makes you a less inviting target.

You have much more power over your emotional reactions than you might believe.  One person’s disaster is another person’s learning opportunity.  Natural disposition, temperament and personal history no doubt play a part, but your choices of interpretation, perception and attention play the decisive role in determining whether you’ll cry or laugh at the same thing.  Let go of your self-victimizing beliefs and more control over your emotions will follow.

To spot our self-victimizing stories, notice that what we believe others require of us is usually a projection of what we require of ourselves.  When you believe you have to be perfect before someone else will love you, you’re really expressing that you believe you have to be perfect before you will love yourself.  If you believe in giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, you’re really expressing that you want to give yourself the benefit of the doubt.  If you believe you should try to see the good in everyone, then you’re really expressing that you want to see the good in yourself.  If you make excuses for others, then you’re really expressing that you want to excuse yourself.  If you make exceptions for others, then you’re really expressing that you want to give yourself a break.  The defense against all kinds of self-victimizing beliefs – the way to re-write self-defeating stories – is to deliver to yourself the things you believe others require from you and that you mistakenly seek from others.  That isn’t selfish.  That’s balanced and mature.  If you deliver to yourself the things you mistakenly seek from others, then Emotional Predators can’t manipulate you by pretending to offer those things to you.

So if you recognize any self-victimizing stories in yourself, or negative self-talk or other unpleasant things, don’t attack yourself for them.  Smile at them, thank them for getting you through earlier struggles and let them go.  When you treat yourself poorly, you signal to others to do the same.  Instead, try turning the Golden Rule inward and treat every aspect of yourself – the good, the bad, and the ugly – the way you’d like to be treated, and certainly treat yourself as well as you treat anyone else

Please freely copy and distribute this post, but be sure to include that it was written by Steven Wolhandler, author of Protecting Yourself from Emotional Predators.  (It’s copyright, Steven Wolhandler, 2019) Thanks!

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Sept 9 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / giveaway
Sept 9 – Just Another Reader – book spotlight
Sept 11 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 12 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 13 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Sept 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 16 – Phy Roselle – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 17 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight
Sept 18 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Sept 19 – Sefina Hawke’s Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Sept 23 – JBronder Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Sept 24 – fundinmental – book spotlight / giveaway
Sept 25 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
Sept 26 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
 

Enter the Giveaway for your chance to win one of 3 ebooks (mobi) of Protecting Yourself from Emotional Predators, or one $25 Amazon Gift Card, or GRAND PRIZE of 30 min FREE Consultation with Author (phone or video)
(Open Internationally) (five winners)

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Good Morning, Bellingham

By Marina Raydun

Genre: Literary Fiction

When Peta goes missing, a two-decade old secret threatens to rip at the seams and come out in the open. Relationships are tested as one dysfunctional family comes together in search of their daughter, sister, and wife. What they find instead will change each one of them forever.

Amazon     Goodreads

About the Author

Marina Raydun’s published works of fiction include a compilation of novellas One Year in Berlin/Foreign Bride, a suspense novel entitled Joe After Maya, and a two-part series, Effortless. Born in the former Soviet Union, Marina grew up in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a J.D. from New York Law School and a B.A. in history from Pace University. She is an avid music fan, a cat lover, and an enthusiastic learner of American Sign Language. Whenever she is not writing, Marina enjoys spending time with her family, catching up on Netflix, and baking.

Website     Facebook     Twitter     Instagram

Good Morning, Bellingham excerpt:

Peta’s Journal Entry

I want to fall asleep. Rather, to fall asleep and not wake up. Ever. I just want the wheel to stop turning. Correction— it should feel free to continue turning, but I want off it.

It’s ungrateful of me. I don’t need you to remind me of that, Dr. Burgos. I know all about second chances and how precious they are, and how my daughter needs me despite her full-time nanny. I know, I know. And yet, here I am at half past midnight, eyes open and on the monitor showing a grainy black and white image of Gwenny sleeping with her arms thrown up in the surrender position, wishing to just fall asleep and call it a day. Kind of permanently. Peter, I feel for but don’t dare look, is on the other side of the bed, curled up in the fetal position. I don’t need to look to know this. I’m half expecting to see him sucking his thumb if I actually turn in his direction. And I sit up and write this all down, instead. I’m beginning to resent you, Doc—you really could be helping me with this. Sometimes a crutch is necessary; I’d give it back when I’m good and ready, I promise. I’m fully aware of how happy I should be. I should at least be happier than I am, right? Something tragic happened, but, hey, look, something good is here, instead. Take it! Let’s make the best of it, no? I’m trying, I’ll tell you that much. I am trying. Some pharmaceutical magic would surely go a long way here, but I can’t be expected to beg. I’m just saying, my mind would be quieter, and a quiet mind is a mind I’d kill for at the moment.

It wasn’t easy bringing Gwenny into this world. Harry took a couple of enthusiastic fifteen-minute amorous nights, whereas Gwenny took almost three exhausting years. They’d become mechanical, our attempts. There was some light, some humor to it when it was just us trying to become three, but, after Harry, we no longer bothered to even look at each as we did it, there were no big productions made, no words (loving, dirty, or otherwise) uttered. Forget that, I’m not sure if we even knew why we kept going. There was a goal and we were set on accomplishing it like the professionals that we are. So, every other night, like clockwork, we each did the bare minimum we knew would get the other off before curling up on our respective sides, our backs barely touching to get our requisite six hours of sleep before having to wake up at 3:30am to make it to the studio on time and wake up the rest of Bellingham Bay. Once there, makeup would be stippled on and everyone would proceed to pretend to forget that we were the couple who’d buried their son not a year ago, not two years ago, and so on. Obviously, eventually the right sperm found the right egg and ta da— Gwenny. No, not Gwen! Never Gwen! Gwenny. This pink and translucent newborn lay in my shaking arms and all I could do was blink. She looked like Harry, but blonder. Something in my throat constricted and the rest became route. I think I’d stopped looking at Peter some time around then, too. But I can’t help but wonder—what if having to fight for something this hard means you weren’t meant to have it to begin with? When does determination become arrogance?

I’m so tired, Doctor. I am not making sense. I want to fall asleep. And not wake up. Ever. Do you have anything for that? Oh, that’s right—you’d rather not medicate and mask the symptoms because you would much rather heal. Well, good luck with that. If not medication, can you at least give me a distraction? Anything to make the wheel stop.

I would like to thank Sage Adderley-Knox for the opportunity to share this book.

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Dying Made Easy(er)

 

I would like to thank iRead Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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Strangers She Knows

Strangers She Knows

by Christina Dodd

September 17, 2019

on Tour September 17 – October 1, 2019

Synopsis:

Strangers She Knows by Christina Dodd

Perfect for fans of Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown, Linda Howard, and Jayne Ann Krentz, New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd returns with the chilling finale to the Cape Charade trilogy.

I have three deadly problems:
    1. I’ve seriously offended a maniacal killer.
    2. I just had a bullet removed from my brain.
    3. My new daughter is growing up too fast—and she’s in the line of fire.
Living on an obscure, technology-free island off California means safety from the murderer who hunts Kellen Adams and her new family…or does it? Family time becomes terror time, until Kellen finds herself alone and facing an all-too-familiar psychopath. Only one can survive, and Kellen knows who must win…and who must die. Be sure to also check-out the rest of the Cape Charade series, starting with DEAD GIRL RUNNING and WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER, available now wherever books are sold.

Series STARRED reviews from Booklist

“From the unforgettable heroine with a past to the incisively etched cast of secondary characters to the brilliantly imaginative plot, Dodd is at her most wildly entertaining, wickedly witty best.” -Booklist STARRED review on DEAD GIRL RUNNING “Featuring an unforgettable protagonist…who makes Jack Reacher look like a slacker when it comes to dispatching trouble, and an ingenious plot that includes plenty of white-knuckle twists and turns as well as some touching moments of mother-daughter bonding.” -Booklist STARRED review on WHAT DOESN’T KILL HER “Dodd continues her addictively readable Cape Charade series featuring Kellen Adams with another white-knuckle tale that simply begs to be inhaled in one sitting. With a fascinating island setting that includes a spooky old mansion, a secondary storyline involving World War II, and an antagonist who could give Villanelle from Killing Eve a pointer or two, this is Dodd at her brilliant best.” -Booklist STARRED review on STRANGERS SHE KNOWS

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Suspense Published by: HQN Books Publication Date: September 17, 2019 Number of Pages: 352 ISBN: 1335468331 (ISBN13: 9781335468338) Series: Cape Charade #3 Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

Read an excerpt:

Yearning Sands Resort Washington’s Pacific Coast This Spring Rae Di Luca stacked up her Level Three lesson books, opened the piano bench and put them away. She got out the Adult Course Level 1A book, opened it to “Silver Bells,” and put it on the music rack. “Mom, you have to practice.” Kellen didn’t look up from her book. “I know.” “When?” “When what?” “When are you going to do it?” “I’m at the good part. Let me finish this chapter.” “No, you have to practice now. You know it helps with your finger dexterity.” When had their roles reversed, Kellen wondered? When had ten-year-old Rae become the sensible adult and Kellen become the balky child? Oh yeah. When she had the brain surgery, her right hand refused to regain its former abilities, and the physical therapist suggested learning the piano. But there was a reason Kellen hadn’t learned to play the piano earlier in her life. She loved music—and she had no musical talent. That, added to the terrible atrophy that afflicted her fingers, made her lessons and practices an unsurpassed agony…for everyone. She looked up, saw Rae standing, poised between coaxing and impatience, and the Rolodex in Kellen’s punctured, operated-on and much-abused brain clicked in: RAE DI LUCA: FEMALE, 10YO, 5‘0″, 95LBS. KELLEN’S DAUGHTER. HER MIRACLE. IN TRANSITION: GIRL TO WOMAN, BLOND HAIR TO BROWN, BROWN EYES LIGHTENING TO HAZEL. LONG LEGS; GAWKY. SKIN A COMBINATION OF HER ITALIAN HERITAGE FROM HER FATHER AND THE NATIVE AMERICAN BLOOD FROM KELLEN; FIRST PIMPLE ON HER CHIN. NEVER TEMPERAMENTAL. KIND, STRONG, INDEPENDENT. Kellen loved this kid. The feeling was more than human. It was feral, too, and Kellen would do anything to protect Rae from threat—and had. “I know. I’m coming. It’s so much more fun to listen to you play than practice myself. You’re good and I’m…awful.” “I’m not good. I’m just better than you.” Rae came over and wrapped her arms around Kellen’s neck, hugged and laughed. “But Luna is better than you.” “Don’t talk to me about that dog. She howls every time I sit down at the piano. Sometimes she doesn’t even wait until I start playing. The traitor.” Kellen glared at the dog, and once again her brain—which had developed this ability after that shot to the head—sorted through the files of identity cards to read: LUNA: FEMALE, FULL-SIZED POODLE/AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG/AT LEAST ONE OTHER BREED, 50LBS, RED COAT, BROWN EYES, STRONGLY MUSCLED. RESCUED BY RAE AND MAX WHILE KELLEN RECOVERED FROM SURGERY. FAMILY MEMBER. RAE’S FRIEND, COMPANION, PROTECTOR. MUSIC LOVER. Luna watched Kellen in return, head resting on her paws, waiting for her chance to sing a solo protest to Kellen’s inept rendition of “Silver Bells.” “Everybody’s a critic.” Rae set the timer. “Come on. Ten minutes of scales, then you only have to practice for thirty minutes.” “Why do I have to practice ‘Silver Bells’? Christmas isn’t for seven months.” “So you’ll have mastered it by the time the season rolls around.” “I used to like that song.” “We all used to like that song.” Rae took Kellen’s left hand and tugged. “Mom, come on. You know you feel better afterward.” Kellen allowed herself to be brought to her feet. “I’m going to do something wild and crazy. I’m going to start learning ‘When the Saints Go Marching In.’ It’s the next song in the book, and I like it.” “You can learn anything you want after you practice your scales and work on ‘Silver Bells’ for fifteen minutes.” No one wanted to be inside today, certainly not Rae Di Luca, certainly not Kellen Adams Di Luca, certainly not upstairs in their private quarters in the Yearning Sands Resort. Not when spring had come to the Washington state Pacific Coast. April and May’s drenching rains turned the world a soggy brown. Then, on the first of June, one day of blazing sunshine created green that spread across the coastal plain. Kellen made her way through the ten minutes of scales—the dog remained quiescent for those—then began plunking out “Silver Bells.” As she struggled with the same passage, her right hand fingers responding only sporadically, Luna started with a slight whine that grew in intensity. At the first high howl, Kellen turned to the dog. “Look, this isn’t easy for me, either.” Luna sat, head cocked, one ear up, one ear down, brown eyes pleading with her. “I would love to stop,” Kellen told her and turned back to the piano. “How about a different tune? Let’s try ‘When the Saints Go Marching In.’” She played the first few notes and out of the corner of her eye, she saw the dog subside. Then, as she worked on a tricky passage, made the same mistake, time after time, the dog sat up again, lifted her nose and howled in mourning for the slaughter of the song. Rae giggled, and when her mother glowered, the child controlled herself. “Come on, Luna, I’ll take you outside.” The dog didn’t budge. “She thinks she’s helping you,” Rae explained. “Come on, Luna. Come on!” She coaxed her out the door, turned back to Kellen and said sternly, “Twenty more minutes!” “Yeah, yeah.” Kellen struggled on, trying to make her recalcitrant fingers do her bidding. Even when she finally got the notes right, it wasn’t a piano tune so much as jack-in-the-box music. When at last the timer went off, she slumped over the keyboard and stared at the fingers of her right hand. They were trying to atrophy, to curl in and refuse to do her bidding ever again. But the physical therapists assured her she could combat this. She had to create new nerve ways, train another part of her brain to handle the work, and since two hands were better than one and her right hand was her dominant hand, the battle was worth fighting. But every day, the forty minutes at the keyboard left her drained and discouraged. Behind her, Max said, “Turn around and let me rub your hands.” She noticed he did not say, That was good. Or even, That was better. Max didn’t tell lies. Kellen sighed and swiveled on the piano bench. Again that Rolodex in her brain clicked in: MAX DI LUCA: MALE, 38YO, 6’5″, 220LBS, ITALIAN-AMERICAN, FORMER FOOTBALL PLAYER. HANDSOME, TANNED, CURLY BLACK HAIR, BROWN EYES SURROUNDED BY LONG BLACK LASHES. ONCE HIGH UP IN THE DI LUCA FAMILY CORPORATION, STEPPED DOWN TO RAISE HIS DAUGHTER, NOW DIRECTOR OF THE FAMILY’S YEARNING SANDS RESORT ON THE WASHINGTON COAST. KIND, GENEROUS, RESPONSIBLE, LOVING. A STICKLER FOR DUTY. FAR TOO MUCH WILLPOWER, WHICH WAS IRRITATING TO KELLEN IN MATTERS RELATING TO THEIR MARITAL STATE. He took her right hand gently in both of his and, starting at the wrist, he massaged her palm, her thumb, her fingers. He used a lavender-scented oil, and stretched and worked the muscles and bones while she moaned with pleasure. He listened with a slight smile, and when she looked into his face, she realized his lips looked fuller, he had a dark flush over his cheekbones and his nostrils flared as he breathed. She looked down at his jeans, leaned close and whispered, “Max, I’m done with practice. Why don’t we wander up to our bedroom and I’ll rub your…hand, too.” He met her eyes. He stopped his massage. Except for the rise and fall of his chest, he was frozen in that pose of incipient passion. Then he sat back and sighed. “Doctor says no.” “Doctor said be careful.” “Woman, if I could be careful, I would. As it is, nothing is best.” “I am torn between being flattered and frustrated.” She thought about it. “Mostly frustrated.” “I’m just fine.” Max didn’t usually resort to sarcasm, so that told her a lot. Married almost two years and no sex. He was a good man, but he was coming to the end of his patience. “If we’re refraining because we’re worried I’m going to pop a blood vessel while in the throes of passion, I’d like to point out there are solutions that you might enjoy.” “That isn’t fair to you.” “You’re massaging my hand. That’s pretty wonderful.” “Not the same.” Again he took her tired hand and went to work. Bitterly she said, “Kellen’s Brain. It’s like a bad sci-fi fantasy.” He laughed. “It’s improving all the time.” When he had made her hand relax and Kellen relax with it, he said, “I’ve been thinking—the Di Luca family owns Isla Paraíso off the coast of Northern California. The family bought the island seventy years ago with the idea of placing a resort on the island, but now that doesn’t seem likely. Someone needs to go there, look things over, make decisions about its fate.” Kellen nodded. “You want to go there? See what you think?” “Actually, I thought we should all go there.” He was still working her hand, but with a little too much forcefulness and concentration. “Ouch,” she said softly. He pulled away, horrified. “Did I hurt you?” “Not at all. Except that you’re treating me like a child.” “What do you mean?” “You’re not telling me what’s really going on. Why do you want to go to this island?” “I told you—” “I don’t doubt that what you told me is the truth. But it’s not all the truth. Max, what’s wrong?” Max sighed, an understatement of a sigh, as if he dreaded what he was about to say. “You’re not going to like it.” “I gathered that.” “Mitch Nyugen.” “What about him? He’s dead.” She remembered she couldn’t always trust Kellen’s Brain. “Isn’t he?” “Yes. He was buried in the Cape Charade cemetery.” “Was buried?” Unease stirred in her belly. “This week, his widow arrived from Wyoming.” “He wasn’t married.” That brain thing. “Was he?” “No.” Max was as sure as Kellen was not. “Yet the woman who claimed to be his widow had all the necessary paperwork to have his body exhumed.” “Oh, no.” “She had the coffin placed in the chapel. Last night, the undertaker, Arthur Earthman, found her there, with the coffin open. She murdered him, and almost killed his wife, Cynthia. The widow escaped ahead of the sheriff, and she left her calling card.” Kellen knew. She knew what Max was going to say. “She cut off Mitch’s hands.” “And took them.” Max looked up at her, his brown eyes wretched with fear. “Mara Philippi is back. And she’s here.” *** Excerpt from Strangers She Knows by Christina Dodd. Copyright 2019 by Christina Dodd. Reproduced with permission from HQN Books. All rights reserved.
 

Author Bio:

Christina Dodd New York Times bestselling author Christina Dodd writes “edge-of-the-seat suspense” (Iris Johansen) with “brilliantly etched characters, polished writing, and unexpected flashes of sharp humor that are pure Dodd” (ALA Booklist). Her fifty-eight books have been called “scary, sexy, and smartly written” by Booklist and, much to her mother’s delight, Dodd was once a clue in the Los Angeles Times crossword puzzle.

Enter Christina’s worlds and join her mailing list at: Website, Goodreads, BookBub, Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook!

 

Book Blast Participants:

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Book Blast Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Christina Dodd and HQN Books. There will be one (1) winner. The winner will receive an Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on September 17, 2019 and runs through September 26, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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I would like to thank Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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How to Self Publish and Market a Book by Hank Quense

Most books on publishing deal with publishing by itself. Most books on marketing deal with marketing as a stand-alone project. I think there is a better approach. Publishing and marketing should be considered as an integrated project. That is what this book does: it treats publishing and marketing together to create a complete project plan.

The self-publishing pain points addressed include:
Formatting
Book layout
Editors
Covers, generic and otherwise
And more

The marketing pain points include:
Social media platforms
Blog tours
Creating buzz
Email campaigns
Keywords
And more

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Goodreads

Hank Quense

About the Author

Hank Quense writes satirical fantasy and sci-fi.
Early in his writing career, he was strongly influenced by two authors: Douglas Adams and his Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and Joseph Heller’s Catch-22. Happily, Hank has never quite recovered from those experiences.

He lives with his wife in northern New Jersey, a mere 20 miles from Manhattan, the center of the galaxy (according to those who live in Manhattan). They have two daughters and five grandchildren all of whom live close by.

For vacations, Hank and Pat usually visit distant parts of the galaxy. Occasionally, they also time-travel.

Besides writing novels, Hank lectures on fiction writing, publishing and book marketing. He is most proud of his talk showing grammar school kids how to create a short story. He used these lectures to create an advanced ebook with embedded videos to coach the students on how to create characters, plots and setting. The target audience is 4th to 7th graders. The book’s title is Fiction Writing Workshop for Kids.

Website     Facebook     Twitter

This is an integration of publishing and marketing into a single project. If you are looking to publish your book and how to market it I think this would be a wonderful place to start.

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