Posted in Articles, Book Tour, Reviews, Uncategorized

All the Wrong Places by Rebecca Fisher – Valentine Countdown Blitz

“I was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, the second of four children. Growing up with the influence of a long line of teachers with a passion for classical education, my time was filled with lessons in violin, cello, piano, ballet…and not-so-classical Girl Scouts and softball.
At the age of twelve, I traveled throughout Europe with my Grandmother and aunts, who filled my days with the shared reading of classics such as Jane Eyre and Sherlock Holmes, developing my love of literature early on.
I pursued my love of literature into college, earning a Bachelor’s of English, a Master’s of Education, and I am currently working to complete a Master’s in English.
My first novel, All the Wrong Places, started as a short story for a creative writing course and chronicles many of my experiences living in a mortuary, raising my daughter on my own and discovering my Christian faith.
My years in college writing programs have left me with a varied collection of short stories, plays and poetry covering many personal experiences from teenage rebellion to single-motherhood and spiritual awakening.
While writing and continuing my own education, I taught High School English in an attempt to pass my love of literature and writing on to others, and continue to share that passion with students and other aspiring writers.
I currently spend my days pursuing my creative dreams and reaching out to women to share my experience, strength and hope as a survivor of sexual assault and domestic abuse. 
I reside in Eagle, Idaho with my husband,  and my very large cat. “

 ~ Website ~

Driving aimlessly through the stormy suburbs of San Francisco, Casey Wheeler is fleeing from her abusive and unfaithful husband with her five year old daughter Maddy asleep in the backseat. With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, Casey loses control of her emotions and her car, crashing into a hillside below a mortuary. 

Desperately seeking shelter, and more so independence, she finds herself taken in by the mortuary director who apprehensively offers her a job and a place to live. As she stumbles through the ins and outs of her new and morbid surroundings, Casey is forced into a hostile custody battle with her relentless and increasingly violent husband. 

In the midst of all the chaos, she finds a new family and even love in the eccentric and protective people of Golden Oaks Funeral Home. But just when she has found all she could hope for, she will have to fight to the death to protect it.
This semi-autobiographical story of a single-mother and her journey to self-discovery, independence and a true understanding of love will keep readers captivated and yearning for more.
Q&A With the Author:
1.     Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
Most of my enjoyment comes from spending time with my people. It doesn’t really matter what we do if we’re together. I’d say eating good food together would be at the top.
2.     When did you first realize you were an author?
I have a collection of poems and short stories from family members, written by me under the age of ten, and they remind me of that compelling force to write, the stories and thoughts trying to find their way out.  It had its grip on me even at that young age. Writers must write. It’s an urge, a restlessness. I had it. Or it had me. 
3.     Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you? 
I write and teach science curriculum, which has been my other creative and professional pursuit. It’s fun to find creative ways to explore science with young children. 
4.     What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
Getting started and pushing past the ogre of perfectionism are the hardest things for me to overcome with every new project, or new chapter. I have to remind myself that the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect, but it does have to have a beginning.
5.     What is the “message” of your writing? 
I like to use my own experiences and struggles to offer hope to others. For instance, All the Wrong Places touches on domestic abuse and single-motherhood, both of which I’ve survived. I want to acknowledge the struggling, but show that there is hope for happiness and redemption. 
6.     Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life? While my books are fiction, I would call them semi-autobiographical in that I have lived many of the circumstances and overarching themes. 
7.     What are your future projects?
I have started a Christian fantasy series, and have a chapter available on my website at www.rebeccafisherbooks.com. I am also working on a children’s science series. 


To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 1 
and Official Event page Part 2 

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Charlie’s Choice by Zina Abbott – Valentine Countdown Blitz

My name is Robyn Echols. Zina Abbott is the pen I use for my historical novels. I’m a member of Women Writing the West and Western Writers of America. I currently live with my husband in California’s central valley near the “Gateway to Yosemite.”

I love to read, quilt, work with digital images on my photo editing program, and work on my own family history.

I am a blogger. In addition to my own blog, I blog for several group blogs including the Sweet Americana Sweethearts blog, which I started and administer.

Prequel to the Atwell Kin series:

Charlie, it would be easier to stop the flow of the great Missouri and Kansas Rivers than to prevent the Americans from coming to Kansas. 

It is 1856, and the United States opened Kansas Territory to American settlement two years before. Land belonging to the once-powerful Kansa tribe, known to the whites as the Kaw, was sold by treaty to the Americans a generation earlier.

His Kansa mother died from smallpox while Charlie was young. He lives with his American father who owns a trading post in Bonner Springs near the junction of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. A child of two nations, Charlie learns through harsh experience he is not always accepted, including by the father of the pretty redhead who has caught his eye. The arrival of thousands of white settlers makes matters worse.

Frustrated, Charlie visits his Kansa uncle to learn the tribal ways, travel the Kaw Trail to their buffalo hunting grounds, and become a warrior with a warrior’s name. Once he knows both worlds, he will decide which will best serve him in the future.

Meadowlark’s traditional father wishes her to marry Broken Wing, a highly-respected full-blood Kansa warrior close to his own age. Meadowlark rejects being the junior wife under a dying oldest wife and a wolverine of a second wife. Once she learns her childhood friend who left the tribe years earlier has returned to the Kansa, she seeks him out. Even if he does consider her for a wife, can she persuade her father to allow him enough time to prove himself as a warrior? Will her father accept him for her husband in spite of his mixed ancestry?

Will Charlie decide on a future with the white Americans, or will he fight the coming of the Americans by clinging to the past with the Kansa? Will he try to straddle both worlds? What will Charlie choose?


Q&A With the Author:
1.  Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
I have been making lap quilts. I came across my collection of pink cancer ribbon fabric last summer and thought, I need to make a few quilts ahead for friends who end up seriously sick and need a friendship token or something they can wrap around them or look at when they are too sick to do much else. The next thing I knew, I had one friend after another develop serious health issues (a consequence of being older). I’m behind, but enjoying designing the quilts for each recipient. I have yet to use the pink cancer ribbon fabric, but will make at least one quilt using it when I get caught up.
2.  When did you first realize you were an author?
When I was in junior high school, I used to stay in my downstairs bedroom to write short stories instead of watching television with my family. Now, being a PAID author – that took a little longer.
3.  Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
When I worked for the U.S. Postal Service as a rural letter carrier, I also worked many years as a release-time union steward representing many offices in many counties. My ability to research, interview, organize facts, and then write up grievance files and research reports is what helped me succeed. It was more technical/legal writing rather than fiction, but I enjoyed it.
4.  What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
I struggle most with everyday life interfering. I struggle with balancing helping others with ending up being the go-fer slave of others to help them accomplish THEIR projects while mine languish.
5.  What is the “message” of your writing?
My historical romances often draw from my genealogical research regarding laws that particularly affected women—their rights, or more to the point, their lack of rights when it came to property, voting, inheritance, etc. Even in the book I’m featuring today, my hero becomes aware of his lack of inheritance rights because of the circumstances of his birth.
6.  Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
See number five, above. I get annoyed with so-called historical authors who do not do the research and write about contemporary laws, rights and attitudes in historical settings. I try to have my characters either display some of the attitudes of the day, run up against said attitudes in other characters in the story, or realize what they are up against legally. Also, most of my books include actual historical events and even real historical characters.
7.  What are your future projects?
I will be publishing Virginia’s Vocation, which is my next book in the Lockets & Lace multi-author series. It is also my next book in the Atwell Kin after Charlie’s Choice which I’m featuring today. I will be publishing Diantha which is my second book in The Widows of Wildcat Ridge multi-author series. In addition, I have two longer books I wrote two and three years ago. They both need a little fine-tuning research, some revision and copy-editing. I will be working on them, and hope to publish at least one of them before the end of the year.

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 1 
and Official Event page Part 2 

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Foreign Relation by Didi Lawson – Valentine Countdown Blitz

Didi Lawson exchanged her town car for a pick-up truck and learned to operate a tractor when she and her husband moved from Arizona to a farm in  Missouri where she now weaves her tales. Her love for writing started early in  life when  she entertained her friends with her stories, won prizes for he essays in high school and wrote road shows and poems for the youth group in her church. She enjoys the outdoors, her children and ten grandchildren, and keeps an active social calendar.

It was supposed to be simple traveling to Germany to find her roots. But nothing turns out the way Tracy had planned. 

She meets a man who professes to be her half-brother and is less than happy with her visit. The villagers treat her with contempt for her father’s presumed infamous past. 

Trying to solve the mystery, she uncovers secrets that had been hidden for over two decades. Wanting to clear her father’s name, she realizes that by doing so she will ruin her chances of a happy life with the man who had captured her heart.




Q&A With the Author:
1.     Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
a.     I like people, associate with them. I also love nature and traveling.
2.     When did you first realize you were an author?
a.     In my 40’s
3.     Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
a.     I won prizes for my essays in High School, wrote road shows and limericks for the youth group in my Church, and worked as assistant editor for a trade magazine
4.     What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
a.     There are actually 2 things: writer’s block (write anyway even if you have to erase it the next day), and remembering to show rather than tell the story. This one is a hard one for me. I just have to be cognizant of that flaw and correct it when editing
5.     What is the “message” of your writing?
a.     I’m trying to promote old-fashioned values, see the good in people, write for the heart and give the reader an escape from everyday life. My stories try to make the reader feel good.
6.     Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?  
a.     Sometimes
7.     What are your future projects?
a.     I’m working on a Christmas story, a fairytale and sequels to some of my existing books.


To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 1 
and Official Event page Part 2 

Posted in Articles, Book Tour, Reviews, Uncategorized

Queen Mary’s Daughter by Emily-Jane Hills Orford – Valentine Countdown Blitz

An avid gardener, artist, musician and writer, Emily-Jane Hills Orford has fond memories and lots of stories that evolved from a childhood growing up in a haunted Victorian mansion. Told she had a ‘vivid imagination’, the author used this talent to create stories in her head to pass tedious hours while sick, waiting in a doctor’s office, listening to a teacher drone on about something she already knew, or enduring the long, stuffy family car rides. The author lived her stories in her head, allowing her imagination to lead her into a different world, one of her own making. 


As the author grew up, these stories, imaginings and fantasies took to the written form and, over the years, she developed a reputation for telling a good story. Emily-Jane can now boast that she is an award-winning author of several books, including Mrs. Murray’s Ghost (Telltale Publishing 2018), Queen Mary’s Daughter (Clean Reads 2018), Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards and several other books. A retired teacher of music and creative writing, she writes about the extra-ordinary in life and the fantasies of dreams combined with memories. 

~ Facebook Goodreads ~ 
Website ~ Twitter ~ Blog ~
There are so many possibilities that affect the course of history. One change, one small item overlooked, can make a world of difference, not only in a person’s life, but in the history and well-being of an entire nation. And then there are those multiple scenarios of what if? What if King James VI of Scotland didn’t succeed in amalgamating Scotland with England? Would Scotland have remained free and independent and a nation of its own well into the twenty-first century? And would Scotland, this independent version, make its own decision to join the European Union when its southern neighbor was choosing to pull away? And, what if there was another heir to the Scottish throne?
In Queen Mary’s Daughter (Clean Reads Publisher), author Emily-Jane Hills Orford presents another plausible timeline, one that incorporates both historical fact and fiction with the endless possibilities of time travel. 

Q&A With the Author:
Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
I guess spending time with my family and my dog would be top of the list. I also have a passion for reading. I love books, the real kind, and I read both for pleasure and to write reviews (but in so many ways, that’s reading for pleasure as well). I love my music, playing the piano, composing. I’m also an artist – needle-art and collage acrylics. And I love to garden, which I do outdoors three seasons of the year and indoors during the cold winter months. 
When did you first realize you were an author?
As soon as I could hold a pencil in my hand and write some words on paper (about 5 or 6 years old). I came from a long line of storytellers. We would share our stories around the dinner table – every night. Much better than what families do today on their so-called smart phones. As the youngest, I didn’t have much luck in being heard, but I could listen and I could write my stories. So I did.
Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
Teaching. I taught music for many years, but I also taught (and continue to teach) creative writing to aspiring authors of all ages, some as young as 8 years old. The enthusiasm of my students was very inspiring. They loved my classes and I loved working with them.
What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
Finding uninterrupted time to write. This was particularly difficult while I was teaching full-time and my family was younger. Now, semi-retired, I have more time and I’m able to manage my time more effectively. I write first thing in the morning every day. And, if I’m lucky, I have time later in the day to write as well. So, making writing a part of my morning routine, I don’t miss a day. And, I always carry a notebook with me (the paper kind), so that I’m not stuck waiting at the doctor’s office (for example) with nothing to do. I write as I wait.
What is the “message” of your writing? (For example, is your purpose to encourage old-fashioned values, encourage romance, or do you have different purposes in different books?)
I think I have different ‘messages’ for different books. Perhaps one of the main ‘messages’ is that there are stories everywhere – in our lives and in our imaginations. And I write all kinds of stories, real and imagined. Stories are important because we (all of us) are important.
Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
Real life – mine and those people I know well – as well as my ‘vivid imagination’. 
What are your future projects?
I always have new projects in the works.  I currently have perhaps six novels awaiting various stages of publication, so there’s a wealth of my stories coming soon. And, I just started writing another fantasy/time travel novel for young adults. I love the infinite story possibilities presented by the possibility of time travel. As always, I continue to write my creative nonfiction short stories – little snippets of memories from my life.

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 1 
and Official Event page Part 2 

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A Chaotic Courtship by Bethany Swafford – Valentine Countdown Blitz

For as long as she can remember, Bethany Swafford has loved reading books. That love of words extended to writing as she grew older and when it became more difficult to find a ‘clean’ book, she determined to write her own. Among her favorite authors are Jane Austen, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Georgette Heyer.
When she doesn’t have pen to paper (or fingertips to laptop keyboard), she can generally be found with a book in hand.

~ Twitter ~ Instagram ~
   

Twenty-year-old Diana Forester, a country-bred young woman, fears that her inexperience and uncertainties have discouraged the charming Mr. John Richfield. 

On arriving back home from London, she learns that he has already arrived, ready to continue their acquaintance and explore whether they are suited for each other. 

If Diana thought that deciding her future marriage mate was difficult in London, courting takes on a whole new aspect when Diana’s younger siblings become involved. She finds herself dealing with her own feelings, her sister, her younger brother, jealous members of a house party, a jilted suitor, and a highwayman as she falls in love with the charming Mr. Richfield.

Q&A With the Author:
1.     Tell us about things you enjoy — what you do for fun or personal satisfaction besides writing?
a.     I love movies. As with books I read, I have a rather eclectic taste: Star Trek, Jane Austen adaptations, Disney, How to Train Your Dragon, etc. I love going to a theater, having a bucket of popcorn and just ignore everything going on outside the theater.
2.     When did you first realize you were an author?
a.     I just realized I was an author when I had A Chaotic Courtship published. The majority of my writing before this point had been for myself or for my sister. A Chaotic Courtship was a book I knew I wanted to share with others.
3.     Have you done anything writing-related, but besides actually writing your books, that seemed to get a lot of positive response? Something that encouraged you?
a.     Nothing really comes to mind for this question.
4.     What is the thing you struggle with the most while writing? And how do you defeat it?
a.     I struggle with staying focused. It is so easy for me to be distracted by a new idea, or a new release from a favorite author, or even a random article that comes up on my feed. The best way for me to defeat this is to set a timer, write for 10-15 minutes, and then take a break. This trains my brain to recognize that when the timer is going, it’s time to write.
5.     What is the “message” of your writing?
a.     I suppose I would have to say I’d like for my books to show that “old-fashioned values” doesn’t mean a lack of romance. For me, a sweet and clean story makes my heart flutter more than any detailed sex scene ever could.
6.     Are your characters/stories/scenes, etc. based on anything in real life?
a.     When she read the first draft of A Chaotic Courtship, my sister accused me of having written it when I was angry with her. I definitely pulled the family relationship of the Forrester family from my own family.
7.     What are your future projects?
a.     I am in the middle of a Regency Mystery Trilogy. I have all the books written and I am hoping to release the first book of The Lady’s Maid Trilogy, Keeping the Past, late this spring.

To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page Part 1 
and Official Event page Part 2