Category Archives: book blitz

A Spoonful of Grace

Book Title:  A Spoonful of Grace: Mealtime Blessings in Bite-sized Pieces
Category:   Christian Living; 444 pages
Genre:  Family devotional, Children’s devotional
Publisher:  Credo House Publishers
Release date:  Feb 2017
Tour dates:  Aug 7 to 25, 2017
Content Rating:  G

 

 

 

Book Description:

Just 2 minutes each day can change your family meal time for a lifetime.

A Spoonful of Grace is a collection of 366 evening meal graces taken from all 66 books of the Bible and designed to provide meaningful exposure to prayer and the Bible at a most opportune time: the family evening meal.

The Scripture/grace devotions are inviting, can be grasped at several levels, and are brief enough (about two minutes) to hold the attention of hungry kids. Here’s why:

  • Each day has an application section called Grace Notes: ideas and quotes to further illustrate the message and stimulate conversation.
  • Sundays are for Story Graces. These 52 devotions are a bit longer to afford the suspenseful, engrossing reading of stories such as David and Goliath, Daniel in the lions’ den, and Jonah and the big fish.
  • Special Graces are celebrations such as  Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays.
  • Each grace:
    • Supports discussions of God’s attributes and of faith-based values, offering moral examples like forgiveness, friendship, honesty, trust, even table manners.
    • Creates curiosity about the Bible and ways in which Scripture can be applied to today’s issues.
    • Demonstrates how the act of praying together lifts one’s own spirit; fosters praise; and increases mutual feelings of appreciation, gratefulness, and accountability.
    • Teaches without overt instruction, similar to hiding extra veggies in the spaghetti sauce.
    • Remind us that our food, as well as God’s countless other daily blessings, is a gift.

 

Endorsement for A Spoonful of Grace:

“The dining room table is a key place to connect with your children.  It’s time to put down the phones and pick up this book instead.” —Arlene Pellicane, speaker, and author of “31 Days to Becoming a Happy Mom”

“…beautiful, winsome and creative…will spark meaningful discussion and thoughtful reflection. This book will nourish both heart and mind.”Dr. Mark L. Strauss, Vice-Chair, The NIV Committee on Bible Translation and University Professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary

“Annette Hubbell has made this powerful family life rhythm and tradition SO MUCH EASIER!  Give your family the gift that will last for generations to come—‘A Spoonful of Grace!’” Pam Farrel, author of 45 books including best-selling “Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti,” “10 Best Decisions a Parent Can Make”, and “Couple’s Journey with God.”

“Wonderfully composed and chock-full of wit and wisdom. I wish I’d had this book when my husband and I were raising our four children.” Susan Meissner, Award-winning author of “Secrets of a Charmed Life”

Watch the book trailer: 

Buy the Book:

Add on Goodreads

 

Meet the Author:

Annette Hubbell earned her undergraduate degree in Marketing from San Diego State University, her M.B.A. from Cal State University in San Marcos, and a Certificate in Christian Apologetics from Biola University. She has been featured in over 160 performances and starred in the DVD, “Witness to Gettysburg” edited by 33-time Emmy Award winner, Robert Gardner. She was awarded Presenter of the Year twice at the Civil War Round Table of San Diego and is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).

Hubbell lives in San Diego, California with her husband, Monte, of 33 years. They have a daughter, Amy. She and her husband Scott live in Los Angeles, California. For more information, visit www.AnnetteHubbell.com or www.SpoonfulOfGrace.com.

Connect with the Author: Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Youtube

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Sept 2.

Virtual Book Tour Hosted By:

 

BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR SCHEDULE:

Aug 7 –   Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 7 –   Everyday Gyaan – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 7 –   Reading Authors – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 8 –   Blooming with Books – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 8 –   Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 9 –   Paulette’s Papers – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 9 –   I Love A Good Book – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 10 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 11 – Reviews in the City – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 11 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 14 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 14 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 15 – Cindy’s Notebook – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 15 – Rainy Day Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 15 – This Mom’s Delight – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 16 – My Journey Back – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 16 – Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 17 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 18 – Laura’s Interests – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 20 – Writers and Authors – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 21 – My Life. One Story at a Time – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 22 – Bless Their Hearts Mom – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 22 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 23 – Seasons of Opportunities – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 24 – Deal Sharing Aunt – book spotlight / giveaway
Aug 25 – Books for Books – book spotlight
Aug 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews –  book spotlight / giveaway

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Filed under Authors, book blitz, Books, Genre, Non-Fiction

7 Threads

Today I am “Spotlighting” Seven Threads by Jason Atkinson.

Book Details:

Book Title: Seven Threads: A Book of Short Stories
Author: Jason Atkinson
Category: Adult Fiction, 151 pages
Genre: Thriller and Suspense
Publisher: Mascot Books
Release date: July 4, 2017
Tour dates: July 10 to 28, 2017
Content Rating: PG

Book Description:

In this collection of seven short stories from Jason Atkinson, follow a man accused of murder, a runaway girl on a train, a scientist at the heart of a government conspiracy, and more! Full of twists and turns, Seven Threads offers a selection of fast-paced stories full of heart and excitement.

Buy the Book:

 



 

Meet the Author:

Jason Atkinson lives in the Midwest with his wife and son. With a love of writing, this is his 3rd book, but the first book in the fiction category. Short stories are easy to digest, and yet, this book still provides all the joys for the long haul reader. Jason writes for everyone in mind when creating this piece and hopes you will enjoy it as much as he did when writing it.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Aug 5

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BOOK SPOTLIGHT TOUR:

July 10 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
July 10 – Simple Wyrdings – book spotlight / giveaway
July 11 – Kristin’s Novel Café – book spotlight / interview
July 11 – Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight / guest post
July 12 – Books, Dreams, Life –  book spotlight / interview
July 12 – #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway
July 13 – A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 13 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 14 – The Reader’s Handbook – book spotlight / giveaway
July 14 – Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway
July 17 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 17 – A Holland Reads – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 18 – FUONLYKNEW – book spotlight / interview / giveaway
July 18 – Rainy Day Reviews – book spotlight / interview / giveaway
July 18 – Cindy’s Notebook – book spotlight / giveaway
July 19 – The Irresponsible Reader – book spotlight / interview / giveaway
July 19 – StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 19 – Thoughts on Books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 20 – Hall Ways Blog –  book spotlight / interview / giveaway
July 20 – The Cubicle Escapee – book spotlight / giveaway
July 20 – The Book Drealms – book spotlight / giveaway
July 21 – My Devotional Thoughts – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 21 – Travelling Through Words – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 24 – Teresa Edmond-Sargeant – book spotlight / guest post
July 24 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
July 25 – The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight
July 25 – Deal Sharing Aunt – book spotlight / interview / giveaway
July 26 – JBronder Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 27 – Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
July 27 – Book Crazy Scrapbook Mama – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
July 28 – Books for Books – book spotlight
July 28 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

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Filed under Authors, book blitz, Books, Fiction, Genre, Murder Mystery, Mystery, Suspense, Thriller

Featuring Children, Tweens & YA Authors

Are you a Children’s Author?

Do you write for tweens?

What about Young Adults?

I am paying it forward in 2017 by featuring authors on my blog.

Sign up for me to feature you on the Feature Calendar page!feature-md

Occasionally, there will be bonus material, giveaways, reviews and more!

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Winner January 7th Amazon Gift Card Drawing

I have been sick with a horrible head cold and didn’t get around to announcing the winner on January 7th.

 

three-cookbook-giveaway-winner-robin-robertson-7ojitm-clipart

Peg Nichols

 

 

 

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Filed under Authors, book blitz, Books, e-books, Genre

Twilight Christmas, A Carolina Coast Novella

twilight-christmas-light-dTitle: Twilight Christmas, A Carolina Coast Novella
By: Normandie Fischer
Publisher: Sleepy Creek Press
Publication Date: November 27, 2016

Book Trailer: YouTube link:  https://youtu.be/FkID-2clEAI

Back Cover Copy:
Two orphans. One barn. And a community in need of miracles.

Linney needs protecting, and Louis is the only one left to save her. She may be his big sister, but her Down Syndrome will get her put in an institution if he doesn’t hide her well. Only, it’s getting harder and harder to pretend he’s older than ten and to keep her safe and warm in this old storage barn. Especially at Christmas, when all his sister wants is a tree with lights, like the one at the church next door.

Pageant preparations are in full swing, and Annie Mac and her crew are involved in the excitement. So is Lieutenant Clay Dougherty, her kids’ faux-father and the man who still makes her yearn for a whole lot more than she’s comfortable offering, especially when she’s plagued by crazy-making nightmares.
In this heartwarming tale of magic and miracles, the Beaufort, North Carolina, folk return to rescue more than themselves.
BONUS is Chapter One.

Chapter One Louis

Louis drew his hand back from his mama’s cheek. No matter how many times he shook her, cried out to her, begged her, she stayed cold and gray. No breath, no tears, no nothing.

He wanted the images of her blank eyes and her pale lips undone. Once upon a time, those lips had smiled around her snaggletooth, one just like his, but it would never catch or embarrass her again.

He wanted last night back. Last night she’d still been alive. Last night she hadn’t smelled funny.

He took a step away from her bed. He’d leave the empty pill bottle at her side and not even try to close her eyes like he’d seen them do on TV. The police would figure out how she’d died, what she’d taken, what had finally let her out of this life and her need to be a mother to them.

He bit hard on his lower lip. He would not get angry at how she’d left them, left him, to cope.

He didn’t hear Linney pad in and couldn’t stop her before she climbed up beside the mama who wasn’t there. As she reached a hand toward Mama’s cheek, he cried out. “No! Don’t touch.”

But she already had. A quick touch. A quick moan. A barely heard “Cold.” And then, “Ma . . . ma? Wake up,” said with the beginning of tears.

He called Linney to him, but she just sat there uncomprehending. He swiped at his nose. It kept leaking, like his eyes did, and his tears fogged up his glasses. He pulled them off, wiped them on his shirt, wiped his eyes with his hands, then stuck his too-loose frames back on his nose and tried to get control of himself. He had to stop acting like a baby so he could fix things. Soon as they found out his mama was dead, they’d come take him and Linney, and they’d put Linney one place and him another.

Just like last time.

“Come on. I’ll . . . I’ll fix your breakfast.” He reached for his sister’s hand. He could do this. He had to do this.

Linney looked once more at the body that wasn’t their mama anymore and trailed behind him to the kitchen area.

“Sit,” he said before he turned back to close the bedroom door, softly, as if anything else might wake the sleeping.

If only it would. If only it would.

He couldn’t think about that. Instead, he got out the sugared cereal Linney shouldn’t eat in spite of it being her favorite, filled a bowl with the last of it, poured in milk, and set it before her. She smiled brilliantly up at him.

He couldn’t eat a single thing. Not until he figured out what to do and how to fix this.

Mama kept her old suitcase stuffed with summer clothes ’cause the trailer didn’t have enough room for more drawers. He dragged it from behind the couch, opened it, and took out everything they didn’t need. Then he went to Linney’s room and got some warm things for her, then some for him. He stuffed those in and remembered he’d need plenty of pull-up diapers for his sister. And the wipe things, in case she had an accident. If she was scared or upset, accidents happened. Too many times. And he hated having to help her, now she was getting older.

It shouldn’t be him. It really shouldn’t.

But who else was there? Who else had there been most nights?

To make the pull-ups fit in the suitcase he had to take out some of his clothes, including his extra sweater. Linney needed more changes of clothes anyway. He could make do. He tried to decide which of his books he should bring. No way he wanted to get stupid just ’cause he couldn’t go to school anymore.

Then he checked around to see if he’d forgotten anything.

The cops would come hunting them if he left the trailer looking like this. While Linney watched, he put everything in order, the way Mama would have, before he sat down to write a note in his best cursive, copying Mama’s writing, fixing things so no one would come looking.

He’d wait until dark. Then he’d fill a sack with other things he’d need and figure out how to get him and Linney and their stuff to a good hiding place. He had time to figure it out.

Figuring out how to make Linney understand why Mama wasn’t in the body back there was gonna be harder. She’d never understand death, but she was a good girl. A four-year-old trapped in the body of a twelve-year-old but with none of the attitude he’d seen on other kids. Linney was the smilingest, happiest girl he knew.

And she was his responsibility.

He took out another piece of paper and tried to make a list of the hows and the wheres. He had to do this right if he was gonna fix things. Find a place, find a way, and use the time until dark to plan their future. He’d already emptied Mama’s hiding jar and counted out the bills. It was enough for now, but then what? Money and running out of it was his biggest fear.

Next to being found and having someone bad get Linney, like had happened to that other girl in special ed.

 

author-picAuthor Bio:

A life-long sailor, Normandie Fischer has been writing and editing professionally since the seventies. She and her husband retired from cruising Pacific Mexico in their ketch, Sea Venture, to care for her aging mother who accompanied them in 2013 when they sailed from Beaufort, NC, to NYC to publicize Becalmed and to welcome Normandie’s first grandchild into the world. Twilight Christmas is Normandie’s sixth book.

(Paperback will be available soon.)

Web Site: www.normandiefischer.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NormandieFischer/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WritingOnBoard

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Normandie-Fischer/e/B00BSIF2NI

 

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Filed under Authors, book blitz, Books, Christmas, Fiction, Genre, Holidays

Newly Released – Spiced and Iced

By: Jenny Kales
Publisher: Amazon –also available on Kindle Unlimited
Release date: December 5, 2016
Book Excerpt: “BONUS” – Chapter One
“Why does anyone think it’s a good idea to have their bridal shower right before the holidays?” grumbled Natalie Underwood, her long red curls bouncing pertly as she rushed about the room. Her slim figure, decked out in a short, sleek dress and dark-colored tights seemed to bristle with consternation as she straightened silverware and adjusted the festive Christmas centerpieces in The English Country Inn’s waterfront dining room.

“Because they enjoy making everyone as stressed out as they are?” Calliope Costas responded, but with a smile. Her friends and clients called her “Callie,” but her Greek father normally stuck with “Calliope.”

As the proprietor of Callie’s Kitchen, a Mediterranean meets Midwest from-scratch meals business, she’d had her fair share of demanding clients. But customers were customers. Anyway, Callie knew she was more able to tolerate self-absorbed brides now than she used to, now that she had a new special someone in her own life.

As the two women chatted, Callie was rushing alongside Natalie, placing mini boxes of her famous Greek snowball cookies, aka, kourabiethes, at each place. The inn had its own chef, but occasionally Callie contributed an extra sweet treat to events at the inn at the host’s request. To celebrate the season, Callie had spiced the treats with ouzo, the flavorful Greek liqueur, and had placed a fragrant clove in the center of each cookie. She wished that Natalie would eat a cookie – maybe the combination of booze and melt-in-your-mouth texture would cheer her up.

“Okay, that just about does it.” Natalie straightened a final centerpiece and glanced out the huge expanse of windows overlooking Crystal Bay’s namesake waterfront.  She leaned forward a bit, squinting at the view. Callie kept placing boxes of cookies at each place. If anyone was out there, it had to be a duck who had forgotten to migrate: who else would brave the 15-degree temperatures?

The day was a bit overcast, but nothing unusual for Wisconsin in mid-December. The lake looked icy and gray, but even the lack of sun couldn’t take away from its beauty. So far the month was unusually cold, even for Crystal Bay. Unlike previous years when warm temperatures prevented the water from icing over completely, it looked like this year the bay and surrounding waterways were experiencing an early freeze. The ice fishermen and ice skaters would have a field day.

Inside, the airy dining room glowed with soft Christmas lights and so many fresh pine boughs and tiny white fairy lights that it felt like walking through a winter forest. Large windows framed the pleasant vista of Crystal Bay.  Delightful.  Callie inhaled the pine-scented air deeply before turning to Natalie once more.

“Anything else that I can do to help right now?” she asked.

The young woman shook her head. “Not that I can think of.” Natalie was, by all accounts, exceptionally good at her job as the head of events at The English Country Inn, a Crystal Bay mainstay for the last 40 years. The midsized boutique hotel was situated directly on the water, making for charmingly picturesque views. The interior décor reflected its namesake with inviting floral sofas and wallpaper, plush carpet and warm paneling.

The inn was also famous for a spectacular English-style Victorian tea service, presented only at Christmastime.  Locals and tourists alike flocked to partake of the tender cucumber tea sandwiches, rich, flaky scones and spicy gingerbread. Callie had planned to attend the tea event with her grandmother, Viv and her 10-year-old daughter, Olivia. She was even toying with the idea of inviting the British-born detective she was seeing. Would a detective enjoy a tea party?

Callie glanced again at Natalie who appeared to be white with fatigue. “Natalie, come on. Let’s sit down for a minute. You look run off your feet.”

“I can’t,” Natalie responded firmly. “You’re sweet to worry about me but there is just so much to do.”

“Let me help you then. I need to go back to work soon, but I can stay a little longer. Why not take advantage?” Callie smiled.

Natalie smiled back, but weakly, so it seemed to Callie. “Thanks,” she said with a sigh. “Maybe I will take a short break. This particular bride is not my favorite and I really can’t let my feelings show.”

“Oh?” Callie asked, handing over one of the kourabiethes. Natalie dropped into a chair with another gusty sigh and munched glumly on the cookie.

“I’m surprised you don’t know the story,” she said. “These are good by the way. A little spicy, but buttery.”

Callie smiled. At least her kourabiethes hadn’t lost their ability to cheer people up. “Thanks. Now – what  story are you talking about?”

“Well, this is the second bridal shower I’ve planned for the bride. At the first one, she and some of her relatives got, shall we say, a little too argumentative and the groom ended up ditching her.”

“I didn’t know that.” The bride, Lexy Dayton, was a regular customer at Callie’s Kitchen, and she had insisted that the Greek cookies be on the menu at her bridal shower. “That’s terrible. Poor Lexy!” Callie offered, reluctant to criticize a loyal client – and Greek cookie lover.

Natalie rolled her eyes at Callie. “I can’t say I blame her ex. The Daytons appear to be ever-so-elegant on the surface, but they know how to wreck a party. Believe me. In any case, Lexy blames me for her relationship gone awry. Logic is not her strong suit.”

“I’m inclined to agree. Why on earth would she have her bridal shower at the inn if she blames you for ruining her last engagement?” Callie asked, raising her dark eyebrows.

Natalie finished her second cookie before answering. “The Daytons are loaded, so they really could afford to have the shower anywhere. Though, I suppose this setting makes sense to them. Apparently, Dayton brides have been fêted at The English Country Inn since forever and they are intent on keeping the tradition alive. I only hope that the groom doesn’t dump Lexy today. I could lose my job!”

Natalie slumped back in her chair and frowned at her beautifully manicured fingernails. “To make matters worse, I went to high school with Nick Hawkins, Lexy’s new groom. He had a crush on me way back when, but I think he’s forgotten about it. Not Lexy, though. She’s probably got a spreadsheet of every woman that Nick ever glanced at.”

Callie laughed. “Oh, Natalie. No wonder you’re tense today! Don’t worry so much. Everything looks beautiful, the food will be delicious and you can just cut them off early if they hit the bar too often. Hopefully, the Christmas Spirit will help too.”

Natalie stood up, smoothing her navy dress, accented with a flowing scarf, tied into a loose bow. To Callie’s eyes, the dress looked like an expensive designer number that Callie had drooled over online. Was it Kate Spade? Either it was the real deal or a very convincing knock-off. Natalie must be doing well for herself if she could purchase that. Callie could only afford to dream of such clothing.

“You’re probably right. And thanks for talking,” Natalie seemed a little more calm and some color had come back to her attractively freckled face. “If you’re sure you don’t mind, I think I will ask you to do something for me. Will you see if the coat check person is here? The guests are arriving any minute and I forgot to do something.”

“Of course,” Callie agreed, inwardly relieved to be given such a minor task. She had been up early and was feeling tired.

“Thanks for all of your help today,” Natalie smiled at Callie before lowering her voice to a near whisper. “I know you probably wouldn’t but, please, don’t repeat my story about the Daytons.”

“No worries, here,” Callie responded. “We’ve all dealt with bridezillas.”

Natalie giggled and started walking quickly down the hallway. “See you in a minute,” she called over her shoulder.

Callie checked her watch and strode to the lobby to look for the coat check person. She didn’t see a soul, not even the concierge, Melody Cartwright.

Perhaps Melody wasn’t working today – she was the type to have a lot of irons in the fire. Besides working part time at the inn, the forty-something Melody ran a tea party business for children and was about to have her first book published – it would include tea party tips and recipes. Callie thought the book sounded wonderful. There was even talk of her being a guest on a national talk show. Melody was Crystal Bay’s closest thing to a celebrity these days.

“Melody!” Callie called, but no one answered. She headed back near the coat check area and was relieved to see a young woman standing behind the half-door.

“Oh. Hi there. I’m helping out today for the Dayton shower and Natalie Underwood just wanted me to check to see that you’d arrived,” Callie explained.

The young woman nodded and smiled. “Well, let her know I’m here and I’m ready when the guests are.” She smoothed her long blond hair back from her face. “Is everything okay?  Natalie usually checks in with me personally before an event.”

“Oh yes, everything’s fine,” Callie said, relieved that her tasks were nearly finished. Her assistant, Max, was working but she needed to get back to her shop for a pile of food prep. “Natalie is just really busy today. I’m Callie Costas, by the way.”

“Kayla Hall,” the coat check girl said, extending her hand. “I know you – you run the Greek food business downtown.  It’s really good.”

“Thanks!” Callie felt herself blush a little at the praise. “You look familiar to me, too. I hope you can come to Callie’s Kitchen again soon. We’ve got some great Christmas goodies. I even decided to do Kringle this year.”

Kayla’s eyes lit up at the mention of the classic Danish pastry, a Wisconsin Christmas tradition. Callie was about to elaborate but stopped when she noticed that Kayla suddenly looked strained, a forced smile painted on her face.

“Welcome to The English Country Inn,” Kayla said perkily to someone who stood just behind Callie. “May I check your coat?”

Callie stepped aside for a tall, model-thin woman in her mid-fifties with a short, chic gray haircut. Without a glance at Callie, she handed a fur coat across the door to Kayla. She didn’t look as if she ate much Christmas Kringle but looks could be deceiving. Callie had learned that sometimes the thinnest people had the best appetites.

“Thank you,” the woman addressed Kayla in a brisk tone. Her voice was deep and resonant, like a newscaster.  She was wearing a bright red jacket and matching pencil skirt that set off her athletic build. Her Christmassy outfit was set off with dangling earrings in the shape of small, sparkly snowflakes.

Abruptly, she turned to Callie. “Are you working the Dayton bridal shower? I need to speak to someone about the seating.”

Ah. The famous Dayton mother of the bride. She certainly appeared to be elegant and put together. Callie tried to imagine her in the type of family brawl that Natalie had described and failed.

“I’m not the event planner if that’s what you mean,” Callie began, but the other woman cut her off.

“I know that. Natalie Underwood is the event manager.” The Dayton woman took a step closer, enveloping Callie in a cloud of expensive perfume that smelled like the La Vie Est Belle Callie’s best friend Sam had gifted to her at her last birthday. Life Is Beautiful.

However, this woman appeared to be thinking just the opposite about life, at least at the moment. She glared at Callie and started tapping her foot. “Do you work for Natalie? I need to go over a few things. But perhaps Natalie would be the best person for me to deal with.”

Anxious to get back to her own place of business, Callie decided the best thing to do was be gracious. “I’m sure she would be able to assist you. I just provided a few treats from my food business, Callie’s Kitchen. Your daughter may have told you.”

“Oh yes, Callie’s Kitchen.” She didn’t look as if she thought much of her daughter’s taste in food providers. “All right, then. Please see if you can find Natalie. The guests should be here in half an hour and I want everything to be perfect.”

Getting a sympathetic glance from Kayla, Callie attempted to soothe the nervous mother of the bride. “Of course you do. I’ll go look for her right now.”

Grateful for an excuse to leave this woman’s towering and intimidating presence, Callie scooted off in the direction she’d last seen Natalie. There was no one in sight but a few housekeeping workers and they had no idea where Natalie – or Melody Cartwright, the concierge – had disappeared to.

Callie started to sweat. The last thing she wanted was a confrontation with Mrs. Dayton who, despite her polished appearance, became somewhat overbearing once she spoke. Natalie was in for an interesting afternoon.

Finally, one of the bellboys took pity on Callie and directed her to Natalie’s office, situated near the kitchen, where succulent odors of roast chicken were wafting through the doorway. Her stomach rumbled but this was no time for food.

“Natalie,” Callie said, knocking on the closed office door. “The mother of the bride is looking for you and she seems a little tense.”

The door swung open but instead of Natalie, it was Melody Cartwright who emerged from the office. “Hello, Callie,” she said. “I was looking for Natalie, too.”

“Oh!” Callie was startled. “I wondered where you were. The Dayton party is arriving and you might want to get out there, pronto. The mother of the bride had some things to discuss with Natalie and she looks like she means business.”

“Oh my,” Melody said, a frown creasing her forehead. “The Daytons want a perfect event, that’s for sure. Where can Natalie be?”

Perfect. There was that word again. Despite enjoying the fee that came with supplying food for an event, Callie was glad she wasn’t running this show. Everyone seemed a bit too uptight and combined with what Natalie had shared about the Daytons, the event had all the potential of a reality TV episode, complete with overturned tables and hair-pulling.

Melody ran a hand over her smooth dark hair, pulled back in a low bun. She looked conservative, but sophisticated, quite a different look than when she dressed up as a princess or a fairy for the children’s tea parties she hosted. Melody pulled her ivory blouse more securely over her hips and smoothed her black trousers as she started down the hallway.

“If you’re finished, you can feel free to go,” she called over her shoulder to Callie. “I’ll find Natalie. Thanks for your help!” Melody disappeared around the corner.

Callie let her breath out in a whoosh and headed back to the dining room to collect her coat and any stray cookie boxes. She heard a hubbub of voices in the lobby and realized that the guests would be entering the dining room any minute. No need to stick around for the bride – leave that pleasure to The English Country Inn.

As she re-entered the dining room, the windows framed a winter wonderland of white, fluffy snowflakes that descended gently from the sky. The scenery was certainly holding up its end of the bargain. Hopefully, the calm winter scene would pacify any edgy guests – or hosts.

Callie located her belongings and looked out the window once more. The snow was really coming down now, a harbinger of slippery roads. Instead of taking a chance on running into Mrs. Dayton again, Callie decided to go out the dining room door that led to the patio, a popular spot in warm months. It was closer to the parking lot, anyway, she rationalized. She put on her coat and braced herself for the cold.

As she stepped outside, Callie felt some of the stress lift from her. Snow was a pain to drive in, but a white Christmas was so romantic and this year she would have someone to share it with. Gazing out at the water and inhaling the cold, head-clearing air, Callie relished the chilly beauty of the scene, but a flash of color in the water near the large boathouse attached to the hotel caught her eye. Squinting, she took a closer look.

Just visible through the fluffy white wall of snowflakes was a burnished orange blob. That was odd. Did somebody drop something in the water? Callie was ready to shrug it off and head for the warmth of her car, but something made her take another look. A prickle of apprehension made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up.

Slowly, Callie started walking toward the object. It was slow going. The snow was starting to become slippery and ice patches were already on the ground. The falling snow was starting to obscure the ice patches, making them even more dangerous.

Callie stumbled a bit and with a struggle, righted herself before she fell. She glanced longingly back towards the parking lot, but her curiosity was getting the better of her. She felt silly and vowed to head back to the car if she slipped one more time. For all she knew, it was a stray buoy, left behind when the piers were taken up and stacked like Tinker Toys for winter storage.

Cautiously now, Callie stepped closer. From this vantage point, it was clear the item wasn’t a buoy. What was it? The colors sharpened as she got closer. Callie started to quicken her pace, slipping a bit, but focused now. The outlines of a human body were now coming into view. Callie caught her breath in a gasp. An icy sensation began at her scalp and continued to her toes.

Forgetting the dangers of the ice and new-fallen snow, Callie made a beeline to the water’s edge and the unidentified object floating in it. What she saw made the back of her scalp tingle and her stomach lurch. She screamed.

Natalie lay face down in the water. The thin ice must have broken when she fell, revealing the icy depths underneath. Callie shuddered and shrieked, tears springing to her eyes and momentarily blinding her. No. Not again. Please. She wiped her streaming eyes with a mittened hand and forced herself to look again.

Natalie’s beautiful hair fanned out like seaweed. The back of her head was a bloody mass and the ends of her long, coppery locks were already starting to become covered with a fine coating of powdery snow.

Cautiously, Callie leaned down and nudged Natalie, loudly calling her name to no response. With one huge push, Callie turned the event planner over and then fell back onto the patio. Freezing water splashed onto her jeans and her hands felt like they’d been dipped inside a flash-freezing machine.

Natalie floated with her arms outstretched in the frigid water, her long designer scarf speckled with blood. Her normally rosy, freckled face was now grayish white and her wide-open eyes were glassy and devoid of the spark of life.

About Author:jenny-kales-profile-pic

Jenny Kales is the author of On the Chopping Block, the first in The Callie’s Kitchen Mystery Series. Her marriage into a Greek-American Midwestern family inspired The Callie’s Kitchen mysteries, featuring Calliope Costas, food business owner and amateur sleuth. The setting of the story, “Crystal Bay,” is inspired by a favorite family vacation spot – Wisconsin’s beautiful Geneva Lakes.

Jenny is an avid reader, cook, and baker and she’s addicted to mystery TV, especially anything on Masterpiece Mystery or BBC America. A member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, she lives just outside of Chicago with her husband, two daughters and one cute but demanding Yorkshire terrier.

Connect with Jenny:
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**Don’t forget to enter a comment to be entered into the giveaway!  Two $25 Amazon Gift Cards will be given away: one on December 18, one on January 7.**
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Stenetta Anthony’s The Love Story

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Title: The Love Story
By: Stenetta Anthony
Publisher: Tate Publishing
Publication Date: May 2014
Genre: Juvenile/Children: Ages 0- 5 years
Pages: 27

 

 

 

 

 

Book Excerpt:

Jesus’ first arrival was in Bethlehem. Many came from all over the earth to see this Son who had come from Heaven. They brought him gifts that were fit for this heavenly Son.

 

download-1Author Bio:

Stenetta Anthony has been an educator for more than 20 years; where she has been an educator in the public and private scholastic communities.  Instructing children has been a lifelong joy.  With her favorite grades for instruction are pre-schooler and 1st grade who allow her to release her melodramatic and amorous side of teaching.

Stenetta has a Bachelor’s Degree in Educational Studies.  (B.S.) with her belife being, that all children can be exceptional and lifelong scholars irrespective of their physical, social, mental, and psychological or economic background.

After an encounter with a child who had never even heard about God, the fire was lit for her to write The Love Story. Her love for children coupled; along with her love for God saturates every page. It is her heart’s desire that children everywhere come to know the LOVE of Jesus Christ.

Stenetta’s love for teaching and writing has stimulated her to write children’s books that focus on: relationship, edification, enlightenment and reality.

Stenetta resides in the Chicagoland area with her husband, Shedrick, and their seven adult children with her family blossoming to include: grandchildren and additional daughters.

When Stenetta is not writing, in the classroom, volunteering or having fun with her family, she is engrossed in some of her favorite activities; watching cartoons and old movies.

 

Author Media Contact links:

Email: stenetta.anthony@gmail.com

Website: www.stenettaanthony.weebly.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/StenettaA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/public/Stenetta-Anthony

 

Purchase Information:

Paperback: $9.99 which comes with free Audio Download

Ebook: $7.99 must order through Tate Publishing.com

https://www.tatepublishing.com/bookstore/search.php?search=9781629025087

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-love-story-stenetta-anthony/1119309395?ean=9781629025087

http://www.amazon.com/Love-Story-Stenetta-Anthony/dp/1629025089

http://www.barbarasbookstore.com/stores/burrridge

To purchase at your Local bookstore purchase use- ISBN # 9781629025087

 

Today is the beginning of your new day- Stenetta

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Filed under Authors, book blitz, Books, Children's Books, Christmas, e-books, Genre, Holidays, Religious

Myrddin’s Heir Series

The  books in Myrddin’s Heir series are written by Robin Chambers “for bright children between the ages of 10 and 110.” They challenge as well as entertain.
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A Wizard of Dreams, Book 1
Author and Publisher: Robin Chambers
Publication Date: April 28, 2013

“Gordon Bennett was born on 7th August 1999 with extraordinary powers. Where have those powers come from? Who – or what – is “Zack”…? His mother begins to notice that Gordon is different when he speaks his first words at just 5 months old and that’s before the really strange things begin to happen!
Fun, refreshing and certainly different, A Wizard Of Dreams is Book 1 in The Myrddin’s Heir series by author Robin Chambers.

 

 

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Amazing Grace, Book 2

Publication Date: April 28, 2013

Amazing Grace chronicles the way in which a girl born on 25th December 1998 plays an increasingly important part in Gordon’s life (and he in hers). Grace can read minds, and she has healing hands…

Could her father really have been a God? How can she have two mums? And what has the most powerful wizard our world has ever known to do with all this?

The answer lies in the Land of the Forever Young (and of the Dead); but they can only get there by leaving their bodies behind…

How will Gordon’s parents react when he tells them the whole truth? How important in the scheme of things are their best friends Nick and Miranda? And quite importantly: how can the four of them help YOU to write really good stories…?

Can the clock be turned both backwards and forwards? And can their guardian angels help Gordon’s dad catch a serial killer…?

Book 2 ends on 27th March 2011 (so they are still in year 7) in a “magical” dell in Wales: where Gordon and Grace aren’t – though their bodies are. And what has Nick just found at the end of a rainbow…?
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The Quality of Mercy, Book 3

Publication Date: April 28, 2013

The Quality of Mercy picks the story up precisely where Book 2 left off. Where were Gordon and Grace, while their bodies were in that dell in Wales…?

How do fairies cope with growing old…? And what has that to do with the wedding of William Wales and Catherine Myddleton…?

Can Gordon and Grace take on the combined might of wicked wizardry and witchcraft in Chester? And what very interesting discovery about Miranda and Nick does Gordon make along the way…?

Why is someone trying to kill them all? And what do Nick’s father and Miranda’s mother have in common…?

How do The Fantastic Four sidestep The Famous Five to become The Super Six? And who do Gordon and Grace find themselves rescuing…?

 

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Gifts from the GodsBook 4

Publication Date: December 31, 2013

Gifts from the Gods  will give you some idea of what can happen when “gods” decide to show themselves…

How on earth can Gordon help hominids on a planet many light years away…?

When is a pony not a pony? And what is Groc the Knocker up to now…?

They need to team up; but how can they when the girls are in the grounds of a haunted stately home in Scotland and the boys are in the dungeons of a mediaeval Castle in Ireland? The answer has a lot to do with Lucifer’s rod…

What has the evil Goddess Morrigan LaFaye kept screaming for centuries at the top of a tall tower, where the walls ooze oil and look eerily like skin? And why does the God of the Sea feel the need to get involved?

And if that wasn’t enough, this is the part of the story where The Super Six become The Eight Team. What are Gordon’s sixteen greats grandmother and a lost soul from the sixth century doing getting in on the act?

What “gifts” might the gods be disposed to give: to help in the fight to make the world a better place…?

 

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When the Cat’s Away, Book 5

Publication Date: April 24, 2014

Book 5 begins on the same evening that Book 3 ends. It tells you a lot more about the Council of Thirteen and how its members react to Octavius Mortlake’s death.

What plans does Adolfo Aragon have to inherit Mortlake’s crown? And how much help might he get from the Capo dei Capi in London – the infamous Enzo Potenza? Just how evil ARE some of the other members of the ruling clique?

Carmen, Goddess of The Damned, does not take the loss of her daughter lying down. How will she be revenged? And how next will she seek to destroy the children who were born to heal the world?

Gordon and Grace return from holiday and find out their houses have been bugged while they were away. Soon after that they find out what happens when you don’t fight back.
They are left with no choice. They have to go to war…

 

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In the Nick of Time, Book 6

Publication Date: July 17, 2016

What will Ado Aragon do next? Where is Carman breeding an army of monsters for an all-out war? What happens when Groc the Knocker goes on trial for treason? Can the Eight Team secure the release of all Consortium slaves?

What happens when four criminal wizard-overlords try to snatch the children’s mothers? Who will win the battle to become the Consortium’s new capo di tutti capi? What happens when Gordon plays by the enemies’ rules?

Who does Nick meet in Avalon on his 12th birthday? What is he given, and what does his future hold? Who does he rescue in the nick of time?

A lot happens between 24th August and 9th September 2011. Hang on to your hats – it’s a roller-coaster ride!

 

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About the Author:

Once upon a time –a long time ago – I was born in Bootle (Liverpool 20) in the UK. There was a war on, but I ignored it and got on with the business of growing up in challenging circumstances. Later, I wanted to follow in the footsteps of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis but instead was plunged into the maelstrom of inner city education as a teacher of English, then as a headteacher. I had a brief go at writing for children in the 1970s and was published by Penguin and Granada. I promised myself I would write something really good when I retired and had the time to do it properly.

It was only after I narrowly survived a murder attempt in Belize at the age of 69 that I realised how easy it is to die without accomplishing a cherished ambition. So I set to work on “Myrddin’s Heir”: the epic story I will leave behind. The first six books are now in the Kindle Store and on Smashwords. Book 1 is called “A Wizard of Dreams”. It’s free on Smashwords and price-matched on Amazon…

This is a long story for bright children from 10–110 years of age. That isn’t everybody.

 

**Note** these books have been included in my Holiday Blog series because some of the action takes place during the holidays.

Take a close look at the cover of A Wizard of Dreams, then look at this face. Does it look familiar to you?r-chambers

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Filed under Authors, book blitz, Books, e-books, Fantasy, Fiction, Genre, Holidays, Self-Publish

Holiday Books & Giveaway

You might hav02e noticed these past few days that the books are all about the holidays or takes place during the holidays.  That is because I am featuring this type of book during the holidays (up to January 6).

If you comment on each blog, I will enter your name into a drawing for a $25 Amazon Gift Card.  You will get one entry per day/blog, so comment each day and you will get multiple entries.  You can go back to November 29 (beginning of the Holiday Blog Series) to comment for entry participation.

Two drawings will take place one on December 18 and one on January 7. (**Those who have already commented on the past Holiday blogs will be entered into the drawing**)

Also, you may get a Bonus at the end of a blog or two.  But, in order to know if there is a “Bonus” you must visit this blog site every day and read the blogs to get the “Bonus.”

I also encourage you to take a moment or two to check out the author of the day blog site or website.

If you look at the books on the purchase pages, even if you do not purchase, read the reviews and mark “YES” if they were helpful.  This helps to push the book up in the ranks on Amazon.

Happy Holidays and May You take some Time for Yourself to Relax!

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Filed under Authors, book blitz, Books, Christmas, Fiction, Genre, Holidays, Inspirational, Non-Fiction, Religious

The Italian Thing

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The Italian Thing
By: Patricia Salamone
Published by: Patricia Salamone
Publication Date: August 15, 2013.
Join Patricia in her hilarious recount of how she explored her heritage during a more-than-memorable trip to Sicily. She details her adventures and misadventures as she and her husband visits relatives in Naro. She shares  how they got to know the locals, their customs and lifestyle, and how everyone seemed to think that “everything will be fine” no matter what troubles they were in. During those weeks, Patricia and her husband went through culture shock despite the fact they are both Italian. In the end, it was “the Italian thing” in all of us that made theirs an unforgettable trip!
scan0052About the author:
Patricia Salamone was born in 1943 in Queens, New York. She has 5 siblings. Her mother was Italian and her father German. The Italian influence always dominated in her home. It was from that seed that the “Italian thing” was born in her. Being a middle child of six children, entertainment was self-reliance. She started writing when she was eight years old to entertain her siblings and the rest of her family.

Patricia and her siblings attended St. Mary’s H. of C. Catholic School and Grover Cleveland High School. It was then off to work to help the family. She married at age twenty and raised three children. She was determined they would attend university, and saw that goal achieved while she worked for AT&T and continued writing. In 2002, a trip to Naro, Sicily changed her life, culminating in her first memoir, “The Italian Thing” in 2008. Patricia was featured as Author of the Week in the Palm Beach Post, and her poem, “Angel Dear”, was published in the poetry book, “Shades of Expressions,” by Gerl Publishing, “Getting Old” a short story published in “A Quick Read” Compiled by C. A. Simonson.

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