What Scares Me the Most as an Author by Traci Wooden-Carlisle – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Traci Wooden-Carlisle and D. Tina Batten will be awarding $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What Scares Me the Most as an Author
As an author, what scares me the most is taking full responsibility for my work and not being able to piece one thought with another to finish a message.

Let me explain.

I consider my writing a ministry. I see it as a collaboration between me and God where He gives me a message to express through my characters or a way to express a subject with a different perspective, and it is my job to listen to Him while guiding the character’s dialogue or interaction to relay that message in the story.

If I deviate or start filling in pieces just because I think they should be there, then I will have to take full responsibility for the message that is conveyed. That burden is too heavy because I am too afraid of getting the message wrong.

As long as I deliver God’s message as He intends, I’m okay with both good or not-so-good reviews. When readers share their feelings, thoughts and yearning to draw closer to God when reading my books, it makes it all worth it.

I began to have problems with my sight when I was six and it took a couple of years before I was properly diagnosed. In the meantime, I went through private tutoring in phonics, reading comprehension and grammar because my parents believed I had a reading, not seeing problem. I ended up reading at the 9th grade level in the 3rd grade and became a voracious reader. When I couldn’t read, I would write myself stories and have done so since I was eight. I absolutely love my imagination and the ability to find the right word to relay what I see in my imagination. I love the stories and thoughts I am able to piece together from one idea. I would truly feel like I have lost a huge part of me if I could no longer take one idea and weave it into a story.

The first novel I published started with me writing a story to myself. It wasn’t until I reached the seventh chapter that I realized that I might have to share it with others.

There is a thin line between the natural and the spiritual realm.

Ms. V., a humble servant of the Lord, has been placed on assignment at Center of Hope Christian Academy.

By day, she serves as a trusted counselor for students, giving them a safe haven to pour out their innermost feelings while providing professional and honest truth wrapped in a firm kindness and love that inevitably draws them closer to Jesus. Not to be outdone, the faculty also bends her ear from time to time.

By night, Ms. V. enters the spiritual realm and takes her place on the battlefield as one of God’s faithful prayer warriors. She wields her whispering sword, slicing through the enemy’s plans to bind the precious hearts under her charge.

Her assignment’s burden on her physical body is taxing, but can she withstand the strain and remain victorious?

Saving souls is her true mission, but at what cost?

Readers are in for a journey of spiritual intrigue and biblical insight as they experience the ramifications of each character’s life-altering decision.

Enjoy an Excerpt

The mist settling over the earth was about five inches high. It nearly obscured the ground in front of her as far as her eyes could see. She was reminded of mud-covered battlefields with little to shield one from enemy fire.

The clouds hung low, making the whole scene look like something out of an apocalyptic dream. The fallow ground before her was vast. It was a wasteland, offering only the promise that nothing would ever grow there again. The desolation could have gone on forever, except for the demonic presence that lined itself up like a dirty barrier of windows used to dim and conceal what was on the other side.

She felt them, though. She felt each and every one of the children held in bondage on the other side of that transparent demonic force. The thought brought to mind a scripture, and she looked down at the writing on the sword in her hand. She could have spent time thinking about how odd it was that she didn’t remember taking a sword with her, but there were more pressing matters, and she was happy to have the weapon to wield.

She began reading the inscribed scripture out loud, her voice ringing across the barren land slick with mud. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood,”

As the words left her lips, they solidified in the atmosphere, charging toward their mark like a spear. They reached the barrier, causing it to shift and ripple but not tear.

About the Authors:

D. “Tina” Batten is a loving mother, wife, sister, daughter and Mima to her grandchildren. She is a gifted visual storyteller who is passionate about bringing encouraging messages of inspiration and hope to the world.
Tina Batten, a writer for over eighteen years of various dramatic works of performing art via stage, and film, encompasses unique ways of creating fascinating story concepts that touch the heart of most who view or read her work. She is both honored and thrilled to have teamed up with long-time friend, sister in the gospel and co-author Tracy on this phenomenal collaborative book project. With such a humble heart and desire to bring people together in love and unity, Tina Batten will continue her work as a visual storyteller spreading the good news of Jesus Christ one project after the other.

As Always, D. “Tina” Batten gives God All the Glory!

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Traci Wooden-Carlisle began writing to publish in 2011 and enjoys writing stories that provoke thought and evoke emotions. Her desire is to draw readers into the lives of her characters and share messages of God’s love, His faithfulness and peace. The messages in her books speak to her way before they speak to her readers.

Traci lives in San Diego with her husband, David. When she isn’t writing she does some light traveling or assists people with their physical fitness, creates graphics, designs pretty things for her jewelry business and swag for authors.

You can find her on the following social media platforms.

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Return to Lerici by Rachel Dacus – Spotlight and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rachel Dacus will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A suspenseful, uplifting story of second chances, family bonds, and redemption.

Sisters Elinor and Saffron rarely see eye-to-eye, but they agree that an unknown half-brother appearing in their lives can only spell trouble. The Greene sisters want to support their ailing mother, Betsy, as they gather in their cottage in Lerici, Italy. But they don’t want Betsy to keep searching for Baby Boy, the only name they have on faded adoption papers.

While the Greenes debate, Baby Boy finds them. A rough childhood has led Daniel to a life as a thief. When he learns of his connection to the wealthy Greenes, he decides to scam them. He goes to Italy and using a fake identity observes them at close range. Watching these people makes him ache for what he never had—a loving family.

Betsy is touched by the young man’s story and guesses their hidden connection. Discovering his true identity, she asks the family to help him. But Daniel’s shady past is catching up and putting the Greenes at risk. Should they bring their lost lamb into the fold—and can he claim his heritage if it endangers his family?

Enjoy an Excerpt:

April in Lerici was blossoming like the paradise it was. Elinor knelt over her tomato plants pulling weeds on a fine, cool morning. Whenever she had troubles, she turned to her plants, and today she had a basketful of troubles. Bushels and bushels, and they all revolved around her mother. Betsy said she was ailing, but she was being vague about the specifics of her illness. And she’d written Elinor to say she was searching for their missing family member, Baby Boy, as he was listed on the adoption papers they’d discovered in an old drawer. Best left at the back of that drawer, Elinor thought. An unknown quantity could only be another basketful of problems.

She dug harder to loosen the weeds. Her tomato plants had to have room to breathe, though soon Elinor wouldn’t have much room. Because Betsy was coming here to stay with them, and bringing her larger-than-life personality with her, and who knew what else, packed in that huge tapestry purse of hers.

Elinor bent closer to her plants, her babies that would later this summer be ready for farmer’s market. Italy was renowned for the quality of its tomatoes, and in this fine, coastal soil they grew bigger and more flavorful than almost anywhere else. In a couple of months, hers were going to be a hit.

A sudden pain stabbed her stomach. She sat up and put her hand on her abdomen, where her sister’s transplanted kidney rested, filtering her blood. Nothing had hurt for months. Why should she have a sharp pain now, two years after the surgery?

Getting to her feet as if to escape the sensation, she stood looking out over the trees to the sea. The pain still throbbed, but was now ebbing. Years of practicing to calm the PTSD she’d had after the explosion that injured her, Elinor couldn’t help picturing the worst—losing her life here in her lovely garden, before she could fully grab her amazing second chance at love.

About the Author

Rachel Dacus is the author of six novels, four time travel books in the Timegathering Series and two books of women’s fiction. She has also published four poetry collections. Rachel’s work has appeared widely in print and online, in journal that include Boulevard, Gargoyle, and Prairie Schooner. Her poetry is in the anthologies Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California and Radiant DisUnities: Real Ghazals in English. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Six Elements Every Historical Fiction Story Should Have by Kate Bristow – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kate Bristow will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Six Elements Every Historical Fiction Story Should Have
I love reading historical fiction because if written well the story will not only immerse you in another time and place but also inspire you to do a little research for yourself to learn more about the events depicted. Because of ‘Wolf Hall’ by Hilary Mantel, I started exploring Tudor England and the shadowy history of Thomas Cromwell. ‘Lonesome Dove’ by Larry McMurty sent me off on a journey to the Old West. While the historical fiction author needs to focus on many of the same elements as any writer, they need to work a little harder to ensure that the reader finds the story credible.

1. Setting

As in any story, setting is critical in putting the reader into the heart of the novel from the beginning. In historical fiction, the writer must ensure that the location is described in a way that makes sense in the time period. London today looks very different from London in 1823 despite the fact that many of the buildings from two hundred years ago are still standing.

2. Characters

Often in historical fiction, the cast of characters will be based on a mix of real and fictional people. A good novelist will create living breathing creatures that dress appropriately for the time period and behave in the right way. Women for example lived under very different societal norms in years gone by. My heroine Elena was not encouraged to be educated to the same degree as her male counterparts, nor expected to want a job outside the home.

3. Dialogue

As with the descriptions of characters and their traits, dialogue needs careful research in historical fiction. Characters cannot come out with modern expressions or use language that would be considered inappropriate in that time period. Words can change their meaning over time: ‘awful’ used to mean ‘worthy of awe’ whereas today it simple means something or someone terrible. In my novel, I also had to think about Italians and the fact that they tend to be more formal when addressing elders or people they don’t know very well. At the same time, you want to make sure that the modern reader isn’t struggling to read and understand the text.

4. Plot

The plot is the sequence of events that happen in the story, each of which causes the next thing to happen. In historic fiction, the plot is sometimes drawn from an event that actually took place at some point in the past. But the fiction writer has the ability to add imagined elements to the story and to alter the timeline. My book is based on real life events but I simplified certain aspects in order to give the story a dramatic arc.

5. Conflict

A good story always contains a conflict of some description and historical fiction should be no different. But even when a novel is based on an extreme example of a conflict—in my case, World War 2—it is still critical that the main conflict is at a very personal level. My heroine Elena believes art is worth saving in a time of war: my hero Luca thinks that more energy should be spent worrying about whether there is enough food to eat.

6. World building

World building—the ability of a writer to create a credible fictional world—is of particular importance in historical fiction. The reader has to embrace the world that is being described and understand why the story needed to take place at exactly that time and place. Are the characters behaving in a believable way given the time period? How are the events taking place in the wider world affecting the people in the story? What kind of relationships and conflicts would you expect to see in this particular moment in time? Authenticity is so important. If the reader senses something out of place, they begin to subconsciously doubt the entire premise of the novel. Attention to detail is a must if the world being built by the novelist is to appear plausible to the reader.

I hope you enjoy my historical fiction novel ‘Saving Madonna’ and the glimpse it gives of the lives of ordinary Italians during the war.

Is a painting worth dying for?

Inspired by real events, an unforgettable story of love, courage and sacrifice to save a country’s heritage.

Italy 1943. As the Allies bomb Milan, Elena Marchetti reluctantly gives up her coveted job as an art curator in the city to return to her family farm near Urbino. She takes up a new role assisting Pasquale Rotondi, the Superintendent of Arts in the region, in protecting works of art from all over Italy that have been hidden in the relative safety of the countryside.

At a family celebration, Elena reunites with Luca, a close childhood friend. A shattering event instigated by the occupying Germans deepens their relationship, and they start planning a life together. When rumors surface that Italy’s art is being stolen by the German occupiers, Pasquale hatches an audacious plan to rescue the priceless paintings in his possession. Elena and Luca are forced to make an impossible decision: will they embark on a dangerous mission to save Italy’s cultural heritage?

Enjoy an Excerpt

Marco looked beyond his home to a small wood that stretched out from the rear of the property down to the narrow white road snaking through the valley toward the distant hilltop town of Peglio. His home was called Ca’Boschetto (House of the Copse) because of these trees, and Marco knew it would soon be time for his father and uncle to gather their friends and bloodhounds for the annual truffle hunt. Their small wood was known far and wide as a fruitful location for the illusive and highly sought-after fungi, and the truffle hunt was one of the highlights of the season.

Beyond the wood, a patchwork of fields that had been parched brown after the harvest in the heat of August was beginning to turn into shades of green from recent rain. Marco spotted a couple of deer making the most of the fresh grass. Something else caught his eye as it glinted in the distance. Marco lifted his hands to his brow to deflect the glare of the autumnal sun. Whatever was flashing in the sunlight was moving toward their farm. The ox-drawn carts that often made this journey on the back road couldn’t move that quickly. He squinted. Something was not right.

“Luca! Luca! I can see a car coming. Look at the road!”

His older brother turned away from the flock and walked over to where Marco was standing. Luca stared at the distant vehicle for a minute and his face darkened. “Marco, Gianni, run down to the house and tell Papà that there might be Germans coming. Move!”

About the Author: Kate Bristow was born in London. She fell in love with reading when she got her first library card at the age of four. Her first attempt at writing and publishing for a wide audience was a local newspaper typed laboriously at home on her mother’s typewriter while at primary (elementary) school in north London. It is surely a loss to cutting-edge journalism that only one issue was ever produced. Kate divides her time between her small-but-perfectly-formed modern home in Los Angeles and her five-hundred-year-old farmhouse just outside Sassocorvaro in Italy.

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A Lesser God by Don Hackett – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Don Hackett will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

As a young man, Dion Athamas was spiritually summoned to rapture then tenured god status. He had been endowed with all the benedictions to achieve sacredness: a devout flock, the power to heal and a covet for control. He also held a deep desire and ability to influence justice and universal liberty. The setting: the fictional town of Forgedmont, Mississippi, in the 1950s. Against great opposition he strived to become a new-age god; the earth was his oracle. He found faith-based conviction to be lacking in reason and truth. He chose to maintain an instinctive path to holiness. Regrettably for him and his followers, there were a great many roadblocks. He was forced to face off against the church, community, prejudice, family and scheming dreams influenced by fallacious spirits, all set forth to hamper his ascension to divinity.


Enjoy an Excerpt

My name is Dion Athamas, and I’m from the little the town of Forgedmont, Mississippi, U.S.A. Population 2,874. Should you be interested, I have a story to share with you. It’s my story, though tragic, I am quite willing to share it. I think it best you understand that this tale all began with a telling dream.

One night as I slept, I awoke to hear my name being softly spoken by a masculine voice I didn’t recognize. I sat up in bed and scanned the dark void, trying to establish the source of the voice. Without question, I felt an unnatural presence looming somewhere within the walls of my bedroom. I gradually began to recognize that the manifestation was speaking to me as if I were an acquaintance. His manner was quite affable as he appealed to me to stay calm and listen attentively to his message. He requested that I focus my vision straight ahead into the darkness and then close my eyes. When he gave the signal, I needed to slowly reopen my eyes to witness him visually. The signal was perceptually vague, but I received it. When I opened my eyes, I knew someone was sharing my room with me, but I had no idea who. I couldn’t identify the barely-perceptible image of a human form floating buoyantly at the foot of my bed. Then suddenly he was gone as quickly and enigmatically as he’d arrived.

About the Author:I have been writing poems and short stories for most of my life. It was not until I retired from my government position working with Special Needs individuals that I was able to focus on writing full time. The treatment of Special Needs people fostered in me a search for the explanation for the absence of morality in mankind. I have degrees in psychology and sociology from the University of Calgary, Alberta.

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My Thoughts Are Coloured Purple by Marina Quindiagan – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

This is a book of poems on love. Love is a universal language. Love yourself, love your neighbours, love your parents, love your siblings—even love your enemies. Most of the poems are on romantic love. When you are in love, you get an awesome feeling. You walk on the clouds. However, love can be unrequited, unanswered and can bring an awful feeling.

Love is in the movies, in songs, and in music. Love is in this book of poems, ever so strong and powerful. It’s there for you to enjoy.


Enjoy an Excerpt

When we get together

My heart can’t rest, fluttering when I see your memes,
My blood surges, spatters inside, and bounces; it steams.
I don’t know what these mean in my life, my friend,
It’s like a quest but don’t have to guess.
I think that only you can tame this heart of mine,
Stop my blood from rushing wildly, and make me fine.
From where you are, give me a sign
That it’s alright and that God will send you soon to be mine.
Right now, I am taking a step closer to be with you,
So, I am in constant elation as I think of you.
It’s not Coldplay, you are my universe,
Trust me, we will surmount these obstacles and be together someday.

About the Author

When Marina left her home country she began to write her experiences living a life which was completely different from what she was used to. She became a nomad, visiting several countries where she never put down roots. My Thoughts Are Coloured Purple is the result of staying stuck in North America during the pandemic. She picked up her love of poems.

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Welcome to Wonderland by Bobbie Candas – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Bobbie Candas will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A recently fired biologist with mommy issues, a successful entrepreneur with a dead wife, and an immigrant hiding from gang violence…These three have only one thing in common.

They’re all screwed up

Biology researcher, Violet Hill, was just let go and is devastated. She found the solitary lab and long hours the ideal respite for her anxiety issues–doing meaningful work while avoiding people and conversation. Now unemployed, with diminishing finances, Violet is forced to face the enemy, her mother.

For years, Turner Cooper was consumed with building his company’s client roster, until the sudden death of his wife throws him totally off kilter. Now, instead of work, Turner’s guilt and alcohol issues consume him.

Living a reclusive life in Dallas, Rosario Guzman is hiding from a Mexican cartel while working in the shadows at three part-time jobs. Finally, the item she covets the most, a Green Card, arrives in her mailbox. But Rosario quickly realizes the paper card doesn’t solve all her problems.

While navigating social issues, private demons, and nightmare memories, these three lives collide as they find each other at a place none of them ever imagined they’d be working at. As their mutual relationship evolves, Violet, Turner and Rosario lean into each other and unexpectedly find their lives unfurling in remarkable and magical ways.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Violet is Blue
Violet Hill

Mother considers me awkward, graceless, and socially challenged, but always has hope for improvement. I disagree and think of myself as critically shy. Is there such a diagnosis? I’ve learned I do best when I can control limited social encounters. That’s why I’m better working alone, in a world I’m comfortable and familiar with, the study of soil, seeds, and grasses.

I’ve been working as a research assistant with Dr. William Hirshfield. After finishing my masters at UT in Austin, I gratefully found my hidey-hole at the UT School of Environmental Sciences. After being hired, I realized it was the perfect job for me. For a year, we’ve been running experiments and collecting data on soil absorption, attempting to come up with a microbial substance that will turn arid lands into potential blooming fields of agriculture. All well and good for keeping me in my cozy, solitary research lab, but with the added bonus of working toward saving a warm and crowded planet.

Then yesterday happened.

Dr. Hirshfield called me unexpectedly to meet in his office. We normally only met every two weeks for consultations on experiments. I sat down across from his desk, with my sweating palms gripping the arm rests of the chair. The meeting opened with congenial small-talk. I said, “Hello.”

As with most people I conversed with, I found it difficult looking at Hirshfield when he spoke. Today I found his floorboards especially interesting. Wide wood panels which had me wondering, were they deliberately distressed or actually marred from age? As he shuffled papers on his desk I reached down and touched the floor. Definitely faux distressed.

He nervously coughed and then continued, “Violet, I must say, your work has been exemplary, but…”

Oh shit… The proverbial but. I shuddered slightly.

As I pretended to be intrigued with the floor, Hirshfield said, “I’m afraid I have some bad news to share.” He coughed again. “I’ll just get right to it. I hate to tell you this, but our next year of NIH funding has been cut. They haven’t renewed the terms of our project at the previous level and claim our results are not going as quickly as we initially projected.”

He seemed to be talking to himself now, explaining his problems to the ceiling as my eyes nervously flitted up occasionally to watch. “Seems our study is on the low end of their priority scale regarding research grant money. But our idea has so much merit! It dovetails perfectly with climate change issues and food production for overpopulated areas. Anyway…it’s probably all politics. Therefore—” He coughed a third time. Nervous tick or avoidance? Either way, not a good sign. “I’m having to cut most of my research staff, including your position.”

Please no. Had I heard correctly? I was praying he’d single me out as too good to let go. But of course not. My eyes became moist and my body went cold. I had finally found my place in this chaotic world, my comfy, musty den. Where I could reach my fingers deep into sandy soil and disappear into another world within my microscope. I’d clock in for hours of uninterrupted work, eat a sandwich over my work station by myself, needing to only interact with others regarding information I was knowledgeable about.

Now apparently all that was gone.

And what remained? Going home to Mother? I was devastated. I felt like laying down on those faux floorboards and curling up in a ball.

“Dr. Hirshfield, p-perhaps p-part-time. Tw-Twenty-five hours a week?”

In case you missed that, I have a noticeable stutter, which seems to come into full bloom during times of stress.

“I only wish that were possible, Violet. The grant has been downgraded to include lab equipment, supplies, and compensation for only a few key personnel. I’m so sorry. This has all come as quite a surprise. So, we’re making adjustments immediately; I can keep you for another two weeks. I wanted you to hear it from me, personally.”

I mumbled, “Th-Thank you,” then stood up, wrapped my arms across my chest, and meekly asked about a possible reference letter. He went back to shuffling papers and nodded, agreeing to my simple request. I quickly walked out with my head down, making my exit before he had the chance to shake my perspiring palm.

I spent the next few weeks desperately attempting to find a position with another research team within the department. There were several available for volunteer and credit work, but all paid positions were fully staffed. Although my educational credentials were excellent, my interviewing skills were a little shaky. I considered customer service positions, but they never seemed a good match, and I truly wanted to continue within my field of study.

At the end of the two-week period, I decided to call in for financial reinforcement. Via email, I sent my mother news of the change in job status, then requested funds to keep me in Austin while I continued to look for work, but instead of an electronic deposit, she offered this:

Dear Violet,
So sorry to hear about your job loss. I know you’ve been happy with your little research position. Sometimes these minor hiccups work out for the best. I think you need more stimulation and interaction in your work. When I visited, your lab job seemed so sterile and lonely. I’m sure I can line something up for you through my contacts in Dallas. Come home, darling. The guest house was recently redone and you’re welcome to use it. It’ll be fun hanging out together again. I believe I’ll call Lexy and see if she can revise her schedule and set aside sessions for you. What day should I expect you? Can’t wait to catch up! –Mother

She was not going to be sympathetic to my cause. I made a second stab at job hunting, knowing it was only a delay tactic. Was I being an ungrateful little bitch? Sort of. But I knew I’d have to deal with my mother’s incessant smiling face, popping in without warning, spewing false cheer, urging me to conform to her standards, and always sending out subliminal messages regarding her underlying sense of disappointment in me.

It had been five years since I’d lived at home. My first year in the dorms had been a disaster. I was happier on my own, renting an apartment for three years while earning my bachelor’s and another two for my masters, comfortably surviving in my small, quiet efficiency.

In contrast, Mother’s home was palatial, but for me it was a luxurious prison sitting on a green oak-studded hill overlooking White Rock Lake in Dallas.

I dragged out my move. I felt no incentive to rush home knowing what lay ahead; struggling through painful interviews, going through clothing issues and social events with Mother. Yes, still a tender issue at age twenty-four. Then, once again, I’d start sessions with my speech therapist, Lexy.

Unfortunately, research assistant’s pay was low, Austin rents were high, and the guest house at Mother’s was free. Economically, it made sense. Emotionally, I was an unhappy wreck.

And who could I complain to? Call 911 — My mother is inviting me to move into her newly renovated guest quarters. Put her on trial? — She insists on buying me new clothing suggested by her personal shopper at Neiman’s. Lock her up? — She’s offering me therapy for an affliction which admittedly has recently become worse.

I was a pathetic whiner. Time to get up, pack it in, and get moving.

About the Author:

Bobbie Candas lives in Dallas, Texas with her husband, Mehmet Candas, a stray gray cat, and a jealous tabby who does not enjoy sharing affection with the interloper. Bobbie attended The University of Texas in Austin, earning her degree in journalism. She took a detour with a career in retail management, and found her happy place when she returned to writing fiction about nine years ago.

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Mind Expressions by Alysha Potente – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Alysha Potente will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

This poetry book has a total of over 130 poems, and most feature alongside: beautiful photography art. All of the poems are different from the next, in meaning and technique.

Analytical in nature, each poem dives into various topics. With this are also syllable counts, where the number of syllables per line are counted and arranged. This brings forward a technical side to poetry writing, where it is precise and balanced.

It is a skill that requires practice, where you hear the word for what it is, using mathematics while rhyming words together. All of the poetry features different rhyming forms.

Enjoy an Exclusive Excerpt


In your mind you visualise..
Something you can’t see with your eyes..
Something that’s found in fable pages..
Something that is known throughout the ages..
All are in folklore features..
Named ‘Mythological creatures’..
What do we analyse for a start?..
Maybe their quite unusual body parts..

A half horse and a half man..
Named a ‘Centaur’ that’s in Roman..
He’s also in Greek mythology..
The ‘piercing bull’ in etymology..

With flying wings that breathes fire..
Named a ‘Dragon’ as an entire..
Making a mention in Fairy tales..
Usually with castle’s as the details..

A lion and an eagle..
Named a ‘Griffin’ that looks regal..
In myths of Roman and Egyptian..
Guarding treasures is in description..

With hooves and a single horn..
Named a ‘Unicorn’ since it’s born..
In European literature and art..
It’s a symbol of pure grace and of heart..

Just a few creatures mentioned..
Next time I’ll make the list lengthened..
For there are many popular that’s known..
All of which we have heard of since we’ve grown..

Syllables: 7, 8, 9, 10, 7, 8, 9, 10, 7, 8, 9, 10, 7, 8, 9, 10, 7, 8, 9, 10, 7, 8, 9, 10, 7, 8, 9, 10= patterns.. (7, 8, 9, 10 repeated).
Every two lines rhyme together.

About the Author: Alysha has been a self- taught creative writer, since the age of 16, in her hometown of Perth, Australia. Her passion for it developed on its own, the need to express herself in a different way other than verbally, was what motivated her to keep up this passion. The use of words was captivating for expression and the love of rhymes was also heard by ear.

Alysha’s first poetry book that she read was actually in Primary School and it was called ‘Revolting rhymes’, which was a retake on nursery rhymes but in a humorous way. This book started this creative side in her at a young age, that, and also her love for art in general.

In 2015 she studied a short course at Berklee, where she was introduced to the notion of syllable counts. In fact, though she had actually been doing syllable counts unconsciously with her poetry in general. By using the same measurement of lines going off of sight, had in turn created similar syllable counts/patterns in her work.

Her book ‘Mind Expressions’ is a technical side of poetry writing that’s come to life. It’s the use of mathematics, along with creative writing. She wanted to give the reader a breakdown of each poem within, in order for them to delve into each poem further and analyse it using a different set of eyes. The poems are analytical in nature, along with syllable counts (some perfect) and perfect rhymes. This really showcases poetry at the highest skill.

Alysha is multi-talented in Art itself and is also a perfectionist. For where her passion lies in different artforms, is where she crafts her skills to a perfection standpoint.

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Guest Blog: Rachel Brimble

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Rachel Brimble, who wants to share a wonderful opportunity!

Are You an Aspiring Romance or Women’s Fiction Author??

I started writing in 2005 and had big dreams of becoming a published romance author. Little did I know how much support, advice and guidance I would receive in the subsequent years that would help me on my way to success. My first novel was published by The Wild Rose Press in 2007 and I am now an author of 28 traditionally published contemporary romance, romantic suspense and historical fiction novels, a number of which have been Amazon bestsellers.

As proud and happy as I am with my career, back in 2019 I wanted to find a way to pay forward all the help and support I had received from fellow authors over the previous fourteen years. So, I started my First Chapter Critique service which proved to be such a success that I have now extended my Author Services to include critiques and proofreading for novels up to 100,000 words (word/pricing tiers apply).

The feedback from the aspiring writers I have worked with has been amazing, not to mention how blessed I feel by the publishing and contest success many of them have gone on to achieve! If you are working on a romance or women’s fiction novel right now, I’d love for you to check out the dedicated Author Services page on my website. Alternatively, if you have any questions, please feel free to email me at rachelbrimble@gmail.com or DM on any of my social media platforms listed below.

I really look forward to working with you and helping you find success in 2023 and beyond!

Rachel x

About the Author Rachel lives in a small town near Bath, England. She is the author of 29 novels including the Ladies of Carson Street trilogy, the Shop Girl series (Aria Fiction) and several single titles with The Wild Rose Press. She is super excited to be the debut historical fiction author writing for Harpeth Road Press and her first novel with them will be released in Spring 2024.
Rachel is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Female Entrepreneur Association and has thousands of social media followers all over the world.

To sign up for her newsletter (a guaranteed giveaway every month!), click here

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Reflections on the Boulevard by L.J. Ambrosio – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner and an autographed copy of the book to a second randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Michael’s story continues from A Reservoir Man (2022) where we find him teaching at a university ready to retire. He unexpectedly meets a young man named Ron who becomes his protege and journeys in a haphazard adventure with him throughout America and Europe, each twist and turn of the road bringing unexpected adventures. The journey taken is one of joy, friendship and discovery.

Enjoy an Excerpt

“How long will the trip last? I thought I would be in Transcendental amazement by now.”

Michael was a little shocked. “Ron, we have only been driving for 2 hours.”

Michael explained to him that they would drive US 80 until they reached the borders of Nebraska and Wyoming, so he had to settle in. The corn fields were right down the road. Passing the corn fields, Ron observed how peaceful everything was. Michael suggested they pull over and park the car for a while.

While just sitting in the car, Ron saw two figures in the field, a man, and a woman. They suddenly disappeared among the corn and, from above, you could see the corn stalks shake violently. Ron chuckled.

“Oh God, looks like those people are doing it! It almost looks like he is doing it to the corn stalk!”

Michael tried to change the subject, “Look at those birds” he said, quickly. Ron was still caught up in his imagination. A few moments passed as Michael tried to rest his eyes and prepare for the next stretch of road. Suddenly he heard Ron crinkling a wrapper to a candy bar, which jarred him back to the moment. Michael sat listening to Ron crunch; he nearly threw it out the window.

“Can you not chew so loud, Ron?”

“Sorry. I love these things.”

A moment passed; the corn stalks were calm now.

About the Author:

Louis J. Ambrosio ran one of the most nurturing bi-coastal talent agencies in Los Angeles and New York. He started his career as a theatrical producer, running two major regional theaters for eight seasons. Ambrosio taught at seven universities. Ambrosio also distinguished himself as an award-winning film producer and novelist over the course of his impressive career.

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Unspoken Emotions by Jayda Addleton – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jayda Addleton will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

From a child’s innocence to the soul-crushing reality of the world, Jayda explores with her own emotions what it is like to grow up in an ever-changing world. Emotions are never black and white, so Jayda explores what it is like to convey emotions through the art of poetry.

About the Author:

Jayda Addleton is an Australian author who started writing at the age of twelve years old and hasn’t stopped. As an aspiring author, her style of writing has been influenced by all that is around her from reading fantasy, romance and poetry to playing Dungeons and Dragons to listening to music and just being present in life. Her writing voice is a bit chaotic but so is her life. When she isn’t balancing work, university and some type of a social life, she is sitting in a pile of blankets with a nice cup of chai latte either reading or watching some Dungeons and Dragons.

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