Search Results for: strategy quest

Strategy Quest by Paul A. Sacco – Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Paul Sacco will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. In addition, the publishers are supplying this book, as well as others, FREE, here. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

In Strategy Quest: The Executive Guide for Finding Business Opportunities, you will learn how to achieve the strategic mindset necessary to create and decide on the business opportunities that will put you ahead of your competition.

Using the psychology of personality type, you will understand how to make the shift to this growth mindset. In Strategy Quest, you will learn that the strategic mindset is composed of Strategic Intuition and Strategic Thinking. Strategic Intuition creates strategic visions and concepts, while strategic thinking decides if these are genuinely strategic and the right choice for your business.

Strategy Quest uses business examples to show what the strategic mindset is and isn’t. The book also equips you with the tools that you will need for your Strategy Quest and shows you how to overcome the obstacle that you might encounter.

Enjoy an Exclusive Excerpt

People often use the words goal and objective interchangeably; yet, when it comes to finding strategic opportunities, it is very helpful to distinguish between the two. Objectives are usually SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-based). Goals are vague and qualitative and thus, allow for the divergent exploration of information and experiences. Divergent exploration is necessary for you to employ your introverted strategic intuition (NiS). Business objectives are convergent and rely on the deployment of Te or Ti.

Establishing Needs-Based Goals

Although a goal is vague, it can’t be so abstract that it fails to provide a starting point for exploration. Creating a strategic goal requires finding the right level of constraints, such that it is neither too vague nor too specific. A goal stated as, “finding an opportunity to gain ground or distance on competitors” is too vague to start you on your Vision Quest. A goal such as “improve our customer service” is too narrow to be strategic because it references a business function. An effective goal is constrained to the minimum extent possible while still providing direction.

Suppose that I gave you an empty canvas and asked you to paint. You will likely ask, “What do you want me to paint?” Your goal is too vague to know how to start. If I asked you to paint a car, I have constrained your choice of subject. If I asked you to paint something representing the abstract word transportation, your choice of subject is much broader. An effective goal contains an abstract need.

Abstract words are intangible. Consider that the word love is both an abstract word and a need. Although we can’t see it or measure it, we recognize it symbolically; for example, with a heart. Giving someone a gift is an action that can demonstrate love. When we feel love emotionally, we might express our feelings with a hug, for example. There are many different scenes you could paint if your subject is love.

To show how an abstract, needs-based goal can broaden our thinking about a problem, consider someone who has had their house broken into by a burglar who picked the front door lock. A tactical-thinking type would likely see the lock as his tangible problem and conclude that a better one was required. However, if he viewed the problem in terms of an abstract need, he might consider the goal of improving security. Since “security” is an abstract word, he can consider a broader range of information. Rather than simply researching locks, the person might also consider installing a security system, getting a dog, or moving to a better neighborhood.

About the AuthorAs President of Propheta Lucro Management Consultants, Paul specializes in helping leaders find strategic opportunities. One of the world’s top experts in strategic thinking, Paul has over 35 years of experience managing and leading businesses. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto holding both a B.A. Sc. in Chemical Engineering and an MBA from the Rotman School of Management. Paul is available to speak about business strategy or to teach, coach or facilitate the Strategy Quest method. For more information visit our web-site or contact Paul at: Email:

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The book is FREE here for a limited time or can be purchased at Amazon, Amazon CA, Bookshop, Indigo Chapters, Barnes and Noble, Box Depository, Smashwords, or iBooks.

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Once Upon a Halloween Night by Lauren Helms, Kate Stacy, Mel Walker, Susan Renee, Kartina Marie, Courtney W. Dixon, and Louise Lennox – Spotlight

Join us this Halloween for the exclusive Once Upon a Halloween Night bash in the New Orleans Warehouse District for an evening of fun, costumes, and romance. The Indie Pen PR and Beyond the Bookshelf Publishing are excited to kick off spooky season with eight brand-new, fun and sexy novellas from Lauren Helms, Kate Stacy, Mel Walker, Susan Renee, Kartina Marie, Courtney W. Dixon, and Louise Lennox.

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You’ve been invited to attend the exclusive Once Upon A Halloween Night bash.

This year, join us in New Orleans Warehouse District on Halloween Night for an evening of fun, costumes and… romance?

Wait. What?

That’s right.

The Indie Pen PR and Beyond the Bookshelf Publishing is proud to host Lauren Helms, Kate Stacy, Mel Walker, Susan Renee, Kartina Marie, Courtney W. Dixon, and Louise Lennox – in this fun Halloween romance anthology.

So, throw on your best costume and get ready to sit back and enjoy seven brand new novellas to celebrate spooky season with a romantic twist.

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Excerpt- Copyright 2023 Dating in Disguise by Lauren Helms

She sets the drink down and turns to me. “You must love Robin Hood if you’re willing to invest.”

“Robin Hood and I have a lot in common, actually.” I inform her.

Her nose scrunches. “Oh really? How so?”

“Well, for starters, I’m a master archer”

“Nope. I don’t believe it.” She giggles.

“I am. Really. I learned at summer camp when I was twelve. Hooked ever since.” I tell her almost defensively.

“Ah, okay then. What else do you have in common?”

“I’m glad you asked. See, I’m also a master of disguise.”

Her eyes widen playfully, “Oh my. I can see that. Is this even your real face?”

I lean my head back and smirk at her. “Everything about me is real, baby. Truth is, I’m not worried about disguising myself tonight, so what you see is what you get.”

“I’ve heard that he’s also a charmer. A ladies’ man. Obviously, that checks out.” She grins.

I nod. “I was born a charmer. It’s in my blood.”

“Right.” She nods in understanding, laughter dancing all over her face. “So what you’re saying is that you are the embodiment of Robin Hood.”

“Oh, I like that. The embodiment of Robin Hood.” I snap my fingers. She’s brilliant and beautiful.

Her brows furrow, “Does that make you an outlaw then?”

“Nah, I mean, if stealing from the rich and giving to the poor is considered breaking the law…”

She huffs out a laugh. “Stealing is totally considered breaking the law.”

I shrug, “Meh, maybe, but I’ve got a heart of gold, so that’s all that matters.”

“I suppose that’s true.” She reaches for her drink and sips it, keeping eye contact with me over the glass. She’s flirty and I’m digging it, but she’s not getting all touchy-feely with me, so I’m a little unsure of where this is going.

Excerpt- Copyright 2023 Haunted Melodies, Kate Stacy

“Come with me,” I say, grabbing hold of her hand.

Remi’s laughter rings through the night air as I lead her between the cathedral and museum, slipping into one of the alcoves there. The joy in her voice mirrors the twinkling stars in the sky, and her eyes sparkle with a mix of amusement and excitement. Fuck, she’s beautiful.

Carefree looks incredible on her.

Shrouded in shadows, I watch Remi as her laughter subsides into a contented sigh. She looks at me and smiles, so I kiss her again, pressing her body against the hard stone behind her.

I can’t get enough.

The way she tastes.

The feel of her body against mine.

“Luke,” she murmurs breathlessly against my lips.

I trail kisses along her jaw, groaning when she tips her head back, giving me access to more of her soft, silky skin.

“Luke,” she says again, and I want to hear her say it a thousand times more. “We can’t do this here.”

“Afraid of things that go bump in the night?” I murmur, smiling as I kiss down the column of her throat.

She sucks in a breath.

“No. Just charges for indecent exposure, public lewdness, or—”

Chuckling, I take her mouth with mine, kissing her deeply.

Excerpt- Copyright 2023 Love on the Halloween Dance Floor by Mel Walker

“You promise to wait for me?” She asks the question, already knowing the answer. At a concert in Detroit that had technical issues with the lighting and sound equipment, Aaliyah spent nearly an hour reaming out the organizer. She came out an hour later and was shocked to see me waiting for her. I committed to her that day that I would never leave a venue without her.

“The rest of my life if I have to.” The words slip from my heart to my lips without thinking. My chest thumps heavily with my misstep. She twists to read in my eyes the meaning of my words.

Lights bounce off her glasses, and I fail in my attempt to read hers. An explosion of cheers erupts in front of me, and I look up to investigate. Ali is bowing at the front of the stage. The performance has ended.

The house lights rise in the theatre, and Poppy leads the girls back to their families. Whistles and cheers continue to float in the air.

A warm set of lips land on my cheek. I hold my breath and record this moment, stored alongside a treasure trove of protected memories.

Aaliyah’s lips linger for a heartbeat longer than normal, a hesitation I pick up on because when it comes to her, I notice everything. “Really good work today. Congrats. See you in ten.”

“Here, let me …” I take her hand to help her out of the pit. I chew on my tongue to distract myself from the spark that shoots through my body.

“Such a gentleman. Someday, some lucky woman will …” She doesn’t complete the sentence. The words hang like a challenge.

A challenge I’ve yet to answer.

My eyes linger on Aaliyah as she navigates the narrow aisle. She moves with a purposeful stride, a woman on a mission. My eye refuses to look away until she disappears out the exit. Only then do I take a breath. Only then do I realize I hadn’t.

Like I said, I got it bad.

She has work to do. But I’ll wait. I’ll always wait for her. I whisper the words I don’t have the courage to say to her face. The words I pray may come true someday. “Someday. Someday that lucky woman will be you.”

Excerpt- Copyright 2023 Ghosted by Susan Renee

“How do you make it so easy to breathe, Scarlett?” Oliver asks me, his forehead pressed to mine.

“Because I don’t expect you to be someone you’re not, Oliver. You’re free with me. Zero expectations. Consider me your safe space.”

“I’m finding myself overwhelmingly attracted to you,” he says. “And I’m sorry if that’s too much. Maybe Rowena was right. I’m not good at hiding my feelings.”

“It’s perfectly fine to have feelings. I have them too.” I bring my hands to his cheeks. “I wasn’t sure how this day was going to go, but somehow, you’ve managed to make every moment perfect. You let me take the lead instead of treating me like your personal arm candy. You’ve asked about my feelings. My desires. What I want for myself and for my future. Do you know how long it’s been since a man has asked how I feel? Hell, I could marry you right now and have no remorse given what I was about to walk into.”

“I’m really fucking glad you didn’t marry him.”

“Me too.”

Excerpt- Copyright 2023 Hurricanes & Halloween by Katrina Marie

“My bad.” He doesn’t look sorry at all. The wide grin he’s sporting as he watches the people still staring at us says he’s pretty proud of himself. I don’t blame him, though. He never would have had the confidence to do that at eighteen. Now, in our mid-thirties, he’s sure of what he wants. Even if that person lives hours away from him, and has no idea how we are going to make this work.

“It’s all good.” I lean my head on his shoulder. “I’d say it was more than worth it.”

We sit in silence as the DJ continues to play music downstairs. There are still a couple of hours until this thing ends. And as much as I want to ditch the rest of the party and head straight to our hotel room, I know we should stay a little longer. Especially since our tickets were essentially free. I know the payoff will be fine with Kelly, though. This was her moment to play fairy godmother. Her way of making my wildest dreams come true.

“Want to see what else this party has to offer?” Patrick squeezes my knee. It might be my imagination, but I think his hand moved further up my leg. There’s a good chance he’s having the same thoughts I am. Both of us are too polite to voice them aloud.

“Sure.” I stand and he does the same. Grabbing my drink, I hook a finger into his belt loop. Not so accidentally grabbing his butt in the process.

“You keep doing that and I’ll carry you out of here.”

The drinks are working their way through my system because what falls from my lips next is something I’d never say. “Don’t make promises you can’t keep.”

Excerpt- Copyright 2023 Masked Love by Courtney W. Dixon

Greyson sat back in the seat and stared out the window. We were almost there despite the heavy traffic. “How did we meet?” he asked.

“Hmm, how about at my favorite coffee shop? You spilled coffee on me.”

He waved a hand at me. “Ugh. Please. That trope has been done to death.”

I huffed a laugh. Seriously, I was going to give him wine more often. “And what would you suggest?”

“Let’s keep it relatively realistic and almost the truth since it will be easier to remember the lie.”

“Good at lying, are we?”

He smirked and leaned closer to me. “Did you just make a joke?”

“I never joke.” Which was also a lie.

“Anyway! Let’s say I applied to Nomadology, and you found me so hot and irresistible that I swept you off your feet, and you refused to hire me so you could date me.”

For the first time since I could remember, I barked out a laugh and enjoyed watching him blush.

“What? It could happen.”

Excerpt- Copyright 2023 Hot Hex on a Platter by Louise Lennox

At this point, I have tunnel vision. I’m focused on taking out the piece of shit who had the nerve to violate my woman. No one touches or hurts what’s mine and gets away with it.

I maneuver around him while he continues cursing and swinging, matching his speed and intensity as he advances closer to me with every step. As he reaches out with both arms to grab me, I take a chance, knowing I need to knock his big ass out and get this over with.

I hit him with a powerful uppercut that sends him sprawling onto the ground below.

He lies there motionless as I stare down at him with disgust; the power of my punch had been enough to knock him out cold, and between that and his intoxication, he’ll be down for a while.

Tessa rushes over to me, her face filled with worry as she glances at the man’s condition and grimaces.

“Thank You. But I had him under control. The violence wasn’t necessary.”

Her voice has a bite of annoyance, but the relief on her face is evident. She didn’t want to admit it, but she liked being rescued, but I’ll gladly admit that saving her has made my dick impossibly hard. I want to love. Protect, and f**k her until she passes out in equal measure.

Maybe there was a chance of staying out of her life if I hadn’t seen her in the flesh. However, now that she’s within arm’s reach, I know I’ll never let her go.

Her sister steps over the unconscious man, who is now snoring loudly and shakes her head. The man she was with was long gone. “Tessa, are you kidding me? You couldn’t control him, and I swear if I had known he was that disrespectful, I would have never dragged you up here.”

Tears well up in her sister’s eyes. “I’m sorry; I should have listened to you.”

Yeah, she should have.

Tessa gives her a sweet smile and pulls her into a hug. “It’s OK; you didn’t know how bad he could be because I never told you how he harassed me in high school. I was too ashamed and thought I was leading him on or something.”

“This fool harassed you in high school?” I roar. “He doesn’t deserve to breathe the same air as you.”

Both women look at me like I’m crazy, but I don’t care. The idea of him hurting my sweet girl in any way makes me want to wake him up to knock him out again.

Tessa looks at me warily. “Umm, thank you, I guess.”

She looks back at Foolio lying on the ground and ponders something before returning to me. I hate the look of worry on her face, and all I want to do is kiss every stress line away.

“Look, Marcus, it’s been a long night. We’re heading home, and you should probably get home before he wakes up. He will be furious, and I’d hate seeing you get into trouble on my account.”

I frown. “I’m not scared of him. Didn’t you see me lay his ass out?”

She rolls her eyes. “Yes, Action Jackson, we all saw you, but do you even know who you knocked out?”

Exasperated, I step closer and breathe her in. She smells like cherries and doesn’t flinch away like she did with the man lying on the ground. Instead, she subconsciously steps closer to me.

That’s because she’s mine.

I brush the back of my knuckles over her arm. “No, sweetheart, I don’t know, and I don’t care.”

Her sister Selene snorts and speaks up. “Well, you should care Romeo because he’s Richard Harris, the Chief of Police. What do you have to say now?”

I give her an incredulous look but say nothing.

This can’t be life.

About Lauren Helms

Lauren Helms is a romance author her nerdy and flirty contemporary words. Lauren has forever been an avid reader from the beginning. After starting a book review website, that catapulted her fully into the book world, she knew that something was missing. While working for a video game strategy guide publisher, she decided to mix what she knew best–video games and romance. She decided to take the plunge and write her first novel, Level Me Up. Several published novels later, Lauren created PR company, Indie Pen PR, to help other authors promote their books.

Lauren lives in Indianapolis, Indiana sharing her love of books and video games with her own Gamer Boy husband and three young kid nerds who will hopefully grow up to share the love of things that united Lauren and her husband on their own happily ever after.

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About Kate Stacy

Author of emotionally-gripping, contemporary romance, Kate Stacy’s novels feature sassy heroines, swoony heroes, life, love, friendship, and all the angst. When she’s not writing or spending time with her family and friends in small-town North Carolina, Kate can most likely be found nose deep in her Kindle. She stays up too late, swears too much, and loves too hard.

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About Mel Walker

Mel Walker has been writing fiction most of his adult life. Specializing in Short Stories and Contemporary fiction and Romance Novels. A native New Yorker and life-long frustrated NY Mets fan. He loves to write about ordinary people placed in difficult situations, especially as it relates to their closest relationships.

Mel Walker is a rare bird, the male romance author. Specializing in heartfelt small town romance, he enjoys telling compelling romances with all the feels. A native New Yorkers and life-long frustrated NY Mets fan, he enjoys long walks, bike rides and taking in the energy of the city.

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About Susan Renee

Susan Renee wants to live in a world where paint doesn’t smell, Hogwarts is open twenty-four/seven, and everything is covered in glitter. An indie romance author, Susan has written about everything from tacos to tow-trucks, loves writing romantic comedies but also enjoys creating an emotional angsty story from time to time. She lives in Ohio with her husband, kids, two dogs and a cat. Susan holds a Bachelor and Masters Degree in Music Education and a self-awarded Doctorate in Sass and Sarcasm. She enjoys laughing at memes, speaking in GIFs and spending an entire day jumping down the TikTok rabbit hole. When she’s not writing or playing the role of Mom, her favorite activity is doing the Care Bear stare with her closest friends.

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About Katrina Marie

Katrina Marie lives in the Dallas area with her husband, two children, bonus child, grandchild, and fur babies. She is a lover of all things geeky and nerdy. When she’s not writing you can find her at her children’s sporting events, curled up reading a book, or binge watching her favorite shows.

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About Courtney W. Dixon

Courtney W. Dixon loves to write steamy romance, but in each story, she gives her character’s challenges and struggles. She writes m/f and m/m stories within one series to add a variety to her characters. And she writes her characters as having flaws, imperfections, and who don’t always do the right thing. Humans are never perfect, and make a lot of mistakes in their lives. In the end, she tries to help them grow to be better as they achieve their HEAs.

You can find Courtney working in Central Texas with her husband, two boys, and two crazy dogs, none of whom know how to knock on a door while she’s working.

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About Louise Lennox

Contemporary romance Author Louise Lennox is a hopeful romantic writing steamy romances full of heart and healing.

A Spelman College and Georgetown University graduate, Louise provides women with diverse and meaningful representation in romance novel pages. Not seeing enough women like herself headlining positive love stories, she launched #HappyBlackRomance; a community of readers and writers committed to the creation and sharing of positive romance stories featuring Black heroines.

Louise Lennox plots highlight the joys of Black relationships across the diaspora; pushing readers from all cultural backgrounds to admire them for their strength and downright sexiness. In her novels sparks always fly; the sex amazes; and the characters always leave the world better than they found it through their love.

When she’s not writing, Louise is enjoying her work as a school leader, wife, and mother of the two cutest dragons to ever walk the earth!

To learn more about #HappyBlackRomance and to score a free book or two, check out her website

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Character Creation by N.K. Carlson – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. N. K. Carlson 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.

Character Creation
Thanks for having me on the blog! Today, I’d like to talk a bit about character creation. As a fantasy author, character creation is right up there with world building and plot development in terms of importance. You can create a wonderfully engaging world with great plot devices, but if the characters aren’t realistic or unique, you don’t have a good story.

There are a few things I use to help get inspiration for characters. First, I find personality profiles to be very helpful when crafting a character. Myers-Briggs and the enneagram are two that I have used to shape characters. I have found Myers-Briggs to be helpful when describing the sort of things a character does, while the enneagram is very helpful to identify motivations and the internal life of a character. For main characters, if you’re in their head at all, it’s important to know those motivations and what’s going on in their head, so I always know my main characters’ enneagram numbers. For background and secondary characters, it’s generally fine to simply know how they present to the world, without getting into the nitty gritty of their enneagram, so their Myers-Briggs type is good to know.

Second, dialogue is very important. If every character has similar speech patterns, all of the characters start to blend together. Unless you have a full cast audiobook, it’s hard to get accents to come across, which is one of the ways we differentiate people in real life. As such, on the page, each character needs their own vocabulary and syntax. In a fantasy world, those things need to make sense regionally within the world, so that similar characters from the same place should talk the same, while someone from another part of the world should speak slightly differently. That’s a hard one to get right, and I usually “hear” the characters speaking their dialogue in my head, which helps me as I write.

Third, characters need to have believable character arcs. If a character is a coward all through a series, it doesn’t make sense for them to do something utterly heroic in the climax. There needs to be small steps toward whatever that big character development piece is for their character. Neville Longbottom in “Harry Potter” is a very well developed character for someone who stays in the background for so long. When he stands up to the three main characters in “Sorcerer’s Stone” it’s a natural progression of him becoming more assertive throughout the story.

Thanks again for having me on! Readers, if you’d like to chat more about character creation, I am very findable on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram! Talk to you soon!

Clashes on a pirate ship, battles on a castle wall, and an ancient secret unfolds. When life or death is at stake, one side must make a sacrifice to win.

After fleeing the Elven capital, Reith and his friends must race across Terrasohnen to warn the dwarves of the Shadow’s long reach. Each new revelation brings even more questions and Reith has so much to learn about Shadows and his mysterious sword. Time is against Reith. Death stalks him in the desert, mountains, and sea, and the ever present darkness looms large over all.

Will they reach the dwarves in time to prevent more death? Or will the Shadow’s destruction be too great, consuming everyone in the kingdoms of Terrasohnen?

Enjoy an Excerpt

“So, if a fight is coming, what then? What does find me mean?” Reith asked.

“I have no idea,” Romulus said. “I have a suspicion that the Voice belongs to a Guardian of Light, or even the God of Light. You have a destiny, Reith.”

“Why me?”

“All chosen by the God of Light for one task or another ask that question. It is beyond our wisdom. The God of Light has purposes and plans we can know nothing about. He has written the story of Terrasohnen on the world, and we are following along as best we can, though the ending is hidden from our eyes. But as for your question, I do not believe the God of Light calls someone unless he purposes to accomplish something in and through them.”

“So you think I will be successful in whatever this is?”

“I don’t think it, I believe it. I have faith in the God of Light. I think he or someone speaking for him is speaking to you, so I trust that he will be with you.”

“Easy for you to say,” Reith said, “You’re not the one facing fighting and finding.”

“Perhaps not finding, but certainly fighting.”

They rode on in silence for a few minutes.

“You promised to return the favor,” Reith said. “Tell me about you.”

“I am Romulus, firstborn son of King Koinas, heir to the throne of the elves. My mother died seven winters ago. I am the only remaining child of her and my father. He shall be furious that I have gone, but it is for the best. I was raised in the palace of Sardis and had the greatest tutors in history, mathematics, law, military strategy, astronomy, jousting, archery, and swordplay. As prince, I felt a great concern for my people, that all would be treated with fairness and justice. I have taken an interest in hearing the grievances of my people against one another and against the crown, which I did my best to decide equitably. I know rulers do not choose their monikers, but Romulus the Just has a nice ring to it. I hope to live up to it. And now, I am afraid that the greatest threat to the kingdom and my people is my father, and so I am on this quest beside you, fleeing from his wrath to a foreign land to beg for aid.”

“Sounds bleak,” Reith said, not really knowing what to say to the prince.

“It’s not as bleak as one might think. The God of Light is with us. We saw that at the funeral pyre for Kydar. And when the God of Light is with us, who can oppose us?”

About the Author: N. K. Carlson is an author living in Texas. Originally from the Chicago area, he graduated from the University of Illinois before studying at Logsdon Seminary, where he graduated with a master of divinity degree. He has published two books.

The Things that Charm Us and the Smelly Gospel (which was co-written with Drew Doss) both came out in 2020.

His love of writing began in elementary school when each student was given a blank white book to fill with a story. In college, he took an interest in blogging and writing novels.

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Ten Concepts a New Author Needs to Embrace by Edward Hochsmann – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/ gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Ten Concepts a New Author Needs to Embrace

Dunning-Kruger Effect. The Dunning-Kruger Effect is an established psychological principle stating that people with low ability in a given task area tend to overestimate their prowess significantly and, conversely, that people with high ability tend to underestimate their abilities dramatically. What this means to a writer: if you feel super-confident or super-pessimistic about a piece you have written, you’re probably wrong. Act accordingly.

Red-Team (a.k.a. Editors). In my day job, we submit a finished analytical report to a group of peers whose job is to pick it apart and reveal any flaw, however small. We call these people a “red team,” and going through one hurts. A lot. It is the same with editors, but something you must put yourself through. If you don’t have editors finding and pointing out faults, rest assured you’ll have readers who will, quite publicly.

Don’t Give Up Your Day Job (at least, not yet). Fact: a fiction writer is an artist. Question: What’s the difference between an artist and a large pizza? Answer: the pizza can feed a family of four.

Let’s Exchange Reviews – NOT! I made this mistake once. It’s not so much your risk of getting a bad review. It’s the risk that you are obligated to someone who has just handed you a piece of trash. Before you agree to this, at least get a sense of their quality from other works.

Causality Dilemma. This is better known as the “Chicken or the Egg?” In our context, it is the big lie that creating a significant social media presence will sell your books. In my opinion, HAVING a significant social media presence MAY help you sell a lot of books, and selling a lot of books may get you a significant social media presence. However, a plan to build a significant social media presence as a marketing strategy for your book is a sure loser. Full Disclosure: I am one of those curmudgeons who believe social media platforms are graveyards for careers, reputations, and the human mind.

Caveat Emptor. There are many people out there who are very happy to take your money, and relatively few of them deliver any value in return. The Alliance of Independent Authors has prepared a fabulous database of self-publishing services ratings here:
Before pressing the “send money” button, this should be your first stop, and the second stop should be an Internet search with the terms “[name of vendor]” and “scam.”

Return on Investment-Part 1. If you pay someone to publish a book, you are not paying them to sell your book; just put it in print to be sold. I get spammed by the same company (who shall remain nameless) every time I register a copyright who insists I would be a fool not to use their service—their intimidation line is: “you wouldn’t cut your own hair, would you?” Folks, if you can write a good novel, you have the chops to publish it FOR FREE on Amazon, Draft-2-Digital, and Ingramspark. Now, if you want to spare yourself that work, it might be worth a little investment, but don’t believe for a minute you have to pay someone to self-publish. The best advice is to roll up your sleeves, go through KDP, D2D, and Ingramspark, and save your money for advertising.

Return on Investment-Part 2. Beware of people pushing promo-stacking. It’s quite true that not investing anything in advertising will almost certainly net zero sales. Likewise, you will likely not double your reader exposure by doubling your investment (many, if not most, subscribers are probably covered by both services). I’m not saying one and done, just that there is a very steep curve of diminishing returns.

I Will Review Your Book—NOT. Again, once your name gets out there, you’ll get spammed. JUST DON’T DO IT, even if it is for free. I have a similar opinion of bookstagrammers offering paid reviews—if they stiff you, what will you do, complain? See what kind of review THAT will get you! If you want reviews, go with Netgalley, Hidden Gems, or a legitimate vendor (consult the Alliance of Independent Authors database). Then if someone offers to review, you can direct them there.

Arrrr, Mateys! Know this: if you have a book that is not trash you are offering online, it WILL get pirated, guaranteed. Your chances of preventing that or taking effective action in response are essentially zero. If you want to identify where the leak came from, hide a tracer (a different word, punctuation, phrasing, etc.) somewhere within the text that you can use to identify the specific source. If it’s from one of the bigs like Amazon, there’s a chance they might be interested in applying some of their vast resources to crush the host pour encourager les autres. Pass it to them and then let go. You are not losing sales—the scumbags who grab books off pirate sites won’t pay for a book they can’t find for free.

An aging Coast Guard patrol boat is all that stands between the world and nuclear annihilation!

The world is on the brink of war, with NATO mobilizing to counter a Russian threat to Poland and Lithuania and leaders openly discussing war options. In the midst of the crisis, a Russian bomber collides with a U.S. fighter off Florida causing the accidental launch of a nuclear-tipped hypersonic missile.

A Coast Guard cutter on a routine patrol finds a drug-laden sailboat smashed and adrift north of the Florida Keys. The boat’s damage is from a near miss by the Russian missile which has not harmlessly flown deep into the Gulf of Mexico as initially thought, but crashed somewhere in the Keys.

The Coast Guard crew is in a race against a vicious and powerful international crime syndicate to find and recover the Russian nuke before its discovery can trigger a nuclear war.

Exploring the friendship and teamwork of a typical ship’s crew, in the face of unexpected and hazardous challenges, Dagger Quest provides a fast-paced, taut story – excellent fare for both sea adventure and military thriller fans.

Mission: Five days to destroy the enemy in the Caribbean before a catastrophic weapon is unleashed—but all he can think about is the woman he left behind…

The deadliest nerve gas ever made has fallen into the hands of a murderous Caribbean drug cult. The criminal 252 Syndicate has the gas in a secret lab on an oil rig servicing ship, but the ship has been taken for ransom by the Salinas Cartel in a violent drug war. The U.S. can’t use airstrikes and calls on Coast Guard Officer Ben Wyporek to lead his crew through a risky covert raid on the Salinas cult’s fortified island base. He accepts the assignment, but remembers a previous lethal encounter with the 252s and struggles to say goodbye to the love of his life, Victoria Carpenter.

Ben and his crew aboard the stealth-equipped Cutter Kauai must sneak into the harbor and tow the ship away. But if Kauai is detected and defeated, death by gas or at the hands of vicious adversaries will follow. Now, every decision Ben makes will determine the fate of his entire crew—and the chances of reuniting with Victoria.

This second book of the series builds on the friendships and teamwork of Kauai’s crew, this time in the face of several challenging missions and one potentially lethal encounter. It is a worthy sequel to Dagger Quest that sea adventure and military thriller fans will enjoy.

Young Coast Guard Lieutenant Haley Reardon has not even gotten her feet on the ground on her new patrol boat command when she finds herself and her crew supporting a dangerous covert mission. They must insert and retrieve a Defense Intelligence Agency operations team trying to seize a transnational criminal syndicate boss from a small Caribbean island controlled by a front company of the Chinese government and protected by a superior military force.

A honeymoon period would be lovely, but, as always, the world gets a vote.

Can Haley avoid leaving the DIA team to their fate, when attempting to rescue them could destroy her crew and boat and lead to war?

This third installment of the series conveys the humor, friendships, and teamwork of Kauai’s crew from the previous books, with a new series of exciting actions from search and rescue to combat. The crew and their new skipper must come together for the toughest mission they have ever faced.

Enjoy an Excerpt from Dagger Quest

Ben had already spent one magazine and slammed another into the carbine, resuming fire. His pistol was also charged and ready. Suddenly, there was a pause in the firing, and all the targets were out of sight. Ben glanced left along the barrier and froze in shock. Bill was sprawled out face up behind Simmons, eyes open and blood leaking from a hole in his forehead.

“Eyes front!” Simmons whispered urgently.

Ben whirled back to peer at the SUVs and whispered, “What are they doing?”

“Retasking,” Simmons said, pulling a small package out of one of his pockets. “They’ll try to take us now for interrogation.”

“What do we do?”

“Don’t get taken.”


“No, I mean, whatever you have to do, DO NOT get taken by these guys.” He looked Ben in the eyes. “Nothing would be worse, believe me.”


Some activity behind his SUV attracted Ben’s attention. There was a “whump” sound, and a grapefruit-sized object sailed overhead their position.

“FACE DOWN!” Simmons shouted.

Ben turned and buried his face in the sand when a loud “pop” sounded overhead, followed by a “whir” and a stabbing pain in the back of his right leg. A severe muscle cramp-like pain spread over his body within seconds, and he could not move. He tried to shout in terror, but all he heard was, “Ahhhhhh!” He felt another prick in his neck, and the pain subsided, although he still could not seem to get his muscles to work.

“It was a micro-flechette with a tetrodotoxin derivative. I’ve given you the antidote, but it’ll be about thirty seconds before it’s fully effective,” Simmons whispered as he pulled the now empty syrette out of Ben’s neck. “Fight it! They’ll be rushing us in a few seconds—you need to be shooting.”

About the Author: Edward Hochsmann is the pen name of a retired U. S. Coast Guard search and rescue and law enforcement professional. The veteran mariner, aviator, college professor, and defense analyst has added “author” to his list of experiences. Ed likes reading, police procedurals, contemporary music on the road, and classical music in the office. After a career traveling from Australia in the west to Italy and Germany in the east, Ed has settled into a quiet life in the Florida Panhandle to focus on writing (and not shoveling snow!)

Ed has two novels published right now (plus one launching in August 2022) in the Cutter Kauai Sea Adventures series about a Coast Guard patrol boat assigned to “special” missions. Dagger Quest takes place in the Florida Keys and involves an aging Coast Guard patrol boat dragooned into a search for a lost Russian nuclear weapon in a time of international crisis. The second, Caribbean Counterstrike, features the same patrol boat and crew, now with equipment and training upgrades, sent to recover a deadly nerve gas from a murderous Caribbean drug cartel. Bravely and Faithfully has Kauai, under a new captain supporting a covert raid on a Caribbean island held by the Chinese.

Ed’s second series, C6S: Patrol Force deals with a combined defense establishment and constabulary for a galactic economic empire called the Confederation of the Six Systems (C6S). Ed has published two novellas and a novel-length collection late last year.

Website | Goodreads | Instagram | BookBub

Buy Dagger Quest, Caribbean Counterstrike, and Bravely and Faithfully on Amazon.

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Millennial Money Queens by Maria Alcantara – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maria Alcantara 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.

The ultimate personal finance guide for millennial ladies, finally live your dream life, banish debt, make more money and create true wealth.

Millennial Money Queens brings millennial women the crucial financial education and life-changing mindset training needed to succeed. Maria shares her decade-long experience along with top financial and psychology insights to empower you to live your dream life. Master your money mindset, start your dream business and invest like a pro.

In this book, Maria starts by giving your money mindset a makeover! We all operate according to belief blueprints we’ve inherited and developed, what she calls the money in our mind. Travel through time and learn how the blueprints for wealth and poverty were created and how they trickled through millennia all the way to our present society. During her career, Maria quickly noticed how some people could have astronomical sums of money and still feel poor, while others could create wealth time and time again while feeling like they were living their dream lives, sharing their fortunes, growing their riches and supporting the causes that mattered to them. They are vibrant, accomplished, healthy and wealthy individuals in every way. The first step to master money is to adopt their blueprint, which Maria has broken down into easy and clear steps, the cornerstones you need to finally have a solid foundation for financial freedom for the rest of your life.

Once your unshakable financial blueprint is in place, it’s time to get to work with the money in our world. The first step is to stop for most millennial women is to stop spending their well-earned money on debt, whether it is student loans or credit cards, the majority of millennial women spend extravagantly on interest payments. Maria shares the best proven strategy for millennial ladies to stop this money leak. Once your debt is in control, learn where else in your life there may be money leaks and how you can make the most of the current expenses we all have so you can live your desired lifestyle, this is the new way to budget. Whether it is in housing and moving to your dream home, transportation and driving your dream car or personal spending and funding your shopping sprees or trips to exotic destinations, learn about smart and conscious spending to truly live like a money queen. Spending is only a part of the money equation, to increase our wealth, we need to increase our income. We all have something unique to share with the world, Maria shares her secret process to help you find out what your superpower is that will allow you to build your million-dollar dream business. It’s time for millennial women to step into their power, to lead in entrepreneurship and create amazing organizations that will contribute to making our world a better place. With the access to technology and the education many of us have and can continue to gain, the sky’s the limit to what we can create! The final step is learning the money magic that will allow your wealth to grow exponentially. Investing has so far been kept out of reach for many millennial women who believed they weren’t ready to begin investing, who couldn’t afford the professional fees and who continuously postponed creating their portfolios, this ends now. Learn the best strategies to invest like a pro without the exorbitant fees and or the professional knowledge needed to succeed in the markets.

The truth is that many of us are actively keeping wealth away from us with limiting beliefs about ourselves and money and we are lacking the financial education and tools we need to create our wealth. This will no longer be your reality, once you read this book, you will be fully equipped with knowledge, secrets, tips and strategies you need to finally master money and live your dream life. With captivating stories of real millennial women, so you can learn from their journey and timeless wisdom from humanity’s greatest minds, you are in for a life-changing transformation. Maria believes that the true power in knowledge is in its application, so to help you embody the concepts and make the most of all the opportunities the knowledge in this book will give you, Every chapter includes a money queen move to help you put into action all the invaluable information that is being shared. It’s your time to shine and become a millennial money queen.

Enjoy an Excerpt

Social media has the magic of being able to connect people worldwide, but it also has created a very insidious culture of idolizing money. Especially for a generation who is so far going down in modern history as one of the worst with money, especially us ladies. This book’s mission is to change that and instead to empower our generation with the financial literacy it so urgently needs.

Financial wellness today has a lot less to do with where you were born or how smart you are and a lot more with what education you receive and how you behave with money. So far, the financial education you’ve received is slim to none, and so, your money life is in shambles. That changes now.

Any of these RKOI kids can blow their money just as any millennial woman who is given proper financial skills can understand money, make it work for them and become a zillionaire, self-made, amigas. Get ready for your money makeover.

If you want to become a millionaire but think it can’t happen for you unless you win the lottery or marry rich, think again. Making money, getting out of debt and growing a fortune is based on a few simple principles you are about to learn.

Applying these principles leads to stories like the secretaries Grace Groner and Sylvia Bloom who died with massive multi-million-dollar estates. Ignoring them leads to stories of boom and bust like Kim Basinger, who, despite living with crippling anxiety, won multiple academy awards and still had to file for bankruptcy.

About the Author: Maria Alcantara is the founder of Millennial Money Queens, a leading financial empowerment movement for millennial women worldwide.

She is a chartered investment manager and money coach with over ten years of financial insights experience working with high-net-worth individuals to manage and grow their wealth. After a decade devoted to mastering money, she realized the gap existing between young women and financial education.

Deeply touched by the current state of millennial women’s finances, where many have fallen into debt, are unable to create inspiring opportunities for themselves and their communities, and are suffering financially, emotionally, mentally and spiritually, Maria created Millennial Money Queens to create a much needed shift. After working with millennial clients and friends, she expanded her method to impact a whole generation, our younger sisters and our descendants. She specializes in using behavioural economics and finance to help women achieve financial literacy, freedom and independence. The results are life-changing, with the right financial and psychological preparation, young women are finally able to create purpose, independence and the confidence to live fulfilled lives.

Born and raised in Brazil, Maria witnessed the polarity of money. She vowed at a young age to make a difference in the world. During her childhood, her family moved to Canada where she studied economics, psychology and finance. She started out with big dreams like saving the rainforests of the world and creating animal-assisted therapy programs. The defining moment happened when she was not able to get funding to make those projects come to life. Feeling discouraged and powerless was a huge catalyst. Sometimes in our lives, our temporary defeats hold our most precious gems, Maria decided to master money so that she could personally fund all the projects that were important to her and reflected her values of sustainability, health, welfare and abundance for all.

Thus she embarked on a journey to understand the financial world. She worked in banking, brokerages and wealth management, carefully observing how people handled money differently and the effect it had on their overall life satisfaction. While money can’t buy happiness, the lack of can certainly create chaos in one’s life. She found this to be true most clearly with millennial women. With promising futures and careers ahead, the women she spoke with, read about and worked with all shared tremendous baggage of feeling insecure when it came to money. While many millennial women are incredibly well educated, many are uncomfortable discussing money, including negotiating their hard-earned salary and requesting equal pay. Maria dove deeply into the history of women and money and found that outdated societal beliefs widely held by both men and women still influence our behaviour today. In order to create lasting change, millennial women need to be the rising tide. It is our time to rise to our potential and pave the way for the younger generations. Financial literacy including both the psychological and external world perspectives of money are key to empowering women worldwide. That is Maria’s mission in creating the Millennial Money Queen movement.

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Buy the book at the website.

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What I Learned after Writing my First Book by Janice Tremayne – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a copy of the book to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What I Learned after Writing my First Book

Like many authors, we become emotionally attached to our first book, whether it be a standalone or the first book in a series. My experience taught me several critical aspects of writing as a career. I would like to share them with you.

The first important point I learned was that your first book will not be your best work. You may even look back at it after writing three or four books and regard it as not an excellent literacy achievement. We are learning the craft of writing, and unless you are abundantly blessed with writing talent and all the stars line up in a row, you will not make much money from it. Yes, there are the exceptions that strike it rich with their first book, but they are a rare commodity.

The second point I learned was not to spend too many resources on your first book when it comes to marketing. It’s a simple strategy because if you don’t have another book for your readers to progress to or a mailing list to capture their interest. You have spent a whole lot of marketing dollars for nothing. I learned this the hard way and many thousands of dollars later.

The third point I learned was to become an effective marketer if you intend to be an indie author. Master all the techniques beforehand that will help grow your brand and readers. These techniques include building an effecting mailing list so you can create a following. Write your second and third book so your readers can progress to the next book and follow you before you start spending lots of money on marketing.

The fourth point is to understand where to put your money effectively into marketing. There are many expensive options out there, and you need to discover cost-effective promo sites for your book. Some of this will be trial and error. You always want your book to outperform. We become impatient, which can lead to spending money on so-called quick results that are not sustainable in the longer term.

The next point was the importance of an excellent editor and to build a professional relationship over time. Editors are critical to turning your novel into a quality piece of work. They are also very expensive, and you need to find one that is effective but not overpriced. The longer an editor knows you, and the context of your work, the better the outcome.

You need to know how to get good reviews. A book without good reviews will not sell. Your mailing list and other services like Book sirens and Hidden Gems have excellent cost-effective review services that won’t get you into trouble with Amazon. There are techniques upon which you can achieve reviews before your kindle book is published. Don’t spend money on marketing until you have some reviews under your belt and some social acceptance of your work.

This is a snapshot of what I learned. I could tell you a lot more about book marketing and developing your brand—it’s endless. The thrust of it is to have a book marketing strategy and plan. You need to be good at marketing your book if you want to achieve a good sales ranking and income to become successful.

Oh, and by the way, never give up your day job and a secure income when you start your writing career.

An Australian Ghost town. A resident demon and a local Shaman. A confrontation with evil awaits.

Clarisse realizes that running from evil is not a bad idea until you figure out you can’t hide. When some ghosts get tired of hanging around, they latch onto you. At the centre of the war on evil is a historic Church that carries dark secrets within its walls. After she meets with the local Shaman, Clarisse discovers secrets with evil consequences by digging too deep into the town’s past. When matters become complicated, she visits a circus of young performers on the outskirts of town triggering unexpected paranormal events and unleashing memories of a one-hundred-year curse. After being caught in the crossfire of a battle for evil supremacy, Clarisse confronts Little Charlie as he rallies the town’s ghosts into an impeccable evil stronghold.

Can the local Shaman and townsfolk rally in her quest to defeat the evil incarnate or will the town succumb to Little Charlie and his evil crew?

Haunting in Old Tailem is the third book of the Haunting Clarisse Series. If you like spine-tingling, chilling, creepy and spooky supernatural thrillers, then you will love this story by 2020 USA Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards Finalist in Supernatural Fiction, Janice Tremayne.

Pick up your copy today and follow Clarisse through her battles with evil!

Enjoy an Excerpt

He hung with the rope around his neck, his tongue sticking out with a red-starved oxygen face. At the same time, he was smiling as though he was only having fun. Death was a reenactment that he had become accustomed to, to the point he thought it funny; a way of horrifying others and making them pay attention. He had a young mind—innocent and conditioned to get the attention of others. Little Charlie didn’t know whether he was dead or alive; far too young to understand. As far as he was concerned, tying a loop around his neck, jumping, and choking to death made him realize he felt no pain. He could do it over and over again.

Clarisse knew from her encounter in Hartley that Little Charlie was an attention seeker and someone who liked to cling onto you. That could explain how he had ended up in Old Tailem Town. Running away from evil might seem like a good idea at the time, but you could not hide.

“Come over here, Little Charlie. There is nothing to be afraid of,” she said.

He replied with a cheeky grin on his boyish face. His mousy brown hair thrown from side to side, he signaled with his right index finger, waving it left to right many times.

“Nuh-uh,” he mimed, his way of saying no.

About the Author: Janice Tremayne is an Amazon bestselling and award-winning ghost and supernatural writer. Janice is a finalist in the Readers’ Favorite 2020 International Book Awards in Fiction-Supernatural.

She is an emerging Australian author who lives with her family in Melbourne. Her recent publication, Haunting in Hartley, reached number one on the Amazon kindle ranking for Occult, Supernatural, and Ghosts and Haunted Houses categories, for hot new releases and bestsellers.

Janice is well-versed in her cultural superstitions and how they influence daily life and customs. She has developed a passion and style for writing ghost and supernatural novels for new adult readers.

The concept of writing the Haunting Clarisse series was spawned over a cup of coffee many years ago, and she has not looked back since. Her books contain heart-thumping, bone-chilling, and thought-provoking ghost and paranormal experiences that deliver a new twist to every tale.

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Buy the series or Haunting in Old Tailem at Amazon.

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Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival

Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival
Bright Big Feelings
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Genre: Children’s (0 – 6 y.o.), Contemporary
Rating: 5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

Meet Ruby–a happy, curious, imaginative girl. But one day, she finds something unexpected: a Worry.

It’s not such a big Worry, at first. But every day, it grows a little bigger . . . And a little bigger . . . Until eventually, the Worry is ENORMOUS and is all she can think about.

But when Ruby befriends a young boy, she discovers that everyone has worries, and not only that, there’s a great way to get rid of them too . . .
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This perceptive and poignant story is the perfect springboard for talking to children about emotional intelligence and sharing hidden anxieties.

It’s never too early to start talking about uncomfortable emotions.

One of the things I adored the most about Ruby’s Worry was how open-ended it was. Rather than explaining precisely what was bothering her, the narrator left plenty of space for us readers to come up with our own theories about exactly what was bothering her. This meant that it was easy for me to put myself in her shoes and imagine various things that I worried about when I was her age! Honestly, the precise thing she was worried about was much less important than how it felt for her to carry it around and slowly watch it grow bigger.

Even very young children should learn about healthy coping mechanisms for their scary thoughts. I enjoyed seeing Ruby try various things to cope with her worry, especially as it grew bigger and harder to manage. These scenes were written with so much compassion and kindness that i wouldn’t hesitate to read them to any little one who might be interested.

The best part of this picture book had to do with who helped Ruby with her problem. No, I can’t go into detail about this without sharing a plot twist, but I can say that the author’s decision to move the storyline into this direction was an excellent one. This isn’t something I’ve seen done very often in this genre. It was refreshing to find it here.

This is part of the Big Bright Feelings series, but it works perfectly well as a standalone read.

I wholeheartedly recommend Ruby Finds a Worry to readers of all ages who have ever quietly worried about something.

What Would I Tell a New Author? by Lindsay M. Chervinsky

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lindsay M. Chervinsky will be awarding a $50 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 would I tell a new author?

1. Celebrate small victories. Writing is hard and it’s a long, long process. Especially for non-fiction writers who have to submit their work for peer review, it can take years and years. During that time, you rarely get validation or public celebrations. Positive feedback might also be fairly rare. You will need to celebrate every milestone to keep up your moment. Finish a section? Excellent! Have a glass of something special. Finish a chapter? Brilliant! Grab a meal with a friend, get a message, go for an awesome hike, get your nails painted, play a video game. Finish a draft? Huge! Go for a mini trip. Celebrate with a fancy dinner and a special someone. Buy yourself those shoes you’ve been dreaming about. Have a movie marathon.

For what it’s worth, I use this strategy all the time when writing down to the paragraph when I’m struggling. If I get a paragraph done, I get to walk the dog, make lunch, or have another cup of tea. The rewards don’t have to be big, but sometimes you just have set really reasonable goals and find a way to stick with them.

2. Be your own best advocate/promoter. No one can promote your book with as much passion as you can. You will also have more longevity and commitment to the process. Don’t be afraid to pitch podcasts, or ask bookstores, historic sites, or other relevant locations about events. Be respectful, polite, and tailor your pitches to each place and they will be happy to consider it. The worst thing they can say is no. Too many people are afraid to put themselves out there or promote their own work. As long as you promote other people as well, no one will be too upset about it.

3. You never know who will be your biggest fan/supporter. There will be people that you expect to be big supporters and they will disappoint you. Not every one of your friends or colleagues of course, but some. On the other hand, there will be strangers or people that you barely know that will bend over backward to support you. So, be friendly to everyone who expresses interest in your book and never look a gift horse in the mouth! Be sure to ask friends and colleagues for their advice and help. Sometimes people don’t know you need help until you ask!

The US Constitution never established a presidential cabinet―the delegates to the Constitutional Convention explicitly rejected the idea. So how did George Washington create one of the most powerful bodies in the federal government?

On November 26, 1791, George Washington convened his department secretaries―Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox, and Edmund Randolph―for the first cabinet meeting. Why did he wait two and a half years into his presidency to call his cabinet? Because the US Constitution did not create or provide for such a body. Washington was on his own.

Faced with diplomatic crises, domestic insurrections, and constitutional challenges―and finding congressional help lacking―Washington decided he needed a group of advisors he could turn to. He modeled his new cabinet on the councils of war he had led as commander of the Continental Army. In the early days, the cabinet served at the president’s pleasure. Washington tinkered with its structure throughout his administration, at times calling regular meetings, at other times preferring written advice and individual discussions.

Lindsay M. Chervinsky reveals the far-reaching consequences of Washington’s choice. The tensions in the cabinet between Hamilton and Jefferson heightened partisanship and contributed to the development of the first party system. And as Washington faced an increasingly recalcitrant Congress, he came to treat the cabinet as a private advisory body to summon as needed, greatly expanding the role of the president and the executive branch.

Enjoy an Excerpt

At eleven thirty in the morning on August 22, 1789, a large cream-colored coach pulled up to the front door of Federal Hall at 26 Wall Street in New York City. Six matching, perfectly groomed horses pulled the elegant carriage with sparkling gold trim. The coachman, outfitted in crisp white- and red-trimmed livery, jumped down from the back of the carriage and opened the door. An elegantly dressed man with powdered hair stepped down with a portfolio of papers under his arm. He towered over his companion, Henry Knox, the acting secretary of war, and his slaves tending to his horses. His ornate coach and his imposing presence drew curious stares from strangers passing by on the street. He walked up to the front door of Federal Hall and was immediately announced to the Senate. George Washington, the first president of the United States, had arrived for his first visit to the United States Senate.

This was no ordinary meeting. Two years earlier, the delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia had agreed that the Senate would “advise and consent” on treaties and other questions of foreign policy. But in practice, how the president and the Senate would interact remained for the first officeholders to work out….

About the Author:Lindsay M. Chervinsky, Ph.D. a historian of Early America, the presidency, and the government – especially the president’s cabinet. She shares her research by writing everything from op-eds to books, speaking on podcasts and other media, and teaching every kind of audience. She is Scholar-in-Residence at the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies and Senior Fellow at the International Center for Jefferson Studies. Previously, she worked as a historian at the White House Historical Association. She received her B.A. in history and political science from the George Washington University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis. She has been featured in the Law and History Review, the Journal of the Early Republic, TIME, and the Washington Post. Her new book, The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, was published by the Belknap Imprint of Harvard University Press on April 7, 2020.

The New Criterion recently said of her book, “Fantastic…Unlike many works of popular history, The Cabinet never feels like hagiography. It lacks the reverence of works like Joseph J. Ellis’ Founder Brothers or the revisionist obsequiousness that now greets Alexander Hamilton’s name on stage…Chervinsky exemplifies the public-history ethos in her new book. The writing is clear and concise…She takes what could have been a dry institutional and political history of the Early Republic and transforms it into a compelling story of people and places.”

When she isn’t writing, researching, or talking about history, she can be found hiking with her husband and American Foxhound, John Quincy Dog Adams (Quincy for short).

Readers can request a personalized book plate here.

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LASR Anniversary Scavenger Hunt: Pirate’s Prey by Colleen O’Connell

Thanks for joining us on our 13th anniversary scavenger hunt! There are two ways to enter to win and it’s easy to play– first read the blurb below, then answer the question on the first Rafflecopter. You might win a $100 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC. Follow and visit authors social media pages on the second Rafflecopter and you’re entered to win another $100 Amazon/BN GC!

Shane Christian scorns danger as the notorious pirate, Falcon. Feared and respected for his realm over the sea, his exploits are only surpassed by his devilish charm. No battle waged or venture dared is as great as the ploy he devises to protect Maura Brent – a spirited beauty whose willful nature captures his heart. His strategy to thwart the law risks exposure and potential introduction to the hangman’s noose. If he succeeds in safeguarding their love, will he live long enough to treasure the victory?

Maura Brent agrees to a contrived marriage with a manipulative English land baron in exchange for sparing her father imprisonment. A chance encounter with Shane Christian sets the course for a voyage of discovery awakening her passion, broadening her knowledge and strengthening her resolve to guard Shane’s identity from his nemesis. Determined to dissolve her marriage to remain with Shane, has her decision ensured his demise?

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Properly, or Not At All by Lucy Felthouse – Spotlight

Long and Short Reviews welcomes Lucy Felthouse whose Properly, Or Not At All is now available in audiobook format! Good news for audiobook fans who love a spanking short story—Properly, Or Not At All is now available to listen, thanks to the amazing talents of Frankie Holland!

Can a husband and wife cope when one of their favourite sexual pastimes is taken away from them?

Tristan and Jayme are not only devoted husband and wife, they are also Dominant and submissive, with a particular penchant for spanking. They’ve been playing delicious kinky games for the fifteen years they’ve been together, and couldn’t be happier. However, when Tristan develops a health issue that means he can’t redden his wife’s backside for a while, it puts them under a lot of strain. It’s a big part of their sex life, and they’ll miss it badly.

They try to find a way around their unfortunate predicament, but in the end, Tristan declares he will either spank Jayme’s bottom properly, or not at all.

The prospect of no spanking at all dismays Jayme, but she has no other choice. Or does she? She continues to put her mind towards the issue and she indulges in some solo experimentation, with mixed results.

But how will Tristan react when he finds out his wife has gone behind his back?

Enjoy an Excerpt

“You know what this fucking means, don’t you?” Tristan snapped, slamming his car keys onto the hall’s side table and storming into the kitchen.

Jayme hurried after him, her heart racing. Tristan rarely got angry—sure, he often pretended she’d done something wrong and faked being pissed off about it when they played D/s scenes, but real anger—it was something that just didn’t happen. She wasn’t quite sure what had sparked it, either. The news had been unfortunate, yes. Inconvenient, yes—but it wasn’t the end of the world. Tristan’s only choice was to follow the doctor’s advice.

“Um, I take it you mean aside from the obvious?” she ventured quietly, not wanting to piss him off even more.

“Yes,” he said on a heavy sigh, making it clear his anger and frustration weren’t aimed at her. “Come here, you.” He held out his arms, and when she went into them, he hugged her tightly and kissed the top of her head. “Fucking hell, Jayme, I’m really going to miss spanking that beautiful arse of yours.”

“And I’m going to miss you doing it,” she murmured into his chest. Then, pulling back so she could make eye contact, continued, “But we’ll cope. There’s loads of other stuff we can do—we can still have fun. As much as I love it, it’s not worth making the problem worse, or screwing up your recovery once you’ve had the op. Your health is more important, babe.”

“Mmm…” came the reply, along with a very displeased expression.

“Hey,” Jayme said sharply, raising her eyebrows, “you might be in charge in the bedroom, mister, but I’m putting my foot down here. Hopefully you’ll get a date through for the operation really soon. And the sooner you have the op, the sooner you’ll be recovered and we can get back to normal. In the meantime,” she grinned widely, “we’ll just have to get creative, won’t we?”

Much to Jayme’s relief, Tristan finally smiled. “You’re right, as always, wife of mine. Clearly I’m not happy about this—fucking carpal tunnel bollocks, spoiling all our fun—but it could be a lot worse, I suppose. At least they’re not operating on my dick.”

“True.” She giggled. “That would take some creativity of epic proportions!”

“It would. So, does this mean we have to have sex more often, then?”

Frowning, Jayme replied, “How do you figure that out?”

“Well, if it’s too risky to spank you, then surely wanking is going to be bad for my wrist, too. And I’m not sure that when the doctor asked if we had any questions, he meant of this nature, did he?”

If you are seeking for the Kamagra supplier, you can find it online easily as there is always a fear of facing a bad generic levitra online health due to it. They cialis generika 10mg all claim to get the best treatment only when he get the highest return for your investment. Be sure to take Vitamin C supplements, grapes, avocados, strawberries, cherries and blueberries. cialis generic purchase Drugs like discount order viagra and Kamagra have certainly been the blessing to patients suffering from ED but regular exercises, lifestyle changes and changes in diet can also help in lessening cases of blood clotting and is also shown to relax blood vessels. Jayme laughed again. “No, I’m sure he didn’t. I think we’d have given the poor man a heart attack if we’d started asking him how we were going to get on with our particular kind of sex life without exacerbating your problem. And I was under the impression we already had plenty of sex and that you don’t feel the need to toss yourself off very often.”

“I don’t.” He shrugged. “But you can’t blame a man for trying, can you? Especially when that man’s wife looks like you.”

“No, I suppose not.” She grinned, then slipped her arms around the back of his neck and pulled him in for a kiss. Closing her eyes, Jayme allowed herself to get into the touching of their lips, the parting, the questing tongues, shoving all thoughts of not being able to have her arse reddened to the recesses of her mind. She loved Tristan with all her heart, and their relationship was so much more than sex and kink, so they’d just have to get on with it.

And what better way to get on with it than to find a way around their unfortunate predicament? She pulled Tristan’s bottom lip into her mouth, then sucked and nibbled at it, enjoying the guttural sounds this elicited from his throat. Letting go of his lip, she then sucked at his tongue, mimicking fellatio on the warm, wet flesh and smirking to herself as his rapidly growing erection pressed against her stomach.

God, yes. The two of them had been together fifteen years, married for thirteen, and were still crazy about each other. What was a little break from spanking in the scheme of things?

Sitting back suddenly as something occurred to her, she said, “Hey, gorgeous. Shall we take this to the bedroom? I’ve had an idea.”

Tristan grabbed her hand and they immediately headed for the bedroom. “Of course. What’s your idea, sweetheart?”

“Well, now,” she replied, grinning wickedly, “that would be telling, wouldn’t it? You’ll just have to wait.”

“Damn,” Tristan muttered, picking up his pace. “I can’t even threaten to punish you unless you tell me.”

“We’ll see.”

After throwing a confused look over his shoulder, he led them up the stairs and into their room before ushering her in and closing the door behind them. “God, you’re gorgeous,” he said, pulling her back into his arms.

“Now, now,” she replied, pushing his chest and wagging a finger at him. “No trying to butter me up just so I’ll cave and tell you what I have in mind.”

Adopting a mock-shocked expression, he said, “Moi? Would I do such a thing?”

“Yes! You bloody would!”

“Yeah, yeah, all right, all right. I totally bloody would. But that doesn’t mean it’s not true. You are gorgeous, and I love you. And I want you.” Gesturing towards the erection that tented his jeans, he gave a wry grin.

“And you’ll have me,” Jayme shot back matter of factly, beginning to remove her clothes. “Now, Sir, could I respectfully ask that you get naked?”

About the Author Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight and The Heiress’s Harem series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name.

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