Love is for the Dogs by Annee Jones – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Annee Jones will be awarding a $15 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 coveted award…a missing Maltese…and a cheating ex… Can Trisha Campbell survive this year’s dog show competition in Last Chance Beach, much less walk away without a broken heart?

If there’s one thing vet tech Trisha Campbell knows, it’s dogs. Men, however, not so much. Especially ever since catching her ex-boyfriend, Miami P.D. Landon Prescott, kissing her arch-nemesis, Blythe Baker, at last year’s dog show after Blythe’s pup Princess took home the grand prize. Needless to say, Trisha’s not looking forward to seeing either of them again at this year’s competition in Last Chance Beach, even if her beloved Maltese, Chloe, is a front-runner for the coveted trophy.

Soon after arriving on the island for the week-long event, Princess goes missing and everyone fingers Trisha as the dog-napper since her pooch is Princess’ main opponent. With not only the prize money but also her reputation at stake, Trisha’s willing to join forces with none other than her cheating ex. Can she and Landon figure out a way to work together to catch the culprit and find the missing Maltese before the whole competition goes straight to the dogs? And what happens when they find themselves alone together at last?

Enjoy an Excerpt

No longer having an appetite herself, she grabbed the cup with her now-melted mint chocolate chip and leftover cone and threw it into a nearby pail. Grabbing her canvas tote, she looped it over her shoulder. Turning, she was startled to see Landon’s disappointed expression. Did he really expect her to stay and talk to him like they were old friends? After what he’d done? No way. So what if she’d changed her phone number and blocked his email address? He was in the wrong, not her. And she didn’t owe him the time of day after he cheated on her.

Reluctantly, the twins picked up their ice cream bowls and plastic spoons and followed her as she began to grimly march past Landon to the front door. When she was close enough so that she could smell the spicy scent of his aftershave, their elbows accidentally brushed together. All the memories of how much in love they’d been – they’d even talked about getting engaged – came flooding over her like a tidal wave, and she tried not to cry as she exited the parlor and walked out onto the scorching sidewalk.

About the Author: Author Annee Jones loves to write all things romance, fantasy, cozy mystery, & more. She is passionate about writing stories where dreams come true, and love wins in the end!

Professionally, Annee works as a disability counselor where she helps her clients navigate through complex medical and legal systems while rediscovering their wholeness in Spirit.

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Winter Blogfest: Karen Michelle Nutt

This post is part of Long and Short Reviews’ Winter Blogfest. Leave a comment for a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card (eCard).

Hark! Ye Merry Readers

Christmas music on an old wooden table with Christmas lights romantic scene with selective focus

In my short story, Fake Marriage with a Dash of Desire, featured in Hot Western Nights, my heroine of the tale loves to sing, and at Christmastime, would surely partake in good cheer by playing Christmas carols. Believe it or not, some of our most popular Holiday songs were written in the18th and 19th centuries.


Charles Wesley wrote Hark! the Herald Angels Sing in 1739 and appeared in John Welsey’s collection of Hymns and Sacred Poems. The original hymn began with “Hark how all the Welkin rings”; however, in 1782, the lyrics became “Hark! the Herald Angels sing/ Glory to the newborn king”, which is how we sing it today.


O Tannenbaum (Oh Christmas Tree), written in 1824, was a German Christmas song based on a folk song. Tannenbaum is a fir tree, and though the lyrics speak of faithfulness and the symbol of constancy, this song became a favorite at Christmastime.


Joseph Mohr composed Silent Night in 1818. Sometime before Christmas Eve, Mohr brought his ‘Silent Night’ Lyrics to Franz Xaver Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment for the Christmas Eve mass. (A river flooding had damaged the church organ.) It is unknown what inspired Mohr to write the lyrics, or what prompted him to create a new carol. An interesting tidbit: It wasn’t until 1995 that researchers uncovered that Mohr had written the words in 1816, and Gruber composed the music in 1818. Until then, they thought Haydn or Mozart had been the composer.


What’s more, everyday issues can be overwhelming to a parent who usually expects the thrill of breaking the last board on the last try and advancing to the next belt level and we have experienced the utter agony of no-change. levitra 20mg australia There is always some kind of medication that can beat impotency efficiently and can help you to make your sexual intercourse last longer and satisfied. cialis online without prescription The former governor general has expressed his desire to tadalafil pills take the correct dose. The reason is that this is a medicine that is available in different forms for example tablets, pill, get etc. female viagra online God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen was published in 1833 and appeared in the Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern, a collection of seasonal carols gathered by William B. Sandys. The lyrics are olde English and thought to date back to the 15th century. Unfortunately, the author is unknown. It is reputed to be one of the oldest carols. This haunting and mysterious carol is one of my all-time favorites.


Enjoy the rendition of the song on YouTube performed by Annie Lennox. The imagery is unique with its Victorian Christmas-card-feel but with a twist of medieval and pagan qualities.


God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!

Jewel ran away from home, not wanting to marry a man twice her age. Nash stands to lose his inheritance if he does not find a bride in three months when he turns thirty. Both are at the mercy of their families, but the two concoct a plan that just might work.

A fake marriage. Later, a quick annulment. What could go wrong? Blame it on the hot summer nights, or toe-curling kisses, but pretending to be married isn’t as easy as it sounds.


Karen Michelle Nutt resides in California with her husband. Though her three children are grown and starting their own adventures, she still has a houseful of demanding pets. Jack, her Chorkie, is her writing buddy and sits long hours with her at the computer.

When she’s not time traveling, fighting outlaws, or otherworldly creatures, she creates pre-made book covers to order at Gillian’s Book Covers, “Judge Your Book By Its Cover”.

Whether your reading fancy is paranormal, historical or time travel, all her stories capture the rich array of emotions that accompany the most fabulous human phenomena—falling in love.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Bookbub

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Research Is Important But Never Lose Sight of Creativity by Gareth Frank – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Gareth Frank will be awarding a $50 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.

Research is important, but never lose sight of creativity.

“Write what you know.” It is a regularly repeated dictum that often collides with the necessity of creating something interesting and readable. I first try to find an interesting idea whether I am an expert in that field or not. After I have found a story, I can always research what I don’t know. It is only after my initial research that I mix in my own experiences.

That being said, never write a novel that is controlled by your research. You can easily get trapped in minutia. My first novel, was about the Vietnam war protests of the sixties and early seventies. I grew up in that period, so I already had a base of experience, but because I was writing a historical novel, I wanted to know what happened in the real world on every given day. I was driven to look deeper and deeper. To make matters worse I kept trying to make my characters part of all the amazing events of the time. It was a crucial mistake. I became just as concerned about the historical events as I was about my story.

In my latest novel, The Moment Between, I spent no less time on research, but I was much more cognizant about how to use the product in my book. I don’t know how others do it, but I start my research very broadly. I wanted to incorporate near-death experiences, afterlife, neuroscience and even physics in my budding novel. Even though I had read previous books on the subjects, I took the time to read six or eight books that I thought were most relevant, taking notes as I went, and trying to capture facts and ideas that were integral to the story I envisioned. As I began writing scenes, I referred back to this base research, but invariably items would arise that needed further exploration. For that research, the internet was crucial. I can’t imagine how much time I would have spent in the library in the good old days.

I would often get sidetracked on a sentence or a paragraph, researching for hours just to get the right facts and words. My favorite example is the research I did on brain surgery, especially the time I spent watching doctors on YouTube as they sliced into flesh and brain. The truth is I loved it. While that may seem like an extravagant use of time, if it fits in the story, it is never a waste, even if you don’t use it.

The only time research is a waste of time is if you misuse it. Always keep your eyes on the prize. Story comes first.

After four years of mourning, Doctor Hackett Metzger is determined to stop letting his wife’s death control his life. He is finally beginning to live again, but his recovery leads to an unexpected fight for his own survival and startling revelations about what happens to all of us in The Moment Between.

Hackett, a brilliant neurologist, is a skeptic. He doesn’t believe he will one day be reunited with Jean, or dwell with God in heaven. What he does believe is that he should have seen the warning signs of her heart attack; he should have saved her. He also cannot accept the possibility that his clinical study of near death experiences could prove the existence of a conscious afterlife. When Hackett falls for the mother of a patient, grief finally begins to fade. But he has no idea his new love is hiding her dangerous past. Will Hackett’s damaged spirit endure another heartbreak?

Enjoy an Excerpt

In those first months, he tortured himself with the notion that Jean’s voice had been real. He was sure that she had been present while he tried to save her. He prayed that she lived on in death, hoped that even as he failed, she had a soft landing on the other side. Her voice became his torture.

And so he understood death as he never had before. He understood grieving and pain. He understood what it meant to miss someone and to know that he would never see that person again. He understood loneliness. Most of all he understood the foolish and painful illusion that life might somehow continue. There was no voice. Jean had not talked to him from beyond. He had tortured himself from within. She was dead. He had learned to accept that cold hard reality. Anger had settled into the dark hole that was his memory of that day, poisoning his spirit. For weeks he stayed home from work, for months the blackness held him captive, until slowly he emerged into the world once more. His sanity hinged on his acceptance that Jean’s voice had been an illusion. Death was just death.

About the Author:Gareth Frank is a former union organizer and administrator. He received a Master’s Degree at the University of Wisconsin and later studied at the Writer’s Center in Bethesda, Maryland. The Moment Between is his first published novel. His short stories have been published in various journals and have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize as well as the Silver Pen Write Well Award.


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Saving Nary by Carol DeMent – Guest Blog and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Carol DeMent will be awarding $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.

Whose story is it?

As writers, we search for that one compelling theme that will carry our story from start to finish. And when the story is set within the confines of an historical event, the search for that one story becomes difficult. Our research reveals countless stories of hope, despair, greed, and love, all crying out to be told. Once we select “the one,” those other stories can add dimension and texture to our plot.

In Saving Nary, the central theme centers on a father’s search for his missing daughters. In this case, the father, Khath, is a Cambodian refugee, a survivor of the Khmer Rouge. His daughters were taken from him and forced to labor in a Khmer Rouge youth camp and it has been four years since he saw them. Are they alive? Are they whole? Broken in mind and spirit by their ordeal, or miraculously unscathed? Khath’s search takes him from the refugee camps in Thailand to resettlement in the US, a process rife with its own challenges and setbacks.

Now that we have our protagonist and the elements of his struggle, we must decide the voices we will use to tell Khath’s story. Certainly, Khath can speak for himself, and often does. But is he always the best narrative voice? Sometimes, Khath’s actions are best seen from the outside, from someone who is puzzled by what he does and misinterprets it, or by someone who wishes him ill. At other times, we must set Khath’s struggle aside momentarily and peer into the life and motives of surrounding characters in order to see the big picture and fully understand the opposing forces that serve to build tension and intensify the drama of Khath’s situation. After all, life is not lived in a vacuum.

As a reader, be aware that writers will often choose to narrate a scene using the voice of the character with the most at stake in that particular situation. What does it mean, to use a character’s voice? Let’s suppose we have a scene in which someone intentionally and seriously injures another character. Told through the attacker’s voice, this scene will allow the reader to feel the hatred, or the love, or the avarice that caused the attacker to strike. We will learn how the attacker felt upon successfully overcoming the target. Was it triumph? Fear of being caught? Weariness or relief? Told through the injured character’s voice, we may feel the gritty pavement rending our clothing, we might smell the rank sweat of fear, or taste the coppery flavor of blood. We may struggle to breathe or writhe in pain; we may feel our life force ebb. Who has the most at stake in this scene? It depends on the story. Nothing is absolute in the writer’s world!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this short post with its quick peek into just one small aspect of creating a novel. Thank you to Long and Short Reviews for the opportunity to share some thoughts on story development and narrative voice.

A Finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Saving Nary explores the losses, loyalties and secrets held within families broken by war and genocide. This compelling novel presents a palette of unique characters who struggle to make sense of the events that led them to America, even as they ponder the bewildering culture and lifestyle of their new homeland.

Refugee Khath Sophal lost everything when the Khmer Rouge swept into power in Cambodia: his livelihood gone, his family dead or missing; his sanity barely intact from the brutality he has been forced to witness.

Now resettled in the Pacific Northwest, Khath treads a narrow path between the horrors of his past and the uncertainties of the present. His nights are filled with twisted dreams of torture and death. By day he must guard constantly against the flashbacks triggered by the simple acts of daily living, made strange in a culture he does not understand.

Then Khath meets Nary, a mysterious and troubled Cambodian girl whose presence is both an aching reminder of the daughters he has lost, and living proof that his girls, too, could still be alive. Nary’s mother Phally, however, is another matter. A terrible suspicion grows in Khath’s mind that Phally is not who or what she claims to be. A split develops in the community between those who believe Phally and those who believe Khath. And those, it seems, who don’t really care who is right but just want to stir up trouble for their own personal gain.

Khath’s search for the truth leads him to the brink of the brutality he so despises in the Khmer Rouge. His struggle to wrest a confession from Phally ultimately forces him to face his own past and unravel the mystery of his missing daughters.

Enjoy an Excerpt

As the sun rose, Khath sat cross-legged in a lotus position in the small Buddhist temple nestled below Khao I Dang Mountain. The barbed wire perimeter fence separated the mountain from the refugee camp, but the mountain lent its power to the area nonetheless. Pra Chhay and two other monks chanted the Heart Sutra, a prayer of enlightenment, the rhythmic drone rising and falling in a soothing and familiar hum as the scent of incense hung heavily in the hot, humid air. About thirty refugees sat on the straw mats covering the wooden floor of the bamboo temple. The lips of many were moving as they softly chanted along with the monks. Khath’s lips remained still, his heart empty. If asked, he would not disavow the teachings. He believed the teachings, yet the words of the Buddha had lost the power to move or to comfort him. He felt somehow distant from the teachings, as though they controlled behavior on a different world from the one he inhabited. It was a very lonely feeling. The monks chanted on, a background hum that began to irritate Khath. He might as well be listening to the drone of mosquitoes as he toiled on the dikes under the watchful eyes of the Khmer Rouge, their guns aimed and ready, afraid to brush the insects away from his face lest he be beaten for not putting full attention into his work.

Observing the others in the temple, Khath envied them their faith. Pra Chhay often said there were two levels of Buddhism, one being the simple devotions taught to uneducated villagers; the other consisting of the higher practices and theories studied by the scholar monks.

About the Author:Carol DeMent worked in the field of South East Asian refugee resettlement for seven years, and completed master’s level research into international refugee resettlement policy. She lived for two years in Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer and has traveled extensively in South East Asia. Her first novel, Saving Nary, was a Finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Amazon Author Page | Goodreads

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What Would I Tell A New Author? A Guest Post and giveaway by Debra Parmley

6_18 VBRT Aboard the Wishing Star

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Debra will be awarding a $5 Amazon gift card to one randomly drawn commenter at each stop and a signed print copy of her first book, A Desperate Journey, along with a $5 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (US ONLY). Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


The first thing I would tell a new author is to hold to the joy of writing. The actual joy of being immersed in your story, the joy of creation, the beautiful energy which comes when you are creating which makes the soul come alive. I have learned it is this joy, which can sustain me when the roller coaster, which is an author’s life, hits bottom. So many things in this business we have no control over but we do control the writing, where the joy lives.

Second, I would remind a new author not to forget to play. Play with words, play with structure, and play with rhyming and rhythm and with your story people and with your stories. Some of the best stories came about as a result of playing and they carry that energy with them. They come to life in a playful way, which the reader may then too enjoy.

Third, remember the page must do the work. The page stands alone whether you are sending it to an editor, an agent, a critique partner or group, or whether your book is in the hands of the reader. You will not be there to explain the page, defend the page or sell the page. The page must be strong enough to stand-alone. Do the things it takes to help that page stand-alone.

Fourth, you must also do the work. The story might be your baby, but perhaps your baby needs braces in order for everyone to be able to see that beautiful smile. If you take critique or editing advice personally and refuse to do anything about those crooked teeth it’s your story child who will shine less brightly.

Fifth, remember to celebrate the small things. Each step on the journey can be a blessing and a moment to be thankful. Remember each moment of the day only comes once.

Sixth, protect and guard your writing time and your process. This may require a bit of forcefulness on your part. But if you do not respect your writing time, how can you expect anyone else to?

Seventh, words once they are out there cannot be taken back. Whether they are words printed in a book, posted online or spoken words, once they are released you cannot retrieve them and redo them. Words carry energy. What are you sending out? Be careful not to rush your words and be aware of what you are sending into the world.

Eighth, at the end of the day, remind yourself of the first bit of advice posted here. Remember the joy before you go to sleep and be thankful. For all the challenges which come with being an author, it is one of the most joyful endeavors a person can experience, if you can remember to keep refocusing on the joy.

About the Author: 6_18 AuthorPicDebra was born in Columbus, Ohio and raised in Springfield, OH but has lived in the Memphis, TN area since 1997. She attended Marywood University in Scranton, PA and was the first student to win first place in two categories of the Delta Epsilon Sigma Beta Epsilon Chapter writing competition, in creative prose and in informal expository. Her poetry was published in literary journals while attending college. She holds a BA in English Literature.

Debra has traveled extensively and worked as an independent travel consultant for several years. She has visited thirteen countries. She has also worked in banking, newspaper advertising, as city recycling co-coordinator, as an office manager, and as a belly dance instructor.

Her first short story, published in the anthology More Monsters From Memphis, was a finalist in the Darrell Awards for best Mid-South short story.

Her first novel, A Desperate Journey, a western historical romance, was a finalist in the Bobbi Smith Creative Writing Challenge. Not long afterward it was a finalist in the American Title II contest. For those not familiar with the contest, she describes it as similar to the American Idol contest, but for authors. Readers voted online and the prize was a publishing contract. A Desperate Journey was published a year later by Samhain Publishing. Debra’s second western historical romance, Dangerous Ties, was published Feb. 15, 2012 by Desert Breeze Publishing in eBook and will be released in print April, 2013.

Aboard The Wishing Star, Debra’s first contemporary romance, was released Oct. 11, 2012 by Desert Breeze Publishing in eBook.

Trapping the Butterfly, a 1920’s romance set in Hot Springs, AR will be released April, 11, 2013 by Desert Breeze Publishing in eBook.

When not writing, Debra enjoys dancing, primitive archery, medieval reenactment, yoga and traveling.

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On her website Debra hosts interviews with male cover models on Cover Model Corner

6_18 AboardtheWishingStarCoverArtWhen Kara’s, husband is shot and killed in front of her in what she’s told is a random act of violence, she becomes convinced the world is unsafe. Her life is quiet and predictable, until she wins a Caribbean cruise for two and takes along her best friend.

On her trip she meets Nate, a scuba dive instructor and ex marine. He’ll teach her to face her fear of deep water and teach her to snorkel. Will Kara learn to trust him with her heart, when she fears this shipboard romance will reach an end and she’ll never see him again, leaving her broken hearted?

When Kara’s boss shows up at their first port of call unexpectedly, Nate’s protective nature comes out.

Her creepy boss becomes more aggressive after she returns to Ohio and when she calls Nate he gets on the first plane. Can Nate rescue her?

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