Book Blast–Gracie & Zeus

This postis part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A randomly drawn winner will receive a $25 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Grace Morgan has been on the music scene long enough to know the life of sex, drugs & rock & roll is just a dream. But after a messy divorce, Grace wants to give her dream of being a music journalist one last shot.

She moves to LA with her 21-year-old foster son, Zeus. They live in a motel on cup noodles and hope, until Grace finally gets a break: a story about Inez Carter, hot-mess frontwoman of the popular band Karma Korn.

The story delivers more sex, drugs and rock & roll than Grace bargained for. Karma Korn’s drummer, Nelson, has Grace rethinking her post-divorce vow of celibacy. And after they’re invited to an elite Hollywood rave, where they mistakenly drink the electric Kool-Aid, Zeus is scouted to be the lead guitarist for another star band.

However, the story soon goes sideways, and things aren’t adding up. Someone is spreading rumors about Grace, trying to sabotage her career and reputation. Then someone tries to kill her. Grace is left frantically trying to connect the dots in the dwindling hope she’ll be able to salvage the story, her relationship with Nelson, and her life.

Read an Excerpt

Zeus crafted an impossibly good song out of nothing as he swung back and forth on his knees, making the chandelier sway. His song’s hook was completely nonderivative, and perfect enough to make Grace’s scalp tingle. It wasn’t until Zeus caught her eye again and broke out in a wide grin that she realized she was smiling like a maniac. He pursed his lips at her in an exaggerated rock-n-roll face and played the final chords, letting them squeal. As they died away, the crowd broke out in cheers, stomping for more.

Zeus swung himself upright and dropped to the ground, the guitar held gently in one hand. He gave it to Nicholson, who looked at it like he’d never seen it before. People pressed forward to mob Zeus, patting him on the back, giving him hugs, but he ambled through them to stand before Grace with his hands in his pockets. He broke into a beatific grin. “I’m so high right now.”

Grace laughed, tears rolling down her face. “That was awesome. But you’re so stupid.” She smacked him on the shoulder. “Why do you do things like that?”

He shrugged. “Even orangutans like to play guitar sometimes.”

Grace raised an eyebrow. There was a streak of movement. Zeus’s eyes went wide as Inez crashed into him, pressing her lips to his in a drunken kiss. Nicole, still standing in the DJ booth, looked on with a hurt expression. Duke appeared out of the crowd and pulled Inez away, leaving Zeus looking ruffled but pleased with himself.

About the Author:
Elizabeth Roderick is the author of Gracie & Zeus Live the Dream a romantic comedy meets cozy mystery released by Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC May 11, 2021 as well as many short stories in various anthologies.

She and her daughter help run a small, diversified farm in Eastern Washington. She is a musician and songwriter, and has played in many bands—mostly guitar, bass and keyboards.

Elizabeth’s stories are about love, death, gang warfare, and madness, with characters of the type that society generally shuns: addicts, convicts, and the neurodivergent. She is a neurodivergent person and a disability rights activist.

Elizabeth believes if people get to know those who live on the fringes of society, both in stories and in real life, they’ll find them more likeable than they originally thought.

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And don’t forget about the giveaway.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can follow the entire tour here

Book Tour–The Diversity Playbook

Transforming Business with Inclusion and Innovation

Non-fiction / Business / Leadership / Diversity and Inclusion

Date Published: June 8, 2021

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Hephzi Pemberton’s first nonfiction, business book The Diversity Playbook provides an empowering and uplifting experience. It contains proven expertise, factual examples and practical tools to transform your business and leadership approach with inclusion and innovation as a central shared goal and priority.

Her book demonstrates with clarity, relevant case studies and the latest research, as well as an applicable exercise in each chapter, to show how leaders and firms who embrace and embed inclusion and diversity into their business will benefit. They will be the businesses that innovate and adapt more rapidly. They will have a workplace culture that the latest talent seeks out and stays with. They will reach a wider set of customers and clients who feel valued and understood. They know that to achieve these benefits and many others besides, leaders and businesses now and in the future will have to take inclusion and diversity seriously.

About The Author

Hephzi Pemberton is a UK business founder and advisor, who believes in the power of good business to transform society. After completing an undergraduate degree at Oxford University, Hephzi began her career in Investment Banking at Lehman Brothers. In 2009, she co-founded Kea Consultants, a financial headhunting firm that specialises in investment and high-growth organisations, which she quickly grew into a profitable and sustainable business.

In 2018, Hephzi founded Equality Group, an Inclusion and Diversity specialist business focused on the Finance and Technology industry. Equality Group helps companies to diversify their teams, using their executive search service, and creates a more inclusive cultures with their consulting and education services. Equality Group has partnered with many leaders in sustainable investing, such as Generation Investment Management, and Private Equity and Venture Capital firms who are committed to being leaders in inclusion and diversity.

Hephzi has been angel investing since 2010 and has invested in technology start-ups across AI, Logistics, Health and Beauty, E-Commerce and Education. She has also advised a number of businesses on their hiring practices, board composition, compensation structure, strategic and fundraising plans.

Alongside her commercial experience, Hephzi has founded a social enterprise called Kiteka, empowering female micro entrepreneurs in Uganda to access digital opportunities through mobile technology. Hephzi has sat on the board of trustees for three other charities focused on youth employment, homelessness and community development.

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And here’s a little taste of the book.

Inclusion and Long Term Value – Chapter One Blog:

The leaders and firms that embrace and embed inclusion, diversity and equity into their business will increase their long-term value. They will innovate and adapt more rapidly. They will have a workplace culture that talent seeks out and stays with. They will reach a wider set of stakeholders, who will feel valued and understood. They  know that to achieve all these benefits you have to take inclusion and diversity seriously. 

There is substantial research to show that diversity brings many advantages to an organisation, including: stronger governance; better problem-solving abilities; and increased creativity and profitability. Employees with diverse backgrounds bring a wider range of perspectives, ideas and experiences. They help to create organisations that are resilient and effective, and which outperform organisations that do not invest in diversity. 

McKinsey’s global study of more than 1,000 large companies found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25 percent more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile. For ethnic and cultural diversity, top-quartile companies outperformed those in the fourth by 36 percent.

A Boston Consulting Group study found that companies with more diverse management teams have 19 percent higher revenues due to innovation. This finding is significant for tech companies, start-ups and industries where innovation is the key to growth. It shows that diversity is not only a metric to be strived for, it is actually an integral part of a successful revenue-generating business.

Book Blitz–Standing In My Shadow



Published: March 2021


There was a ‘presence’ in her bedroom that was always welcoming–she felt no terror.

Linda Grainer has been forced to live in boarding schools since she was five years old. Just before her college graduation, she was called home because her father, an archeology professor, was killed in an automobile accident. Her mother had died at her birth, so she was now alone in the world with questions and no one who had answers. The search for her past leads her to explore the western desert with Brett McAllister, her father’s graduate assistant. Linda disappears: and in Brett’s search for her, they discover secrets that they will never be able to reveal. The shadow figure in Linda’s troubling past steps into the light, bringing complications that may make Linda disappear forever. Brett’s love for Linda stands between the evil that wants to take control of her life and her escape to the real world with him.

About the Author

C. S. Arnold is the author of several children’s books and this is her first novel for young adults. She is married and has two sons, a daughter-in-law, a granddaughters, and twin grandsons. She lives on a farm in Tennessee with her husband, a few black cows, a Cavalier King Charles, and two cats.

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Book Tour–Debt Bomb

Thriller/Suspense/Spy Fiction/Political Fiction

Date Published: July 1, 2021

Publisher: BQB Publishing

China hungers to take the United States’ place as the global hegemon.

And it is plotting to use America’s $40 trillion national debt to do it.

Only one person stands in China’s way: suburban accountant Andrea Gartner.

For years she has dreaded the day of America’s reckoning about its national debt. She’s gotten involved in local politics. She’s run for Congress. But the debt marches remorselessly higher.

Rejected by her party in her congressional race, she joins the insurgent presidential campaign of Congressman Earl Murray. When he wins in an upset, he defies all Washington convention and names Andrea his Director of the Office of Management and Budget. The Washington rookie finally has her chance to solve America’s debt addition.

But China has other plans, engineering financial crises and military confrontations designed to bankrupt and collapse the United States. Wars rage overseas as America’s health care system, schools, and social fabric disintegrate. Desperately coping with these existential threats to America’s very existence, Andrea finds herself enmeshed in vicious Washington infighting with belligerent military brass and ruthless politicians, including the powerful and complicated Congressman Lewis Mason and his chief of staff Frank Palmer. Chinese agents lurk in the shadows, threatening Andrea’s life and family, as she struggles to keep the country afloat.

No aspect of American life is spared as the country teeters on the brink of financial collapse. Can Andrea stave off China’s assault and ensure the United States survives? Or will the Red Chinese flag fly over the American Capitol?

Debt Bomb is a sobering fictional account of a future facing the United States if it fails to control its debt and get its financial house in order.

About the Author

Michael E. Ginsberg is an attorney in Washington, DC practicing in the field of national security law. He spent a decade in private practice at Arnold & Porter LLP in Washington, DC and then worked several years in the U.S. government as a Senior Associate General Counsel in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), where he served as legal counsel for the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA). He currently is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at a Virginia-based defense contractor.

Ginsberg has also served in senior leadership positions in the Republican Party of Virginia and is the co-founder of the Suburban Virginia Republican Coalition.

A 1997 graduate of Harvard College and 2002 graduate of Harvard Law School, he also holds a master’s in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University (1999). A native of Baltimore, Maryland, Ginsberg lives in Virginia with his wife and two children.

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A little taste of the story

After nearly two decades as an accountant, Andrea Gartner had fatally wielded ledger books more times than she cared to remember. She was well acquainted with watching entire lives unravel before her, tears streaming down the faces of grown men annihilated by simple balance sheets charting their financial ruin in ink redder than blood.

Today, she found herself in that painfully familiar spot once more.

She fixed her eyes on the man sitting opposite her, Cam Davis, owner of the largest chain of furniture stores in Columbia, South Carolina. She was the only thing standing between him and the end of his financial life as he knew it. His devil-may-care attitude— the source of so much of his business success—had now left him teetering on the precipice of bankruptcy.

“You have an existential debt problem,” said Andrea.

Telling the cocksure, self-styled Mattress King of South Carolina he was flirting with financial ruin was terrifying, but what Andrea truly feared was him ignoring her dire warnings. She prayed she wasn’t about to watch another client whistle past the graveyard of fiscal reality.

“A what problem?” asked Cam incredulously. “Come on. I sold more furniture last year than my next two competitors combined.”

“I’ve been through your books,” she replied. “Your finances are a house of cards. You’re a hair’s breadth from complete bankruptcy.”

Cam didn’t act like someone about to go broke. Everyone in Columbia knew he was one of the most generous people in the city. Every Christmas, he donated hundreds of mattresses to homeless shelters. When his alma mater, the University of South Carolina, made the playoffs in any sport, he’d give away free sofas to the first fifty customers in his stores the next day. He sponsored Little League teams and 5K races for charity. His heart was big.

His wallet was even bigger and seemingly always open.

She glanced out the window. The Mattress King’s red Ferrari with “MTRSKNG” vanity license plates was parked next to her battered ten-year-old Toyota Camry. His thousand-dollar sports coat and Rolex contrasted sharply with the peeling wallpaper and army surplus furniture of her office. Even his cologne smelled expensive.

“You can’t be serious,” said Cam. “I’ve got twenty stores in Columbia. And twenty more across the rest of the state. If I need cash, I’ll borrow it. No bank is going to turn down a loan application from the Mattress King.”

Here we go again, she thought. He’s not getting it, and I’m not getting through to him.

Book Blast–The Wall

This post is part of a book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. David Pereda will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

THOMAS BERTRAM is an American living in San Salvador with his fiancée CECILIA. They own a popular neighborhood restaurant and plan to wed soon. Thomas’s dream is to obtain a resident visa for Cecilia and return to the United States.

DOMINGO JIMENEZ and his wife BLANCA own a small repair shop across the street. Domingo’s dream is to move to America as well so that his seven-year-old daughter NANCY can grow up speaking English and having a good education and a better life than he and Blanca had.

When armed gang members invade their neighborhood to demand “protection” money and threaten them with death if they don’t pay, Thomas and Domingo’s dreams for the future take on a new perspective. They decide to flee the country with their families through Guatemala and Mexico to seek asylum in the United States.

But their journey is more challenging than expected, and they face a myriad of difficulties and must overcome multiple obstacles that put not only their dreams but also their lives at risk.

Read an Excerpt

Plodding in a caravan in the blistering sun with hundreds of other human beings was a new experience for Domingo—and for Blanca and Nancy, too.

Domingo guessed it was also a unique experience for most crowd members based on their looks and actions. There were people of all ages and types in the mob, including children a lot younger than Nancy. Young men and women wore shorts and T-shirts or tank tops, and many listened to music on headphones as they bounced on colorful tennis shoes. Older members were bundled in jackets and hid their faces from the harsh sun under outsized straw hats as they slogged forward with determination. A few of the people were so old they could hardly walk, hobbling along trying to keep up with the wandering procession. Some of the older children kicked an old soccer ball around or streaked through the crowd screaming and laughing, playing a game of tag, occasionally bumping into someone who invariably hurled angry epithets at them. Several of the younger children were crying and complaining about the heat and the confusion. Dozens of the women were pregnant or carrying recently born babies in their arms, some of them bawling because of hunger or a need for a diaper change. The grounds were littered with discarded items—empty bottles, dirty diapers, cereal boxes, even used toilet paper.

Domingo was amazed at the lack of prominent individuals leading the caravan and maintaining a modicum of order and hygiene. From the very beginning, the march had no leaders and no guides. They had all gathered at El Salvador del Mundo Plaza in central San Salvador at dawn and started moving at around 8 am, when someone sitting under a tree smoking a cigarette stood and yelled, “Vamos!”

And that was it. The caravan started moving, unhurriedly and inexorably, like a gigantic snake uncoiling itself to go in search of something to eat.

They had been on the road for a week now. Although their faces were baked red by the sun, they hadn’t advanced much. Domingo worried that all the food and water he brought along wasn’t going to last more than another week or two. The stress of the trip had already cracked the rosy shell of initial optimism, and reality had begun to seep in—disgruntled rumblings about the speed of the caravan started to surface, and two episodes of theft reported. Tempers flared a few times, usually only resulting in loud arguments and name-calling, but twice ending in fistfights that had to be broken up by others.

A young man named Octavio, traveling with two friends close to Domingo and his family, told him about two thousand people from different parts of El Salvador were in the caravan. They were strangers and suspicious of each other, which was the reason for all the problems.

About the Author:
David Pereda is the award-winning author of eleven thrillers and mainstream novels. His books have won the Lighthouse Book Awards twice, the Royal Palm Awards, the National Indie Excellence Awards, and the Readers Favorite Awards twice. He has traveled to more than thirty countries around the world and speaks four languages.

Before devoting his time solely to writing and teaching, Pereda had a successful international consulting career with global giant Booz Allen Hamilton, where he worked with the governments of Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, and Qatar, among others.

A member of MENSA, Pereda earned his MBA from Pepperdine University in California. He earned BA degrees in English literature and mathematics at the University of South Florida in Tampa. He loves sports and has won many prizes competing in track and show-jumping equestrian events.

Pereda lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where he teaches mathematics and English at the Asheville-Buncombe Community College.

Amazon Author Page:

Amazon Buy Link:

Here’s the link to the giveaway.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

And a link to follow his entire tour.

Release Blitz–Margaritas at the Beach House Hotel


The Beach House Hotel Series, Book Five

Contemporary Romantic Women’s Fiction

Release Date: June 24, 2021

Publisher: Wild Quail Publishing

An upscale hotel like The Beach House Hotel sometimes attracts surprise guests….

Ann and Rhonda continue overseeing their Beach House Hotel along the Gulf Coast of Florida and providing guests with a lovely experience of good eating, relaxation, and the privacy many of them require. When Vice President of the United States, Amelia Swanson, asks them for a favor, Ann and Rhonda agree without realizing it means protecting Amelia’s sister from an abusive husband and a nosy public, including their nemesis, Brock Goodwin, who hopes to gain something from the knowledge. But once they’ve said yes, there’s no going back.

Life continues at a busy pace with their families growing baby by baby. Nell, Vaughn’s daughter, has a baby girl; Rhonda’s daughter, Angela, has her second baby, a girl; and Liz, Ann’s daughter, is desperately trying to get pregnant. With all the tension and activity taking place at home and at the hotel, Ann and Rhonda meet in the afternoon when they can for margaritas and private talk. Rhonda, especially, needs Ann’s guidance in how to handle Katherine Smythe, Angela’s mother-in-law, and one of the most irritating people they know.

After they have what Rhonda calls a “near-death experience,” they come to realize how lucky they are. And when another wedding takes place at the hotel due to what Rhonda believes is her matchmaking skills, they celebrate life and margaritas at The Beach House Hotel in a whole different way.

This is a light-hearted, fun beach read with characters readers love. Be sure and read all the other books in this series: Breakfast at The Beach House Hotel, Lunch at The Beach House Hotel, Dinner at The Beach House Hotel, Christmas at The Beach House Hotel, and the upcoming Dessert at The Beach House Hotel.

Other Books in the The Beach House Hotel Series:

Breakfast at The Beach House Hotel

ISBN: 978-0996435017


Lunch at The Beach House Hotel

ISBN: 978-0996863766


Dinner at The Beach House Hotel

ISBN: 978-0996863780


Christmas at The Beach House Hotel

ISBN: 978-0998282459




Ready?” asked my business partner, Rhonda DelMonte Grayson, on this early April morning on the Gulf Coast of Florida.

I stopped typing on the computer and turned to her with a grin. “As ready as I ever will be.”

Wearing a yellow caftan that went with her hair, Rhonda waved me up and out of my chair with a grin that lit her face and had her dark eyes sparkling. “Then let’s get this show on the road! It’s not every day a vice president visits The Beach House Hotel.”

I rose and looped my arm through Rhonda’s, and we headed out to the front lobby to greet the latest VIP to come to our upscale hotel.

As we stepped outside to wait for our guest, the spring day greeted us with a kiss of sunny warmth. A soft breeze bobbed the colorful blossoms on the hibiscus bushes that lined the front of the hotel, softening the edges of the pink-stucco, two-story building that stood like royalty at the water’s sandy edge.

Seems like old times, huh?” said Rhonda, grinning at me as we approached the entrance.

I’ll say.” Five years ago, when we’d first opened the hotel, Rhonda and I had greeted our guests like this at the front steps of the hotel, welcoming them personally as much as possible. Hospitality, discretion, and service were the three things we still relied upon to maintain the hotel’s fine reputation. A warm welcome to the property was a must.

I studied her. When I’d first met Rhonda, I’d thought the large, colorful, bossy woman, who said exactly what was on her mind and had no sense of private space, was completely overwhelming. I’d thought I’d never make it through my first visit to her seaside estate—a visit made to please my daughter, Liz, who roomed at college with Rhonda’s daughter, Angela.

Now, even though my strict upbringing with my grandmother in Boston sometimes made me shudder at what came out of Rhonda’s mouth, I loved her like the sister I never had. And I’d learned her heart was as big as her irrepressible spirit.

Rhonda nudged me. “Here she comes!”

I ran a hand through my shoulder-length dark hair, flicked a speck of dust off my bright-blue suit jacket that matched my eyes, and drew a deep breath.

We headed down the front stairs of the hotel as a black limousine followed a large, black SUV through the gates of the hotel and drew up to the front circle.

As soon as the limousine came to a stop, three different people, two men and a woman, Secret Service agents, I presumed, jumped out of the SUV and assessed their surroundings before the woman went over to the limousine and stood outside the back door. One of the men faced out to the road while the other climbed the stairs to the hotel and stood guard there. Then a somber-looking man stepped out of the front of the limo and stood a moment, scanning the area. Satisfied, he stood by as the female agent outside the limo opened the back door, and Vice President Amelia Swanson prepared to climb out of the car.

A tall, striking woman in her late 40s with chestnut brown hair and blue eyes noted for missing nothing, Amelia Swanson stepped out of the limousine and smiled as she walked forward to meet us.

Welcome to The Beach House Hotel, Madame Vice President,” I said, holding out my hand. “I’m Ann Sanders, one of the hotel’s owners.”

Strong fingers gripped my hand. “Very glad to meet you and to be here.” She turned to Rhonda. “And you must be Ms. Grayson.”

Yes. We’re honored to have you stay with us,” said Rhonda, looking as if she didn’t know whether to curtsey or not.

Let’s go inside where we can talk privately,” Amelia said.

Please, come in.” I took her elbow and led her up the steps. The security agent who’d stood by the door headed indoors while another followed at our heels.

Behind me, I noticed the female guard pacing outside the limousine and wondered who or what she was protecting.

We entered the hotel.

Come this way,” said Rhonda.

She led us to the small, private dining room we used for confidential gatherings. Sound-proofed, it had housed many private discussions that never left the room.

The vice president waited for one of the agents to finish his visual sweep of the interior, and then she motioned both men to stay back before closing the door, leaving the three of us alone in the room.

Would you like a seat?” I asked, a little confused by all that was happening.

No, thank you,” she said, smiling. “I’ve been sitting for a while and need to stretch my legs.” She studied Rhonda and turned to me. “What I’m about to tell you can go no further. Understand?”

Rhonda and I glanced at each other and spoke together. “Yes. We do.”

I won’t be staying here but will instead be secretly traveling to Central America to try and rescue a woman from a revolutionary group that’s been holding her prisoner. I made the reservation here at the hotel because you’re known for being discreet. Tina Marks, that fabulous actress, credits the two of you with saving her life. So, if newspaper reporters ask about my staying here, it won’t seem out of the ordinary for you to decline to give out any information. A woman running from domestic abuse will be using my reservation in my place.”

I see …” I began, but she held up her hand to stop me.

This woman is my sister and the wife of the president’s brother.”

About the Author

Judith Keim enjoyed her childhood and young-adult years in Elmira, New York, and now makes her home in Boise, Idaho, with her husband and their two dachshunds, Winston and Wally, and other members of her family.

While growing up, she was drawn to the idea of writing stories from a young age. Books were always present, being read, ready to go back to the library, or about to be discovered. All in her family shared information from the books in general conversation, giving them a wealth of knowledge and vivid imaginations.

A hybrid author who both has a publisher and self-publishes, Ms. Keim writes heart-warming novels about women who face unexpected challenges, meet them with strength, and find love and happiness along the way. Her best-selling books are based, in part, on many of the places she’s lived or visited and on the interesting people she’s met, creating believable characters and realistic settings her many loyal readers love. Ms. Keim loves to hear from her readers and appreciates their enthusiasm for her stories.

To sign up for her newsletter, go here:

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Book Tour–Critical Hit

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. W.M. Akers will be awarding a $50 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Check out the Kickstarter Campaign for this project.

How do you win a game that’s trying to kill you?

A twenty-nine year-old clerk at a games store in the Appalachian hamlet of Jett Creek, Tennessee, Callie Myles lives for the weekly RPG sessions run by her beloved brother and gamesmaster, LB. Under his watchful eye, she and her friends wage war, harness magic, and battle evil. When the dice are rolling, they are heroes, and all of Callie’s anxieties slip away. The fun stops the night LB burns to death in a bizarre fire.

Asked by her friends to keep the weekly game alive, Callie does her best to set her grief aside. She puts on the monocle LB wore during sessions and finds herself sucked into a life-sized recreation of her brother’s game. Inhabiting the body of her beloved character, the legendary Arabeth, she thinks she has found the ultimate escape. Her paradise is spoiled when she discovers that something inside the game killed LB—and one of her fellow players was in on it.

To save herself, to avenge her brother, Callie Myles must pull on her armor and beat LB’s game from the inside out. If she gets killed along the way, well, at least she’s having a great time.

A fast-paced hybrid of mystery and adventure, CRITICAL HIT captures the breakneck joy of tabletop gaming, where life and death depend on the whims of a plastic die. It will be on Kickstarter from May 25 to June 25, and available on DriveThruFiction and Amazon after that.

Read an Excerpt

I left my friends behind. They were far below me now—thief, gladiator, bard, and mage—waiting on the frozen mud of the Blackbriar courtyard, waiting for the gate to break, for an army of thousands to pour through the door. I’d been with them, but I broke and ran—not from cowardice, but because I had a better idea.


Wood splintered.


Steel buckled.


The doors exploded off their hinges. The Horde was inside.

I sprinted up icy steps, never doubting this was the only way. Far below, the Heroes were surrounded. For the first time in their lives, they looked small. I could not hear the battle. Up that high, there was no sound but the roar of the wind and, far above me, the creaking of bone.

I threw my bow over my shoulder and planted a foot on the lip of the wall. A snowflake caught on my numb lips. It tasted pure.

With a deep breath, I hurled myself into space.

The Hordesmen looked up. In their white armor, they were hard to distinguish from the ice on the ground. The ground that was, I realized, rushing up to meet me very, very fast.

If this doesn’t work, I thought, I’m going to look like such an asshole.

And then a shadow swept out of the darkness: a massive, keening, riderless bird.

I crashed into its side.

My fingers clawed desperately at its bloody feathers. The great beast rolled, and the ground surged to meet me, and I was more certain than ever that death was coming tonight. I hung on tight, and when the roll stopped, I thudded into the leather seat on its back and did not let go.

“Thank you,” I said, and the griffon screamed loud enough to knock a platoon of Hordesmen to the ground. I tugged on the reins. With a beat of its massive wings, it flung us into the clouds.

My breathing was steady. My hands didn’t shake. I glanced over my shoulder and saw Blackbriar Keep, shrunk to the size of a child’s toy. I wondered if any of my friends were still alive.

Didn’t matter. The griffon crashed into the slushy, frozen clouds, which soaked me from head to toe. The sky went black. There was no sound but the occasional thump of the griffon’s wings. And then we exploded above the clouds, where the Duke was losing the battle for the sky.

Of the hundred griffon-riders he had launched so optimistically before the assault began, only a handful were still in the air. In the light of a cold blue moon, they wheeled around their target: a hundred-yard long flying Horror made of sinew and bone. It snapped at the griffons and batted them aside with indifferent swipes of its barbed tail. The lances of the griffon riders clattered harmlessly off the beast, coming nowhere near their true target: the Queen of Skulls.

She was a smudge of green between the beast’s shoulder blades, a warrior whose armies had broken a continent and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of innocents. Only Blackbriar stood between her and Winterwind, and Blackbriar would fall unless she died. The griffon riders were never going to hit her. No one could make that shot.

No one but me.

For I was Arabeth of the Golden Mail. Arabeth the dead-eyed, Arabeth the level 12 marksman. Arabeth the best goddamned shot on the Plateau. I nocked an arrow, slowed my heartbeat, and lined up the shot that would end the war.

About the Author:
W.M. Akers is a novelist, playwright, and game designer. He is the author of the mystery novels Westside and Westside Lights; the creator of the bestselling games Deadball: Baseball With Dice and Comrades: A Revolutionary RPG; and the curator of the history newsletter Strange Times. Born in Nashville, he spent a lucky thirteen years in New York before moving to Philadelphia in 2019. Learn more about his work at his website.


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Book Blitz–The House on Camp Ruby Road


Ghosts of the Big Thicket, Book One

Southern Gothic, Mystery

Publisher: Zimbell House Publishing

The House on Camp Ruby Road is the story of three generations of women living in the Big thicket of deep East Texas. It is a mystical place where Eden Devereaux, a college student in the early 1060s, is drawn into a haunting world full of damaged and grotesques people, reminiscent of Southern Gothic literature. After inheriting a crumbling southern homeplace in the Big Thicket upon the death of her mother, Eden must find out why she is entitled to it. But more importantly, who wants to make sure she doesn’t inherit it, and why.

The story weaves around three women; our heroine, who is searching for answers to a childhood dream; an elderly black woman who is living in the house and who holds the key to the mystery of the dream; and a young girl from the river bottom people, fleeing an unbearable life. They form an unlikely bond through adversity. Eden is aided in her search by handsome Jeff Callahan, who better understands the strange world in which she finds herself.

Will she be driven away by blood feuds, dark secrets, and ghosts? Or will she take a stand and claim what is hers? Through her true Texas grit and determination, she will find out the truth about who she really is, and who it is she truly loves.

Other Books in the Ghosts of the Big Thicket series:

The Girls of Cemetery Road

Ghosts of the Big Thicket, Book Two

Gothic, Mystery, Paranormal Women’s Fiction

There was something very dark about Kitrina Katim’s part of the Big Thicket. It had taken Libby, one of Kit’s best friends, in the dark of night when Kit was just a girl. Kit couldn’t imagine leaving her life and he best friends, the Sisterhood of Cemetery Road. But leave them, she did. And she did not return until ten years later when she was forced back to sell her parent’s house.

Nothing had changed, including Mad Maddie McPhearson, who lived down the road, always sitting on her front porch, always trying to make Kit’s life miserable. Miss Maddie, an angry elderly woman, owned Bellewood, an old Plantation house that was crumbling around her. Kit’s attemps at kindsness only fed the old woman’s hatred. But Kit didn’t understand why. Not then anyway.

It was that hatred that awakened dark voices in the thicket and threatening figures that terrified Kit. Was it Libby? Had she come back to them? Or was it something else, something horrifyingly familiar?

Would it be the Sisterhood, or handsome Colton or his brother Jackson, who would come to Kit’s aid when the time came to do battle with the dark forces that were slowly overtaking the Big Thicket?






The Voices at the End of the Road

Ghosts of the Big Thicket, Book Three

Coming July 2021!

About the Author

Twyla Ellis is a descendent of pioneers who came to Texas in the 1840s, while Texas was still a Republic. She grew up roaming the dense pine forest in the Big Thicket around Livingston, Texas, at the home of her grandmother, great-aunts and uncles, and cousins. Her family was one of the founding families of Livingston, and her great-great-great grandfather was the first city treasurer in the 1840s. She fell in love with the haunting feel of the Thicket; its sounds and sights and smells. Her goal is to make people aware of the mystique and uniqueness of this novel part of Texas, one of only four rainforests in the U.S.

She holds a degree from Howard Payne University and has taught English and Music, and has been a member of NEA, TSTA, and TETA. She was a statewide officer and conference speaker with TETA (Texas English Teachers Association).

She has run her own children’s party and event planning business as well as Remembrances Antiques and Gifts in the Houston area. She is certified in computer graphic design and free-lances in her spare time.

Nothing makes her happier than road trips with her family to interesting old Texas towns. She loves church, antiquing, fossil hunting with her husband and sons (they hunt, she writes), Big Bend, the Alamo (Don’t all Texans?), exploring deserted buildings with a camera, and especially, the Big Thicket of deep East Texas.

If she had to give you a one-sentence bio of herself, she would probably say, “That obnoxiously joyful, hug driven, southern relative that you’d like to hide in the attic, just might be me.”

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RABT Book Tours & PR

Release Blitz–In the Eye of the Beholder


Victorian Romance, Historical Romance

Release Date: June 17, 2021

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group


Intellectual, frank, and outspoken, Eleanor Sherbrook is everything a Victorian lady should not be. Her sister Julia is a stunning beauty who can have anyone she sets her sights on – and she sets them on the man Eleanor loves: the gallant and handsome Lieutenant Joshua Griffiths Wentworth.

Brokenhearted, Eleanor leaves England to become a nurse at the infamous British Army hospital in Scutari, Turkey near where Joshua is mired in war. As a member of the ill-fated Light Brigade, he and his comrades make the charge into the Valley of Death.

Thrown together, and forced to face cruelty and loss in a war-torn land, Eleanor and Joshua’s bond grows deeper every day. The folly and glory of the Crimean War forever changes them as they struggle to find a love strong enough to emerge from the ashes of their shared ordeal.

About the Author

I’ve always been a storyteller. When I was little, I used to tell my sister stories before we went to sleep. Most of them were serials – Superman and the like. It never occurred to me until much later in life that I should try my hand at writing.

Most of my career, I’ve been a music teacher. I’ve found music such a help when crafting a story. I actually see the structure of a book as if it was a musical composition. As for the nuts and bolts of my life, I grew up in the Chicago area and was a teacher there for quite a few years. I had a chance to teach at an international school in Tanzania, and spent two years there. After adopting my son, we spent four years at an international school in the Philippines. During that time, I began writing. Now I live in the western US.

Most of my work has been screenplays. Over the years, I’ve won or placed well in competitions. I’m telling you this so you don’t think I sat down one day and wrote a novel out of the blue. I’ve spent many years working and learning.

A long time ago someone called me “an insatiable romantic.” I hope that’s still true.

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Book Blast–Welcome to a Dickens Holiday Romance Celebration

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nancy Fraser and Peggy Jaeger will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to our 1980’s Dickens Christmas stories!

Two sweet vintage romances set in the New England town of Dickens where small town charm is on full, holiday display.

Both stories are prequels to stories found in last year’s holiday anthology, Christmas Comes to Dickens. Beginning October 18th, the Ladies of Dickens will release six brand-new, full-length Dickens holiday romances (one per week) to celebrate the season.

In the meantime, we hope you’ll enjoy Making Christmas by Author Nancy Fraser and Santa Baby by Author Peggy Jaeger. Both are guaranteed to whet your holiday appetites for what’s to come!


Making Christmas by Nancy Fraser

A 1980s Vintage Romance …

It’s been five years since William Barrett returned to Dickens to take over as CEO of Wil-Bar Toys. He’s spent these past years helping build Wil-Bar into a leader in creative, handmade toys. His work ethic and drive has left him little time for a personal life. Or, perhaps he’s still pining for the one who got away.

Catherine Gates moved away from Dickens six years earlier. Now a staff reporter for a woman’s magazine, she’s returning to Dickens to do a story on Wil-Bar Toys new production methods and get the scoop on their upcoming holiday line.

When Will and Cat meet up again for the first time in years, it’s as if they’ve never been apart. Rekindling their friendship, and attraction, becomes more important than Cat’s article, or even the secrecy of the new toy lines.

Can these two childhood friends make up for lost time and pursue the romance they missed out on years earlier? Or, will Cat’s story expose too much and put them at odds with one another?


Santa Baby by Peggy Jaeger

It’s Christmas Eve morning in the tiny New England town of Dickens.

Santa’s arrival is imminent, and a hint of snow is in the air.

Amy Dorrit is just about to open her popular diner for the breakfast rush when she discovers an abandoned baby on her back doorstep.

Amy knows she should call the authorities and turn the infant over to them, but she just can’t. Thoughts of her own abandonment as a baby flood through her and she wants to keep the little one out of the hands of the authorities until the mother – hopefully –returns.

But will the mom come back? And if she doesn’t, what is Amy prepared to do about the baby who has, already, claimed her heart?

Read an Excerpt from Santa Baby

“What in the name of all that’s holy are you holding, Amy Dorrit?”

Willie Jackson stood at her office door, a lit cigarette dangling from a corner of his mouth, his leather jacket hanging open and his eyes as big and round as his county-famous blueberry pancakes.

“What does it look like?” Amy dug around in the carrier searching for a bottle, pacifier, something, to soothe the baby’s cries. “Lose the cigarette. It’s a baby and I’m pretty sure it’s hungry.”

He lifted those shocked eyes to Amy’s face. “Girl, you been keeping secrets from ol’ Willie?”

“Oh for Pete’s sake. Are you nuts, William Jefferson Jackson? It’s not my baby. I found it at the back door when I came downstairs.”

“Whose is it?”

“No idea.”

“What is it?”

Holding the small bundle like a football in one arm, she shoved the piece of paper she’d found at him. “Same answer. I haven’t looked yet. Here, read this. I found it tucked inside the blanket.” Once he had it, Amy placed her pinky finger over the baby’s lips. It immediately rooted, then latched on to suck.

“I knew it. It’s starving.”

“‘I’m sorry,” he read aloud, ‘but I can’t take care of her—’ well, we know it’s a girl –‘I have no job and no way to hold on to one with a baby. Please forgive me for leaving her like this, but I saw how kind you were yesterday and I know you’ll take care of her like I can’t.’” Willie scratched his head. “Well, shit. We got us a real abandoned baby, here, Ames ol’ girl.”

“Don’t curse in front of her.” She shot him an annoyed glare, her left eyebrow inching up her forehead to her hairline.

“It ain’t like she can understand me. She’s a baby, fer Chri-” Her other eyebrow followed its twin. “Er, pity’s sake.”

“I need something to feed her with.” She glanced around her office. “Can you get me one of the cake decorating bottles? The ones with the plastic tip? I think that’ll work.”

“What’a’ya gonna feed her? Frosting? You ain’t got no mother’s milk and you can’t feed her coffee creamer.”

“Dam-I mean, drat. You’re right. I can give her a little water to hold her over until I can run out and get her some formula.”

“Shouldn’t you call the police? I mean, she’s been abandoned, ain’t she? You can’t just keep her.”

About the Authors:

NANCY FRASER—Jumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Nancy has published over forty books in full-length, novella, and short format. When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

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Peggy Jaeger is a contemporary romance writer who writes Romantic Comedies about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them. If she can make you cry on one page and bring you out of tears rolling with laughter the next, she’s done her job as a writer!

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, she brings all topics of daily life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she’s created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

When she’s not writing Peggy is usually painting, crafting, scrapbooking or decoupaging old steamer trunks she finds at rummage stores and garage sales.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go “What??!”

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Making Christmas
Santa Baby


Making Christmas Trailer:
Making Christmas Jigsaw Puzzle Link:

Santa Baby Trailer Link:
Santa Baby Jigsaw Puzzle Link:

And, yes, there is a giveaway.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please you can go and check out the rest of the tour.