31 January 2017

Lessons From a Difficult Person; How to Deal With People Like Us Spotlight Tour @MaineSam @iReadBookTours

Lessons From a Difficult Person;

How to Deal With People Like Us

By Sarah Elliston



Elliston is a highly successful workshop leader and trainer, who offers wisdom learned the hard way—by experience – as well as through rigorous study and certification in many areas of professional training that aid her in her work — Values Realization, Parent Effectiveness Training and Reality Therapy. She is a faculty member of the William Glasser Institute. Glasser is an internationally recognized psychiatrist and developer of Reality Therapy, a method of psychotherapy that teaches people they have a choice in how they choose to behave.

The methods Elliston offers in her book end the trauma and the drama, and minimize the possibility of confrontation. She gives YOU, the reader, the ability to take a strong, positive, confident—yet compassionate–stance with the “difficult person”—whether that is a relative, coworker, friend, one of your children or anyone else for that matter.

Elliston demonstrates how to:

  • Identify the ways to talk to a “difficult” person
  • Incorporate true incentives to help people change
  • Make real the consequences of the “difficult” person’s action
  • Increase success through acceptance and belonging
  • Avoid being triggered by the “difficult” person allowing you to neutralize those hot buttons and communicate without judgment

Elliston lays out a proven script for peacefully transforming the difficult person’s behavior and the environment. She gives you the tools for successfully initiating and engaging in a conversation with a difficult person that would lead to change.


Where did you get your information or ideas for your book?

The content of the book came from my life and my perspective of my life as well as the theories and concepts of Values Realization, Parent Effectiveness Training and Choice Theory and Reality Therapy.  I became familiar with the bodies of knowledge in my life, liked them and realized to really understand them I needed to teach them.

Parent Effectiveness Training taught me about boundaries with others, my child and other family members.  It taught me how to listen without judging and how to tell someone when I had a problem with their behavior. Values Realization is an enormous body of information based on the concept that there are seven criteria for a value and it is challenging to live in integrity with our deeds matching our creeds. We often allow old experiences and opinions to cloud our ability to live by our values.

Choice Theory and Reality Therapy teach that almost all behavior is chosen and we are driven by our genes to satisfy five basic needs: survival, love and belonging, power and achievement, freedom and fun. Reality Therapy teaches us that the only person we can control is ourselves and that we have to give up trying to control others.  External control doesn’t not work; it destroys relationships.  Most problems have relationship issues at their core and it is a current relationship, not the past.

These ideas and my experience with creating activities to help explore them are what I used to develop my book.  I believe that difficult people have relationship issues and they are difficult because that is all they know how to do.  I didn’t know what I was doing until someone told me in a clear, nonjudgmental manner.  It led to enhanced relationships and my being less difficult.

Is this a Self Help book or a memoir of your life?

It’s a little bit of both.  I explore my childhood and growing up as an attempt to show how one difficult person evolved.  I describe how others managed to work with me, be married to me and not be able to tell me, in language I could understand, that I was difficult.  There is no blame here, just a collection of my experiences.

My purpose is to invite the reader to face the issue of the difficult person in their life and discover what could be done to have a conversation with that person.  Most of the book is a series of concepts and exercises in self-exploration for the reader.  In order to have a successful conversation with the difficult person the reader needs to reflect on his own judgments and attitudes and decide if it really is his business.  There are strategies for practicing the conversation as well as examples of some and reports of some of my coaching clients.

Finally, there is an outline of how a conversation might flow, with potential choice s of what the reader might say.

Doesn’t our world create difficult people?

Our culture encourages people to speak their minds and show initiative and in some cases, we grow up without learning appropriate boundaries or behavior.  In an effort to be inclusive and participatory some organizations and families become permissive and discontent is usually the result.  So here, perhaps, our world creates difficult people.

I think it is as much the above as it is a lack of willingness of individuals to take a step to talk to another person about what they are doing.  To make the connection and experience a negative reaction can be enough to have people turn away, at which point they may become angry or sarcastic and evolve into being difficult themselves.

A mental health professional once told me that the most important word for good mental health is RISK.  Brené Brown, research professor of sociology and author of three #1 New York Times bestsellers: The Gifts of ImperfectionDaring Greatly, and Rising Strong, has spent the last fourteen years studying vulnerability, shame, and empathy.  Dr. Brown points out that one is not truly alive and engaged unless one is vulnerable.  Taking a risk to have a conversation with a difficult person is being vulnerable and will bring real results.

Reading this book and participating in the suggested exercises will be risky.  Closer relationships and clearer boundaries might result.

What is one take-away from your book that you hope your readers remember?

I hope readers will remember that the difficult person is not intentionally being difficult.  My experience shows that even people who have done some introspection and self-help activities don’t realize how others perceive the nor how they are impacting others.

I had been seeing therapists of one sort or another most of my life and attended various workshops to determine ways to find happiness in my life and still had behaviors that others found difficult.  It was as natural to me as breathing and I didn’t understand that others avoided me.  I wished for more friends but something was always wrong with them once I got them.

A difficult person does not know what they are doing that aggravates the reader and if the only idea the reader takes is to ask the person, “Do you know you do this and it annoys the heck out of me?” it will be a first step in healing the relationship.

What do you mean by “being in someone’s business?”

This is a concept I learned from Byron Katie, creator of a self-inquiry process called The Work and author of bestselling books: Loving What Is, and A Thousand Names for Joy.  Katie states that there are three kinds of business: my business which is everything about me, your business which is everything about you and God’s business which is everything else.

Being in someone’s business is what brings us pain.  Trying to be in God’s business also brings us pain.  How do we know we are out of our own business?  Probably because we are in pain.  I teach the concept in the book Lessons from a Difficult Person for the reader to self-evaluate his desire for someone to be different.  If he wants the other to be different because he thinks the other would be better or happier if he changed, the reader is in the other person’s business.

If the reader wants the other to consider changing because the behavior of the other has concrete impact on productivity in the workplace or comfort and happiness in a family situation, and it directly impacts the reader, then it is more possible that he is in his own business.  Clarity around this boundary is essential for developing a conversation with the difficult person that will invite a better relationship.

There is nothing more annoying than someone who says, “You know what your problem is?  You should just do this and you’d be so much happier.”  It’s possibly true but we don’t like being told what to do.  When someone asks, “Are you aware that you’re doing this and it is negatively impacting others?  Is that what you want?” we are more open to considering a change.  We are given information and asked if it’s what we want.  We can choose to change or not.  It is our business.


Sarah (Sam) Elliston is an expert in the art of Dealing with Difficult People. She is a top workshop leader and a member of the faculty of the William Glasser Institute, which espouses “Reality Therapy” to foster behavioral change.

But her instructional career began long before she even became aware that she was herself a “difficult person,” traits that began in Lincoln MA, where she grew up. For more than 30 years she has been teaching and training, first as a high school teacher in Ohio and Cincinnati—and then as an administrator in the not-for-profit sector.

Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook


Prize: One winner will receive a copy of Lessons from a Difficult Person and a $10 Amazon gift card (open to USA & Canada).  Ends Feb 25, 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway 


Jan 30 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway

Jan 30 – Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight

Jan 31 – 100 Pages A Day – book spotlight / giveaway

Jan 31 – Reviews by Room With Books – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

Jan 31 – Writers and Authors – book spotlight / author interview

Feb 1 –   Fantastic Feathers – book spotlight / guest post

Feb 1 –   Man of la Book – A Bookish Blog – book spotlight / guest post

Feb 2 –   #redhead.with.book – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 3 –   Laura’s Interests – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Feb 3 –   A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Feb 6 –   Outset – Rakhi Jayashankar’s Blog – book spotlight

Feb 6 –   Books for Books – book spotlight

Feb 7 –   Sylv all about books – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 8 –   Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 9 –  JBronder Book Reviews – book spotlight / author interview

Feb 9 –   Deal Sharing Aunt – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 10 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

Feb 10 – Rainy Day Reviews – book spotlight / author interview

Feb 13 – Reading Authors – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 14 – Everyday Gyaan – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 15 – Perfect Chaos – book spotlight / giveaway

Feb 16 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

Feb 16 – T’s Stuff – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway

Feb 17 – Health Is Our Key – book spotlight

Feb 17 – Seaside Book Nook – book spotlight / giveaway








5 December 2016

Silence Interrupted Spotlight @authorsania @iReadBookTours

Silence Interrupted

by Sania Shaikh


Category:  YA Fiction,  205 pages
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Lanier Press
Release date:  November 14, 2016
Tour dates:  Dec 5 to 23, 2016
Content Rating:   PG + M
About the Book
Two months before Troye Saavedra’s senior year of high school, his father’s drinking problem skyrockets. When Troye’s parents make an impulsive move to Georgia in order to “help” him finish high school on a positive note, he is forced to leave behind everything he knows. Things couldn’t get worse for Troye. That is, until he meets three enigmatic teenagers: Adelaide, an independent violinist with radical ideas; Zaidan, fiercely loyal and always funny; and Arabella, a girl who harbors secret struggles. Together, the four friends try to pick up the jagged pieces of their lives without getting hurt themselves. An insightful tale of perseverance, Silence Interrupted is a young adult novel about the beauty and peril of traversing the world as a teenager.

Buy the Book:  Amazon

About the Author
Sania Shaikh is a junior at Cambridge High School. Inspired to write from a young age, she worked on Silence Interrupted, her debut novel, starting in eighth grade.
Connect With the Author

Tour Schedule:

Dec 5 –   Working Mommy Journal – book spotlight

Dec 5 –    FLY HIGH! – book spotlight

Dec 5 –    Room With Books – book spotlight

Dec 6 –   Turning the Pages – book spotlight

Dec 6 –   Books, Dreams, Life – book spotlight

Dec 7 –   Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight

Dec 7 –   100 Pages A Day – book spotlight

Dec 8 –   A Mama’s Corner of the World – book spotlight

Dec 8 –   Lukten av Trykksverte – book spotlight

Dec 9 –   Zerina Blossom’s Books – book spotlight

Dec 12Shoshi Reads – book spotlight

Dec 12Christy’s Cozy Corners – book spotlight

Dec 13Bound 2 Escape – book spotlight

Dec 13Reading Authors – book spotlight

Dec 14The Autistic Gamer – book spotlight

Dec 14The All Night Library – book spotlight

Dec 15Books for Books – book spotlight

Dec 15Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight

Dec 16Celticlady’s Reviews – book spotlight

Dec 16Mystery Suspense Reviews – book spotlight

Dec 19Book Lover in Florida – book spotlight

Dec 19Heidi’s Wanderings – book spotlight

Dec 20E-News With Jessy  – book spotlight

Dec 20Outset – Rakhi Jayashankar’s Blog – book spotlight

Dec 21The Journey Back – book spotlight

Dec 21Bookworm for Kids – book spotlight

Dec 22StoreyBook Reviews – book spotlight

Dec 23Svetlana’s Reads and Views – book spotlight

1 August 2016

Coming in Hot – On Her High Horse @cw1985 @GinaKincade @NaughtyNightsPr

‘Coming In Hot’

 Author Spotlight Tour!

Today’s Spotlight 

On Her High Horse


Lucy Felthouse!


Coming In Hot Paranormal & Contemporary Medical Romance Boxed Set: Paramedical meets paranormal: Shifters, Werewolves, Vampires, and More!



Paramedical meets paranormal in this steamy set filled with doctors, nurses, paramedics, shifters, werewolves, vampires, and more!

Get a dose of romance, STAT! 

Featuring NYT, USA Today, and Amazon bestselling authors, we’re Coming In Hot with paranormal to contemporary, and sizzling to seductive bedside manners by the doctors, nurses, paramedics, and more in this boxed set.

See It On Facebook!




Now Available for pre-order at #99cents for a limited time!


Amazon: http://hyperurl.co/CIHPNR

Nook: http://goo.gl/d60cVx

iBooks: https://goo.gl/rpPUXW

Kobo: https://goo.gl/n212yF

ARe: https://goo.gl/k9B4ch

Don’t forget to add to your *want to read* list on Goodreads: https://goo.gl/kDTJ5L

Do first impressions always last?

When veterinarian Brett Coulson and stable owner Samantha Hanson-Bishop meet, it’s hate at first sight. He thinks she’s a snobby, stuck-up bitch who wouldn’t know nice if it bit her on the arse. She thinks he’s a blundering, inexperienced little boy who shouldn’t be within fifty miles of her prized horses. But it doesn’t matter much—they’ll never have to see each other again. Or will they?

When fate throws them into the same room together at a charity fundraiser, the resentment between them quickly resurfaces. But mixed in with that resentment is something they both tried to deny… attraction. Will the chemistry between them cancel out the animosity, or were their first impressions just too powerful to change?



Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of, and an Amazon bestseller) and Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award, and an Amazon bestseller). Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 140 publications to her name. She owns Erotica For All, and is one eighth of The Brit Babes

Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter and Facebook

You can also subscribe to her monthly newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/gMQb9


Hello—thank you so much for stopping by!

I’m so excited to share a little bit about myself and my story in the Coming In Hot boxed set!

Tell us about your title featured in this set.

My story is called On Her High Horse, and is set in the Yorkshire Dales, in England. It’s an enemies-to-lovers story about a young vet and one of his clients.

Once I got going, it probably only took me a couple of weeks to write (I don’t write full time, so I have to squeeze my writing in around everything else I do to earn a living!).

The title was actually a complete nightmare to come up with! Sometimes titles come to me before I even write a story, and other times they pop up while I’m writing. This one eluded me for a long time. I was Googling horsey phrases and veterinary phrases for ages, until I finally came up with this—and it fits the story really well, I think. So it was worth waiting for!

Tell us something about yourself.

I’m from Derbyshire, in England, where I still live with my dog, Scamp. As I mentioned before, I don’t write full time—I actually do lots of little jobs which make up a full time job; writing, marketing, editing, PR, web design, formatting, etc… basically, I eat, sleep and breathe books in one way or another, so it’s pretty awesome. I love being my own boss. I love spending time out in the countryside with my other half and my dog, reading (of course), films, and travelling.

Tell us about your writing process.

It varies massively depending on what I’m writing. For novel length work, I do tend to have some kind of plan, or at the very least an outline, in place. But for short stories and novellas, I tend to just write and see where the characters take me. I write as and when I can, juggling it around everything else I do. The benefit of being my own boss is I can move projects around if I need to—as long as I meet all the deadlines, it’s all good! 😉

What is your favourite genre to read?

I don’t have one, really. I like reading different kinds of books—as long as there’s a gripping story, I’m happy.
What would you say is the one thing you are most passionate about?

The people I care about.

When you are not writing, what do you like to do? 

Read, relax, go walking in the countryside, watch movies, visit stately homes and ancient sites, travel.

If someone who hasn’t read any of your books and asked you to describe your story in this set (the elevator pitch!) what would you say? 

Hunky young vet and sexy older woman go from enemies to lovers with lots of drama in between!

Where can readers connect with you?

http://eepurl.com/gMQb9 (newsletter)

Thank you so much for stopping by!

I hope you’ll check out the Coming In Hot set. Please do check me out on social media and my website to find out more about me and my books.


There was a knock at the door. Brett looked up from where he was transferring hand-written notes onto the practice’s computer system—he hadn’t yet gotten comfortable with taking the iPad out on calls. He was paranoid he’d drop it in a cow pat, or worse. “Yes, come in!”

One of the veterinary surgery’s receptionists—an efficient blonde called Natasha—sidled in, a wry expression on her face. “Hi, Brett. I’m really sorry to bother you, but there’s a woman on the phone, and she’s being, um, rather rude.”

Frowning, Brett replied, “Who is it? And why is she being rude?”

Natasha blew out a breath and shrugged. “She won’t tell me what the issue is. Won’t even tell me what animal she has. She just keeps saying she’ll only speak to a ‘trained professional.’ I don’t know who it is, either, not really. All I know is her first name is—”

“Samantha?” Brett supplied, his shoulders slumping and eyebrows raising.

“Uh, yeah. How did you know? Oh God, I haven’t gone and insulted one of your friends or something, have I? I didn’t mean to, honestly. It’s just she’s being a bit difficult…”

“Natasha, don’t panic. She’s no friend of mine. I’ve never even met the woman. Besides, if she was one of my friends, I’d be giving her a bollocking for being rude to one my staff, wouldn’t I? Anyway, if it’s the Samantha I think it is, then she’s being very difficult, and you’re being overly polite. Andrew warned me about her.”

“He did?”

“Yeah. Bloody typical that she’d phone while he’s away. The man barely ever takes a holiday, and now he finally has, his most awkward client is on the blower. He damn well owes me one after this.”

“If she’s a regular client, how come I’ve never spoken to her before?”

Shrugging, Brett replied, “Dunno. Maybe she’s got Andrew’s mobile number, or something?”

Natasha gasped. “But he never gives out his mobile number to clients. He’s very strict about that—always asks us to take a message and if it’s urgent, pass it on to him directly.”

“Yeah…” Brett scratched his head. “He didn’t say much about her, beyond that she can be difficult. Honestly, I was a bit distracted when he mentioned it so I wasn’t paying a great deal of attention. I wish I’d asked more questions now, but I never actually thought I’d have the misfortune of having to deal with her.”

“You haven’t, yet.” Natasha raised her eyebrows and pointed with her chin towards the phone on his desk.

“Good point.” He gave a wan smile. “Suppose I’d better find out what she wants, hadn’t I? If she’s special enough to have Andrew’s precious mobile phone number, then I probably ought to keep her sweet.”

“Probably wise.” Natasha left the room, closing the door behind her, but not before Brett spotted the slight smile on her face. Relieved to pass on the bitchy customer to him, no doubt.

Taking a deep breath, he picked up the phone. “Hello, Brett Coulson speaking, how can I help?”

“Oh,” came the reply, “Brett. Ah yes, you’re the other vet, aren’t you? Jolly good. Know what you’re talking about, do you?” The woman’s accent was posh, southern. Like she’d been to a finishing school or something.

Gritting his teeth, Brett then pasted a smile on his face, hoping it would be apparent in his tone, despite the daggers he was actually staring at her through the handset. “Yes, I most certainly do.” Should fucking do, after five years of training and the same again working in the profession. I’m not on bloody work experience here.

“But you sound so young.”

Glad she couldn’t see him, Brett rolled his eyes. Her problem obviously wasn’t an emergency, the way she was waffling on, time-wasting. “I’m almost twenty-nine, Mrs…”

“It’s Ms, actually. Samantha Hanson-Bishop here. So you’re still a baby then, really.”

“Is there something I can help you with, Ms Hanson-Bishop? Only I’ve a call to go out on in a few minutes.” He couldn’t help the emphasis he’d put on the Ms. It could be construed as sarcastic, but it was still a damn sight more polite than anything he really wanted to say. Would she just get to the point already?



Coming In Hot Boxed Set Preorder Blitz

Sep 16 – Sep 17 · Anywhere on the Internet


a Rafflecopter giveaway

3 June 2016

Relentless Spotlight Tour @SourcebooksCasa


The Hero Agenda, Book 2

by Tera Lynn Childs & Tracy Deebs

Pubdate: June 6th, 2016

ISBN: 9781492638742



About the Book

Revenge is easy, but justice is worth fighting for…

Kenna is tired of being lied to—and hunted by the very allies she once trusted. Unearthing the dark secrets of the superhero world has not only endangered her life, now her boyfriend faces execution for crimes he didn’t commit and her mother is being held captive in a secret governmental prison.

Kenna is determined to stand up for what’s right and save those she loves from unspeakable fates. It’s time for the betrayal to end. It’s time for the real criminals to face justice.

But the truth is even more terrifying than Kenna could imagine. A conspiracy threatens the fate of heroes, villains, and all of humanity. If Kenna’s going to survive, she must draw on her deepest strength: her resilience. Because when Kenna’s pushed to the limit, she doesn’t break down. She fights back.


About the Authors

Tera Lynn Childs is the RITA-award-winning and bestselling author of teen fiction about a mythological high school, mermaid princesses, monster-hunting triplet descendants of Medusa, and dark fae princes.

Tracy Deebs is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling and critically-acclaimed author who writes under many pseudonyms, including young adult novels about surfing mermaids and technological armaggeddon.Purchase Links

Amazon: http://amzn.to/1VLL9In

Books-A-Million: http://bit.ly/1TLIGtY

Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1WcvsdI

Chapters: http://bit.ly/1VLMEWQ

Indiebound: http://bit.ly/1YbxuI4





“I got this,” Dante yells to me. “Work the plan, Kenna.”

I nod and leave him to deal with Rebel.

As much as I want to free my mom first—family instinct is begging me to save her—I don’t know what her power is, don’t know if she can help us. At least I know what Draven’s powers can do. And right now, we need all the help we can get.

Nitro is standing on top of the table, right above Rex’s seat, lobbing small, white fireballs in a never-ending stream. He has the entire stage basically surrounded, with most of the Collective cowering behind a wall of white-hot flame.

Riley has a couple of the others and two more guards tied to the track lighting in the ceiling and is going after a guard who is shooting potassium bicarbonate all over Nitro’s firewall.

So, in other words, all is going according to plan. Thank God.

Draven is struggling against his shackles, which are secured to a giant loop in the stage floor. I want so much to pull him close and physically assure myself that he’s fine, but there isn’t time for that.

Instead, I move behind him and find the latch on the powers-neutralizing helmet. An instant later, I yank it off and toss it across the room. It’s useless now, thanks to my circuit-destroying EMP.

“What the hell are you doing here?” Draven demands.

Does he really have to ask?

I flash him a more-confident-than-I-feel smile. “Saving your ass. As usual.”

He gives me the cocky half smile I’ve come to love, and that more than anything else makes me believe that things will turn out okay.


I turn at Riley’s shout, just in time to see Mr. Malone break through Nitro’s firewall. Right behind me.

I freeze. This is the first time I’ve been face-to-face with Mr. Malone since I found out all the terrible things he’s done.

Since I found out he tortures decent people for reasons I can’t even begin to fathom.

Since I found out the word hero was a big, fat lie and they aren’t the good guys after all.

Rage overtakes me and I lunge for him, forgetting the plan, forgetting everything but the need to make him hurt as he’s hurt so many of the people I care about. In a flash, Rex’s hands are around my throat. I’m completely immobilized, lifted to my toes and barely able to breathe.

Draven is enraged as he turns on Rex—his father—and shouts, “You’re not going to touch her!”

“Who’s going to stop me?” Rex sneers. “You?”

An instant later, he releases me and drops to his knees, howling in pain as Draven uses his biomanipulation to do God knows what to Mr. Malone.

I draw in gasping breaths, relieved at the oxygen now flooding my bloodstream.

“Never go near her again,” Draven snarls, ramping up his biomanipulation grip on his father.

I lay my hand on Draven’s arm. We aren’t here to kill Rex, and the last thing we need is anyone in this room learning that Draven has a second power.

His muscles relax beneath my palm, and so do mine. Just this brief contact with him is enough to center me even in the middle of all this chaos.

Rex collapses into a lump.

Draven snorts with disgust as he stands over his father’s prone body.

The faint thump-thump-thump of an approaching helicopter jolts me back into action. We have to move, now, before reinforcements show up and eliminate our escape plan.

Category: Spotlight Tour | Comments Off on Relentless Spotlight Tour @SourcebooksCasa
6 May 2016

When First They Practice to Deceive Spotlight @CarolynLaRoche @_BookMistress

When First They Practice to Deceive

By Carolyn LaRoche

The Secret Lives Series


Banner When First They Practice to Deceive


Genre: Mystery/intrigue/ romance


About the Book

All Jessy Wallace wants is a happy marriage, but her husband is a liar and in over his head…

Jessy has spent the last decade happily married to her husband, Sam. But when she finally lands a job at Dixie’s Place, a hole-in-the-wall diner, she learns not all is well in paradise. Officer Sam Wallace has been spending the majority of their marriage in the beds of other women. Fed up, Jessy kicks her husband to the curb.

The last thing she wants is another messy relationship…

Uncertain if her husband ever truly loved her, Jessy gets caught completely off guard by the intense attraction she feels for Trey Smith, the night cook at Dixie’s Place. But she recognizes some telltale signs, and discovers he’s an undercover FBI agent. Jessy curses herself for falling for another lawman. To make matters worse, her soon-to-be ex-husband might be involved with Trey’s case.

After the death of his wife, FBI agent Trey Smith has spent the last four years married to his work…

But when Jessy starts waitressing at the diner where he is working undercover, he falls head over heels for her. Her ex-husband, however, is one of the top suspects in Trey’s case, and all Trey wants to do is protect her. He can’t lose this once in a lifetime chance at love.

Jessy is the soon-to-be ex-wife of a suspected criminal.

Trey Smith is an undercover FBI agent.

Can their love overcome the odds, or will it all come crashing down under the weight of lies and deception?

Purchase Link



Cover - When First They Practice to Deceive



Dixie dumped her packages on the counter with a grunt. “Where the hell is that cook? Trey!

Trey’s appearance in the dining room was announced by the slam of the back door. His cheeks were red. Jessy caught sight of a cell phone sticking out of his shirt pocket. Trey rubbed his hands together.

“It’s mighty frosty out there tonight. Was just taking out the trash. You need something, Dix?”

“How many times have I told you not to call me that? It sounds too much like dicks.” She swatted at him but Trey sidestepped the hit.

“Aw lighten up, Dix, no one is going to think that of you.” Jessy experienced an annoying twinge of jealousy as Trey ran a long, lazy glance over Dixie’s body, making the woman flush a deep crimson which just made her look sexier. Jessy glanced down at her own, curveless frame and frowned. Life is so unfair.

“Just take this stuff into my office so I can sort it.”

“Sure thing. What’s in all these packages anyway?” Trey flipped open a box lid. “Christmas decorations?”

Dixie shrugged. “Well, yeah. It’s December.”

Trey rummaged around and pulled out an ornament of a tiny ballerina. “Shattered dreams going on the tree this year, Dixie?”

“Gimme that!” Dixie snatched the figure from Trey’s hand.

“Okay, so which one of us is the angel supposed to represent? Knowing all of you like I do, I have to go with the only logical conclusion. Me.”

“Yeah, ‘cause you’re a real angel all right.” Arnetta gave Trey a searing look, like the ones they write about in romance novels.

“You know nothing about my angel status.” Trey returned the angel to the box as he winked at Jessy. “That is a mystery that remains to be discovered. Oh wait, maybe this will help.”

“What is it?” Jessy, intrigued by the contents of the box as much as she was interested in just how much Arnetta knew about Trey’s status, stepped forward. Trey whipped around to face her, his hand on his head.

Only it wasn’t resting on his head. It held a little sprig of green vegetation in his hand and a grin on his face that rivaled that of the Chesire Cat. Mistletoe. Aw, crap.

“Oops, I’m stuck under some mistletoe. You know legend says I have to kiss the person nearest to me.” His eyes burned into Jessy’s skin as her cheeks heated to new proportions never before experienced.

“I don’t think that’s quite how it goes,” Arnetta said.

“Shut up! He’s about to have his meal!” Surrey whispered loudly behind Jessy.

“I think the legend says someone is supposed to kiss you.” Jessy looked into Trey’s eyes without blinking.

“Breaking legend is bad luck. Very, very bad luck.”

“I think you mean tradition. It’s bad luck to break tradition.”

“Legend. Tradition. Whatever. All I know is you are leaving me hanging and potentially exposing both of us to many years of pain and suffering.”

Jessy could feel three sets of female eyes on her, but she only cared about Trey’s. His eyes were so warm and so welcoming, and they were doing things to her insides so she couldn’t think straight.

“Well, I guess we wouldn’t want that.” She rose up slightly on tip toe, closing some of the height gap between them.

“No. I guess not.” He leaned forward, closing just a little more of the distance.

“It’s never a good idea to tempt the fates.” Jessy heard three breaths sucked in as one.

“Nope.Definitely not.”

Freezing air wrapped around them as the sounds of laughter and chatter suddenly filled the diner.

“Show’s over, folks. Time to make some money.” Dixie grabbed a few bags and headed to her office.

“Trey! Get the rest of those boxes for me then get in the kitchen!”

Trey stepped back and lowered the mistletoe, never breaking eye contact with Jessy. “Yes, ma’am! I’m right behind you.”

He blew her a little kiss then stepped over to the counter, scooped up the boxes, and was gone before Jessy could remember to breathe.

Surrey was the first to grab up a notepad and take a table, but not before she whispered in Jessy’s ear, “Just like I said. Looks at you like his next meal.”


Other Books in the Series

Undercover in Six Inch Stilettos

In The Shadow of the Shield


Meet the Author

Carolyn LaRoche Author picture

Carolyn LaRoche grew up in snow country but fled the cold and ice several years ago. She now lives near the beach with her husband, their two boys, two finicky cats and one old dog. When she is not at the baseball field cheering on big hits and home runs, she is busy teaching science to unwilling teenagers.

Connect With the Author



Goodreads ~~ Amazon

Twitter @CarolynLaRoche



Category: Spotlight Tour | Comments Off on When First They Practice to Deceive Spotlight @CarolynLaRoche @_BookMistress
30 December 2015

Tangled Vines Spotlight Tour @NicoleFlockton @MTWPromotions

Tangled Vines
Author: Nicole Flockton

Genre: Adult, Rural Romance
Publsihed: December 21, 2015
Published by: Crimson Romance

Kyle Davis doesn’t do Christmas – not after he lost his whole family in the Boxing Day Tsunami. His idea of celebrating the festive season is going to his Margaret River property where his only companion is what’s residing in his liquor cabinet. Finding winemaker, Jordan Hastings in his shower is the last thing he expects or needs. No matter how attractive she is or how his body responds to her, a relationship is not on his Christmas wish list.

After being betrayed by the man she thought loved her Jordan has taken over her father’s caretaker position at a Margaret River property. Trying to get her career on track by bringing the neglected vines on the property back to life becomes her only focus. When property owner Kyle turns up and demands she leaves she stands her ground and convinces him to let her continue her work on the vines. Falling for a man who controls her employment is something she has no plans on doing again. Only resisting Kyle proves impossible when she learns of the tragedy he has suffered.

Time spent together has each of them evaluating their goals and finding that taking another risk on living and loving could be the best Christmas gift after all.

Tangled Vines Excerpt © Nicole Flockton 2015

Kyle’s stomach rumbled, reminding him it had been a long time since he’d eaten something. He glanced at the house and sighed. Maybe he could get her to leave after he’d sampled some of the food she’d prepared.
He followed the same path Jordan had taken moments ago. Of course, after succumbing to the call of his stomach and eating her food, getting her to leave would not be an easy task. He hated to admit it, he quite enjoyed sparring with her. It had been a long time since a woman had answered him back—if ever.
The smell of bacon, eggs and toast greeted him in the kitchen.
“Ah, so you decided to join me after all. Isn’t that nice.” Sarcasm dripped from her every word.
He shrugged a shoulder, as if she hadn’t won the battle of wills going on between them. “I’ve never been one to say no to food I haven’t had to cook. It tastes so much sweeter.”
“I bet your mother is really happy to hear you say that after she’s slaved over a meal for you.”
Images of his mum laughing as she cooked the Sunday family meal slashed him like barbs from razor wire. The way she would always drop a kiss on his head before she slapped his hand away from the morsel of food he attempted to steal.
One more chance. That’s all he wanted. One more chance to talk to her. To tell her he loved her. Tell her he was sorry.
“Are you okay?” Her fingers touched his back. Kyle shrugged them off. He didn’t want sympathy. Nor pity. He didn’t deserve it.
Words were impossible so he grunted in response and picked up a plate and helped himself to the food set out on the counter.
“No wonder you get on so well with my father. He struggles with conversation, too.”
Kyle ignored her and concentrated on eating. The repetitive motion of putting food in his mouth helped to keep away the thoughts of his last conversation with his mum and dad.
The aroma of rich, freshly brewed coffee teased his senses. He lifted his eyes from the diminishing pile of food and connected with sparkling green ones.
“You look like you need this,” she said quietly as she pushed the steaming mug toward him.
“”Just be careful you don’t spill it.” Jordan tilted her head toward his bare chest. “You wouldn’t want to burn yourself.”
Kyle rocked back on his chair. “You don’t need to worry about me. All you need to worry about is packing your bags and going back to your house instead of encroaching on mine.”
To his annoyance, Jordan sat down at the table opposite him. A part of him had to give the girl her due for standing up to him.
“Wish I could. But I can’t. I don’t have a house to go back to. I moved back here from South Australia just before Dad’s accident.”
His chair landed with a thump. “What do you mean you don’t have a house? Why aren’t you staying in Ted’s apartment?”
A harsh laugh erupted from her. For the first time since he’d encountered her naked body in the bathroom, bitterness and anger entered her eyes.
Jordan sighed, picked up her coffee cup and took a sip. “I’m sure your assistant Shey explained why I’m living here. She said it was okay when I spoke to her about it on Monday.”
He recalled Shey saying there was an issue down here, but he’d told her to deal with it—just so long as he wasn’t disturbed while he was in residence he didn’t care. Shey assured him she would handle it.
Now he wished he’d questioned her further. He had no plans to let Jordan know he didn’t know everything.
“Remind me.” His words came out as a command.
Jordan’s eyes narrowed at his tone. He waited for the tongue-lashing he was sure she wanted to lay on him.
“The hot water system in Dad’s apartment over the garage broke and flooded the whole place. The apartment now needs to be refurbished, starting with paint and carpet and new appliances. However, with Christmas almost upon us, the job is going to take twice as long to complete. This is why I’m staying here.”
Kyle bit back a groan. Why was this happening to him? All he wanted was to be alone at his house. Only now he had an unwanted visitor.
Hell, he’d pay for her to stay in a hotel. Anything. He’d do anything just to get her to leave.
“Look, Jordan, I need you out. I need my privacy. Go see John at the Margaret River Inn. He will hook you up with a room. Tell him to send me the bill.”
“I don’t need your money to go to a hotel, thank you very much. But bad news, buddy.” As Jordan lifted her cup of coffee again, Kyle knew he wasn’t going to like what she had to say. “It’s going to be near impossible to get any accommodation at any of the local hotels. It’s school holidays and it’s Christmas. Everything is going to be booked. Looks like you’re stuck with me.”
Kyle pushed his chair back. “This is unacceptable. This is my house, Jordan. You don’t have any right to be here. Regardless of the arrangement you’ve made with Shey.”
He held up his hand as she went to speak. “In the caretaker arrangement I have with your father, it’s extremely clear that every year your father is to vacate the property from the third Wednesday in December until the second Sunday in January. I appreciate you taking over your father’s position while he recuperates from his broken leg. But you are bound by the same contractual arrangement. Which means you shouldn’t be here.”
Kyle tamped down the annoyance building inside of him at the sight of the smile that broke out over Jordan’s face. He didn’t want to acknowledge the way his heart beat a little faster as the smile lit up her whole face. He needed to remain angry with her. It was the only way. He couldn’t afford any other emotion with her or anyone. He didn’t feel anymore. It was safer not to feel. Safer to go to work and come home to an empty house and no one waiting or relying on him.
“Well, I believe I may have a different employment contract than my father. There’s nothing in mine that mentions I have to vacate the caretaker’s apartment in December and January.”
The anger he fought seconds ago bubbled up inside of him. He grasped it with both hands.
“That’s easily fixed. You’re fired.”

Bestselling author Nicole Flockton writes sexy contemporary romances, seducing you one kiss at a time as you turn the pages. Nicole likes nothing better than taking characters and creating unique situations where they fight to find their true love.

On her first school report her teacher noted “”Nicole likes to tell her own stories””. It wasn’t until after the birth of her first child and after having fun on a romance community forum that she finally decided to take the plunge and write a book.

Apart from writing Nicole is busy looking after her very own hero – her wonderfully supportive husband, and two fabulous kids. She also enjoys watching sports and, of course, reading.

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30 December 2015

Unpredictable Spotlight Tour @charms0814 @MTWPromotions @LimitlessBooks

Series: Key West Series #1
Author: C.A. Harms

Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: April 14, 2015
Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC

Have you ever wished for a moment that you could pretend to live the life of someone else? Escape the harsh reality that your own is anything but perfect?

Quinn had always been forced to put her own needs last. With an absent father and a mother who drowns herself daily in a bottle of Rum, there was no other option.

Jett was the distraction she needed, even if it was just for one night. A void filler, a chance for a freeing moment to allow herself to feel something other than emptiness.

He wasn’t what she expected…


Her life didn’t have room for a man like Jett.


But now it was too late, there was no turning back.


Nothing would ever be the same.

Unpredictable Excerpt © C.A. Harms 2015

It’d been two days. Two days of unanswered calls, unanswered texts. Two days of driving by her house day and night, only to find it empty. I spoke with her boss at Spencer’s, and he too said she had taken some time off.
With each day my heart sank a little more with the thought that I had thrown away the best thing that had ever happened to me. This was on me, completely. I acted like the biggest dick when I should have just talked to her.
“Hey, numb nuts, you still pouting?” Kade shouted as he exited the French doors onto the back patio.
“I need to change my locks,” I grumbled. Resting my head back against the chair, I closed my eyes, attempting to block him out.
“Don’t blame me for your massive amount of shit. I’m just here for the pool—oh, and the free beer.” He chuckled as he pulled his shirt up and over his head, then took off and jumped, cannonballing into the pool. “Whew,” he yelled out just before hitting the water. The cool splash flowed backward, drenching the entire patio.
All I could do was shake my head at the ass. He was doing everything possible to pull me from my slump. I picked up my phone and checked once again for any response only to come up empty. “Give the girl some time. I know it’s driving you crazy, not being able to fix this, but you need to try to give her some space.” Kade climbed out of the pool, shaking his hair, once again spraying water in every direction. Cocky son of a bitch chuckled as I jumped from my chair and stepped back.

Title: Inevitable
Series: Key West Series #2
Author: C.A. Harms
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: June 30, 2015
Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC

Harper Jameson, had built the necessary walls to keep her heart safe. Never again would she allow herself to be weak and vulnerable.

Confident and full of attitude.

A mask she wore that many fell for.

Except Easton Black.

He was equally confident, cocky and knew what he wanted.


Things he wanted rarely escaped his grasp. He was immune to the façade Harper had created.

She was intriguing.

It was inevitable and Harper could sense that there was no way out. Easton Black would no doubt be the man who could change everything.

People aren’t always as strong as they appear to be on the outside…

Inevitable Excerpt © C.A. Harms 2015

The moment I knocked on her door, I think my heart jumped in to my throat. A deep vicious bark had my nerves on high alert. The bark didn’t sound like any dog I had ever been around. I know she had one, I remember the day she brought it by Jett’s place to show him, the day she picked him up. But that bark, the one that was still flowing out from behind her door, I had to admit had me a little worried.
I wasn’t an animal guy. I had never had one and had no desire to change that.
When the door came open and I looked down to see a head the size of a car looking back at me, I swallowed hard. Okay so maybe the size of a car was an exaggeration but in panic mode everyone tends to do that.
“That is not a dog,” I stated. “That’s is a tank.”
Harper laughed. “No actually this is Brutus, and I promise you he isn’t just a dog.”
I looked up at her, cocking my eyebrow.
“He is my best friend, my cuddle buddy and the protector.” She explained as she rubbed his head in a motherly way. “He may be big.”
“He’s fucking huge,” I corrected.
“Okay he may be huge, but he is the sweetest dog you’ll ever meet. Don’t let him fool ya, he’s a big baby.” I still wasn’t convince. The idea of a dog being almost as big as most motorcycles, had me convinced that I should wait in the car.
“Will you stop being such a pussy,” Harper stated as she placed her hand on her hip. “He won’t hurt you. In fact he is scared of his own shadow on a good day.”
She opened the door and I took a step inside, still leery of the dog that could stand on his hind legs and be taller than me. She led me toward the couch and directed me to have a seat.
“I just need five minutes.” She rushed off before I could say another word.
I was tense and afraid to move, Brutus, watched me from the left end of the couch. I continued to stare straight ahead, thinking if I avoided eye contact, maybe he would walk away.
My actions had the opposite effect. I felt his head nudge my knee and I stiffened, this shit was messed up. Dogs were supposed to be small and cute. Never should a dog be larger than their owner…never.
I strong nudge against my leg once more, made me sweat a little. Then Brutus went one step further and placed his paw on my thigh, laying his head next to it, letting out a loud, humph.
“Hey there big guy,” my voice vibrated with tension. Harper was right, what the fuck. I was acting like a damn pussy.
I lifted my hand and began petting the top of Brutus’s head. “You’re not that scary are ya?” It was definitely more of a question than a reassuring statement. I still wasn’t completely convinced that he wasn’t going to eat me before Harper finished getting ready.
“Okay, this isn’t so bad is it?”
I let out a breath I had been holding since Harper left me alone with the grizzly. His big puppy dog eyes looking up at me as they sagged in awe. Apparently he liked it when you scratched behind his ears.
So for the next, what felt like ten minutes, I continued to pet him in the place he enjoyed the most. Yes I still silently prayed that I made it out of here with all my limbs in tacked but I may have been able to relaxed, just a little.

Title: Uncontrollable
Series: Key West Series #3
Author: C.A. Harms
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: September 15, 2015
Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC
Avery Nolan’s father has never been a part of her life.
As a result, she finds herself becoming a caretaker. Always trying to please other people, willing to tuck her own concerns aside for the happiness of others.

She is selfless.

She is a nurturer.

On the outside, it appears Kade Thomas has it all, but no one can understand the guilt and ache he feels daily.

He is haunted by his past.

Every time he closes his eyes, he finds himself reliving the same nightmare, over and over again.

He blames himself for the loss of Jenna.

He pushed her too far and she paid the price.

Avery saw something special in Kade, from the first day she met him—she could feel it.

But the darkness that consumes him is…


Will she finally be the one to break down the walls he’s built around his heart and soul?

Or will she find some walls are just Indestructible…

Uncontrollable Excerpt © C.A. Harms 2015

KADE“Here’s the address,” Easton said as he passed the paper over the top of the table toward me. “Bennie said they live in a ranch-style home at the end of the lane.”
Vermont. They stuck around for a few months after the funeral and then picked up and moved thousands of miles away. Running from the place where they saw their daughter everywhere they looked.
“You sure about this, Kade?” Jett asked as he sat down in the booth next to me.
“Yeah, I am. It’s something I have to do. It’s the last step before I can say good-bye to Jenna,” I explained as I twisted the paper between my fingers. “I’m ready to move on with Avery, and I can’t do that until I do this.”
My stomach was in knots at the idea of facing Jenna’s parents. I had no idea what to expect, but I wanted to close this chapter.
“I’m gonna need something from you, Jett,” I said as I looked up from my hands.
“And what would that be, brother?” he asked.
“Keep an eye on my girl,” I said, and he grinned widely and nodded as Easton chuckled. “Yeah, I know. You never thought you’d see the day, right?”
Jett placed his hand on my shoulder and patted it.
“Nope, I didn’t, but it looks good on ya.” “What does?” I asked.
“Love, infatuation, whatever you wanna call it,” Easton said.
“Pussy-whipped, henpecked, does it matter how you refer to it?” Jude flopped down in the seat next to Easton, chuckling. “Avery has you wrapped around her pinky, and you are sunk to the deepest depths, brother.”
I smiled. “Where the hell did you come from?”
“I’ve been quietly observing this exchange you three were having.” He leaned back, waiting for me argue with what he had said. But he was right. It was pointless. Avery had me tied up tight, and there was no coming back.

Title: Undeniable
Series: Key West Series #4
Author: C.A. Harms
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: December 15, 2015
Publisher: Limitless Publishing LLC
Sometimes in life you are forced to do things you may not agree with.
Family meant everything to Jude Calvert.

He would do whatever it took to keep them safe and provide for them no matter what it took to make that happen.

Even if that meant putting his own safety at risk, he had no other choice.
Callie Raine has always felt a heavy attraction toward Jude.

He was fascinating.

He was undeniable.

She knew there was so much more to him than he allowed anyone to see. But she was a headstrong woman and feeling weak was something she wouldn’t allow.

Except when it came to Jude.

However, when Jude is hit with the unexpected and forced to rely on others, Callie realizes he doesn’t take weakness easily.

He becomes even more withdrawn.

More angry.

Will he finally give in and learn to lean on those who care?

Or will he push them beyond the point of no return and once again be left to face his obstacles alone?

Undeniable Excerpt © C.A. Harms 2015

“Hello.” I froze as Jude’s voice carried up the stairway, then jumped up from my position on the floor in our bedroom and scrambled for the door. Before I opened it, I turned back to face the kids, who were playing tug-of-war with the unnamed puppy.
“Stay here.” They both nodded, and I slipped out of the room, closing the door behind me. Jude had just reached the top of the steps, and he looked up with a smile.
“Where are the kids?”
“They’re playing in our room,” I said as I approached him.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Nothing,” I assured him as I continued to walk. He cocked an eyebrow at me, and my stomach dropped. He was seeing right through me. I was such a bad liar.
“The kids are busy. Wanna sneak downstairs and have a quickie?” I wagged my eyebrows, but his facial expression did not change in the slightest.
“Now I know you’re full of shit. You’re actually attempting to distract me with sex,” he said with a grin. I was just about to argue when the puppy barked.
“What was that?” he asked.
My stomach was flipping around anxiously, and I didn’t even get to figure out a way to break the news before everything broke loose. The bedroom door came open behind me, and I heard the puppy’s claws tapping against the hardwood floor as Zoey and Matthew followed him. Squealing and laughter filled the hallway as I remained locked in place. I avoided looking at Jude. In fact, I stared down the floor instead.
“Are those my boxers?” Jude asked, and I looked up. He was pointing at the puppy, who was sitting back on his butt looking up at Jude. Hanging from his mouth were a red pair of Jude’s Calvin Klein boxers I had just purchased last week.
“Warrior likes to play tug-of-war with them,”
Matthew announced as he pulled on the other end of the red material.
“See, you just hook your hand through this handle, and he pulls back.”
Matthew slipped his little hand through the front opening in the boxers.
“His name is not Warrior,” Zoey argued.
“We still have to draw for his name, remember? Callie said so.”
I could feel Jude’s eyes boring in to me. I knew he was waiting for me to look up, but I was avoiding eye contact.
“What do you think we should name him, Uncle Jude?” Matthew asked.
“I like Warrior, but Zoey said Buddy or Charlie. I don’t like those.”
The kids began to argue over the name of our new puppy, and of course I continued to keep my head down as my heart raced with the idea that Jude may be angry.
“Callie,” Jude said, and my stomach lurched. He didn’t sound mad, yet he didn’t sound happy, either. Silence set in, and I knew all eyes were on me. I took in a deep breath and closed my eyes tightly.
“I never should have let them convince me to go into the pet store, but before I knew what hit me, they were laughing and playing with this cute little guy.”
I looked up and found Jude staring back at me, an unreadable expression on his face. “They ganged up on me, and they gave me that look. You know the one.”
t was then I noticed the smile tugging at his lips. “Are you ever going to be able to tell them no?”
Jude asked as he stepped around the puppy. I shook my head. I knew the moment they turned on me and gave me those big, sad eyes, I was putty in their hands. I was unable to disappoint them.

C.A. Harms is like any other addicted reader. She enjoys happy endings and HEA love stories. She hasn’t always been a lover of Romance and had once been addicted to a good Mystery. Just recently she has taken on a new liking and now is a full blown Romance novel addict.

She lives in Illinois and enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. You will always find her with her kindle or paperback in hand as it is her favorite pass time.

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9 December 2015

Siblings Spotlight Tour @kjans3 @MTWPromotions @LimitlessBooks

Author: K.J. Janssen

Genre: Adult, Family Drama/Romance
Published: August 11, 2015
Published by: Limitless Publishing LLC

The Symington Parents…

Marilyn Symington strives to be a good mother and the family peacemaker. But when lingering health issues send her to her husband’s business partner Dr. John Hazelton, she is drawn into an illicit relationship which threatens the foundation of all she’s built.

Ronald Symington is a well-respected doctor, but he is burdened by problems at the Symington Medical Center and the growing family friction, with only the apparition of his late father to rely on for advice. Looking for leverage, Ron hires a PI to investigate his uncooperative partner, but what will he do with the shocking secret he discovers?

The Symington Children…

Richard, the oldest of the Symington offspring, followed Ronald into medicine, but he can’t escape his father’s shadow. He also has a hidden gambling addiction, which leads him to perform illegal abortions to pay off his debts, though he tries to convince himself he’s helping his patients—prostitutes—by saving them from back-alley butchers.

Wilson is a true middle child, lost in the shuffle, fighting for recognition and approval, and always feeling he comes up short. After falling in with drug dealers, he spent time in prison, but is now seeking redemption by secretly working with the FBI to catch the real offenders.

Maggie, the youngest, is a Registered Nurse, but she’s always looking for something more, something…exciting. She and her lover experiment with drugs and sexual fantasies, until one particular fantasy turns terrifying, forcing her to reexamine her priorities.

Can the damaged family which found its wealth and social standing in medicine somehow heal and find peace? Or are their sins too numerous and egregious to forgive?

“My thoughts transitioned time; the past and future blended together and became meaningless; of no use to me. What I was experiencing, I was experiencing in the now. My body craved attention now. I remember running my hands over my body looking for some type of satisfaction. Then I saw you standing off in the distance. You looked like Michelangelo’s statue of David. I wanted you. I called to you, but you couldn’t hear me. I tried to get up and run to you, but my arms and legs were frozen still. Then suddenly a large dark form approached and began to engulf me. A part of it entered me and started pounding my body to the cadence of the music. Finally my body felt a massive burst of ecstasy and I screamed out your name and that is when I resumed consciousness. I found myself on top of you. We were both naked and you had a rock hard erection. We must have been making love.”

I am a multi-genre novelist living in Ohio with my wife and miniature Schnauzer. I was born in St. Louis, Missouri, but moved to Long Island, N.Y. when I was 8 years old.

Reading and writing fiction have always been a big part of my life. As a child I wrote about outer-space and in high school I was the editor of the school’s literary newspaper. During that period I wrote mostly short stories and novellas.

I earned a BS in Logistics from NYU. My career in NYC was spent in management positions at several large companies, including Exxon, Metropolitan Life and J.C. Penney. During those years I had little time for writing as my career required extensive travel and I was busy raising a family.

In the early eighties, as an empty-nester, I moved to Centerville, OH with my wife, Jeannette. I retired early from the bicycle manufacturer Huffy, when they went into bankruptcy.

Now, I am a full-time writer. I write because I feel that there are stories that need to be told. I enjoy the process of writing and firmly believe that you do your best writing when you are well read. To that end, I read at least one novel a week.

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4 December 2015

Bridgetown High Spotlight Tour @PaulWWest @MTWPromotions

Bridgetown High
Author: Paul W. West

Genre: Young Adult, Detective Romance
Published: October 6, 2015
Published By: Limitless Publishing LLC

Seventeen year old Mark Wilkerson has no memory of the fiery crash that killed his family on the Carquinez Bridge…

Living with his grandmother and burdened with guilt, Mark vows to find the hit-and-run driver and take his revenge. The only detail he remembers is round taillights swerving in front of his family’s car, and he’s shocked when he notices the car of the high school’s bully, Jeff Marino, has identical taillights—and a suspicious dent.

Now he wants revenge more than ever…

Jeff believes Mark is an anti-Vietnam War activist like his cousin Gary—and despises him for it. To make matters worse, when Jeff’s girlfriend Genie Lombardi dumps him for Mark, it kicks Jeff’s hatred for him to a dangerous new level.

Lies and threats escalate, until drugs and a shocking death send Jeff over the edge, and his campaign to get Genie back any way he can turns violent.
When Mark’s memory begins to return, it leads to a terrifying confrontation.
Will he finally prove the identity of the guilty driver? Or will he and Genie become one more tragedy associated with the Carquinez Bridge?



If Mark Wilkerson had to listen to any more of that morbid organ music, he was going to throw up. A migraine beat against his temples, and tears rolled down his cheeks as he stood propped against his crutches, his dislocated shoulder aching. Through bleary eyes, he viewed the three closed coffins at the front of the viewing parlor. Gold glitter on white satin ribbons across the caskets read, “Devoted Father,” “Loving Mother,” and “Baby Sister – Sabrina.” She was only six.
Ornate floral arrangements surrounded the closed caskets, their florist shop fragrance adding to Mark’s migraine. He ran his hand across the smooth surface of his mother’s coffin; fingered the satin ribbon. She was in there, at least what was left of her, but he would never see her again. Never again would he feel the warm touch of her lips on his cheek when she kissed him good night.
His weepy eyes abruptly gushed with tears. What happened? He still wondered, shaking his head. Even though he’d somehow survived the accident, he still didn’t know anything about it. All he knew was what the County Sheriff’s deputy and the doctor at the hospital had told him that he and his family had been in a tragic, fiery accident on the Carquinez Bridge on Christmas Eve.
The doctor also told him his memory would probably return, but it could take some time. He’d called it “dissociative amnesia,” whatever that was. He said it was often caused by severe emotional trauma.
Mark’s grandmother, Emily Wilkerson, told him he’d performed with the family at a rest home earlier that night, but he couldn’t remember that either. He felt, more than remembered his father had been angry about something. Then there was Amanda Bonfili. What happened on their date? Or did they have a date? He just couldn’t remember.
Mark moved to his father’s casket. How could he live without him? His dad had been his greatest inspiration, his best friend. He looked down at the casket as his tears rolled. How could he live with the guilt of knowing their last words may have been spoken in anger? He’d never even had a chance to say I’m sorry, if he’d done something wrong or even good-bye. Somehow, he felt he might have been at least partly responsible for the accident. “Forgive me, dad.” His cries escaped his lips in a whisper, “for whatever I did. I’m sorry.” Tears stung his eyes and he wiped them on his sports jacket sleeve.
He wished he could see his family just one last time, but the undertaker had told him their bodies were too charred. The thought horrified him, and Mark agreed it would be better to remember them as he’d last seen them alive.
At least his sister, Amy, was being spared the funeral ordeal. But she was still in a coma and her condition was serious. The doctors said she could have brain damage if she survived. That sounded worse than his amnesia.
The accident had only been three days ago, and tomorrow, after the funeral, the coffins would be lowered into the cold ground. Is that all there is to life? Mark wondered, To live your life, then be discarded like some trash. Hanging his head, he wished he could have died in their place, or at least with them. How Amy and he had survived was a mystery.
Moving to Sabrina’s casket, he laid his forehead against her tiny coffin. “Dear God! Please make this go away. Make them come back.” But even as he prayed, he knew God couldn’t make that happen, assuming He was even real. After all, why would an all-powerful, loving God take away the people he loved most; his parents, and his six-year-old sister who had so much to live for, the family Amy and he needed?
Why? The question kept repeating over in his mind, as he wiped his eyes again. Why did his parents have to die, and of all people little Sabrina?
SABRINA! Mark wanted to shout, as if it would bring her back.
He missed his baby sister every bit as much as he missed his mother and father.
“Sabrina,” he whispered.
He would never see her again. Tears rolled down his cheeks as Mark thought of her charred little body inside the tiny coffin and the pain she must have endured in the fire. She didn’t deserve to die.
Mark felt a warm hand on his shoulder. Straightening with his crutches, he leaned into his grandmother’s arms. “Go ahead and cry,” she said. “It’s good to let it out.”
Mark leaned down and laid his cheek in the hollow of her neck. He could smell her sweet, old ladies perfume. “Why?” he asked. “Why didn’t God protect them? Why did He let Sabrina die and not me? She didn’t even get a chance to live her life.” He turned away and tightened his fists on the crutch’s handgrip.
He felt his grandmother’s warm fingers turn his chin. “Mark, I know this is hard for you. It’s hard for me too, and it will be hard on Amy when she comes home.” His grandmother choked on her words, then blotted her eyes with her hankie, “if she does. Son, we don’t always understand why He allows things like this to happen, but my mother always told me, ‘what we see today as a tragedy, we may look back at tomorrow as a blessing.’” Emily hugged him tighter and stroked his hair.
“A blessing? How can losing almost my entire family ever be a blessing?” Mark huffed and pulled away. His head throbbed even more. Then, looking back at his grandmother, he said, “If I ever find out who caused the accident, I swear… I’ll… I’ll kill him…. I promise that.”
“No, Mark. Don’t think like that. It was just that, an accident. You need to forgive them.”
“I can’t, Grandma. I just can’t.”

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a “Prune Picker,” though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

The rustic San Francisco Bay Area countryside, the quaint small town in which he grew up, and the colorful people who once lived there, have all teamed to fertilize his ever-churning mind with stories that are yearning to be told.

From his earliest days in high school, his English teachers saw some raw writing ability in him, both for fiction and non-fiction, and urged him to pursue his dream of being a writer. In college his creative writing professors also encouraged him to mold his ability into a talent.

After settling on a career as an environmental biologist, where he’s written numerous technical publications, the stories swarming through his mind kept crying to get out. So Paul began writing fiction, but only as a hobby at first. He has recently finished his first novel, BRIDGETOWN HIGH, and is working on his second. Paul intends to keep letting his stories out through future novels.

Paul is the originator and former moderator of a private critique known as “”The Writer’s Pen,”” a sub forum in the “”Authors by Design”” web site (now defunct). He is also a member of Query Tracker forum; and Children’s Writer’s & Illustrator’s forum; Utah Children’s Writers forum; among others. In addition to his writing, he and his wife, enjoy spending time with their four children and thirteen grandchildren, gardening, reading, traveling, and researching their family history.

Hosted By: 
3 October 2015

The Storm Spotlight & Giveaway @VeeBergin


The Storm

The Sequel to H2O

by Virginia Bergin


The Storm cover



From Chapter 9 of The Storm by Virginia Bergin

The Spratt led me to another block and into what was basically a cell. As I have actually seen a cell—­in Dartbridge Police Station—­I would in fact say that it was smaller than a cell. There was one tiny single bed in there, one chair, one minute desk, a tiny TV screen stuck high on the wall, and a closet. Not exactly five star, but maybe those people in the camp were so gorged out on scarfing delicious food all day that they just needed somewhere to flop in between.

I had not scarfed delicious food, but I did need to flop—­so I flopped on the bed. Darius hesitated, then took the chair—­keeping his distance from my body, but not—­unfortunately—­from my mind.

“Ruby…” he started up.

“What?” I muttered. It felt like there was this slow-­motion thought whirlpool in my head—­like probably there were things to be said, but all those things were mixed up, bobbing in and out of sight as they swirled around and around and around, spiraling into sleep. Fat chance.

“I’m so glad you’re here,” he says. “I was going to come and look for you.”

“Yeah, Saskia said,” I mumble, my eyes drifting shut.

“You’ve seen Sask?!”

“Yes, Dar, I’ve seen Sask.” I sigh. “She’s in the hospital.” I haul a thing out of the whirlpool; it is Saskia’s foot. “Well, most of her is. Her foot went in some water and someone had to, you know, remove it.”

“Oh my q.”

“With an ax.”

I feel so sick. I think I’m going to be—­my eyes snap open, and I edge myself up. The Spratt is staring at me with a horrified look on his face.

“It was what she wanted,” I tell him. I hear Sask begging: Cut it off, cut it off! “And then I brought her here myself, in an ice-cream van. Have you got something to drink?”

The Spratt seems to take a moment to process this simple request. He gets up and rummages in the cupboard and hands me a can of something. The crack and hiss of the ring pull is loud as a bomb.

“Is she OK?” he asks.

“I don’t know,” I say. “They said she’d be fine. I don’t think the rain thing got her, but she lost a lot of blood.”

I glug the fizzy drink, something disgusting I don’t even like.

“And a foot, obviously,” I add. “I think I’m going to be sick…”

I lurch off the bed looking for something, anything, to throw up into—­there is only a trash can, so I throw up into that, the Spratt rubbing my back and me too weak to resist.

“Sorry about that,” I tell him, wiping spew drool from my mouth. I feel disgusting, inside and out. And I’m dehydrated, aren’t I? You’d think I’d know the signs by now, but, hey, no one’s perfect. (Not even me, booms the troll.)

I sip at the drink in the can. At least it’s a fluid. My stomach grudgingly accepts it.

“She said she didn’t want to come back here, not ever.”

“Yeah, well,” says the Spratt.

“She was screaming her head off about it.”

“Look, Ru,” says Darius. “Saskia…she got a little spooked.”

I am too weak to tell him not to call me Ru. I try to lie down—­the whirlpool starts up and my head spins with it. I sit back up. If I think about how I feel, I really will spew again—­not that there’s anything left in me to spew out, so I might as well attempt to continue with this hideous conversation.

“What about?” I ask the Spratt.

I cannot imagine what’s coming next. There are plenty of things to be spooked about in an apocalypse—­being forced to share a room with Darius Spratt, for example. Sask can’t have liked that unless…

“Well,” says the Spratt, “she kind of got it into her head that…”

He tails off, looks doubtfully at me.


“Oh, it’s such a horrible thing, Ruby. Maybe now isn’t the
best time.”

“Believe me,” I tell him, “there is NOTHING you could tell me that’s any more horrible than the stuff I’ve actually seen.”

The troll within me is stirring. I’ve been in this place for, like, five seconds and I already know that whatever counts as a trauma in this place—­for example, they’ve run out of caviar to put on their cornflakes—­does not count as a trauma in the real world—­of the useless—­where I have been forced to live.

“It’s just a rumor,” he says.

Ha! It’s not even a REAL thing!

“And this place is full of rumors. People say all kinds of crazy stuff.”

Yeah, and outside here, they DO it. (That would include me too, of course.)

“Someone told Saskia they’re experimenting on people,” Darius says.


“You know, trying to find a cure?”

I nod. That’s what experimenting is, isn’t it? Trying to find stuff out. I mean, actually, when you think about it, it would even make sense—­in a way, I mean. If this thing doesn’t harm animals, what else would you test a cure on?

People, obviously.


If you knew the world was ending, what would you do?

Me? I’d spend what time I had left with my arms lifted in worship and praise.

Woman praising

Leave me a comment below, what would you do?


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