Friday, March 24, 2023

 The Spirit of Harriet Tubman: 

Awakening from the Underground

by Spring Washam




GENRE:   Non-Fiction: African American History






The Spirit of Harriet Tubman, who was called the Moses of her people, is rising again, and we can call forth her spirit to embody incredible strength and unwavering courage. Combining direct transmissions of Harriet's message with insightful explorations of her life and legacy, this extraordinary book gives us support and inspiration to deepen our roots of resilience and become powerful conductors of love and truth in our own lives.

We can learn how to remain fearless in the face of hatred and confusion. And through Harriet Tubman's guidance, we will learn how to meet the challenges of this moment with a compassionate heart.

Spring's previous works have been praised by Publishers Weekly as "bring[ing] considerable gifts for conveying her vision of personal change and offer[ing] vivid, inspiring testimony to the power of Buddhism." And now, she inspires a new generation of activists to carry her message and her work forward.






Today, as I begin this chapter, it’s International Women’s Day, March 8, 2022. My assistant, who is in Mexico City, called to tell me. She’s off to join a huge women’s march there. “How perfect!” I say. As I head back to the cabin where I’m on a writing retreat, getting ready to start a session with Harriet, I wonder what Harriet will share today. I think we’re going to talk about women. I know she is passionate about the rights and dignity of women. Suddenly, I feel Harriet’s spirit really close to me. I prepare myself to surrender and go on another journey with her, but instead, we just sit together quietly. I feel her come closer and closer until her spirit merges right into me and she enters into my heart. Our breathing becomes synchronized in the most beautiful way. I’m not shaking, dizzy, or overwhelmed by her powerful energy. We are, at last, in harmony, in sync and attuned, and it’s magical. After a few minutes, I begin thinking about women and I sense Harriet is as well. As we sit quietly with our hearts merged, I begin feeling and experiencing a deep and tender part of Harriet, soft, loving, and almost aching with vulnerability. She begins to speak, “Oh, Child, the women . . .” almost in a whisper and then stops, over and over, as we breathe in and out together. I feel it too, a deep concern for the feminine spirit. Half the world are women, and way too many are oppressed, beaten down, and denied their God-given right to be free. As we continue breathing together, Harriet begins chanting. It’s a prayer: “Heavenly Father, forgive them. Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”





AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Spring Washam is a well-known meditation and dharma teacher based in Oakland, California. She is a founding member and core teacher at the East Bay Meditation Center located in downtown Oakland. She is the founder of Lotus Vine Journeys, an organization that blends indigenous healing practices with Buddhist wisdom. She was trained by Jack Kornfield and has studied numerous meditation practices and Buddhist philosophy since 1997. She is a member of the Spirit Rock Teachers Council. In addition to being a teacher, she is also a healer, facilitator, spiritual activist, and writer. Spring is considered a pioneer in bringing mindfulness-based healing practices into diverse communities. She has studied indigenous healing practices and shamanic practices for over a decade. She has practiced and studied under some of the most preeminent meditation masters in both the Theravada and Tibetan schools of Buddhism. She currently travels and teaches workshops, classes, and retreats worldwide.

For more information on Spring Washam, or to follow her social media for event updates, inspiring quotes, and images:



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Thursday, March 23, 2023

Welcome KaSonndra Leigh

 Hacienda Moon

by KaSonndra Leigh




GENRE:   Paranormal Gothic Romance






Tandie Harrison is a police medium struggling to pick up the pieces of her life after a devastating divorce that left her without her precious daughter and her psychic visions. With a heavy heart, she escapes the hustle and bustle of New York City and moves into the alluring plantation house, Chelby Rose. Here, she meets Eric, the home’s charismatic caretaker. Despite the ghostly warnings, Tandie finds herself drawn to him, and as their affair intensifies, so does the centuries-old curse haunting them both.

Suddenly, Tandie finds herself at the center of a dark and dangerous web full of deceit and intrigue. As fear begins to consume her, she must find the courage to face the demons of her past if she is to have any chance at a future. Hacienda Moon is a captivating story full of suspense and romance that will ensnare you from start to finish.

Note to readers and bookclubs:

This is the expanded and revamped edition of the Hacienda Moon that was originally published in 2012. Please be sure to add this version to your to-read list as this edition contains more gothic suspense, intrigue, and of course romance.






Saul Chelby strolled through the doors behind us as if he were a king. Dressed in a charcoal-colored suit with a white shirt underneath the jacket, he could easily pass as one.


Wearing four-inch red heels, the woman beside him stood at a level equal to Saul’s height. Her streaked blonde hair was pulled back in a tight bun. The whole package screamed leggy fashion model all over the place. 


Right away his gaze found me and Frieda standing off to the side. He motioned for his date to follow as he headed in our direction. 


“How nice. The king and queen have arrived,” Frieda said, raking a sarcastic gaze over the couple. 


“You’ve got to be kidding me. The nerve of some people,” I said, letting out a long sigh.


“Welcome. So glad you could make it, Mr. Chelby and his date.” I beamed through a tight grin.


“Evening, ladies,” Saul said, smiling in a way that lit up the room. “The date’s name is Sasha. This is Frieda Tyson. Without her and Shania McKinnon’s talents tonight this gala would never have happened. 


“We’re thankful for you both then,” Sasha purred. 


“And this is the lovely and gifted Ms. Harrison,” Saul said, holding my gaze only a touch longer than what would be considered inappropriate. Sasha, who was all smiles and giggles a moment ago, suddenly looked as if someone stole her hair pieces. Her green-eyed gaze bore mental holes in my head, and her posture stiffened. Her eyes came close to bulging out and her mouth hung slightly open. “This is the Tandie Harrison I’ve heard so much about? Interesting indeed.” 


No way. Saul discusses me with his dates? 


How insane is that?


It was Frieda to the rescue. “Shania reserved a seat for you both at a good table. We don’t want you to lose your spots. So, I’ll say thanks for everything, Mr. Chelby. Tandie and I will scoot along on our way, now.” She attempted to pull me away, but Saul interrupted.


“I’d like a moment with Ms. Harrison if the two of you don’t mind,” Saul said without moving his eyes away from my face. 


“I mind,” I said right away. A look passed between Frieda and Sasha. 


“We’ll only be a moment,” Saul said to his date who was handling his inconsiderate behavior better than I could ever have done.


“Come along, Miss Sasha. I’ll show you the way to your table,” Frieda said and stretched her eyes at me just before she walked away. I turned to Saul. The grin on his face brought the devil out of me. 


“The times when a man should remember his comrades become most significant in all matters of race relations whether it be an issue of war, peace, or prosperity. Let this statue sit forever in our midst as a reminder of the ones who fell for our country.” They were the words to the dedication I wrote, and Saul had memorized every single one. “Stunning tribute, Ms. Harrison.”


“It’s mighty good to see you again, Tandie,” Saul said, studying my eyes, his narrowing the slightest bit. “You’ve been crying.” 


“I have not.” I scratched the back of my neck, a tension relief tactic. 


“The contractor I hired has done astoundingly beautiful things for Chelby Rose. Why did you flinch when I mentioned the contractor?”


Damn him. He doesn’t miss a thing. “I didn’t flinch, okay? 


“I knew this would happen. No Fontalvo has ever been able to keep his hands to himself.” He shook his head and made a scoffing laugh. 


I challenged his gaze. “Really? So you set us up then?” I demanded, the blood surging through my body. 


His face turned serious. “I hired a man to fix the plumbing in my house. I didn’t however give him permission to grope my tenants.”


“You know, Saul Chelby, you must have the biggest balls ever,” I blurted before I could stop myself. Saul was probably about to receive some of my frustrations about Eric too. “You disappear for weeks. The damn house could’ve floated away with me in it by now. I put my sweat, tears, and money into fixing the place up without a word of thanks. You show up at a charity function with Barbie-Bad-Ass on your arm, something my good friends organized let me add. Then you have the nerve to question me about my sex life?” 


“I only mentioned the contractor. You’re the one who brought up your sex life,” he said, a smile easing across his lips. “But if you’d like to make a test run of that first thing you accused me of then I’m ready when you are.”



Guest Post for Travel the Ages Blogspot by Author KaSonndra Leigh

Top 5 tips for overcoming obstacles that writer's face when writing a book.


When writing Hacienda Moon, I found myself facing some common obstacles that even the greatest authors face when tackling both new and old projects. Here are 5 top tips for overcoming common obstacles that writers face while writing a book.


1. Writer's block: This is perhaps the most common obstacle that writers face. You sit down to write, but nothing comes to mind. To overcome writer's block, take a break, and try to do something else that you enjoy. This could be anything from taking a walk outside to reading a book. Sometimes, taking a step away from your writing can help you clear your mind and come back with fresh ideas.


2. Procrastination: Writing a book is a daunting task, and it's easy to put it off until tomorrow. To overcome procrastination, set yourself small achievable goals for each writing session. These could be as simple as writing 500 words in an hour or completing a particular chapter by the end of the day. By breaking the task down into smaller pieces, you'll find it easier to stay motivated and on track.


3. Lack of inspiration: Sometimes, you'll sit down to write, but no inspiration comes to mind. To overcome lack of inspiration, try to find motivation in things outside of writing. This could be watching a movie or TV show, listening to music or podcast, or talking to a friend. By keeping your mind engaged in other activities, you'll be more likely to find inspiration for your writing.


4. Self-doubt: You might find yourself doubting your abilities as a writer or questioning whether your book is worth writing. To overcome self-doubt, remind yourself why you wanted to write this book in the first place. Set yourself clear goals and visualization of how it would feel when you achieve them. Remember, it's natural to have moments of self-doubt, but don't let it hold you back from achieving your goals.


5. Distractions: It's easy to get distracted while writing, either by your phone, social media, or other people around you. To overcome distractions, find a quiet space where you can focus on your writing. Turn off your phone or place it in another room. Set yourself time to be undistracted and focused.


In conclusion, writing a book is a challenging task, and it's normal to face obstacles along the way. By taking small actionable steps, you'll be able to overcome these obstacles and make progress. Don't forget, in the end, the most important thing is to keep writing and not giving up, your hard work will pay off in the end.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Meet your word sculptress...


Author of the #1 Amazon International bestselling novels, the Prelude and the Lost Immortals Saga, KaSonndra is also a mother, designer, reader, gardener, home renovator, and a slayer of undead Egyptian mummies in Tomb Raider. She believes in karma, coffee, and seriously wishes that the producers of Xena would bring her favorite show back. 

KaSonndra was born in the race-car city of Charlotte, NC, and now lives in the City of Alchemy and Medicine, NC, when she's not hanging out in Bardonia (Lost Immortals Saga setting). Most of her characters are based on people that she has met throughout her travels and adventures. 

People tend to stop and start conversations with KaSonndra as if she has known them her entire life. Does this freak her out? Not really. Her mom says that one day she’ll get kidnapped by one of these folks. KaSonndra's response? She told her mom that if it weren’t for these lovely people, then she wouldn’t be able to create such fabulously romantic stories!

Visit KaSonndra's at one of her online homes:

Main Author Webpage: 

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Twitter: @kasonndraleigh

Instagram: @kasonndraleighbooks

Online Blogazine:


Amazon author's link:







KaSonndra Leigh will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Monday, March 20, 2023

Welcome Mary Patterson Thornburg

 Luke Blackmon's Rose

by Mary Patterson Thornburg




GENRE:   Adult Romance (w/science-fantasy)






To guard herself from the perils of her own sensuality, Rose married a man she didn’t love. Now, two years after his death, she’s not sure she can really love anyone. She’s not even sure she cares…

To achieve what he’d always known was his birthright, Luke had to struggle against tremendous odds. But when science discovered a way to access the past, a powerful bureaucracy found a way to use Luke. Now, torn from his own time, everything and everyone he knew, he can see no reason to go on living…

An instant of attraction, uninvited but inescapable, brings Luke and Rose together. Together, they discover the strength to love, the will to trust and hope. But will these things be enough to carry them over walls of suspicion, guilt, bigotry, and hate?






Later, lying next to him, she had awakened suddenly to find Luke drawing away from her, his body tense, his eyes wide and somehow empty in the light of the streetlamp across from their window.


"" he said in a strange, thick-sounding voice.


She gasped, sharing for a moment his terror. "Rose?" she said uncertainly. "I'm Rose, sweetheart."


His eyes became occupied again. He sighed mightily. "Oh, thank God. It was the dream," he said. "Forgive me. Please." That he would ask for forgiveness!

To keep from weeping, she caressed him gently and lovingly, until past and future and the world had shrunk, becoming only that hour and that bed, and they could lose themselves, for a little while, in each other. 





TIME TRAVEL HAS ALWAYS BEEN a popular device for writers of speculative fiction – including romantic fantasy – and it’s easy to know why. Romance fiction of any kind, set anywhere and anywhen, thrives on conflicts, misunderstandings, differences in class or caste, basically any sort of disconnect between the two principal characters, which must be resolved before they can have their happy ending. And what greater disconnect can there be than the differences in experience, knowledge, and expectations between two people who were born and have lived in different time periods?


A now-classic example of this disconnect in time is Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series, whose heroine travels backward two-hundred years, from the middle 1940s to 18th-century Scotland, where she meets and eventually marries a very interesting young man connected to Scottish nobility. Another example is Bid Time Return, the novel by Richard Matheson on which the film Somewhere in Time is based. Here, the temporal distance traveled by the main character – to find and fall in love with someone he’s already met as an old woman – is relatively short, as opposed to Outlander’s two centuries. But the temporal disconnect exists here as well. Time-travel romance seems to suggest that whoever else we might be, the time period we call ours is part of the force that shapes us uniquely as ourselves – and that it’s a force which must be overcome in order for a love relationship between two people from different times to be successful.


In fact, the shorter the temporal distance, the more pitfalls it might hold for the two lovers. In my own romance, Luke Blackmon’s Rose, I’ve given a science-fantasy explanation for the time-travel mechanism: an experimental development in physics observed and taken advantage of by a powerful government bureaucracy, as opposed to the somewhat vague, quasi-mystical and paranormal explanations in Gabaldon’s and Matheson’s books. And a ninety-year temporal distance between my Luke and his Rose doesn’t present any serious issues for their relationship, at least not at first. 


But time, as it passes, brings change – a little or a lot. And time-travel can be more than a source of misunderstanding in romantic fiction; it sometimes lets the fiction writer pursue a subject or an idea that has little to do with someone moving physically in time. It’s a way to see how the passage of time itself can fool us into thinking we understand the changes that have taken place. 


A lot of things have changed, in the United States, since 1930. Some have changed in ways we understand and some in ways we only think we do. And some things – like love, but also, sadly, some that are very different from love – have not changed at all.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Mary Patterson Thornburg has lived in California, Washington State, Montana, Indiana, and again, finally, in Montana. She was educated at Holy Names College, Montana State University, and Ball State University, where she then taught for many years. She's been reading science fiction and fantasy since she was five, and when she began to write fiction it seemed only natural to write in those genres. Her literary heroes are Mary Shelley, who gave us all a metaphor for technology alienated from its creators, and Ursula K. Le Guin and Octavia E. Butler, inventors of worlds that shine their powerful searchlights on this one. She writes what some people call “science fantasy” (aka “fake science fiction) within as wide a range as possible, but almost always with a bit (or a lot) of romance.






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Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Review of The Surfing Mouse

 The Surfing Mouse

by Stefan Piccione




GENRE: Children's Fiction






Everyone's afraid of something. "The Surfing Mouse" is the story of a brave young mouse who overcomes his fear of surfing big waves. It shows how determination, strength, and a strong belief in yourself can help you achieve your dreams and goals. With stunning illustrations and a catchy rhyming story, this epic "tail" will surely captivate your children. Surf is definitely up!






Because this is a picture book, excerpts are available as jpg files. Please use one of the attached excerpt files to use on your post.




Review: This is a poetic little story about a cheerful mouse on an adventure. It starts out fun, but then the mouse finds himself to be in a troublesome situation. 


He has some hard choices to make, and this might inspire readers to think about what they would do in the same type of situation or one in which they might have to face another fear. How could they deal with such a dilemma?


A possible answer to this comes when children see courage in action in this story, standing up to a challenge, in a compelling way. 


The illustrations are unique and engaging and sure to please young ones as well as adults who might read to them. Their artistry complements the words and is sure to encourage readers to linger on each page.


For a cute story about a character who conquered his fear, why not pick this one up?


AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Stefan Piccione has enjoyed a lifelong passion for the ocean, an unrelenting love of surfing, and a great appreciation for a well-crafted story. This combination would eventually inspire him to write a children's book about a courageous young surfing mouse. Stefan graduated from Fairfield University with a degree in film and a minor in Italian studies. Having written a myriad of songs, short films, a feature film, web series, and numerous children's books, "The Surfing Mouse" is his very first children's book. Outside of writing and surfing, Stefan enjoys playing guitar, soccer, basketball, and beach volleyball. He is an avid environmentalist, regularly cleaning up ocean and coastline plastic while out on his paddleboard or walking the beautiful beaches of Rhode Island. Stefan currently resides on the coast of Eastern Connecticut.







The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Wednesday, March 1, 2023

Welcome Marlene Fabian Stiles and Hank Fabian


by Marlene Fabian Stiles and Hank Fabian




GENRE:  Science Fiction







It is the year 2051 and the International Space Institute has just sent two rival astrobiologists to search for extraterrestrial life on Europa, the mysterious ice moon of Jupiter. What they encounter could not only revolutionize science, it might make one of them the most famous person on Earth. Or does the Universe have other plans?






Charlie found himself drifting on a cosmic wind toward a mound of skulls that looked curiously familiar. His pain had vanished, but he felt disoriented. The skulls appeared to be gigantic but he couldn’t be sure if they were large or if he had become exceedingly small. A swift, turbulent wind carried him into one of the skulls, through the orbit of an eye then its optic canal.


A dazzling light appeared before him, gradually fading into an aerial view of Sleeping Woman Mountain. Now he discovered he was a mere speck riding between what he perceived to be two enormous insect eyes. He immediately thought of the Ngala totem and concluded these were the eyes of a dragonfly.


Rainforest shadows parted below him to reveal the ruins of his former camp filled with soldiers lounging casually near the bloodstone, the site of Gnesh’s murder. Their arrogance fueled Charlie’s rage.


On his command, thousands of wasps flew out of the forest and descended on the soldiers.


The men screamed as the insects stung them. They swatted at the horde, firing their weapons uselessly. Desperate to escape the swarm, they dived into the river where they met a pack of hungry crocodiles. The waters ran red with blood.


Now Charlie saw Prime Minister Jahuara’s distinctive helicopter appear, hovering above the carnage. Charlie directed his dragonfly into the cockpit. The insect buzzed up to the head of the prime minister sitting at the helicopter’s controls, repeatedly biting the tyrant’s eyes with its great mandibles. Jahuara tried to swat it away but the dragonfly was too quick. He shrieked in pain as blood flowed from his sockets.


Flying blind, he lost control and the helicopter plummeted into the trees. Charlie and the dragonfly escaped the craft in time to watch it explode in a mass of flames.


Charlie found himself drifting above the forest canopy. He turned his gaze toward the black sky shimmering with starlight. One by one, stars fell from the night like droplets of a celestial mist. The Pleiades constellation was the last to fall. Merope lingered for a moment, then disappeared into the darkness. A feeling of immense tranquility settled over him as he relished the embrace of this sacred void.


The world was back in balance. He closed his eyes…and succumbed to peace.





1)    Any weird things you do when you’re alone? When Marlene is alone she practices tap dancing or Tai Chi. Hank goes bird watching and strives to beat his personal record of sighting 320 new species in one year.

2)    What is your favorite quote and why? Hank and Marlene share the same favorite quote from Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick”-- “Try everything, accomplish what you can.” This inspires hope but doesn’t lay a guilt trip on anyone for failure. Hank even had a bumper sticker made with this admonition.

3)    Who is your favorite author and why? As a world traveler Hank is enthralled with visiting new places and learning about new cultures so his favorite author is Jonathon Swift who wrote “Gulliver’s Travels.” Marlene’s favorite author is Shirley Jackson whose ability to astonish us and force us to question preconceived notions is unparalleled. 

4)    What are the most important elements of good writing in your opinion? Marlene reads around 80 books a year and in her opinion, the most important elements of good writing are emotional honesty and valid motivation. Otherwise the story seems contrived.

5)    Where did you get the idea for this book? When we decided to write a book together Hank suggested we elaborate on a short story Marlene had written about a well-meaning astronaut who tries to help a primitive life form struggling to survive on limited resources. Despite his good intentions he inadvertently exacerbates their precarious situation by encouraging overpopulation.   


AUTHOR Bios and Links:


The family that writes together stays together, so siblings Marlene Fabian Stiles and Hank Fabian co-authored a science fiction adventure that explores Jupiter’s moon Europa as two rival astrobiologists race to be the first to find extraterrestrial life. This discovery should ensure the winner fame and fortune, but the Universe has other plans.


Hank is the guy walking around with a long lens camera and binoculars, a tourist of the world fascinated by every creature that moves and every plant that grows. He teaches biology and helped devise a college genetics program. As a scientist he likes to work with facts, so there's a possibility that the creatures he’s created actually exist!


Marlene is the president of a nonprofit, The I Will Projects, dedicated to advancing educational venues that include a middle school aquaponics program in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club which received a NASA grant. She writes in multiple genres and also has published “Elderchild,” an Alzheimer’s narrative written in the first person. She shares Hank’s love of the natural world and is dazzled by the interconnectivity of all living things.

Hank Fabian Amazon Page:







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  The Spirit of Harriet Tubman:  Awakening from the Underground by Spring Washam   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~   GENRE :   Non-Fiction: African American H...