Friday, April 26, 2019

Welcome to author Travis Haugen: Soup

Welcome, Travis, and congratulations on the release of your adventure mystery Soup: The Future is Past and Present!

Let's hear a little about it:

Scott Yonge exploded onto the national consciousness at the 2001 Garrett Awards and quickly rose to legendary status on the wings of his music and his whirlwind romance with independent film actress Michelle Zoe. What should have been a perfect life was interrupted by an ultra-right wing militant group called the American Freedom Force and its leader, Colonel Randall, who forces Scott to choose between his life and that of his son. After his heroic sacrifice, his family is left to pick up the pieces and forge ahead to a future in the vacuum he left behind.
Now, in 2021, his son Hedley inherits music for himself, becoming a star in his own right as technology gives new life to the medium. Scott's daughter, affectionately known as Soup, throws herself into unravelling the mysteries of her family's history. Michelle commits herself to keeping them all together and trying to make sense of life without the one she loves. Through it all, the AFF looms in the shadows, threatening to resurrect the pain they have just begun to overcome.

August 25, 1967

The weekly outing had become something of a ritual for them. Friday nights, after supper, they would head out to the country with their hearts pumping and the radio blaring, riding on a wave of blinding optimism. They’d drive for hours, most times talking and laughing about nothing at all. Other times they’d settle into a comfortable silence, speaking without speaking.

They’d been silent for some time when the boy was drawn in by a pretty song on the radio. She was lost in it too, absorbed as though in a trance. The boy looked to his mother. She looked back with warm sadness in her eyes. He felt her love wrap around him as she smiled. She was about to say something when the crunch came. The boy could almost hear the sound of her silent scream as her head snapped to the side at an impossible angle. That’s all there was. He never got to hear what she wanted to say.

Words of Wisdom from the author:
Writing is a tough business.  Beyond the inspiration, it takes hundreds of hours to get to the first draft.  And that is just the beginning.  Then there are numerous rounds of editing, layouts, finding a publisher, and getting the book out there.  Finely you have a book that you can hold in your hand.  Congratulations, you can take a breath and sit back and look at your work.  But don’t sit too long, the work is just beginning.  Like anything else in life, your success at anything depends on how much work you put into it.  It is not enough to just have a book, or anything that comes out of an idea, such as a song, an invention, an innovative change for a work flow, anything.  It means nothing, if nobody knows about it. And this is where the hardest work begins.  The sensitivity that makes you an author directly opposes the extroverted YOU that you have to become to promote your product and still remain true to yourself.  Do not be afraid to seek help.  Case in point, I spent years writing the One Song series, both music and prose, but nothing really happened until my niece, Candy, stepped into the picture.  Her encouragement and guidance led to the publishing of SOUP.   As she delved deeper into the project her contributions grew and grew.  Beyond her artistic contributions, such as cover content, sharing song writing duties on the last seven songs, and editing, she has taken the lead in the promotion of SOUP.   So, folks, the work continues, and it has to continue.  It is not enough to just write the book; you have to live the book to get it out there. Never under estimate the power of leaning on someone you trust, to become another set of eyes and ears.  Rely on their strength and points of view to enrich the project.  Candy’s contributions have proved invaluable.  The moral of the story is, nobody succeeds alone.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Travis was born and raised in the prairies of Saskatchewan, lived in Calgary for over 25 years and presently lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Travis Haugen has spent forty years of his life touring on the road as a musician and has spent hundreds of hours in recording studios. Travis spends much of his time writing songs, writing stories, playing music and spending valuable time with his family and close group of friends.


Where Soup Is Sold:

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION: Travis Haugen will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Please follow the tour and comment, the more you do, the better your chances of winning.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Weird history fact, a U.S. president banishes a citizen

According to the noted historian Eric Foner, during the American Civil War, President Lincoln banished a citizen for treason, U.S. Democratic Representative from Ohio, Clement I. Vallandigham. Vallandigham was against the war and spoke out against it, being convicted by a military court (p. 501)

Foner, Eric. Give Me Liberty! An American History. Volume 1: To 1877. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Free short story about life in the 1970s

Hello, I have a free short story up at Long and Short Reviews. 

It's about being a kid in the seventies. This is a fiction piece, not a personal remembrance. If you're curious, maybe have a peek? Thanks, and I wish you all well. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Welcome to author Karilyn Bentley

Welcome, Karilyn, and congratulations on your book release!

Karilyn Bentley

What appears to be a simple crime, unmasks a chilling deception...
Gin Crawford, the world's newest demon huntress, kills two minions who are breaking into a financial adviser's office. But what she thinks of as another night in the life of a demon huntress leads to a cover-up of epic proportions. A demon haunts her employer, the Agency, and only she can stop it.
Aidan Smythe, her guardian mage and lover, along with her brother T, and the healer Eloise, join her search in discovering the demon's identity. A search thwarted by a powerful spell.
Breaking the spell requires her to join forces with Zagan, the demon of deceit, the demon who marked her as his. But working together comes with a price. One Gin is not sure she can pay.
     She chuckles as I sip my beer. “Not nothing. I am trying to discover the identity of the demon at theAgency.” She frowns. “It’s not going well. I know I know who the demon is, but every time I think of its identity”—her hands move in a poof motion—“it
    “Yeah, I have the same problem.”
    A memory pops into my mind. Two memories, actually. The first was of last night’s fight with Rahab. How the demon said he only had one demon left to kill in order to rule Hell. Mammon, the demon of greed. The second memory was from last week when Smythe and I went to the Agency. We ran into Chuck Tweedy, the Big Boss of the Agency, and my justitia couldn’t stop chanting “greedy.” I assumed the bracelet got its
words mixed up, exchanging Tweedy for greedy. But what if there was a connection?
    A dull pain hammers my head. I rub my brow. What was I thinking? We were talking about the Agency demon. Who could it be?
    “You do have the same problem.” Eloise touches my leg, and the headache disappears. “That’s what happened to me.”
    “How did you know?” Eloise was blind, although I swear at times she sees fine. “I could feel your pain.” Her brow furrows. “Like a spell had been thrown at you that caused the headache. I wonder if the same thing happens when I get a headache from thinking on the demon’s identity.”
    “Wait. You mean whenever I think about who the demon is, my thoughts trigger a spell? What does the spell do?”

Karilyn Bentley's love of reading stories and preference of sitting in front of a computer at home instead of in a cube, drove her to pen her own works, blending fantasy and romance mixed with a touch of funny.

Her paranormal romance novella, Werewolves in London, placed in the Got Wolf contest and started her writing career as an author of sexy heroes and lush fantasy worlds.

Karilyn lives in Colorado with her own hunky hero, two crazy dogs, aka The Kraken and Sir Barks-A-Lot, and a handful of colorful saltwater fish.



Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Giveaway contest with author John Herrick

Hello, John, welcome, and congratulations on your book release, a romantic comedy!

 Let's hear a little about it:


She’s America’s hottest new celebrity. But her identity remains a secret.

Lily Machara is a wisecracking auto mechanic. She’s never cared for glitz or drama. But when Ryder Flynn, a rising star in the world of commercial art, adopts Lily as his muse after a random sighting, Lily discovers herself painted into his hot new pieces … and becomes America’s newest — anonymous — celebrity. 

The only problem: The woman Ryder imagines isn’t the true Lily.

Or is it?

Now, as Lily and Ryder give in to mutual curiosity and a budding romance, Lily’s life — secrets and all — fall victim to a pop culture with one question on its mind: Who is the woman in Ryder Flynn’s art?

In the spirit of Cyrano de Bergerac and Pretty Woman, MONA LISAS AND LITTLE WHITE LIES is a delightful new romantic comedy from John Herrick, bestselling author of Beautiful Mess.

** Very good. Now for an excerpt:


Ryder rubbed his eyes. No wonder they felt so sore—one glance at his watch told him it was almost two in the morning. Although he could still hear well, the loud music seemed to have whittled his sensitivity to about 85 percent, as though he’d wrapped his eardrums in cotton.
After dinner, he’d allowed Chase to drag him to a nightclub, which was where Ryder had last seen his friend before returning to the hotel alone by way of a taxi. They would find each other before the art show opened that morning at ten o’clock. Chase might push his limits, but he was never late.
Now, upon entering the hotel, he found the lobby empty except for a concierge at the front desk. The room’s silence rivaled that of a funeral parlor. Ryder made a beeline for the elevator bank and pushed the round button to hail a ride upstairs. With a glance around the corner, he found the doors to the art show shut and locked. He detected no pulsating rhythms, which meant the wedding reception had ended, as well.
Ryder heard the elevator tone—followed by the swish of fabric coming from his left. He halted. Listened.
Another swish, like the chiffon of a bridesmaid’s dress.
When the elevator doors opened, Ryder wasn’t standing in front of them. With one eyebrow furrowed and his ear cocked upward, he eased toward the far end of the elevator bank, then peered around the corner.
More rustling of fabric, then tiny sobs. Step by step, he followed the sounds. On his right, he noticed someone had left open the door to a dark room. Another sob came from inside that room. A female voice.
“Hello?” Ryder whispered. His eyes adjusted to the dark as he brushed his hand along the wall in search of a light switch. At last, he located the switch and flipped it on.
The room was small. He wandered to a far corner, where a desk topped with random clutter sat, a four-star hotel’s answer to a dumping ground. When he peeked behind the desk, he discovered a young woman. Weeping, she sat crumpled on the floor with her back against the desk. A peach-colored rose trampled by life.

Building a World through Music
Listen to a song that was popular when you were a teenager. Can you remember places you heard it? Someone you were with? If you’re like me, you can even measure time and determine which year an event occurred by the Top 40 songs at the time.
Music is more than songs on the radio. It’s a soundtrack for our lives. Each of us has a soundtrack, and fictional characters are no different.
As I prepare to write a novel like Mona Lisas and Little White Lies, I become more sensitive to the songs I hear. Some I’m familiar with, others require me to fumble for my phone and hit Shazam. And before I outline a novel, as I ponder the characters in my mind—their personalities, their backgrounds—songs begin to emerge as a soundtrack. Some of these songs make it into the manuscript to help set the emotional tone of the scene and make the book interactive for my readers. Other songs remain in the background as I write.
I wanted my readers to have the same experience I had. So if you’re s Spotify listener, you can find a soundtrack playlist to each of my novels. My profile is John Herrick Books.
Here’s a link to the soundtrack for Mona Lisas and Little White Liesand ALL of my novels:
You can also find the playlists, along with other book trivia and excerpts, on the individual book pages at
Lily is a wisecracking auto mechanic with a love for country music, particularly Rascal Flatts. Ryder is a commercial artist who gravitates toward mood music, from Norah Jones to Ulrich Schnauss. Give them a listen—you might discover the theme to the next chapter of your life!
And if you enjoy romantic comedies with a touch of the sincere, I hope you will consider checking out Mona Lisas and Little White Lies.Thanks for letting me stop by!

 AUTHOR Bio and Links:

John Herrick is best known as a chronicler of the human heart. His complex characters and earnest tone prompted Publishers Weekly to write, "Herrick will make waves." When he is not writing, he loves long drives on the interstate. He is a sucker for 1990s music. Herrick lives in St. Louis.

In addition to novels such as BEAUTIFUL MESS and FROM THE DEAD, he authored the nonfiction bestseller, 8 REASONS YOUR LIFE MATTERS.
Visit his website at

You can find John online at:

GIVEAWAY:John Herrick will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the tour and comment. The more you do, the better your chances of winning.The tour dates can be found here: 

Monday, April 1, 2019

Welcome to author Chadi B. Ghaith

Hello, Chadi, welcome!

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Chadi Ghaith will be awarding a copy of Mimadamos: The Eden of Choice, (US only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Please follow the tour and comment. The more you do, the better your chances of winning.

Lebanese author Chadi B. Ghaith brings beliefs that were held in secrecy for a thousand years to awareness in Mimadamos: The Eden of Choice (Fifthscience Inc., July 5, 2017). Ghaith’s book revolves around an ancient triangle of the most significant characters on earth, paralleled by three of the most significant forces in life, and their combined story in space and time. Journey through this fable and explore the ideas that have mystified mankind for centuries: good and evil, heaven and hell, the beginning and end of the world.

Did the ending precede the beginning? Are we only here on earth to comprehend its machinations? Is there room for choice to shape our destiny in the wake of fate and its brutal logic? Mimadamos is a unique, philosophically-rich fantasy which journeys through the depths of conflict and harmony that we understand as the spirit. It decodes the magic of the most ancient scripts known to man, the symbolic fall from Eden and the long anticipated armageddon, revealing a logic so unique that it brings history to its conclusive end.

Read an Excerpt

As the door closed each night, dimming the light from the hall to a narrow beam, Destiny’s heart would flutter a staccato beat. She would clutch the blankets, drawing them up to her ears and nose, and shiver. Eventually the hour grew late, her wide eyes grew heavy, and her sister’s regular, slow breathing lulled her into slumber as well.

Her mother’s smiling face greeted her dream self, leading her on a path through the garden to the small pond where fish glided beneath the ripples. “See the fish?” her mother said.

“Look at the gold one! Do you want to touch it, Destiny?”

A much younger Destiny leaned across the edge of the pond toward the fish. She touched the cool water.

“Do you want to hold the fish?”

The creature swam nearer; Destiny scooped the fish from below with one hand, a trick her father had taught her. She laughed as the fish flopped, mouth gaping, slippery in her pudgy child hands.

“Kill it,” Mother said.

Destiny frowned and looked to see whether Mother was serious.

“Squeeze it until it dies in your hands. It has not the rights of life that you and I have. It is just a fish. Don’t be stupid, girl.”

Destiny shook her head, the fish wiggling free to fall with a plop into the pond. As she stared at her mother, the woman’s features melted into those of a woman Destiny didn’t know.

The strange woman sneered at Destiny, her face melting again and growing dark with hair, the teeth elongating and yellowing. The eyes glowed red, and the person grew larger than her father.

Destiny screamed, paralyzed.

Her sister kicked her under the covers, startling her from the nightmare. Destiny’s heart raced, her body drenched in sweat.

“Wake up,” her sister grumbled, turning over to face the other way.

About the Author: CHADI B. GHAITH has spent many years introducing an ancient mind science called Fifthscience to the public; Mimadamos is his first attempt at translating the magic of Fifthscience into a modern narrative. He is a native of Lebanon; however, he acquired his high school and university levels in Texas. Ghaith studied Arts and Film at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. He now lives in Beirut with his wife and three children.

Welcome to author Nan Reinhardt

Hello, Nan, and congratulations on your book release, Christmas with You. Giveaway contest:  This post is part of a virtual book t...