Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 Wrap Up: Top 5 Books of 2017

I took a break from this yesterday, partially due to spending time with family and partially due to feeling kind of under the weather. I have big plans on New Year's Eve and can't get sick! *wink* The good news is that it gave me a chance to really think about my list for today of My Top 5 Books of 2017.


In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

I generally don't read a lot of non-fiction, but my year of introspection, and my new addiction to gardening, made me want to seek out more stories about where my food comes from. I've always admired Michael Pollan, and I LOVED this audiobook. I was fascinated by the discussion of nutrition science, and food footprints, and I can definitely say that this was one of the books that made me think the hardest. Because of this, I've purchased locally sourced seeds and am starting a garden in 2018!

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

I picked this book up on a whim, when it was recommended to me by the library. I then spent the next 3 days devouring this audio book in between work and chores, falling deeper and deeper in love with this romance. The story itself is gorgeous, but Henry's ability to make you really take a look at yourself and your relationships with others was what really impressed me. I won't lie, this book made me tear up. I'm not even upset about it.

Oh, Percy you adorable boy. Oh Monty, you lovable pain in the ass. Hahaha. I loved every minute of this book. I waited much longer to read it than I should have, but the instant that I finally started you couldn't have torn me away for anything. I fell head over heels for these characters, their antics, and the deep love that flows through every page of this book. Getting caught up in Monty's whirlwind of a tour was probably the best weekend that I spent this year. I cannot wait for the next book!

We Are the Ants by Shawn David Hutchinson

Ugh, this book. I'm telling  you right now that you definitely should be prepared with some tissues and some chocolate if you decide to read this for the first time. I was hit so hard by everything within these pages. Threads of true love, loss, and the whole idea of trying to figure out where you fit into the world pepper the pages. I cried, I smiled, I had to look deep into myself to understand why this book affected me so much. Trust me when I say this book is on my favorites shelf for life. I'll be re-reading it again soon.

The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

It's fair to say that this book made me fall in love with fairy tales all over again. If you've been following me for any length of time, you know that I'm a fan of the darker, grittier fairy tale stories. The ones that pit strong characters against impossible odds and allow them to grow into the people they were truly meant to be. That's why Arden's beautiful story caught my attention and kept me wrapped up in its spell. I have the next book in this series sitting, and I can't wait to read it!


So there you have it!

I was actually pretty stingy with my 5 star reviews this year, which made it much easier to find my favorites. How about you, bookish friends? Find any favorite new stories this year?

Thursday, December 28, 2017

2017 Wrap Up: 2018 Blog Goals

Alright bookish people, today let's talk about 2018 Blog Goals.

It's been a while since I actually set any because, as I explained in my 2016 wrap up, 2017 was supposed to be the year of quiet introspection and leisurely reading. I needed to get back to my roots, and make reading enjoyable again. As you know, it worked. I'm ready to plan.

Goal #1 - Social Media Balance

I took a big step back from social media this year, but it's also an important part of running/publicizing a blog. So my goal for 2018 is to learn to balance a good amount of interaction with a good amount of unplugging. Learning to step away and pick up new hobbies was good for me, and I want to keep that going. It's all about balance.

Goal #2 - Fun Content

Whenever I get stressed, this blog always becomes about nothing but reviews and book blitzes. My goal for 2018 is to get back to posting book hauls, comic posts, fun reading lists, and even hopefully host some cool giveaways! I don't want this to just be a job, but to be the place I fell in love with when I started blogging almost 8 years ago!

Goal #3 - Blog Interaction

One of things I lost these last few years was interaction with other bloggers and their content! I miss that! So in 2018 I'm going to set up a new feed and start commenting/interacting again. I want to read others reviews, and just be part of the community again!

Goal #4 - Diverse Reading

If 2017 taught me anything, it's that I like to hide in my Fantasy bubble. When I dared to venture out though, and read the few non-fiction books that I did this year, I really enjoyed it! So my reading goal in 2018 is to read outside my comfort zone again. I'm doing the Popsugar 2018 challenge for just this reason!

That's it for me!

What are your blogging/reading goals for 2018? Any big plans?

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 Wrap Up: Books I Missed Out On In 2017

Two days of posts in a row, my friends. Can you believe it? I've got my vibe back, and I'm feeling good. I already started eyeing new books, and revving up for new blog content for the new year. Now, the key is to take it easy and not burn out again. We can do this!

As I mentioned yesterday, 2017 was a slower year for me. That means I missed a pretty fair amount of newly released books, while I was sitting back and reading whatever attracted me at the time. So, today's post is dedicated to...

The Top 5 Books I Missed in 2017 and Plan to Catch Up On!


My Best Friend's Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

I fell in love with this book from the instant I saw this cover. Then, for about 3 months straight, it dominated by blog feed as person after person read it and completely adored every minute of it. Alas, I never got around to reading it! I'm planning to remedy that in the new year. 80's nostalgia, exorcisms and teen angst? Sold. Expect to see a review of this very soon.

Weave A Circle Round by Kari Maaren

Confession time: I was actually at the top of the hold list for this book at my local library, and had it in my possession for two weeks. I finally realized that I wasn't going to be able to finish it in time, and was being a jerk for holding onto it without reading it, so I returned it early. *sigh* I now own an audio copy though and can't wait to start off 2018 by listening to this!

Warcross by Marie Lu

I love Marie Lu, and the concept of Warcross was one that immediately pulled my attention and shot it to the top of my wishlist. Unfortunately, it slipped further and further down my TBR as I started pulling things from the backlog to read and revisit old book friends. I actually noticed this on my TBR last week and had an instant moment of panic. How had I forgotten about this? ACK! Well, you can rest assured I'll be reading this in 2018. It's a must.

Satellite by Nick Lake

I'm a sucker for a good science fiction novel, but something about characters visiting Earth for the first time has always fascinated me. What must the world we take for granted every day look like to them? That's why I added this book to my reading list. Like most others though, it faded into the background and I forgot about it. So, I think it's time to pull this out and see if Nick Lake can enchant me with tales of newly Earthbound teens.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Yes, I'm one of the very small amount of people who did not get around to reading this book despite its giant success. I'm feeling bad about it, trust me. I know that Angie Thomas' book is an important one, and that the story inside is going to hit me hard. Since I was working on myself in 2017, I strayed away from tough topics and hit fun, fantasy books instead. I'm ready though. Ready for the story, ready for the tears I know will come, and ready for the message.


So, there you have it! The 5 books I really regret missing this year, and can't wait to get to next year! I'm not going to rush into them, probably just do one a month, but these are getting read in 2018. Trust me on that.

Do you have any books that you missed out on, and are eager to get on your reading list in 2018?

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2018 Popsugar Reading Challenge!

Hey y'all! As I mentioned in last week's post, I've been scarce this year and I'm definitely aware of that. The good news is that it gave me some time to recharge. 7 years of running this blog had taken a toll, and I really needed some time to step away and love reading again. That break was good for me, and the fact that I missed doing this, and missed interacting with all of you, made me feel great! I'm ready to come back.

So let's kick off a new year of blogging, with week-long wrap up of last year and a look into what to expect from HDB going forward!

First off, the wrap up for the challenges that I started in 2017.

17/40 prompts complete! (42%)

Books Read:

  1. A book that's been on your TBR list for way too long American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  2. An audiobook - Revival by Stephen King
  3. A book by a person of color  The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima
  4. A book with one of the four seasons in the title Summer of Night by Dan Simmons
  5. A bestseller from a genre you don't normally read In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
  6. A book by or about a person who has a disability - Love And  First Sight by Josh Sundquist
  7. A book involving travel I See London, I See France by Sarah Mylkowski
  8. A book that's published in 2017 The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  9. A book involving a mythical creature The Voyage to Magical North by Claire Fayers
  10. A book you've read before that never fails to make you smile Burn For Me by Ilona Andrews
  11. A book about food The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan
  12. A book seet in the wilderness The River at Night by Erica Ferenick
  13. A book with a title that's a character's name A Man Called Ove by Frederick Bachman
  14. A novel set during wartime The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepard
  15. A book with pictures Snow and Rose by Emily Winfield Martin
  16. A book with a month or day of the week in the title A Million Junes by Emily Henry
  17. The first book in a series you haven't read before Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins

My goal for this one was to read 1/3 of the prompts, and I actually exceeded that! Considering that I kept forgetting to refer to the full list before choosing my next read, I'm going to consider that a pretty amazing total!

12/12 Books Reads (100%)

Books Read:

  1. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
  2. The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine
  3. The Redemption of Brian O'Connor by N.H. Roncolato
  4. The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas
  5. The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
  6. Hunted by Megan Spooner
  7. Ruined by Amy Tintera
  8. A Merchant In Oria by David Wiley
  9. Roar by Cora Carmack
  10. The Gunslinger by Stephen King
  11. Snow & Rose by Emily Winfield Martin
  12. Graceling by Kristin Cashore

On the flip side, I killed the Flights of Fantasy challenge by reading all 12 books (I actually read about 38) within the year! Fantasy has really been my escape this year, and I've just flown through book after book. I'm so happy!

In 2018, I'm only focusing on the new Popsugar Reading Challenge, and my goal is read the entire list! The new prompt image is below, but I'll be transcribing it into another post very soon, and get that up in place of my old reading challenge tab so that you can watch me keep track!

What are YOU planning for reading challenges in 2018?

Friday, December 22, 2017

2018 Reading Challenge

  1. A book made into a movie you've already seen
  2. True Crime
  3. The next book in a series you started
  4. A book involving a heist
  5. Nordic noir
  6. A novel based on a real person
  7. A book set in a country that fascinates you
  8. A book with the time of day in the title
  9. A book about a villain or antihero
  10. A book about death or grief
  11. A book with a female author who uses a male psuedonym
  12. A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist
  13. A book that is also a stage play or musical
  14. A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you
  15. A book about feminism
  16. A book about mental health
  17. A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift
  18. A book by two authors
  19. A book about or involving a sport
  20. A book by a local author
  21. A book with your favorite color in the title
  22. A book with alliteration in the title
  23. A book about time travel
  24. A book with a weather element in the title
  25. A book set at sea
  26. A book with an animal in the title
  27. A book set on a different planet
  28. A book with song lyrics in the title
  29. A book about or set on Halloween
  30. A book with characters who are twins
  31. A book mentioned in another book
  32. A book from a celebrity book club
  33. A childhood classic you've never read
  34. A book that's published in 2018
  35. A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner
  36. A book set in the decade you were born
  37. A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn't get to
  38. A book with an ugly cover
  39. A book that involves a bookstore or a library
  40. Your favorite prompt from 2015-2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenges
  1. A bestseller from the year you graduated high school
  2. A cyberpunk book
  3. A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place
  4. A book tied to your ancestry
  5. A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title
  6. An allegory
  7. A book by an author with the same first or last name as you
  8. A microhistory
  9. A book about a problem facing society today
  10. A book recommended by someone else taking the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Guest Post: Child Maltreatment and Futuristic Technologies by Robert Eggleton

Hello everyone, and happy Thursday before a holiday weekend! I know that I've been scarce lately, and Tina has been taking on more than her fair share of posts, but I wanted to pop back in before the new year with a very important post. 

Robert Eggleton, author of Rarity from the Hollow is here with a guest post that is just as poignant as his book. As an advocate for the prevention of child abuse, Eggleton uses his authorial platform as a means of both entertaining and informing his readers. I can't think of a better way to get this information out there, can you?

Anyway, I'll stop rambling and open the floor to his wonderful post. Please check out the book information below, and add this fantastic book to your reading list!


Lacy Dawn's father relives the Gulf War, her mother's teeth are rotting out,and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage -- an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It's up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn't mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.

Will Lacy's predisposition, education, and magic be enough for her to save the Universe, Earth, and, most importantly, protect her own family?

Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy,comedy and satire. It is a children's story for adults, not for the prudish, faint of heart, or easily offended.

Child Maltreatment and Futuristic Technologies

Rarity from the Hollow, my debut novel, is best classified as adult literary fiction with a science fiction genre backdrop. However, much of the content is more real than not, and the story is based upon real-life personal experiences. I’ve worked in the field of children’s advocacy for over forty years. In 2002, I accepted a job as a children’s psychotherapist for our local mental health center. It was an intensive day treatment program that served kids with serious mental health issues. Many of them had been abused, some sexually. It was during one of those therapy sessions that I met my protagonist, Lacy Dawn, a skinny eleven year old who presented resiliency so powerfully that it inspired other victims toward recovery and empowerment.

During my career, one of the most frustrating attitudes that I’ve encountered, held by professionals and the public alike, has been that nothing can be done to prevent child abuse. This is simply not true. If somebody would have listened to Lacy Dawn’s pleas for help earlier, her family might have been stabilized before she went through a world of hurt. The mission of Rarity from the Hollow is to sensitize readers to the huge social problem of child maltreatment through a comical and satiric science fiction adventure.

Yes, child welfare funding is inadequate. I’ve never heard anybody disagree. Most of the funding, however, is spent on after-the-fact out-of-home placements, such as foster care and group homes. As evidenced by research, it is nineteen times less expensive to prevent child maltreatment than to incur the financial costs of its impact. Half of author proceeds from Rarity from the Hollow are donated to the prevention of child maltreatment.

I know that it sounds weird, but I modeled the flow of my story after a mental health treatment episode involving a traumatized child: harsh and difficult to read scenes in the beginning of the story similar to how, in treatment, therapeutic relationships must first be established before very difficult disclosures are made; cathartic and more relaxed scenes in middle chapters as detailed disclosures are less painful; and, increasingly satiric and comical toward the end through an understanding that it is “silly” to live in the past, that demons, no matter how scary, can be evicted, and that nothing controls our lives more so than the decisions that we make ourselves.

Perhaps it sounds even wilder, but as I wrote my novel I imagined a therapeutic impact – that those of us who had experienced child maltreatment benefiting from having read Rarity from the Hollow. That’s a giant target audience. So, the story had to be hopeful, to inspire. While prevalence rate is difficult to come up with and there is no estimate of how many read novels, approximately one quarter of all adults believe that they were maltreated as children – physically, sexually, or psychologically. Internationally, forty million children are abused each year:

So far, eight of one hundred and four independent book blog reviewers have privately disclosed to me that they were victims of childhood maltreatment and that they had benefited having read my story. One of these reviewers publicly disclosed: “…soon I found myself immersed in the bizarre world… weeping for the victim and standing up to the oppressor…solace and healing in the power of love, laughing at the often comical thoughts… marveling at ancient alien encounters… As a rape survivor… found myself relating easily to Lacy Dawn… style of writing which I would describe as beautifully honest. Rarity from the Hollow is different from anything I have ever read, and in today’s world of cookie-cutter cloned books, that’s pretty refreshing… whimsical and endearing world of Appalachian Science Fiction, taking you on a wild ride you won’t soon forget….”

Here’s another very touching review of Rarity from the Hollow that included public disclosure of child maltreatment by a book blogger: “…I enjoyed the book so much that a few months after reading it I just picked it up again…reminded me of stuff in the past but somehow it also made me feel less alone. It made me realize that there are so many children in this world getting abused, going through the stuff I have been through…. The fact that there’s sci-fi/fantasy in it (such as genderless alien DotCom) kinda makes the book easier to read, less heavy on some moments… I highly recommend this book to anyone who’s 18+ but do keep in mind it’s a very heavy book to read yet so worth it.”…/rarity-from-the-hallow-by-ro…/

While sticking close to the mission of sensitizing readers to the huge social problem of child maltreatment, I wanted to produce a story that readers would enjoy: “…a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only instead of the earth being destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass, Lacy Dawn must…The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…Eggleton sucks you into the Hollow, dunks you in the creek, rolls you in the mud, and splays you in the sun to dry off. Tucked between the folds of humor are some profound observations on human nature and modern society that you have to read to appreciate…it’s a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.”

“…Full of cranky characters and crazy situations, Rarity From the Hollow sneaks up you and, before you know it, you are either laughing like crazy or crying in despair, but the one thing you won’t be is unmoved… Robert Eggleton is a brilliant writer whose work is better read on several levels. I appreciated this story on all of them.”

I retired from direct practice a couple of years ago and have been working very hard to tell the world about my novel. It’s a traditional small press publication and doesn’t have a high dollar marketing budget behind it. The final version paperback was released to Amazon on November 3, 2016, and the eBook was released on December 5, 2016. Both are currently on sale. As an Advance Reading Copy and final, Rarity from the Hollow has received considerable praise. Yes, my ego is stroked when the story receives a glowing book review, especially ones that indicate that my work might outlive me: “… Brilliant satires such as this are genius works of literature in the same class as Orwell’s Animal Farm. I can picture American Lit professors sometime in the distant future placing this masterpiece on their reading list.” “…It feels timeless, classic and mature in way that would ensure its longevity if more people knew about it… a distinctive approach to the adult-fairytale/modern-retelling sub-genre…I would even say it could be read in a college setting both for the craft itself and its unique brand of storytelling. The premise is brilliant."

All things considered, however, especially as we face potential federal budget cuts for U.S. domestic spending and international aid under the Trump administration, reductions that would adversely affect needful children, what would really make me feel good would be to raise a little money to help out kids. Children’s Home Society of West Virginia is a nonprofit child welfare agency established in 1893 that now serves over 13,000 families and children each year in a most impoverished state with inadequate funding to deliver effective social services. I used to work there in the early ‘80s and stand behind its good work. Some of the ways that this agency helps to prevent child maltreatment are:

  • Adoption, including pregnancy counseling and assistance with legal services; 
  • Birth to Three, which assists families care for children who exhibit developmental delays and strengthens the families’ abilities to care for their children at home; 
  • Comprehensive Assessment and Planning for children and families involved with child protective services to ensure the appropriateness of services and safety of the children; 
  • Child Advocacy Centers within which children suspected of having been maltreated can be interviewed in a supportive environment by all involved parties (police, social workers, medical staff, defense, etc.), including video recordings, so as to prevent the children from further trauma by exposure adversarial courtroom proceedings; 
  • Parenting Education for parents involved in divorce proceedings; 
  • In-Home Child and Family Services to keep families intact when there is no imminent danger to the child but supportive services, such as case management or transportation is needed; 
  • Exceptional Youth Emergency shelters serving youth with disabilities; 
  • Foster Care in private family homes that sometimes adopt the children initially placed there if freed for adoption through legal proceedings; 
  • One mid-town youth center that focuses on after-school and summer academics, delinquency prevention, and parental development; 
  • Right from the Start which targets high risk birth mothers and high risk infants to ensure that proper medical, economic, and social service needs are met; 
  • Emergency Shelters (9) for youth in crisis (this was where Robert worked as the Director of Shelter Care – He started 5 of these family-like settings but the network has since expanded); 
  • We Can, a program that recruits volunteers to augment services provided by child protective services workers; 
  • And, a Youth Services program in an under-served part of WV that turns around mostly younger teens who are heading in the wrong direction. 

So, yes, prevention works, but what about the butt holes that hurt kids? Can they be “fixed” so that they stop their maltreatment of others? As a professional and personal opinion, I would never trust treatment alone to cure a pedophile. I believe in accountability, punishment, and ongoing monitoring to protect us all from that worst type of human. At the same time, it has been my experience with other types of child maltreators, present in all countries, religions, cultures, socioeconomic classes…, that many abused children still love their biological parents and that some abusive parents dearly love their children. This was the situation in Rarity from the Hollow. Lacy Dawn, more than anything in the universe, wanted for her parents to be cured of their mental health problems that contributed to the maltreatment. The father is a war damaged Vet suffering from PTSD, night terrors, and anger outbursts, who was raised in a subculture that respected the value: “spare the rod and spoil the child.” I see posts by proponents of this value every now and then on Facebook.

Yes, access to mental health and substance abuse treatment, psychotherapy and medical models that exist today are evidenced based – they work, and decrease the occurrence of child maltreatment because if a parent is “messed up” it’s a correlate. The problem appears to be access to treatment. Antipoverty, job training, employment and similar economic development programs, social issues included in Rarity from the Hollow, can also reduce child maltreatment. I live in West Virginia, the state with the poorest economic outlook in the U.S. And, the state with the highest overdose death rate in the nation. In Chapter Two, “Recess” in my story, Lacy Dawn counsel peers at school whose parents have lost jobs because of the coal mines shutting down, an issue that has risen to national prominence and one reported basis for the U.S. pulling out of the Paris Accords on the environment, now a controversial news item. It seems like a lot of stuff in life in general in one way or another affects child maltreatment rates because children are the most vulnerable. Part of the treatment of the father in my story involved job training and gainful employment.

In Rarity from the Hollow, what appeared to be fantastical means implemented by an alien who was sent to Earth were used to treat the mental health problems of the parents that contributed to the maltreatment of Lacy Dawn. In a nutshell, her genetic spawn had been manipulated for millennia as the best hope for becoming the savior of the universe. The alien, named DotCom, a recurring pun in the story, lived in a spaceship hidden in a cave behind Lacy’s house and his mission was to recruit and train her. Lacy didn’t mind saving the universe, but her family and friends came first – as a prerequisite to accepting the job that the alien offered was that her parents had to be “fixed.”

While I’ve appreciated compliments by book reviewers who have spoken about my wild imagination, I confess that the fantastical means employed by the alien in my story to treat the parents were based on today’s medical reality. I’ve already mentioned that in the beginning of Rarity from the Hollow, Dwayne, the abusive father was a war damaged Vet experiencing anger outbursts and night terrors. The mother was a downtrodden victim of domestic violence who had lost hope of ever getting her G.E.D. or driver's license, or of protecting her daughter. Diagnosis and treatment of these concerns affecting the parents, as representative of many similarly situated, were based on emerging technologies presented at the 2015 World Medical Innovation Forum: . Yes, in real life, like in my story, patients have been hooked up to computer technology for medial diagnosis and treatment.

Additional exciting research was presented at that Forum and may one day may revolutionize psychiatric treatment. Most relevant to my story were: (1) smart brain prosthetics, wireless devises being tested for potential to relieve depression, PTSD, Bipolar Disorder…neural engineering to manipulate brain signals; (2) sophisticated imaging systems that are minimally invasive to brain circuitry for diagnosis (3) and, healing the brain with neuromodulation and electroceuticals to treat depression and schizophrenia.

The question, it seems, is not whether child maltreatment can be prevented and treated, but instead: Are we adults willing to invest in the future by protecting kids?

Robert Eggleton has served as a children's advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. Locally, he is best known for his nonfiction about children’s programs and issues, much of which was published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from1982 through 1997. Today, he is a retired children's psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome maltreatment and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel. Its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines. Author proceeds support the prevention of child maltreatment.

Note: This guest post content is owned by the author. Affiliate links are in use.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Better Dead by Pamela Kopfler

Better Dead
Pamela Kopfler
(A B&B Spirits Mystery #1)
Published by: Kensington
Publication date: December 26th 2017
Genres: Adult, Mystery
As the owner of a charming Louisiana bed and breakfast, Holly Davis believes in Southern hospitality—but she draws the line at welcoming the ghost of her cheating husband . . .
Burl Davis checked out of this life a little earlier than expected—before Holly could serve him with divorce papers over his extramarital flings. Unfortunately, it was not before he nearly bankrupted her beloved B&B, Holly Grove, a converted plantation that has been in her family for generations. Holly would never wish anyone dead, but three months later she’s feeling a lot more relief than grief.
Until Burl’s ghost appears as an unwelcome guest. Before his spirit can move on, her not-so-dearly departed needs Holly’s human help to bust up the drug smuggling ring he was involved with. She has reservations, to say the least, but agrees to assist him if he’ll make a show of haunting the B&B to draw in visitors. But when Holly’s former love, Jack McCann, mysteriously resurfaces in town and checks in, she has to wonder if her B&B is big enough for the ghost of her husband and the very real physical presence of her old flame . . .
Click here for an awesome sneak preview excerpt for this book!

Pamela Kopfler is Southern-fried and sassy. She writes award-winning humorous mysteries with a kick of Southern sass. Her debut novel, BETTER DEAD, is the first in her B & B Spirits mystery series. (Kensington Books)
She can stir up a roux, mix a cocktail, shoot anything (as long as it doesn’t have eyes), and loves swapping stories. Putting words on the page keeps her alligator mouth from overloading her hummingbird heinie in real life. It doesn’t hurt to be married to a saint who is an attorney either. She marks her time on earth by the lives of the dogs she has loved and who often show up in her stories. Her current fur baby is a seventy-pound pup in black. He thinks he’s a fearless hunter when he’s not pretending he’s a lapdog.
Pamela lives in South Louisiana where the spirits are restless, the food is spicy, and the living is divine.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Ice Kingdom by Tiana Warner

Ice Kingdom
Tiana Warner
(Mermaids of Eriana Kwai, #3)
Publication date: December 11th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
The final adventure in the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai trilogy …
Meela and Lysi have unleashed Sisiutl, legendary two-headed serpent of the Pacific Northwest. It was supposed to be an ally that would help them win the war. Instead, it has fallen under the control of King Adaro, ruler of the Pacific Ocean. If Meela and Lysi can’t stop him, Adaro will use the deadly serpent to rid the oceans of mankind.
With the American military using catastrophic weapons of their own to retaliate, Meela and Lysi must make peace between humans and merpeople before one race destroys the other. The journey will risk their lives and put their relationship to the test—but the vengeance that has been consuming Meela’s thoughts, day and night, might prove even more dangerous.

Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

**Read the first book in the trilogy for FREE: download at until Dec 25th!**

Somewhere on the Pacific Ocean
The young man aimed his crossbow at the water, ready to fire a bolt of solid iron at the first glimpse of flesh beneath the surface.
“Sir,” he said, “shouldn’t we have seen one by now?”
The captain turned his back to the salty wind, jaw tight. “They know we’re here.”
“So what are they doing?”
He followed the captain’s gaze. Blackness merged with the empty grey horizon in every direction. A long silence passed, filled only by gentle swells lapping against the ship.
The captain drew his own crossbow.
“Forming a plan.”
All twenty men aboard the ship readied their weapons, reacting in a chain until the last man at the stern took steady aim at the waves.
“Make ready your iron, men,” shouted the captain. “We have ripples approaching off the port side.”
A handful of places in the water puckered, as if something lingered just below the surface. The sea was too black to tell.
Then it happened. Fifty, maybe sixty sea demons burst from the water and slammed against the ship. The men wasted no time. They reacted with trained speed and agility as the demons thrust stones and jagged shells into the wood, both to break holes in the ship and to scale the sides. The men picked them off with bolts of iron and watched them fall one by one back into the sea.
But they were outnumbered. Soon the demons were upon the ship, pulling themselves across the deck with bony arms.
The young man had already shot a dozen and the water reddened with each passing second.
Slow scraping sounds threatened him from behind. He whirled around, crossbow ready. Burning eyes met his, and sharp teeth, bared to rip into his flesh. He gripped the trigger, felt the bow tighten—
And the demon was gone. The young man stared into the wide gaze of a girl his own age. With a startled cry, he jerked his aim so the bolt barely missed her.
She held a black shell in her hand, sharp at the edges and ready to use as a club. But she didn’t raise it. She just looked at him.
He lowered his crossbow.
Her blonde hair fell heavily over her shoulders, dripping beads of water down her naked chest and stomach, pooling where her torso joined her tail.
He blinked, but made no other motion—where her torso joined her tail. Scales faded into flesh like some sort of beautiful, green and tan sunset.
She pulled herself closer.
“Stay back,” said the young man, unsure what prompted him to hesitate.
He looked into her eyes—emeralds surrounded by pearl white—where moments ago they had burned red. Her sharp teeth had retracted behind rosy lips. The seaweed-coloured flesh of her upper body was now olive and raised with goose bumps from the icy wind.
“Hanu aii,” she whispered. Do not fear. She spoke his language.
He loosened his grip on the crossbow, studying her. She lifted a frail arm and pushed the hair from her eyes, then motioned him forwards.
His pulse quickened as he stared at the beautiful girl.
“Hanu aii,” she said again, her voice resonating sweetly, as if she sang without singing.
Suddenly, he was kneeling in front of her, level with her luminous eyes. The sounds around him faded but for the soft purr in the base of her throat.
She reached up and held an icy hand to his cheek, not for a moment breaking eye contact. The hand slid behind his head and pulled his face towards hers, slowly but firmly. He inhaled her sweet breath.
He flinched. He turned to see the captain racing towards them, aiming his crossbow at the maiden.
The young man grasped the scene around him. The ship was empty. A few stray weapons and barrels bobbed serenely in the water. Blood soaked the deck in places, and even the main mast had a splatter across the bottom.
The captain fired wide. Before he could reload and aim again, the sea demon put a hand on the young man’s chin and pulled his gaze back to hers.
Her eyes blazed red. Her skin rippled into the rotten colour of seaweed. Her ears grew pointed and long like sprouting coral. She opened her mouth to reveal a row of deadly teeth.
The young man screamed.
The demon pulled him against her with more strength than three men combined, and they dove headfirst off the side of the ship.
They disappeared into the blood-red water.

Tiana Warner is the best selling author of the Mermaids of Eriana Kwai trilogy. Her books have been acclaimed by Writer’s Digest, Foreword Reviews, and the Dante Rossetti Awards. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia. Tiana enjoys riding her horse, Bailey, and is an active supporter of animal welfare.


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Book Blitz + Giveaway: I Burned Down His House by Jessica Frances

I Burned Down His House
Jessica Frances
(Love at First Crime #3)
Publication date: November 28th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
She burned his house down, so he lit a fire between them that she could never extinguish.
So, I burned his house down.
It was an accident.
I mean, technically, the dog did it.
Well, the dog helped me to do it.
Did I mention it was an accident?
When circumstances mean I suddenly have a new housemate,
A man who is my ultimate fantasy,
And my entire world is turned upside down by new friends,
And a dog who likes to get me into trouble,
I have to wonder how my life got so crazy.
Add in my neighbor, who is under investigation;
Some unfinished business from the past, which just won’t go away;
Interfering family, who don’t know when to stop;
And mixed signals, making me wonder if fantasies really can come true,
And you have my new, hectic, crazy life.
But, when things take a dangerous turn,
And lives are on the line,
Will we all make it through in one piece?
Or is everything destined to crumble down around us?
Who would have thought that burning down a house would change everything so much?
Then again, as some people say: there is nothing quite like love at first … crime.
Add it on: Goodreads / Amazon

Trying not to feel like a loser that I have Joey’s number memorized, I dial, hoping like hell he picks up. It has to be in the incredibly early hours of morning, so there is every chance, if he hasn’t come home yet, it’s because he’s out with someone and won’t answer.
After five, drawn-out, torturous rings, he finally picks up.
“What?” he grumbles. I can’t tell if I woke him up, or if he’s just annoyed to be disturbed.
“Hey, Joey, it’s Teagan—”
I pause, annoyed I’m so forgettable he can’t remember who he gave his house key to! “Teagan Bevon, the woman who lives next door?”
“Oh … Oh!” There is finally recognition in his voice. “Right. Look, Teags”—he sounds so distracted I don’t think he even noticed he gave me a nickname—“I’m kinda busy—”
“—so I’ll just see you later—”
“Wait!” I cry out, afraid I will hear the dial tone any second.
“Actually, you probably won’t see me later. I’m going to be—”
“I BURNED YOUR HOUSE DOWN!” I scream into the phone and am finally met with silence. “Joey?” I whisper, fearful he already hung up.
“Can you repeat that for me?” he finally gasps out.
“I …” Now I feel nervous. “I … umm … I accidently”—I use too much emphasis on the word, making me sound extra guilty—“burned down your house.”
“Are you okay?”
My heart skips a beat. I just told this man that I burned down his house and his first thought is if I’m okay?
“Some smoke inhalation, but nothing serious. I’m so sorry about your things—”
“How about Karma?”
“Karma got out fine. She’s with the Glovers,” So … maybe she’s not okay. The almost ninety-year-old couple may not be quite at the same speed as Karma.
As he sighs in relief, my hands begin to shake again.
“Joey, I’m so sorry.”

Jessica lives in Adelaide, South Australia. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV. Connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.



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