C.S. Boyack: The Frighteningly Fun Halloween Tour

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Welcome! I am happy to host C.S. Boyack today as he journeys across the Web on his Frighteningly Fun Halloween Tour! Enjoy!

Don’t forget to comment below, and be sure to pick up Will ‘O the Wisp for a great Halloween read!

 

Will O’ the Wisp is a paranormal from C. S. Boyack. It involves a mildly handicapped girl facing a mysterious threat. The wisp has been killing off Patty Hall’s family for generations, and she’s next on the list. It is suitable for young adult readers. It’s a perfect Halloween read.

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**It’s always nice to meet the main character at some point during a blog tour. I wrote about how I chose Patty in a post called Draft Day. Those who are interested can read it here https://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/draft-day-2013/

 

The setting is a small farming community in the fall of 1974. Patty Hall is fifteen years old and starting high school. She wears corrective leg braces to straighten her bowed legs. This was a fairly common practice back then, and those of us who were around all knew at least one kid who had these. They traditionally got rid of them after puberty.

I chose the name, Patty Hall, because it’s about as vanilla as I could come up with. I didn’t want her to come across as special in any way. She’s just a regular kid. A regular kid with a big problem.

Patty’s father died in a terrible accident when she was small. Her mother remarried a local farmer, and in a small town environment it means the men grew up together. She gets along well with her stepfather, but fights with her mother. Patty is a typical farm girl with chores and everything.

Patty is a social outcast because of her braces. Some of the other kids are cruel to her. She has some good friends, who also occupy the fringe of the school social structure. She is enamored with the space program, and dreams of going to space one day herself.

The Will ‘O the Wisp first shows up when she and a friend are out stargazing. Patty assumes it must be something from outer space. She couldn’t be more wrong. It seems she is well prepared for the wrong problem.

This branch of the Hall family is being systematically killed off, and it’s been going on for centuries. If she can’t figure it out soon, Patty will join a long list of forgotten victims.

This story has high school issues too. It’s hard to watch your friends start dating and driving when there is no chance for Patty to do the same. There is a strong coming of age element to this story.

I had so much fun writing this one. I sincerely hope the readers out there will give it a chance.

***

Patty Hall is perfectly prepared for the wrong problem. She is enamored with the space race, and knows the history of NASA by heart. She is faced with an ancient threat that has been targeting the Hall family for generations. Hampered by an overprotective mother, if Patty can’t figure it all out in time, she may be the next member in the Hall family cemetery plot.

It’s not hard enough to be a fifteen year old girl, and a social outcast. As she watches her friends mature and grow, she has to face the idea of never turning sixteen. Please consider joining Patty on her incredible adventure.

You can pick up a copy on Amazon using your Kindle or a free reading app. Download it here:

North American version: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00UPH6BNS

International version: http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B00UQNDT2C

***

Author Photo 

Author Bio
I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

***

Follow Craig at the following locations:

Follow my blog: http://coldhandboyack.wordpress.com

Check out all my novels here: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00ILXBXUY

Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/Virgilante

On Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/9841203.C_S_Boyack

Rave Reviews Book Club’s BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY

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I’m happy to meet you here at the Rave Reviews Book Club’s BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY

This happening month-long party gives you, the guest, a chance to rub shoulders with great authors, hang out with interesting fictional characters, win fabulous prizes, and invite everyone you know to join the fun!

CONGRATULATIONS TO MY PRIZE WINNERS:

Marc Estes, Beem Weeks, and Harmony Kent

  

Prize #1: A $15 Amazon Gift Card

Prize #2: An e-version of Christian Sex and Marriage-It’s Complicated

Prize #3: An e-version of your choice of any of my novels

All you have to do to enter is read this blog and comment before midnight, September 17 CST.  

Welcome to my Rave Reviews Book Club Back-To-School Book and Blog Party! Since I just finished a book about sex and marriage, I thought it would be fun to discuss those topics today. At 3 am one dark and foggy night, I realized many of you might not enjoy such a personal conversation at a public party. At 3 pm on a sunny afternoon, I decided sex is always a fun topic no matter where you are.

This is how I decided to satisfy both my 3 o’clock brainstorms: In the first short blog, I’ll share the trials and joys of writing in multiple genres. You can read that, skip the sex, and comment below. Or, you can skip the genre talk, devour the one about sex, and comment below. Or you can have extra fun by reading both and, of course, commenting below. Take your pick, and as long as you comment, you will be entered into the great RRBC give-aways!

The Multiple Genre Nightmare

BookCover5_25x8_BW_330.pngI recently received a one-star rating on Amazon for my debut novel, Into Dark Waters. The review said:

“Much too graphic for my taste. I thought since it was billed as a Christian novel, it would be more a who-done-it than a shock-and-Gore.”

I did not ever bill this as a Christian novel-though it isn’t anti-Christian and pretty squeaky clean in the sexual sense. It is dark and disturbing at parts.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00058]But since I also write to a Christian audience (Diary of a Christian Woman-How I Used 50 Shades of Grey To Spice Up My Marriage and Christian Sex and Marriage-It’s Complicated), it’s expected that all my books would appeal to that genre’s readers.

BookCover5_25x8_BW_330.pngMarketing for multiple genres means multiplying your time and finances, and maybe changing you pen name. It is such a nightmare, that if I only cared about sales, I would choose one style and stick to it.

As much as I love selling my books, I write because I have to tell the story that’s running around in my head. I can feel my characters fighting to escape. I hear their screams and am haunted by their whispers. Sometimes, their story is funny. Other times, it’s dark and mysterious. Once, as with The Geek Club, the story appealed to kids rather than adults.  The bottom line is that the story belongs to the characters. And many, many characters inhabit my brain, each with their varied and crazy journeys.  It’s not my fault I can’t market all of them to the same people.

Money isn’t everything.  Neither are reviews.

Right now, I feel the stomping of characters’ footsteps—characters that want me to tell their stories in sequels to Haunting Megan and Diary of a Christian Woman. Next week, I’ll sit down and begin to put on paper the story of the character that stomps the loudest.

As for my non-fiction–people asked me to write it, so I did.  It’s excellent.  I’m proud of it and what it has to offer.  But now that it’s done, I’m looking forward to letting the imaginary people out of my head so they can lead me on their adventurous escapades.

 

Now…If you want to skip the sex, drop down to comment bellow!

Sex Education-That Awkward Class We Thought Would Be An Easy “A”

This blog post is appropriate for those 18 and older

I remember very little about my high school sex-education class. There was something about a condom and a cucumber, vivid descriptions of venereal diseases, and the class clown who made us laugh and the teacher cry. I’m pretty sure we never spoke of the bond between emotional and physical intimacy nor the pain that rips apart souls when that intimacy is damaged.

In our world, sex is supposed to be simple, like fitting together pieces of a puzzle—an easy “A”. That is not reality. In a nationwide survey, the vast majority of men and women gave their physical marital intimacy a failing grade.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071]I wrote Christian Sex and Marriage-It’s Complicated for couples that want their sex lives to be worthy of a grade higher than the average “C”. I wrote it to give relationships practical tools and ideas to move their emotional and physical intimacy to Honor Roll status.

This book has Christian in the title. That does not mean that only Christians will benefit by what is found inside. The early chapters deal with issues faced by those raised in a culture of repression often found in churches. It is my belief that people of faith should have free, joyful, celebratory marital sex lives. After all, we follow the God who created our bodies with all the hormones, nerve endings, and g-spots for our enjoyment. The Bible we read has an entire book dedicated to physical expression of love. One goal of Christian Sex and Marriage-It’s Complicated is to help people accept their own sexuality as a gift from God, given to them to enjoy with their spouse.

Second, scripture illustrates how sexual intimacy and emotional intimacy are bound together. I want the reader to know that along with hundreds of interviews, surveys, and current research, this book will use the Bible to show us ways to deepen our love and help us find freedom in sexual expression.

Every chapter in Christian Sex and Marriage-It’s Complicated begins with testimonies from people who share their struggles, fears, failures, and successes. Here are some of those stories:

Andrea’s Story

For a long time, years and years, I didn’t think he cared. I could see him zone out when I talked about my feelings. His eyes would just drift away. When I told him I was leaving him, he just stood there. He didn’t say anything, so I thought he wanted me to go.

Mark

I don’t know what to do. I try to be romantic and add more cuddling or foreplay, and my wife seems irritated like she doesn’t have time for that. Then, when I skip straight to sex, she gets mad because I didn’t seduce her. I can’t win.

Aileen’s Story

Every time he touches me it means sex. Sometimes I wish he’d just hold me because he wants to hold me.

Cecily’s Story

I know he loves me. I’ve never doubted it in thirty plus years of marriage. He holds my hand, rubs my shoulders, just reaches out and touches me when he can. That says more to me than words.

Rhonda’s Story

I don’t want him to touch me in public. It feels like a show, because he doesn’t touch me at home. I cringe when he touches me.

Rita’s Story

Romance is sensual—I mean it involves all the senses. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell all play a part. If something is off, the mood is off. It’s worth setting the scene. My husband is good at that. It’s one thing I really love about him.

Shirley’s Story

When we first got married, he’d bring me meaningless little gifts. He gave me dishtowels once. I remember thinking, “Gee, thanks! If you actually used these to help me they’d mean something!”

Carl’s Story

I could feel Grace, my wife, pulling away from me. I tried to talk to her, find out what I’d done to make her treat me like that. Finally, my mother-in-law told me Grace didn’t think I loved her. I TOLD her I loved her every stinking day! She had to have her mother tell me she felt unloved?

Marielle’s Story

I start my day taking care of my aging parents, then it’s get the kids to school, go to work, pick up kids, pick up dinner, and collapse on the sofa. I don’t have the energy to brush my teeth, much less have sex before I fall into bed.

Zena’s Story

I imagined a near-every-night scenario for sex. But life kind of takes over. Everything is good, but by the end of the day, neither of us want to do anything under the covers but sleep.

Leona’s Story

My husband doesn’t want me as much as I want him. It hurts. I feel like I’m lacking something. He’s a man. He’s supposed to want sex. Why does he turn away from me?

Tadd’s Story

She’s always too busy, too tired, or she has a headache. We shouldn’t fight about sex, but when we aren’t having any, my frustration rises and I get angry faster.

Kristof’s Story

If I could go back to the day before I failed my wife (had an affair), I would choose death over the hell I brought to my family.

Jodi’s Story

His work was more important than I was.

You can find out more about Christian Sex and Marriage-It’s Complicated at http://rebeccareilly.net/?page_id=530

Amazon 5 Star Review:

“Rebecca has a message to share that will help marriages, young and old. She isn’t afraid to tackle tough topics in this book and I’m impressed at how she was able to incorporate both humor and gut wrenching interviews throughout. Applicable to those with and without faith, I think anyone who’s been married for any length of time would find this insightful and helpful. For those of you who enjoyed her hilarious fiction book “Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Gray To Spice Up My Marriage” from 2013 I know you’ll appreciate this book as well.”

Buy Links:

Amazon Paperback: http://bit.ly/SexMarriagePB

Amazon Kindle: http://bit.ly/sexamarriage

iTunes: http://bit.ly/iTunessexandmarriage

Barnes and Noble:  http://bit.ly/sexBN

Please comment below to enter to win! I’d love to hear your thoughts…and if you have any memories of high school sex-ed, pass them on and give us a laugh (or a cringe)!

  I’ll see you at the next stop of the #RRBC BOOK and BLOG BLOCK PARTY! http://wp.me/P49Fi9-2y5

 

My Heroines In Their High School Days: Back-To-School Book and Blog Block Party!

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WELCOME to Rave Reviews Book Club’s BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY

This happening party gives you, the guest, a chance to rub shoulders with great authors, hang out with interesting fictional characters, win fabulous prizes, and the best part—you can invite everyone you know to join the fun!

The prizes you can win at this stop:  

First Prize-A $10 Amazon Gift Card

Second Prize-An e-book version of Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Grey To Spice Up My Marriage

Third Prize-An e-book version of Haunting Megan

Fourth PrizeAn e-book version of Into Dark Waters

All you have to do is read about my favorite fictional women and comment before midnight, CST.  Share your thoughts, or tell me what do you remember most about high school.

CONGRATULATIONS TO MY WINNERS:

Christa Nardi, Shirley Harris-Slaughter, Brian O’Hare, Gwen Plano

And….This Rave Reviews Book Club’s BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY goes on all month–With great prizes every day!

Check here to find all the prize-awarding stops!

https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/?page_id=9801

My Heroines In Their High School Days

Keeping with the Back-To-School theme, I thought it would be fun to take a peek at the early lives of some of my book’s leading ladies to see how they would have faced their first day of high school.

But first…an announcement from our principle:

“Attention: Those wanting Sex Education: Today marks the release of Christian Sex andPageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00071] Marriage: It’s Complicated by Rebecca Reilly. This book is full of true stories, research, and practical how-to advice to help you deepen the emotional and sexual intimacy in your marriage. Stop by http://bit.ly/sexbookpg to see what the excitement is all about and find the links to order your copy today!”

Phoebe as a freshman (from Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Grey To Spice Up My Marriage)

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00058]I bought a neon pink sweat suit to wear on my first day of high school. How was I to know the pretty girls had declared pink was out that year? I felt like a stick of cotton candy toddling around campus. If only it’d rained. I could have melted away instead of shining like a beacon of nerdiness.

Of course, I got lost and walked into boys’ locker room instead of the girls’. The tuna fish in my sandwich soured and stunk up the cafeteria. I tripped up the stairs, split my new pants up the crack, and squirted blood all over myself when my nose smacked against the sidewalk. At least wearing neon pink wasn’t my biggest problem anymore.

On a brighter note—I raised my hand in class and answered every question asked. I think my teachers loved me. That will make me popular!

Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Grey To Spice Up My Marriage-Synopsis

Food is not a great substitute for sex, but it’s all I’ve got.

It’s not that I’m not happy in my marriage. I am. George is a good man, and I love him. I love our two children. I love our home. I love our church. And I love my job. I love everything I have.

And I’m bored out of my mind.

I know God created sex for marriage. And not just for beautiful people, either. Sex is supposed to bind a man and wife; to give them an intimacy they share with no one else. Sex is supposed to be fulfilling. And fun! I think we’re supposed to want to have sex with our spouse.

iTunes: http://bit.ly/iTunesDiary

Amazon: http://bit.ly/amazondiary

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/diaryCWbn

 

Julie as a senior (from Into Dark Waters)

BookCover5_25x8_BW_330.pngJulie slid her damp palms across her thighs. The tight fit of her new jeans made her uncomfortable, and she felt fat rather than the sexy she’d hoped for. She buttoned the crisp, pink collared shirt and hesitated only a few seconds before deciding to leave the top one undone. Joel will notice me today, she told herself. She left the room quickly before her reflection scared her into changing into the old, conservative style clothes she’d always worn.

For Julie, stepping onto the school bus was like entering a different world—comfortably familiar and sparkling with promise. Old friends, new friends not-yet-met, and the prospects of the year ahead took her mind off her embarrassing attempt at look-at-me fashion. How could her impossible dream of romance compete with the reality of laughter and the social whirl of high school?

When the bus pulled into the lot, Julie’s smile died. She stayed seated until only she and the driver remained. She looked down and sighed. Julie quickly buttoned her shirt to the top, picked up her book bag, and stepped onto the campus.

Into Dark Waters-Synopsis

A cruise ship is an easy place to commit murder. Body disposal’s a cinch, and suicide’s the likely verdict. The only problem is determining how to choose the next victim.

Sad and sexy, women find Detective Jim Tanger attractive. He doesn’t care. His wife’s suicide three years ago froze his soul. When Jim hears that Sunburst Cruises has lost another young female passenger to an assumed suicide, Jim’s passions erupt. He pushes the department and the cruise line into letting him investigate. Battling seasickness and overwhelming shyness, Jim must protect the women and find the killer only he believes exists.

Julie Cooper loves her husband Joel. She hopes their anniversary cruise to Hawaii will be a new beginning for them. Before her suitcases are unpacked, someone unleashes a campaign of terror against her. Anonymous threats, cryptic messages in her cabin, and an attempt on her life force Julie to look at the one person who might want her dead; the one person she trusted with her life.

iTunes: http://bit.ly/DarkWatersiTunes

Amazon: http://bit.ly/amazonWaters

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/Watersbn 

Megan as a sophomore (from Haunting Megan)

BookCover5_25x8_BW_330.pngIt’s tough to go unnoticed when your grandfather forgets to buy you new jeans, and the only ones you have are two sizes too big in the waist and three inches too short. Too tall. Too skinny. Too gawky. Too weird.

That’s the girl who sees ghosts, someone will say.

She looks like a ghost herself, they’ll laugh.

They’ll look me over then look away.

You know her mother’s in jail for murder, they’ll whisper.

You know she discovered the bloody body, they’ll giggle in sick delight.

Maybe it’s her fault her sister’s dead, each one will think.

But I will know.

She doesn’t belong at school with normal people, they’ll shout.

I don’t belong anywhere.

Haunting Megan-Synopsis

After suffering years of abuse at the hands of her alcoholic mother, Megan wakes to screams, cries of murder, and the room splattered with blood. Sent to the mountains to live with the grandfather who’d once abandoned them, Megan must learn to care for her young sisters and manage Wind Hollow Lodge. Fighting to live a normal life, Megan ignores the haunting memories of her past. But she can’t ignore the ghosts that terrorize her. Believing her sanity is slipping away, Megan is unable to keep her visions a secret from the town. When murdered men are discovered on Wind Hollow land, people start to wonder just how crazy Megan Wilson really is.

iTunes: http://bit.ly/HauntingiTunes

Amazon: http://bit.ly/amazonHaunting

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/HauntMegBN

Please comment below to enter to win! I’d love to learn about your first day of high school! 

  I’ll see you at the next stop of the #RRBC BOOK and BLOG BLOCK PARTY! http://wp.me/P49Fi9-2y5

Meet Featured Artist and Author Laurie Finkelstein

Today I welcome Laurie Finkelstein, an artist who is working on her first book, a romantic comedy “Next Therapist Please”.

I find Laurie’s art to be diverse and beautiful! Laurie has explored a variety of medium including clay, metal, oils, pen and ink, pastels, and watercolors, ultimately choosing acrylics and mixed media as her medium of choice.  She studied at USC School of Music and the Arts, Otis Art Institute, California State University, and through private instruction.

Below are several pieces of her work that drew me.

You can visit her website for information on how to purchase these, and other of her fabulous works of art.

Blog or Website: http://lauriebethart.com/blog
Facebook Page URL: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laurie-Beth-Art/205028329507169

Laurie Describes Her Art

I believe that much of what we see is not really there, and there is so much around us that we do not really see.

My paintings reflect my perception of nature by painting what I see and what I want to see.  My current series of paintings focus on rocks and boulders. I am fascinated with the variety of textures and colors in seemingly mundane objects. They are also like postcards from my travels as I photograph rocks and boulders wherever I might be and use those photos as inspirations for my paintings. Many of my works border on the abstract by way of the composition and placement of edges. My placement of the rocks on the canvas showcases the cracks and crevices, creating depth and contrast in light and shadow. I improvise and exaggerate the colors I see in the surface of the rocks so that each painting has slightly different color combinations. Creating these paintings allows me to elevate the intrinsic beauty of boulders. The boulders have been in the making for millions of years and yet seem unchanging.  They stand as metaphors of strength and durability. My images give the audience an alternative view of what we mostly take for granted and see only as objects to climb over, lean against, or walk by.

In my traditional landscapes I tweak colors to produce images that are slightly unreal.   My abstract paintings are images that I would like to see in nature. They include elements such as wire, beads and textiles to represent tiny and microscopic particles and living things.

Laurie Finkindian-summer-wind

Indian Summer Wind
Acrylic/Mixed Media on Panel
14 x 18 x 2
$185.00 USD
laurie finkwinter-passion
Winter Passion
Acrylic/Mixed Media on Panel
5 x 7
$35.00 USD
lauriefinkinner-erosion-ii
Inner Erosion II
Watercolor
17 x 20
$300.00 USD

lauriefinksan-pablo-bay-ii

San Pablo Bay II
Acrylic on Canvas
16 x 20
$350.00 USD

 

 

 

 

 

Meet Featured Author Beth Hale

I have the pleasure of introducing you to author Beth Hale!  I’ve enjoyed Beth’s books, and I know you will too!
Beth-Hale-300x194
Beth Hale grew up on a small farm on the Tennessee / Mississippi line. While she no longer lives on the farm, she does live in a small Mississippi town with her real-life hero, Nathan, and their two amazing children, Clay and Lily.
 By night, Beth works as an E-911 dispatcher. She loves her job but writing is her real passion. When she’s not planted in her dispatch chair, you can usually find her at home, putting her characters’ lives down on paper.
“There is nothing I love more than  to curl up with a great cup of coffee, an even better book, and a cozy blanket. I imagine quite a few of you are the same.  When I’m not working at my “day job”, I carve out time for writing my own stories before I indulge in reading sprees.”

Contact Beth Hale!

Twitter Handle: @writes4coffee

Facebook Page URL: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beth-Hale/458435490953994

 

Trusting Jack

bethhaletrustjack

After a devastating divorce, Emma is picking up the pieces of her shattered heart and life. Her first step in reclaiming her old job as a personal assistant to famous actress, Norah Jackson. Work takes her to London, where she meets sexy fledgling actor, Jack Brandon. The sizzling attraction is immediate and mutual. Little by little, Emma begins to open her heart again. But Jack has a past, too. And it’s come back to haunt him, wreaking havoc on their budding romance.

Can Emma let go of the hurt and learn to trust Jack completely? Or is their relationship doomed to be a one act play?

Reviews for Trusting Jack
I was engaged quickly and really wanted to know what would happen between Emma and Jack.

It was a great love story with humor, passion and a pretty well developed plot.

I absolutely love this book. I read it cover to cover in one day. This book has a lot of twist and turn that’s keeps you intrigued. I would recommend it any day. Can not wait for her next one.

Magnolia Secrets

http://www.amazon.com/Magnolia-Secrets-Book-1-ebook/dp/B013EDNRBS/ref=la_B00EDH7RAW_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1439837283&sr=1-2

beth hale magnolia

Walker and Lainey share one explosive night together, and he awakens to find her gone. Shrugging it off as just a glorious one-night stand, he accepts a new job in a small town: New Hope, Mississippi. That’s where he finds Lainey again. She just happens to be married to the Chief of Police-and Walker’s new boss.

Lainey is terrified that Walker will divulge their secret. If he does, Lainey is a dead woman. But despite the danger, she can’t forget the one passionate night she spent in Walker’s arms. Walker demands answers from Lainey: What secret is she hiding? Why is she so afraid? And when people begin dying, he wants to get to the bottom of it. Why is the police chief trying to brush off the deaths? Why doesn’t he want Walker to work the cases? What kind of secrets is he hiding?

Drawn together, unable to deny their passion, they risk their lives. Lainey is trapped. Walker is determined to save her and uncover the truth. Can they expose the secrets before a ruthless man destroys any hope for a brighter future?

Reviews for Magnolia Secrets

It was an edge-of-your-seat, deep-in-good-drama, AWESOMELY TOLD story!!

Lainey is a well-crafted heroine whose secret life rocks a small town and captures the heart of her hero. Her story is compelling and emotional–because sadly, spousal abuse is a real problem in the world. It was riveting to see her grow and become stronger throughout the story, and finally begin to feel comfortable in who she was as a woman and a person with a purpose in life other than to serving as a punching bag for her controlling husband. The scenes were written in vivid detail and one could almost see feel the burn on Lainey’s cheek and taste the salty blood on her lip when she “took her punishment” as she often phrased it.

Beth has written a steamy romance with much heart and a real compassion for her characters.

Welcome JASON ZANDRI’s As Life Goes: Elementary Blog Tour

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I am honored to host Jason Zandri on this stop on his As Life Goes: Elementary Blog Tour!  Jason is a skilled and talented writer whose books I’ve enjoyed. He’s also very supportive of other writers.  Thank you for supporting Jason…and remember to leave your comments below.

From JasonJASON CROP

Offering up segments of your books online as free excerpts is a great way to get readers engaged with your writing, your style of writing, and the theme of the given story you’re sharing with them.

At times you have to decide, do I want to share out the first few chapters sequentially to give potential readers the startup and to entice them to read the rest, or do you
cherry pick some juicy parts, like different scenes of a movie that you might view as a preview trailer, to get them excited about the full story.

It’s hard to decide what to do and not second guess yourself. For example, I saw a ton of movie trailers for the recent theatrical release of Marvel’s “Ant-Man” before the movie was showing and every single one trailer left me underwhelmed. What makes matters worse is that I am a huge fan of the superhero genre, so because of that I generally allow for a huge level of latitude and consideration when something seems like it might be mediocre, where the larger movie going base might not. To have a movie be a big success you can’t draw from “just” the fan pool; you have to entice other movie goers to be entertained by the overall film and not the general subject matter (in this case – a superhero story).

Ant-Man might have its detractors, but I was pleasantly surprised with the film overall as a good superhero movie and a good story overall. It had moments of smart comedy in it (without being “stupid”) and it was much more than just a “flash/bang” action movie.

The point I am getting to is that in the end, the theatrical trailers did not do the movie justice.

The same can happen if you decide to cherry pick across your book to what you think are the good parts in an effort to entice a reader. You might over deliver on the excerpts and not leave enough for the reader to enjoy in the full story. Or what you might believe are the best parts to cherry pick, don’t end up being the strongest parts of the story, the way your readers see it.

Of course, if you have a slow starting book, just picking the first three chapters could have a similar effect. You might not hook them enough to get their attention.

Sometimes a mix will work, where you start the potential reader off with two of three chapters you want to offer to whet their appetite, and then give them a critical or pivotal chapter in the middle of the story that makes them compelled to find out what happens next.

One size never fits all and I find with myself trying both methods to see what works best. I am figuring out what is working best by asking readers that I am in touch with, what brought them to my story. The ones that respond “the free excerpts,” I ask them what “hooked” them so I can get an idea where to focus in the future.

With that, I have three links back to my blog where I have three existing excerpts to “As Life Goes: Elementary” and tomorrow’s post on the blog tour will be a previously unavailable excerpt – “As Life Goes: Elementary” – Excerpt IV, so be sure to visit back to read it.

as-life-goes FINAL cover large

As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt I
https://gunderstone.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/as-life-goes-elementary-excerpt-i/

As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt II
https://gunderstone.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/as-life-goes-elementary-excerpt-ii/

As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt III
https://gunderstone.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/as-life-goes-elementary-excerpt-iii-author-jason-zandri/

About As Life Goes: Elementary

“Every new beginning starts from nothing. Understanding that you can have everything in the love of one person, isn’t that worth the risk of personal capital? Isn’t that kind of love worth it?” – Diane Wakeford

“Have I ever told you, you’re the nicest boy I’ve ever met?” – Melissa Bancroft

“I will have the friends I want. I don’t care what boy likes me or what boy I like. You’re an awesome friend. I am not giving you up because we’re going to different schools or for any one person either.” – Elizabeth Wellsworth

Mark Sanford returns to his hometown with his son Matthew in tow to rebuild their lives. Recently divorced, and with the mother totally abandoning her parental responsibilities, both father and son are beginning their fresh start together.

Matthew begins to make new friends in the neighborhood and at school while he tries to find his place among people that have been friends with one another for years at elementary school.

Mark takes over the reins of the former family corner store with the help of a young woman looking for work. The ability to love and trust that woman entering his life is difficult for him because of all he has lost. For Matthew, that “first love” is difficult to understand without a motherly influence and with a father that has been deeply hurt.

As Life Goes: Elementary – Links to Excerpts

As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt I
https://gunderstone.wordpress.com/2015/07/07/as-life-goes-elementary-excerpt-i/

As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt II
https://gunderstone.wordpress.com/2015/07/09/as-life-goes-elementary-excerpt-ii/

As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt III
https://gunderstone.wordpress.com/2015/07/13/as-life-goes-elementary-excerpt-iii-author-jason-zandri/

 

Books and links

Before Another Sunset (The Sunset Series Book 1)
http://www.amazon.com/Before-Another-Sunset-Series-Book-ebook/dp/B00T11GKYE

Another Sunset (The Sunset Series Book 2)
http://www.amazon.com/Another-Sunset-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00QD2FQU8/

I Hero: The Beginning
http://www.amazon.com/I-Hero-Beginning-Jason-Zandri-ebook/dp/B00Y3LA41M/

I Hero: Nathan Returns
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B011AOPE64

As Life Goes: Elementary
http://www.amazon.com/Life-Goes-Elementary-Jason-Zandri-ebook/dp/B00ZXVB7SK/

 

As Life Goes: The End of the Innocence – (expected November 2015)
As Life Goes: The Reunion – (expected April 2016)
As Life Goes: The Wedding (expected July 2016)
As Life Goes: The Funeral (expected October 2016)

 I Hero: Untitled Book 3 (Expected first half 2016)
I Hero: Untitled Book 4 (Expected second half 2016)
I Hero: Untitled Book 5 (Expected first half 2017)

Social Media links

Twitter – @GUNDERSTONE https://twitter.com/gunderstone/
Facebook Author page – https://www.facebook.com/jzandri
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonzandri
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+JasonZandri/
Author blog – The GUNDERSTONE Review https://gunderstone.wordpress.com/

 

ABOUT JASON ZANDRI

Jason has been working in the information technology field in one form or the other since 1996. He is currently employed full time at Bloomberg LP as a Systems Engineer in the R&D group. Jason lives in Wallingford Connecticut, with his wife Renata. He is the father to four children, three boys and 1 girl – 11 years (Andrew), 9 years (Angela), 7 years (Adam) and 6 years old (Alex).

 

What Is the Difference Between Sex and Christian Sex?

Is there such a thing as spicy in “Christian” sex??

What is the difference between Christian sex and non-Christian sex?

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It made me very happy to find these questions on a post about my new book, Christian Sex and Marriage—It’s Complicated.

The short answers are simple:

Yes—there is a difference between Christian sex and non-Christian sex.

Yes—Christian sex can (and should) be very spicy.

What is the difference between Christian sex and non-Christian sex?

Difference Number 1—Many Christians Suffer from Shame, Guilt, Fear, and Failure in the bedroom (I realize living in other subcultures that repress sexuality have these problems, too)

If you were brought up in the church, chances are you heard hundreds of teachings about the evils of premarital sex. You also learned that if you abstain from having sex before marriage, you’d be blessed with amazing sex from your wedding night on. The combination of these and other Christian culture norms puts so much pressure on couples that sex drives can be repressed. Shame, guilt, and fear block the joy that God desires for us in our married sex lives.

Here’s an excerpt from Diary of a Christian Woman: How I Used 50 Shades of Grey To Spice Up My Marriage to illustrate how many Christians feel:

We both wore white at our wedding and considered it a badge of honor. We had done it God’s way, and we were arrogantly sure our coupling would be blessed.

Instead, the wedding night was a bust.

It’s not that we couldn’t figure out what to put where (we weren’t completely stupid), but our expectations were so high, that when fireworks didn’t explode in our room, we went to sleep disappointed.

That didn’t mean we stopped trying, of course–we’d waited decades to experience sexual fever in the flesh! We knew we’d get fireworks eventually, so we kept pounding away.

By the third day of our marriage, I couldn’t walk and George’s manhood was covered with friction blisters.

I came home from our honeymoon thinking we’d never have sex again.

I was wrong. After giving ourselves a few more days to heal, George whipped out his Bible and got my juices going again.

We even got creative; I got on top.

We found our rhythm and have kept at it for nineteen years.

But I think there’s supposed to be more.[i]

 

The first few chapters of Christian Sex and Marriage: It’s Complicated address the mindset of believers. To be intimate and free in the bedroom, Christians need to understand that God created our bodies to enjoy sex. Intercourse is a tool to deepen physical, emotional, and spiritual intimacy. Guilt has no place. Shame needs to disappear. Intimacy must release fear.

Difference Number Two—Christians Have the Power to Invite God Into Their Marriage and Bedroom

Though that puts a weird picture in your head, God desires complete unity for His children, and a great sex life is one way to help accomplish that. God designed all the hormones and nerve endings that make our bodies tingle and burn with desire. It is ridiculous to repress what God gave us to enjoy. Furthermore, we enjoy it most when we follow His instruction manual. When God takes part in all aspects of marriage, making love takes on a new and deeper meaning.

Is there such a thing as spicy in “Christian” sex??

The very nature of this question illustrates the complete lack of understanding Christians and non-Christians have about sex. We are free to enjoy, free to express, and free to experiment within the bounds of our marriage. Christians, more than any other culture, should have the most exciting, vital, and spicy sex because God is a part of our marriages. Our intimacy should be deeper. Our trust should be stronger. Our sex lives more fulfilling because we know the character of the One who created it.

Christian Sex and Marriage—It’s Complicated answers both these questions with the added bonus of activity suggestions, testimonies, self-evaluation, and more. Pre-order today! http://rebeccareilly.net/?page_id=530

Diary of A Christian—How I Used 50 Shades of Grey To Spice Up My Marriage is a fiction humor novella that shares one woman’s struggle to spice up her sex life. http://bit.ly/amazondiary

[i] Rebecca Reilly, Diary of a Christian Woman—How I Used 50 Shades of Grey to Spice Up My Marriage, http://bit.ly/amazondiary.

Team Marriage: Spread the Word

How intimate is your marriage? Would you like real, practical help to deepen the sexual and emotional bond you share with your spouse?

Christian Sex and Marriage—It’s Complicated is a new book written to share ideas, activities, research, and advice to help strengthen Christian marriages.

I believe this is a powerful tool. Edited by marriage and family counselors, pastors, and couples, the information is practical and easy to read.

I need your help. Would you consider joining Team Marriage, a group of people taking 5-10 minutes a week to get the word out about this book? The commitment is simple and lasts only four weeks (from now until the September 2 launch date).

I will send you 2 emails a week with a link to a blog post that talks about the book. All I ask of you is that you add a personal comment and share the information with your friends on Facebook, email lists, and/or other social media.

Our goal is to promote pre-sales of Christian Sex and Marriage—It’s Complicated. High pre-sales bring focused attention from outside promoters—attention that isn’t available once the book is released. As an independent author, this is a critical step in getting the book into the hands of couples that need it.

As a thank you for joining Team Marriage, I will send you a coupon for an e-copy of any of my books (and my eternal gratitude J).

Pre-order Christian Sex and Marriage—It’s Complicated Today & Save!

iTunes: http://bit.ly/iTunessexandmarriage

Amazon: http://bit.ly/sexamarriage

Publish Date: September 2, 2015

To join Team Marriage, just email me at:

Rebeccareilly.author@gmail.com

Write, “I’m on your Marriage Team” in the subject line.

 

 

Meet Featured Author Misha Elliot!

One of the best parts of being a member of the fabulous Rave Reviews Book Club is getting to know other authors.  I enjoyed perusing Misha’s website, and I wish we lived close enough to meet face to face and talk books.  I think you’ll feel the same after you meet her here.  Let me introduce you to author Misha Elliot.

mishaelliot

Who is Misha Elliott?

Misha Elliott is an old movie watching, wine drinking, book-lover.  Once a northerner she now calls the sweet state of Alabama her home.  She can’t remember a time when books weren’t a part of her life.   Writing gives her a reason to talk to the voices in her head.

You Can Follow Misha here:             

http://www.mishaelliott.com

Twitter @cphoenixrising

Facebook  www.facebook.com/elliottmisha

You Can Purchase Misha Elliot’s Books Here:

http://www.amazon.com/Misha-Elliott/e/B00FCWP81M/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1430191402&sr=8-1

https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/misha-elliott/id828162967?mt=11

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/misha-elliott

Misha’s Books

misha learn fly

Learning To Fly-Flying Series Book 1

Typical isn’t a word you would use to describe Sophia Ann Marshall’s life. Is she the parent? The daughter? The caretaker? Or the one who ruined it all? is there really a white knight that could come rescue her? Sophia’s not so sure anymore. When her mom’s latest breakup and firing causes them to move the summer before her senior year, Sophie is devastated.
Until she meets star QB, Alexander Matthews. Alex is the beginning of all the firsts Sophie has been dreaming of. Moving has turned her life and the life of her mom, around to exactly where she wanted it to be. Everything is great but will the price of happiness be too high? Can she really give up her dream? Why is life always filled with choices?
But he wants her to choose…Will she give him up to follow her dreams, or give up her dreams to follow him…

The Reviews Say…

“The flow and writing were phenomenal and paired well with an original storyline.”

“This story is going to bring to a lot of emotions, you’re going to want to kill some of the people and then your going to fall in love with them. Misha did a great job and I’m looking forward to read Come Fly with Me!!!”

 “…it transported me back to the moment when I met the man who is now my husband, and I enjoyed every minute of it.”

misha fearless

Fearless

Leah Campbell and Asher Sky are two fractured souls. Each of them carry scars from a past they can’t make peace with. When an accident causes their paths to intertwine, they are given a chance to start over. Together they must find the one thing that is stronger than any fear ~ hope. They need hope, without it they will remain broken. This isn’t your typical love story of girl-meets-boy, love at first sight. It’s about healing, hope, and finding the ultimate strength that comes from within ~ pushing forward to become fearless.

The Reviews Say…

“I have to say that I have been reading all my life but more so over the past year. I have never had a book leave a mark until I read fearless. I loved this story from the get go.” 

“I really enjoyed the essence of this story! The characters are great and showing the separate Point of views were nice and added depth to the story line.”

“I enjoyed this story line, and I thought that the characters were very well developed. I really loved the fact that even though they each has been dealt a bad hand in life, they never gave up. Their strength and determination was quite inspiring. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a quick and enjoyable read.”

Meet Featured Author Maggie Thom

It is my pleasure to introduce you to RRBC suspense/thriller author, Maggie Thom!  

maggie thomMaggie’s Motto: Escape to read and Read to escape.

Award-winning author Maggie Thom, writes suspense/thrillers. Her works include: Captured Lies, Deceitful Truths and Tainted Waters. Her novels have won various awards, including: suspense and thriller book of the year.

               Connect with Maggie:                                                                                            Website: http://maggiethom.com/
Twitter Handle: @maggiethom2
Facebook Page URL: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMaggieThom

Purchase Her Award-Winning Books:                          http://www.amazon.com/Maggie-Thom/e/B009WSTDG8/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1435009408&sr=8-1

“Maggie Thom writes a fast paced thriller laced with romance that keeps the reader interested and on edge!”                                                                                             InDtale Magazine

Captured Lies: Book One of The Caspian Wine Series

maggiethomcaptlies

She was kidnapped not once but twice and now someone wants her dead because of it…  Her life was a lie! 
Everyone seems to have a story… but who’s telling the truth? And who wants her dead? Is Guy part of the solution? Or part of the problem? To discover the facts, she’ll have to untangle a web of deceit, lies, and secrets, dating back over thirty years.

What The Reviewers Say About Captured Lies:

“This is a action packed thriller that leaves you wanting to find the answers just as badly as Bailey (the main character of the book).”

“Maggie Thom writing style had me setting up and taking notice.”

“Maggie Thom liberally enriches her writing with supremely descriptive, inventive phrases. She is an expert wordsmith who has produced a great suspenseful thriller.”

Deceitful Truths (The Caspian Wine Series Book 2)

A standalone novel and a Sequel/Companion to Captured Lies

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He created a legacy that no one could imagine… Tarin has lost a week of her life.
Tarin and Graham discover that although they don’t trust each other, they are forced to work together to solve several seemingly unrelated crimes that may lead to one disastrous conclusion. Can they figure it all out before Tarin’s nightmare plays out? An eighty year old woman pays with her life? Or before Tarin learns a truth that may seal her fate and be the one secret that will keep her and Graham apart as neither one of them may be able to forgive or forget… 

What The Reviewers Say About Deceitful Truths:

“Maggie really knows how to weave a tale and to draw the reader in.”

“Deceitful Truths has more twists than a grape vine, more jagged edges than broken glass and some pure, raw emotional turmoil that will squeeze at the heart of anyone who would do whatever is necessary to protect someone they love. I think the only thing that kept me from breaking skin clenching my fists were those moments of heart-melting romance that flickered through.”

“The way in which the author crafts the book will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat – brilliant!”

Tainted Waters

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He didn’t commit suicide but who’s going to believe her… 
The descendants of the four families, who own the land around the lagoon, are dying off. Since Sam and Keegan are the only ones questioning the deaths, they find themselves working together to seek the truth. Are people being murdered? Who would benefit from their deaths? Why would there be barricades and armed guards at the north end of the lake? To stay alive, Sam and Keegan must find the answers and convince others, before more people are killed… including them.

What The Reviewers Say About Tainted Waters:

 “…it was not a routine story. There was suspense almost from the very beginning of the book. It was so exciting, and a lot suspense and there was just enough romance to make me happy.”

“An edge of your seat thriller that offers chills galore.”

“The author weaves a pretty complex mystery with its share of potential bad guys and red herrings. Odds are you won’t figure out “whodunnit” until the end, and you’ll enjoy the trip to get there.”