Sunday, February 17, 2019

Book Promo Sunday!

Book Promo Sunday

We have a new tradition at #OurAuthorGang.
Every Thursday we add a book promo post to our Facebook page:

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And we pick four books from the post to promote on our blog.

Enjoy this week's selection:

Rebecca has just turned thirty. She’s happy living a perfectly comfortable and predictable life. She’s even ready to marry her long-time boyfriend whenever he finally gets around to asking her. But all that changes when her best friend whisks her away to Italy for a much-needed vacation. 

In the midst of site seeing and finally letting loose, Rebecca manages to catch the eye of a young English tourist but doesn’t let it go to her head. By the time she’s back in the States and back in the arms of her long-time beau, Rebecca has already forgotten about Peter, Paten, Paul…whatever his name was, that is until he shows up at her brother’s cabin in the woods.

A life of normalcy, routine, and stability gets turned upside down as Rebecca decides whether or not she’s truly ready to get married. And if so, who is the one she’s really meant to be with?

MG/YA Heroic Fantasy Adventure
Golden Book Award Winner, a heroic fantasy adventure for middle-grade children and young adults.

Nikki and her impish cousin, Jack, find a mysterious black pumpkin in the forest on Halloween. A wise talking skeleton, Wishbone, tells them that the ghosts of the Trinity of Wishmothers are trapped inside. The children offer their help, so the skeleton takes them on a journey to the realm of Creepy Hollow to retrieve the three wands he hid long ago in Red Crow Forest, the Tower of Shadows, and the Cave of Spooks. 

On her 13th birthday, Nikki discovers that she has magical powers. She and Jack return to Creepy Hollow with their friends to help them defeat Evila. Jack discovers he can talk to animals when they meet a herd of Wild Horses and he becomes friends with Champ, the clumsy young colt, and Sparky, the orphaned dragon. Nikki and Jack conquer their fears and gain courage, and in the final battle against Evila and her minions they grow into the warriors they were destined to become.

Something keeps Laura Jefferson up at night. Maybe it’s the Boston traffic, maybe the sounds of the city outside her apartment window, maybe the stresses of day to day life. Whatever it is, when she’s offered a radical treatment at a secluded hotel, she doesn’t even hesitate.

But while the hotel is perfect, the grounds idyllic, and Dr. Wright and his staff friendly and eager to help, it isn’t long before Laura’s fellow patients begin acting strangely, some even dropping out of the program altogether, disappearing into the night. As Laura loses chunks of time, a detective arrives, and the questions at the heart of the hotel begin to unravel.

Continuing the trilogy, Deadly Deception -Insomniac- draws closer to the mystery of Dr. Wright’s research, and the lies behind Laura’s perfect night of sleep.

Mikael was six years old when he learned his father was a murderer.

His mother, Sofia, knew there was more to it. Her husband wasn’t just a murderer, no, he was fiendish. She tried to shield Mikael from his father’s savage deeds. But when she discovered her husband, Dimitry Ivanovitch, had demonic plans for their son, she made a decision that would prove deadly if she were caught. In the dead of night, she snatched her son from his bed and fled to the safety of America. There, no longer living in fear, Mikael grew up and became a decorated homicide detective. Sofia, however, kept constant watch for signs that her husband had located them.

One hot August day, Mikael is assigned a string of kidnapping/murders of young girls. Soon another body turns up, and then another. With no suspects and no clues, the pressure proves too great for Mikael’s partner who commits suicide. Just when Mikael thinks things cannot get any worse, his father tracks him down. And now Ivanovitch is deeply involved with the Devil. He attempts to lure Mikael into his cult by dangling the name of the murderer in front of him. But the name comes with a steep price tag. Can Mikael escape his father’s clutches again? Or will he choose a fate worse than death to save the next little girl?

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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Better than Perfect

Valentines Day might be over, but many people are still celebrating the romantic holiday over the weekend - and beyond! Romance lovers tend to gravitate toward romantic movies and books year round. Though I'm not a romance writer, I do enjoy weaving some romance into my books from time to time.

In my novel, Better than Perfect, my main character Karlie doesn't have much time for romance in her crazy life. That doesn't stop her from meeting not one, but two romantic interests. Though this might sound like a love triangle situation, that isn't so! There is much more to Karlie's life than finding the perfect date. Most of her time is spent supporting an elderly neighbor who has custody of her juvenile delinquent twin grandsons. For Karlie, community and friendship are far more important than having a boyfriend, and when she's forced to choose between having fun or helping a neighbor, she decides to do the right thing even when it breaks her heart.

Here's what a few reviewers have to say about Better than Perfect:

There are so many important life lessons in this shows you that life isn't always pieced together perfectly, and that's okay. It's how we deal with those curves that life throws at us that define who we are. If you are looking for a feel good read with a cute little romance this is your book. I loved it! ~ Amazon Customer

Family is family. Love is love, no matter how that is defined by you. This was a really enjoyable way to spend a day. I could hardly put it down. It progresses nicely without seeming to "push" too much. I loved the reminders in here that you don't have to be blood to be family and that what we thought was what we wanted isn't what's best for us or even really what we wanted in the long run. I will more than likely reread this...and I already can't wait. ~ C. Sullivan

If this looks like a book you might like to try, it can be found on Amazon and at several other online retailers in both ebook and paperback format.


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Friday, February 15, 2019

Uncle Frank the Comedian by Erika M Szabo

Uncle Frank was a jovial man who had a joke for every occasion.

The day after Valentine's day not everyone is in a good mood, so I thought I'll share a few jokes my favorite uncle used to tell at parties and family get-togethers..
Uncle Frank was a stocky man who laughed easily, and when he scrunched his face and squinted, everyone knew a joke was coming. He was a clown always ready for practical jokes such as putting whoopy-cushions on everyone's chair, offering those novelty vine glasses filled with red liquid that were sealed, or sending a piece of polished wood to a bald friend with hairbrush written on it.

Some of uncle Frank's jokes:

Joe and his wife visited their friend who proudly showed them his fruit garden with his wife.
"Do you remember honey? We'd been married for two years when we had our first fight and we planted this apple tree."
"Yes, and when we had a fight last year, we planted that pear tree over there. " She smiled warmly at her husband.
Joe exclaimed, "Two fights in ten years? Mandy and I've been married only two years and if we've planted a tree after every fight, we'd have an apple orchard."

A man got caught in the woods with a rabbit in his sack and shot gun over his shoulder. When the forest guard accused him of poaching, he said, "I'm not a poacher, I wanted to commit suicide, but I accidentally shot this poor rabbit."

The grandfather tells stories to his grandkids about his wartime memories. "Because of me, once an entire division was unable to fight."
"You were a gunner or sharp shooter, grandpa?"
"Neither. I was the cook."

Charlie is supposed to play his violin in the school play. He opens the violin case and sees a machine gun. He shouts, "This is terrible! Dad is going to be embarrassed when he opens the case at the bank."

"My wife has terrible memory."
"Why? Does she forget everything?"
"No! She remembers everything!"

Husband to wife: "You look better without your glasses, dear."
"Thanks. You look better without my glasses, too."

"I think my boyfriend is married."
"What makes you think that?"
"Yesterday I kissed his eyelid with lipstick on and today he showed up with a black eye."

A horse breeder calls the vet and asks, "Could you give me another prescription of the aphrodisiac you prescribed for my stallion last week?"
"What was the name of the medication?"
"I don't remember but it had kind of cinnamon taste."

A doctor's waterpipe breaks and he calls a plumber. After the guy fixed his pipe gave him the bill for $8,000.
"This is ridiculous!" the doctor cried out. "I'm a surgeon and even I can't make this much in half an hour!"
"I know," the plumber said. "I couldn't either while I was a doctor."

Hope you liked some of uncle Frank's joke. If you know a good one, add it in comments.

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Valentine’s Day Crash Course by Toi Thomas

An English Victorian era Valentine card located in the Museum of London-Wikipedia
Hi there, Toi here. For this special day, I thought I’d share a quick-flash pop-culture lesson about this day as if you didn’t know anything about it. Before I dive in, I should explain that I don’t actually observe this day with my husband. I say Happy Valentine’s Day to everyone I pass and give gift cards to family and friends, but this is not an overly stressful day for me or my husband and we are never disappointed with the outcome of the day. We keep it real low-key and stay inside where it’s safe, and that’s how we like it.  

Here’s an idea of where this holiday came from.

Check out this snippet from the article, “10 VALENTINE’S DAY TRADITIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD” by Noreen, on the Today I Found Out site.

Be sure to click the link up top to read the full article and see all 10 traditions.

Here's an article I found from about how much money people in the U.S. spend on Valentine's Day.

Here’s a little lesson on the 1929 St Valentine’s Day Massacre

If you’re up for something more recent, check out this article I found, “ 20 Shocking Valentine's Day Crimes Committed by Lovers,” by Jacob Shelton on the Ranker site (I’d never heard of this site before and do not vouch for its accuracy, but it's really interesting).

Here are a few Valentine's themed movies, but I can't vouch for whether they'll put you in a romantic mood. 

Here are the top 4 Valentine’s Day themed books from Goodread’s Listopia (I’ve not read or heard of any of these, but then I’m still getting into romance as a genre, on the whole). See the full list here.

BTW- I too tried my little novice hand at writing romance and think I did a pretty good job. 

Here’s a little Frank Sinatra for all the music lovers out there. If you know any other songs about Valentine’s Day or with Valentine’s Day in them, I’d love to know all about them.

If you didn’t fall in love with this post, I do hope you at least found it entertaining. And whether you observe or not, I wish you all Peace, Love, and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Find out more about me, my work, and my inspiration at the following links:
Amazon | Goodreads The ToiBox of Words | YouTube | See a list of my other posts here.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

50 Fabulous Tomatoes for Your Garden

Ruth de Jauregui

American gardeners plant a variety of fruits and vegetables, but nearly every garden features a few (or a lot) of tomato plants. From the classic 'Rutgers,' released in 1934 and used by Campbell Soup and Heinz, to the recent development of "black" tomatoes like 'Indigo Rose,' gardeners have favorites that they plant every year.

'Indigo Rose' - A small "black" tomato
My little tomato book, 50 Favorite Tomatoes for Your Garden, was conceived after my Mom saw the row of tomato plants along the fence. "What are those black things?" When I said tomatoes, she actually jumped out of her truck and went over to look at them. Along with 'Green Zebra,' 'Medford,' 'Sun Sugar' and 'Yellow Pear,' the purple-black 'Indigo Rose' has joined the row of tomato plants growing in my backyard.

'Sun Sugar' - An orange cherry tomato
Not only does the book feature 50 favorites, from heirlooms to modern hybrids, it also contains a little history about the tomato, a native of Mexico, Central and South America, and how-to-grow instructions.

Last year's tomato garden
Right now is the time to get the seeds and start seedlings indoors. In six to eight weeks, your tomatoes will be ready to plant in the garden or in containers. (Note: Because I rent, I grow my tomatoes in Dollar Store laundry baskets lined with black trash bags and filled with inexpensive potting soil. With a soaker hose wound around the plants, they thrive on the east side of the house.)

50 Fabulous Tomatoes is available on Amazon and Smashwords. It is distributed by Smashwords to a variety of ebook vendors, and thus available in favorite e-formats.

I'm currently working on my first novel Bitter Nights, which I hope to publish this year, and have outlined several more "50" garden books, including 50 Hummingbird Magnets for Your Garden. I also have several more nonfiction and fiction projects on the back burner.

In addition to writing books and a garden column, I have a part-time job and maintain a website dedicated to science fiction and fantasy for teens and young adults of Color, Alien Star Books. It is diverse and inclusive. There's room for all good books.

Amazon: Ruth de Jauregui Author Page
Smashwords: Ruth de Jauregui Author Page
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