Thursday, October 29, 2020

MERLIN RAJ AND THE DRONES OF SLEEPY HOLLOW by D.G Priya, illustrated by Shelley Hampe

 I reviewed book II in this series, Merlin Raj and the Love Me Not Race, on my blog not long ago, and I'm trilled to present book III about Merlin Raj, a very special dog! 

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. D.G. Priya will award a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter. Please click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Mom's Choice Gold Award Winner
"...the more conceptual discussion of algorithms is well done, and the story is satisfying and emotionally resonant." -- Kirkus Reviews

My name is Merlin Raj and I live in Sleepy Hollow. Legend has it that a Headless Horseman haunts the town. Usually, I only have to worry about helping my boy, Matthew, to walk at school. But during the spookiest time of year, we’ll tackle the scariest creature of all—big brother.


Will learning conditional logic save this family’s Halloween from certain doom?

Appealing to readers of all ages, Merlin Raj and the Drones of Sleepy Hollow is an ILLUSTRATED chapter-book. From artists to astronauts, the jobs of the future will deal with computers. But do kids want to read a coding book? Not as much as dog stories.

With a Computer Science degree and a passion for preparing kids for the future, author D. G. Priya blends technology with animal stories to stimulate a desire to read.Each book in the series introduces a new programming skill. If you or your child like delightful dog tales that explores universally positive themes, including empathy, kindness, dedication, and the importance of being true to one's self, then you'll love D. G. Priya's tail-wagging adventure.

Read an Excerpt

Uh. Oh. How could I help? I’d learned that thinking like a computer could help you decide what to do when you weren’t sure.

Algorithm one: What if Peter exploded? He would come after Matthew. Matthew would wrestle him. They would both get in trouble. Algorithm one = fail.

Algorithm two: What if Peter calmed down? What if Matthew calmed down? We could all rescue the plane. I would be a big help barking at the tree to give up the plane.

Snort. Laugh. Get serious, Merlin. Algorithm two would never happen.

Algorithm three: It had been Peter’s ball that started all this. It had been Matthew’s plane which went kablew. What if they both fell in the mud? All socks would be ruined.

About the Author:
D. G. Priya is the bestselling author Priya Ardis. She obtained her Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science from the University of Texas at Austin, #6 in the world (Academic Ranking of World Universities, 2014) and #8 (US News, 2020) in Computer Science. Her advocacy of early education in computing and the challenges of childhood disabilities come from her experience as a parent and volunteer. Her love of dog stories comes from the antics of her own golden retriever.

Shelley Hampe is an author-illustrator. She is known for her work with Harvard University, illustrating a ground-breaking social-emotional learning program for children. She has a master's in studio art and has taken part in world-recognized artist residencies in the United States. When she isn't busy solving problems, Shelley can be found teaching STEAM principles to elementary aged kids. Shelley's dog Beau, helped solve her problem of cold-feet while illustrating this book.

Author website:
Follow on Amazon:

Buy Links:

Barnes and Noble:
Apple Books:
Google Play:

D.G. Priya will award a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly chosen winner via Rafflecopter. Please click the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Calla'Cara Gambit by Rob Bartlett


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Rob Bartlett will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

I used to be an itinerant Star Ship Captain. Then the Sentient Ships blackmailed me into helping them Emancipate from the Mercantile Empire in return for keeping the intelligence level of my personal AI a secret.

I'm taking on bankers, lawyers and accountants, oh my! And a couple of serial killers, just to keep it spicy.

I've got a plan, a crew and a deadline. Now I just need precise execution, a little luck and a whole lot of moxy to pull this off!

Note: this book contains adult content and situations.

Read an Excerpt

Boris was now close to the front of the line. He took a deep breath to calm himself. He was totally isolated from the team. With the destruction of the communicator, he had no way to confirm if he should continue with the filing. If he guessed wrong and made a duplicate filing, he'd instigate an Imperial Hold on Studly's Case and everything would be lost.

Up on the screen, the picture had suddenly switched to another very chaotic scene. Boris was stunned as he watched Jesse being led away in handcuffs by Imperial Police. She'd been arrested at another Imperial Court Filing Center, one that was closer to Dennet Prime. In addition to multiple filings, Otto had planned for multiple filing locations to increase the favorable odds as much as possible.

But had she succeeded in making the Filing? Boris couldn't tell from the view on the screen. One of the policemen marching behind Jesse had the Dennet Prime courier bag slung over his shoulder. It was impossible to tell if the bag was filled or empty. It was designed to maintain its shape regardless of the contents; another security precaution to prevent casual observers being able to discern if the bag actually had anything inside.

Boris was torn by indecision. All the remaining members of the team had been neutralized. He was the only one left. Should he go through with the filing? Had Jesse been successful? They'd shown her being arrested in the Filing Center but was it before or after?

He was agonizing over the decision, when he realized he'd reached the front of the line. He was next! This was it!

"Next, please!"

About the Author:
Rob has been captivated by science fiction and fantasy since he discovered The Hobbit in 3rd grade. Since then, he's been an avid consumer of all genres of fiction (and some non-fiction).
When he's not inhaling new stories or writing his own, he studies Jeff Speakman's Kenpo 5.0-V2, in which he proudly holds a Black Belt.
Why does he prefer writing science fiction? As Rob says, "Where else can you land a space ship on the lawn of the White House?".

Buy link:

Amazon Author page:

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

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, October 23, 2020

The Madness of Mercury by Connie di Marco


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Connie di Marco will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Zodiac Mysteries feature San Francisco astrologer, Julia Bonatti, who never thought murder would be part of her practice. Julia sought answers and found solace in astrology after the death of her fiancé in a hit and run accident. Since then, she’s successfully built a clientele of the city’s movers and shakers.

In The Madness of Mercury, Julia’s outspoken advice in her newspaper column, AskZodia, makes her the target of a recently-arrived cult preacher who advocates love and compassion to those less fortunate. But the power-hungry preacher is waging war on sin and his Army of the Prophet will stop at nothing to silence those who would stand in his way. Julia is at the top of his list.

About the Excerpt

As I stood in line at the checkout counter of the bookstore an uncomfortable feeling stole over me. Was I being watched? I turned slowly and surveyed the customers in line behind me. No one looked suspicious. No one turned away suddenly. Just holiday shoppers focused on their own business. As I turned back, my eye caught someone standing at a table close by, separated by a metal bar from the line of shoppers. A man, dark hair, black jacket, seemingly immersed in a book he was holding in his hands. No shopping bags in sight. Something about him . . . I mentally shook myself, pushing the thought out of my mind. I was being paranoid. Nerves were getting the better of me.

When I reached the street, the wind had picked up. Shoppers were doing their best to hang onto their packages and hats and scarves. I pulled up the hood on my coat and, protecting my few finds, headed back to the square. I climbed the steps to the top of Union Square and took cover inside the small coffee shop. The aroma of freshly ground beans filled the space. I ordered a cappuccino and carried it gingerly to a stool near the window where I could watch the skaters on the ice rink under the tree. Maybe this was picking at old wounds. Maybe I just wanted to remember a happier time.

The windows were completely fogged. I rubbed the condensation away with the sleeve of my coat and peeked out. The top of the seventy foot tree and its huge bulbs swayed back and forth in the chilly gusts. Michael and I used to skate here. He was hopeless on his rented skates and wouldn’t believe me when I told him it wasn’t his ankles, his skates were too large. We’d manage a few passes around the rink, before we’d collapse, laughing on the ice. For a split second I saw his smile and felt the warmth of his hands, remembering how safe I felt when he put his arms around me. An aching so acute swept over me I didn’t trust myself not to burst into tears. What is it about the holiday season that brings our missing pieces into such sharp focus? Loss and pain may be there at other times, but somehow it doesn’t hurt quite so acutely. Maybe stopping here wasn’t such a good idea. I needed to quit feeling sorry for myself. Michael would have been disgusted with me. I was pathetic. I snuffled and rummaged in my purse for a tissue, blowing my nose and wiping my eyes, hoping anyone watching would think I was down with the flu. Suck it up, Julia.

Bundling up against the cold, I retraced my steps and approached the garage entrance. Two people, a man and a woman, doing their best to stay warm under the overhang of the garage were handing out flyers. One stepped in front of me, blocking my path and shoved a flyer at me. Annoyed, I grabbed it and walked briskly into the garage. I glanced down at an announcement of services at the Prophet’s Tabernacle. I sighed, and crumpling the paper up, tossed it in a nearby trash can.

I took the elevator down to the lowest level where I had parked. I stepped out and glanced around. In contrast to the crowds of people above on the streets, not a soul was in sight. I felt a frisson of fear. Why was it so deserted? My nerves were just on edge, I decided. I was imagining threats where there were none. I took a deep breath and hurried to my car. I unlocked the door and threw my bags onto the passenger seat. Before I could turn the key in the ignition I glanced in the rearview mirror. A face in a ski mask stared back at me, the eyes bright in the ambient lighting. A gasp caught in my throat. My heart raced as a gloved hand pulled my head back and covered my mouth. I felt the sharp prick of a knife point at my neck. I froze. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak.

“Forget about the Prophet. Make sure you keep your big mouth shut or my next visit won’t be so nice,” he growled. He pulled the knife away, let go of my jaw and jumped out of the car.

About the Author:
Connie di Marco is the author of the Zodiac Mysteries featuring San Francisco astrologer Julia Bonatti. The Madness of Mercury, the first book in the series will be re-released in October 2020.

Writing as Connie Archer, she is also the author of the national bestselling Soup Lover’s Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime. You can find her excerpts and recipes in The Cozy Cookbook and The Mystery Writers of America Cookbook. Connie is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Sisters in Crime.

Facebook: "


Connie di Marco will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Sympathy for the Devil by Alex Stevens


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner.

Four warriors on one hell of a mission.

  Lieutenant Colonel Tyler Graven is known as the “Demon of Kyoto,” and he specializes in death. When an assassin attempts to kill pharmaceutical mogul Mortimer Sackler, Tyler becomes the lead suspect and the target of a $100 million dollar hit. To save himself and clear his name, he must hunt down the true killer, a deadly entity known only as The Priest.

  Tyler teams up with his former military unit, The Four Horseman, including his brother, crack-shot Corporal Jack Graven, the mysterious Lance Corporal Jin Xialong, and his one-time flame Colonel Diana Levitas. Once, they were an elite fighting team known for completing two of the most successful campaigns against terrorism ever launched. Now, they’ll find themselves locked in a war with The Church, the most influential organization on the planet--and pitted against the supernatural forces of the Underworld itself.

During their mission, Tyler and Jack learn of the legendary Black Muramasa, the only weapon that can destroy immortals such as demons, angels, vampires, seraphim, and nephilim. As they uncover the secrets of the ancient black blade--and their own heritage--they are faced with unforetold powers and infinite evils. If the Four Horsemen succeed, they may save themselves. If they fail, it’ll cost them their sanity, their lives, and even their souls...

Here comes an action-packed, gun-slinging fantasy adventure that packs the punch of a military thriller combined with high-stakes supernatural intrigue.

Read an Excerpt

Jack attacked high, elbows swinging in vicious hooks, while I swung a right roundhouse at the front of the priest’s right knee. The Priest deflected my first kick with his shin, but my second snapped out without hesitation toward his head. He brought his daggered hand up to block, which would have surely cut my leg to ribbons had I not pulled my kick. Simultaneously he swung his left dagger in a backhand at Jack’s face. Jack threw his body in a backward somersault, catching The Priest under the chin with a solid kick that sent him stumbling backward. I sought to capitalize by catching him in the right temple with a right heel kick, but The Priest managed to stab his left dagger through my foot.

I hobbled back in agony and collapsed to the floor. He turned his back on me and faced off against Jack. The two eyed each other in slightly crouched stances, their hands eye level before them.

“You chose the wrong side, pup,” The Priest mocked. “I had thought you were smarter than that.”

“If I had known you would kill an innocent woman, I would have killed you in that garage. You can’t even see the irony in your beliefs.”

“How innocent could the wife of that villain be? Did she do anything for all of the innocents that her husband killed?”

“Guilty by association then?”

“We all are.”

The Priest surged toward Jack, knives stabbing forward at neck, face, and armpits with merciless and unending precision. I had never seen blades dance the way his did. Every move was perfectly balanced and precision timed, each extension of his limbs perfectly stretched and recoiled. He was a finely tuned machine of death, and every ounce of his hate was drawn toward Jack.

About the Author: Alex Stevens is a Marine Corps Veteran with two deployments and a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Interdisciplinary Studies program, a unique undergraduate degree that caters to students with various interests of study. He is also an advent traveler and philosophy enthusiast who has spent a lifetime studying religions, with a focus on Non-denominational Christianity. Alex spends most of his time going for walks, spending time with loved ones, and when the juices are flowing, writing. Fantasy fiction is his great escape from the mundane and he likes to create fantastical realities that are blended with non-fictional people, places, and events.


The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, October 13, 2020


 This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

preview40pieceThe Secrets of Gable House Final
  Noah Miller is shocked to learn that an unknown great uncle has named him heir to the family fortune, including the residence known as Gable House. Built by Noah’s fifth-back grandfather, the house is ripe with family secrets and unusual occurrences.

  Maggie Shephard has spent the past ten years researching the history of Willow-By-The-Sea, including that of her own ancestors. Considered an authority on New England history, she’s often sought out as a consultant. When Noah Miller asks for her help in acquainting him with both the house and his ancestors, she jumps at the chance to share her knowledge with the handsome architect.

  Noah and Maggie have an immediate attraction to one another, made even more so by the time they spend together researching the Gable family history. The fact that each Gable male died an untimely and gruesome death, leads Noah and Maggie on a quest for the truth in hopes of setting a murderous spirit free.

EXCERPT :  Maggie Shephard raised her head and scanned the dozen or so people spread out around the library’s common area. Most were tourists, one or two were students from the nearby college, and then there was...him. While the others wore faded jeans and sweatshirts, he was dressed in a three-piece charcoal gray suit, likely costing more than her student loan payments. His dark brown hair held a hint of silver at the temples, the well-styled cut barely grazing the collar of his white dress shirt.

Totally out of place, he sat at the back of the room, his gaze intense and laser-focused on her.

She dropped her attention to her notes and back on her closing. “For those of you with questions, I’ll be around for another hour or so. Thank you so much for joining me for today’s presentation. Don’t forget to take a pamphlet from the back table as you exit the library.”

Maggie gathered her papers and then stepped down from the podium. When she looked up, he was there. “May I help you?”

He stuck out his hand. “I’m Noah Miller. Mr. Gallagher from Gallagher, Hastings, and West told me you were the ranking expert on all things related to the area’s history.”

She forced a faint smile to her lips, and placed her hand in his, immediately aware of the warmth his touch generated. The almost instantaneous reaction left her both surprised and intrigued.

“I’m flattered. Mr. Gallagher called earlier to say you’d be stopping by. I hope you didn’t mind sitting through the presentation.”

“No, I found it very interesting, in fact.”

“Mr. Gallagher also mentioned you are the new owner of Gable House.” When he nodded, she added, “I have to tell you, when we heard there was an heir, we were shocked to say the least.”

He shot her a quizzical look. “Why? Is the idea of my great uncle having family that surprising?”

“Truthfully? Yes. Your great uncle was a recluse. The few in town, most of them now in their eighties or nineties, who knew Henry Hastings in his younger years, don’t recall him ever mentioning family of any sort.”

“He had a will, so surely someone knew.”

She shrugged. “No doubt the will was many years old. I don’t think Henry had left the house in over a decade.”

“What about daily necessities?”

“The members of the historical society took turns running his errands. He had a housekeeping service come in every once in awhile. As a matter of fact, I believe it was one of their employees who discovered...uh—”

He raised his hand, interrupting her muddled explanation. “It’s okay. I’m aware of the circumstances of his death.”

“I don’t think anyone was surprised to hear he was gone,” she told him. “Especially given the history surrounding Gable House.”

His eyebrows arched, giving her a wider glimpse of his chocolate brown eyes, her comment obviously piquing his interest.

“History? What history?”

“Surely your immediate family has filled you in on some of the details.”

His expression hardened. His otherwise very attractive features pinching into a deep frown. “I have no immediate family, Miss...uh...”

“Shephard,” she filled in. “Maggie Shephard.”

He gave a curt nod. “Yes, of course. Gallagher gave me your name. Sorry. This whole situation has been a revelation to say the least, and a weird one at that.”

“Have you been to the house yet?” she asked.

“No. I have an appointment with a realtor at three.” He paused, and then asked, “Would you be willing to join me? I’d be happy to pay you for your time.”

“I don’t—”

“It would be nice to have an historian’s perspective on the future of the property.”

She had to admit, she was tempted, if only to see Noah Miller’s reaction to his great uncle’s home. “Okay, I can spare some time.”

“Shall I pick you up here at the library?” he asked.

Her first instinct was to accept. After all, Noah Miller was an extremely handsome man. And a welcome change from the locals she’d been fending off for years. However, he was also an unknown, a stranger in a small town where everyone knew everyone else.

“I can meet you there. I also live in Willow-By-The-Sea, within walking distance of your great uncle’s home.”

His rather docile expression lifted into a half-smile. “Well, then, I truly am getting first-hand expertise. A valuable commodity when you’re in unfamiliar territory.”

About the Author:
NANCY FRASER—Jumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Published in multiple genres, Nancy currently writes for two publishers, and has recently thrown her hat into the self-publishing ring. She has published over thirty-five books in full-length, novella, and short format.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

Social Media:

Amazon Author Page:

Buy the book for only $0.99



The author will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC

Monday, October 5, 2020

Sons of Cuba Series by Ellen W. Martin


Sons of Cuba Series

by Ellen W. Martin


GENRE: Historical fiction



Relentless political turmoil streams through the veins of Cuba like lava coursing down the side of a volcano holding the Cuban people hostage to tyranny since Christopher Columbus discovered the Caribbean Island.  One wonders if the country’s destiny can ever change.

In BOOK I – SONS OF CUBA – PRELUDE TO REVOLUTION Felipe Cardena, the rebel, endures lost love, the exhilaration of victory, demoralizing disappoints, imprisonment, exile, and an assassination attempt.  Nothing will stop Felipe Cardena until he achieves his ultimate goal — free Cuba from tyranny.

In BOOK II – SONS OF CUBA – HOMECOMING after victory is declared by the Cuban rebels, the plot shifts away from the revolution and centers on Tangi Montolio, a fiery redheaded activist who once was one of the rebel leader’s most passionate supporters.  Tangi and her family become a victim and suffers under the hands of Felipe Cardena’s new leadership.  The rebel now turned dictator will discover that his brief interaction with Tangi will lead to the destruction of his legacy.


Excerpt : 

TANGI rushed over and picked up the now hysterical Andrés. Her eyes widened. Standing at the front door was that same disgusting soldier that had harassed her at the plaza; three others were behind him, rifles in hand. Once again, he leered at her. She looked down; her blouse was still open. She buttoned the top button and held Andrés close.

Ramon Miguel stepped between Tangi, Fernando, and the soldier. “What can we do for you?” He asked.

I told you, I’m looking for Fernando Reyes. Are you he?”

Ramon stared at the soldier; his eyes narrowed. “Maybe, but tell me first why you’re here.”

The soldier waved a piece of paper in front of Ramon’s face. “This is about you turning your farm over to the government.”

Fernando pushed Ramon aside and snapped, “I’ll do no such thing. That land has been in my family for generations. Besides, what would the government want with a few meager acres?”

The soldier looked first at Ramon, and then at Fernando. “Okay, which one of you is Reyes?

Fernando yanked the papers from the soldier’s hands. “I told you I am. What is this?” He asked, shaking the papers in the soldier’s face.

It’s the deed to your land. Sign it; sign it now without argument. If you don’t, we have a prison cell waiting for you.”

Ramon Miguel took the papers from Fernando’s trembling hands, and glanced over the legal document. He turned his back on the soldiers and pulled the old man aside. “I’m afraid you have no choice,” he whispered. “You wouldn’t survive a week in jail, and I can’t go to prison for you. Who’d take care of Tangi and the baby?”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

After a lifetime of personal adventures, travel and escapades (a lot of risky escapades), author Ellen Martin, is living her sunset years bouncing around a tennis court or clicking away on her keyboard.

Outrage at social injustices, the thrill for suspense, and unraveling a good mystery are triggers that motivate Ellen to write memorable stories and colorful characters.

Over 30 years as a military wife, she has resided both in the Orient and in Europe where she became no stranger to social injustice and poverty. She and her family have lived in the Philippines, Japan, Italy, and the Netherlands — not to mention both U.S. coasts and Kansas in the winter. She is fascinated by real-life, colorful personalities.

On a more personal note Ellen was a flight attendant for the Charter Airline Saturn in the 1960’s. Her job was escorting United States troops in and out of Viet Nam. Her adventures in the war zone continued until she was swept away by her fighter pilot husband.

After retirement the couple’s travels included Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungry, Spain, Scotland, and Ireland and topped off with a visit to Cuba.

God gifted Ellen with one “perfect” son and three grandchildren.

You wrap all this in a package and Ellen has been rewarded with an endless supply of fodder for her fiction.

In her historical fiction Book-I SONS OF CUBA–PRELUDE TO REVOLUTION she weaves an embellished tale of the most notorious and charismatic Cuban rebel in modern history. There’s a chance you might find him charming, intriguing and actually root for him in his early endeavors to free his beloved Cuba from tyranny.

However, in Book II - SONS OF CUBA – HOMECOMING, the story takes the reader from the rebel’s exile in Mexico to preparation for the revolution from the Mountains of the Sierra Maestra. This is where you will meet the fiery redheaded peasant girl, Tangi. The narrative shifts its focus from the revolution and centers around the fictional character, Tangi, and her family’s struggles, fears and disappointments in the new regime.

How the story in real life ends is no secret. But, in Book II – SONS OF CUBA – HOMECOMING, the characters and the author may just get the last word.

In 2020 Ellen’s new book INTO THE DEVIL’S DEN turns from historical events to present day reality – Terrorism — terrorism in our own backyard.

Check out her website for excerpts from her books:

Amazon buy links:

Prelude to Revolution



Ellen W. Martin will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author Interview

I’m married to a retired Air Force officer and we have one adult son and three wonderful grandchildren.  For almost thirty years we were provided the opportunity to live in Japan, the Philippines, Italy, and the Netherlands, both U.S. coasts and Kansas in the winter.  
Before we were married I was a Flight Attendant for Saturn Airways, a Charter Airline, meaning there was never a specific destination — we went wherever we were contracted to go.  My most unique opportunity with this airline was flying U.S. troops in and out of the warzones of Viet Nam – this is how I met my husband of fifty-three years.  
I am a dreamer, a person who seeks adventure wherever I can find it.  Perhaps this is one of the reasons I became a writer.  I now find my adventures filled with intrigue in the solitude of my computer room writing books – with plenty of help from my Ragdoll cat, Biscuit.   
The first time I actually sat down and started writing was over twenty years ago.  When my fingers hit the keyboard that first day, my intention wasn’t necessarily to write a book.  I was attempting to piece a puzzle together; trying to make sense of a situation that intrigued me so much I kept researching until I uncovered at least a basic understanding as to why people were compelled to risk everything and leave their beloved country.  
The two book series SONS OF CUBA is about the people and events leading up to, during and after the Cuban Revolution.  
The inspiration for writing this book leads back to a small five-year old Cuban boy found floating off the coast of Florida in 1999.  His mother drowned leaving him caught in the middle of a tug of war between the U.S. and Cuban governments.  It was because of this incident I found myself incensed with why so many Cubans risked their lives to make that treacherous ninety-mile voyage from Cuba to the shores of the United States in unreliable boats.  I needed to understand why they would do this.  As explained earlier, I began my quest to put the puzzle pieces together.  After doing my research, the answer became a bit more understandable.  However, I was left with and even larger question.  Why did Fidel abandon his original goal of ridding Cuba from generations of tyranny only to become the very thing he hated the most?  This question still remains an enigma. 
I didn’t plan to write a historical fiction, but I surprised even myself with a two book series about Cuba — both books I hope people will find interesting and intriguing.  Who knows, maybe after you read you’ll find the answer to the questions I looked so hard to find, but still elude me.  

WHO IS YOUR HERO/HEROINE?  Is he/she based on someone in real life?
The Hero in BOOK I – SONS OF CUBA – PRELUDE TO REVOLUTION is Felipe Cardena, a young, idealistic college student who wants nothing more than to break the cycle of dictatorships Cuba has endured since Christopher Columbus discovered the island.  Book I of SONS follows actual events that occurred up to and after the Cuban Revolution.  The story captures the joys of victory and the despair of defeat as the band of revolutionaries seek to free Cuba from its latest dictator.  The character knows the joy of love and the heartache after love is lost.  Felipe is based on Fidel Castro, but his character and all the supporting cast of characters in both books are fictitious — only the events are real.

In BOOK II – SONS OF CUBA – HOMECOMING the story shifts away from the revolution and focuses on Tangi Montolio.  Her brief interaction with the handsome young rebel during the early days of the revolution will influence both her and Felipe’s future.  The irony of her story is this fiery redheaded mountain girl activist was one of the rebel leader’s most passionate supporters.  But once Felipe becomes Cuba’s President, Tangi, her family, and all of Cuba will find themselves once again struggling against tyranny.  Her story illustrates disappoints, heartaches, fear of the firing squads, imprisonment, and the confiscation of people’s land.  
In my fictitious account of the Cuban Revolution, there is a twist of fate.  I know history cannot be changed, but whether you live in a democracy or under the iron fist of a dictatorship, everyone has the right to dream “What If”.

I don’t have a favorite time to write, but I do have a routine.  I usually get started around midmorning.  Sometimes I take a lunch break, sometimes I don’t.  I do always stop around 5:00 PM.  I also don’t necessarily write every day (unless I’m really deep into a plot or under a deadline).  I enjoy getting outside and playing tennis or Pickle Ball, and occasionally force myself to walk a couple miles when I’m not on the court.
However, there are times (even in the middle of the night) when one of my characters jolts me from a dead sleep and goads me to get up and jot down notes on how the next scene or chapter should go.  I know it sounds bizarre, but more often than not, the very reason I woke up will be the exact direction I was looking move the plot forward.  When I don’t listen and roll back over, those ideas are either lost or become so watered down they lose their overall effect. Yep, I’ve lost a lot of sleep sometimes.  
My current favorite author is Greg Ilse, a suspense/thriller author of multiple books.  I do like John Grisham and an occasional Tom Clancy.  And, I cannot forget Steven King. 
It’s difficult to say if any of these authors influenced my writing.  Despite my first two books being a historical fiction, my preferred genre is suspense/thriller.  So I suppose they influence my writing in most ways because I enjoy books with twists and turns and a lot of action and my next two books just happen to be suspense/thrillers.  

I can’t remember having a particular favorite book as a child.  Treasure Island and Peter Pan come to mind.  I also loved Nancy Drew books.  As far as those author’s influencing my writing, who knows what lies in the depths of lost memories. Those authors may have had some influence, but I’ll never know. 
For more information about my books check out my website. You’ll find excerpts from the series SONS OF CUBA and photos we took while visiting Cuba.
There is also an excerpt from my next book INTO THE DEVIL’S DEN - SNARED BY THEIR OWN LIES.  This suspense/thriller will be released by the end of October 2020.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

The Disciplinarian by Leigh Court

Please welcome Leigh Court, guest author for the month of October! 

Leigh Court has just released a trio of sexy Victorian romances, available on amazon or to read for free through Kindle Unlimited. The first in the series is called The Disciplinarian.

Blurb: As Victorian England's notorious Disciplinarian, Jared Ashworth has never failed to transform a difficult wife into a dutiful spouse, but when headstrong Clarissa Babcock is sent to him for instruction, her beauty, spirit and uninhibited passion make Jared hunger to keep her all for himself. 


  "You don't have to fear me, Clarissa," The Disciplinarian murmured.

      Clarissa Babcock stared at the dark and dangerously handsome man seated across from her. No matter how attractive she found him, she must remember that he was her enemy. "I don't fear you," she said, her chin coming up a notch. "I hate you."

      The Disciplinarian gave a small shake of his head. "You don't hate me," he said low. "I haven't harmed you. I haven't starved you. In point of fact, I'm here to help you."

      "You're The Disciplinarian. You're here to --"

      "-- instruct you, yes. Men send their wives to me to teach them a lesson. And I do. But perhaps not exactly the one their husbands expect."

      She made a small scoffing sound. 

      "What I teach women," The Disciplinarian continued, ignoring her sign of disbelief, "is how to control their husbands. Subtly. I help women learn to exercise what limited freedom they have within the strictures of the Victorian marriage state. To enjoy what they can inside the tight bonds of matrimony."

      "What are you saying?" Clarissa demanded. "That you don't hate women? That you -- you help them?"

      "Yes," he agreed in his deep, rich voice. "Usually my lessons are very straightforward. But you are a special case, Clarissa. It seems your husband wants more than just a meek, biddable wife. He wants an heir."

      "I know that," she admitted reluctantly.

      "But you may not know that he blames you for the lack of success these last two years. He thinks it's due to the bedroom. He's asked me to make you more receptive to his attentions."

      Clarissa shot up out of her chair. "Bastard!" she shouted, although The Disciplinarian wasn't sure she was referring to him or to her own husband. "And you agreed?!"

      "Sit down, Clarissa," he said calmly. "I'm on your side, remember. Let's figure out a way to deal with this."

      The fury in her face didn't subside, but she sat.

      "Now," he said with a businesslike nod, "was there ever any physical attraction between you?"

      She gasped at that. "I beg your pardon!"

      "Perhaps at the beginning," The Disciplinarian prompted. "When he was courting you."

      "Courting? There was never any semblance of that! My marriage was a bargain made between my father and my husband. An arrangement that suited all concerned. Except, perhaps, myself."

      "Basic physical satisfaction then? Does your husband take time to give you pleasure during your marital relations?"

      She looked at him blankly. "Pleasure? His sweating, heaving body should give me pleasure?"

      The Disciplinarian sighed. He knew very well that in this day and age love had little to do with marriage. Unions were made for social connections, business deals, political advancement, to pay off debt -- there were a host of reasons. Still, he despised the men who made their women miserable and bitter, when with just a little effort it didn't have to be that way.

      "Clarissa," he began. "These are the cold, hard facts we are faced with: a woman is basically the property of her husband. He can do with her what he will. Your husband wants an heir, and he believes preventing it. It doesn't matter that he may be as much at fault -- or more so -- than you yourself. He wants me to warm you up to the sexual act so that he can produce an heir and be done with his duty.

      "You have two choices. You can either allow me to tutor you in the ways of passion, or you can go on as you have been, risking your husband's wrath, his fists, and possibly worse."

      The Disciplinarian held his breath as he waited for her answer. He had never feared a woman's response as much as he feared Clarissa Babcock's because he knew her choice could mean life or death.

      And he prayed she realized it.

Copyright © by Leigh Court

Moon in Bastet by E. S. Danon


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

  A memoir turned into thrilling fiction; Moon in Bastet is   based on the life of author E. S. Danon. The story follows  a fourteen-year-old girl named Eva, an orphan living in the Negev desert of Israel who is working as a custodian of Cirque Du Christianisme. Her life is controlled by a volatile drunk named Bella who favors a group of equally volatile teenage bullies over her and her own safety or sanity.

 Bullied, neglected, and alone – Eva’s only friends are an odd, thirteen–year–old Sephardic boy named Jack and a small cohort of Bedouin sister-wives. On the brink of giving up on life, Eva stumbles upon a mysterious cat in the middle of the desert. Or really, did the cat stumble upon her?

 Together they must fight to stay alive, win the battles thrown at them, and Eva must learn to not only lean on others but to trust in herself.

Filled with mystery, magic, and symbolism – Moon in Bastet is a story of resilience, survivorship, forgiveness, and women empowerment. This is a work filled with Jewish mysticism that can be enjoyed by people of all races, ages, and religions everywhere.

Read an Excerpt

A mosaic of moonlight drifts over the breaking waves. Designs illustrated in silvers whisper a story by the observant full moon. Anticipation rips through the midnight air as an assortment of shells wash ashore, decoration for the celebration at hand.

Several fawn play inside of a tidal pool, tripping over each other’s hooves, while various crabs scurry to find cover. The does watch from the spartina covered marshes, less willing to get involved in the gambol of their children. A lone buck stands guard near the subtle alchemy of the ocean as the moonlight shimmers off his bone-white rack.

Soft pitter-patter echoes towards the beach: red, brown, gray, and white paws scurry stealthily through the wooded oasis. Streaks of fur can be seen flashing underneath the breaks in the treetops - Evergreens, Oaks, and Pines say their hellos as the creatures of the night began to gather at the shoreline.

A menagerie of insects hurry amongst the mossy forest bottom, following the outlines of fresh animal tracks.

Worker bees open their eyes and groggily buzz from the confines of their honeycombs; each of them carrying a parcel of honey. Together they dance in unison around the honeycomb, mimicking the sound of trumpets with their wings. The Queen Bee abruptly emerges to monitor her brood before inspecting herself: Every bristle is in place, held by honey made gel. Soon, the bees follow a parade of centipedes and worms traveling below.

A white wolf breaks through the trees; his body illuminated against the thick wall of forest at his back. Dozens of wolves emerge from behind him as he lets out a single howl, just before catching sight of the buck standing guard. Both alpha males nod in recognition of each other as an amber painted pup runs excitedly ahead of the pack, all too excited to meet the fawns in the tidal pool. The pup breaks through the water’s edge before tumbling down a small embankment of peat.


She yelps with glee as water springs up all around her, turning rocks and snails upside down with her snout. Some of the does prop their heads up to inspect the noise as the fawns cautiously approach the pup.

In no time, the children are engaged in a pretend search and rescue mission with each other.

What will they find in nature’s watercolor tapestry?

The white wolf takes position next to the buck; both creatures now standing guard of their families.

Dolphins jump through the churning waves several feet away as a caravan of sea animals emerge through the crashing surf.

First come the sea turtles: Moving leathery, black boulders covered in mountainous ridges march forward, followed by mini, starburst-colored ovals. A single hawked sea turtle is the last of his kind to emerge, carrying a sand dollar - a token of appreciation - within his beak.

Next the seal pups begin wobbling onto shore, their mothers following close behind. Like watching fireworks in the sky, the pups reflect in awe of the celebration on shore from their discotheque eyes. Their mothers quickly nudge them forward, making way for the rest of the cohort.

Within moments, dozens of horseshoe crabs and whelks begin to make landfall.

Meanwhile, in the forest, Queen Bee flies ahead of her workers until noticing that her soldiers are slowing; she calls out to them, ordering them to keep moving.

The time has almost come.

A group of squirrels overhear the Queen Bee’s calls, prompting a tizzy among lofty tree branches. Mr. Snow Owl comes to attention as they frantically collect acorns. He plucks a feather from underneath his wing before flying past the squirrels and towards the shoreline.

The time is near.

Gifts begin to pile around a mound of mud within the chasms of the tidal zones: a sand dollar, the owl’s feather, and now randomly placed acorns. A garden snake slides through the mess, shedding his skin - followed by the molting of a lobster nearby.

A shadow crosses the moon then, just before various species of birds clatter to the ground below. A swan lands last with a bellow of her song, and in unison, the wolf pack returns the call. The dolphins respond to the melody by becoming more calculated in their movements, smoothing into a perfect rhythm with the songs now being sung by the ever-growing crowd of Mother Nature’s tribe.

It’s as if a drum is being played:
Boom Boom.
Boom Boom.

A heartbeat.

The expanding mound blooms into a large circle consisting of multiple sections. The inner circle holds the gifts, the middle circle shelters the juvenile animals surrounded by their mothers, and the outer circle consists of the older animals.

The time is almost here.

Queen Bee breaks through the woodlands and is met by a breeze. In response to her arrival, the congregation pauses briefly… only to erupt in song. The guardians at the shoreline bow their heads, kneeling onto their two front legs in order to greet the Queen Bee.

After kissing both guardians on their foreheads, she signals to her crew to make their final descent. A cloud of buzzing wings hums as they approach the middle of the circle with caution, then the inner circle. The Queen Bee ferociously shakes her wings and immediately, her workers dive down to smother the exposed mud in honey.

It is almost done.

The animals steadily move in a counterclockwise circle.
The rhythm of the creatures becomes increasingly sonorous.

Off in the distance, the figure of a goat and her kid can be seen approaching.
Mother goat and her child meticulously walk through the outer circle of churning animals. They are meandering through the middle circle when the wolf pup howls in excitement. Startled, the young kid topples over the hill of trinkets and slides into the patch of honey-soaked mud. Mother goat follows, spilling a drop of milk at her kid’s annoyed squeal.

Everything stops.

Even the air seems to have come to a halt.

Mother goat nudges her kid back over the trench of gifts and into the middle circle where they wait.

Everything waits.

Minutes go by before even the faintest touch of a breeze can be felt. The Queen Bee’s wings twinge at the coolness; she gazes towards the inner circle’s center. The white wolf and the buck move to stand beside the Queen when enervated rumbles suddenly upset the milk and honey-soaked patch. Something is trying to break through the surface…

Without warning, peat erupts from the patch: then two budding leaves climb their way through the film.

Swan sounds her horn, signifying that the deed has been done.

The Moon child has been born.


About the Author:
Elizabeth Danon received her B.S. in Marine Science from Stony Brook University before working as a Marine Biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service. She traveled the U.S. Eastern Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico: collecting data aboard commercial fishing vessels and dredges.

When that didn’t pan out to be the glorified job that she expected, finding herself covered in shark snot and fish scales daily, Elizabeth became a technical writer. In her spare time, she began doing standup comedy after taking comedy bootcamp with the Armed Services Arts Partnership. At this time, she married the most wonderful man who also provides most of her joke writing material. Unfortunately, because he’s Indian he has also enabled her Maggi addiction… Like she needed that on top of her already long-standing iced coffee issues.

Her favorite show is Schitt’s Creek, as she feels a special bond to her fellow comedians - and Sephardic brethren. Growing up half-Jewish herself, Elizabeth eventually converted to being full-Jewish with Temple Israel as a student of Rabbi Panitz.

Her enriched, but complicated, heritage has been an inspiration for most of her creative writing. Being an Aries, she has always felt like a leader and has therefore integrated her feminist beliefs into her work, albeit dropping every women’s studies course that she ever elected in college.

Additionally, her writing has an unmistakable international presence. Elizabeth wanted to discover as much as she could about her Sephardic Heritage and went on Birthright, followed by her independent travels to over ten other countries… carrying nothing but a red bookbag.

Buy Links:


The author will be awarding a a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Juche 1-4 Box set by Adria Carmichael

 Juche 1-4 Box set by Adria Carmichael ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ GENRE: YA Dystopian ~~~~~~~~~~~~~ BLURB: Just when Areum - daughter of a privileged fam...