You have made it all the way here, so you may as well sit down, take a minute to look around, and enjoy. What you will find, depends on the day and my mood. You just never can tell.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Blog Tour - Before the Dawn

This week I'm on a blog tour for...me!  The third book in the A Howl in the Night series, titled Before the Dawn, has officially released.  Stop over along the tour stops and ask a question, or just say hello, but I will be giving away a free ebook of Before the Dawn for one random commenter.  The more stops you go to and comment on, the better your chances of winning.

Here are the stops with easy to access links.  I hope to see you on the tour.

MAY 30 ~ David Cairns ~ http://dacairns.blogspot.com.au
MAY 31 ~ Rosemary Indra ~ https://rosemaryindra.blogspot.com.
MAY 31 ~ Rogue's Angels ~ http://roguesangels.blogspot.com
JUNE 1 ~ Tamara White ~ https://alternativeblackchick.com 
JUNE 1 ~ Andrew Richardson ~ http://andrewjrichardson.blogspot.co.uk/
JUNE 2 ~ Maggie Mundy ~ http://maggiemundy.blogspot.com.au
JUNE 2 ~ Christine Young ~ https://christineyoungauthor.com

Edit:  A new stop has been added.
JUNE 2 ~ NICKIE FLEMING ~ http://nickieflemingswritings.blogspot.com

Also, if you have any questions or would like to purchase a copy of my newest release, let me know!  I'll get back to you ASAP.

Have a great week everyone.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Blog Tour - Grayson by Tamara White

Welcome to another week at the blog.  I'd like to welcome Author Tamara White to my blog with her new release, Grayson.
As part of the blog tour, Tamara will give a digital copy of  her new book, Grayson, to one randomly drawn commenter. Therefore, please play along.  Drop us a hello or a comment.  You never know what you may win.

Title: Grayson
Author: Tamara White
ISBN: 978-1-62420-343-5
Genre: Contemprary Fiction
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4

Buy at: Rogue Phoenix Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble
Website URL: under construction launch in app. three weeks.
Twitter handle: @twhitebutblack (recently launched)

By Tamar White
5 Stars
Reviewed by G. Lloyd Helm

Grayson is a book about family history, secrets, and rivalries. Families can be complicated enough, but if you mix in race and egotism they become even more so. Grayson explores the connections between mothers and daughters and what daughters don't know about mothers and mothers don't know about daughters. Each character is keeping explosive secrets in this story, from who is whose father and who is actually related to whom and, more interestingly, why the characters are so at odds.

I can't say I enjoyed this book, but I was awed by the Ms. White's ability to make her characters come right off the page. She is a hell of a writer. It was well worth the read for the people in it.

 Unable to shake off her past and the destruction colorism played in her childhood, Grayson returns to Lakeland in an attempt to reconcile her past.

The Harrow family is a family that has spent generations hiding behind the illusion of perfection and lineage. Grayson thought she had escaped the dysfunction of the Harrow Family until the shock of an unplanned pregnancy forced her to return to Lakeland. Grayson must confront her color struck mother, Vivianna, about her childhood at Lakeland and the real reason why her biological father was never apart of her life. Grayson learns how twisted her mother’s version of love is, and how the truth is more complex than she could have ever imagined. Her husband David is there to support her every step of the way, and when Grayson reconnects with her sister, Gigi, she learns the price Gigi paid for being their mother’s favorite.

Grayson took a moment to soak up the quietness of the afternoon before they headed inside. The country air tickled her nose. Grayson had forgotten how clean air could smell. The sweet smell of the honeysuckle lingered over the slight breeze and settled her stomach as it occupied her lungs. She enjoyed how the crisp air danced on her skin, and brushed away the city of Boston's lingering aroma. Grayson turned her eyes towards the estate she had grown up in, and saw Lakeland in a way she never had before.

The unusually harsh winters over the past few years had abused the hand-made clay shingles and caused a distinct discoloration. The landscaping was neat, but not kept to the same standard it had been when her grandfather was alive. 

Grayson knew her grandfather would have never allowed the forsythia bushes to expand and move about the grounds freely. He would have demanded the gardeners control the beautifully bright yellow shrubberies and conform them to the Harrow standard. Wild is for the wilderness, Grayson's grandfather would have said. Grayson smiled at the absence of the ancient oak tree she'd fallen out of when she was ten. The enormous oak tree with the giant knock hole had shaded her bedroom, and helped her sneak out when she was sixteen to Elizabeth Brownsworth's end of the year party. The white washed bricks demanded a thorough cleaning, and the cliché, Gone with the Wind pillars pleaded desperately for a fresh coat of cloud white paint. Lakeland looked miserable. It was as if Lakeland knew her final chapter was already written.
"Lakeland is really showing her years." Grayson stared at the midnight black, heavily ornate front door with the bulky lion head doorknocker, and equally obnoxious doorknob she swore she'd never enter again, every time she walked out. Grayson picked up her laptop bag and started her pilgrimage towards her past.

"Relax," David whispered from behind her. "Everything is going to be fine."

Her mother, Vivianna, opened the front door and stood in the archway like a Grand Duchess impatiently awaiting the arrival of her audience. "Grayson, put the bag down!" she snapped in an egotistical tone. "We don't carry our bags. We have them carried. Has city life caused you to abandon your upbringing? Ladies of means do not carry bags."

Five seconds. That's how long it took Grayson to go from a strong, accounting firm executive, to the shy, chocolate-skinned, frizzy haired, correction-shoe girl of her past.

"Mother," Grayson retorted in the stiff flat tone she reserved for addressing Vivianna. "So nice to see―"

"Never mind all that." Vivianna motioned them towards the front door. "Inside quickly. No need for some of us to get any darker than we already are, darling." Vivianna paused in the foyer to admire her creamy beige skin in the mirror before entering the sitting room. She never passed on an opportunity to admire what she perceived as her greatness. "Grayson, I don't see how you're able to endure. I don't know what I would do if my skin was permanently darkened by the sun." The physical differences in Vivianna and Grayson went beyond skin tone. Vivianna was thin in stature. She never had an issue maintaining a hundred and ten pounds on her five foot three frame. Her nose was narrow, her lips thin, and her eyes were almond shaped. People, mostly women, assumed her green eyes were fake, but they were indeed real. Vivianna was everything a color-complex struck Black man found irresistible. She was their must-have. Grayson, on the other hand, possessed curves for days, full lips, and a round face with a button nose to match her high cheekbones. She had the type of body hip-hop artists paid homage to in their lyrics, minus the chocolate-colored skin.

"Come, Grayson ... sit. I want to know how things are going. Was the flight enjoyable? I hope you flew first class. I've heard people in coach can have an odor to them."

Grayson rolled her eyes behind Vivianna's back. And so it begins...

Tamara White is married and lives in Illinois with her husband, children and dogs. She enjoys photography and reading.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Welcome to another week on the blog tour circuit.  I was going to do a non-blog tour last week about the coming months, but the week got away from me.  So far so good though, in the writing area.  I'm another year older, thanks to a birthday last week, and a little bit wiser thanks to life and it's fickle ways.  All in all, the coming months of warm weather look promising.  

Today, I'd like to welcome author, Jonathan Dimmig to my blog with his new release, Today's special.  Please note that Jonathan will be giving away a free digital copy to one random commenter on his blog tour, of this new release.  So, be sure to comment and say hello in order to be put into the pot.  

Have a great weekend everyone.

Title: Today's Special
Author: Jonathan Dimmig
ISBN: 978-1-62420-318-3

Genre: Inspirational Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3

Today's Special
Author: Jonathan Dimmig
Reviewed by Catherine DePino
Five Stars

Today’s Special touched my heart. The plot kept me reading, and the characters were realistic and engaging. The book showed the indomitability of the human spirit and its resilience in the face of the grave difficulties life can bring, often unexpectedly. I felt that I knew each character personally and would enjoy sitting with them at the restaurant to get to know them better. The book is full of surprises and will keep you glued to the page until its satisfying conclusion.

Today's Special
Author: Jonathan Dimmig
Reviewed by Jeffrey Ross
Five Stars—Eerie and very interesting!

Readers of author Dimmig’s Today’s Special may be hard-pressed to place it in a specific genre. On one level, this text is a case study of the Gilded, a struggling restaurant in Buffalo. The lives and relationships of the major characters are intertwined both in the past and present—and at work and play. But this thoughtful book is far more than a slice-of-life-study of chefs, servers, food critics, menu boards, and invoices. The tragic death of the owner’s wife inspires him—and the restaurant gradually moves forward because of his amazingly-creative homage to her. Jonathan Dimmig proves to be quite knowledgeable about recipes, community, support, and enduring love in his powerful—and pleasing—novel.

We’re sometimes forced to face impossible circumstances. Tom’s story shows why true love is the answer to life’s most difficult questions.

What’s your version of an ordinary day?

For Thomas Danielson, it’s the constant strain of keeping the restaurant he owns from going under. His friends and family depend upon his success but the outlook is dismal. It demands his entire focus until tragedy strikes and his soul-mate is ripped from his arms.

Can Tom recover from the absolute worst event that could possibly happen?

A twist of fate crushes Tom’s world and sends him on a journey of discovery for what’s truly important in life. With guidance from friends, loved ones, and an unassuming chalkboard there just may be some hope in his struggles.

Nothing in life is guaranteed and we are sometimes forced to face the impossible. Tom’s story shows how, even in the darkest times, there is a ray of light shining though the clouds.

A thunderous roar erupts from the Camaro's engine. Tom puts the pedal to the floor and races past traffic on the highway. There's no destination in sight. Speeding through obstacles is the only outlet within immediate range to channel the anger and frustration pumping through his veins. He weaves left then right. After finding a straightaway in the right lane, his rage comes to a boil as he attacks the steering wheel with a barrage of blows from his fists. Nearly clipping a semi-truck with his driver-side mirror, the escalating danger of the situation suddenly floods his mind. Confronted by this realization, he jerks the wheel and swerves onto the shoulder in an attempt to slow things down. While his vehicle comes to a skid in the dirt, a horn from the car traveling behind him blares loudly into the night as it passes by.
He shuts down the engine.
"Why can nothing work out the way it's supposed to? This was the last good thing left that was ours."
Tom's words echo in the car. The silence that answered was a reminder of just how alone he was. Defeated, he crosses his arms upon the steering wheel and lays his head between them.
Several minutes pass and the only sound that can be heard, apart from the distant highway traffic, is the rhythmic cooing of an owl. He lifts his head and peers out the windshield to find the source of the noise. In the faint moonlight, he can barely make out the shape of a bird perched upon a tree branch. He flicks on the headlight switch and the blast of light causes the owl to take flight and come to a landing on top of a sign about thirty yards to the front left of Tom's car. The sign, now illuminated by the headlights, reads "Allegany Mountains – 30 Miles".

It was immediately clear where he needed to go. With a turn of his key, Tom starts the engine and pulls back onto the highway.

~ * ~

The sound of twigs snapping, combined with the rustling of leaves, was cause enough to scatter a pair of foraging squirrels. Tom clears a path through the dense forest and emerges from the bushes to the small lake.

He pauses and scans the area, remembering the many times he's visited this place. It was as if the unrelenting force of time was rendered powerless in this one speck of earth. Throughout his entire life, not one shade of detail had changed in any discernible way. The placement of the rocks, the slope of the water bank, the positioning of the trees; all remained unyielding to time's grasp. Digesting the thought left a pit in his stomach.

How can it be that God has the power to leave this spot unchanged but does nothing to keep the good things in my life untouched?

The stars were shimmering brightly upon the lake. Tom approaches the water's edge and squats down to look into its glassy surface. The stars surround his reflection and he's soon enveloped in a blanket of sky. He slowly becomes lost in the space. His eyes close and the melding of space and time becomes a cozy bed that he wishes he could remain in forever.

Michelle leans down beside him to gaze into the abyss. She's so close that he can feel her next to him. The hint of familiar perfume and warmth radiating from her body is overwhelmingly comforting. He instinctively reaches to caress her face but she disappears into ripples of water.

Jonathan Dimmig was born and raised in Buffalo, NY. He earned a BA and MBA from the University of Rochester. After graduating, he worked in the field of Corporate Finance for nearly a decade before quitting his job and moving to Las Vegas to become a professional poker player. In 2014, he won a World Series of Poker event that had almost 8,000 players. Around that same time, he had an unusually vivid dream that inspired him to write "Today’s Special". He hopes the story in this book will impact others as much as it has impacted himself. Jonathan currently resides in Las Vegas, NV. He is often found at the poker tables, playing ice hockey, or working on creative inspirations that can positively impact the world. He can be reached at zpuckman@gmail.com.