Tuesday, April 5, 2022

The Secrets That Kill Us by Phoenix Blackwood



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Phoenix Blackwood will be awarding a $10 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.

At sixteen, Liz had already trudged through hell and back. Having bounced from one foster home to another most of her life, she finally finds herself in a stable home. But stability poses its own challenges after a life of unsteady fooling, and Liz grapples to find a way to be still. Her past still plagues her in this new world. Everything feels wrong, she is at odds with her own body and mind, and struggling to survive.

Liz finds an unlikely friend in Alex, a girl who may not share Liz’s troubled past but strives to understand, even though it means becoming a pariah at school. With Alex’s help, Liz searches for the strength to confront her demons, and the two see each other through addictions, transitions, and the dangerous consequences of coping.

Unable to let herself trust and love, even in this new space with new support, Liz’s trauma begins to drag her under. Some secrets kill, and some truths fight to stay hidden. Unearthing them all will require Liz to trust others despite a lifetime of learning just how dangerous that is.

Read an Excerpt

High school wasn’t much different than middle school, other than things being less sticky and more dingy. I’d made it through freshman year by the skin of my teeth, and now the daunting task of sophomore year stood before me, halfway accomplished. The guys were a lot more obnoxious, graduating from senseless teasing to aggression in order to fulfill their newfound need for overbearing toxic masculinity. I rolled my eyes as I walked past a group of guys pushing each other around, proving my point. At least I wasn’t the new kid this time. I’d somehow managed to keep up with the class and graduate. I'd made it through a year and a half of high school without being held back. It was still a constant struggle. When I got to my locker I squinted at the paper I’d been given for the code, bringing it closer to my face. Contacts weren’t cutting it, I really needed to wear my glasses. But damn, did I hate them. After a few different attempts I managed to get the right numbers and threw the books I didn’t need in. They made a loud slam as they hit the back of the locker.

About the Author:
Born and raised in New England, Phoenix has always been a creative – whether it’s painting or writing. From a very young age, Phoenix has envisioned and created characters, writing them into existence and exploring them through visual arts. Having graduated to first-time short story author, Phoenix is embarking on a journey towards novel writing as they finally bring characters they’ve known for years into the world. Phoenix is neurodiverse and intersex and hopes to bring more representation to both topics with their writing. They believe in creating relatable characters that people can find themselves in and empathize with.

Website: https://t.co/UEEMwVpdtV
Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/nixblackwood
Amazon buy link: https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-that-Kill-Us-ebook/dp/B09RZZ4MSY/

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Monday, March 21, 2022

Are You Okay, Elliot Hart? by Kate S. Martin



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kate S. Martin will be awarding a $25 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.

"You keep it on the inside because that's the safest way to hide."

Fifteen-year-old Elliot 'Matchstick' Hart spends his days caring for his mum and hiding from the school bully.

Fifteen-year-old Josh McBride spends his days tormenting Elliot and avoiding his abusive stepdad.

Hoping to save his mum, Elliot embarks on an adventure inspired by a picture in an old newspaper. Little does he know that Josh has decided to join him.

On their journey, strangers and surprises force them to look at each other in a different light. As secrets are revealed, will they reconcile their differences or will the secrets tear them further apart?

Read an Excerpt

I’m walking faster than usual, not only because it’s raining heavily, and I am soaked through, but I’m angry. I’m not sure if I am angry at my mum or the whole damn situation. I want to get home, get out of these stupid clothes, and hide under a duvet with my book. I’m reading To Kill a Mockingbird now. Mr. Marshall recommended it to me, so Sydney found a copy at the library and put it aside. I’m up to the part where Miss Maudie’s house has burnt down, and I’m eager to know what will happen next.

Marching past the terraced houses, I can’t help but sneak another look in. I see one house where two boys are running around their living rooms with lightsabers; I see dads working on computers in their offices and mums coming home from work being greeted with hugs and laughter. I see lives upon lives that I don’t have and what I want, so very, very much. I want a home with noise and chaos and giggles. I want younger brothers that annoy the hell out of me and a dad that lifts me up onto his shoulders and ducks down, so I don’t hit my head on the door frame. I want family dinners around a kitchen table, where someone shouts at you if you leave without asking permission. I want. I want. I want. I once heard Tom say I want, doesn’t get but it’s not like I’m asking for lots of money or a new house. I want a normal family.

About the Author:
Kate grew up in a small town in Lancashire, England with her mum, dad, and two older brothers. A bit of a tomboy, she loved nothing more than going out for adventures with her brothers, as long as she was back before dark.

She studied English at Reading University and gained a teaching qualification at Manchester. Nowadays, Kate spends her days teaching English at a local high school in Cheshire and her evenings are spent writing stories close to her heart.

She believes teenage years can be particularly difficult and wants to create stories that show empathy and hope for her readers. She lives with her husband, two children, and Jessie, the miniature schnauzer.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Eating These Foods Makes Me... by Kalifa Rodriguez



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Kalifa Rodriguez will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I wanted to be a doctor. From a very young age I was always fascinated by the human body and I knew I wanted to help people. I looked forward to biology class and I naturally excelled in the field of science. My family always supported my dream. It was only in college that I became more intrigued by the field of nutrition. Now I’m a clinical nutritionist, basically, the food doctor, while doctors primarily treat medical conditions with medicine, I treat them with food!

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

I would love to have the ability of telepathy. Even to this day I sometimes struggle to effectively communicate my thoughts, clearly and articulately. I can think of so many instances where telepathy would have solved a lot of issues I’ve faced. I wouldn’t want the ability to telepathically read someone’s thoughts, just the ability to direct my thoughts or feelings with someone without the need for speech, writing or any other normal means of communication.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

Psycho cybernetics by Maxwell Maltz. How a plastic surgeon was able to discover and explain the secret behind how shifting our thoughts and perceptions of ourselves can completely alter who we are from the inside out is incredibly intriguing to me.

Favorite hot beverage. Why?

Oh my gosh!!! This question is so hard to answer because I have so many favourites, it truly depends on the season. For example in the fall my favourite hot beverage is a pumpkin spice late, especially on a damp chilly day, it’s just heavenly.

Ideal summer vacation.

I’m a Caribbean girl, so I love the sun and the beach!! I would say my ideal summer vacation would be visiting a romantic couples resort with my husband, exploring a new island where I can explore the local highlights by day, enjoy trying new foods and relax on the beach while we watch the sunset by night.

Favorite pizza toppings.

Pepperoni, onions, mushrooms, olives, spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, hot peppers and pineapples. I know it sounds crazy, but I can’t even think of a pizza topping I dislike!

Favorite class in high school. Why?

Science class was always my favourite. It was one of the only classes that I found fun! I loved that there was always something new to learn and honestly, science always felt magical to me…although something may seem strange or peculiar, you know there is always a logical explanation for why it is the way it is. Science always engaged my curiosity in a way other classes didn’t.

Is your kid a picky eater? Do you want your child to enjoy eating a variety of foods? Reading can be a proactive way to introduce your little one to the amazing world of nutrition! In this book, readers will explore healthy foods and learn how key nutrients benefit the body. These pages repeat positive affirmations that will empower and build your child's mindfulness about the foods they eat.

It is never too early to instill life-long healthy eating habits. Happy reading! Or should I say, happy eating!

Read an Excerpt

Fun Learning Activities to Promote Healthy Nutrition

1. Using paper and crayons or coloured pencils, draw a rainbow, and then draw a fruit or vegetable that is the same colour as each colour of the rainbow. You can even use this book for ideas. Remember to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables (at least 5 servings) each day! How many have you eaten today?

2. Do you like to play any sports or games? Do you like to walk to the park? Help your parents choose and prepare an energizing snack before the next game or walk to the park.

3. Eat your water? That sounds silly! Did you know that some fruits and veggies such as celery are mostly made up of water and can also help to keep you hydrated? Can you think of any others? Now try adding those slices of fruit or even cucumber to your water bottle to give it some pizazz.

4. Try introducing interactive sensory play for preschoolers (age 3 and older). Gather a variety of beans, nuts, or seeds on a tray or in a bowl with a spoon. Under adult supervision, let the preschooler feel, grab, and scoop the legumes, nuts, and seeds. See if the toddler can separate them based on different colours, sizes, and textures while the adult names each food and talks about how these foods make us strong from the proteins and smart from the healthy omega fats.

About the Author:
Kalifa Rodriguez is a registered dietitian and certified breastfeeding specialist. She currently works as a clinical nutritionist in Montreal, Canada. After receiving her bachelor's degree in nutritional biochemistry, she went on to complete a master's degree in human nutrition and dietetics at McGill University. Kalifa is passionate about promoting healthy lifestyle choices through nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness. She also hopes to leave a positive impact in the community through her work by giving nutrition education sessions to community groups and organizations. Kalifa and her husband are parents to their delightful toddler, who is the inspiration for this book.

WEBSITE: http://www.kalifarodriguezbooks.com
FACEBOOK - https://www.facebook.com/kalifa.author
INSTAGRAM - http://www.instagram.com/the.nutrition.connection


PURCHASE LINKS EATING THESE FOODS MAKES ME… AMAZON.COM - https://amazon.com/dp/0228860911
AMAZON.CA - https://amazon.ca/dp/0228860911
INDIGO CHAPTERS - https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/eating-these-foods-makes-me/9780228860914-item.html
BARNES & NOBLE - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/eating-these-foods-makes-me-rd-cbs-rodriguez-m-sc/1140561192
BOOK DEPOSITORY - https://www.bookdepository.com/Eating-These-Foods-Makes-Me-Rd-Cbs-Rodriguez-M-Sc-Madeleine-Migallos/9780228860914

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Thursday, March 3, 2022

The Order of Time series by Scott P. Southall



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

If you could have one paranormal power what would it be?

Telekinesis – the power to move things with your mind alone. I have always loved the idea that humans have not figured out how to use the majority of the grey matter in their brains. That somehow if you could tap into it we might be capable of incredible things like manipulating matter with only our brainwaves. How great would it be to do things like take out the garbage and put dirty clothes in the hamper with having to get up?

What are you passionate about these days?

I am becoming more and more passionate about child literacy. I think reading, or literacy, is core to learning for kids. Strong literacy skills allow kids the opportunity to be everything they can be in terms of education. I also think reading expands a child’s world view, it gives them an opportunity to understand or aspire to things that might be foreign to their household or community.

One of my colleagues in the United Arab Emirates is named Vikesh Gadhia. He and his daughter Kushi started a project called Old Books for New Eyes. They collected used books in Dubai and shipped them to Kenya to establish physical libraries for underprivileged schools. They have collected more than 60,000 story books and commenced more than 30 libraries. A key challenge in the process has been the physical logistic of shipping books.

They recently created a new venture called Kupepo which is a free digital platform that aims to provide access to ebooks for children who have limited access to libraries. I’m excited to say that I have donated my books into the project and will be working with Vikesh as they try to scale the platform.

If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?

While I had always been an avid reader, I knew very little about how the book publishing industry worked when I finished the first draft of The Order of Time. I didn’t know how the industry was structured in terms of authors, agents, publishers, distributors and retailers. I count myself lucky that I was able to ask someone about the process because I had a colleague whose wife worked for a publisher. That was really helpful. The one thing I would change if I had to do it all over again would be to have started writing a decade or two earlier. I hate to think about how much better I could be and how much more I could have learned if I had listened to my impulses and put pen to paper much sooner.

Ebook or print? And why?

Print hands down. It’s the feeling of a book in your hand and the smell of the paper. There is a character to a physical book that I don’t find in ebooks. I don’t deny the utility of being able to read an ebook on my phone while commuting on the train. Ebooks are incredibly practical; however, if I had unlimited shelf space they would all be physical books.

What is your favorite scene in this book?

I think one of my favorite scenes is when Ivar, the young Viking boy, recounts the story of Nidhogg’s attack on the Great Hall of Jernhus to Anastasia, Edward, Erik the Red and Soren the Viking Jarl. To me it was a very powerful scene that makes the reader feel Ivar’s excitement at getting to be part of the gathering, the terror of the dragon’s unexpected arrival, and the pain of losing his father. The scene also creates a real sense of intrigue and sets the stage for what’s to come when Edward reads the mysterious inscription on the stone platform within the ruined hall.

Yggdrasil’s power through all realms flows
From its source all life grows
It runs like blood beneath the surface
So our Jernhus was built with purpose
That we can protect Odin’s Door
Which brought Mímir’s wisdom to the fore
When Odin’s key is put to lock
All our foes will be made to stop

About the Series

Picture two twelve-year-old fraternal twins who are like night and day. She is a smart and highly organised MMA fighter. He’s not a fighter, he’s a lover of history, art and Star Wars. Despite their differences they are one formidable team. Together Anastasia and Edward Upston travel through time and navigate ancient civilisations, angry gods and mythical monsters in their quest to protect the integrity of human history.

About The Order of Time

Anastasia and Edward Upston are eleven year old twins who are different in almost every way. Despite this they are inseparable and he best of friends. They tackle the highs and lows of sixth grade together whether they are fending off bullies at the elite Blake Academy or examining rare antiquities at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Then: life gets complicated.

They discover that their friend and mentor, Dr. Gregorian, is part of a secret society called the Order of Time. It turns out that time is not fixed, it’s a fluid continuum where changes to the past can create ripples all the way through to the present. It unwittingly falls to the twins to travel back through time to ancient Egypt where they must overcome deadly assassins, evil high priests and vengeful gods in order to prevent disaster. Together Anastasia and Edward must navigate all obstacles to preserve the past and find their way back home.

About The Order of Time and Odin’s Door

The orange light bathed the snow-covered fields as the fiery globe began to dip below the horizon. It was strange that something so beautiful could signal the arrival of something so evil. One thing twelve-year-old twins Anastasia and Edward Upston knew for sure was that when mortals were caught between two bickering gods nothing good would come of it. Surviving the Viking Age may be the hardest thing they ever do, if they can…

Read an Excerpt from The Order of Time and Odin’s Door

“Um, Anastasia, can I talk to you for a minute? Alone?” Edward asked as he grabbed his formerly sane sister by the elbow and led her away from Erik. “What in the heck are you thinking? Help them kill the dragon?”

“I said we’d help Erik try to convince Soren to leave first. We’ll only help them kill the dragon if Soren won’t listen,” his twin explained, as if it should all make sense now.

“Have you lost your mind?” Edward snapped.

“It’s a really simple plan. Don’t overthink it,” Anastasia said, looking at him like he was the one who was crazy.

“Ahem,” they heard Erik interrupt from behind them.

“I’m sorry, but we’re a little busy here at the moment,” Edward called over his shoulder at the red-haired Viking with the big sword.

“While you’re talking to the slow one, I am going to find the Jarl. He’s also fixated on getting killed by Nidhogg. Perhaps you’ll have better luck talking some sense into her,” Erik said, shaking his head dismissively.

Edward watched the big Viking follow Soren’s footprints until he disappeared into the underbrush before turning back to Anastasia. “We’re supposed to be in Strasbourg earning our entrance into the academy. We don’t even know why we’re here and you’re talking about killing dragons,” Edward whispered harshly just in case Erik was still in earshot.

“I know we’re not supposed to be here but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t help someone who needs our help,” his twin whispered back, her posture stiffening.

“You know we can’t risk changing what happens here. How many times has Dr. G told us that the ripples from any change in the past can completely change the future? That red-haired dude is Erik the Red, the man who colonizes Greenland. His son Leif Erikson was the first European to sight North America: five hundred years before Christopher Columbus. Assuming we could help kill this dragon, just imagine what changing the past related to that guy might do. Dollar bills could say In Odin we trust and we might not even exist!” Edward was no longer whispering as he threw his hands in the air in exasperation.

About the Author:
Scott is an American author and banking executive who lives in Sydney, Australia. He grew up in the suburbs of Washington D.C. and attended Georgetown University. While he loves his job as a global banker, his true passion is making up stories with his children. His debut novel, The Order of Time, reached #1 in its category on Amazon and was the 2021 Reader’s Favorite Gold Medal Winner in the Children’s – Mythology/Fairy Tale genre.

https://www.scottpsouthall.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/scott-southall-6bab5a4/
https://www.instagram.com/scottsouthallauthor/
https://www.facebook.com/scott.southallauthor
https://twitter.com/SSouthallAuthor

The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

https://www.amazon.com/Order-Time-Scott-P-Southall-ebook/dp/B07Z3XWJQ9
https://bookawards.com/book-award/the-order-of-time,br> https://readersfavorite.com/2021-award-contest-winners.htm#the-order-of-time

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Monday, February 21, 2022

Friends To the End by Cherie Colyer



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Cherie Colyer will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?

Zach would have schoolbooks, a tattered blue backpack, a one-pound container of salt (to repel ghosts), an iron wrench (also to repel ghosts), running shoes, and a camera in his locker. Hanging from the hook would be a sprig of rosemary, another great way to ward off ghosts.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

I can’t resist fresh-out-of-the-oven, homemade chocolate chip cookies. The gooier the better! I also love ice cream, but it doesn’t always agree with me.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

A witch. Hands down! My obsession with witchcraft started after reading Escape From Witch Mountain. I would have done almost anything to have magical powers like the kids in the book.

What candy do you give out at Halloween?

We buy large bags with a mix of chocolates. The must-haves in our house include M&Ms, Snickers, Heath, Almond Joy (for hubby), Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Kit Kats. We always have way too much candy.

Coal or candy in your Christmas stocking? Why?

There was always candy in my stocking. Not that I was an angel (I was actually a bit of a rebel growing up), but I wasn’t bad and didn’t do anything to hurt others.

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

Oh, I’d want magical powers. (Goes with the whole wanting to be a witch.) But if that wasn’t an option, I’d love the ability to shape shift like Mystique from the X-Men. She’s my favorite mutant: smart, clever, and talented.

Favorite hot beverage. Why?

I’m a coffeeholic. I’ve been drinking it since I was a teen. Add a little hazelnut creamer, and it’s heavenly. It also helps me to wake up. I’m much happier after my first cup.

You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why?

Dom. He’s resourceful and doesn’t panic. I feel as if he’d be the first to figure a way off the island.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?

Oh, this is fun! I’d buy my dream house. Nothing crazy big, but it would be somewhere peaceful and by water. The den would have wall-to-ceiling bookshelves and a sliding ladder to make it easy to reach the books on the top shelf. I figure this might use up half of the money. Maybe more, because I’ll need to buy more books to fill the bookshelves. After that I’d travel, starting with a family and friends trip to Universal Studios in Florida. From there, I’d travel the world. There are so many places I’d love to see.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog! It’s been a lot of fun!

Twelve-year-old Zach is convinced he'll never be happy without his best friend Jeremy by his side. But both of their lives changed with a bang five months ago, and as far as Zach's concerned, it's his fault Jeremy will never see his twelfth birthday.

When Zach moves with his family to a Chicago suburb, he quickly becomes friends with a group of thrill-seeking kids trying to find a disappearing haunted house. But Zach's not worried. He doesn't believe in ghosts, so he follows them into a wild, dangerous encounter that becomes a battle to decide what's real and what's not.

Read an Excerpt

We scrambled to our feet and ran to the front door, stopping with the toes of our gym shoes just outside the worn threshold. If the house vanished at that very moment, would we vanish, too, or did we have to be inside to disappear forever?

A long table rested next to the wall in the foyer. Several black-and-white photos in tarnished silver frames sat on top of it. The women in the pictures wore large floppy hats and long dresses. The men wore white shirts and jackets like Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The children had on sweaters and knee-high socks. No one was smiling.

“I thought you wanted to go inside,” I said. “Now’s your chance.”

Josh shook his head. “Not so important anymore.”

“Yeah, I can see just fine from here,” Dom said.

But Morgan was inside.

A stomp of my foot on the aging wood confirmed we were standing on an extremely solid porch. We were peering through a very real doorway. If this was the vanishing house, shouldn’t it be translucent like Ghost Girl or hazy like the car?

“Maybe we’re overreacting,” I said. Just because the welcome sign happened to have the same name on it as the guy in the graveyard, and just because the date on it was a couple of centuries old, that didn’t mean we should assume the worst. Right?

Only, the evidence in front of us said otherwise. The house was lit with candles and oil lamps. There were no televisions or radios or phones visible. The more I noticed, the more it looked wrong. The fancy armchairs and matching sofa, the family portrait above the stone fireplace, even the shoes left near the door were unlike anything I’d seen before.

Dom mumbled something inaudible and then screamed Morgan’s name.

The air in the house was cool. It pushed against the warmth of summer, fighting to keep it outside. With it came a whispered, “Don’t.”

About the Author:
C.L. Colyer found her love for writing in first grade when her class was sent to the library and asked to find a book for their first book report. While she doesn’t still have this book report, she’s very proud to say she got an A on it. Her favorite thing about the book was that it had no words. That’s right, not one! That gave her the freedom to interpret the pictures in any way she wanted and write her own story.

This sparked her love for writing essays. It wasn’t until she was an adult that she sat down and penned her first novel. This story has a special place in her heart because it’s the story that helped her discover her passion for writing. She has since written several books, many of which may never see the light of day, but all of which helped her learn to combine her passion for writing with her fascination with all things mythical. You’ll find examples of this in her novels.

She lives in Illinois with her family.

Keep in Touch:

Website: https://cheriecolyer.com/children/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cherie-Colyer-author-250631921629169
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CherieColyer
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/cherie_colyer/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21748654.C_L_Colyer
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/C-L-Colyer/e/B09C6JPT3X/
Bookbub author page: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/cherie-colyer

The book is on sale for only $0.99 at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09BZY7JQY/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0

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The Dark Beast by Dave Maruszewski



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Dave Maruszewski 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.

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

I was drawn to it because of my son. It was a good way to connect with him and help him with bedtime. He always had trouble going to sleep. Reading or telling stories were a good way to relax him.

I continued this book to the publishing phase because I love the focus of the genre. You try to tell a great story, play with human interaction and make some points along the way. I find some types of writing a little too pretentious and maybe laborious (for me) in their creation.

Sometimes I think of reading juvenile fiction as straight forward, but as an author I get to think of all these different ways to present material and spin different possibilities of plot progression. It ends up giving me the ability to be creative in a way that isn’t frustrating (to me.) In fact, it is the opposite. It’s a fun pastime.

What would you write in a letter to your teen self?

Wow, that topic is a book in itself. I probably would tell myself to not rush to the end. There isn’t one. I think that back then I was focused on getting through those years to become a grown up in society. I thought that was when living truly began. I didn’t realize, every moment is living just with different possibilities and circumstances. Whatever I was doing back then, no matter what, was shaping me to be more myself. I was already me. Enjoy the moments and pay attention to where they lead you.

What candy do you give out at Halloween?

I get multiple bags with different types of candy, preferably with candy bars with chocolate and/or caramel in them. After that, I brace myself for my wife to give me the angry stare after she realizes there is no way that we’ll give all of this away. Then, my son and I make our plan to eat the rest.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

I like to read in parallel. Currently, I believe I am reading three main books, I think. The first is Bruce Campbell’s Further Confessions of a B-Movie Actor. I love autobiographies. I think the semi-famous make some great books. They have interesting lives. They are down to earth people like you and me while having been around the larger celebrities. They give good perceptions of both worlds.

The second is How to Listen When God is Speaking by Mitch Pacwa. I’m a pretty spiritual guy so I like to read these insightful and helpful books. There’s always more to what we experience, and to be honest, there is more to us than how we act and exist day-to-day.

The last is Game Programming: All in One by Jonathan Harbour. I was involved with and still make video games. It is an old book. Once in a while I like going back and seeing where video games were. Surprisingly, I still pick up tricks and ideas to relay to others.

Looking at this list, I think they all can be said to be insightful. I guess that is what I get/like most from reading. You get to go deeper into something or someone in an entertaining fashion. That exploration can be rewarding.

Although, I think that I feel the irony a little. I’m not reading any fiction at the moment.

Ideal summer vacation.

I keep dropping hints to my wife about going on a cruise. I don’t think she is going for it. Maybe she just doesn’t want to get stuck on a ship.

I like the idea of going places and then having the option to go ashore or stay in the hot tub. Plus, buffets! Maybe it is better for my waistline to do something else. Perhaps a hiking trip is better served.

Favorite pizza toppings.

My son and I almost always get pepperoni and black olives. They’re great. I I’d throw in sausage and mushroom, too. Maybe a little onion? But pineapple, come on. Why ruin these wonderful savory tastes with sweet? I’m kidding, but I’d prefer to put the pineapple in a bowl and eat it after I am done with the pizza.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?

My son would have me buy a car, like a Lamborghini. I’m so cheap that I would try to resist and think it’s a waste. If I got it though, I would probably love it.

If it were purely my choice, I would throw a gigantic party somewhere warm with all of my past and present friends. I would then pay for everyone’s airfare, food and housing. We’d stay and hang out until the money ran out. Then, back to work.

Favorite class in high school. Why?

I had a great teacher for Earth Science. His name was Mr. Lingenfelter. In fact, he was one of the two best teachers that I had in my entire schooling. I liked almost all the science classes that I took. My teacher made the class material even better. There were so many different topics in that course. It was hard to get bored.

Recently knighted squires Raven, Romda, and Ravai are tasked to help a nearby priest. However, this simple errand turns into much more. They cross paths with the Dark Beast. After that brief encounter, they soon realize the Beast’s plans to destroy an entire town. They journey to this town, meeting residents who tell large tales about the Beast. How much of stories are true? The three will find out. The Dark Beast is coming.


Read an Excerpt

The Dark Beast lunged toward Agnew and grabbed him, but his hand smashed into something. The wizard had put up as a barrier, invisible to the Beast.

“A nice spell,” the Beast said, “but there are ways around it, as well.” “It will be too late,” the wizard said. He then shot out a large burst of blue energy. The Beast jumped out of the way, grabbed onto one of the rafters, and did not come back down.

“Do you know what your problem is?” the Dark Beast asked.

“Right now?” Agnew replied. “You.”

“No,” the Dark Beast continued, “even in my form, you are more than my superior. You have great power.” Agnew almost seemed pleased to hear this.

The Beast continued explaining. “However, you are too vain and unwilling to get your hands dirty. No one turned me into the beast that you see before you. I chose to do it. It made me stronger. You would never do it.”

The wizard released another blast, almost missing, but indeed striking the Dark Beast. He fell to the ground.

“It would appear that you have overestimated yourself,” Agnew proclaimed. “I stand above you, and you are defeated.”

The Beast looked up and said, “But you won’t touch me, will you, even if I am dead?”

“Of course not,” Agnew replied. “That is why I have guards.” He raised his hand to give the final blow.

The Dark Beast rolled and smashed another vial on the ground. The mist penetrated Agnew’s shield. When he smelled it, he immediately got sick and tried not to vomit.

The Beast slowly rose with a glare aimed directly at Agnew. The Beast was unaffected. His form was resistant to the sickly fumes.

About the Author:
Dave Maruszewski is blessed with a great family. He was originally inspired to write stories by his wife and son, when they encouraged him to put his bedtime stories on paper.

His stories are created from an accumulation of experiences from careers/backgrounds as a physicist, engineer, teacher, artist, video game designer and software developer. He strives to develop stories with sound moral values that will be enlightening as well as entertaining to youths and adults.

In between writing stories and running his own company, Digital Tumult (DigitalTumult.com), Dave enjoys video games, watching internet videos and hanging out with his family.

Book Website: http://www.ravenromdaandravai.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dave-Maruszewski-Books-100693982454237/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/21946064.Dave_Maruszewski

The book is on sale for $0.99 during the tour.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Dark-Beast-Raven-Romda-Ravai-ebook/dp/B09JSX3ZGG/

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Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Love Me, Please by Chris Bedell



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Chris Bedell will be awarding a $25 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.

"Love and Mysteries at 17"


I’m currently 27—my Goodreads photo is a few years old. Anyway, the reason a lot of my main characters are 17 is because that age is older than 15 or 16, but not quite a legal adult (18). A duality therefore exists by having main characters be 17—the pull between childhood and adulthood. And that duality is often reflected by having my characters deal with very difficult situations. Unfortunately, teens sometimes have to mature sooner than they should because of issues/events that might’ve happened to them.

Dealing with the death of a friend was very important to Colton’s story. His friend—Declan—was Colton’s one escape from his abusive home life. And the first chapter of the book occurs at Declan’s house, where he’s throwing a party. And the party is where Colton meets Tripp (his love interest in the book). Declan is therefore an indirect catalyst on Tripp and Colton meeting. And as Colton and Tripp get closer, Colton starts to forget about his goal (finding Declan’s killer). But the book does circle back to the identity of Declan’s killer because it’d BE wrong not to give Colton and readers closure.

Ultimately, I don’t find it a challenge not to repeat myself by having books combine love with a mystery element. The uniqueness of each plot is what makes each of my books different. And while all of my books have different plots, there’s the same running theme of dealing with dark/gritty situations, such as with how good people sometimes must do bad/difficult things to protect themselves and the people they love. That’s what makes reading fun, though—that element of make believe. Readers can get lost in something that isn’t real, and hopefully get some entertainment as a result.

Colton should be like every other seventeen-year-old, hanging out with friends, procrastinating on homework, and dreaming about which colleges he should apply to, but Colton’s focus when he gets home every day is on how violent his alcoholic mother will be. Will he be her ashtray again or worse?

Tripp has the perfect life – handsome, from a wealthy family, and is the football player everyone wants to date. Tripp just wants to date one person – Colton, but he can’t seem to break through that tough exterior and get Colton to trust him.

A friend’s party opens the door for both to potentially get what they want, but it’s that same party ends with Colton’s best friend dead. Caught between wanting to finally find happiness with Tripp and discovering what happened to Declan, Colton discovers that he isn’t the only one who’s kept secrets. How well did he really know Declan and can he trust Tripp enough to let himself believe he’s worthy of being loved?

Read an Excerpt

The placard clinked against the door, and I cocked my head. A group of guys in varsity jackets just entered VERONICA’S. I was more concerned with the guy I locked eyes with, though. More specifically, Tripp. He and his friends just walked by my table.

My throat tightened. Mom’s words and actions weren’t the only thing that would remain burned in my mind for the foreseeable future. I couldn’t forget about punching Tripp and how I wanted nothing more than to apologize for our altercation on Monday.

Gina leaned closer. “What the hell was that about?”

I sipped my caramel latte. “Nothing.”

“I’m not that gullible. I saw the look you guys exchanged.”

“Leave it alone!” I exclaimed.

“Do you like him?” she whispered.

“Gina, please!”

“I’m not judging. I have a gay uncle.”

“Cool.”

Gina squealed at me. “I’m serious. That glance isn’t the way you’d look at a friend.”

I resisted making a fist or screaming; it would’ve been a shame to throw over ten years of friendship away just because discussing my sexuality made me uncomfortable.

“If there’s something you wanna tell me, then don’t hold back,” Gina continued.

“I’m bisexual,” I blurted, making sure not to speak too loudly.

Relief trickled through my body. For one moment, my life wasn’t a warzone. I told Gina my truth and said fact fucking mattered. I couldn’t help feeling great. I let someone in, and my life hadn’t imploded. So, maybe there was hope for me yet.

About the Author:
Chris Bedell's previous publishing credits include Thought Catalog, Entropy Magazine, Chicago Literati, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, among others. His 2019 books include his NA Thriller BURNING BRIDGES (BLKDOG Publishing), YA Paranormal Romance DEATHLY DESIRES (Deep Hearts YA), and YA Thriller COUSIN DEAREST (BLKDOG Publishing). In addition to his YA Thriller BETWEEN LOVE AND MURDER, his 2020 books include his YA Contemporary I’LL SEE YOU AGAIN (Deep Hearts YA), YA Thriller THE FABULIST (BLKDOG Publishing), YA Thriller I KNOW WHERE THE BODIES ARE BURIED (BLKDOG Publishing), and YA SciFi DYING BEFORE LIVING (Deep Hearts YA). Besides his YA Thriller LOVE HIM/HATE HIM, Chris’s 2021 books include his YA Fantasy CROSSING DESIRES (Spectrum Books) and rerelease of his YA Fantasy IN THE NAME OF MAGIC from JMS Books. Furthermore, Chris graduated with a BA in Creative Writing from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 2016.

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