Tamara Branch (@ItGirl4Life) Gets Personal To The Girls Of The World – Book Tour & Giveaway

 

 

Why I Wrote ITGIRL4LIFE by Tamara Branch

 

To the GIRLS of the world <3,

 

I wrote ITGIRL4LIFE because I want you to create the best life you can for yourself. I want you to go for your dreams and give it all you’ve got. I want you to be bold, speak up, speak out and be fearless. I want you to be HAPPY. I want you to know how strong you are and that you can get through anything. I want you to pick yourself up when you fall down. I want you to be YOU to the highest power, authentic and real. I want you to SHINE. I want you to believe in yourself, step up responsibility, honor your life, have faith and push through. I want you to stand in your GREATNESS as a young woman.

 

When I first got the idea to write this book, I thought of my own insecurities when I was a teenager and what helped me to overcome them. I thought about what I learned from my mistakes, life lessons, experiences, personal study and my life’s exploration. I thought about the ‘not smart enough, pretty enough, tall enough, thin enough’ epidemic in our society, the media’s influence on how girl’s feel about themselves, other people’s opinions and judgements and the pressure on girls and women to look, act and be a certain way.

I wanted to contribute something to the self-esteem conversation. I’m a student of personal development. I study the thought leaders in this area. I read books that uplift. I surround myself with people that are about IT. I am committed to improving, expanding my thinking, being of service and keeping myself inspired. EVERYBODY has doubts, fears, challenges, tough times. I certainly do. Life can be hard. It’s not easy to show up for yourself and stay positive ALL the time. I wrote ITGIRL4LIFE to help.

 

To build a house you have to begin with a strong foundation. You have to lay the ground work before you start adding on and designing the rest. Same thing with you and me. Having a foundation of powerful ideas and principles helps to create an INNER support, giving you the tools to cope with the ups and downs of everyday life. The stronger and more solid your foundation is, the better because your foundation is what keeps you standing. You learn to tap into your power as an individual and that’s the key to making it.

 

There is a reality that hits you as you get older and that is that your life is up to YOU. What you believe about yourself is EVERYTHING. When you believe that you are a person of value, extraordinary, beautiful, capable, smart, talented and important, you walk into the room differently, you ACT differently and you make decisions from a secure and confident place. There it is. I wrote it because I want you to always remember the simple, yet profound things that will help you create the best life you can for yourself.

 

xoxo,

Tamara

 

 

Publisher: Heart Project Publishing

Release Date: June 2014
Buy Link(s): http://amzn.to/1nPlKs7

bn link: http://bit.ly/1CSB288

 

Book Description:


“YOU have IT. IT is the GREATNESS you were born with.” - from the book


Writer, Artist and Speaker, Tamara Branch serves up 40 bite-sized chapters on how to build unshakable self-confidence, honor your life, and shine bright in the world, in ITGIRL4LIFE:How to bring out your special something and so much more. Get ready to fall in love with your own wisdom, beauty, and strength.



Hashtag Us – #ItGirl4Life #vbtcafetours


Author Bio:

 

authorPic1-214x300(short version)
Tamara Branch is a writer, artist, and speaker, on a mission to help girls unlock their brilliant potential. She’s from New York, born and raised in the Bronx, and currently lives in Los Angeles, CA.
(long version)
Tamara Branch is from New York, born and raised in the Bronx. She is thrilled to share her first book release, ITGIRL4LIFE: How to bring out your special something and so much more. The book kicks off the ITGIRL4LIFE self-esteem movement to help empower girls to stand up, stand out and shine bright in the world.

Tamara has worked as a professional model and actor for almost two decades. She strutted down the runway for designers Calvin Klein, Donna Karen and Christian Dior, acted in a few independent films, co-hosted PBS New York’s education series, “What’s up in Technology” and appeared T.V. commercials and print ads for Levi’s, Old Navy, Hershey’s, Colgate, Kellogg’s Special K, Revlon, Hanes, Nike and many others. A Penn State alumnus and lifelong student of personal development, Tamara is deeply passionate about uplifting the human spirit.

After graduating from Institute for Integrative Nutrition, studying under Deepak Chopra, Dr. Andrew Weil and some of the top health and wellness experts in the world, she was inspired to raise the bar on her own ‘self care’ and support others in living more vibrantly. She is an abstract artist and teaches a dynamic dance class, where she gets to fuse her varied background, having trained in everything from jazz, ballet and modern to Afro-Caribbean and Salsa.

Tamara was recently asked to become a Female Visionary Author guest blogger for The Brave Heart Women Global Community. She’s a SAG/AFTRA member since 1998, a member of Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and is represented by Abrams Artists Agency.
Tamara currently lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband of seven years and offers ITGIRL4LIFE workshops to assist girls on their self empowerment journey. Her second book is due out next Spring. Stay tuned!

 

Author Links -

tamarabranch.com
http://tamarabranch.com/tams-blog/

https://www.facebook.com/itgirl4lifemovement
https://twitter.com/itgirl4life
http://www.pinterest.com/branch0204/
http://linkd.in/1s7bSPA
https://www.goodreads.com/
http://amzn.to/1nPlKs7

 

 

 

 

Schedule

 

November 9 – 29

 

November 10 – Spotlight at Deal Sharing Aunt

 

November 10 – Guest Blogging at Coffee, Books, Art

 

November 12 – Spotlight at ReadsAlot

 

November 14 – Review at Debbie Jeans Blog

 

November 17 – Author 2 Author Marketing at BookIt BK

 

November 20 – Guest Blogging at BK Walker Books

 

November 21 – Reviewed at Arya The Fangirl

 

November 21 – Review & Guest Blog at Tea & Book

 

November 24 – Interviewed at The Avid Reader

 

November 26 – Review & Guest Blogging at SimpliSpeaking

 

November 28 – Review & Guest Blog at PubSlush

 

November 29 – Reviewed at My Life, Loves and Passions
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Happy Halloween #BookReview & Giveaway – The Girl Who Came Back To Life by Craig Staufenberg

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Meet Craig Staufenberg:

CraigStaufenberg_AuthorImage Follow Me on Pinterest Craig Staufenberg is a writer and filmmaker living in NYC.

Contact: craig.staufenberg@gmail.com

Website: craigstaufenberg.com

 

Author Links -

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Linkedin | Amazon

 

 

The Book:

 

 Book Genre: Middle Grade

Publisher: Self Published

Release Date: April 16th, 2014

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Book Description: When you die, your spirit wakes in the north, in the City of the Dead. There, you wander the cold until thegirlwhocamebacktolife_cover_highres Follow Me on Pinterest one of your living loved ones finds you, says “Goodbye,” and Sends you to the next world.

 

After her parents die, 12-year-old Sophie refuses to release their spirits. Instead, she resolves to travel to the City of the Dead to bring her mother and father’s spirits back home with her.

 

Taking the long pilgrimage north with her gruff & distant grandmother—by train, by foot, by boat; over ruined mountains and plains and oceans—Sophie struggles to return what death stole from her. Yet the journey offers her many hard, unexpected lessons—what to hold on to, when to let go, and who she must truly bring back to life.

 

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The Girl Who Came Back To Life is a book that will stick with you for a long while after you read it. I hated putting it down when I had to, but I was able to really savor every minute I had my nose in it. Craig Staufenberg is a phenomenal writer, and the way it played out in my head while reading the pages is really no surprise to me as the author is a filmmaker…

 

 

So if by chance you’re a fan of Jack or Sally, then you’re going to LOVE this book. The entire time I was reading it played out in my mind like The Nightmare Before Christmas, which I LOVED myself! I can easily see this being made into an animation just like that movie.

Sophie is the main character and she is easy to fall in love with while  you’re reading. Just because her parents died is enough for you to feel something for her, but as you read Staufenberg’s writing style, you will soon find yourself engrossed with emotions and understanding for this main character.

Another thing I loved were the short chapters. It really helped move the book along without that feeling you get with some of those books that you wonder when the chapter WILL end. It was really brilliant and makes this perfect for kids as it won’t interfere with their attention span.

My assistant made a statement on her review that I really agree with – if  you’re looking for a way to open dialogue between yourself and your kids, well, this book will do that as well as encourage your kids to read more. So much more that they’ll be checking his other books out and anxiously awaiting for more.

This is the BEST book I’ve read in Middle Grade reads, and may just be my pick of the year – time will tell, but I am not so sure it will be beat out. Kudos Craig!

 

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Excerpt:

CHAPTER 8

HER HEART

Sophie had no notion how to craft a loaf of bread and didn’t earn any money during her first morning at the bakery. She returned the next day, then the next and the next, all without producing a single loaf.

Rather than quit, she kept returning, pressing forward and placing herself under the baker’s patient instruction.

The baker showed Sophie how to handle the earthen oven and moved her around the back of the shop with a calm, confident sense of care. When Sophie made a mistake the woman responded with a firm, though surprisingly intimate, correction, and Sophie did her best to listen and follow the woman’s commands. Yet, despite closely following these instructions, Sophie’s bread wouldn’t respond to her touch, and refused to rise, and no matter how precisely she placed her dough within the oven, her loaves left its fires cold and undercooked.

The baker saw this and explained how baking was more than a technical exercise. She explained how love lay at the heart of good bread, how she had to pull the warmth from deep in her heart and let it flow it into her hands until her fingertips tingled and the dough abandoned its toughness and responded to even the lightest touch. The baker explained how the heat of the oven gave the dough a hard crust to protect the bread, to make sure the love pressed into the loaf only showed itself to the world when shared freely at the table.

These words of love fell on deaf ears. Sophie had grown up burying any stirrings of emotion she may have felt within her chest, doing her best to remain calm, to maintain the steadiness her parents silently demanded. Though she quickly mastered the technical skills of baking, during her first mornings in the baker’s kitchen, Sophie couldn’t locate any sort of warmth within her heart.

With every morning that Sophie approached the floured marble table without producing a remotely respectable loaf, the more she worried she would never master this seemingly simple art well enough to receive even a single day’s wages, let alone enough money to travel north with her grandmother.

Every morning she searched her heart more deeply, but love hid itself from Sophie. Instead, a different feeling rose in her chest. Desperation.

Every morning, as Sophie walked to the bakery, the sun rose a little earlier and the winter wind bit a little more softly than the last, and as spring began to wake the world, Sophie approached the bakery’s back door with greater panic.

Without any other feeling to work with, Sophie dove into this fear, day after day, until, to her surprise, her dough began to rise a little, and her loaves began to leave the oven cooked a bit more than they had the day before.

Encouraged by these small victories, Sophie dove deeper and deeper into the dry heat of the bakery’s early hours. No matter how frighteningly deep she sunk into her heart, Sophie found herself feeling safe within the baker’s welcome and protected care. Soon, she cracked through deep enough to find other feelings within her heart, lining the corners of her fear. These feelings began to excite her. They brought a tingling to her chest, and then to her neck, and finally to her cheeks.

Slowly, during those days kneading the dough on the floured marble table standing beside the bakery’s earthen oven, the measured ice around Sophie’s heart began to melt. The warmth within her heart started to spread throughout her whole body, until the tingling filled even her hands and, without an ounce of effort on her part, shot through her fingers into the dough.

Sophie’s once dormant dough began to rise, and then to bake golden, until it tasted nearly as earthy and grounded and rich as the baker’s own. Soon enough, Sophie began to walk home with wages in her hand at the end of each of those mornings when the frost gave way to dew.

 

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Will you give this book a try? I’d love to know what you think.

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6 Besties with Author, Jim Reilly – Seaville #BookTour & #Giveaway

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6 Besties with Author, Jim Reilly

Seaville #vbtcafetours #SeavilleTour

 

  1. Best writing wardrobe.

 

I’d have to say my best writing apparel is my pajamas. Or in my case, a pair of shorts and a tank top. You see, most of my writing is done early in the morning or late at night. It’s then that I like to feel comfortable and relaxed. When you’re at ease, I believe, you can just relax and let the creativity flow. The photo for the back cover of my next book, however, will show me fully dressed at my computer with filled bookshelves behind me.

 

2. Best Inspiration for writing.

 

I would say I get much of my inspiration from watching people. If you look closely, you will find many interesting quirks and idiosyncrasies you can use to help build your characters. With so many different and unique people walking on this planet, there is an endless supply of inspiration. The more I take the time to observe people, the better I am at developing my characters.

 

3. Best writing place.

 

My best writing is done at the dining room table. Since I do most of my writing early in the morning or late at night, the house is quiet and I’m focused at what I want to accomplish. I can’t tell you why I like it. Maybe I’m just a creature of habit and just go there without giving it much thought. Or maybe that’s the one place in the universe my imagination travels from my mind to my fingertips onto the computer keys then into my written story. Or maybe it’s just comfy to sit there. Either way, that’s where I write.

 

4. Best Pick-Me-Up book.

 

I usually read science fiction books. Some have good endings and some like to surprise you in the end. Then there’s some that holdout a possible future where there is hope. One of my favorite books is The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury. In it he touches upon subjects that were taboo when it was written. They included such topics as the negative aspects of colonialism, the possibility of nuclear annihilation, and the scourge that is racism. Even when we nearly bring ourselves to the brink of obliteration, Bradbury shows the reader that there is always hope for the future, and future generations have the advantage of learning from our mistakes.

 

5. Best secret talent.

 

My best secret talent is my writing. In my past, I had no interest in writing anything. My interests were sports or getting my career as a salesman on track. It wasn’t until I went back to school to continue my education that I learned to improve my writing. It improved so much; I had compliments from some of my professors about my writing. After encouragement from my wife, I went ahead and wrote my first novel, Evolution.

 

Once my friends and family found out, they were shocked. They couldn’t believe I would even take on such an endeavor. Moreover, it wasn’t just my writing that shocked them, it was the extent of my imagination written on the paper. They were so shock; they kept asking if I did it all on my own. Of course, I did.

 

6. Best experience or writing idea.

 

For my new novel, Seaville I used the town I live in as the inspiration for my fictitious town of Seaville. As a matter of fact, I used many people from the town for inspiration for many of the characters in the story. The characters of the town policeman, the old priest, the town vagabond, and many of the neighbors were all representations of real people. As a writer of the story, it made it easier to visualize my characters and gave me ideas to make the story more interesting and real.

 

A funny thing happened one day after the story was finished, the real town policemen I used for my character pulled me over. On one hand, I was disappointed I might get a ticket but, on the other hand, I thought it was cool to get pulled over by one of my book’s characters. Luckily, he didn’t give me a ticket.

 

Meet Jim Reilly:

 

img_0740a3 Follow Me on Pinterest Jim Reilly is a new science fiction / fantasy novelist. He is a married father of four, born and raised in Long Island. After going back to college and finishing with an MBA, some of his professors gave accolades to his writing prowess. With that and encouragement from his wife, he wrote his first novel, Evolution.

The success of Evolution has inspired Jim to continue his writing efforts and finish his next science fiction / fantasy novel, Seaville.

From an early age, Jim always had a fascination with science, science fiction, and fantasy to a point that it became a passion of his. Now he enjoys putting that passion to paper. He has already penned his next book and is working on another.

 

Connect With Jim Online -

sayvillebooks.com

jimreillyscifi.wordpress.com

https://twitter.com/JimReilly98

www.linkedin.com/in/jimreilly98

www.goodreads.com/author/show/6591359.Jim_Reilly

 

Book Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy

Publisher: Sayville Books

Release Date: September 30th

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Book Description: seaville-cover Follow Me on Pinterest

 

When new neighbors, Mike and Ann Wells along with their children CJ and Patricia, move into the southern part of town along the Great South Bay of Long Island, they discover the true identity of their neighbors. 

Each of their new neighbors hosts a being from an alien race hiding from the cruelty of enslavement. This mysterious race needs the Wells family to help them navigate the complicated human experience while being concealed from a nosy but well-meaning old priest. But most of all, they must help them from being captured by a corrupt individual looking to make a profit off a race hoping to peacefully secure fuel to stay one step ahead of their former masters. 

As the town of Seaville erupts into chaos, Mike and Ann try to keep their new friends concealed and safe. However, time is running out as their former masters search the universe for their lost property and inch closer to Earth.

 Excerpt:

 

Chapter 1

Toward the end then back to the beginning.

As I sprinted out of my home heading to my neighbor’s house across the street to look for my daughter, I glanced toward town down the row of beautiful old Victorian homes on my block. On the church roof visible to most of the area, there was a man standing with his arms raised toward the south side of town. As I focused in a little, it looked like old Father McNeal, the priest who of late seemed to be out of touch in his waning years. He was wearing his Sunday Mass vestments and was standing on the highest point of the church. Still, as out of the ordinary as that was, it was the least odd sight I would see that early summer evening as dusk approached.

When I reached my neighbor’s house, I ran around to the back just as town Police Officer Rothman sped through the neighborhood flashing his lights and sounding his siren as he headed in the direction of the Great South Bay. As relieved as I was that he went by without stopping, I was apprehensive and nervous about what was about to happen.

Behind my neighbor’s house were old metal cellar doors, and after I opened them, I quickly went down into his basement where I found a large cabinet moved away from the cement wall showing an entrance to a tunnel burrowed deep into the ground. When I made my way through the passageway to the lower levels, I noticed that the sediment holding the underground water from pouring into the tunnels and cavities under this end of the town started slowly to disintegrate as planned and that meant time was running out.

I ran through the extensive tunnels I had been through many times this past year, barely noticing the smell of rotting seafood that was so prevalent my first time in the tunnels. The maze was quite enormous, but I had an idea where to find my daughter. She was supposedly not too far away beneath Henry’s parent’s house. To get there, I needed to pass by the staging area where the craft was preparing to leave. Just as I reached the ship, I saw my neighbors, Ray Bannister and Earl Watson, run up to close the cargo hatch on the right side of the craft and lock it shut. It was then that we heard the banging and yelling coming from inside the ship.

A voice behind the door was saying, “Ray, we negotiated! I came here in good faith and you lock us in a room? I will not stand for this! You better let me out, or I will crush you! You can’t do this to me! I demand you let me out at once! You’re making a big mistake!”

 

#Ebook & #Paperback #Giveaway

 

 

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Follow The Tour For More Chances To Win

 

September 30 – Release Day Party & Giveaway at VBT Café Blog
October 2 – Spotlight at 3 Partners In Shopping – Nana, Mommy & Sissy Too!
October 7 – Guest Blogging at Mythical Books
October 9 – Spotlight at 4Covert2Overt
-Spotlight at My Book Fairy
October 14 – Spotlight at Deal Sharing Aunt
October 16 – Spotlight at Urania’s Distractions
October 18 – Spotlight at Debbie Jean’s Blog
October 21 – Spotlight at Black Coffee, Brown Cow
October 23 – Interviewed at Ghost Rider Book Promotions
October 27 – Reviewed at storyteller-SKGregory
October 29 – 6 Besties at BK Walker Books
October 31 – Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc.
November 3 – Review & Interview at My Life, Loves and Passions
November 5 – Spotlight at Bikers With Books
November 7 – 5 Things I Know For Sure at CAT Magazine Online
November 10 – Interviewed at The Avid Reader
November 12 -Reviewed at The Book Lover’s Lounge
November 14 – Spotlight at A Cup of Tea & A Big Book
November 14 – Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner
November 17 – Reviewed at Reading To Distraction
November 18 – Spotlight at Black Lilac Kitty
November 21 – Guest Blogging at Dalene’s Book Reviews
November 21 – Reviewed at Paranormal Romance & Authors That Rock

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Book Review, Tour, & Giveaway: Funny Books by Rich Leder

Author Bio:

Rich Leder

Screenwriter—Novelist—Publisher

 

Rich Leder has been a working writer for more than two decades. His screen credits include 18 produced television films for CBS, NBC, Lifetime, and Hallmark and feature films for Paramount Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, and Left Bank Films.

 

He has written four funny novels to be released in 2014: McCall & Company: Workman’s Complication, McCall & Company: Swollen Identity, Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench, and Let There Be Linda.

 

He has been the lead singer in a Detroit rock band, a restaurateur, a Little League coach, a literacy tutor, a magazine editor, a screenwriting coach, a commercial real estate agent, an indie film director, and a visiting artist for the University of North Carolina Wilmington Film Studies Department, among other things, all of which, it turns out, were grist for the mill. He resides on the North Carolina coast with his awesome wife, Lulu, and is sustained by the visits home of their three college kids.

 

Rich loves to hear from readers and writers. Please don’t be shy.

 

You can write him directly at rich@laughriotpress.com

 

Or you can visit him at www.laughriotpress.com/richleder

 

 

 

Book Genre: FUNNY MYSTERY // FUNNY FICTION

Publisher: LAUGH RIOT PRESS

Release Date: AUGUST 2014

Buy Link(s): Amazon

Book Description:

 

MCCALL & COMPANY: WORKMAN’S COMPLICATION

 

WAY-OFF BROADWAY ACTRESS. MURDERED PI FATHER. NEW DAY JOB.

 

Off-off-off-off Broadway actress Kate McCall inherits her father’s New York private investigation business after he’s a whole lot of murdered in a life insurance company elevator.

 

A concrete-carrying, ballroom-dancing construction mule says he fell off the scaffolding and can never work—or dance—again, and then sues the contractor for a whole lot of money.

 

Kate assembles the eccentric tenants of her brownstone and her histrionic acting troupe to help her crack the cases, and they stir up a whole lot of trouble.

 

But not as much trouble as Kate, who sticks her nose in the middle of the multi-million-dollar life-insurance scam her father was investigating and gets a whole lot of arrested for murdering a medical examiner.

 

Will Kate bust the insurance scam, prove who really killed the examiner—and her father—and get out of jail in time to pull off the ballroom sting of the decade? She might, but it’s going to be a whole lot of hilarious.

 

 

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From the moment I picked this book up, I couldn’t put it down. When I had to, I couldn’t wait to get back to it, it IS that good. Leder does a fantastic job of drawing the reader in, not to mention keeping you entertained through the entire thing. It felt like an old time movie, you know? The good one’s they don’t make any more? I could see in my mind a young Katherine Hepburn playing the role of Kate, and Cary Grant playing as Detective Herriman. You may see someone else, but you will definitely get the feeling it should be a movie!

 

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You will find yourself laughing out loud, and anxiously turning the pages to see what Kate and her quirky crew are up to next. I can’t say enough about how great this book was, and if you’ve never heard of Rich Leder, you don’t even have to worry about trusting your purchases of his books, because he’s that GREAT of a writer.

I can easily see his books landing on the NY Times Bestseller lists and if you haven’t tried them yet, I strongly suggest you do. I place him right up there with Dean Koontz, James Patterson and Nicholas Sparks! He’s fantastic!

The characters are easy to connect with, the suspense is at the right pace to keep you wanting more, and the humor is brilliant! I easily give it 5 Wolf Moons and Rich Leder is easily placed as one of my most favorite authors! Don’t wait, get right over to Amazon and grab your copy this minute! You won’t regret it.

 

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MCCALL & COMPANY: SWOLLEN IDENTITY

 

BEAUTIFUL BILLIONAIRE SOCIALITE. COLD-BLOODED CORPORATE ASSASSIN. MCCALL & COMPANY BACK IN BUSINESS.

 

Way-off Broadway actress and NYC PI Kate McCall had promised the police and the Assistant DA—her son—that she was all done investigating any damn thing in New York…

 

Meaning beautiful billionaire socialite Brooke Barrington says someone has stolen her identity and the corporate assassin who murdered Kate’s father has shot the eyes out of the CEO of Superior Press…

 

Meaning McCall & Company is back in business…

 

Meaning Kate enlists the help of the eccentric tenants of her brownstone—the House of Emotional Tics—and her melodramatic acting troupe, the Schmidt and Parker Players…

 

Meaning things spiral hilariously and dangerously out of control…

 

 

Meaning she is confronted by Brooke’s demonic identical twin, Bailey, accosted by international counterfeiters, and arrested for impersonating a hooker.

 

Will Kate stop Bailey from murdering Brooke? Or will she stop Brooke from murdering Bailey? Or will she figure out how to tell one from the other in time to survive the wrath of the Bulgarian mob men hired to protect the counterfeit cash?

 

And will she finally find her father’s killer?

 

She might, but it’s going to be a fast, funny, furious ride.

 

JUGGLER, PORN STAR, MONKEY WRENCH

 

My name is Mark Manilow. I am a Hollywood screenwriter. Here’s my recipe for a cocktail called “Romantic Hollywood Sex Comedy.”

 

Start with my estranged wife, who left me two years ago to become a juggler.

 

Pour in the ensuing emotional tailspin conjoined with a brutal case of writer’s block.

 

Mix with my last-gasp writing job, a ridiculous porn flick called Broken Boner.

 

Add in the Broken Boner porn star, who seduces me into an ill-fated relationship.

 

Blend with the gun-toting producer and eccentric Montecito billionaire, who hire me to adapt the phonebook into a movie.

 

Toss in the return of my headaches and a trip to an ancient Chinese healer, where I meet the healer’s beguiling granddaughter—my monkey wrench.

 

Serve with wonderment as to whether or not I’ll find a way to settle things with the juggler, break it off with the porn star, and fall in love with the monkey wrench…or if anyone will stop laughing long enough to notice.

 

Excerpt:

JUGGLER, PORN STAR, MONKEY WRENCH

 

My parents stood by the front of the stage, staring at the glowing songwriter with wonder and awe. They weren’t as used to seeing famous people as we all were.

Once you’ve seen George Hamilton buy apples at Gelson’s, looking tan and fit for someone one-hundred-sixteen-years-old, the thrill dissipates to some degree. But this wasn’t just some run-of-the-mill famous person. It wasn’t Heather Locklear or David Spade. It was a glowing global legend. My mother was grasping my father’s arm with a superhuman adrenaline rush of strength normally reserved for women whose small children are trapped beneath parked cars. I thought to intercede on their behalf and escort them over to meet the man in the flesh, but as thin as Barry was, I was afraid my mother might break him in half.

Ally Kramer’s interest appeared to peak now that Barry was here. I imagined calculators clicking furiously in her head. If Barry Manilow was doing the music, she could raise the budget by twenty million. Think of the soundtrack album! Think of the international appeal! Talk about reaching the cabaret demographic! Why make a movie for one hundred seventy-five million when you can make one for two hundred million? I saw her nodding with approval and whispering into Cathy’s ear.

Behind me, Royal T and Boogie had sprung into action. Boogie had created a mellow blue hue around Barry’s table, dimming the lights elsewhere in the church while throwing three azure pin spots on Barry himself. It was a remarkable effect and I thought if Boogie is this good on the fly, the staged reading should really be something special. To complement the lighting, Royal T had cross-faded Ry Cooder’s Buena Vista Social Club with Barry’s Trying to Get the Feeling, and the whole room had a sunset on the beach kind of vibe that was warm and electric at the same time.

And then the door opened again and Dr. Alvin Yee, wearing a purple tuxedo and tails, a purple top hat, and purple Puma Clydes stepped into the church with Caroline on his arm, and everything stopped.

My sister saw him first and froze. Phil followed her starstruck gaze and his jaw dropped open. Then my parents saw him. Then Eddie and Gloria and Cletis. Then the porn people. Then Barry and his entourage. Finally, everyone in the Colonel’s studio was staring at Dr. Yee and his granddaughter.

Yee’s long white beard was done in three separate French braids, as was his hair, which spilled out of the top hat and reached all the way down his back. Caroline was a vision of loveliness in a beautiful blue evening gown, her skin perfectly porcelain, her hair a glossy shimmering black.

For all the money and time and blood and sweat spent trying to catch lightning in a bottle, the truth is not much magic is found here in Hollywood. It’s a town of smoke and mirrors and gummed up gears. So when genuine magic walks through the door—say, dressed in purple from head to toe—legends and losers and icons and idiots alike stop and stare, not exactly recognizing it as magic per se, but sensing an unusual wave in the groomed LA sand.

Boogie dimmed the blue lights on Barry and wrapped a soft white curtain around Dr. Yee and his granddaughter. Royal T, who no doubt had some magic in his Watusi history, cross-faded to Hendrix’ Are you Experienced? but kept the volume low. Everyone looked at the wizard as if waiting for a signal that all was well with the world.

Dr. Yee stood there for a long moment, letting the vibe wash over him, then held up the peace sign. An audible sigh of relief, or possibly a gasp of wonderment, echoed through the space, Boogie brought up the blue light, Royal T came back with Barry’s Even Now, and Yee and Caroline walked into the room. I met them at a table just beside the Colonel’s raised La-Z-Boy platform.

“You look beautiful,” I said to Caroline, who smiled and hugged me hello. “Tell your grandfather I’m glad he came.”

Caroline translated, and Yee said something in Chinese.

“He says he never misses a coming-out party,” Caroline said.

“Tell him I don’t understand what he means,” I said.

She did, and he smiled, singing his answer.

Caroline translated. “Lucky you. It’s a surprise party.”

Before I could press him on this surprise coming-out-party business, Colonel Bill Curry strode onto the stage with all the confidence of a madman who has found a way to bend reality to his will instead of vice versa.

“Ladies and gentlemen. You are humbly invited to take your seats,” he said.

 

Schedule

 

September 7 – Introduction at VBT Café Blog

September 8 – Spotlight at Debbie Jeans

 

September 10 – Spotlight at Words, Words, Words

 

September 12 – Guest Blogging at PubSlush

 

September 15 – Interviewed at A. Literary Mafia

 

September 17 – Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

 

September 19 – Interviewed at Bikers With Books

 

September 22 – Review & Guest Blog at Lilac Reviews

 

September 24 – Reviewed at KimberkyandCompany

 

September 26 – 5 Things I Know For Sure at CAT Magazine

 

September 29 – Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc.

 

October 1 – Review & Interview at My Life, Love, & Passions

 

October 3 – Guest Blogging at The Avid Reader

 

October 6 – Interviewed at YAH Did Radio 6:30pm EST

 

October 8 – Spotlight at Black Coffee, Brown Cow

 

October 10 – Spotlight at A Cup Of Tea & A Big Book

 

October 13 – Author 2 Author Marketing at BookIt BK

 

October 15 – Interviewed at Ghost Rider Book Promotions

 

October 17 – Review & Interview at AG Lang Writes

 

October 20 – Spotlight at Dalene’s Book Reviews

 

October 22 – 6 Besties at BK Walker Books

 

October 24 – Reviewed at BK Walker Books

 

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A Place To Call Home by G.A. Whitmore – Book Tour & Giveaway

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G. A. Whitmore Follow Me on Pinterest Author Bio:

Ms. Whitmore’s passion for writing and her love of dogs come together in her series The Rescue Dog Tales. The first book in the series, A Place to Call Home, is based on the true story of Toby, an abused dog she adopted from the Connecticut Humane Society. Ms. Whitmore currently lives in Connecticut with her rescue dog Kadee.

Author Links - 

Website: http://gawhitmore.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorgawhitmore

Twitter: @gawhitmore

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20901939-a-place-to-call-home?from_search=true

Amazon: 

http://www.amazon.com/G-A-Whitmore/e/B00IN9CYVI/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1408217183&sr=1-2-ent

 

Book Genre: Middle-grade/Young Adult

Publisher: Outskirts Press

Release Date: February 19, 2014

Buy Link(s): Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00IX32I2Y

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-place-to-call-home-g-a-whitmore/1118719475?ean=9781478700739

 

Book Description: Book Cover Follow Me on Pinterest

 

Every rescue dog has a tale to tell, a story uniquely their own. A Place to Call Home is Toby’s tale. His story takes you on a journey across the country from California to Connecticut and across the spectrum of life’s emotional and spiritual experience.

Born on a small farm in northern California, Toby narrowly escapes the death sentence imposed on him by his breeder. Through a series of events driven by good intentions, he finds himself in a Connecticut suburb where life with his new family soon collapses on him, and his newfound happiness is brutally destroyed.

On his quest to find a place to call home, Toby encounters and endures the best and worst of humanity as he comes face to face with sorrow and joy, fear and courage, and ultimately, with the power of love.

Based on a true story, A Place to Call Home is a young adult novel for dog lovers of all ages.

Excerpt:

This excerpt is a scene from one of Toby’s dream sequences:

 

Was this another dream? Who would visit him in this dream?

As if in answer to his question, a large pack of wolves and dogs slowly materialized out of the enshrouding gray and one-by-one encircled him.

The snow stopped falling. All was still and quiet.

A long, wailing howl pierced the silence.

Followed by another.

Then another.

After a few moments, a chorus of howls erupted from the group that now surrounded Toby. A primordial urge rose within him. He stood up and shook off the light layer of snow that had accumulated on his fur. The urge grew stronger, more compelling, until he realized his own voice had joined the others. The multitude of voices became one as they howled on and on, until the cry reached its crescendo and abruptly ended, leaving an echoing silence around them once again.

A large, white figure approached Toby.

Welcome to our pack, Toby.” The figure turned, and with a nod of his head, indicated the others. He turned back to Toby. “How did you come to be here?”

Toby tried to find his voice, but the howl still reverberated in his throat. When he finally spoke, his reply was weak and raspy. “I don’t know. I don’t even know where here is.” He hesitated, and then asked, “How do you know my name?”

My name is Strider, Toby. I am your grandfather.”

Strider! The memory of lying with Tara next to his mother as she told them the story of Sadie and Strider came flooding back to him and he felt a warmth of emotion flow through his body.

Where is this place? How did I get here?” Toby asked.

Strider paused in thought for a moment, and then replied, “This land is a different place for different creatures, yet it is the same place for all creatures. For us,” Strider swept his large head around him, “this is the place we call home.”

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6 Besties with Author Rich Leder (Funny Books Tour & Giveaway)

RICH LEDER

6 Besties

 

 

1. Best writing wardrobe: blue jeans and T-shirt…definitely barefoot.

 

2. Best inspiration for writing: My life has been one improbable turn after the other.  The people I’ve met, the places I’ve been, the things I’ve done, the choices I’ve made…this is my inspiration.  My screenplays and novels are filled with the characters and events I’ve experienced.  Some of what I write is exactly true, some is inexactly true, but all of it is true enough.

 

3. Best writing place: I love my little office on the second floor of my 112-year-old house near the beach in southeastern North Carolina.

 

4. Best PIck-Me-Up book: Anything by Carl Hiaasen or Donald Westlake or John D. MacDonald or Richard Ford or John Irving or Philip Roth or… Right now, I’m reading THE TURQUOISE LAMENT by John D. MacDonald.  Just knowing that writing can be that good picks me up every time.

 

5. Best secret talent: Basketball coach.  No, really.  I’ve won multiple rec league and church league titles coaching my son’s teams over the years.  I’m a cross between Larry Brown and Rick Pitino with a little Red Holzman mixed in.  Google Red Holzman.  He was awesome.

 

6. Best experience or writing idea: The best writing idea I’ve ever had is always the one I’m writing at the moment.  Right now it’s LET THERE BE LINDA — two brothers stuck in the quicksand of the San Fernando Valley bring their dead mother back to life for financial gain and other piss-poor reasons and things go bat shit haywire.  Quentin Tarantino meets Monty Python.  I’m having a blast.  Look for it in the first part of 2015.

 

Author Bio:

Rich Leder

Screenwriter—Novelist—Publisher

 

Rich Leder has been a working writer for more than two decades. His screen credits include 18 produced television films for CBS, NBC, Lifetime, and Hallmark and feature films for Paramount Pictures, Tri-Star Pictures, and Left Bank Films.

 

He has written four funny novels to be released in 2014: McCall & Company: Workman’s Complication, McCall & Company: Swollen Identity, Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench, and Let There Be Linda.

 

He has been the lead singer in a Detroit rock band, a restaurateur, a Little League coach, a literacy tutor, a magazine editor, a screenwriting coach, a commercial real estate agent, an indie film director, and a visiting artist for the University of North Carolina Wilmington Film Studies Department, among other things, all of which, it turns out, were grist for the mill. He resides on the North Carolina coast with his awesome wife, Lulu, and is sustained by the visits home of their three college kids.

 

Rich loves to hear from readers and writers. Please don’t be shy.

 

You can write him directly at rich@laughriotpress.com

 

Or you can visit him at www.laughriotpress.com/richleder

 

 

 

Book Genre: FUNNY MYSTERY // FUNNY FICTION

Publisher: LAUGH RIOT PRESS

Release Date: AUGUST 2014

Buy Link(s): Amazon

Book Description:

 

MCCALL & COMPANY: WORKMAN’S COMPLICATION

 

WAY-OFF BROADWAY ACTRESS. MURDERED PI FATHER. NEW DAY JOB.

 

Off-off-off-off Broadway actress Kate McCall inherits her father’s New York private investigation business after he’s a whole lot of murdered in a life insurance company elevator.

 

A concrete-carrying, ballroom-dancing construction mule says he fell off the scaffolding and can never work—or dance—again, and then sues the contractor for a whole lot of money.

 

Kate assembles the eccentric tenants of her brownstone and her histrionic acting troupe to help her crack the cases, and they stir up a whole lot of trouble.

 

But not as much trouble as Kate, who sticks her nose in the middle of the multi-million-dollar life-insurance scam her father was investigating and gets a whole lot of arrested for murdering a medical examiner.

 

Will Kate bust the insurance scam, prove who really killed the examiner—and her father—and get out of jail in time to pull off the ballroom sting of the decade? She might, but it’s going to be a whole lot of hilarious.

 

MCCALL & COMPANY: SWOLLEN IDENTITY

 

BEAUTIFUL BILLIONAIRE SOCIALITE. COLD-BLOODED CORPORATE ASSASSIN. MCCALL & COMPANY BACK IN BUSINESS.

 

Way-off Broadway actress and NYC PI Kate McCall had promised the police and the Assistant DA—her son—that she was all done investigating any damn thing in New York…

 

Meaning beautiful billionaire socialite Brooke Barrington says someone has stolen her identity and the corporate assassin who murdered Kate’s father has shot the eyes out of the CEO of Superior Press…

 

Meaning McCall & Company is back in business…

 

Meaning Kate enlists the help of the eccentric tenants of her brownstone—the House of Emotional Tics—and her melodramatic acting troupe, the Schmidt and Parker Players…

 

Meaning things spiral hilariously and dangerously out of control…

 

 

Meaning she is confronted by Brooke’s demonic identical twin, Bailey, accosted by international counterfeiters, and arrested for impersonating a hooker.

 

Will Kate stop Bailey from murdering Brooke? Or will she stop Brooke from murdering Bailey? Or will she figure out how to tell one from the other in time to survive the wrath of the Bulgarian mob men hired to protect the counterfeit cash?

 

And will she finally find her father’s killer?

 

She might, but it’s going to be a fast, funny, furious ride.

 

JUGGLER, PORN STAR, MONKEY WRENCH

 

My name is Mark Manilow. I am a Hollywood screenwriter. Here’s my recipe for a cocktail called “Romantic Hollywood Sex Comedy.”

 

Start with my estranged wife, who left me two years ago to become a juggler.

 

Pour in the ensuing emotional tailspin conjoined with a brutal case of writer’s block.

 

Mix with my last-gasp writing job, a ridiculous porn flick called Broken Boner.

 

Add in the Broken Boner porn star, who seduces me into an ill-fated relationship.

 

Blend with the gun-toting producer and eccentric Montecito billionaire, who hire me to adapt the phonebook into a movie.

 

Toss in the return of my headaches and a trip to an ancient Chinese healer, where I meet the healer’s beguiling granddaughter—my monkey wrench.

 

Serve with wonderment as to whether or not I’ll find a way to settle things with the juggler, break it off with the porn star, and fall in love with the monkey wrench…or if anyone will stop laughing long enough to notice.

 

Excerpt:

JUGGLER, PORN STAR, MONKEY WRENCH

 

My parents stood by the front of the stage, staring at the glowing songwriter with wonder and awe. They weren’t as used to seeing famous people as we all were.

Once you’ve seen George Hamilton buy apples at Gelson’s, looking tan and fit for someone one-hundred-sixteen-years-old, the thrill dissipates to some degree. But this wasn’t just some run-of-the-mill famous person. It wasn’t Heather Locklear or David Spade. It was a glowing global legend. My mother was grasping my father’s arm with a superhuman adrenaline rush of strength normally reserved for women whose small children are trapped beneath parked cars. I thought to intercede on their behalf and escort them over to meet the man in the flesh, but as thin as Barry was, I was afraid my mother might break him in half.

Ally Kramer’s interest appeared to peak now that Barry was here. I imagined calculators clicking furiously in her head. If Barry Manilow was doing the music, she could raise the budget by twenty million. Think of the soundtrack album! Think of the international appeal! Talk about reaching the cabaret demographic! Why make a movie for one hundred seventy-five million when you can make one for two hundred million? I saw her nodding with approval and whispering into Cathy’s ear.

Behind me, Royal T and Boogie had sprung into action. Boogie had created a mellow blue hue around Barry’s table, dimming the lights elsewhere in the church while throwing three azure pin spots on Barry himself. It was a remarkable effect and I thought if Boogie is this good on the fly, the staged reading should really be something special. To complement the lighting, Royal T had cross-faded Ry Cooder’s Buena Vista Social Club with Barry’s Trying to Get the Feeling, and the whole room had a sunset on the beach kind of vibe that was warm and electric at the same time.

And then the door opened again and Dr. Alvin Yee, wearing a purple tuxedo and tails, a purple top hat, and purple Puma Clydes stepped into the church with Caroline on his arm, and everything stopped.

My sister saw him first and froze. Phil followed her starstruck gaze and his jaw dropped open. Then my parents saw him. Then Eddie and Gloria and Cletis. Then the porn people. Then Barry and his entourage. Finally, everyone in the Colonel’s studio was staring at Dr. Yee and his granddaughter.

Yee’s long white beard was done in three separate French braids, as was his hair, which spilled out of the top hat and reached all the way down his back. Caroline was a vision of loveliness in a beautiful blue evening gown, her skin perfectly porcelain, her hair a glossy shimmering black.

For all the money and time and blood and sweat spent trying to catch lightning in a bottle, the truth is not much magic is found here in Hollywood. It’s a town of smoke and mirrors and gummed up gears. So when genuine magic walks through the door—say, dressed in purple from head to toe—legends and losers and icons and idiots alike stop and stare, not exactly recognizing it as magic per se, but sensing an unusual wave in the groomed LA sand.

Boogie dimmed the blue lights on Barry and wrapped a soft white curtain around Dr. Yee and his granddaughter. Royal T, who no doubt had some magic in his Watusi history, cross-faded to Hendrix’ Are you Experienced? but kept the volume low. Everyone looked at the wizard as if waiting for a signal that all was well with the world.

Dr. Yee stood there for a long moment, letting the vibe wash over him, then held up the peace sign. An audible sigh of relief, or possibly a gasp of wonderment, echoed through the space, Boogie brought up the blue light, Royal T came back with Barry’s Even Now, and Yee and Caroline walked into the room. I met them at a table just beside the Colonel’s raised La-Z-Boy platform.

“You look beautiful,” I said to Caroline, who smiled and hugged me hello. “Tell your grandfather I’m glad he came.”

Caroline translated, and Yee said something in Chinese.

“He says he never misses a coming-out party,” Caroline said.

“Tell him I don’t understand what he means,” I said.

She did, and he smiled, singing his answer.

Caroline translated. “Lucky you. It’s a surprise party.”

Before I could press him on this surprise coming-out-party business, Colonel Bill Curry strode onto the stage with all the confidence of a madman who has found a way to bend reality to his will instead of vice versa.

“Ladies and gentlemen. You are humbly invited to take your seats,” he said.

 

Schedule

 

September 7 – Introduction at VBT Café Blog

September 8 – Spotlight at Debbie Jeans

 

September 10 – Spotlight at Words, Words, Words

 

September 12 – Guest Blogging at PubSlush

 

September 15 – Interviewed at A. Literary Mafia

 

September 17 – Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

 

September 19 – Interviewed at Bikers With Books

 

September 22 – Review & Guest Blog at Lilac Reviews

 

September 24 – Reviewed at KimberkyandCompany

 

September 26 – 5 Things I Know For Sure at CAT Magazine

 

September 29 – Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc.

 

October 1 – Review & Interview at My Life, Love, & Passions

 

October 3 – Guest Blogging at The Avid Reader

 

October 6 – Interviewed at YAH Did Radio 6:30pm EST

 

October 8 – Spotlight at Black Coffee, Brown Cow

 

October 10 – Spotlight at A Cup Of Tea & A Big Book

 

October 13 – Author 2 Author Marketing at BookIt BK

 

October 15 – Interviewed at Ghost Rider Book Promotions

 

October 17 – Review & Interview at AG Lang Writes

 

October 20 – Spotlight at Dalene’s Book Reviews

 

October 22 – 6 Besties at BK Walker Books

 

October 24 – Reviewed at BK Walker Books

 

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6 Besties with Megan Cyrulewski – Who Am I Tour

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6 Besties with Megan Cyrulewski

Please share your 6 bests, telling us from the topics below. Write as much, as little, and provide as many images as you’d like.

 

1.  Best writing wardrobe: Yoga pants and a comfy t-shirt.

 

2. Best Inspiration for writing: Other authors

 

3. Best writing place: On the couch in my living room

 

4. Best Pick-Me-Up book: Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom (I grew up reading Mitch Albom’s column in the Detroit Free Press)

 

5. Best secret talent: I danced ballet, jazz, contemporary, and en pointe for 14 years

 

6. Best experience or writing idea.: Every day is an experience with my 3-year-old daughter, Madelyne

1385148181 Follow Me on Pinterest AUTHOR BIO

 

Megan Cyrulewski has been writing short stories ever since she was ten-years-old. Eventually she settled into a career in the non-profit sector and then went back to school to get her law degree. While she was in school, she documented her divorce and child custody battle in her memoir, Who Am I? How My Daughter Taught Me to Let Go and Live Again, which was released on August 2, 2014. Megan lives in Michigan with her 3-year-old daughter who loves to dance, run, read, and snuggle time with Mommy. Megan also enjoys her volunteer work with Troy Youth Assistance as the Fundraising Chair on the Board of Directors.

 

Book Description: Slide1 Follow Me on Pinterest

Megan Cyrulewski is an ordinary person who has faced extraordinary challenges and now wants to inspire people and show them that hope gives them the power to survive anything. Who Am I? is about her journey into post-partum depression, anxiety disorder, panic attacks, visits to the psych ward, divorce, domestic violence, law school, and her courageous struggle to survive with her sanity intact—and how a beautiful little girl emerged from all this chaos.

 

BUY LINKS

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=megan%20cyrulewski

 

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/megan-cyrulewski?store=allproducts&keyword=megan+cyrulewski

 

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/463740

 

KOBO: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/Search?Query=megan+cyrulewski

 

ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-whoamihowmydaughtertaughtmetoletgoandliveagain-1586828-262.html

 

 

Excerpt From Chapter One:  Ahhh…Young Love

 

 

Envy. There is a reason why it’s one of the seven deadly sins. It can kill you. It almost killed me.

 

The summer of 2004, I was 26 and just got out of a long-term relationship. Good man, he just wasn’t the right man for me.

 

I had just found out that my old college roommate had recently gotten engaged. The two of us were always “competing” during college: who was skinnier, who can pick up the most guys at the bar. Stupid girl stuff. Other friends of mine were either married or having babies. I think the last straw was finding out my high school sweetheart had gotten engaged. Somewhere in fantasyland, I always thought it was possible we might get back together. Needless to say, I was definitely envious.

 

That summer, my roommate, Jessica, bought a house. At the time we were sharing an apartment, but she asked if I wanted to move into her house. Jessica and I had known each other since high school and she was the best roommate, and one of the best friends, I have ever had. Without hesitation, I agreed. A month after moving in, we had a house warming party. That’s when I met Tyler*.

 

I knew Tyler slightly because he was engaged to one of Jessica’s friends, Natalie. Tyler and Natalie and been together for about three years. They had even come to a couple of parties Jessica and I had thrown at our apartment.  I had never really talked to him, though. Tyler and Natalie had broken up around the same time I had broken up with my-long term man.

 

Jessica didn’t want to invite Tyler because she didn’t want any tension between him and Natalie. A few days before the party, though, we found out Natalie was going to be out of town. Coincidentally, Tyler stopped by that same night to give something of Natalie’s to Jessica. That was the first time I had really looked at hime and I liked what I saw: good-looking, goofy smile, and deep-blue eyes. The attraction was instantaneous. So, I decided to invite him to the house-warming party. Why the hell not? Natalie wasn’t going to be there. After getting the eyes of death from Jessica, she reluctantly told him the day and time.

 

The night of the party, Tyler knocked on the door. When I opened it, I gave him a hug and told him I was glad he was there because at least I had someone to flirt with. I didn’t really pay attention to him too much during the party.  But after everyone had left, he and I ended up talking until five in the morning.

 

A couple of nights later, we went on our first date. We went to dinner and then back to his house to watch a movie. We were very open with each other. I told him about my anxiety disorder, he told me about his drug addiction and how he had been clean for years. Five months later, I moved in with him, four months after that we got engaged and a year later, we were married. Needless to say, the relationship was on overdrive from the beginning.

 

The relationship wasn’t perfect, but whose is? Tyler didn’t like his current job and was looking for a new one.  Tyler was trying to quit smoking because he knew I didn’t like it. Tyler was a recovering addict and going to NA meetings. It’s a stressful time. That became my mantra. Tyler got angry. “It’s a stressful time.” Tyler screamed at me. “It’s a stressful time.”

 

I was an independent woman in my mid-twenties, in a stable job making $55,000 and climbing up the corporate ladder. I understood stress. I was also in complete denial. This was the beginnings of what I would later understand was a domestic violence relationship and a relationship with someone who has Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). There were the signs of these disorders, of course, but I didn’t recognize them at the time.

 

My paternal family is 100% Polish. In my grandmother’s generation, girls were expected to get married and have babies. A lot of babies. My grandmother was one of six children. After I graduated from high school, on Christmas Eve, my grandmother would pray that the next year I would get married and start a family. I always smiled and told her maybe. I loved my grandmother very much. She was the only grandparent I had ever known.

 

After Tyler and I got engaged, we went to my grandmother’s house to tell her the news she had been waiting for. When we told her, she stood up, pushed me aside, hugged Tyler and said, “God bless you.” The memory still makes me smile. Three months later, she had a stroke. In February 2006, seven months before the wedding, my grandmother passed away. Devastation doesn’t even coming close to how I felt. I called in to work, stayed in bed and cried for two days.

 

The night of the funeral, my dad’s company catered dinner at my parent’s house for our family. On the way to their house, I noticed that the car was low on gas. I stopped at a gas station and asked Tyler if he could pump the gas. Tyler was on the phone and told me to pump the gas myself. We were only two miles from my parents’ house. I was still upset and crying from the funeral. I asked him again to please just pump the gas. He didn’t even bother to answer me. I got out of the car and pumped the gas myself. When I got back into the car, I told Tyler that I was upset and a little angry. What happened next was my first glimpse into the emotional abusive side of domestic violence.

 

You are such a spoiled little bitch who expects the world to be handed to you,” Tyler screamed at me. “Turn the fucking car around.”

 

Not saying a word, I turned the car around and headed back home to drop off Tyler, who kept spewing vile words.

 

You and your family think you’re so much better than me. Did daddy pump your gas for you all the time? Well guess what? You actually have to do things yourself now. It’s time for you to grow up and live in the real world.”

 

Tears streamed from my eyes. I still had not said a word.

 

Your grandmother probably killed herself because she didn’t want to deal with you anymore. She probably got tired of your spoiled behavior and decided death was better than you. I’m glad I’m going home because I don’t want to watch your fucking family cry all night.”

 

When we got back home, I parked in the driveway and finally let loose.

 

How dare you!” I screamed at the top of my lungs. “I just lost my grandmother! Get out of my car! Get out!”

 

Tyler started laughing. “Look at you. You’re a joke. You should get some help for those anger issues of yours. Don’t bother coming back, bitch. Your shit will be on the curb.”

 

I left and went to my parents’ house. When my dad asked about Tyler, I said we got into an argument and he’s at home. My dad, who is the family peacemaker and almost never says anything negative said under his breath, “What a night for him to pick a fight.”

 

About an hour into dinner, Tyler called me. He said he wanted to come over and apologize. At this point, I was so emotionally drained I really didn’t care. When he arrived, he waltzed right into the house like nothing had ever happened. He pulled me aside and told me that he blew up because he was under so much stress from taking care of me the last couple of days. Looking back at the moment, I wonder how he even had the audacity to blame my grandmother’s death for his behavior. At the time, I was just glad he wasn’t mad anymore.

 

The next couple of months were calm. No arguments and Tyler and I were having fun planning the wedding. Obviously, the argument the night of my grandmother’s funeral was a result of stress. We got through it and according to Tyler, it wouldn’t happen again.

 

Early June 2006, I was in bed reading and waiting for Tyler to come home from a Narcotics Anonymous (NA) meeting. When he got home, he came upstairs and walked toward the bed. He stopped and asked if I smelled anything.

 

No,” I said, a little confused.

 

It smells like cat piss.” (We had a cat that sometimes urinated outside the litter box.)

 

Tyler looked around the room and picked up a bed pillow off the floor. He smelled it.

 

She pissed on this pillow.”

 

I laughed. “It’s sad when the pillow is right next to me and I can’t smell the pee.”

 

Tyler didn’t laugh. “Clean it up.”

 

I’ll put it in the wash tomorrow. Just throw it in the basement.”

 

Tyler picked up the pillow. “Bitch. You waited until I came home because you knew I would fucking clean it.” He ripped the book I was reading right out of my hands and threw it across the room. “Get off your fat lazy ass, get some paper towels  and clean it!”

 

I started to shake. The monster had emerged again.  I couldn’t say anything. Tyler picked up the pillow and shoved it in my face.

 

Smell it!” He screamed. “Can you smell it now, bitch? Now your face smells like cat piss. You’re disgusting. Who would want you anyway?”

 

Tyler threw the pillow back on the floor and stormed downstairs. I just sat in bed, paralyzed from fear. I couldn’t think. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t even cry.

 

I don’t know how much time had passed before Tyler came back. Without saying a word, he picked up two water bottles I had sitting on the nightstand beside me, unscrewed the tops, and poured water on me. He laughed and went back downstairs.

 

I took off my pajamas, turned out the light and rolled to the dry side of the bed. Before long, I heard Tyler come up the stairs again. I began to shake. He ripped the covers off of me.

 

You would sleep in a wet bed. I should have poured cat piss on you and let you sleep in that,” he laughed. “Get out of my fucking bed and sleep outside.”

 

I got out of bed and put on dry pajamas. I took off my engagement ring, threw it on the bed and left. I went to Jessica’s house and asked if I could spend the night. I didn’t talk about what happened. I just told her that the engagement was off and I just needed to sleep. Jessica never asked any questions and I love her for that.

 

Before long, my phone rang and it was Tyler. He asked me to come back home. I was hesitant, but he convinced me to come back home and talk. I left Jessica a note and went back home.

 

When I got home, Tyler was sitting on the couch. “I’m going to get a six-pack of beer, drink it and kill myself.”

 

Shocked, I sat down next to him. “Do you want me to call someone? Should I call your sponsor? I don’t know what to do.”

 

Tyler kept repeating. “I’m going to kill myself.” He was crying, but there weren’t any tears.

 

I hugged him. “We’ll get through this. We’ll get help. Please don’t kill yourself. I love you too much.”

 

Thank you,” Tyler smiled. And just like that, he got up, told me he loved me, and went to bed.

 

Looking back, I now realize that this was Tyler’s way of manipulation. Tyler knew he let his anger get out of control, to the point that I walked away. To get me back, he subtly blamed me for what happened by alluding that he was going to commit suicide. At the time, I felt guilty for not cleaning the damn pillow. If I had cleaned that pillow, this never would have happened. I promised myself to be more careful in the future.

 

The next morning, my engagement ring was on my nightstand.**

 

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http://www.megancyrulewski.com/

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6 Besties with Jamie-Jo Brenner – Soul Searching Book Tour & Giveaway

6 Besties With Jamie-Jo Brenner

1. Best writing wardrobe.

I don’t have a preference, just something comfortable.

 

2. Best Inspiration for writing.

Music is what most inspires me. Not just in writing, but always.

 

3. Best writing place.

Somewhere quiet. I get so easily interrupted and distracted that I need to be alone when I write.

 

4. Best Pick-Me-Up book.

I wish I had one. I tend to read stories that veer more toward dark. I enjoy the Percy Jackson novels as a fun read. They are entertaining and lighter than most things I read.

 

5. Best secret talent.

I love to draw and I’m decent at it. But I rarely share my sketches with anyone.

 

6. Best experience or writing idea.

I would love to write about all the people in my life who inspire me. So many of my friends have such amazing experiences/stories that I’d love to share. But they’re not my stories to tell.

I’m a 2nd Dan Black Belt in Tang Soo Do. I have been on mission trips, one to Haiti and the other to a Native American Reservation/Camp in Oklahoma. I loved both experiences.

I am in the Army Reserves. And I volunteer at Camp Sunshine each August. I also work in Security for Farmer’s Insurance. And I was a victim’s advocate for the YWCA.

My passion is writing and I love to read. I wrote a books, A Place for Me, and most recently, Soul Searching.

When I was 19, I made an independent film (wrote, directed and starred in it) called, Weight of the World. I wrote A Place for Me when I was 20. Published it at 21. When I was 22, my cousins and I made a indie movie out of it.

Now at 32, I wrote another book. Soul Searching.

 

Author Links -

http://www.jamiejobrenner.com

 

www.twitter.com/jamiejobrenner

 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22753988-soul-searching

 

http://www.amazon.com/Soul-Searching-Jamie-Jo-Brenner/dp/1500425664/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1405969708&sr=1-1&keywords=soul+searching+by+jamie-jo+brenner

 

http://soul-searching-novel.tumblr.com/

 

I also have a facebook page for me, Jamie-Jo Brenner as well as Soul Searching novel page.

Book Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Self-Published through
CreateSpace on Amazon
Release Date: July 16, 2014
Buy Link(s):

 

Book Description:51aFBuPz+BL

Brent Harper is the perfect guy. He’s Max’s hero–the boy she’s had a crush on since the school year began. But when Brent goes missing, Max must face the truth that she really doesn’t know him at all. In order to find him, she will first need to learn everything she can about him.

After Brent wakes up without any memories, his only choice is to trust the first person he sees. Alison, the girl who finds him, promises to help him remember. But what if he doesn’t want to remember? When his memories start to return, Brent is confronted with the hardest decision of his life.

How do you choose between who you thought you were and who you want to be?

 

 

Excerpt:

Prologue

Brent

 

There is no easy way from the earth to the stars.

-Seneca

 

Images of the fight flooded my mind. I’d considered Lucas and Mark my friends, but I wasn’t so sure anymore. I stopped them from picking on my best friend, Max, and the next thing I knew I was shoved against a locker. The cold metal rattled loudly when my body slammed into it. My head throbbed in pain at the contact.

“Stay out of it for once,” Lucas growled.

“Maybe it’s time you learned your place,” Mark spat at me as his fist knocked the wind out of my lungs.

Lucas’s knee connected with my ribs, and I winced in pain. They alternated between knees to stomach, and punches to my face. I fell to a clump on the ground. I knew I should‘ve defended myself, but I made a promise to someone–a promise that I swore I’d keep. I took the beating without complaint, because I knew I deserved it. I always deserved it.

Between kicks, I heard Mark say, “Dude, fight back.”

It sounded like a plea. But I lost consciousness before I figured out the significance of it. It’d been hours since that fight, but even now my ribs hurt and my face ached. Even with all the blood washed away, I bore evidence of the fight, and had feared going home.

I wandered the streets and watched the sky darken around me as I prayed for answers that never came. If they had come, I wouldn’t have done something that I already regretted. I made my choice. And even if I didn’t remember this in the morning, the truth of it weighed heavily on my mind tonight. My demons always found a way to haunt me. Somehow, I knew they’d follow me this time as well. I just wished I hadn’t chosen to start this journey alone.

I reached my destination, and had I taken one last look at the sky. I found my favorite constellations, and recalled all the times I’d admired this same sky. I always felt at home among the stars–they were the only good thing about the darkness. Their presence harkened the depths of imagination. They were ageless as they gazed back at us. We were mere fragments in the lifetime of a star. I longed for that kind of immortality. Even now, I yearned to exist.

I collapsed onto the grass, and fought off sleep for as long as I could. I was terrified of tomorrow. Exhausted, I dispelled one last breath of hot air, and I resigned myself to my fate. Things were finally going to change, I’d seen to that. I couldn’t run forever. And with that thought in mind, I had closed my eyes, and allowed the spell to take me.

Schedule

August 24 – October 13

August 24 – Introduction at VBT Café Blog

August 26 – Guest Blogging at Coffee, Books & Art

August 28 – Spotlight at Cherry Mischievous

September 2 – Reviewed at Give Me The Books

September 4 – 6 Besties at BK Walker Books

September 8 – Guest Blogging at Bikers With Books

September 10 – Spotlight at Mom With A Kindle

September 12 – 5 Things I Know For Sure & Favorite Recipe at CAT Magazine

September 15 – Reviewed at AG LANG Writes

September 17 – Interviewed at Ghost Rider Book Promotions

September 19 – Interviewed at BK Walker Books Etc.

September 22 – Guest Blogging at Black Coffee, Brown Cow

September 24 – Reviewed at Debbie Jeans

September 26 – Review & Interview at Deal Sharing Aunt

September 29 – Review & Guest Blog at

3 Partners In Shopping – Nana, Mommy, & Sissy Too!

October 1 – Interviewed at The Avid Reader

October 3 – Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

October 6 – Author 2 Author Marketing at BookIt BK

October 8 – Interviewed at Yah Did Marketing Radio at 6:30pm EST

October 10 – Interviewed at Immortality & Beyond

October 13 – Reviewed at BK Walker Books

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Book Review: The Sixteen by Ali B.

71Fv0vKcdtL Follow Me on Pinterest There are people out there who don’t die with their bodies. Their souls live on in the bodies of others. Some good, some bad—they are soul jumpers. Nothing in Iris Brave’s world make sense anymore. Her father, Micah, is still alive—his soul survives in the body of a teenage boy. It is up to Iris and a group of soul jumpers called the Sixteen to save Micah. To do so Iris must take on the unscrupulous leaders of the Council. Can she save her father? Will she survive?

 

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The Sixteen is the second book in the Soul Jumpers Series by Ali B., and though I’m always hesitant to start a book series out of order, this book definitely stands on its own. It’s also suitable for Young Adults and Tweens. At some points I would have liked to have read the first book, but only because of the background of the story, so I could have known more as to what led up to the current events.

Iris is a Soul Jumper, as is her father. Her father’s been kidnapped, and it becomes up to Iris to save him along with a few new friends that get caught up in the Council’s evil crusade. I won’t be giving any spoilers, but I will say that this book had me hooked from the first paragraph.

Ali B. did such a wonderful job building her world and her characters. It was easy to get to know them even without reading the first book, and with so many twists and turns, I literally couldn’t put this book down.  Her descriptions were very vivid and I could easily visualize the scenes as if I was right there in the story with the characters.

Still thinking about this book days after being finished reading it, I am anxiously awaiting Book 3 to see what happens next, and will be purchasing Book One to get the full scope of the characters. I love the tension she builds in her writing and I never guessed the ending – it was shocking.

All I can say is that if you love YA and Tween reads, this is one series you will definitely want to get your hands on.

 

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Iris Brave isn’t as courageous as her name suggests. That’s about to change. Iris doesn’t take risks. Heights make her 51Mo8dNOb9L Follow Me on Pinterest dizzy and she prefers to swim in the shallow end… with nose plugs. On a summer visit to her grandpa’s farm, a mysterious stranger shadows Iris, leaving her cryptic messages. When this outsider turns out be a phantom from her family’s past, Iris sheds her timid ways to uncover the truth and protect the family she loves. Along the way Iris discovers family secrets and enigmatic figures that lead her to question everything she’s ever thought was real.

 

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Book Review: A Walk On The Dark Side by Corinna Underwood

41i93H6pqFL Follow Me on Pinterest Pearl Blackthorn is a novelist and investigative reporter for Darkside paranormal magazine. Armed with her digital recorder and accompanied by her friend and photographer Harry Raymond, Pearl is sent by her editor J.J Benson – affectionately known as Benny – to the four corners of Great Britain, (and sometimes further), to investigate stories of spirits and specters, demons and doppelgangers, prophecy and possession. The problem is, Pearl doesn’t believe in the supernatural; her creative imagination is tempered by a strong skepticism. She is immovable on her stand that there is always a simple, rational explanation behind every report of paranormal activity. But Pearl soon realizes that the intricacies of paranormal events are often far from simple and not always rational.

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In A Walk on the Dark Side, we follow Pearl Blackthorn and Harry Raymond on their paranormal investigations. Each case the people that hire them think they are being tormented by ghosts, demons or worse, but Pearl proves them wrong by finding the truth and the mortal criminal.
Once I started reading this book I couldn’t put it down. I was on the edge of my seat, guessing who or what I thought it could be and not once did I find the stories to be predictable or like ones we’ve seen before. It did put me to mind of Scooby Doo, in how the kids are always meddling and find the real criminals in the act, only because of the way the stories went, but they were great. It wasn’t childish in any way and I loved every single story.
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What I loved most was the unpredictability, and the way that Underwood tells the story really keeps you drawn in and turning one page after another. It’s been a long time since a book grabbed my attention and held it from beginning to end, and I will definitely be checking out more of Corinna Underwood’s tales. You have yourself a new fan!!!
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