Hi folks, it’s Friday. I hope you’ve had a good week. Today I have two awesome titles for you to try out.
First up a FREE middle-grade time travel tale, TRAPPED IN 1867 by Christopher Francis
Desperate to get a great mark on her 150-year anniversary presentation of Ottawa, Gauri sneaks into her dad’s time machine with a boy from her class and travels back to 1867. Problems quickly unfold, leaving the two fifth-graders trapped in the unforgiving elements of winter, struggling to stay alive!
Tae Sung has the power to defeat his best friend’s bully—he just doesn’t know it yet.
Tae Sung is soon to leave middle school behind and enter high school. This whole new experience should be a chance to start fresh, but unfortunately, Tae Sung is about to learn that sometimes things follow us when we don’t want them to. His best friend’s bully isn’t backing off in this realistic fiction.
When Tae Sung discovers an injured snake being tortured by students and used as a gristly prop to torment his friend, he’s quick to show the creature mercy.
His mercy comes at a cost; he discovers he has the ability to connect the energy of living things like an electrical conduit. Is this a blessing or a curse? With his grandfather’s help, he learns to master this newfound ability with every intention of using it to help his friend. Can he teach the bully a lesson? Will he show compassion at the right time? This beautiful middle grade story will teach empathy and what a gift it is to commune with nature and animals, as well as protect those we love and care about.
Hi folks, it’s that time again! According to Goodreads I read 34 books this year. Here are my favorites.
Adored this book from the first page. I pick up a lot of Kindle books and often don’t remember where. This was the case with The Unfettered Comic Book Shop. The book appeared to “magically” show up on my Kindle app and I was fascinated and drawn in from the first page. Lovers of Neil Gaiman will enjoy this quirky magical read. A wholehearted five stars.
Jennifer Stolzer is a local St. Louis author and I picked up her book a while back at Archon. I’m embarrassed to say it sat on my shelf for a while. But this year I read and immensely enjoyed it. It is a highly unusual and heartfelt fantasy. Jennifer’s worldbuilding is beautiful and it is definitely a book to be savored slowly.
This was probably my favorite book of 2021. Interesting magic, characters I cared about and the background of some very real issues that spill out of the pages of the fantasy into our world. An upper YA title that needs to be added to curricula.
And now for something completely different! Eileen Duggan is another local St. Louis author who I originally met through the local NaNoWriMo group.
I practically inhaled this wonderful book of nostalgia, St. Louis and the music scene. It was awesome. Read it!
And last but by no means least, I finished up the year immersed in D.R. Perry’s Hawthorne Academy books. I’d previously read the first three but now plunged into the rest. I honestly felt sad when I came to the end of the last book, and am actually missing some of the main characters.
I’m now reading the first book of Perry’s next series Gallow’s Hill Academy and I love how her world all links up together.
So there we have it. Some of my favorite books of 2021. You can check out my whole Year in Books over at Goodreads.
What was your favorite book of 2021? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Over on my puzzle blog today I have a PUZZLE! For those who have read Akash you’ll know that in one chapter there is a crossword puzzle featured called QUAY STONE. While this is not the actual puzzle that Quentin solves in the book I thought it would be fun to create my own QUAY STONE puzzle. Happy Puzzling!
Hello everyone. First let me apologize as it’s been a while since I’ve published a puzzle on this page. I’m sorry. My New Year’s resolution for 2022 is to not ignore this space and publish more puzzles. I’ve got some help with this. Book 9 of my P.A.W.S. Saga called Rhyfedd is going to include a puzzle hunt and you can’t have a hunt without puzzles, so look forward to smattering of new ones in 2022.
In the meantime, this last week I published book 8 of my P.A.W.S. Saga and a crossword puzzle is featured in the book in one of the chapters. The puzzle is called QUAY STONE and the actual puzzle would be far too complex to replicate. Instead I present my own Quay Stone Crossword which once solved includes a couple of the characters from Akash.
Middle-aged and starting over is the last thing I ever wanted on my bucket list. But since my husband announced he was gay and my daughter left for college, I don’t really have a choice.
If I’m going to get my “Happily Ever After” I have to start making new choices, starting with picking guys who like women rather than women’s makeup would be a good start. Next! I’m way past the point of caring what other people think. I’m 49, about to turn 50 and I’m pretty sure I’m entering the prime years of my life. It’s time to make my mark and do things the way I want to do them.
I am sooooooo leaving the city that has sucked me dry with the commute and the executive position. There’s no way I’m doing that anymore. I have enough money from the divorce to buy a house, almost any house, outside of California. I take one suitcase and my jeep, and I leave town, not stopping until I get to Cougar Creek, which is so small I think it’s barely a town, but I’m all about it.
This is where I will get my fresh start.
I inherited my Aunt’s home here years ago and never even visited, but the renters just moved out and I might as well make it my home. For now.
But Cougar Creek has a lot more in store for me than I ever imagined. There is a load of eligible young men from the local ranches, a couple of new BFFs in similar situations, and a strange invitation to a local secret society who think I’m the new high priestess of their local coven. I didn’t stop laughing until I realized they wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. They have a massive problem in the cemetery and they expect me to solve it.
But I didn’t trade in one life of rules for another one, so if they want me to be high priestess, they’re going to have to accept that I make the rules.
Or how about some kickass dystopian fiction from Paige Clendenin?
Even after a war is over, there is no peace…
Liz lives with her family in what is known as the East Corridor, the nothingness in between what is left of old New Jersey and New York following World War III. Isolated and living in fear of other Corridors still fighting each other as well as a vigilante group known as The Force that steals children to turn them into soildiers against the people and government, her family has learned to survive and stay close together. But when The Force takes Liz and her twin borther, Eli, everything changes.
Everything they thought they knew is now out the window as they must learn to survive and thrive as soldiers for The Force, an entity that was not at all formed for the purposes the government, a group known simply as The Elected, would have them believe.
Together, with old friends and new, they must learn to be stronger than they ever imagined while they trudge through the thick layer of lies that have been fed to them all their lives…and might still be being fed to them.
Will they survive and find a new start, or will they get lost in the turmoil of a country they only thought they knew?
Family secrets lead to an explosive discovery in this enthralling first installment. Things don’t seem to add up and her life is constantly threatened in the pursuit of love. Is there a way to find an answer for it all?
Liz is your typical overworked Physical Therapy Assistant. She loves her job but has come to a time in her life where the stress from being overworked, and the passing of her mother, has left her with a sense of wanting. Adventure hasn’t always been on her list of things to do, but it seems that this next chapter of her life may not exactly be what she had in mind. The cabin that was left for her when her mom passed is originally her grandmother’s and has many stories to tell. Unfortunately for Liz, these stories reveal a tale that she was not quite ready for.
After some thought and external pressures, Liz decides to make the leap and go the road less traveled. She moves to the cabin and takes the new job. With renewed life and purpose, she also uncovers mysteries surrounding the cabin and her heritage. There’s a shift in the winds. Can Liz come to understand it? Or will the winds drown her out?
Denny and Penny are a pair of wily foxes who make daily living an adventure. Denny is curious, ambivalent, and ambitious, while Penny is even-keeled, caring, and content. The pair enjoy each other’s company but get into spats from time to time. Join Denny and Penny on their adventures as they discover the joy of life and overcome challenges together.
It’s finally here! AKASH – P.A.W.S. book 8 – is live today!
Read a sample here:
Deep in the battlefield Akash lay. He’d been lying in the same spot for twenty years, waiting. Today was the day, he could feel it. The war raged around him. He loved the glorious smell of death and flames. He longed to be part of it all.
But to emerge he needed a host or else he’d be nothing but a single spark. True, if the spark hit just so, the fire could be glorious. But once it was out he’d be gone. Spent.
No, in order to thrive, to travel, to fill the world with his glorious fiery children he’d need someone to carry him.
He understood that this first carrier would only be temporary. That the real host that would bring him his glory was far in his future, but in the meantime he needed a temporary host, one that would not be missed. He ranged out with his mind, which despite its decades of lying dormant was still prodigious.
Not that one; he was caring for a puppy back at camp. Too weak! Or that one—he had promised his mother that he’d come back from the war safe and sound. That one, he had a family back home for sure, but it was a new family that he’d not grown properly attached to.
Akash observed the man, so young he was barely an adult, inexpertly step his way towards where the fire spirit was hidden in the ground.
“Come on,” he willed. “Just one more step.”
The explosion was glorious and Akash let out a sigh as he watched his flames rip the landscape. Now—he jumped and landed in the young man’s heart. He was home.
A few years ago I published my short memoir about my time going through breast cancer treatment in ebook and audio book and have had several requests for a paperback. So here it is.
This was probably the most difficult I ever wrote but I felt it was important to share my story so that other women going through similar experiences can know they are not alone, that we’re all rooting for them You are much stronger than you think.
All proceeds go to Knitted Knockers, a wonderful organization that provides soft forms for women who have undergone mastectomies.
It’s Friday again and that means I have a new host of awesome reads to share with you. First up check out these two titles, both free on Story Origin in exchange for signing up for the authors’ newsletters.
The Altruism Trial is the story of Riley Pickering, a selfish kid who finds himself stranded on an island in the middle of the Pacific. How will he survive?
In Unlucky Charm follow Officer Katherine Carter as she transitions from Misfit Cop to Bad-Ass Bounty Hunter!
Even in the darkest hearts, there is always the possibility of light.
In societies where wealth, opportunities, and privileges are held by the few, the haves and have-nots vie for control—and when vampires, witches, shifters, demons and more move among everyday humans, those struggles can prove catastrophic.
But sometimes all it takes is a single voice to spark a transformation that can change worlds.
This collection includes more than 30 paranormal stories of equality and justice from New York Times, USA Today, and bestselling authors.
Join these heroes and heroines bringing justice, peace, and respect to their interactions, transforming the lives of those they meet, and creating opportunities as they fight for human—and sometimes non-human—rights.
Every heart has a quest . . . and every journey begins with a first step
Erik Eleodum never wanted to be a hero. Fate had a different plan.
Erik is content farming for his family for the rest of his life, while his brother and cousin can’t think of a worse fate. For different reasons, they leave the life they know behind. Soon, their world crashes down around them as they realize it is cruel, brutal, selfish, and violent. Now, they must not only rely on one another, but also on gypsies, thieves, mercenaries, dwarves, and a mage for their survival.
In the end, Erik will face danger, deceit, murder, death, evil, and – most terrifyingly – himself to become the hero he was always meant to be as an ancient evil many thought only a myth resurfaces.
Enter a world readers have compared to the epic fantasies of Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones, a world of adventure, terror, political intrigue, sorcery, and great heroic deeds. Come face to face dwarves, slavers, black mages, ruthless warriors, dragons. Come live in a world full of evil and fear. This is a true hero’s journey of faith, one of friendships, of trials and increasing danger. It all came from A Chance Beginning…FREE on Kindle Unlimited.