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Sing to Me of Rain Book Tour and Giveaway

May 25, 2021 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Rabt Book Tours tagged as , , , ,
 
 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Middle-Grade Fantasy
 

 

Date Published: 5/22/21

 

 

 

 

 

 

An innocent naiad. A wounded boy. An adventure that will change their lives forever.

 

Plip is a naiad of the Great Waterfall, destined to one day sing the songs that send rain out into the world.

 

Akino isn’t destined for anything but trouble. His father long gone, his mother working on a plantation far away, he doesn’t really belong in the village below the Waterfall. And the villagers don’t let him forget it.

 

When Akino convinces Plip to travel down the mountain with him, for his own selfish purposes, he launches them into a world more dangerous than either of them could imagine. A world where people are not always what they seem and the rain does not fall evenly across the land.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Author

 

 


E.B. Dawson was born out of time. Raised in the remote regions of a developing nation, traveling to America was as good as traveling thirty years into the future. Now she writes science fiction and fantasy to make sense of her unusual perspectives on life. Her stories acknowledge darkness, but empower and encourage people to keep on fighting, no matter how difficult their circumstances may be. She currently lives in Idaho with her family and her cat Maximus.

 

 

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Sing to Me of Rain

by E.B. Dawson

Captured

Plip shook herself and looked about tentatively. Out the opening of the globe, the caravan of kempelas strode on tirelessly over an endless sea of yellow sand. The bright blue sky hung low and thick all about them, almost tangible. Plip had the sensation for a moment that they were actually walking along the bottom of a great river, surrounded not by sky, but water.

Strange gray outcroppings began to emerge out of the blue. Porous rock which had been carved by the wind into sharp, jagged formations, like the teeth of some great monster.

But the illusion of water only reminded her how very far she was from the clear streams of the Mountain. She turned her attention to the orange sphere which housed her.

It seemed to be made of thick skin, stretched taut over a strong wooden frame. All about her were sacks of spices, piles of soft carpets, and various objects of fine metal, plus a plethora of items she could not identify. But just to her right was a cage with a very frightened looking bird inside. He was rather small and black, with a tuft of brilliant blue on his breast and matching blue rings around his eyes.

He kept tilting his head back and forth as he watched Plip and hopping left and right every few seconds.

“Poor thing. You’re as frightened as I am.”

The bird shrieked in alarm. His feathers puffed out all around his head and breast, forming a great black oval and revealing a larger stripe of bright blue. He shuffled back and forth in a funny little dance. His head seemed to have disappeared entirely.

Plip watched silently, thoroughly impressed but a bit confused, until the dance ended, and the little bird’s feathers settled back into place, revealing his head once more.

“Amazing!” Plip whispered.

The bird hopped backwards, lowered its head towards the floor and tilted its beak up suspiciously. “You did speak!” he cried, in a shrill voice. “Oh, this is terrible. What kind of a demon are you?”

“But you’re talking too,” Plip protested.

“I’m a shangrila bird, of course I can talk.”

“I never knew any birds that could talk,” Plip said.

The shangrila bird ruffled his feathers. “And how many birds have you known?”

“Well, none really.”

“Hmph. I thought as much. Birds are wildly misunderstood by bottom dwellers.”

“Bottom dwellers?”

“That’s what I said. Most of the world is made up of sky. Or do you never bother to look up?”

“I never thought of it that way,” Plip admitted, though she didn’t particularly like the bird’s tone.

“What am I thinking, trying to explain things to a sprite?” The bird straightened his neck.

“Who’s a sprite?”

“You are!” He flapped his wings impatiently.

“I’m not a sprite, I’m a naiad!”

“What’s the difference?”

Plip frowned. “As a matter of fact, I don’t know. What’s a sprite, exactly?”

“They live in the clouds,” the shangrila said. “They’re the ones who make it rain…or not rain, as the case may be.” He began pruning himself absentmindedly.

“They’re not the ones who make rain,” Plip protested. “The naiads and Weather Masters do that.”

“What nonsense are you babbling?”

Plip crossed her arms in irritation. “It isn’t nonsense, and I should think I know more about it than you, anyway.”

“Oh, really? You didn’t even know what a sprite was!” The shangrila crossed his wings comically.

Plip did a quick somersault inside her jar. “Well, I’ve never been inside a cloud.”

“My point exactly.” The shangrila would not look at her.

Curiosity softened Plip’s temper. “So, what is a sprite, exactly? Do they look like me?”

“A great deal…though now that I come to think of it, there are significant differences. You wouldn’t last long in the clouds; you are entirely too solid.”

Plip was beginning to suspect that there was no real ill will behind the shangrila’s insults. “And they don’t talk?”

“Certainly not. They haven’t the capacity for it. They aren’t really sentient, you know.”

“I didn’t know,” Plip said somberly.

“Well,” said the bird in a satisfied tone, “you are young.”

“I wonder if the Weather Masters know about the sprites,” Plip said softly to herself. “Please, Mr. Bird—”

“Mr. Burung, if you please.”

“Please, Mr. Burung, do you know how they make it rain?”

Burung stuck his chest out and cleared his throat. “Ah, well you see, it’s all rather involved and multifaceted and one might even say interdimensional.”

Plip’s eyes grew wide.

“It would take an expert to explain the process thoroughly, which I am not—though I understand why you may think I am. But I do think even the experts would agree that it could all be summed up by the word evaporation.”

Plip frowned.

“Yes, evaporation is that complicated process by which a cloud sheds its water and rain falls to the earth.”

“And the sprites help with this process?”

“Just so. And it must be quite a messy business, too. For they seem to always be squabbling among themselves.”

“This is all so much more complicated than I ever understood,” Plip sighed.

“As is life,” Burung said with a dramatic sigh, “as is life.”

“I wish Akino were here.”

“Who’s Akino?” Burung asked.

“He’s my friend. He’s clever and brave and used to being on his own.” She sighed again. “Do you know where they’re taking us?”

“Somewhere terrible, I expect.” Burung sunk his head into his shoulders. “The Sand Plains are not known for their spiritual enlightenment. They stopped visiting the White Temple decades ago.”

“What is the White Temple?” Plip asked.

“Bless me,” Burung cawed, “it’s sentient, but it’s a heathen. The White Temple is only the holiest place in all the lands. It is where the physical world and the spirit world connect. All those seeking enlightenment find their way there eventually.”

“Have you been there?”

Burung rocked back and forth in a self-satisfied manner. “Many times. The White Temple is located in the center of the forest which I call home. The White Monks are kind to my people and often choose us as companions for their lifelong journey toward enlightenment.”

“I had no idea!” Plip was duly impressed, even if she didn’t fully understand what it was she was impressed by. “What does enlightenment mean?”

Burung sighed. “Spiritual knowledge and understanding of Maha.”

“What is maha?”

“Maha is the ultimate being, the origin and sustainer of life. The sun rises by his decree.”

“Oh, you mean the Creator!” Plip gasped. “He taught the first naiads to sing and gave the Weather Masters their skill.”

“I suppose so,” Burung looked a little puzzled, “though I have never heard of you or your weather masters.”

Just then a man entered the globe, momentarily blocking out the dazzling sunlight and casting a shadow directly over Burung.


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Good Lookin’ Book Tour and Giveaway

May 24, 2021 by in category Apples & Oranges by Marianne H. Donley, Rabt Book Tours tagged as , , ,
 
 

Good Lookin’ 

A Joe Turner Mystery

by

T.L. Bequette

 

Mystery, Legal Thriller

Date Published: May 24, 2021

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

From the gang-ravaged streets of inner-city Oakland to the rolling hills of Berkeley, California, attorney Joe Turner defends the most hardened criminals. Confronted with an unlikely murderer in a modern-day whodunnit, Turner’s latest case seems impossible to unravel. At its heart is a decade-old murder and a tangled web of family, loyalty, and devotion that has the trial hanging in the balance. Viewed through the prism of the unique bond of twins, Good Lookin’ asks how far each of us will go to protect the ones we love.


 

 

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Good Lookin’ 
A Joe Turner Mystery
by
T.L. Bequette

Excerpt

For a split second I thought about running, but Dunigan filled the doorway as he picked up the deputy with his handcuffed meat hooks and effortlessly tossed him into the hallway. I’ll never forget the hollow clang of the metal door when he shut it, locking us inside the tiny room.

I smashed a red alarm button on the wall behind me just before Dunigan slid the heavy metal table across the room as if it were made of plastic, pinning me against the wall. The behemoth leaned on the table and stared at me, eyes wild and grinning maniacally. He took a couple deep breaths and forcefully blew the air and spittle out through his yellowed teeth.

He stood up straight, keeping me pinned to the wall, leaning his girth against the table. I tried to push it away with both hands, twisting frantically but it was useless against his weight and strength. His grin widened and his breathing intensified—as did the production of spit— as if aroused by my fear. Then he reached towards my head with his two hands the size of catcher’s mitts, holding them there a few inches from my head. I turned sideways and pressed my cheek against the wall, keeping sight of his hands with one eye that pulsed with panic. He kept his hands there, close to my face, reveling in the anticipation. I pictured his hands squeezing my head, his thumbs entering my brain through my eye-sockets.


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What If You Planned a Party and Nobody Came?

May 13, 2021 by in category From a Cabin in the Woods by Members of Bethlehem Writers Group tagged as , , , ,

What if you spent a year planning a party, sent out the invitations, and nobody came? For the past year, that has been the scenario for writers and readers. Each writer’s plan was simple: write the book and go on tour launching it. Readers looked forward to the party aspect of interacting with authors at bookstores, libraries, and conferences. Then, on March 14, 2020, the world shut down.

That weekend, I was in Washington, D.C. at a family function, not knowing it would be a year or more until I saw those loved ones again. Before arriving in Washington, I had been on a whirlwind tour for newly released Three Treats Too Many, the third book in Kensington’s Sarah Blair mystery series. The tour had taken me to Los Angeles, San Diego, Phoenix, Denver, Memphis, Fairhope, New York, and Atlanta in two months. More stops were planned for April through August, but they were canceled.

I, like many authors, had to pivot. We spoke to groups or participated in panels virtually. Authors learned to sit up straight, use microphones or earphones, adjust lighting and backgrounds, and provide bookplates instead of only bookmarks. Using Zoom, Crowdcast, or other platforms was a good substitute, but not the same as live interaction with readers and bookstore owners. Reaction times were different, especially for webinar platforms where readers could only communicate by leaving a chat message.

Although readers still establish links between themselves and the characters in books they choose to read, experimentation with new authors dropped. Why? Housebound, people found comfort spending time with familiar characters and scenes that brought back good memories.

Four Cuts Too Many, the fourth Sarah Blair book releases May 25. In it, Sarah, who finds being in the kitchen more frightening than murder, has no desire to learn knife skills from her friend, sous chef and adjunct college instructor, Grace Winston. But, when Grace’s department chair is found dead with one of Grace’s knives in his neck, Sarah is forced to sharpen her own skills to uncover the elusive killer. The premise and the book are fun, especially for a summer beach, airplane, or bath read, but how to launch it to the most people is a dilemma.

It is a problem that is not mine alone (although it sometimes feels like it). Most authors with release dates that would offer readers the perfect summer book are finding that stores are still not having large in person book parties nor are the usual conferences taking place. Consequently, we’re planning individual virtual store appearances or panels, we’re increasing our number of Facebook parties and group take-overs, more blogs are being written, and we’re hoping for word-of-mouth help.

Whether it is Four Cuts Too Many or any other book you read, review it, and tell your friends about it. Publishers look at sales and numbers, so it is important that readers and writers work together if favorite series and characters are to be survive the pandemic.

I know I can’t wait to see you in person again, but in the meantime, do you have any ideas how you’d like authors to connect with you? I’ve got my pen and paper ready to take notes.




Judge Debra H. Goldstein is the author of Kensington’s new Sarah Blair cozy mystery series, which debuted with One Taste Too Many on December 18, 2018. She also wrote Should Have Played Poker and 2012 IPPY Award winning Maze in Blue. Her short stories, including Anthony and Agatha nominated “The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place,” have appeared in numerous periodicals and anthologies including Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Black Cat Mystery Magazine, and Mystery Weekly. Debra is president of Sisters in Crime’s Guppy Chapter, serves on SinC’s national board, and is president of the Southeast Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.

Find out more about Debra at any of the following links:

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Bookbub


Debra’s Newest Sarah Blair Mystery

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The Sarah Blair Mysteries

(Hover over cover for buy links. Click on cover for more information.)

ONE TASTE TOO MANY

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ONE TASTE TOO MANY

TWO BITES TOO MANY

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TWO BITES TOO MANY

THREE TREATS TOO MANY

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THREE TREATS TOO MANY

FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

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FOUR CUTS TOO MANY

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FORGIVING MARIELA CAMACHO–A Review by Veronica Jorge

February 22, 2021 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge tagged as , , , ,

Forgiving Mariela Camacho: A Kurchenko & Gonzalves Mystery, Book 3 of a series

by A.J. Sidransky

Black Opal Books 2021  

Revised edition.   

ISBN: 978-953-434067

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About the Book

When a tenant reports a terrible odor coming from apartment 7-F, detectives Kurchenko and Gonzalves know it can only mean one thing: a dead body. But despite all of their training and experience dealing with crime on New York City’s streets, the detectives aren’t prepared for what they are about to encounter.

Sidranky’s first book in this three-part series, Forgiving Maximo Rothman, (reviewed by this writer on December 22, 2020), introduced us to Maximo: his harrowing escape out of Nazi Europe, life as a refugee in the Dominican Republic, and the horrific event that forces him to flee to New York City. In book two, Forgiving Stephen Redmond, (see my review of January 22, 2021), Stephen grapples with his feelings toward his father Maximo, his own dark past, and eventual self-discovery.

In this third and final book of the series, Forgiving Mariela Camacho, Kurchenko and Gonzalves take center stage as they discover how closely their Russian and Dominican lives intersect. Now, more than ever, their partnership will be tested and challenged. How well do they really know each other? How deep is their trust in the other? Solving the case and saving the lives of those they love will depend on how well they can answer these questions.

Why You Should Read It

In Forgiving Mariela Camacho, the most powerful of the three novels, Sidransky weaves a tale of passionate once-in-a-life-time-love, deep-rooted hate, the self-debasement dire circumstances impose upon the most pure and, above all, how essential forgiveness is to the human heart.

The author expertly connects the lives of the seemingly disparate characters and safely carries us to a masterful and satisfying conclusion: the redeeming power of love.

As one of the characters states, “We each have our own destiny.”  Sidransky’s novel will make you ask, “What is mine?”

Veronica Jorge

Join us next month on March 22nd for an interview with A.J. Sidransky. You don’t want to miss it!


Books Reviewed by Veronica Jorge

#PLEASE SAY YES (#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)

A DRAKENFALL CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A DRAKENFALL CHRISTMAS

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Buy now!
FOREIGN RELATIONS

FORGIVING MARIELA CAMACHO

Buy now!
FORGIVING MARIELA CAMACHO

FORGIVING MAXIMO ROTHMAN

Buy now!
FORGIVING MAXIMO ROTHMAN

FORGIVING STEPHEN REDMOND

Buy now!
FORGIVING STEPHEN REDMOND

MY FRIEND JACKSON

Buy now!
MY FRIEND JACKSON

ONE TASTE TOO MANY

Buy now!
ONE TASTE TOO MANY

SECRET RELATIONS

Buy now!
SECRET RELATIONS
SERIOUSLY, MOM, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?

SEVERED RELATIONS

Buy now!
SEVERED RELATIONS
THE RELUCTANT GROOM AND OTHER HISTORICAL STORIES

THE SCRIBE OF SIENA

Buy now!
THE SCRIBE OF SIENA

THE ALLIANCE

Buy now!
THE ALLIANCE

THREE TREATS TOO MANY

Buy now!
THREE TREATS TOO MANY
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE

TWO BITES TOO MANY

Buy now!
TWO BITES TOO MANY
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN PICKED UP A PENNY

MIGUEL’S BRAVE KNIGHT

Buy now!
MIGUEL’S BRAVE KNIGHT

THE LAST GOODNIGHT

Buy now!
THE LAST GOODNIGHT

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FORGIVING STEPHEN REDMOND BY A.J. SIDRANSKY—A REVIEW BY VERONICA JORGE

January 22, 2021 by in category Book Reviews by Veronica Jorge, Write From the Heart by Veronica Jorge, Writing tagged as , , , ,

Forgiving Stephen Redmond: A Kurchenko & Gonzalves Mystery, Book 2 of a series

By A.J. Sidransky

Black Opal Books 2021   

ISBN 978-195343-4036

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Stephen Redmond never understood his late father, Maximo Rothman, or the mysterious ‘other life’ he never spoke about. He considers that maybe, like the changing neighborhood, his dwindling religious community, and the old ways that are disappearing, he should let go of the past and move forward.

But when Detectives Kurchenko and Gonzalves arrive to discuss the dead body found sealed in the wall of a building his father co-owned, Stephen realizes that the past has a will of its own and an iron grip. Shaken by the news of such a gruesome discovery, and knocked off balance by a murky memory he often wondered whether it was real or imagined, Stephen drags himself back through the past forty years in search of the truth. But if and when he finds the truth, what will he do with it?

Sidranky’s first book in this series, Forgiving Maximo Rothman, (reviewed by this writer on December 22, 2020), introduced us to Stephen’s father Maximo: his harrowing escape out of Nazi Europe, life as a refugee in the Dominican Republic, the horrific event that forces him to flee to New York City, and his attempt at creating a better life for his son.

In this second novel, we find Maximo’s son coming to terms with his father’s secret life, and facing the buried ghosts of his own past actions, as he tries to heal the broken pieces of his heart in the hope of finding a peaceful and blessed life.

Forgiving Stephen Redmond is a moving and memorable mystery that touches on themes of the relationship between fathers and sons, confronting a past that won’t let go, guilt, love, learning how to forgive others, and above all, the importance of forgiving ourselves. 

Forgiving Stephen Redmond will touch your heart!

~Veronica Jorge


Other Books Reviewed by Veronica Jorge

#PLEASE SAY YES (#HermosafortheHolidays Book 1)

A DRAKENFALL CHRISTMAS

Buy now!
A DRAKENFALL CHRISTMAS

FOREIGN RELATIONS

Buy now!
FOREIGN RELATIONS

FORGIVING MARIELA CAMACHO

Buy now!
FORGIVING MARIELA CAMACHO

FORGIVING MAXIMO ROTHMAN

Buy now!
FORGIVING MAXIMO ROTHMAN

FORGIVING STEPHEN REDMOND

Buy now!
FORGIVING STEPHEN REDMOND

MY FRIEND JACKSON

Buy now!
MY FRIEND JACKSON

ONE TASTE TOO MANY

Buy now!
ONE TASTE TOO MANY

SECRET RELATIONS

Buy now!
SECRET RELATIONS
SERIOUSLY, MOM, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?

SEVERED RELATIONS

Buy now!
SEVERED RELATIONS
THE RELUCTANT GROOM AND OTHER HISTORICAL STORIES

THE SCRIBE OF SIENA

Buy now!
THE SCRIBE OF SIENA

THE ALLIANCE

Buy now!
THE ALLIANCE

THREE TREATS TOO MANY

Buy now!
THREE TREATS TOO MANY
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN’S HOROSCOPE CAME TRUE

TWO BITES TOO MANY

Buy now!
TWO BITES TOO MANY
THE DAY BAILEY DEVLIN PICKED UP A PENNY

MIGUEL’S BRAVE KNIGHT

Buy now!
MIGUEL’S BRAVE KNIGHT

THE LAST GOODNIGHT

Buy now!
THE LAST GOODNIGHT

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