Friday, March 16, 2018

Defining Her by Samantha March only 99 cents on Amazon Kindle. Being you changes over time.

Defining Her by [March, Samantha]

I remember watching an old movie about an actress who became a star in 1930s Hollywood and had completely changed over the years. Somebody called her Daisy Clover. She replied, "That girl doesn't exist anymore."  The movie, Inside Daisy Clover starring Natalie Wood, came out in 1965. I think I saw it on TV in 1970 and just thought the character was being overly dramatic. Fast forward to 2018 and I'm in my early 60s. That quote doesn't sound so off base to me now.  The me from 2005 is much different from the me now and getting married late in life was only part of the equation.

In Defining Her, Nellie Hawthorne is a woman who has it all. A devoted husband, her own business, a wealthy lifestyle. But the Nellie she is now is much different from her past. A past filled with abuse, addiction, and men. Nellie’s carefully constructed new life is suddenly in jeopardy when a blast from the past emerges in her small town and her overbearing mother-in-law starts pushing for grandchildren and questions start being asked. A budding new friendship presents itself at an opportune time, and a once friendless Nellie finds herself growing closer to Prue Doherty.
Prue Doherty is the quintessential good girl. Always making the right decisions, always playing it safe. Until she meets a man that could change all of that. Still reeling from a devastating breakup and betrayal that had her fleeing from Chicago and settling into suburb life with her mom close by, Prue finds herself in a damaging funk. But everything changes when she befriends Nellie Hawthorne. 
Nellie is trying to escape her past. Prue wants that perfect future. While both women strive to change their lives, they continue to cling to the past. But what defines us? Who we were then . . . or who we are trying to be now? 

This is not your typical romance novel, but rather a psychological novel. It is deeper and more complex than the typical boy meets girl story. 

As the Brits say, have a look?

Like what you see? Here is Samantha March's Amazon Page:

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Beyond Forged in Fire: Morning Coffee with Doug Marcaida and more!

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Doug Marcaida is a judge on the popular History Channel series, Forged in Fire. He is a knife designer with his own martial arts school. Details can be found here: His website does include a blog.

In the martial arts world, Doug is known as "Kuya Doug". I emailed him and his definition of Kuya is: the Filipino Tagalog word for Older brother which is an affectionate way of showing respect. While Guro is the word for teacher and given as a rank in Filipino Martial Arts like Sensei or Sifu. I prefer to use a common term that one uses for family because I preffer to view training more like one would view a family. A community that comes together to share knowledge that goes both ways as opposed to the stricter classical linear way of Teacher and student. In my preferred way of teaching, Both are simultaneously teaching and learning from each other as they go. I'm not into the use of Ranks or titles. I find that these tend to separate rather than invite people because ranks seem to become a hierarchy and some are are higher up to be considered within reach because of their "lower" ranks. See the terms here Higher or lower tends to separate or seem intimidating. 
So It doesn't matter to me. I give and expect mutual respect for the art anf the knowledge shared with one a another. Inclusive rather than exclusive and it begins with how we view each other and call one another.  

In preparation for this blog spot, I read an interview of Doug

What touched me the most was one of Doug's answers: "because in the end, the methodology and training process is to be able to realize and use what is to me the only weapon: your mind".

Since so much of Doug's accomplishments have already been covered in other interviews/articles, I want to focus on the above quote.
The mind is really the most powerful tool you have. It can change the direction of your life for better or for worse with just a decision.
You can initially dislike a person, then get acquainted and change your mind. 

Doug discusses labels and profiling in his most recent vlog Morning Coffee with Doug Marcaida.
He has serious, inspirational and sometimes funny videos, even one where he runs out of coffee and has tea instead!

Being involved in some creative process can give your mind a workout. 
In his March 2017 video, Doug discusses the creative process of knife design: 

Doug has a station on You Tube which includes Morning Coffee episodes along with videos on knife design and martial arts: 

And you can enjoy Forged in Fire streaming here: 

Friday, March 9, 2018

This just out: Coven Princess by Lily Luchesi. Young Adult Horror Fantasy for only 99 cents!

The Coven Princess (The Coven Series Book 1) by [Luchesi, Lily]

Home invasions are scary enough, but to lose both parents to them at the age of three is a painful start in life. Even though she is adopted, her inborn abilities show that she is a powerful witch and must wrestle with her dark side.  She goes from being a fairly ordinary14-year old to being in the company of the Coven King.

Now a part of the magical community, Harley must learn to control her powers lest the Darkness already in her blood overcomes her. Can she dampen her lust for power in order to stop the Dark from taking over the Coven and killing everyone in their way?

The Amazon link:

Lily Luchesi is a prolific writer who also wrote the Paranormal Detectives Series. Her Amazon page will keep any Paranormal, Horror, Fantasy fan busy for a long time:

Just released: Creme Brulee to Slay by CeeCee James AND it's only 99 cents!

Crème Brûlée To Slay (Baker Street Cozy Mysteries Book 3) by [James, CeeCee]

Creme Brulee, anyone? Murder, anyone? And did the sleuth serve the toxic dish?
Never a dull moment with Book 3 of The Baker Street Cozy Mysteries.

Georgie Tanner's excitement to be part of her historic town's annual Franco-American commemorative charity event, but fun turns to tragedy when Gainesville's least favorite resident drops dead at the party. In the chaos that follows the town harpy's death, a priceless heirloom goes missing—the sword George Washington gave to the war hero who detained Benedict Arnold.

While Georgie is always ready to help her town solve a mystery, this one turns personal when someone suspects that Georgie may have been the one to serve the toxic dish! She must identify the culprit before she becomes the primary suspect... although as the investigation progresses, it’s not long before being a murder suspect is the least of her worries.

Take advantage of this deal here:

There's more where that came from. You can also find out more about the Angel Lake Mysteries by following this link to CeeCee James' Amazon page:

Monday, March 5, 2018

Blownup in Paradise: Can Fab and Madison fix this one?

Blownup in Paradise (Florida Keys Mystery Series Book 14) by [Brown, Deborah]

Recently, the word 'Kaboom!' means you accomplished something amazing and quickly. Not so with this use of the word....And all they were supposed to be doing was investigating high end boat thefts on Biscayne Bay. Whoever said life was fair!

Author Deborah Brown is always generous with her fans. Here's a hearty free sample:

Chapter One

“We’re being followed,” Fab said in a hushed tone as we headed down the Overseas Highway from the top of the Keys, her eyes alternating between the road in front of her and the Hummer’s side mirror.
 I turned in my seat. “The sports car?”
 “The Harley. It’s been moving up, then hanging back, and now it’s almost on my bumper.” Fab pulled her Walther out from under her skirt, where she had it holstered. “Madison, wait,” she exclaimed after a minute. “It’s not us… It’s the Ferrari the Harley is interested in.”
I craned my neck around the back of the driver’s seat, in awe that she could identify the make of a car with a quick glance. “That’s Bordello!” I struggled to keep from shrieking. Now on my knees on the passenger seat, I kept a tight grip on my Glock, which I’d also had holstered under my skirt. “Mostly certain.” I climbed into the back seat to double check.
James Bordello was a man with unsavory family connections, and I’d long suspected that he would stoop to violence to get what he wanted in a business deal but hadn’t been able to prove it. Much to my dismay and despite my attempts to talk my brother out of it, Brad had formed a real estate partnership with the man. To say Brad’s taste in women and business partners was terrible would be an understatement; they were invariably either crazy or criminal. But did he ever listen to his sister? Oh, heck no.
“Don’t look now,” I instructed Fab, which she promptly ignored, turning her head towards the driver’s side window. “You don’t listen very well.”
“What already?” Fab asked in exasperation.
“Bordello just pulled up alongside us. Wonder where he’s going?” I scooted to the middle of the backseat on the off chance that he might see me. Probably not, since I’d chosen the darkest tint I could get for the windows.
“It’s Bordello, all right,” Fab said, her disgust coming through loud and clear. “Judging by the way the Harley is dogging the Ferrari, plus the cannon tucked under that leather jacket, I’d say the rider likely gets a shot off and kills Bordello. Are we getting involved, or am I turning around and heading for my appointment? Your call. Personally, I vote for being do-gooder citizens, but only because I want to know what’s going down.”
“Follow him.” It was probably a bad idea, but like Fab, I wanted to know what was going to happen next. “We have a few extra minutes before we need to hit the Turnpike to make your appointment on time.”
The bike rider hunkered down and sped after the car, remaining a discreet distance behind, not ready to make it known that their only interest on the road was the Ferrari.
“Maybe whoever it is has a good reason to want him dead,” I said, my face almost pressed to the glass.
“I’m a bad influence.” Fab snorted. “That would be my rationale.”
First, the Ferrari changed lanes, pulling in front of us. Next the bike slid in, cutting it close to the bumper and forcing Fab to hit the brakes.
“What’s the plan?” I asked.
“Get back up here,” Fab ordered. “Rider reaches for the gun, I’ll clip the back tire. Hopefully, their speed won’t get back up to what it was because this isn’t without a certain amount of risk. Might scratch up the Hummer.” She patted the dash.
I sighed. The SUV was the coolest car I’d ever owned and an amazingly good deal, and I was tired of taking it to the auto body shop, hoping to get it back in near-new condition.
“Do you think Bordello knows he’s being followed?” I asked, climbing back into the front.
At that exact moment, Bordello pushed hard on the accelerator. The shiny silver sports car took off with a roar, speeding past the Tarpon Cove city limits as he rocketed down the highway heading south.
“He knows now.” Fab eased down on the gas in hot pursuit of the two, but hung back, leaving plenty of room.
The bike accelerated and was about to run up on the car’s back bumper, but several seconds later, the brake lights flashed and the motorcycle skidded, the back wheel swinging around ninety degrees. The rider hit the pavement and rolled, coming to a stop lying face down on the asphalt, not moving. The bike continued its skid, the crunch of the frame as it wrapped around a pole ensuring a mangled mess.
I let out a loud groan.
Fab slowed and pulled to the side of the highway, leaving a couple of car lengths between us and the accident. The two of us jumped out and ran to the rider.
Struggling to move, the rider managed to turn over, grunting and groaning all the while.
“I’m calling 911,” Fab said, just as the sound of screeching tires redirected our attention.
Bordello had also pulled over and now put the Ferrari in reverse, backing up, blowing dust and dirt in our direction, and coming to a squealing stop. He barreled out of the car and raced the few feet to where we were. He did a double take at seeing Fab and I standing on the roadside and glared.
“Don’t touch her,” he bellowed at the two of us.
I stood, having already bent down to offer assistance until an ambulance arrived with the hope that once Fab got an operator on the phone, they’d tell us what to do.
Bordello threw himself down next to the rider, unbuckled the helmet and slipped it off gently, cradling her head in his lap. “I’ll take care of this,” he snapped. He pulled his phone out of his pocket, punched in 911, and reported an “accident,” telling the operator an ambulance was needed. All the while, he ran his hand over her long blonde hair, which had tumbled out and over her shoulders.
The woman blinked several times in an attempt to focus. A long-legged, willowy blonde, her bright blue eyes brimmed with pain as she drifted in and out, her fingers clawing at the dirt. The woman made an effort to sit up, but didn’t get far before Bordello eased her gently against his chest.
“Just relax. Help is on the way,” he said softly.
I wasn’t sure what the heck I was witnessing, and Fab appeared to share my sentiments as we stood rooted on the side of the road. Bordello was practically cooing at the injured woman; the only tones I’d ever heard him use were sarcastic and demanding.
Bordello’s brown eyes, now black pin dots, turned on Fab and me. “If it isn’t Madison Westin and Fabiana Merceau. What the hell are you two doing here? F’ing following me?” he ground out. He’d recovered from his brief brush with being nice and his true self was back—arrogant and full of himself.
“Apparently you know this damsel in distress.” I glanced down at the woman. “Did you know she planned to shoot you?” I cut my eyes to the pavement a few feet away, where the Smith & Wesson lay.
He ignored me, focusing on comforting the woman, murmuring words neither Fab nor I could hear. Fab had the nerve to step closer.
“You two need to get the hell out of here,” he ordered, a snap of his fingers in his tone, along with the expectation that we would obey without question. “I’ll handle this. The only recitation of the facts the cops need to hear is mine.”
“A thank you would be nice,” Fab huffed. “Instead of you comforting your shooter, you could be getting dragged out of your car and bagged off to the coroner about now.”
“I told you to leave. I’m not telling you again.”
Fab’s Walther made its second appearance of the day, and she aimed it between his eyes. “If I don’t, what are you going to do about it?”
I smiled when he flinched, but I grabbed hold of Fab’s arm and gave it a gentle tug. “Next time we see one another, let’s pretend that we’ve never met—ever.” I nudged Fab toward the car.
Bordello’s glaring eyes followed us as we got back in the car.
Fab put the car in gear, and we both watched as Bordello leaned over and picked up the woman’s gun, shoving it down the back of his pants. As Fab pulled out onto the highway, flashing lights could be seen approaching in the distance, and by the time we made a u-turn at the next exit, a cop car and ambulance had pulled into the space we vacated. We slowed for the drivers in front of us, most with their necks craned out the windows to get a glimpse of the accident.
“What just happened?” I asked in sheer confusion as Fab sped by the lookie-loos and back up to the posted speed limit.
“As long as that woman’s face doesn’t appear in the weekly with the word ‘dead’ in the headline, I’m erasing this from my memory.”
“Bordello knows I’d never keep my mouth shut if that happened.”
“I’d sure like to know what that was about. Don’t suppose we’ll ever find out.” Fab handed me her phone. “Call the client and make some excuse to reschedule for tomorrow.”
“You’re the owner of the company; that’s your responsibility.”
“I’m delegating.”

“How does a flat tire sound?” I caught her eye roll. “The truth would also sound made up.”
So, do you want to ride along? Here's the Amazon link:
There's more where that came from. 
Check out the rest of the Paradise Series here: 

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Tess Maher is back! And she gets her next detective assignment ... at a seance??

A Death in the Family by [Owen, Tish]

This sleuth, who has a habit of talking to the dead, returns in A Death in the Family. In the first book, Death on a Sunday, Tess lost her best friend and running buddy right before her eyes. This time, she reluctantly comes to a seance in Nashville. This is redundant for Tess who can already communicate with the departed on her own. Deep sigh! But just as Tess thinks she's in for a dull evening, things get weird! One of the spirits tells a woman at the seance that her ex-husband didn't die of natural causes. That's when the naturally inquisitive private investigator gets the job. Once hired, she gets pulled into a dysfunctional family full of jealousy, deep seeded hatred and even more death.

Check out both books on Tish Owen's Amazon Page:

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Serving up some Culinary Lit: The Baker Street Cozy Mysteries by CeeCee James.

Cherry Pie Or Die (Baker Street Cozy Mysteries Book 1)

For somebody who watches Food Network and also loves mysteries, Culinary Lit pleases me both ways. And guess what, Food Network and Cooking Channel fans; these books come with free recipes!

Let's start with Cherry Pie or Die

After a traumatic life event, Georgie Tanner returns to her hometown to start her life over... at 31 years old. Add sporadic memory loss to the mix and Georgie is a certified hot mess.
Luckily, Aunt Cecelia is there with a job for Georgie. She might not feel able to take on the world, but she's think she's up for taking tourists through Gainesville, Pennsylvania's historic downtown. The place is as American as apple pie, steeped in rich Revolutionary history, Amish settlements, ghost stories, and colonial manors. Georgie knew it was a safe place to go to piece back her memories.

Until she leads a group of tourists through the Three Maidens' Manor, a battle site converted into a museum. When the power goes out during the tour, Georgie thinks it's a crazy fluke. But when it returns, she has six panicked guests, and a dead man in her midst.
Who would want to kill him? And more importantly, which one of them was the murderer?

Save room for Cookies and Scream

Cookies and Scream (Baker Street Cozy Mysteries Book 2)

Tour guide Georgie Tanner has always encouraged her clients to enjoy the realism of an American Revolutionary War reenactment - but today things got a little too real. When one of the actors doesn't get back up after the battle, the crowd is horrified to find out he's really been shot. Patrick Armstrong, local high school teacher, is dead. 

Georgie's old high school friend, Terry Brooks, is arrested for the murder. A man with a young wife and a baby, he seems the least unlikely suspect. But, with hundreds of people as witnesses, there's no denying he was the one who pulled the trigger. 
He begs Georgie for help, and she's determined to do her best. 

Her sleuthing skills slowly uncover other possible suspects, but, try as she might, she can't shake the sight of the smoking gun gripped in Terry's hand. And then she uncovers something that terrifies her. Suddenly, Georgie is afraid that what she saw might have just sealed the case against her old friend.

And if you're watching your budget, these ebooks are only 99 cents! 

CeeCee has many more books on her Amazon page: