Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Five Stars to Catherine Ryan Hyde's Heaven Adjacent. #Giveaway

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 2 comments
Catherine Ryan Hyde's Heaven Adjacent is now available in all formats, including audio from many retailers. Here is the Goodreads link:
And, lucky me, I was given an ARC of this book in return for a fair review. And I am grateful for the opportunity to read and review it. Now I am passing on the ARC to one of you. 
Even at my age I sometimes think that death is something that happens to other people. It’s easy to do. So I sync’d with this book.
Roseanna’s best friend Alice died suddenly. Unexpectedly. Two years before the retirement Alice been looking forward to her whole working life.
That death turns Roseanna’s world upside down and sends her in search of a new life path. One that includes all the things she’d planned to enjoy someday. Peace. Solitude. Well, that part doesn’t work out. The solitude. But I love the characters that invade her life. I love who she becomes. I love her wry humor.
Catherine Ryan Hyde’s style is as cool and clear as a summer morning. I hated having to put the book down even for a second.

Here is the official blurb.
Roseanna Chaldecott spent her life as a high-powered lawyer in Manhattan. But when her best friend and law partner dies suddenly, something snaps. Unsure of her future, Roseanna heads upstate on one tank of gas and with no plans to return.
In the foothills of the Adirondacks, Roseanna discovers the perfect hideout in a ramshackle farm. Its seventy-six acres are rich with possibilities and full of surprises, including a mother and daughter squatting on the property. Although company is the last thing Roseanna wants, she reluctantly lets them stay.
Roseanna and the young girl begin sculpting junk found around the farm into zoo animals, drawing more newcomers—including her estranged son, Lance. He pleads with Roseanna to return to the city, but she’s finally discovered where she belongs. It may not provide the solitude she originally sought, but her heart has found room for much more.
Interested? Enter below for a chance to win the paperback ARC. 
I wish you all a week filled with unexpected wonderfulness.
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Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of more than 30 published and forthcoming books, including The Wake Up, Allie And Bea, Say Goodbye For Now, Leaving Blythe River, Ask Him Why, Worthy, The Language Of Hoofbeats, Take Me With You, When I Found You, Walk Me Home, and Don't Let Me Go
An avid hiker, traveler, equestrian, and amateur photographer, she has released her first book of photos, 365 Days Of Gratitude: Photos From A Beautiful World.
She is co-author, with fellow author and publishing industry blogger Anne R. Allen, of How To Be A Writer In The E-Age: A Self-Help Guide.
Her novel Pay It Forward was adapted into a major motion picture, chosen by the American Library Association for its Best Books for Young Adults list, and translated into more than 23 languages for distribution in over 30 countries.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

RaeAnne Thayne's Latest Bestseller. Review and #Giveaway

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 6 comments

The Cottages On Silver Beach, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0777MR9TZ is already #1 in Clean and Wholesome Romance on Amazon and it doesn't even release until Tuesday, June 19.
I have a paperback ARC to give away. The Rafflecopter is at the end of this post. I use Rafflecopter because I have to email the winner and get a snail mail address. 

The Cottages On Silver Beach is the latest entry in RaeAnne’s series about a small town in Idaho nestled on the shores of beautiful Lake Haven.  

Innkeeper Megan Hamilton’s always thought the Bailey’s were the ideal family. But the eldest son, Elliot had always been a prickle point for her. And the prickle point became a burr when FBI agent Elliot refused to believe her brother Luke was innocent of murder when Luke wife disappeared seven years ago.
For seven years Megan put aside her dreams to help Luke care for his two children and tend to the Inn her grandmother entrusted to her. Now her dreams are getting a new lease on life with a planned exhibit of her photographs at a prestigious gallery in Colorado. Only guess who’s back in Haven Point and renting the cottage next to hers?
Back home was the last place “temporarily” retired FBI agent/ bestselling writer Elliot Bailey ever thought he’d be. But his sister Kat is celebrating her wedding and he needs a place to recuperate from the raid that might have cost him his job. Elliot had no idea that the woman he’d never been able to get out of his mind would be living next door. But he needs this space, far away enough from his loving inquisitive family to finish his overdue book. If only he could stop thinking about Megan.
Megan needs to concentrate all her efforts on getting ready for the fine-art photograph exhibit. But her taciturn enigmatic neighbor keeps pulling her thoughts away.
When Elliot decides to follow up on a clue to her sister-in-law, Elizabeth’s disappearance she and Elliot become involved in a tug-of-war between distrust and their magnetic attraction to one another.

RaeAnne Thayne is always good reading. And the Cottages On Silver Beach doesn't disappoint. The mystery is cleverly inserted into the romance and while there is a lovely happy-ever-after to the book, the ending also points to a follow-up book with a question I’m dying to know the answer to. This is a stand-alone book. But it's fun to read the others and know all the peripheral players. The Cottages On Silver Beach releases June 19 in all formats. The Rafflecopter for the ARC is at the end of the post.

USA TODAY bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne's love affair with words
started as soon as she learned to read, when she used to devour anything she could get her hands on: cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the phone book, you name it! She loves the way words sound, the way they look on the page, and the amazing way they can be jumbled together in so many combinations to tell a story. Her love of reading and writing those words led her to a fifteen-year career in journalism as a newspaper reporter and editor. Through it all, she dreamed of writing the kind of stories she loved best. She sold her first book in 1995 and since then she’s published more than 40 titles. Her books have won many honors, including three RITA® Award nominations from the Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews. RaeAnne finds inspiration in the rugged northern Utah mountains, where she lives with her hero of a husband and their children. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com. 

Happy Reading, my friends. Here's to looking around your life and finding something wonderful.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Joanne Guidoccio In Praise of Morning Pages and Artist Dates #giveaway

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 5 comments

Joanne Guidoccio is guesting with a post mentioning  one of my personal favorite inspirations  - Julia Cameron and morning pages She's also offering a chance to win a 10.00 Amazon Gift card. Joanne writes seasoned heroines in women's fiction, fantasy, and in cozy mysteries. I read the first Gilda Greco mystery and loved it. I'm looking forward to reading more.
In Praise of Morning Pages and Artist Dates

In 1992, I picked up a copy of The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Hoping to inspire and motivate my inner writer, I spent an entire weekend devouring the book and then decided to incorporate morning pages and artist dates into my life.
That enthusiasm fizzled after only one week.

At the time, I was in the thick of my career and personal life. Busy with course preps, curriculum meetings, extra-curricular activities, and family health issues, I found myself unable to even consider adding one more activity to my schedule.

Fast forward to 2008.

I retired and started to write, following the dictates of my well-honed left brain (I’m a math teacher). Over 500 of my articles and book reviews appeared in online and print publications. Five of my novels have been traditionally published, and a sixth WIP awaits me.

In spite of this productivity, I have experienced several bouts of writer’s block during this decade of retirement.

To jumpstart my creativity during one prolonged hiatus, I decided to revisit The Artist’s Way. To my delight and surprise, I successfully incorporated Julia’s suggestions into my daily regimen and have maintained the momentum for the past two years.

I started with morning pages, “three pages of longhand writing, strictly stream-of-consciousness.” Some days, I would go beyond three pages, other days I barely got one page done. But I didn’t fret about those details. Instead, I kept Julia’s advice in mind: “There is no wrong way to do morning pages.”

Artist dates—setting aside two hours weekly for a solo activity that adds to my creative consciousness—were more challenging. While many of Julia’s suggestions—take a long walk, visit an artist supply’s shop, go cloud watching, fly a kite—sounded easy and doable, I knew that I needed more stimulating activities.   

Hoping to find possible “Artist Date” activities, I started reading notices on bulletin boards and the Events sections of local papers. One afternoon, I noticed a brochure advertising a Fall Fibres Fair in nearby Fergus, a short thirty-minute drive away. I spent a delightful Saturday afternoon chatting with artisans and admiring the different crafts, among them, spinning, weaving, and basketry.

The following week, I spent the afternoon at Fair November, a much larger fair showcasing the traditional and modern handmade crafts of over 80 artisans.

Later in the month, I participated in a Boxed Card workshop and produced two beautiful Christmas cards that I have proudly displayed and shown off to friends.

While I didn’t follow all of Julia’s rules—not such a bad thing—I did reap the benefits of those early artist dates and gained the confidence to schedule at least one date each month. By immersing myself in new and different situations, I am able to replenish my inner well and fire up my imagination. In my morning pages, I continue to vent and experiment with ideas for articles, short stories, and future series.


While not usually a big deal, one overlooked email would haunt teacher Gilda Greco. Had she read it, former student Sarah McHenry might still be alive.

Suspecting foul play, Constable Leo Mulligan plays on Gilda’s guilt and persuades her to participate in a séance facilitated by one of Canada’s best-known psychics. Six former students also agree to participate. At first cooperative and willing, their camaraderie is short-lived as old grudges and rivalries emerge. The séance is a bust.

Determined to solve Sarah’s murder, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers shocking revelations that could put several lives—including her own—in danger. Can Gilda and the psychic solve this case before the killer strikes again?


Jim whistled. “You sure don’t like it easy. With all your millions, you’d think this crap could somehow miss landing on you. But you do seem to attract it.” He chuckled. “Might be something to address with a therapist or maybe the psychic you’ve just met.”

“I didn’t just meet Cassandra. I got to know her and her parents very well during those seven months I taught in Parry Sound. They’re good people.” I could tell by his tone that he was dismissive of Cassandra’s psychic powers. While I was also skeptical, I did feel the urge to defend her. She had been so sincere and so open. I couldn’t fathom the notion of Cassandra faking or putting on the airs of a psychic. It wasn’t in her nature to be deceitful.

“I’m sure they are,” Jim said. “But let’s face some facts here. Most psychics need to make a living. I don’t doubt this lady has some intuitive ability—as many women do—but I don’t think it’s enough to catch a murderer. The constable is grasping at straws. What did you say his name was?”

“Leo. Leo Mulligan.”

“Tall, dark-haired guy. Good-looking and a bit of a rascal.”

“He’s evolved.” I immediately regretted my response. Knowing Jim, he would pounce and tease me.

“And you’re interested,” Jim said, chuckling. “What does your boyfriend think about this cozy reunion you’re having with a more evolved constable?”


Click on the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.
Buy Links

Amazon (Canada):  https://is.gd/vR5Sxn
Amazon (United States): https://is.gd/lU0qw7
The Wild Rose Press: https://is.gd/nQ2ZjT

A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne Guidoccio

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

DisABILITY and Romance? Meet AuthorTeri McGill #giveaway

Posted by Susan J Berger on 3:00:00 AM with 6 comments

Teri McGill is one of my fellow Los Angeles RWA chapter members.(LARARWA)
 I wanted to know her better and I asked he to visit the blog. Teri, please tell us a little about yourself.

I grew up in Queens, New York and moved to warm and sunny Los Angeles in 1994, immediately following the Northridge earthquake. 
I taught mathematics to deaf high school students for thirty years, which explains some of the recurring characters and themes in my stories. I retired from teaching in 2012 and began working for Hot Tree Editing as a beta reader/proofread and started writing shortly after. When I am not at the computer, I enjoy working out, playing golf, creating mosaics, math tutoring, and watching sports. I also love road trips to wineries, especially Paso Robles and Temecula.
I love this picture. 

Teri, how did you decide on self-publishing?
As a relatively new author, I was advised to self-publish because of the fierce competition. I hired an editor, cover designer and formatter. My cover designer, with a lot of my input, found 3 gorgeous couples for my trilogy’s covers. My fourth and most recent book, a novella, was my first attempt at doing it all myself … cover, editing, proofreading, formatting … I did everything! All the royalties for this book went to charity so I didn’t want to spend any money. I think self-publishing is great. I would advise everyone to try it, as long as you accept the reality: self publishing means self promoting.

The first few emails I received from readers who loved my first two books really was an exciting event for me. I have deaf characters in my books and when a deaf reader expresses joy at seeing herself in my stories … THAT is exciting!

Do you wait for inspiration, or write on schedule? 
I don’t write on a schedule, so I must wait for inspiration or for the characters to speak to me. If they are silent, I take one to bed … the male main character of course, and I become the female. We snuggle, flirt, banter back and forth, etc. (I’m single, so it’s NOT as kinky as it sounds!) Conversations develop, dialogue starts to flow and I keep a notebook on the night stand so nothing is lost.

What's in progress?
I have several WIPs at the moment, including a scarred firefighter with PTSD and a hearing-impaired dance teacher who performs in a strip club.

My most recent passion is promoting more characters with diverse abilities in romance. Here is a Facebook Group I have started to promote this new venture.

Thanks, I joined. Our fellow LARARWA member, Lynne Marshall has a quadropelegic Hero. Tell her about this group, (In case she misses this blog post.)

Teri had five books and she is offering you, Dear Readers, a giveaway of the book of their choice.
Teri's books are available on all platforms. 

Signs of a Quiet Heart (My Heart is Yours - Book 1)
The link will take you to a page where you choose how you want to download the free book.

When Robbi  Bennett, special education teacher extraordinaire, decided to move from New York to California, it was for reasons beyond trading snowstorms for sunshine and surfing. Following the tragic death of her parents, and several doomed relationships, she craved a fresh start; an opportunity to reinvent herself.
Tyler D’Angelo, bad-boy biker and self-proclaimed man-whore, equates love with weakness. For decades, he has kept his heart on silent lockdown, but meeting Robbi turns his solitary life inside out as they are inexplicably drawn to each other.
Can love be strong enough to overcome a lifetime of fear?
(Note: Signs of a Quiet Heart ends with a cliffhanger involving secondary characters, which does not affect the romance. The mystery is solved in Book 2, Living for Two, with the assistance of several new characters. Both stories feature deaf and hard-of-hearing characters.)

Living for Two (My Heart is Yours - Book 2)

Geneva  St. John was not looking to fall in love; her shattered heart was barely recovering from her older sister’s death and coming to grips with almost losing her baby sister as well.
When she first laid eyes on Jayson  Delaney, bathed in sunlight and appearing so ethereal, it was immediately evident that he was destined to change her life. Unable to converse at first due to a language barrier, they soon discover that love is the purest form of communication between two souls.
Although Geneva’s sister is recovering nicely from surgery, she begins to exhibit strange, unsettling behaviors that only Jayson seems to be able to comprehend.
There are some people in our world who believe the power of love can transcend death.  What kind of miracle would it take to convince us all?

For over a decade, Tag Coleman has been struggling to exorcise his demons.
Constantly haunted by his first love’s death, he aches for a second chance at happiness, but guilt screams one undeniable fact: he does not deserve it. Can Tag’s shattered soul ever find forgiveness and allow him to love again?
Emery Lawson’s one and only goal is to uncover the truth surrounding a tragic accident that took her cousin’s life. She embarks on a journey to find the one person who could be responsible, with unexpected, life-altering results.
When your soulmate — the love of your life — is lost, what are the chances of ever finding another? Is it possible for a heart to be …
Lost and Found?
(Note: Book 3 can be read as a standalone, although characters from Books 1 & 2 make guest appearances.)

Light-Years from Hollywood (YA Novella)

LIGHT-YEARS FROM HOLLYWOOD, a YA romance novella, explores the darker side of high school.
What is life like when you don’t seem to fit in anywhere? A deaf boy and a homeless girl forge an unusual friendship, learning that acceptance and ultimately love truly conquers all.
Dylan: High school is supposed to be an adventurous four years of exploring the joys of youth and unlimited learning opportunities, right? What a crock! The gifted program is challenging enough without being the only deaf student on campus. I was content with my under-the-radar, nearly invisible existence until a beautiful, blue-eyed freshman sat next to me in Algebra. I had always preferred my loner status until she forced me to see what else life had to offer.
Nikki: I have kept my embarrassing secret for as long as I can remember. Dylan was the only person I ever shared it with, and to my surprise he never judged me. Instead, he was determined to save me even though unforeseen threats lurked around every corner.
(100% of the author’s royalties from this eBook will be donated to A Million Drops, which is a Los Angeles, California based non-profit organization making a difference in the lives of homeless, at-risk youth, and young adults.)
I know I want to read this one.  I'm entering your giveaway.  Thanks for being here, Teri You are one amazing lady.

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