2021 Goals – Revisit

Hey everyone! I figured it would be good to revisit my 2021 goals since we are at the end of the year, so let’s take a look.

In regards to reading over 200 books, I have definitely accomplished that this year. I have one more day and there are a couple books/stories I’d like to finish by the end of tomorrow, but as of right now I am sitting at 243.

I did get to more of my backlist and have enjoyed my TBR game, but I wouldn’t call this one a pass or fail. I didn’t do as much as I wanted, but I did make progress. Also, in regarding to blogging, I did blog almost every day this year. The only days I didn’t post a blog were Christmas Eve and Christmas, so to me that is a win.

Now onto writing…oh boy. I did participate in both Camp Nanowrimo’s and Nanowrimo, but I didn’t reach my goals in any of them. I had high hopes for 2021, but alas, it was almost as bad if not worse than 2020. I’m not even going to say anything about 2022 because I’m having a hard time finding hope for how it will go. I think a lot of us are going into the year with the mentality of no sudden movements.

So in all I think I did pretty good, especially with the year I had. Let’s see what 2022 has in store.

Happy reading!

Blitz | How to Cowboy by Jennie Marts

How to Cowboy
Jennie Marts
(Creedence Horse Rescue, #3)
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication date: December 28th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

For fans of Carolyn Brown, Maisey Yates, and Jennifer Ryan, this steamy, emotional cowboy romance has all your favorites:

  • A hunky single dad showing his daughter the ropes
  • A heroine looking for a fresh start
  • Leaning on each other through hard times
  • Irresistible attraction
  • Rescue horses and ranch animals with lots of personality

How do you heal a broken heart?

After one injury too many, Cade Callahan gave up the rodeo for a simpler life working at his cousin’s horse rescue ranch. But his life turns upside down when his estranged daughter is placed in his custody after a tragic car accident. Wanting nothing to do with her father, thirteen-year-old Allie struggles to adjust to her new life.

Newly single and living out of her mother’s basement, physical therapist Nora Fisher doesn’t think twice about taking a job as a traveling therapist for Cade’s daughter. The trouble is, she doesn’t know anything about horses, or hunky cowboys. Now both in way over their heads, can Cade and Nora find a way to help Allie, and trust in the attraction building between them?

Praise for Jennie Marts:
“Full of hope, humor, and undeniable swoon.”—A.J. Pine, USA Today bestselling author
“Funny, complicated, and irresistible. Sometimes a cowboy isn’t perfect but you got to love him anyway.”—Jodi Thomas, New York Times bestselling author, for Caught Up in a Cowboy
“The perfect blend of humor, grit, and sexy cowboy spice. Delicious!”—Kari Lynn Dell, award-winning and bestselling author, for Wish Upon a Cowboy
“Deliciously steamy but still sweet, with a secret at its heart.”—Joanne Kennedy, award-winning and bestselling author, for Wish Upon a Cowboy

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play


Cade flinched at the sound of her bedroom door slamming. He leaned his shoulder against the side of the house and let out a sigh. “I don’t get it. What did I say?”

Nora put a hand on his arm. “Nothing. She’s a teenager, so her moods are going to be all over the place.”

“But I thought things were going so well. She was even laughing at lunch.”

“Which might be part of the problem. Remember, she just lost her mom and has been uprooted to this new place. She might feel guilty for having fun or for enjoying this farm—like if she starts to like you and Bryn too much, that it will be a betrayal to her mom.”

“You might be right.” He offered her a smile. “What’s that advice gonna cost me?”

She grinned up at him. “One baked ziti dinner.”

“Done. I’ll even throw in a slice of pie.” He tried to laugh, but the anguish of the situation was getting to him, and he dropped his chin to his chest. “Ya know, I consider myself a pretty tough guy, but this parenting stuff is rough.”

Nora took a step toward him. “I have to warn you that I’m a hugger by nature, and it’s killing me not to be able to offer you a hug. Like I’m totally comin’ in hot right now, so if you don’t want to be smothered in a hug, you need to stop me now.”

The idea of wrapping his arms around Nora had emotions burning his throat. Which was weird since his feelings toward women weren’t generally led by his heart. But something about this woman, with her sunny attitude and her giving nature was getting to him. He opened his arms, and she stepped into them and wrapped herself around him.

He let out his breath as she sunk into him, and he bent his head and buried his face in her hair. “You feel good,” he whispered, then cleared his throat. “I mean this feels good.”

“So do you,” she murmured into his chest.

She pulled back, but he wasn’t ready to let her go and kept his arms circled around her waist. She looked up at from under long eyelashes, and he couldn’t tear his eyes away.

There was something here. He knew it, and he was sure she did too. The electricity between them was almost visible as if it shimmered in the air. They’d been teasing and flirting and touching the last few days, but this felt different. This was more than playful flirtation.

He dropped his gaze to her mouth and wanted to groan. Her lips were plump and parted, as if just begging to be kissed.

He leaned down and softly grazed her lips with his—not quite a kiss but enough to feel the soft catch of her breath and the delicious enticement of her mouth.

“What’s this going to cost me?” he whispered, but he already knew the answer.

It was going to cost him everything.

Author Bio:

Jennie Marts is the USA TODAY Best-selling author of award-winning books filled with love, laughter, and always a happily ever after. Readers call her books “laugh out loud” funny and the “perfect mix of romance, humor, and steam.” Fic Central claimed one of her books was “the most fun I’ve had reading in years.”

She is living her own happily ever after in the mountains of Colorado with her husband, two dogs, and a parakeet that loves to tweet to the oldies. She’s addicted to Diet Coke, adores Cheetos, and believes you can’t have too many books, shoes, or friends.

Her books include the contemporary western romance Hearts of Montana series, the romantic comedy/ cozy mysteries of The Page Turners series, the hunky hockey-playing men in the Bannister family in the Bannister Brothers Books, and the small-town romantic comedies in the Lovestruck series of Cotton Creek Romances.

Jennie loves to hear from readers. Follow her on Facebook at Jennie Marts Books, or Twitter at @JennieMarts. Visit her at http://www.jenniemarts.com and sign up for her newsletter to keep up with the latest news and releases.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Bookbub / Pinterest / Newsletter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:

Review | The Mermaid Atlas: Merfolk of the World by Anna Claybourne

Magical and mysterious, the merfolk of the world are notoriously elusive, but this enchanting compendium will reveal their secrets. Learn all about the beautiful selkies of the Scottish seas, the wily iara of Brazil who love to outwit travelers, and the fearful Ningyo of Japan who can give you eternal life. This captivating book features a mix of mermaid “facts” and short retellings of some of the most magical and enticing traditional merfolk tales.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I’m always looking for books like these, especially when they concern mythical beings or myths/legends. This book is a wonderful cross between a picture book and a reference book and it was so fun to read. It was divided into the different areas of the world and the specific mermaid myths that are included in those areas. In between each area there are also pages with general lore or information about mermaids in general. This was a pleasure to read and provided clear and concise information on the different myths and beings in the mermaid realm and the art was a delightful compliment to the lore.

Happy reading!

Blitz | Imperfect by Holly Carr

Holly Carr
Publication date: August 2nd 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense

She isn’t looking for love. He’s running from it.

A workplace crush is supposed to be light-hearted. Frivolous, even. Just some daydream inspiration to make the hours go faster, or to fill in twenty boring minutes.

Sam isn’t ready to develop actual feelings for someone. Not with Logan still looming so large in her heart, and especially not when the subject of her infatuation is her new employer.

Alex doesn’t plan to fall in love ever again. Not after what happened with Victoria.

But fate seems determined to begin an unwanted love story, and a tentative romance blossoms as Alex and Sam battle the malicious sabotage of a rival company.

That is, until Alex’s evil ex-wife re-enters his life, threatening to take custody of their daughter.

Sam’s determination to help the desperate man stand up for himself brings the two would-be lovers closer, but Victoria’s antics only highlight to Alex the dangers of leaving himself vulnerable.

Can Sam convince him to set aside eleven years of stanch celibacy and give into his feelings?

And just how did he get that mysterious scar on his face?

This contemporary romantic suspense novel is perfect for readers with a soft spot for a hesitant love story, a single dad, and a relatable heroine.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Smashwords


Sam stood just inside the door to Dimitri’s office, leaving it ajar so she could see though the gap. She peered down the hallway so she could warn Alex if their unauthorised presence were pending discovery. Unable to relax, she repeatedly lamented her decision to accompany him. All that stopped her from abandoning her post and returning to the party was her fear she’d be caught on the way, thus making it more likely Alex would also be busted.

She’d uselessly checked the clock on her phone twice already. It made no difference, as Alex hadn’t specified a time limit. He wasn’t going to suddenly give up just because their breaking and entering had totalled ten whole minutes. But it gave her something to do, and she sorely needed a distraction to take the edge off her panic.

She periodically turned to watch Alex, hoping he would either find something soon or give up. He was going through Dimitri’s desk, skimming papers, and meticulously putting them back in the same order. So far, nothing out of the ordinary had shown up.

She’d already voiced her opinion it was unlikely anything so important would be written down on paper, and Alex had admitted she was probably right. Short of hacking his desktop, this was almost certainly a futile exercise. He’d confided that he was holding out hope because Dimitri was somewhat ‘old school’. There was potentially an interesting hardcopy stashed somewhere.

Finishing with the drawers, Alex started on the single tray of documents on top of the desk. Dimitri’s workspace was unencumbered by the clutter littering Alex’s. Being well past retirement age, Sam suspected he didn’t have as much to do with the day to day running of his company as Alex did.

I wonder how much work it would take to make Alex’s desk look like that, she thought. Probably more than she’d care to contemplate. Even if she managed it, the lack of visible tasks would only serve to make him anxious anyway. He was too used to having three people’s work to do.

Her head whipped back to the door when she heard a bell ring in the distance. ‘Someone’s getting out of the lift,’ she whispered urgently.

Alex looked up, startled. He was only about halfway through the tray, and she saw his eyes dart back to the pile, eager to keep looking. He spoke distractedly, more engrossed in his task than their conversation. ‘I’ll just finish looking at this and we’ll …’ A sick pallor washed over his face as he looked up at Sam again, who was frozen in shock.

They had both realised their predicament at the same time. Her self-appointed position as ‘lookout’ was completely useless. The only way out was the lift or the stairs beside the lift. If someone was coming this way, they were going to be caught red-handed.

Sam couldn’t believe they had both been that stupid. Alex’s eagerness combined with her discomfort had blinded them to the obvious. They’d trapped themselves. Their only hope was that whoever it was didn’t plan on coming in this direction.

Watching the hall nervously, she saw shadows coming from around the distant corner, and her heart sank as she realised the voices were getting closer. There was no doubt about it, they were coming this way.

Swiftly closing the door, she confirmed this fact to Alex. He uselessly put the papers back into the tray. No one would ever know he’d been through them if they could just somehow not be caught.

Their mere presence made his intentions obvious though. Even without the physical evidence of disorder, what other reason could they have for being here?

Sam answered her own question as she watched Alex stride around the desk looking grim. He appeared to be mentally preparing himself to face the music, but maybe they didn’t have to.

It’s crazy, she thought. Too crazy, but I can’t think of anything else.

It was a risk on a lot of levels. They’d still be ‘busted’ in a way, and she was sure Alex wasn’t going to like it, but it was all she could come up with on short notice. ‘Take off your jacket and undo your tie,’ she whispered.

Alex’s look of bleak determination turned to confusion. The request certainly didn’t fit the situation, but she didn’t have time to ease him into it gently.

‘If we can’t get out before they come in, we need a different reason to be here. Take off your jacket, and undo your tie and some buttons,’ she whispered again, more urgently this time, beginning to untie her skirt.

Author Bio:

Holly Carr was born in Victoria, Australia, where she still lives today with her husband and a cat with no sense of personal space. She graduated from Deakin University in 2010 with a Bachelor of Arts (Public Relations), majoring in Literary Studies.

Holly first began writing creatively while she was at university, only setting aside her incomplete manuscript due to time constraints. It took ten years before she finally sat down to write again, and her first completed novel ‘IMPERFECT’ practically wrote itself. She enjoyed the experience so much she has already begun work on another.

When she takes a break from writing, she enjoys occasional visits from her grown-up son, pole dancing, eating far too much Mexican food, and pretending to know a lot about wine.

You can get the first two chapters of her forthcoming novel ‘UNLUCKY’ for free at her website http://www.hollycarr.com.au, or follow her on Facebook @hollycarrauthor and Instagram @holly_ylloh_holly.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:

2022 Goals

Hey everyone! I decided to take a couple days off blogging so I could focus on spending the holiday with my family, and I’m glad I did. I wanted to come back and talk about the goals I have for next year. Most of these are pretty broad and definitely achievable, but as this year proved those are famous last words. Let’s go over them!

  • 200+ books read
  • Get caught up on Netgalley
  • Get caught up on my TBR Challenge books
  • More audiobooks! (since working from home I have been listening to less, but would like to ramp this up again).
  • Finish at least 2 manga series
  • Participate in the Buzzword Readathon (created by BooksandLaLa on youtube).

So far that’s what I have and I think I’m going to probably leave it here. I want them to be something I can actually achieve since I’m trying to be nice to myself.

What are some of your goals? Do you think I should add any other goals?

Happy reading!

TBR Card Challenge | Update

Hey everyone! As some of you may know, I draw cards each month to pick a TBR for myself from my existing TBR. There’s no punishment if I don’t complete the books as it is just something I’m doing to get to some of the forgotten books on my TBR and do something fun. I figured I would do an update to let you know how it’s been going and if it’s going to continue.

So we can pretty safely say that 2021 was a pretty hard fail for me, I do still have all of the books set aside and on a list to read, but I didn’t get to nearly as many as I hoped to. Let’s be real, the pandemic is not over, regardless of those who like to think it is (sorry, I have a compromised immune system, so this is a sore subject for me), and it’s still very damaging to mental health. That being said, there has been some slumping and some general lack of wanting to read those books.

So where do we go from here? I am going to continue pulling cards and selecting books, in fact January’s picks have already been made, which will be a future post. I am also going to work on catching up on previous picks as well and have made it one of my 2022 goals (also another post).

So be assured that this game is going to continue as I do really enjoy it, but again I’m not going to punish myself if I get behind. I am hoping I’ll be able to catch up with the previous book though. Wish me luck!

Happy reading!

Can’t Wait Wednesday | 12/22

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings based on the meme Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking the Spine. In this weekly post people share a book that they’re excited about being released.

I’m always looking for new anthologies to pick up, and this one sounds excellent. It’s coming out in February and I’m definitely adding it to my list.

Seventeen fantasy and science fiction short stories from leading voices in the Latin American diaspora!

Reclaim the Stars is a collection of bestselling and acclaimed YA authors that take the Latin American diaspora to places fantastical and out of this world. From princesses warring in space, to the all too-near devastation of climate change, to haunting ghost stories in Argentina, and mermaids off the coast of the Caribbean. This is science fiction and fantasy that breaks borders and realms, and proves that stories are truly universal.

Authors include Daniel José Older, Yamile Saied Méndez, Anna-Marie McLemore, Mark Oshiro, Romina Garber, David Bowles, Lilliam Rivera, Claribel Ortega, Isabel Ibañez, Sara Faring, Maya Motayne, Nina Moreno, Vita Ayala, J.C. Cervantes, Circe Moskowitz, Linda Nieves Pérez, and Zoraida Córdova.

Happy reading!

Blitz | The Extra Myles by Melanie Munton

The Extra Myles
Melanie Munton
(A Southern Hearts Club Novella)
Publication date: December 21st 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

NOW HIRING… Fake boyfriend for 27-year-old desperate female. Must be able to deal with pretentious, New York City socialites. Attendance at family Christmas events required. Seasonal work only. Applicants not named Myles Colson need not apply.

The position has been filled. Granted, Myles is the only man in Blair McCauley’s life capable of looking her dragon mother in the eyes and not bursting into tears. Blair will need that steel whenever her mother helpfully reminds her over a glass of eggnog that a career is pointless when she could just marry rich. Thankfully, the barbecuing, beer swilling, football watching guy’s guy doesn’t even sort of fit in with her flashy New York lifestyle.

Which is exactly the point.

Although Myles is a lot more than a former jock with a pension for frosted mugs and Sweatpants Sundays. He also happens to be a gifted artist, and Blair is helping him carve out his space in the art world. Lucky for her, she’s the only one who gets to see the man behind the pottery wheel. Sans shirt.

But when Blair and Myles both come to the realization that they’ve just been pretending at pretending, they never see what’s coming for them next.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


Blair McCauley.

Every time she’s around, I get all antsy and excited for some reason. Like when my Clemson Tigers complete a sixty-three-yard pass and run it in for the touchdown to win the game.

I snicker.

Little Miss Blair here has probably never even watched a football game in her life.

The woman breezes into the back room with all the air of a European queen. And from what I’ve read, she practically is that up in NYC. Or at least, a princess. Either way, Blair McCauley is American royalty.

And I might as well be the guy who cleans horse shit out of her family’s stables.

“Are you ever going to fix that door?” she asks in the exasperated tone I recognize.

She sounds that exact same level of annoyed every time she stumbles through my studio door that, even I’ll admit is a bitch to open.

Damn, but she’s beautiful.

Like, the breathtaking kind of beautiful. The kind of woman who deserves to have a sultry theme song play every time she enters a room. My favorite is when she gets all huffy like this. Blowing her Marilyn Monroe-styled blond hair off her forehead, planting her dainty hands and manicured nails on her slim hips, and cocking said hip out. The whole move pushes out her full, rounded breasts beneath her silk top, her tight skirt stretching across those svelte legs.

Stunning she may be, but the woman is also the prissiest, most high-maintenance, spoiled city girl I’ve ever met.


And I don’t do that type. Sure, I’ve fantasized about having this woman beneath me—a shameful number of times—but I prefer my women to be a little more kickback. Someone who’s content to sit around with you on a Sunday afternoon in nothing but ratty sweatpants, watching football without complaint. A woman who’s okay with going out in public without makeup. Someone who doesn’t turn her nose up when I don’t wipe my mouth between each chicken wing and just wait until I’m done eating them altogether.

If Blair has never watched football, then she’s damn sure never eaten a chicken wing.

I don’t know jack shit about hair, makeup, or clothes, but I know that all of hers are top-of-the-line. The material of her blouse is high-quality. Every pair of shoes I’ve ever seen her in are high heels that you just know cost a small fortune. Her purses are all designer names I’ve at least heard of—Prada, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana. I even caught a glimpse of one of her lace bras one day when she bent over, a move that about gave me a fucking aneurysm, and I definitely know that item was high-priced.

No. Blair McCauley definitely isn’t my type.

I could never afford her. The best I could do is a hot night between the sheets because a man’s bank account doesn’t matter then. When she saw my place in the daylight, that’s when she would surely saunter all the way back up to New York in her five-inch stiletto heels.

I lift an eyebrow. “Why do you presume I know how to fix it?”

She tilts her head to the side. “Don’t you work in a factory?”

I would be pissed off by the question if I knew she didn’t mean it condescendingly. For all of Blair’s quirks, she’s not a mean person. Perhaps a little naïve at times, but not rude.

I lean back on my stool, crossing my arms over my chest. Her eyes briefly flick down to my biceps before quickly averting to stare at the wall.

Now that’s something.

In all the months I’ve known this woman, in all the phone calls made and trips from New York to Charleston she’s taken, I haven’t seen much in the way of…awareness…from her. At least, not in the sexual sense. God knows I think she’s hot as hell, in the not-so-much-as-a-hair-out-of-place kind of way. But if she felt any attraction toward me whatsoever, you’d never know it.

“We don’t produce doors at a steel manufacturing plant.”

Her apple-shaped cheeks tinge pink. “I realize that. I just pegged you as a jack-of-all-trades type.”

“Because of the uniform? The dirt under the nails?”

She frowns and somehow looks cuter like that. “No. Because you don’t seem like the useless type.”

My ears perk up at something in her voice. Something almost…self-deprecating. Has someone actually told her that she’s useless?

Why does that piss me the fuck off?

She bites her lip in uncertainty, as if afraid she said something wrong. “Or maybe, you know, you can just buy a new door or something? They have those at Home Depot stores, right? I’ve personally never been inside one, but I hear they’ve got them around here.”

I chuckle because I think she’s being funny on purpose, but I can’t always tell with her. It’s almost as if she doesn’t recognize her own sense of humor and doesn’t understand why people might laugh at one of her jokes. Or sardonic quips. Either way, I aim to wipe that look of uncertainty off her face.

“No, you’re right. I can fix the door. I just haven’t had the time lately.”

Truthfully, I haven’t messed with the door because I like how it announces her entrance. And how it makes her angrily curse under her breath. And how she’s slightly out of sorts by the time she reaches me in the back room. I like seeing her hair falling across her forehead before she shoves it back into place. Like seeing the flush on her cheeks, rather than the porcelain doll look they usually have. In those brief seconds, I think I’m seeing the real Blair, rather than the polished, prim illusion she projects.

“I see.” She smooths her hands down her skirt, pushing her shoulders back. “So, how are the final pieces coming along?”

I take another swig of my beer to avoid staring at her legs in those tights that I know have that fucking seam up the back. “Firing up now. Should have them done by tomorrow afternoon.”

She excitedly starts tapping around on her phone. “Excellent. I can have them shipped up to New York before my flight back, and everything will still be on schedule for the exhibition on the twenty-ninth.”

“You don’t even want to look them over for approval before you ship them off?” I question. “You’re so sure these final pieces will be good?”

She peeks up at me through long, lowered lashes. “Not necessary. There’s no way I won’t like them.”

Scout’s honor, my dick turns to a full-blown erection at her compliment.

She actually likes my work.

Her eyes widen as her words finally sink in. “I-I mean, the others are all so fantastic, I doubt these will pale in comparison.”

If she’s trying to backtrack her apparent admiration for my work, she’s doing a piss-poor job, at least from my perspective.

And now my dick is hard as a fucking icicle.

Granted, if you stuck an icicle in my pants right now, it would melt in about two and half seconds. Even in December, it’s a scorcher down here in the South.

“Thank you,” I rasp, fighting to get all my bodily functions under control. “I hope they meet your expectations, then.”

Her eyes stay on me for silent moments, baffling me. She never holds eye contact with me for this long. It’s like she makes a point not to.

“Trust me.” Her voice is barely above a whisper. “They’ll exceed them.”

Author Bio:

Melanie grew up in the Midwest, but she loves living in the Southeast (where the beaches are!) now with her husband and daughter.
Melanie’s other passion is traveling and seeing the world. With anthropology degrees under their belts, she and her husband have made it their goal in life to see as many archaeological sites around the world as possible.
She has a horrible food addiction to pasta and candy (not together…ew). And she gets sad when her wine rack is empty.
At the end of the day, she is a true romantic at heart. She loves writing the cheesy and corny of romantic comedies, and the sassy and sexy of suspense. She aims to make her readers swoon, laugh out loud, maybe sweat a little, and above all, fall in love.
Go visit Melanie’s website and sign up for her newsletter to stay updated on release dates, teasers, and other details for all of her projects!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Bookbub / Instagram

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:

Blitz | A Christmas Love Song by Andee Reilly

A Christmas Love Song
Andee Reilly
Publication date: November 8th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

He gave her a song. She gave him Christmas.

Once a huge pop star, Jake Wilder hasn’t written a hit song in over ten years. Stuck playing small-time venues where only his most dedicated fans remember him, a comeback seems improbable. But even those gigs are quickly drying up, and if Jake doesn’t do something soon, he’ll slide into permanent has-been oblivion. In a twist of fate, a record executive with a soft spot for retro artists, holds a competition in search of pop musicians to write a new Christmas classic.

Longing to become a serious and respected journalist, Mackenzie Stone scoffs at her latest assignment to write a profile about a washed-up pop singer. She would prefer to cover hard news rather than light stories assigned by her editor who seems unwilling to give her a chance. Determined to write a noteworthy story and at the same time prove herself, it’s up to Mackenzie to help inspire Jake to compose a Christmas classic.

As Jake struggles to overcome his anxieties and write a great song, Mackenzie digs for a story of substance. Together they find love while also discovering the true meaning of Christmas.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo


Mackenzie Stone stormed into her editor’s office at The Sunrise Press. “Mr. Hughes, you do realize I have a degree in journalism and political science.”

He let out a harsh breath. On several occasions, he’d asked her not to raise her voice, especially in front of the rest of the staff. Not that he’d ever fire her. She was hands down his best reporter.

There were exactly two things she hated: being told what to do and getting assigned fluff pieces.

“I’ve said it a million times.” He looked up from the plant he was watering. She admired his green thumb since she could barely keep her Chia pet alive.

“The political news comes straight from The Associated Press. Our focus is on community events and human-interest stories,” he said.

“And you think what’s going on in the rest of the world isn’t of human interest?” She slapped her hand on the desk for effect. He jumped. Too gentle to be in the cutthroat business of big league journalism in her opinion. Though The Sunrise Press was hardly big league. How he lasted over forty years at the paper was a miracle.

She took in a deep breath. Her father always said her temper would lead to trouble. There was also the whole red-headed stereotype. More than once she’d been called hot-headed and told it had something to do with her flaming red hair. This narrow-minded assumption usually irritated her even more.

“All I’m asking for is a serious story. I need something with grit.”
Mr. Hughes set down the watering can and scratched his head, pushing his gray hair so it stood up in all directions. She stopped herself from smoothing the wayward strands and, while she was at it, straightening the sagging shoulders of his cardigan sweater. He was like the unkempt, sweet old grandfather she wished for as a kid.

He finally said, “Take it easy, Lois Lane. You’ll get your chance at the Pulitzer someday.”

She brushed off the Lois Lane comment. Profiling Superman would be a lot more interesting than the story he had assigned her. “The whole world’s going to pot, and you want me to profile some washed-up pop star named Jake Wilder?”

“Everybody loved him. You know that song,” he said. “‘We looked out at the city lights that night’,” he sang. “‘The connection we both felt, it seemed so right’.”

Not bad. She was getting too distracted and needed to drive the point home that nobody would care about this story. “Yeah, well I had to Google him, and so will the mere handful of people who may want to read about him.”

“Believe it or not, young lady, pop music didn’t begin with Lady Gaga, or whoever it is you’re listening to these days.”

“But there are plenty of washed-up stars to profile. Why him?” “I think the term you’re looking for is retro.”
She imagined that’s how Mr. Hughes referred to himself as well. “If you Googled him, then you should know the answer,” he said. “He’s a local boy. Born and raised in Pasadena. Probably grew up right down the street from you.”

Her family knew everybody in their private, very exclusive neighborhood. She would’ve heard if they had a celebrity, even a former one, in their midst.

“He hasn’t even cinched the deal.” She’d been informed earlier about the details of the contest. Jake Wilder was only one of several artists competing for the shot. “His Christmas song could be a disaster and the story a huge waste of our time.”

“Let me worry about that,” Mr. Hughes said.

“This is so lame.” She slumped into the chair across from him. For five years she’d been compiling a portfolio of important stories that might land her a job at one of the major newspapers. This Jake Wilder nonsense wouldn’t make the cut.

“I got a call from Jake’s manager today. He said we’d have exclusive access to the whole process—from Jake accepting the challenge, to writing the song, to waiting for the call,” he said, punctuating every stage with an animated hand gesture. He was excited about the story, and she knew she’d lost the battle.

“I don’t even like Christmas.” She hoped he wouldn’t remember her desk was covered in Christmas decorations.

He leaned his head back and laughed. “Everybody around here knows the truth. You’re crazy about Christmas.”

Mackenzie had to admit. There was a story. She only had to dig it up.

Author Bio:

Andee Reilly was born and raised in Los Angeles. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the University of California, Riverside, Palm Desert. After many years of teaching writing and literature at California State University, Channel Islands, Andee moved to Maui to pursue her dream of teaching at the University of Hawaii, writing full-time, and surfing the beautiful waves of Hawaii. To learn more, visit http://www.andeereilly.com

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by:

Blitz | There’s A Dead Girl In My Yard by Angela Page and Mia Altieri

There’s A Dead Girl In My Yard
Angela Page & Mia Altieri
Publication date: December 1st 2021
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Crime

Inspired by true events!

The life of Poppy, a struggling actress, is turned upside down when she witnesses the burial of an urn in her yard. Poppy gets entangled with the “dead girl,” Dalia, a Latina health guru, whose mourners show up in the yard, and whose criminal antics, ranging from Miami to New York to L.A., sent her into a witness protection program.

Why does Poppy agree to mourner manage Dalia’s burial site?

Dead Dalia’s fan club overwhelm Poppy with their visits, as do the dangerous signs of Dalia’s former life as healer and thief. Still, Poppy finds that wearing Dalia’s clothes bring her good luck in auditions and that Dalia’s luscious, Latin lovers are irresistible. Is Dalia really dead? Once Poppy is accused of complicity with Dalia’s crimes, she wants everything Dalia out of her life.

Goodreads / Amazon


Just after I moved into the guesthouse, they buried a dead girl in my yard. That’s when my life turned upside down and inside out for the second time. The first time was when the doctors rearranged my colon.

I was thrilled to move into the Topanga Canyon guesthouse, a boho-chic area north of Los Angeles. I knew about Topanga from growing up in the nearby San Fernando Valley. Now, as a struggling, mostly unemployed actress, I was living in a shitty, Hollywood neighborhood. Although it was a cute, little bungalow, the environment was killing me—dirty, filthy, hot, too much traffic, zero fresh air, noisy and people living on the edge. Hollywood was no longer glamorous. And parking was a son of a bitch. Also, at age forty-six, I was done stepping over homeless people. Sorry-not-sorry, and I deserved different and better. Even though many times, I had been close to homeless myself.

The universe spoke when I met Lily Jin at a Hollywood acting workshop. She was an exotic-looking and a mixed something. A twenty-two-year-old gal, and a lite-Buddhist, like me. I usually do just enough chanting to keep the demons and gremlins away for the day.

Lily was wearing torn jeans over her long, model-like legs and a midriff exposing a flat, firm tummy. There was not an ounce of fat anywhere.

Oh, to be twenty again and be able to eat, drink, smoke and snort anything. That was several decades behind me. My five-six, lanky frame was getting flabby. Yes, even skinny people can get flabby. I was now in yucky perimenopause, with the last of my overcooked eggs dropping into withering fallopian tubes and heading down through my dried-up hoo-ha. Luckily, at first glance, you can’t tell this is happening unless you’re airport security staff.

My dirty blonde shoulder length hair only needed a bit of henna to hide the grey and my brown eyes were still bright and youthful. This helped my agent place me in the thirty-five-to-forty-five roles, despite being in my mid-forties.

To date, no surgery, minimal fillers and injectables. However, as I headed towards the half-century mark, I would revisit. In the meantime, I strove to sharpen my acting skills, and let gravity have its way with me.

While in the workshop, Lily and I tried following the acting exercise. As we were pretending to be wounded sheep during an alien invasion, Lily whispered to me, asking if I knew of anyone who wanted to rent her guesthouse. After the workshop, we went to the El Compadre on Sunset to discuss the details. We were served frozen skinny margs, then toasted each other and became besties in an instant. When Lily told me that the guesthouse was in Topanga Canyon, I shouted over the mariachi band, “I’ll take it, I’ll take it, I’ll take it!” Even sight unseen and not knowing the price, she had me at “Topanga Canyon.”

I had heard about Topanga. It was crawling with the famous and the has-beens who never were. The town was known for its eclectic artists and colorful history, including one of the Manson family murders. During the Hollywood golden age, it was the weekend getaway hotspot for the now-dead stars you can see on the Turner Classic Movie channel. It had changed, but still had some leftover glamour and pricey homes. I was already fantasizing about living among the stars, wearing designer sunglasses and sipping champagne.

Before Lily would show me the property, we had to chant together while we were still drinking at El Compadre. The place was crowded, and the mariachi band was still in high gear. I knew I looked skeptical about chanting.

“Come on, we can do it. Tune the Mexicans out,” Lily said as she closed her eyes and chanted.

The waiter came by and made a comment. But I only caught, “Locas.” I kept one eye open and one closed while I chanted with Lily. It felt like a minute, and then she paused. We both instinctually did a pinkie swear. As we exhaled, we vowed to make this living situation work. I was cleared to visit the digs. But the rent Lily was going to charge was under market. So, was there a catch: leaking roof, Peeping Toms, bad plumbing, crawling with critters?

Author Bio:

Angela Page is a writer, film producer, and graduate of The London School of Economics and New York University.

“THERE’S A DEAD GIRL IN MY YARD” is her latest co-authored released inspired by real events!

“SUDDENLY SINGLE SYLVIA,” a novella and dating guide and the basis for the award-winning short film “SYLVIA.”

“MATCHED IN HEAVEN,” a comic fantasy romance, was the winner of the 2015 New Apple humor category and 2015/16 Readers’ Views award winner in romance.

Her short stories have been published in a variety of magazines and anthologies. She wrote and produced the multi award-winning comedy short, “Unplugging Aunt Vera” which is featured on the SHORTS TV channel. Her other short works can be seen on IndiPix Unlimited and FunnyorDie

Website / Goodreads / Instagram

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted by: