Blitz | Mistle Text by Whitney Dineen & Melanie Summers

Mistle Text: ‘Twas the Text Before Christmas …
Whitney Dineen & Melanie Summers
(An Accidentally in Love Story, #5)
Publication date: September 25th 2021
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Holiday, Romance

Twas the text before Christmas…

Twenty-eight-year-old Holly Snow is the only mother her four-year-old niece remembers. Three years earlier, when her sister and brother-in-law were killed, Holly’s dream of becoming an international flight attendant was put on hold so she could be home for baby Faith. Holly is doing everything she can to keep the rent paid, including working as an online travel agent, filing medical claims, and cleaning apartments in her building. When her friend Maggie tells her that her boss needs someone to buy his Christmas gifts, she leaps at the opportunity.

Tall, dark and Scroogy, investment banker, Archibald Harrington is too busy to do his own Christmas shopping. When his assistant tells him she knows of a professional shopper, he happily checks another dreaded task off his holiday list. The last thing Archie is expecting is for his hired elf to text him insistently to find out more about the people on list. The last thing Holly expects is to develop feelings for grumpy man who’s stealing her Christmas spirit.

Will there be a Holiday miracle, or will Holly and Archie miss their chance at love? Find out in the fifth installment of the Accidentally in Love Series.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“My boss needs a personal shopper for Christmas, and I’ve already told him I know the very best one in Manhattan.” Toni gives me an open-mouthed smile, clearly expecting me to jump up and down.

“Your boss. As in Archibald Snooty Pants the Forty-Second?” I ask, pursing my lips.

She opens her mouth, but I cut her off with one finger in the air. “You complain about the man all the time.”

“It’s not like he’s a horrible person, he’s just a one trick pony—all work and no play. Plus, it’s not like you’ll have to work side-by-side with him or anything. You probably won’t even have to see him.”

“I’m not a personal shopper,” I tell her. “Unless his family and friends want ramen noodles or discount t-shirts from the guy who sells them out of his trunk in front of my apartment building, I would have no idea what to buy.”

“Yeah, well, Archie doesn’t know that.” She pumps her eyebrows up and down like a comedian.

“Toni, you told me the guy was a rich stuck-up preppy from the Hamptons. While I would love nothing more than to make some extra money, I don’t have the foggiest notion how to shop for rich people.”

“So watch some holiday episodes of Real Housewives and see what they buy each other. He’ll tell you how much to spend on each person. Come on, Holl, it’s not brain surgery. It’s shopping. You know how to shop. And you need the money.”

“What if he hates me?” I despise feeling so pathetic, but I’m totally out of my league here.

“Then he hates you. So what? Believe me when I tell you, Archibald Harrington only thinks about work. You can’t take anything he says personally.”

Dread slams into me like a wrecking ball. “How much do you think I can make?”

“Enough to pay for Christmas and at least the next three months of Faith’s preschool tuition. How can you pass that up?”

The answer is, I can’t. And if it means working for a cranky billionaire, then Toni is right. I’ll do whatever I have to do in order to take care of Faith. I just can’t guarantee I’ll like it.

“Fine,” I tell her. “How many gifts am I supposed to buy?”

“He’ll need all of his family gifts, which include his godfather’s family. He’s spending Christmas with them in Newport. He wants you to cover his business gifts, as well. The VIPs are starred, meaning those particular gifts need to be extra-amazing. I’ve also made you a list of everything that I want, so I don’t wind up with another Monte Blanc pen. I’ve already sold three of those suckers on eBay and I only get a fraction of what they’re worth.”

“I don’t even know what a Monte Blanc pen is.” My chest tightens like I’m not getting enough oxygen.

She hands me a piece of paper. “This is a list of websites to check out. You can order everything and have it delivered here.”

“Why can’t I just have everything sent to his office? What am I going to do with it?”

After taking a healthy swig of white zinfandel, Toni says, “You’re going to wrap everything up and make it look like Santa himself cracked the whip on the gift-wrapping elves. Once you have everything purchased and ready, I’ll send a car to pick the gifts up.”

“You’ll send a car, will you?” I tease.

“Yeah, well, I can do those fancy things in the name of my boss.”

“How am I going to pay for everything?” I ask. “I have about two hundred dollars of credit left on my card. I don’t think that’s going to cut it.”

Toni opens her purse and hands me a shiny black credit card. “There’s no limit, so if you don’t mind doing a little jail time, you could have a lot of fun.”

“No limit? I can’t imagine such a thing.” I fantasize about what damage I could do with plastic like this. Not only could I pay for Faith’s school for the rest of the year, but I could also get my mom into one of those nursing homes that has a hair salon and restaurant. I could upgrade to a two-bedroom apartment so Faith doesn’t have to sleep in the closet anymore, and I could even splurge and buy myself some real leather gloves.

“You’re imagining, aren’t you?” Toni jolts me out of my daydream.

“I most certainly am. The first thing I’d do is buy Faith whatever winter coat she wanted and then I’d take her out to a nice restaurant.”

Toni rolls her eyes. “If you’re going down for a crime, you’ve got to think bigger.”

I stare at the card for a second, then look back up at Toni. “How can you stand working for someone who has so much? Don’t you just want to steal cash out of his wallet once in a while?” I don’t really have the heart of a felon, I’m just tired of always being broke.

“The nice thing about Archie is that even though he has the personality of a killer shark, he’s generous. He has a Friday lunch catered for his staff every week, and he makes sure to float us enough extras that none of us are tempted to steal from him. He’s a good businessman.”

“Even though he’s a stuck-up preppy?” I ask for clarification.

“Exactly.”

I look at the list of stores she thinks I should shop at—Tiffany’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Harrods, The House of Bijan … “What’s my budget?”

She hands me another piece of paper. The handwriting isn’t hers, so I’m guessing it’s Archie’s. “He wants me to spend four thousand dollars on his mother?!”

“Yup. He wants her to have two gifts. One of them needs to be the main. The other can be fancy ass chocolates or something.”

“Right, but probably not gas station chocolates.”

“Quit stressing, Holls, you’ve got this.”

I don’t know why, but for the life of me I can’t see this ending well…

Author Bio:

Whitney loves to laugh, play with her kids, bake, and eat french fries — not always in that order.

Whitney is a multi-award-winning author of romcoms, non-fiction humor, and middle reader fiction. Basically, she writes whatever the voices in her head tell her to.

She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband, Jimmy, where they raise children, chickens, and organic vegetables.

Gold Medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2017.

Silver medal winner at the International Readers’ Favorite Awards, 2015, 2016.

Finalist RONE Awards, 2016.

Finalist at the IRFA 2016, 2017.

Finalist at the Book Excellence Awards, 2017

Finalist Top Shelf Indie Book Awards, 2017

Author links
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.

Melanie made a name for herself with her debut novel, Break in Two, a contemporary romance that cracked the Top 10 Paid on Amazon in both the UK and Canada, and the top 50 Paid in the USA. Her highly acclaimed Full Hearts Series was picked up by both Piatkus Entice (a division of Hachette UK) and HarperCollins Canada. Her first three books have been translated into Czech and Slovak by EuroMedia. Since 2013, she has written and published three novellas, and eight novels (of which seven have been published). She has sold over a quarter of a million books around the globe.

In her previous life (i.e. before having children), Melanie got her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, then went on to work in the soul-sucking customer service industry for a large cellular network provider that shall remain nameless (unless you write her personally – then she’ll dish). On her days off, she took courses and studied to become a Chartered Mediator. That designation landed her a job at the R.C.M.P. as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for ‘K’ Division. Having had enough of mediating arguments between gun-toting police officers, she decided it was much safer to have children so she could continue her study of conflict in a weapon-free environment (and one which doesn’t require makeup and/or nylons).

Melanie resides in Edmonton with her husband, three young children, and their adorable but neurotic one-eyed dog. When she’s not writing novels, Melanie loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. She also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken ‘from above’. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something–more like just staying until they turn the lights off.

She is represented by Suzanne Brandreth of The Cooke Agency International.

Author links
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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Review | Flower Crowns and Fearsome Things by Amanda Lovelace

In her new standalone poetry collection, flower crowns & fearsome things, bestselling & award-winning poetess Amanda Lovelace explores the complexity of femininity through alternating wildflower & wildfire poems.

Within these pages, you will find that each of us has the ability to be both soft & fierce at the same time. there is no need to choose one or the other.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was excited when I saw that Amanda Lovelace was coming out with a new collection, and seeing the theme of it – the duality of Persephone/women, really got me interested. I really enjoyed the back and forth play between the two voices as the collection progressed. The illustrated pages of the two perspectives also had an impact. There are definitely trigger warnings for domestic abuse, rape, sexism and more, but there is a page in the beginning that gives a list. All in all this is another solid collection to add to your library if you are a fan of Amanda Lovelace’s poetry.

Happy reading!

Blitz | Resting Beach Face by Melanie Summers

Resting Beach Face
Melanie Summers
(Paradise Bay, #4)
Publication date: September 16th 2021
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Contemporary, Romance

“My favorite voice in the romantic comedy genre—clever, modern, and laugh-out-loud funny.” ~ New York Times Bestselling Author Lauren Layne
“Sweet, Sexy. Compelling. …a hilarious romantic comedy that will keep readers happily turning the pages.” ~ Chick Lit Café

Melanie Summers welcomes you back to Paradise Bay for a ridiculously romantic, laugh-out-loud tale of reluctant homecomings, lost loves, and second chances…

Yoga instructor, Hadley Jones, has loved Chase Williams since high school. Fifteen years later, she still does. And while he hasn’t popped the question yet, she knows it’s only a matter of time. Little does Hadley know Chase has been busy making wedding plans—just not with her.

Heath Robinson left the Santa Valentina Islands the first chance he got. He’s about to pull together the biggest aeronautical merger in history when he gets a call that has him boarding a plane home. Now, instead of sipping whiskey sours with the big boys, he’ll be watching his bed-ridden mother sip from a juice box. His plan is to help her recover from her moped accident as quickly as possible so he can get back to his real life—hopefully before he runs into the girl who crushed his heart, Hadley Jones.

Will Hadley realize that Heath is the real man of her dreams? Will Heath forgive Hadley? Will his mum ever ride a moped again?

Find out in this delightfully funny tale of life coming full circle! Resting Beach Face is sure to leave you smiling…

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

So, you know when you’re in the shower or on a long drive and your mind starts to wander and you find yourself thinking about that moment when you’ll have a chance encounter with the person who tore your heart to shreds? Yeah, of all the ways I imagined this, not one time did I picture myself crawling under the door to a dressing booth, with three pairs of high-cut cotton knickers in my hand, no less.

I get down on all fours on the not-so-clean tile floor, then flatten out as though I’m about to do one of those crawl-through-the-mud training exercises the army seems to like so much. A woman with a stroller happens to come out from behind a nearby clothing rack and gasps.

“Oh no! This is not what it looks like. I’m not some perv sneaking a look at women while they change,” I say quickly.

She purses her lips and does the one-eyebrow raise while pointing at the undies I’m clutching.

“These are for my mum,” I tell her, but I can see in her eyes, this woman has already made up her mind about me. And she’s certain I’m a total pervert.

“Wait!” Hadley says. “Is there a woman there? Maybe she could help me?”

Yes! Brilliant. I glance back up only to see the woman hightailing it out of here. “She’s gone.”

“Damn.”

“I guess I’m all you’ve got,” I tell her.

Author Bio:

Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.

Melanie made a name for herself with her debut novel, Break in Two, a contemporary romance that cracked the Top 10 Paid on Amazon in both the UK and Canada, and the top 50 Paid in the USA. Her highly acclaimed Full Hearts Series was picked up by both Piatkus Entice (a division of Hachette UK) and HarperCollins Canada. Her first three books have been translated into Czech and Slovak by EuroMedia. Since 2013, she has written and published three novellas, and eight novels (of which seven have been published). She has sold over a quarter of a million books around the globe.

In her previous life (i.e. before having children), Melanie got her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, then went on to work in the soul-sucking customer service industry for a large cellular network provider that shall remain nameless (unless you write her personally – then she’ll dish). On her days off, she took courses and studied to become a Chartered Mediator. That designation landed her a job at the R.C.M.P. as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for ‘K’ Division. Having had enough of mediating arguments between gun-toting police officers, she decided it was much safer to have children so she could continue her study of conflict in a weapon-free environment (and one which doesn’t require makeup and/or nylons).

Melanie resides in Edmonton with her husband, three young children, and their adorable but neurotic one-eyed dog. When she’s not writing novels, Melanie loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. She also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken ‘from above’. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something–more like just staying until they turn the lights off.

She is represented by Suzanne Brandreth of The Cooke Agency International.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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Review | Questions for Rebel Girls

Questions for Rebel Girls sparks lively discussions with more than 500 kid-friendly questions inspired by real rebel women from the best-selling Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls series.

Jane Goodall devoted her life to studying chimpanzees. If you dedicated your life to one type of animal, what would it be?

When cyclist Alfonsina Strada began racing, she was so unstoppable that newspapers nicknamed her “the devil in a dress.” What would your cycling nickname be?

Celia Cruz is the Queen of Salsa music. Beyoncé is a pop superstar. Roxanne Shante is an amazing rapper. And Joan Jett is all about rock and roll. If you could be a singing sensation, what type of music would you sing? If you could perform a duet with anyone in the world, who would you pick? 

If you could meet any woman from any country and any time in history, who would it be? What would you ask her? 

Would you rather ask questions or answer them?
 Luckily, with Questions for Rebel Girls, you can do both!

Girls love to explore their feelings, uncover their personality, and decode the world around them. One way to do that is to explore their answers to provocative questions about anything and everything. Questions for Rebel Girls introduces readers to extraordinary women throughout history and asks them to imagine themselves in similar scenarios. Designed to ignite exciting discussions between little rebels and their siblings, friends, and grown-ups, Questions for Rebel Girls is packed with more than 500 entertaining and thought-provoking questions—including some questions submitted by young fans of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This addition to the Rebel Girls series is a little different, it still includes snippets about many different women/girls and what they are known for, but the main aspect of this one is asking questions of girls who are reading it. Some of them are very deep and introspective questions, some are questions that are simpler such as ‘this or that’ questions and there are even questions sent in by readers! The colors are bright and fun, and as in the other books the artwork is done by different artists that showcase their individual styles. This is a great addition to the series as a whole.

Happy reading!

Blitz | The Grove by Karri Thompson

The Grove
Karri Thompson
Publication date: September 21st 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Entering the woods is forbidden. To go in can mean a fate worse than death. At least that’s what seventeen-year-old Laura has been told. But living in a new town with nothing to do, she ignores her mother’s dire warnings and explores the forest near her home.

The trees entice Laura deeper into the woods. A mysterious, soothing voice calls her name, and she becomes lost. When a young man finds her, she thinks she’s saved. But he insists their meeting is more than a coincidence. For centuries, his colony has been waiting for a savior. With his alluring eyes and gentle smile, Laura almost believes his crazy story.

Caught between worlds, and with her life at stake, she doesn’t know who to believe or trust. Her heart tells her one thing and her head another.

Is it her destiny, or will her fate only postpone the inevitable?

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

EXCERPT:

The hair on my arms rose. My heart thumped hard, the blood pulsing through my chest into my throat. Looking left and right, my muscles tensed to run or fight.

“Who’s there? What do you want?” I said at the same low whisper, my voice shaking.

A shimmering blur disappeared behind a tree—a featureless something, flashing in indistinguishable color as quickly as a silent whip.

“Laura,” someone said again, gentle and feather-light, drifting between the largest trees in front of me.

I held my breath.

“Laura.” My name resonated through the humid night air, echoing through the sugar maples before it thinned and died.

It was a male voice, full- bodied, but lacking malevolence and hostility. Strangely, it put me at ease. There must be a boy somewhere out here in the woods. I was sure of it. The voice sounded young, maybe my age of seventeen.

Or maybe it was a ghost. My Uncle Dean had told me the locals believed these woods were haunted. But ghosts couldn’t kill. At least that’s what I believed.

“Who are you?” I asked, relaxing my stiff muscles just enough to take a step forward. My shoulders dropped as I exhaled a pent-up breath. Broadening my stance, I leaned forward, raising the branch, and squeezed my eyes shut, hoping to hear it again.

“Laura,” it repeated. The word lingered through the dead of night, ringing softly in my ears. I opened my eyes.

“How do you know my name?” I asked, moving toward the direction of the voice. As a cool breeze rustled my pajama shorts, I wrapped one arm around myself.

A bird chirp rode the wind, followed by several more, weaving into a rhythm of tweets and trills. I looked up. Within the tousle of leaves and sway of thin limbs, perched a gathering of birds, flexing their wings for flight.

I took a step backwards, my eyes fixed on the canopy of leaves.

The bird calls increased, one squawk overlapping the other until their unique melody collapsed, twisting into an eerie song and wing beats.

“A–are you still there?” I breathed, eyeing the woods ahead of me and taking another step back.

A smear of color flashed to my left, and a cloud of leaves rose from the forest floor.

“Don’t go,” I said, breaking from a whisper.

The woods resonated with angry bird speak, their unnatural song thumping in my ears.

“I want to see you,” I shouted above the rising mad twitter.

A shadow skated across the ground at my feet. Wings flapped overhead, and a bird beak met my scalp with a hard peck.

Author Bio:

Karri Thompson, a native of San Diego, attended San Diego State University where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English and master’s degree in education. When she’s not writing novels and teaching high school English, she can be found nerding out at San Diego Comic-Con and cooking delicious meals for her family. Karri is the recipient of the San Diego Book Awards Best Published Young Adult Novel for 2014.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


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Writing Update | 9/21

Hey everyone! I realized it had been quite a while since I talked about writing, so it was about time I brought you up to speed. Since July’s session of Camp Nanowrimo I’ve taken it easy. This ongoing pandemic has impacted my mental health in numerous ways and honestly this year I’ve just needed to accept that and the things that go along with it. I know we’ll get there eventually, I hope things will improve and that we will finally get to that light at the end of the tunnel.

After Camp I was pretty disheartened to be honest, my writing wasn’t flowing as well as I wanted it to and while I was trying to be kind to myself about it, there was still a part of me that was having a hard time with it. I decided I was going to take a break for a while and while that has helped, I know I’m not 100%. My autoimmune conditions have been flaring up as well as my chronic pain, so doing a lot of things have been harder. It’s not an excuse, just plain fact. Posting daily on my blog isn’t always easy, but it’s something I’m committed to because it does bring me joy.

So, writing – I am happy to say that I’ve actually been writing more. I haven’t been forcing myself or trying to hit any goals, just opening up documents when the mood strikes me. I will be participating in Nanowrimo in November, so I’ve made a promise to myself not to push myself until then. I don’t yet know which project I’ll be working on, but it might even be something new. That’s not set in stone of course since I could just work on something existing, but I am excited for November to arrive.

Does anyone else plan on doing Nanowrimo this year?

Happy writing!

Oddball (Sarah’s Scribbles #4) by Sarah Andersen

The fourth book in the enormously popular graphic novel series, the latest collection of Sarah’s Scribbles comics explores the evils of procrastination, the trials of the creative process, the cuteness of kittens, and the beauty of not caring about your appearance as much as you did when you were younger. When it comes to humorous illustrations of the awkwardness and hilarity of millennial life, Sarah’s Scribbles is without peer.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

As someone who has followed Sarah’s work for a long time, I was excited to see she has another collection coming out. In it we have a collection of Sarah’s webcomics covering a range of topics from being an introvert, living in the time we live in, being artistic and more. I especially love her comics that highlight awkwardness and of course cats. This collection also highlights a few that are references to how hard the last couple years have been. Sarah does not disappoint with this collection and it is a great addition to the series.

Happy reading!

Blitz | Monster Hunter for Hire: Super Beast by L. West

Monster Hunter for Hire: Super Beast
L. West
Publication date: September 18th 2021
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

After a run-in with the Sebring Beach police department where a vampire’s servant ended up dead, Helena Graves is offered two choices – help the local PD chase down wanted monsters or spend the next ten years in prison.

Since she has a teenage daughter to raise, it was an easy decision for her to make.

Between running a somewhat controversial business, tense teacher conferences, and killer supernaturals on the loose, there’s never a dull moment in Sebring Beach or Helena’s life.

And for the first time in decades, her love life is about to get very interesting.

Goodreads / Amazon

Grab the first story of this series,
Monster Hunter for Hire: Filthy Creatures,
for FREE!

EXCERPT:

“Someone in your pack is rabid?” Henry asks, his face and Amos’s both equally horrified.

“Yes,” I answer for Calvin when he turns away to wipe his damp face with the collar of his tee.

“Is the pack going to put him down?” Amos questions Calvin, who shakes his head. “Why the hell not?” he grumbles.

“We voted on it, and almost everyone said no, to leave it up to someone else. Right or wrong, whoever ends his life will be shunned in the pack by the rest of the wolves. They may as well put the gun to their head when it’s over!”

Henry is already shaking his head when he gets to his feet. “No, Lena!” I take a step back as he comes closer. Frowning after I retreated from him, he stops advancing. “You have to let someone else go after the wolf!”

“I didn’t take the job,” I assure him. “His parents came to me tonight. They want me to track him down so they can see if the vaccine is working.”

“Nothing will save him now, not even a vaccine,” Amos says gravely. “Sorry, Calvin, but a quick death is the best the wolves can hope for now. That’s the only option before he infects other shifters and starts killing humans.”

“You’re sure?” I ask him.

“Yes!” Henry and Amos both adamantly agree.

“Well, who is going to be able to handle taking on something like this?” I ask the shifters. “The police sure as hell can’t.”

“I honestly don’t know,” Henry replies, hands on his hips in thought, drawing my attention to the scratches again. “Maybe I can talk to my dad about getting a bounty hunter from out of town to come in and track him. It’ll need to be a sniper, though, someone who doesn’t have to get close to kill him.”

I wince as I glance over at the still-pale Calvin, who walks out of the locker room without another word.

“You guys could be a little more sympathetic around him,” I tell the alphas as I start to back away. “What if it was someone in your pride, Henry, or your sleuth, Amos?”

“Sorry, Helena,” Amos mutters.

“Yeah, I’m sorry too, Lena,” Henry agrees. “But this isn’t your problem. The shifters will handle it. A rabid wolf would tear you into pieces, sweetheart.”

Author Bio:

L. West is the pseudonym of husband and wife writing duo, Lane Hart and D.B. West.

They’re excited to invite you into their supernatural world in the new Monster Hunter for Hire series!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook


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Blitz | Beneath the Destiny Stone by Sarah Charles

Beneath the Destiny Stone
Sarah Charles
Publication date: September 6th 2021
Genres: Adult, Time-Travel

A medieval Scottish blacksmith and a millennial from Detroit walk into a bar…

By the age of six, Fiona could sink a bank shot.

By eight she could mix a perfect Manhattan.

By twenty-two, she had a business degree and a concrete plan to save her grandfather’s failing bar.

Then she was pushed through a time-portal.

Now Fiona is stuck in fourteenth-century Scotland with no way home. There’s a good chance time-soldiers are after her. And Henry, the guy she’s shacked up with, is a grumpy son-of-a-bitch who doesn’t get her at all.

He is hot, though.

And brave.

And most definitely the love of her life.

If the two of them can stop bickering long enough, Fiona just might be able to have it all—the tavern of her dreams and the first man who can actually keep up with her. That is, if they can survive the battles, murder, and mayhem of the Middle Ages and the time-soldiers who have a hand in it all.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

**10% of book sale profits and 100% book merchandise profits go to The Three Penny Project, Sarah’s charity working to plant food-bearing, perennial plants throughout Toledo!

EXCERPT:

My granda once met the devil himself.

At least, that was the story he was telling his friends. They sat at their usual corner table of the Caledonia Club—Old John, William, Robert, and Granda. Above them, an olive-green lamp illuminated a haze of cigar smoke and dust motes. A Scottish flag hung behind their heads, and on a pedestal in the corner sat a bust of Robert Burns, there to remind them what becomes of the best laid schemes o’ mice an’ men.

His voice carried across the club to my spot behind the bar, and I smiled to myself. Of all Granda’s stories, I loved this one most.

“There I was, storming the shores of Normandy, gunfire blazing on all sides.” He paused for dramatic effect. “But it wasna the bullets I feared. Nay. It was the man standing before me with fire in his eyes.” He stared each of his friends in the eye. “Auld Clootie.”

Jones, the Caledonia Club’s shift manager and sometimes cook, laughed beside me as he counted out cash for the till. “What the fuck is a clootie?”

I gave the bar a final wipe and tossed the rag into sanitizing solution. “It’s a Scottish thing. They don’t like to say devil, so they’ve got a bunch of nicknames for him.”

Jones smirked. “You sure they’re not talking about their Depends? I bet John’s wearing an old clootie right now.”

I laughed despite myself. “Don’t start. It’s already bad enough I have to deal with that lot.”

As if to punctuate my point, William knocked over his drink, and the rest of the table hooted and hollered.

Jones jotted down the register balance in an old-fashioned paper ledger and bumped the drawer closed with his hip. He raised an eyebrow. “You sure you want to do this now?”

I glanced at the old men and sighed. “Better now than after they’ve cashed that bottle of Glen Livet.”

He put a hand to my shoulder. “I have complete and utter faith in you. You’ve got this!” He yanked his phone from his pocket. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m just going to check out some job sites for completely unrelated reasons…”

I flicked him in the forehead and snickered. “Dick.” He handed me the ledger, and I headed from the bar to join the old men.

“…so, I shot off his horns and shamed him back to hell,” Granda finished with a grin. The old men laughed and nodded in approval.

“It takes bigger stones than Auld Clootie’s to take on a Highlander,” said Old John.

“Aye. Aye. True enough.” William nodded.

I pulled a chair from a neighboring table and squeezed in next to Granda. He flashed me a wide grin. “Ah, Fiona, love. I was just tellin’ the lads about the time—”

I gave him a quick peck on the forehead. “I heard you, Granda.”

He patted my cheek. “Such a bonnie lass.” He beamed at his friends. “Isna my granddaughter the bonniest lass ye’ve ever seen?”

Robert raised his glass in salute. “Stunning.”

William winked. “Like a young Audrey Hepburn.”

I rolled my eyes. Sure, I looked exactly like Audrey Hepburn, except for my face full of freckles and head full of curls. I supposed we were both brunettes, though, so there was that.

“Oi, Poof.” Old John waved an empty whisky bottle at Jones. “We need another.”

I grimaced at John’s words snatched the bottle from his hand. “What did I tell you?”

His brows crinkled. “What? I just said—”

I glared down the bridge of my nose at him. “Do I have to call your wife and make her come get your old homophobic ass?”

Jones sauntered to the table with a fresh bottle. “It’s all right. We all know why he likes to suck on them cigars all day.” He winked at Old John and set the bottle in front of him.

Everybody burst out laughing, except for Old John who flushed purple. I slid the ledger in front of Granda.

He held it at arm’s length and squinted at the numbers. “What am I lookin’ at?”

I gnawed on my cheek. “We didn’t break even this month.”

He gave a half-hearted shrug. “Aye, well…business’ll pick up.”

I took a deep breath. “No, it won’t. We have three customers, and they’re all at this table.”

William lit a cigar. “Aye, but Robert drinks as much as five men.”

“Used to say the same o’ your mum,” Robert shot back, and the old men cackled.

I looked Granda in the eye. “We need to bring in a younger crowd.”

“How should we do that? Turn the place into a disco?” Granda gestured around the empty bar. “Bring in a few go-go dancers?” The old men laughed.

I narrowed my eyes. “Be serious.”

Author Bio:

Sarah Charles is the author of Beneath the Destiny Stone, a book she wrote to keep from going insane while recovering from a spinal injury. (It mostly worked). A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, Sarah graduated suma cum laude with degrees in Psychology and German. Since then, she’s worked in the mental health field, owned a custom cake business, and given birth to three future super villains. She currently spends her days writing and working to bring food forests to Toledo through her charity The Three Penny Project. In her rare moments of free-time, Sarah dabbles in all things craftsy. She particularly enjoys wood-burning, rehabilitating old furniture, gardening, baking, and playing with clay.

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Review | Oh My Gods! by Stephanie Cooke, Insha Fitzpatrick and Juliana Moon

Karen is just an average thirteen-year-old from New Jersey who loves to play video games with her friends and watch movies with her mom. But when she moves to Greece to live with her eccentric, mysterious father, Zed, suddenly everything she thought about herself—about life—is up in the air.

Starting a new school can be difficult, but starting school at Mt. Olympus Junior High, where students are gods and goddesses, just might take the cake. Especially when fellow classmates start getting turned to stone. Greek mythology . . . a little less myth, a little more eek! And if Karen’s classmates are immortal beings, who does that make her?

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This graphic novel was a cute take on the Greek gods and what would happen if Zeus had a daughter that knew nothing about the gods and suddenly has to move in with him in Mt. Olympus. It was a fun modern story of Karen suddenly being among the gods and goddesses in a high school setting with a mystery that they band together to solve. I really liked Karen’s developing relationship with her father and how she bonded with some of the gods she met. It was an adorable story all in all.

Happy reading!