Thursday, March 31, 2016

"The story behind The Wrong Road Home – A story of treachery and deceit inspired by true events," by Ian A. O’Connor

If I had to pinpoint that one moment, that nexus which propelled me to write this story, it had to be when I was awakened by the shrill ringing of my phone at 11 o’clock on a steamy August Saturday night. The caller was in tears and incoherent, but I recognized his voice.
“Desmond, you’ve got to slow down.  I’m not understanding a word you’re saying.”
“Ian…I’m ruined…I have nothing left to live for,” Desmond Donahue managed through a series of wracking sobs.
I bolted upright in my bed. My longtime, stoic, undemonstrative friend was more than just hinting at committing suicide. The desperation in his voice was a chilling portent of what was surely to come. Instinctively, I knew that the next words I would choose for my reply would be crucial, so after taking that proverbial deep breath, I calmly asked, “Can you tell me what’s wrong, Desmond?”
“I can’t.”  His sobbing turned into an atavistic howl, causing the hairs on the back of my neck and arms to stand on edge.  In a voice barely above a whisper, he continued, “You’ll read all about it in The Miami Herald tomorrow morning. My story will be plastered all over the front page.” There was a pause while Desmond blew his nose, and then, after a long silence, said, “Goodbye, Ian, you’ve been a good friend. Please don’t try to call me back because I won’t answer.” 
I heard a click. He had hung up. As I stared into the darkness with my mind racing, I remember saying out loud, “This night is not going to end well.”
Desmond Donahue did not commit suicide that night, but the front page story in The Miami Herald the following morning was a blockbuster! My longtime friend had been uncovered as a complete fraud in a trial pitting him as an injured driver in a not-at-fault accident against an intransigent insurance carrier two days earlier.  And for the very first time I learned that Desmond Donahue had been practicing medicine for over twenty years—both in his native Ireland and later in Coral Gables, Florida—girded with nothing more than a Chicago School System GED certificate and a handful of fake medical school diplomas.
Right then and there I knew I had one whale of a story to tell.

 Title: The Wrong Road Home – A story of treachery and deceit inspired by true events
Release Date: March 31, 2016 
Publisher: Pegasus Publishing & Entertainment Group 
Pages: 280
Genre: Historical Medical Crime 
Format: Trade paperback and EBook
Purchase on Amazon 

Book Description

“An intimate look at a life lived as a lie.” – Kirkus Reviews

Inspired by a true story, The Wrong Road Home is the story of Desmond Donahue. Born into abject poverty in Ireland, Donahue went on to successfully practice his craft as a surgeon for 20 years—first in Ireland and then the United States.  So isn’t Donahue’s tale a classic rags-to-riches, American dream story?  Hardly.  Donahue was girded with nothing more than a Chicago School System GED and several counterfeit medical diplomas. It seems impossible—and understandably so—but it’s a story based on a Miami Herald Sunday edition front page exposĂ©.  An Oprah producer pursued the imposter for weeks, as did Bill O’Reilly. Simply put, Desmond Donahue’s story is a story that really happened.

A gripping story that is alternately shocking, heartbreaking, and unbelievable, The Wrong Road Home will leave readers spellbound. Ian A. O’Connor, an imaginative and skillful storyteller, paints a vivid portrait of a complicated, complex character who comes alive within the story’s pages.   Reminiscent of Catch Me if You Can, The Wrong Road Home fuses elements of true crime, memoir, and drama.  Groundbreaking, inventive and innovative, The Wrong Road Home is an extraordinary story exceptionally well told. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Book Feature: Hot for Scot and Beauty and the Bull Rider

Hot for Scot et all banner

Inside the Book:

Hot for the Scot

Title: Hot for the Scot
Author: Janice Maynard
Release Date: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ebook

In Janice Maynard’s sweet and sexy new series, three childhood friends with a shared passion for the Outlander novels and TV show decide to travel to Scotland looking for adventure—and their very own Highland heroes…

It’s a dream come true for schoolteacher Hayley Smith. No homework to grade, no students to corral, no social media, Internet or cell phone…just a month amid the heather and rolling hills around Inverness. A brawny alpha male in a kilt is probably too much to ask for. But Hayley is in heaven ambling around Loch Ness, gazing and then…falling into the icy water, before being rescued by a strong, chivalrous local hero…

Retired soccer star Angus Munro, aka Angus the Angler, is a little insulted and a whole lot intrigued when Hayley doesn’t recognize him. How long has it been since anyone saw beyond his wealth and fame? And how long before the macho athlete and his modern-day American damsel in distress act on an attraction that could make even the misty Scottish moors sizzle with heat? Long enough, maybe, for both to figure out if this is an affair to remember…or the start of something everlasting…

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Meet the Author:

janice maynard USA Today bestselling author Janice Maynard knew she loved books and writing by the time she was eight years old. But it took multiple rejections and many years of trying before she sold her first three novels. After teaching kindergarten and second grade for a number of years, Janice turned in her lesson plan book and began writing full-time. Since then she has sold over thirty-five books and novellas. Her publishers include Kensington, Penguin/NAL, Berkley, and Harlequin. Her Men of Wolff Mountain books are fan favorites, and Janice is now deeply involved with her new cast of heroes in the long running Kavanaghs of Silver GlenSeries.

Inside the Book:


Title: Beauty and the Bull Rider
Author: Victoria Vane
Release Date: March 15, 2016
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Format: Ebook

When Beauty Wants A Baby

Championship bull breeder and former Texas beauty queen Delaney McCall was having a heck of a time finding a daddy for the baby she craved. A failed marriage left her with no desire for another husband, but finding the right stud to satisfy her needs presents a bigger problem that she could have imagined.

And The Bullrider Wants Beauty

After hanging up his spurs, bull rider Zac McDaniel wants nothing more than to fulfill Delaney's dream of having a family. After all, his best friend's ex has been his fantasy for years. Zac, however, has no desire to be seen as just a means to an end. And when Zac insists on doing things the "old fashioned" way, their passion explodes like a bull out of the chute…

Some Bucking Is Bound To Happen

While insisting it's all just a passing fancy, the more Delaney sees the softer side of the rough and tumble cowboy, the harder it is to keep her emotions corraled. Zac, meanwhile, is more determined than ever to prove he's what she really needs, and will do whatever it takes to tear down the mile high fence around her heart…

Praise for Victoria Vane

"Erotic and sexy." --Library Journal on the Devil DeVere series

"For erotic passion and one-liners, the first book in Vane's new series will satisfy...Vane's latest gets a big yee-haw." --RT Book Reviews on Slow Hand

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Meet the Author:

Victoria Vane 1
Victoria Vane is an award-winning author of smart and sexy romance. Her work includes everything from wild comedic romps to emotionally compelling erotic romance. Her historical romances have received more than twenty awards and nominations to include the 2014 RONE Award for Treacherous Temptations and Library Journal Best E-Book romance of 2012 for The Devil DeVere series. She is now making waves in contemporary romance with her critically acclaimed Hot Cowboy Nights series from Sourcebooks (Slow Hand, Rough Rider, Sharp Shooter, Silver Tongue). Look for her scorching hot Hotel Rodeo series coming from Kensington early 2016.
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In the Spotlight: Unicorn by L.E. Get

Title: Unicorn: Addiction, Guilt, and a Decision That Will Change Her Life
Author: L.E. Get
Publisher: Telemachus Press
Pages: 240
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Literary Fiction/Drama

Scarlet has the life most only dream about—she travels the world, she makes plenty of money and she has the best friend anyone could ask for. 

But, piece by piece, her world is falling apart because of her damaged family, years of resentment and her sister’s drug and alcohol addiction. Scarlet tries to keep it together, but when her sister desperately needs help, Scarlet has to make a decision that will change every part of her life. Unicorn is a story of internal struggle, choices, and a broken family.

For More Information

  • Unicorn: Addiction, Guilt, and a Decision That Will Change Her Life is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:
I’m invisible to most people, unless I have something to give them. Saying no feels like I’m pushing away the people I want to be close to. So when my mother called to tell me she needed me to come home because my sister, Amelia, was sick and in the hospital again, I grudgingly boarded a plane back to Denver to deal with my family.
Exhausted and needing a distraction, I was hoping I could sleep away my anger and resentment on the long flight home from Dubai. I reclined my seat, closed my eyes and imagined the celebration of the successful show and after-party I was missing. While I was packing my bags and trying to book a flight, the other models were mingling with the hot, new UAE designers looking to sign models. The show had been a highlight in my career, a game-changing event that could have secured a generous contract. Instead, I was sitting next to a woman wearing too much rose-scented perfume, on a long flight home to participate in Amelia’s drama. I reached up, twisted on the air and closed my eyes once more replaying my mother’s phone call.

“Scarlet, can you come home right away? How long will it take you to get home? Amelia’s in the hospital,” Mom said.
So Amelia is in the hospital again, for the umpteenth time. What else is new? “I’m not supposed to leave until tomorrow, maybe the next day. We just finished the show and I still need to wrap things up.”
“Your sister needs you here right away. She’s very sick… I need you here.” She started to cry.
I took a deep breath, then spoke without thinking. “Amelia needs detox and treatment… She’s probably out of prescription drugs and needs a refill,” I added callously.

I hated feeling so heartless, and tears escaped from my closed eyes. I was frustrated and tired. I needed sleep. I would have a lot to deal with once I was home.

About the Author

L.E. Get understands the devastation and pain that drug and alcohol addiction causes. He’s experienced the crazy-making behavior addicts inflict on family and friends. But he has also witnessed the miracles of sobriety. L.E. Get wrote Unicorn: Addiction, Guilt, and a Decision That Will Change Her Life, for family and friends of alcoholics and addicts because he knows that loving an addicted person is frustrating and lonely.
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Monday, March 28, 2016

Guest post: "OLD DOGS AND BLUE LEOPARDS" by Sylvia Dickey Smith, author of 'Original Cyn'

Not only can old dogs learn new tricks but leopards can also change their spots. You don’t believe me? I tell you it is true. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. For you see, I am that old dog leaping backwards over an inflamed barrel. I’m also the blue leopard with big orange polka dots.
I describe myself as born backward—one foot first, and left-handed—and seem to have done most things backward ever since. At seventeen, and still a high school junior, I married a preacher and soon became known as the preacher’s wife. Today, it is difficult to imagine a girl, barely 17, take on that responsibility—a kid playing grown up. But I sailed along just fine, any answer I needed given to me by my husband. He even gave answers to many questions I never asked.
I started college as a forty-year-old freshman and in a few short years gained a degree in sociology, a master’s in educational psychology, and then a divorce! Five years later, I got engaged, bought a house, took a honeymoon in Hawaii, and married in Las Vegas on the way home.
You still with me so far on this backwards thing?
After many years working in the human services field, I retired and took on a whole new career—I wrote a mystery book that led to the Sidra Smart Mystery Series, along with a cookbook to match. I wrote the award-winning A War Of Her Own, a historical novel set in Texas during WWII, and now, my recently released contemporary novel, Original Cyn. 
I write strong women. Why? I’ve realized that writing is my passion, but writing strong women is REALLY my passion. So, I might write mystery, historical fiction, and contemporary, but whatever I write, it features a strong woman. Of course the character likely won’t start out that way, but by the time I’m through with her, I guarantee you, she will be. My latest, Original Cyn, takes on a controversial subject relevant to societal discussions today. It is my first attempt to write on a topic that I know many will object to, and that’s just the way it goes. Standing in my power. Speaking truth to power.
Think that’s a reflection of my life? You bet your bottom patootie it is.
One thing I’ve learned is it makes no difference whether you live your life backwards or forwards, the important thing is that you LIVE IT. And never say, never. Never not do something—anything, because you think you’re too old, too dumb, too smart, too whatever.
If you want to do it, go for it.

Genre: women’s fiction
Author: Sylvia Dickey Smith
Publisher: White Bird Publications
Purchase on Amazon

About Original Cyn:  Protagonist Cynthia Carter’s life appears perfect—but for the fact that she and her husband, The Reverend Wilburn Carter, are controlled by fear.  Cynthia is afraid she’ll displease Wilburn and if not him, his parishioners. But her biggest fear is the emptiness swelling inside her.

In the pulpit, Wilburn is the hero:  God’s right hand, the messenger, the revered Reverend. At home, however, is a different story: he’s cold, controlling, selfish and self-consumed.  Every Sunday, Wilburn stands at the podium and worries which parishioner might stab him in the back.  But his deepest, darkest fear is that people will discover he’s a phony.

As Cynthia drowns in her lack of identity beyond what’s assigned by her preacher-husband, she wonders if she should stay in the relationship.  Could there be more to life than just being the Pastor’s wife?  Before she can decide, events force her to flee.  If she goes far enough fast enough, those back home will have to deal with the chaos they created—deal with it or go to hell in their sanctimonious handbaskets. Until a phone conversation leaves her with even more difficult choices…

A powerful, thoughtful, and thought-provoking story, Original Cyn is extraordinary. Novelist Sylvia Dickey Smith takes readers on an unforgettable journey that spans anguish, heartbreak, hatred, love, fear, humor, peace and joy.  Resplendent with compelling characters and an exceedingly-relatable storyline, Original Cyn is wholly—or perhaps holy—an original tale about moving beyond the black-and-white and living life in full, vibrant color. Sylvia Dickey Smith’s latest novel is a richly-drawn, rewarding read destined to stay with readers long after the final page is turned.   

About the Author  

A fifth generation Texan, Sylvia Dickey Smith was born in Orange, Texas and grew up in a colorful Scots-Irish family living in the midst of a Cajun culture. At 34, Sylvia’s curiosity about the world took on a whole new dimension when she moved to the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad & Tobago. Awed by the differences in customs and cultures, particularly as they related to West Indian women, Sylvia began a journey of study and self-discovery. Back in the U.S. at 40, she started college and didn’t stop until achieving a B.A. in sociology with a concentration in women’s studies and a master’s in counseling. For the next twenty years, Sylvia worked in the field of human services and taught as an adjunct professor at the graduate level. Sylvia Dickey Smith lives in Texas.

Connect with the Author 

Interview with Jennifer Allis Provost, author of 'Changing Teams'

Jennifer Allis Provost writes books about faeries, orcs and elves. Zombies too. She grew up in the wilds of Western Massachusetts and had read every book in the local library by age twelve. (It was a small library). An early love of mythology and folklore led to her epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan, and her day job as a cubicle monkey helped shape her urban fantasy, Copper Girl. Changing Teams, the first in a new contemporary series, was released November 10, 2015 from Limitless Publishing. The second book, Changing Scenes, made its debut on January 5, 2015.

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About the Book:

Title: Changing Teams
Author: Jennifer Allis Provost
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Pages: 36
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Britt Sullivan, part time model and full time aspiring artist, is sick of living alone in the city… 

Taking lame jobs just to make ends meet is leading Britt nowhere, and she knows something has to change. She needs some excitement, and when she meets blue-eyed Midwesterner Sam MacKellar at a photo shoot, she realizes he’s perfect for her in every way—well, except for the fact that he’s gay. 

A devastating childhood trauma turned Sam’s whole life into a lie… 

Sam came to
New York City to escape an existence that had become unbearable, and when his job as a photographer’s assistant leads him to Britt, he realizes he’s finally met someone who sees him as he really is. But plagued by nightmares and trapped by his own deception, he doesn’t know how she can truly be part of his life. 

Friendship leads to a passionate encounter and hidden dangers… 

Britt comforts Sam though his nightmares, and they begin to explore their mutual attraction, but the tables are turned when Britt faces unwelcome attention from a manipulative art instructor and Sam must come to her defense. 

Sam is terrified to reveal the source of his nightmares, sure the truth would shatter his complicated relationship with Britt, but when she suffers an unspeakable trauma of her own, only Sam can help her pick up the pieces. 

When Britt learns the magnitude of Sam’s lies, will his reasons and the depth of their feelings be enough to allow her to forgive him? Does she have a future with Sam, or does his deception also include the reality of changing teams?

For More Information

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I’m so glad to be here! My process for writing Changing Teams was a bit different than usual. I’d been working on a short story, and one of the supporting characters was a photographer from Iowa named Sam. That character just wouldn’t stop talking, so I made Sam my project for NaNoWriMo (that’s short for National Novel Writing Month – learn more at in 2014. I asked myself a bunch of questions, such as why was Sam in New York, how long had he been a photographer, and so forth. In no time I had the full plot for Changing Teams.

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

The hardest part of writing Changing Teams was the research. It takes place in modern-day New York City, and I wanted to get the details correct. Luckily I’ve been to the city many times, and I have several friends who live there. They were a tremendous help.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I’m published with Limitless Publishing, and I couldn’t be happier. Before I submitted to them I did a fair bit of research about the New Adult genre, since it’s a fairly new category. Limitless was on my short list of dream publishers, and I was thrilled when I got my acceptance.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Actually, Changing Teams isn’t my first published book, but it is my first contemporary romance. My biggest surprise has been how supportive the romance community is, for both readers and writers.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

Changing Teams is the first in a series. The second, Changing Scenes, was released January 5, and the third, Changing Fates, is forth coming. I’ve also got an urban fantasy/paranormal romance called Copper Girl, with the latest installment, Copper Veins, coming May 3. And since only truly crazy people write three series at once, I have a fantasy romance called The Chronicles of Parthalan. Heir to the Sun is available now, and the sequel, The Virgin Queen, will be available June 1.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

Probably Twitter. I’m @parthalan, come visit me!

Q: What’s your nightly ritual before retiring for the night?

After picking up after my kids and husband (the jury’s still out on who’s messier), I spend about an hour finishing up my projects for the day, replying to email, and setting up promotional materials. I don’t do much writing at night, since my mind works better in the morning. If I finish everything on my list I reward myself with some Netflix.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

The message behind Changing Teams is that love doesn’t always make sense, but you owe it to yourself to give it a try.
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Thank you so much for having me! If anyone has follow up questions please leave them in the comments, I love hearing from my readers!

Interview with R. Lawson, author of 'The CIA International Thriller Series'

R. Lawson is a retired vascular surgeon and served as a captain in the United States Air Force as a flight surgeon. With over 120 academic works under his belt, he moved into the fiction genre and began writing thrillers with a focus on terrorism, cyber spying, national security and more.

He hopes that you enjoy his CIA International Intrigue series featuring Biff Roberts, veteran CIA agent, as he travels the globe thwarting threats to the United States and its allies.

His latest books are Existential Threats and The Carrington Prophecy, Book 4 & 5 in The CIA International Thriller series.

For More Information
About the Books:

Title: Existential Threats (Book 4 of The CIA International Thriller Series)
Author: R. Lawson
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 345
Genre:  Thriller/Espionage

The CIA's incoming Director of Counter Terrorism, Biff Roberts, is inheriting a multitude of challenges. For starters, there is the existential threat of a nuclear Iran. Added to that, the Middle East has become enmeshed in a surge of radical religious extremism ranging from fanatical Muslims of the Islamic State to the Taliban, groups who commit unspeakable atrocities using violence to pursue their atavistic goals. Syria’s civil war could result in Assad's weapons of mass destruction getting into the hands of the splintered groups of Islamic Jihadists fighting there. This radical ideology has now spilled over into Africa with furious intensity.

And as if these international problems were not enough imminent threats to confront, Iranian mullahs have issued an Islamic death warrant fatwa on Biff, and those hoping to see it through are chasing him to the ends of the Earth.

Things move closer to home when CIA intelligence discovers that Iran has dispatched Mahmoud Abu Javari, the notorious IED bomb maker to the U.S.  Biff now faces a Homeland threat of 9/11 proportions and has to thwart a bomb plot in San Francisco without knowing the target or timing for the planned act of terror.

For More Information

  • Existential Threats is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Title: The Carrington Prophecy (Book 5 of The CIA International Thriller Series)
Author: R. Lawson
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 298
Genre:  Thriller/Espionage

Biff Roberts, the CIA's counterterrorism director, receives actionable intelligence that a rogue regime is planning a sneak attack with the goal of exploding a nuclear device above the United States, triggering an unnatural Carrington Event.
The cosmic storm of the Carrington Event’s electromagnetic pulse waves released by the explosion would cripple all electronic systems and power grids in the U.S., leaving the homeland defenseless and vulnerable to conventional warfare.
With North Korea looking to be the most likely suspect, Biff is tasked to intervene and prevent this attack without triggering a global world war. Collaborating with NIS, the South Korean Intelligence Service, Biff and his team work to thwart the impending disaster, while also leaving the CIA with plausible deniability.

For More Information

  • The Carrington Prophecy is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning?  Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?

When I am out walking my dogs every morning, I formulate the stories in my mind. I think about the plots, subplots, action scenes, and so on. The thoughts just come to me and seem to fall together, nothing magic, just an active imagination I suppose? I don't outline, I just start writing, seeing where it takes me. Doing this, I am able to punch out a rough draft in a short timeframe. I do a lot of research on the subjects as I go along, and through that research, I get other ideas to make the story better or add authenticity. Then I do multiple revisions until I feel the story flows, is exciting and is plausible.

My interests focus on contemporary topics presenting threats, most existential. My protagonist, Biff Roberts, is a CIA operative who partners with various allies to battle global adversities, challenges and villains. 

I try to incorporate recent news, technology and science to educate the reader on how things work in the spy and military world.  For example, Cabo Caper deals with bioterrorism. Killing Time explores cyber-warfare and Retribution delves into targeted assassinations. Existential Threats addresses the spread of radical Islamic jihadists including the homegrown variety and finally, The Carrington Prophecy is about a North Korean plot to launch a "Pearl Harbor" EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack on the United States

Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

My method and process may not be ideal, but I find it works for me and is not that difficult. As it has been said “Perfect is the enemy of good,” so don't expect perfection especially in early drafts, or ever, as a matter of fact. Just continue to revise the manuscript until the story reads well, has a good pace and maintains the reader's interest.

Write for pleasure. It should not be a chore. And if you are not in a productive mood, do something else, like walk the dogs again. Basically, strive to take the readers to places they've never been in the company of convincing protagonists who ideally they will come to identify and/or root for. In my opinion, it is not necessary to kill twenty bad guys in the first five chapters to make a novel a thriller. Instead, my goal is to build tension and suspense and throw in a few surprises. I love it when my friends ask, "How'd you come up with that?'

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

I self-published with the help of Amazon's White Glove program. Self-publishing eliminated years of jumping through the agent/editor hoops as a new author. Let the marketplace decide if your novel has merits and sells.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

Except for my personal learning curve as to getting the book set up and published, the ease and efficiency of Amazon's White Glove program made it a very smooth process.

Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?

I plan to publish two novels in 2016. I'm five chapters into Zachor, a thriller that takes place in Israel and Palestine. And, I am almost finished with Recall, a fictional historical narrative of Vietnam and the aftermath in San Francisco.

Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?

I do not do a lot of hanging out online. Most likely, I can be found on Google and Bing researching subjects, checking authenticity and looking for ideas to expand the scope of my story. It is surprising how much you can learn from a simple online search. I may have to give up my library card, it's so easy to retrieve information with a few clicks!

Q: What’s your nightly ritual before retiring for the night?

I like to read to wind down. I just started reading Hayden's Playing To The Edge. I also just finished Solutions by Dr. Malik. Also I watch the news or ballgame, and of course, walk the dogs before bedtime.

Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?

I write to entertain, but also hope that my readers come away having learned something from my novels.

Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Write for pleasure, because fame and fortune are elusive. But, there's always the hope that someone influential will discover your voice, like your style and stories and you'll achieve bestseller status. In this digital age, your eBook could go viral. Why not go for it?

In the Spotlight: Am I Going To Be Okay? by Debra Whittam

Title: Am I Going To Be Okay? Weathering the Storms of Mental Illness, Addiction and Grief
Author: Debra Whittam
Publisher: Turning Point International
Pages: 253
Genre: Memoir/Women’s Psychology/Applied Psychology

Am I Going To Be Okay? is an American story with a universal message. Ms. Whittam traces her history in the form of stories about her all too human, and sometimes unhinged family; she throws a rope to the little girl living there, and in adulthood, is able to pull her out to safety, bit by bit.
Her history is peopled with folks from a different time, a time before therapy was acceptable, 12 steps unimaginable and harsh words, backhands and even harsher silences can be spun to appear almost normal. She writes of a mother who would not or could not initiate love nor give it without condition, and a father, damn near heroic at times, abusive at others, a survivor with his head down and his sleeves rolled up.
Ms. Whittam approaches her past with the clear-eyed tough but sensitive objectivity necessary to untangle the shame from the source. She speaks of the people that affected her life so deeply with an understanding of their time and place in American culture; a family not far removed from immigrant roots when men carried their own water, emoted misplaced anger, and with fresh socks and food found on the trail, were confident, unflinching and at that same time tragical- ly failing to the little ones they ignored.
Like many of us, details notwithstanding, Whittam responded by numbing, running and gunning. Alcohol gave her hope, soothed a crushed soul for a time and wrecked her on a train, until finally she had the courage to accept it wasn’t working for her anymore. It was time to stop drinking and take inventory and accountability. It was time to accept, forgive and move forward. She healed where she was broken.
It is in the telling of this story that Whittam teaches us the difference between just surviving and surviving well, the importance of shared introspection and a careful eye on the wake we leave behind in our actions. Her story is a guide to surviving abuse and addiction. It is also about witnessing and dealing with the shrinking faculties of aging parents in the unavoidable circle of life. Finally, she offers a realistic sense of hope, forgiveness and a life we can shake hands with. 

For More Information

  • Am I Going To Be Okay? Weathering the Storms of Mental Illness, Addiction and Grief is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:

In my therapist’s office, during my first year of recovery from alcoholism, I saw one of her graduate school psychology books on her bookshelf. It was sitting alongside many of her self-help books which I had borrowed during the past year. I read several hoping to find a cure from my irrepressible anxiety that I had previously drunk away. I imagined the wordy text was far from my ability to comprehend as I was at that time only able to retain small bits of information. I asked my therapist if I could borrow that college text titled “Human Growth and Development.” I read it from cover to cover within a short amount of time and surprisingly, was able to digest and retain it. I had to quit doubting my ability. Being hard on myself was no longer the answer. I wanted more.
That following summer I enrolled in a graduate course of the same name. I wanted to see if I could retain enough material to pass a higher level learning class. I loved it and I got an A.
No longer living in a world governed by my need to numb myself through copious amounts of alcohol, I started doing what I wanted to do with my life. Encountering the self-doubt I had always carried within me became the guidepost by which I continued to prove my “what ifs” unnecessary in
order to keep myself safe.
My intention in writing this book is to reach out to all who struggle with being frozen in fear of “what if.” This book may trigger emotions that have been shoved down so far they might not have a clear story to them yet. It might trigger memories of resentments, regrets or painful unhealed episodes of your life. These moments may have happened long, long ago or may have been more recent. We go back into the past to find answers. The idea is not to stay there long, but to find healing through understanding the ‘why’ of it. Then begin our process of learning to self-sooth and love ourselves. Nothing is going to happen that you can’t handle. Nothing.
Isolated within my world of fear, I wouldn’t attempt anything outside of that small world. I had no foundation to stand on as a spring-board toward finding out who I really was, so I joined a 12-Step group. The beauty of being in a community of recovery, from whatever we might be working on, brings connection. at is what I needed so badly.
I hope, within these pages, you are able to find a spark that ignites your longing for more. I urge you to find your own path of being okay by whatever non-mood altering way that makes sense to you; even, or especially, if it is unfamiliar to you. In writing this book, I intended to show how we can all go through our fears and do “it” anyway, whatever “it” is.
Letting go of fear suggests we “just breathe” and be ourselves. Thee “how” of being okay is within these pages and within yourself. Stop listening to the repeated echoes of old messages in your head, messages like “You’ve done it again,” “You aren’t good enough,” “You should just give up.” These messages cause you to doubt yourself. Instead, listen to the other voice inside which says, “You can do this,” “There is a way.” Don’t ignore it. Don’t push it away. Don’t argue with it. That voice is there, even if you can’t hear it and I am here to help you find it. I look forward to hearing you say, “I AM going to be okay.”
About the Author

Debra Whittam is a licensed, practicing mental health therapist in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, who specializes in addiction, anxiety and depression, grief and loss. Whittam is passionate about her work in all areas of her specialties, especially addiction. Working in a detox unit for over three years before beginning her own private practice, Whittam realized, while counseling patients in the life and death arena of the detox unit, how much the loss of a beloved through death or a relationship impacted those struggling with addiction.
In this memoir, Whittam skillfully infuses her memories, stories and professional insights to remind us that the most important relationship we will ever have is with ourselves. She splits her time between Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York and Paris, France. Am I Going To Be Okay? Weathering the Storms of Mental Illness, Addiction and Grief is her first book.
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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Book Feature: Submissive Seductions and Finding Their Balance


Inside the Book:

Title: Submissive Seductions 
Author: Christine d'Abo 
Release Date: February 16, 2016 
Publisher: Lyrical Press 
Genre: Erotica 
Format: Ebook

Sometimes getting what you want…makes you crave something more

Purchasing a Dom from a charity auction was the wildest thing Liz had ever done. The chance to bring her secret fantasy to life, to be a submissive—even just for one night—was worth any price. And Gareth was everything she wanted in a Master. He touched, he taught, he tantalized. He opened her world to pleasures she’d never imagined. But was it enough?

After one night turned into a blurred-line relationship, Liz’s feelings for Gareth went beyond desire. Yet the kink, no matter how hot, had her wondering if she could ever have a normal relationship. Her Dom was a man with a tragic past and he’d put rules in place from the start. If Liz chose to break them would she lose the intense passion she’d just discovered—as well as the man she loved?...

Praise for Chistine d’Abo’s 30 Days

 “Sexy, fun and deeply emotional. Bravo!” --J. Kenner, New York Times bestselling author
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Meet the Author:

A romance novelist and short story writer, Christine has over thirty publications to her name. She loves to exercise and stops writing just long enough to keep her body in motion too. When she’s not pretending to be a ninja in her basement, she’s most likely spending time with her family and two dogs.
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Inside the Book:

Title: Finding Their Balance 
Author: M.Q. Barber 
Release Date: March 1, 2016 
Publisher: Lyrical Press 
Genre: Erotica 
Format: Ebook

Three’s the naughtiest kind of crowd.

Getting to the one-year mark is hard enough in a relationship between two lovers. For three, just getting through the day can be half the battle. Between Alice’s headstrong insistence on pushing her sexual limits and Jay’s need to confront an abusive former lover, Henry has his hands full keeping both his partners safe and happy. But despite all the challenges—and unexpected dangers that lurk in their hedonistic world—the three have formed a union that brings each of them to the edge of something new—something they may not be able to hold onto . . .

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Meet the Author:

M.Q. Barber likes to get lost in thought. She writes things down so she can find herself again. Often found staring off into space or frantically scratching words on sticky notes, M.Q. lives with one very tolerant, easily amused husband and one very tolerant, easily amused puppy. She has a soft spot for romances that explore the inner workings of the heart and mind alongside all that steamy physical exertion. She loves memorable characters, witty banter, and heartfelt emotion in any genre. Her advice? Get a solid grounding in how language works, and then just write. Write every idea that comes along, even if it’s just a single line. You never know which line is the start of a thread that leads to a novel. The former Midwestern gal is the author of the Neighborly Affection contemporary romance series. Pick a safeword, grab a partner or two, and jump in.
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Tour Schedule

 Tuesday, March 15 - Books featured at Harmonious Publicity
Wednesday, March 16 - Books featured at I'm Shelf-ish
Thursday, March 17 - Books featured at The Review From Here
Friday, March 18 - Books featured at Bent Over Bookwords
Tuesday, March 22 - Books featured at Literal Exposure
Wednesday, March 23 - Books featured at The Writer's Life
Thursday, March 24 - Books featured at Deal Sharing Aunt
Friday, March 25 - Books featured at Confessions of an Eccentric Bookaholic
Monday, March 28 - Books featured at As the Page Turns
Tuesday, March 29 - Books featured at The Dark Phantom
Thursday, March 31 - Submissive Seductions and Finding Their Balance reviewed at Alpha Book Club
Friday, April 1 - Books featured at A Title Wave
Monday, April 4 - Books featured at A Taste of My Mind
Tuesday, April 5 - Books featured at Inkslinger's Opus
Wednesday, April 6 - Books featured at Voodoo Princess
Friday, April 8 - Books featured at Lover of Literature
Tuesday, April 12 - Books featured at The Literary Nook
Wednesday, April 13 - Books featured at Write and Take Flight
Friday, April 15 - Books featured at My Bookish Pleasures