Friday, November 30, 2018

Satisfy your reading Frenzy with CHRISTMAS EXTRAVAGANZA!

Pelican Book Group LLC is pleased to announce 2018 Christmas Holiday Extravaganza releases

All of these novelettes release tomorrow December 1, 2018 from your favorite retailer, and through the publisher directly: Pelican Book Group. They are currently in eBook format only and the Kindle links are included below, but check out Nook or other sites. Enjoy handfuls of these little bites of perfect holiday reading, from romance to suspense to mystery, all clean and wholesome. Great as gifts! Fill that e-Reader for your favorite book lover!

Starting on December 1, I will showcase a number of these titles, along with a review. Join us! You might even walk away with a surprise. Tomorrow's Post: All about MISTLETOE!

Mary's Christmas Surprise (Christmas Holiday Extravaganza)

Mistletoe Mix-up (Christmas Holiday Extravaganza)

Journey to Christmas (Christmas Holiday Extravaganza)

Christmas Passed (Christmas Holiday Extravaganza)

Christmas in East Kansas (Christmas Holiday Extravaganza)

Mistletoe Melody (Christmas Holiday Extravaganza)

Meow Mistletoe (Christmas Holiday Extravaganza) by [Lickel, Lisa]

A Cardinal Christmas (Christmas Holiday Extravaganza)

The Christmas Child (Christmas Holiday Extravaganza) by [Musco, Penny]

A Christmas Stolen (Christmas Holiday Extravaganza) by [Duncan, Lillian]

Child of Light (Christmas Holiday Extravaganza) by [O'Hare, Annette]

The Doctor's Daughter (Christmas Holiday Extravaganza)

A Dad for Christmas (Christmas Holiday Extravaganza)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Hope in My Heart Holiday Stories with Alexis Goring

Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories

Alexis A. Goring

About the Book

Hope in My Heart is a collection of short, heartwarming stories with characters in need of hope.

In Love Unexpected, a car crash brings commitment-wary Sebastian and career woman Chandra together. Neither is looking for romance, but those around them see the potential, and Sebastian and Chandra discover that sometimes love shows up unexpectedly.

Christmastime is the setting for the middle story, The Best Gift. Christina desires to lose ten pounds so she can fit into her dress for her sister's wedding. Jordan wishes her mom would stop trying to marry her off. And Joshua hopes to be reunited with his ex-girlfriend but eventually learns that the best gift this Christmas will be the restoration of his relationship with God.

In Peace and Love, three characters living in a metropolitan area are desperately searching. Elle, a starving artist, aspires to become a paid professional. Eric, a divorce attorney, wants to resolve his issues concerning his parents' divorce. Kristine anticipates finding her birth mom before she marries Derek. All characters pray their searches will conclude this holiday season and fill their hearts with peace and love.

Westbow Press
November 2015
eBook .99
Print $13.95

Buy on Amazon

A Brief interview with the Author

Alexis, what do you love about this book?

I love that this was my first book, a collection of short stories featuring diverse characters from various backgrounds and cultures with the shared theme of hope.

Introduce us to your most challenging character.

My most challenging character to write in this book was Eric from “Peace and Love” which is the third and final story in this collection. He’s a divorce attorney who even as an adult, is still negatively affected by his parents’ dramatic divorce that took place at Christmastime when he was a child. What’s different is that this Christmas (in the story), Eric realizes that he needs to get over his issues, so he reaches out in hopes of reconciling with his parents.

Eric’s character was challenging to write because I’m not a lawyer and at the time that I wrote this story, it didn’t dawn on me to do story research by reaching out to an attorney in real-life. I was an aspiring author who did not have any books published prior to this one and I honestly didn’t know that research should be part of the story writing process.

However, with God’s grace and my active imagination along with drawing on some of my favorite TV shows and movies that feature lawyers, I was able to get a good handle on my character Eric without reaching out to a real-life attorney for advice about making his scenes believable and true to real-life. I haven’t received any complaints yet about how I portrayed Eric at work in this fictional story, so that makes me happy!

What do you hope readers will tell others when they’re finished with the book?

I hope that readers will tell others that this book warmed their heart and gave them a healthy dose of hope!

What are you reading now?

I just finished reading Deck the Shelves by Toni Shiloh and loved it! It is a novella in a boxed set of books called Comfort & Joy: The Christmas Lights Collection.

What’s next for you?

I’m writing my answers to these questions in November 2018, which is about five years after my first book (Hope in My Heart: A Collection of Heartwarming Stories) was published. So what was “next” for me back in the year 2013, was actually my second book A Second Chance that, after a few re-writes, was published in January 2017.

       About the Author

Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.

“God is Love” blog:

Friday, November 23, 2018

Special 99cent sale book Cotton with Vicki Caine

Victoria Pitts Caine
October 9, 2018
SALE! 99 cents after sale: $2.99 eBook
Buy on Amazon  

About the Book
Running from a life of poverty, 16-year-old Cotton Ramsey escapes the Savannah River bottomland to New York. Twenty years later, she has changed her name and runs a large pharmaceutical company, which belonged to the family of her late husband. When Beau Simpson, her first love, arrives to deliver the news of her daddy’s untimely death, the life she struggled to leave behind calls her home.

Victoria, what do you love about this new story?
I love the setting. I want to someday explore the Savannah area and the history there.

Share one thing you learned while researching for this book.
The trail the Confederate Gold took before it disappeared and became a long sought after legend.

Introduce us to the main antagonist.
Not to “giveaway" the mystery, he’s full of himself and thinks everyone is beneath him. He’s gotten in over his head and needs a way out.

What do you hope readers will tell others when they’ve finished the book?
That the book is an exciting, contemporary mystery.

What’s next for you?
I have a cozy mystery about half finished. I hope to get back into the writing mode and complete it in 2019.

About the Author
Victoria Pitts Caine is a native Californian and lives in the central portion of the state. Her varied
interests include genealogy and exotic gemstone collecting both of which she’s incorporated into her novels.

The author has received recognition in both fiction and nonfiction from Enduring Romance top 10 picks, William Saroyan Writing Conference, Byline Magazine, Writer’s Journal Magazine, Holt International Children’s Services Magazine, and The Southern California Genealogical Society. Her first novel, Alvarado Gold, was published in 2007 followed by three more as well as novellas and short stories in anthologies.

Victoria is a former staff technician in air pollution control. She is the mother of two daughters. Now retired from the work force, Victoria and her husband enjoy travel, cooking, and are self-appointed “foodies.”

Other Links: 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Hair Calamities with Gail Pallotta

Hair Calamities and Hot Cash
Gail Pallotta
Romantic mystery series
Prism Book Group, November 2018

E-book $5.99
Paper - $15.99
Buy on Amazon 

About the Book
“A comedic romp from small town to big city in search of missing money, hair catastrophes, and love. A truly fun read”—Cynthia Hickey, author of the Shady Acres Mystery series.

What happens when a New York stockbroker crashes his car into Eve Castleberry’s North Carolina beauty shop...on the same day the young widow’s defective hair products are causing wild hairdos? Soon Eve finds herself helping the handsome stranger hunt the thieves who stole his client’s cash...and hot on the trail of two of the F.B.I.’s most-wanted criminals! Romance blossoms amid danger, suspense and Eve’s hair-brained plan to get back the money.

Brief interview with the author:

Gail, what do you love about this book?
There are quite a few things that make this book dear to me. First of all, my mother’s beauty shop inspired it. Secondly, the small town setting where everyone knows everybody else gave me the opportunity to introduce characters who accepted and cared about one another. The setting also allowed breathtaking scenes in the North Carolina Mountains. Top that off with being able to write about romance and mystery, two genres I enjoy.

What are two things you learned while writing it?
Since I spent so much time in my mother’s shop, I was familiar with operating a salon and have kept up with the changing hairstyles and ways of creating them. However, I didn’t know how to mix hair dye.

Even though I’m familiar with the setting, I learned about different kinds of foliage and flowers out during spring in the North Carolina Mountains. They include oak and sycamore trees, wild azaleas and mountain laurel bushes. 

What kinds of things did you need to research to write about your villains?
There are several villains, two are into stealing cars and one is into corporate espionage. Mainly, I had to research the conditions under which the F.B.I. would come aboard to help solve a crime and learned the villains needed to cross state lines.

What are you reading over the holidays?
I have several fun Christmas books on my TBR list. I’ve read and loved Meow Mistletoe. It was such a fun book. I also plan to read Sarah Helps Santa by Gay Lewis. I’ve read and enjoyed several of Ms. Lewis’s Sarah books.

Tell us about your next book.
Thank you for asking. Cooking up a Mystery is another book set in Triville, North Carolina, with many of the same fun characters that appear in Hair Calamities and Hot Cash. Cooking up a Mystery introduces Laney Eskridge, who worked to put her husband through dental school. Then he left for another woman. She’s already on edge from the emotional scars and her parents’ deaths when she hears unexplained noises in her new tea house. She and a customer, Eric, who has a fear of commitment fall for each other. However, she’s overwhelmed by the long hours at work, and she’s already been betrayed once. She cuts ties with Eric and plunges into making her business pay off. He discovers she’s in danger and vows to protect her, but can he make a lasting promise? Can she trust him? They overhear a threat that could cause national turmoil, but will anyone believe them?

About the Author
Award-winning author Gail Pallotta’s a wife, mom, swimmer and bargain shopper who loves God, beach sunsets and getting together with friends and family. A former regional writer of the year for American Christian Writers Association, she’s a Grace Awards Finalist and a 2017 Reader’s Favorite Book Awards recipient. She’s published several books, poems, short stories and two-hundred articles. Some of her articles appear in anthologies while two are in museums. Visit Gail's website at

Friday, November 16, 2018

Write Now Tour with poet Tolu Akinyemi

Hello! I’m Tolu’ A. Akinyemi and this is one of my tour stops during my one-month book tour for Dead Dogs Don’t Bark and Dead Lions Don’t Roar. This virtual book tour is organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. The tour runs Nov 5-30, 2018.  Authors book your own tour here.
Genre: Poetry
Introducing Tolu’ Akinyemi
Tolu’ Akinyemi was born in Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria and currently lives in the United Kingdom. Tolu’ Akinyemi is an exceptional talent, out-of-the box creative thinker, a change management agent and a leader par excellence. Tolu’ is a business analyst and financial crime consultant as well as a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS) with extensive experience working with leading Investment banks and Consultancy Firms. Tolu’ is also a personal development and career coach and a prolific writer with more than 10 years’ writing experience; he is a mentor to hundreds of young people. He worked as an Associate mentor in St Mary’s School, Cheshunt and as an Inclusion Mentor in Barnwell School, Stevenage in the United Kingdom, helping students raise their aspirations, standards of performance and helping them cope with transitions from one educational stage to another.

Tolu’ has headlined and featured in various Open Slam, Poetry Slam, Spoken Word and Open Mic events in the United Kingdom. He also inspires large audiences through spoken word performances, he has appeared as a keynote speaker in major forums and events in the United Kingdom and facilitates creative writing masterclasses to all types of audiences.

In March 2018 he was endorsed by the Arts Council England as an "Exceptional Talent."

About The Book

Dead Lions Don’t Roar is a collection of inspiring and motivating modern day verses. Addressing many issues close to home and also many taboo subjects, the poetry is reflecting of today’s struggles and lights the way to a positive future. The uplifting book will appeal to all age groups, anyone going through change, building or enjoying a career and facing day to day struggles. Many of the short verses will resonate with readers, leaving a  sense of peace and well-being.
Barnes & Noble:

About The Book
Dead Dogs Don’t Bark is the second poetry collection from the acclaimed author, Tolu’ A. Akinyemi. With a similar tone and style to Dead Lions Don’t Roar (Tolu’s first poetry collection) this follow up masterpiece is nothing short of pure motivation. The poems cover a range of topics that many in life are aware of, that the Author himself has experienced and that we all, whatever our age, need support in. Beautifully written, the poems speak volumes to all age groups as they feature finding your inner talent, celebrating your individuality and distinct voice. The poetry collection has didactic elements for evaporating the effects of peer pressure and criminality amongst many others. Also covering mental health, relationships, career focus, and general life issues, the poetry is bitter sweet, amusing and thought provoking in turns.
Barnes & Noble:

Connect Socially

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Alexis Goring and A Second Chance

A Second Chance by Alexis A. Goring

About the Book
Newly single food critic and newspaper reporter Traci Hightower is done with dating. After the man of her dreams left her at the altar on their wedding day and ran off with the woman she thought was her best friend, Traci resolves to focus on work and resigns herself to being a bachelorette for life. 

Marc Roberts is a political reporter who is known as Mr. Nice Guy, the one who always finishes last. However, Marc’s compassion and kindness are of invaluable help to his newly widowed sister Gina Braxton who is trying to raise her two kids in the wake of her firefighter husband’s death. 

Traci and Marc may be the perfect match, but they don’t know it yet. With God’s guidance and the help of Gina’s matchmaking skills honed by her career as a bestselling romance novelist, there is hope for a happily ever after for these two broken hearts.

Forget Me Not Romances
January 2017
Ebook $2.99
Print $6.47
Buy on Amazon

A brief interview with the Author

Alexis, what do you love about this book?
I love that the hero and heroine of my book are both print journalists and that I was able to draw on my real-world experience as a newspaper journalist as I wrote Marc and Traci’s story!

Introduce us to your easiest character to write.
My easiest character to write was Traci’s best friend Carla. She’s fun, kind, smart, sassy and sweet. She’s a good friend to Traci, the kind of friend you can count on in just about any situation. They met at work, bonded and became best friends over time.

What do you hope readers will tell others when they’re finished with the book?
I hope that readers will tell others that this book made them laugh out loud, smile and maybe even cry tears of joy.

Was there a particular book that moved you to tears lately?
The only book I ever read that moved me to tears was Don’t Die, My Love by Lurlene McDaniel. I read it when I was a pre-teen. It’s a truly touching, beautiful story that I still remember as an adult.

What’s next for you?
Well at the time after A Second Chance was published in January 2017, I was starting to write my most recent release, which is Love in Pictures. So that is what was “next” back then! I’m writing my answers to this question in the year 2018. See my book promo for Love in Pictures on Lisa’s blog to find out what’s next for me as of November 2018.

About the Author

Alexis A. Goring is a passionate writer with a degree in Print Journalism and an MFA in Creative Writing. She loves the art of storytelling and hopes that her stories will connect readers with the enduring, forever love of Jesus Christ.
“God is Love” blog:

Monday, November 12, 2018

New Mysteries from Julie Cosgrove

New mystery series!

Bailey Edward, along with her two friends, Shannon and Jessica, become interested in genealogy after studying the begats in the Gospel of Matthew. Since her mother’s parents were killed in a car accident when her mother was in college, Bailey knows very little about her mother’s side of the family. She has only met one of her three uncles.

As the women thumb through Bailey’s grandmother’s photo albums, they discover a few hidden pictures of a girl who closely resembles Bailey. But her mother only had brothers. Who is this mystery person? And why has no one ever mentioned her?

Determined to find out, Bailey begins to peek in some ancestral closets, which others with power and influence would prefer to remain closed. Anonymous threats force her to seek the help of Detective Chase Montgomery, whom she had dumped after one date. But will his involvement go beyond a professional interest, and will these amateur women sleuths complicate his investigation into a fifty-year-old murder?

Book One in a New cozy mystery series, The Relatively Seeking Mysteries.

Pursued Books
November 13, 2018
Buy on Amazon

Bailey finds a hidden photo of a girl inside her grandmother's album from fifty years ago. But her mother only had brothers. 

As she searches her family tree to discover her identity, Bailey finds secrets pointing to a long-ago crime. Did she find one leaf too many? 

The truth is definitely relative!

Julie B Cosgrove
Shining God's Light Into Your Day       
Missionary Editor/Writer with Power to Change's The Life Project
The World is Online,We Help Them Know Jesus!

"Life without God is like a broken pencil - it has no point”   

Friday, November 9, 2018

Wisconsin books make great gifts

Give the Gift of Wisconsin this year.

LOGO: Wisconsin Historical Society

Membership is a great gift option too.

The store is open, full of great things from the annual ornament, a badger, to t-shirts, toys, mugs, and of course books!

The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin: Voices of Early SettlersA couple of the new books from Wisconsin Historical Press that I've reviewed this year include

And a new one from Michael Stevens, The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin, is also just out. The book features a dreamy image from the original mural of the centennial celebration of Wisconsin's statehood for a cover. Pioneer Wisconsin is the story of Wisconsin settlers in three sections told through letters, biographical material and a few photographs and other art. Stevens includes a prologue analyzing cultures in conflict as the European settlers encroached upon traditionally native tribal people's lands in the territory.

The main text is divided into three sections, Journeying West, Being in Wisconsin, and the aftereffects of immigration, or "I prefer America." Stevens chose letters from settlers representing the four main quadrants of Wisconsin; people who came by all means possible in the first half of the nineteenth century. Photographs, woodcuts and other artwork from the society's collection help to illustrate the text and letters which are retyped, not reproduced.

One early informative missive is from the first attorney to practice in Waukesha who removed his family from Vermont in 1838. His letters are almost as a diary of the journey to their new home, partly by steamship along the Great Lakes.

Many of the letters are lengthy, full of angst, triumph, despair and instructions. Descriptions often compare the climate in Wisconsin to the home country, whether it's the eastern US or overseas.

Brief biographies of the letter writers are included. For example, the Reverend Jeremiah Porter was a missionary evangelist, eventually landing in Green Bay in the mid-nineteenth century with a goal of promoting the temperance movement. His letter to a colleague which includes some of his reasons for his passionate attempt to ban alcohol sales is poignant. 
The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin: Voices of Early Settlers is a nice addition to other pioneer collections in local histories. Reading about life from the people in their own words is a moving experience. Recommended for those who like immigration and settlement stories. It is not a long book at 162 pages and nicely laid out. End notes which contains references and an index included.

Other books I've viewed and reviewed this year include:

Somos Latinos: Voices of Wisconsin Latina Activists

Wisconsin State Parks Natural Geology

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Family Film for the holidays Twice the Dream Blog Tour

Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, people standing, text and outdoor

Twice The Dream is an inspiring family drama about two sisters following their musical dreams together. Just as the sisters begin to discover their wings and take flight, a sudden family tragedy strikes. In the aftermath of tragedy, they discover that their dreams were the only thing that held the family together.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Twice the Dream

Q&A with the director, Savannah Ostler

1. How was it to write and direct your first feature film, Twice the Dream?
A: It sincerely was a dream come true, in every sense. The cast and crew were all so incredible and really put on their "A" game. At the end, we all felt like family! Some of us of course, literally being family. ;P Haha and by that I mean, my husband was one of the producers, and was also the director of photography. My mom is amazing at art and making props, so she was in charge of the art and prop department. A lot of my lifelong friends helped as well, and my brother. So it truly was a dream come true making the movie I love, with the people I love. It was nothing short of magic!

2. What were some high points during the creative process?
A: There were so many high points, everything from writing the screenplay, to setting up that perfect shot. When writing the script, there seemed to be something so special about being so into the story, and so sucked into that world. But, as soon as we got on set, it was incredible to see those characters and scenes come to life. I would say that was a high point- seeing these characters come to life, living, breathing, and interact with each other. It was really fun working with the actors as well, and collaborating with them. The cast truly understood their characters- just as much as I do. Sometimes, maybe even more. A few of the actors would come to me with some ideas, or thoughts on scenes, and their character's journey, and sometimes would suggest certain lines of dialogue. 9 times out of 10, we were always on the same page, and I let them go for it. It was soooo cool seeing this!

3. What was your favorite scene on set?
A: Every scene! Haha jk. Although I did enjoy filming every scene on set, the concert scenes were the most fun to film. Everyone was dancing, laughing, singing along. Those were my favorite scenes to film... and we had three concert scenes! :)

4. Any learning moments you want to share?
A: Making this film has been a long journey, and throughout that journey, I have learned so much. Ultimately, I think that one of the most important things that I have learned would have to be to just trust myself and the stories that you want to tell. Along the way, a lot of people will try to discourage you- and that's just life. Just because someone else doesn't particularly get your vision, doesn't mean that it's not good. If you have a story that you want to tell, then you need to tell it. Don't let anyone else tell you otherwise.

5. What inspired you to tell this story?
A: Growing up, I realized that there weren't a lot of inspiring, feel-good coming of age movies. Movies that I really wanted to see at that age, stories that I could relate to. It was always such an underserved market. (For the record, these types of moves aren't only limited to that age group, because I still want to see these kind of movies. They are for the young at heart.

So, at the tender age of 14, I started writing my story, "Twice The Dream." Something about this particular story had set my soul on fire. The characters had absolutely consumed me, but in the best possible way. I knew it was my mission to get this story told through film. I could hardly think of anything else!

6. How is it being a female in the film business?
A: Being a female in the film industry is definitely tough. At times, it really seems that all of the "suits" in Hollywood making the decisions are men. I sat in many meetings like that. They would be interested in my story, but they would insist on making certain changes- changes that would change the very heart of the story. Although these offers were sometimes tempting, I would resist, remaining stubborn. I've even been called a "B" word because of this. But you know what? I think it's necessary. As women in this industry, we have to stick up for ourselves. Luckily, I think this is changing. Slowly, but at least we are getting somewhere. People are starting to realize that half of the population are women. And as such, I think it's safe to say that we know what a large portion of the population can relate to in film. Together, we are changing this.

7. What advice would you give to aspiring filmmakers?
A: My number one piece of advice is to stick to the story that you want to tell. Don't let any "suit", or colleague, teacher, or even a family member try to convince you otherwise. You're set on the story you want to tell? Great! That's the one you need to go with. Because as we all know, making a movie is hard work. So you have to love your story so much, that you would be willing to go on this journey with it. And another thing... never give up.

8. Do you think your experience as an actress helped in directing other actors? Why?
A: I absolutely think it helped. Truthfully, I believe my experiences as an actress have helped me as a writer as well. Since I'm familiar with the actors process, and the way actors think, I found it fairly easy to convey direction to the cast. And they always took that direction so well, and would totally understand where I was coming from. We were always on the same page!

9. How did you finally get to make your movie?

A: I know the reason that I was able to achieve this dream is because I have been so fortunate to have such amazing support from my family and friends. They always have kept me going, and amazingly enough, they were the same people that saw my dream to the very end. 

10. What is your next step with Twice the Dream?
A: We are knee deep in post production right now, finalizing the sound mix, original score, color grading, etc. It's been a fun but long process in itself, but I feel like I've learned a lot. We are currently exploring different distribution options. Looking for the right partner! Our goal is to release it theatrically first. (Even if it's a limited release) Following our theatrical run, we plan to release it on various VOD platforms such as Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, etc. 

11. Do you have any other projects on the horizon?
A: Oh, most definitely. Since I'm crazy, I'm currently writing two different scripts- both female driven like Twice The Dream, but very different genres. One is a thriller and the other is a fantasy. I also am still working on my YA fantasy novel series and re-launching that. 

Dreams are important, but I know it's hard. There are days, sometimes months when you feel like your dream might be impossible. At times, it can feel like the whole world is against you. During the pursuit of my dream, there were times when it felt like I was going nowhere. Sometimes, it was very painful. Blood, sweat, tears, and many other losses went into this pursuit. I would then ask myself, "Is this pain really worth it?" There were many times when I felt like I had absolutely hit rock bottom, and that my dream may never come true. BUT.... Yes, that's a "but." Here is the important part:I refused to give up. No matter how long it took, or how hard it was. This dream was too important to me. And I remembered why I had been holding on for so long.Moral of the story is: NEVER, EVER, EVER GIVE UP. Period. Dreams come true, even if it takes over a decade.