Author Spotlight

Author Spotlight: Robbie Cheadle – FREE SNEAK PEAK at New Story

Posted on Updated on

 

As part of our upcoming Children’s Book Readathon, we have a few fantastic authors and bloggers who are participating in the final week. Last week, I highlighted a wonderful writing duo that I came across about a year ago: Robbie and Michael Cheadle. Today they are sharing a special new story called Chocolate Delight and the Sugar Dog.

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dog

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet

have a son – Chocolate Delight,

a mild mannered and kindly lad

he’d never get into a fight.

This despite his enormous size

the biggest boy in town,

he has a smile for everyone

you’ll never see him frown.

The teachers at the local school

love to have him in their class,

polite and hardworking as can be

he achieves a merit pass.

He has a beloved sugar dog

he takes for walks each day,

‘round the hot chocolate ponds

they love to run and play.

These ponds on a cold winter’s day

provide visitors with a delicious treat,

a rich ‘n creamy drink, it warms you up

and is wonderfully thick and sweet.

1

After school, moms gather at the ponds

their children and pets running free,

with a picnic blanket and basket

it’s the perfect place for high tea.

While out for a stroll one winter’s day

making the most of the weak sunlight,

an unexpected event occurred

which gave Chocolate Delight a fright.

Lord Humbug was out enjoying the sun

his trio of energetic dogs in tow,

they jumped into a steaming pond

and swam madly to and fro.

They delightedly chased the little ducks

that lived amongst the pretzel reeds

an unfortunate circumstance that occurred

when the dogs were off their leads.

A disapproving crowd soon gathered round

they did not like this game,

Lord Humbug ignored them; looking away

his dogs carried on just the same.

4

The dogs were happily paddling around

yipping and yelping with pleasure,

disturbing all the water creatures

and disrupting the picnickers’ leisure.

The peaceable ducks were scared

they tried to escape – wings flapping,

the naughty dogs were excited

at the birds barking and yapping.

The wide mouthed, green frog

sunning himself on a leaf,

dived off and hastily swam away

before the dogs could do him grief.

Two of the dogs were strong swimmers

but the third had started to struggle,

his master worriedly called to him

and he gave his tail a waggle.

The poor little dog was quite unsure

strike for shore or stay and play,

he decided to play on with his friends

much to Lord Humbug’s dismay.

3

Within a short space of time

it was evident, the dog was in trouble,

as he dipped beneath the chocolate surface

up popped a chocolate bubble.

The dog came up, making a whistling sound

paddling frantically on the spot,

the crowd looked on with baited breath

would he make it to shore – or not.

The poor little fellow was sinking fast

eyes huge – he was losing the fight,

Chocolate Delight plunged in to give a hand

and help him out of his plight.

Chocolate Delight got hold of the dog

and supported him to the shore,

the gathered crowd were really thrilled

and hailed him with cheers galore.

Lord Humbug apologised for his selfishness

and have Chocolate Delight a reward,

this he received with grateful thanks

glad that peace had been restored.

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet

were very proud of their boy,

they held a party in his honour

to show their pride and joy.

2

Lord Humbug wanted to make amends

and built a home for the grateful ducks,

he now visits them every day

and the ducklings into bed tucks.

 

THE END

***

I absolutely adored this story, but I’m saving all my thoughts and feedback for the week of 8/25 when we highlight Robbie Cheadle as part of the Children’s Readathon AUTHORS WHO BLOG week. I can’t wait to share my three reviews!

BELOW please find last week’s post with a special author interview and keep on the lookout for in 2+ weeks for our posts focused on their books!

***

About Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books. Robbie is also the author of the new Silly Willy series the first of which, Silly Willy goes to Cape Town, is now available. (See More Below)

Robbie and Michael Cheadle’s books

All the Sir Chocolate books are currently available in hard copy and as ebooks and range from 2 to 9 years depending on the format:

  • A5 format for children aged 6 to 9 years
  • Square format for younger children aged 2 to 5 years

Aren’t these adorable covers and book art?

Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream berries story and cookbook:

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet live in Chocolate land where you can eat absolutely everything. Join them on a fantastic adventure to find the amazing strawberry cream berry and learn how to make some of their scrumptious recipes at the same time.

Sir Chocolate and the baby cookie monster story and cookbook:

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet find a lost baby cookie monster. Join them on an adventure to return the baby to its mother and learn how to make some of their delicious recipes at the same time.

Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook:

A greedy snail damages the flower fields and the fondant bees are in danger of starving. Join Sir Chocolate on an adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have magic healing powers and discover how to make some of his favourite foods on the way.

Sir Chocolate and the condensed milk river story and cookbook:

The Condensed Milk River where Sir Chocolate goes fishing has stopped flowing. The water creatures are losing their homes. Can Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet solve this problem? Includes five lovely new recipes.

Sir Chocolate and the sugar crystal caves story and cookbook:

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet journey to the sugar crystal caves to collect the sugar water they need to make their soda pop. To get to the Chocolate Chip Hills they must cross the Chocolate Mousse Swamp infested with alligator sours and a meringue ghost. When they arrive, they discover that the sugar crystals are melting, and something needs to be done to save them. Learn how to make some four fun creations out of biscuits and the sugar crystals too.

***

Silly Willy goes to Cape Town:

When the George family go on holiday to Cape Town, Cautious Craig cannot believe what he has to endure at the hands of his naughty and wilful younger brother, Silly Willy. Willy throws tantrums at the most embarrassing and inappropriate times, causes a commotion on the aeroplane and tries to steal a chameleon from Butterfly World. What is a poor older brother expected to do in these situations?

capetwon.jpg

Coming in 2018

What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War II?

coming.jpg

Elsie and her family live in a small double story cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signaling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite, the war raging across the English channel, daily life must continue with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its scary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.

Includes some authentic WWII recipes.

Follow Robbie Cheadle @

Blog: https://bakeandwrite.co.za/

Blog: robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Google+: https://plus.google.com/105609586198905397891

Facebook: @SirChocolateBooks

Twitter: @bakeandwrite

robbie

Purchase Robbie and Michael Cheadle’s Books from…

Amazon

OR

TSL Books

What’s up next on Robbie’s Children’s Books Readathon?

A story entitled “Chocolate Delight and the sugar dog” will be shared on the blog next week! Stay tuned for the sneak preview and release of this adorable story!

dog.jpg

 

About Me
I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS.  My second novel, Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/FatherFigure.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

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Author Spotlight: Robbie Cheadle (Winner for our Children’s Book Readathon)

Posted on Updated on

 

As part of our upcoming Children’s Book Readathon, we have a few fantastic authors and bloggers who are participating in the final week. Today I am highlighting a wonderful writing duo that I came across about a year ago. And the best part, Robbie and Michael Cheadle will be offering a FREE copy of one of their latest books as part of our Readathon the week of 8/24. More to come in the next week about how to get a copy. Let’s dive in to a fun overview about this adorable family of authors, illustrators, and chefs…

About Robbie and Michael Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books. Robbie is also the author of the new Silly Willy series the first of which, Silly Willy goes to Cape Town, is now available. (See More Below)

Robbie and Michael Cheadle’s books

All the Sir Chocolate books are currently available in hard copy and as ebooks and range from 2 to 9 years depending on the format:

  • A5 format for children aged 6 to 9 years
  • Square format for younger children aged 2 to 5 years

Aren’t these adorable covers and book art?

Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream berries story and cookbook:

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet live in Chocolate land where you can eat absolutely everything. Join them on a fantastic adventure to find the amazing strawberry cream berry and learn how to make some of their scrumptious recipes at the same time.

Sir Chocolate and the baby cookie monster story and cookbook:

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet find a lost baby cookie monster. Join them on an adventure to return the baby to its mother and learn how to make some of their delicious recipes at the same time.

Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook:

A greedy snail damages the flower fields and the fondant bees are in danger of starving. Join Sir Chocolate on an adventure to find the fruit drop fairies who have magic healing powers and discover how to make some of his favourite foods on the way.

Sir Chocolate and the condensed milk river story and cookbook:

The Condensed Milk River where Sir Chocolate goes fishing has stopped flowing. The water creatures are losing their homes. Can Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet solve this problem? Includes five lovely new recipes.

Sir Chocolate and the sugar crystal caves story and cookbook:

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet journey to the sugar crystal caves to collect the sugar water they need to make their soda pop. To get to the Chocolate Chip Hills they must cross the Chocolate Mousse Swamp infested with alligator sours and a meringue ghost. When they arrive, they discover that the sugar crystals are melting, and something needs to be done to save them. Learn how to make some four fun creations out of biscuits and the sugar crystals too.

***

Silly Willy goes to Cape Town:

When the George family go on holiday to Cape Town, Cautious Craig cannot believe what he has to endure at the hands of his naughty and wilful younger brother, Silly Willy. Willy throws tantrums at the most embarrassing and inappropriate times, causes a commotion on the aeroplane and tries to steal a chameleon from Butterfly World. What is a poor older brother expected to do in these situations?

capetwon.jpg

Coming in 2018

What was it like for children growing up in rural Suffolk during World War II?

coming.jpg

Elsie and her family live in a small double story cottage in Bungay, Suffolk. Every night she lies awake listening anxiously for the sound of the German bomber planes. Often they come and the air raid siren sounds signaling that the family must leave their beds and venture out to the air raid shelter in the garden.

Despite, the war raging across the English channel, daily life must continue with its highlights, such as Christmas and the traditional Boxing Day fox hunt, and its scary moments when Elsie learns the stories of Jack Frost and the ghostly and terrifying Black Shuck that haunts the coastline and countryside of East Anglia.

Includes some authentic WWII recipes.

Follow Robbie Cheadle @

Blog: https://bakeandwrite.co.za/

Blog: robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Google+: https://plus.google.com/105609586198905397891

Facebook: @SirChocolateBooks

Twitter: @bakeandwrite

robbie

Purchase Robbie and Michael Cheadle’s Books from…

Amazon

OR

TSL Books

What’s up next on Robbie’s Children’s Books Readathon?

A story entitled “Chocolate Delight and the sugar dog” will be shared on the blog next week! Stay tuned for the sneak preview and release of this adorable story!

dog.jpg

 

About Me
I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS.  My second novel, Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/FatherFigure.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Author Spotlight: Maria E. L. Thomassen & The Metanoia Phases (with Q&A)

Posted on

The life of authors and readers – besides being amazing fun – are ultra-busy and complex. With the market having tons of books that are easily accessible and full of fantastic content, how do you know which ones to choose? That’s where I come in… sharing news about new authors or old favorites who might be launching upcoming releases.

Today, I’m highlighting a fellow author I’ve come to know in the last few months, Maria E. L. Thomassen. Maria recently published the first two books in her fantasy series, The Metanoia Phases. They’ve been added to my Goodreads TBR for a future read, but I wanted to share some news with everyone sooner rather than later because Maria will launch the third book soon… stay tuned and check out her Twitter and Instagram accounts below during the week of 7/23 for the exciting release date, cover reveal, and how/where you can find the book.

When you scroll through the pictures below, pay close attention to the GORGEOUS covers she and her team have designed. That blue! The magical elements! The font! Stunning… For now, let’s recap what I know about books one and two in her very curious and powerful series… as well as her responses to my twelve interview questions. Then see if you find yourself so smitten you’ve got to get a copy.

025-6x9-2-book-boxset-mockup-template-COVERVAULT

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Get to Know the Books

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The Metanoia Phases: The Change of Heart – Kindle edition by Maria E. L. Thomassen. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Metanoia Phases: The Change of Heart.

006-Hardback-Dust-Jacket-Bookshelf TMP1 EX BLURb..

Kindle edition by Maria E. L. Thomassen. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading The Metanoia Phases: The Change of Mind & Self (The Metanoia Phases Part Two).

Book-Mockup Coffee and Pen TMP2

***

Quote from the 1st Book

The tingling sensation appeared, spreading like wildfire inside me. I just wanted it to go away, I grabbed Hayden’s shirt, squeezing my eyes tighter, willing the feeling to go away, but with no luck, it was remaining, grabbing on to me. I was on fire, every inch of me was instantly burning. I wanted to crawl out of my body, just ripping off my skin to relieve the burning.”

20180217_182546

***

Get to Know the Author: Q&A

Twitter: @MariaThom002
Instagram: maria.e.l.thomassen002
20180219_101329
  • You have several books available in this series… tell us a little bit about your past work and the genres you most enjoy exploring.
    • Answer: Actually The Metanoia Phases is the first story I’ve been working on, It started out 14 years ago, being rewritten and reshaped many times, to the result that it is today. I love writing fantasy anything can happen. But, I can reveal that after this project is finished I will be diving into some horror/thriller. 
  • Where do you live? Country, city, area, type of home, etc. Whatever you feel comfortable with… just an opportunity for readers and fans to picture where you spend much of your time.
    • Answer: I live in the small Denmark, on the country in a big house with my dog, and my boyfriend. We have a huge garden, and the most amazing part about that, is a swinging chair I have hanging from a tree. I love to sit there; reading and writing, just feeling myself being carefully swung, that’s heaven.
  • Name a few favorite authors or influencers as well as someone you are always impressed by in the literary world.
    • Answer: Well, I’m a sucker for Nicholas Sparks. But if we dive into fantasy I really love L. J. Smith, she’s amazing, and I get inspired by her voice and stories.
  • What’s your next writing project?
    • Answer: Oh, there’s a few actually; the first new project will be a horror/thriller called Thirteen Days of Winter. And after that my mind have traveled toward a spin off, of the Metanoia Phases, showing what happens many years after the first.
  • Besides writing novels, what keeps you busy?
    • Answer: I have a full-time job on a Café, making the food. My family is very important to me, so I spent a lot of time with them. I enjoy going to the movies, playing games all night long with my girlfriend.
  • What’s the most frustrating part of the book publishing process – anything that comes to mind from the beginning to the end?
    • Answer: The worst part for me, is figuring out that you missed something critical for the book. I like the read through and the edits, seeing the book in a whole new light.
  • Have you ever co-written a book or considered doing it? How would that work?
    • Answer: No, I haven’t, and honestly I don’t think I could make it work, I’m pretty determined and stubborn as hell, I like things a certain way, and there’s no arguing once I put my mind on that.
  • What type of characters do you love and hate to write?
    • Answer: I love to write the vulnerable, but also the evil villains, I like flawed characters, and broken fighter to become stronger. I don’t think there’s any character I hate to write, not yet at least.
  • How much research do you usually put into your writing before and during the process?
    • Answer: A lot, I sat down to create a story board, writing down every character,  and basically everything about them, then I described the world, and the house they were living in, researching about every little part of that. I have a lot of different language in the books, and I did a whole lot of research on that.
  • How did you come up with the name “Metanoia” for this book?
    • Answer: It was actually called Dragonfly, but as I went on it didn’t really make sense, so I dived into researched, and then it just came to me, a picture of Metanoia written down, with the meaning of it, and I thought that’s exactly what the main character is going through, so I decided to use the phases of Metanoia for each book. Metanoia is originally Greek, which was perfect, due to the fact that I have Greek mythology in the books. Metanoia stands for changing one’s life, mind, heart and self. And that’s what the MC does through out the books.
  • What’s a perfect evening out for you?
    • Answer: going to a fancy place to eat, enjoying the company, and then a great movie. That’s always a winner.
  • What do you want to accomplish with your writing and books?
    • Answer: I hope to reach the world, sharing my stories, I want the reader to be entertained, shocked and touched, and somehow amazed by what is happening in the books. I hope that one day, I will be able to quit my day job, and work as a writer, earning enough, I don’t have to make millions, I just want to support myself by what I love to do.

IMG_20180220_222644_685

 

***

About Me
I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS.  My second novel, Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/FatherFigure.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Snapchat-1223763694

Blog Tour: Kalorama Road by E. Denise Billups

Posted on Updated on

I’m very excited to be the first post on a two-week blog tour managed by Jina S. Bazzar for the amazing Kalorama Road by E. Denise Billups. I read the book last month and thought it was a phenomenal story. You must check out my 5-STAR review after reading through today’s post. We’ve got all the links below to get to know the author and the book as well as a special Q&A section where I was lucky enough to ask Billups twelve (12) fun and frisky questions. If you’re a fan of thrillers, mysteries, suspense, and romance fiction, this is definitely one you can’t afford to miss! Let’s learn a little more about this novel… and then click on the YouTube link to watch the awesome trailer, but be ready to bite your nails or grab something to hold while your mind begins to worry what’s going on!

Book Blurb

There something Allie can’t remember, hidden memories bordering consciousness that refuse to surface until one day someone, something, ignites horrifying images of a forgotten night.

A year after graduating from Emsworth University, a mysterious email appears asking Allie one single question. What happened at 1414 Kalorama Road? Allie has no memory of that night and has tried to recapture what happened when a classmate went missing at an off-campus party. Someone wants her to remember, and they’re getting closer and more insistent. Forgotten memories gradually start to surface with gruesome images and a revelation that could ruin the reputation of her esteemed alma mater, Emsworth University.

Book 7 Kalorama Road

Book Excerpt

It’s coming. I know it is. Restless and awaiting the hour, I watch seconds tick . . . Fifty-seven . . . Fifty-eight . . . Fifty-nine . . . Midnight, my cell phone chimes. It’s here, an anonymous email that comes every month for two years posing an unanswerable question. The torture of not knowing, an insistent reminder from an anonymous sender who won’t let me forget one memory-less night is unbearable.

A night I wish never happened haunts dreamlike, vaporous, appearing and receding with crushing anxiety, preventing me from seeing clearly. I should have listened to my instincts and never gone to that off-campus party. But as Grandma Blu always said, what’s done is done.

Moments before a lousy decision always remain vivid, leaving me pondering “what ifs” and wishing time could rewind. I revisit indecisive minutes pacing my dormitory’s vestibule, debating staying or going to the off-campus party. The latter choice taken, I bolted from the dorm into the chilly autumn night toward a waiting car. Approaching the Jaguar’s tinted windows, Grandma Blu’s warning, “Never get into stranger’s cars,” roared loud.

But the person behind the wheel isn’t a total stranger, although we’d never spoken before she invited me to the party. For an entire semester, we sat two rows apart and barely acknowledged each other’s existence until she appeared one day after class. Lively and wielding a smile, she approached with inquisitive eyes, staring me up and down like a tailor. Quickly sizing me up, she invited me to a party, but her odd approach left me more than hesitant. Why after three months the sudden interest? She introduced herself as Belle, a sweet and innocent name unbefitting someone so brazen. But she was beguiling, upbeat, and fun and I couldn’t resist and accepted her invitation. In retrospect, I should have said no. But you didn’t, Allie.

Nearing the car, Grandma Blu’s warning grew stronger. “Never get into a stranger’s car unless you’re one-hundred percent sure.” I lacked one percent assurance of the blond from Literature 301.

Cautiously, I approached the Jaguar, searching tinted windows for the obscured driver. The car door flung open, Belle leaned toward the passenger side, lips curved a smile. “Girl, it’s freezing, get in.” I did with awe of her stunning transformation. She was no longer the fresh-faced nineteen-year-old student in jeans and T-shirt. Dressed in a tight black dress, heavy charcoal eyeshadow framed thick, false eyelashes, and hair, blown silken blond, transformed Belle into a sexy siren.

As we drove past Emsworth University, she grew silent. The farther we traveled from campus, the more anxious I became. Most off-campus parties are within walking distance, but this I hadn’t expected. Past Kalorama Square, I’d wanted her to turn the car around. My instincts in overdrive reared me conscious of landmarks in case I found myself without a ride back to the dorm.

As a girl, I often imagined what I’d do if kidnapped by dangerous strangers grandma alluded to. I devised a plan to memorize surroundings, street signs, and landmarks, but a foolproof escape was never conceived. Thinking about it now, the imagined getaway was incredibly comical. But the farther we traveled from campus, the higher my alarm. I revisited childish musings and studied the route past Kalorama Square.

The car slowed at an impressive home, swiveled into the driveway and through retracting garage doors. At the time, I believed it was Belle’s family’s home given access inside. When the car halted, and the garage door closed, I began to worry. We entered a space more grandiose than its exterior and much too extravagant for a student party. I’d expected a home swarming with college students, not silent halls. I thought we were the first to arrive until voices emanated from remote spaces.

Belle led me into a billiard room through sparse guest, delivering me to a wide-eyed teenage girl seated at an open bar. “Allison,” Belle said in a sweet, apologetic voice, “I have to take care of an urgent matter.” She motioned to the puckered-browed girl, “She’ll take care of you until I get back.” She leaned into her ear and whispered quickly. The girl shook her head; I assumed a yes to whatever was said. Belle smiled. “I’ll be back in a jiffy.”

She vanished, leaving me in a room of mismated young women and older men, which looked like a secret society. And from their stares, I sensed I was the evening’s main course. Belle never returned, and the young woman abandoned me at the bar.

A fiftyish looking man slid into the empty stool beside me and introduced himself as Pennington. His eyes consumed every inch of me, and I grew anxious. Pennington placed a drink in my hand. A delicate flute with a cobalt rim contained a mixture much too sweet—sugared I assumed to conceal alcoholic potency. When I finished, he refreshed my glass with more intoxicating liquid.

Soon, strangely disoriented, figures blurred, my body, a distant island, appeared detached from my head. An urgent need to flee swept over me. Then Pennington refreshed my drink again. His fingers stroked my arm as if sampling a delicate fabric. I smiled and glanced away, sensing his eyes on my body. He whispered, “Don’t be afraid, everyone’s here to have fun. Just relax.” Then I felt his hand on my thigh.

Incensed, I pushed him away and staggered from the room in search of Belle. Stumbling through the home, I wandered upstairs on invisible legs, floating with a giddy high arriving at the landing. Approaching a small alcove, moonlight revealed a concerned man who mouthed “Sweetheart, are you okay?” His words sounded miles away. My lips parted but words wouldn’t come. On wobbly legs, I continued down the hall in search of Belle, following echoing voices to the first door. With fading hands, I twisted the knob, and the door squeaked open. Several images blurred into view, shadows I couldn’t distinguish. Like a camera lens, my mind snapped shut and opened the next morning. The previous night was a blank canvas.

Several months later, rapidly advancing and receding images reemerged fuzzy snapshots. I’ve never determined the number of people in that room. However, I’ve pondered inebriated double vision. Though never certain, I suspect something evil happened in that house, and the resultant amnesia acts as a shield, protecting me from wicked horrors.

With a deep sigh, I drag my mobile from the nightstand, and as I’ve expected, my anonymous sender’s address appears with a single, bold, small-capped question.

DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED AT 1414 KALORAMA ROAD?

Book Links

 Amazon

Goodreads

YouTube

 

About the Author

An author with a rare mixture of Southern and Northern charm, E. Denise Billups was born in Monroeville, Alabama and raised in New York City where she currently resides and works in finance. A burgeoning author of fiction, she’s published three suspense novels, Kalorama Road, Chasing Victory, By Chance, and two supernatural short stories, Rebound, and The Playground. An avid reader of mystery and suspense novels, she was greatly influenced by authors of that genre. When she’s not writing or reading, you can generally find her training for road races and marathons. She’s s a fitness fanatic who loves physical challenges of all types (running, biking, yoga, dance, and more) a discipline she uses to facilitate the creative writing process.

 

Denise Cropped for Wix

 

Social Links

My Blog

Twitter

Facebook

 

Special Author Q&A Interview:

  1. Where do you live? Country, city, area, type of home, etc. Whatever you feel comfortable with… just an opportunity for readers and fans to picture where you spend much of your time. 
  • I was born in Monroeville Alabama, USA, home to author Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird and Truman Capote, In Cold Blood. At nine-years-old, I moved to New York City and have lived on the Upper East Side for many years. However, I still have strong ties to the South where my extended family remains. I’m a city gal, but every so often, I long for a quieter existence. After years of living in a culturally vibrant city, I don’t believe I could ever return to the south, but I do visit occasionally. 
  1. You have several books available… tell us a little bit about your past work and the genres you most enjoy exploring.
  • Southern culture steeped in folklore, superstitions, and ghost stories, inspired my writing.  As a child, I’d sit around the fireplace listening to my grandmother’s supernatural tales. Those stories scared the bejesus out of me but also got my adrenaline flowing. My short-lived childhood in the South is why I gravitate toward supernatural stories. I’m a multi-genre writer with a paranormal bent. I love psychological thrillers, science fiction, and mysteries. In my first novel, By Chance, I wrote about three clairvoyant women of South Carolina and threw in a bit of the paranormal present in all my books except my second novel, Chasing Victoria.  Strictly suspense, there’s no hint of paranormal … well, there’s a little fortune-telling but that’s about it.  When I started writing Kalorama Road, my intent was to write a straight thriller without ghosts, but my muse had a different idea. I’ve published two supernatural short stories, The Playground, and Rebound.  Presently, I’m working on several short stories.
  1. Name a few favorite authors or influencers as well as someone you are always impressed by in the literary world.
  • My fascination with books began in grade school. Anything I could read, I’d read. As a teenager, it was mainly classics, Emily Bronte, Jane Austen, F. Scott Fitzgerald and the list goes on. Since Harper Lee was a hometown native, To Kill a Mockingbird was compulsory reading. Bram Stoker, Stephen King, Anne Rice, Edgar Allen Poe, Ira Levin, Ray Bradbury… Jeez! The list goes on. Every author I’ve read has impacted my writing.
  1. What’s your next writing project?
  • Currently, I’m working on several short stories. I’ve also drafted an outline for another supernatural novel, one involving a Southern haunted house. I know… another haunted house story. Perhaps I can put a new spin on an old, clichéd topic. I hope to publish the short stories in a couple of months. The novel requires further research with a publication deadline of eight to twelve months.
  1. Besides writing novels, what keeps you busy?
  • If I’m not reading or writing, I’m working out. Fitness has been an import part of my life. Trained professionally as a dancer, I’ve carried this discipline throughout my life. I’m a fitness enthusiast and for years trained for endurance sports such as marathons. I’ve run both domestic and international marathons (Ireland, France, and London). My goal was to run a marathon on seven continents, but life has a way of changing goals. Now, I’m content to run locally, practice yoga, have my morning cup of coffee, and just write. I’ve recently left a time-consuming career in finance to pursue my writing passion. I’m also a Freelance Columnist at Conscious Talk Magazine.
  1. What’s the most frustrating part of the book publishing process – anything that comes to mind from the beginning to the end?
  • Marketing, marketing, marketing… I enjoy writing, but promoting my work is the hardest, although it’s necessary. I’m not big on self-promotion, something I strive to overcome. The marketing skills I’ve learned from my Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree have been helpful in crafting a marketing plan, but it’s still a daunting effort.  I believe every writer would prefer just to write and leave marketing to someone else.
  1. Have you ever co-written a book or considered doing it? How would that work?
  • I’ve never co-authored a book. I’ve often wondered how that would work with two or three unique writing styles, especially writing a novel. I’ve read anthologies and would love to collaborate with authors using this format whereby each author contributes a short story.  It’s something I’d consider down the road.
  1. What type of characters do you love and hate to write?
  • I like writing flawed female characters thrust into danger that challenges and makes them stronger women. I’ve yet to encounter a character I hate to write. I guess because I write only what inspires me. In Kalorama Road, I had the opportunity to write a male POV which I thought would be difficult. But I enjoyed writing about this chivalrous, determined, and ethical man.
  1. How much research do you usually put into your writing before and during the process?
  • It depends on the story. I’d love to travel to areas I’m writing about, but sometimes that’s not possible. If I know the state, town, or city used in my work, I recall memories to represent the locale—sight, smells, and sounds. If it’s a topic I have little knowledge of, for example, science, medicine, and law I’ll research facts to create authenticity. I believe research provides writers with ideas they hadn’t conceived and improves the story’s quality.
  1. How did you come up with the name “Kalorama Road” for this book?
  • Kalorama Road, originally titled A Blog Affair began as a romance mystery. However, my muse derived another plot—a paranormal thriller. Because the main plot takes place in a Washington, D. C.’s residential area, (a real neighborhood) and is mentioned throughout the novel, Kalorama Road is an obvious and fitting title.
  1. What’s a perfect evening out for you?
  • Aww! The simple things in life are the best. A perfect evening is sharing good food, good conversation, and a glass of wine or two at a cozy restaurant with close friends.
  1. What do you want to accomplish with your writing and books?
  • Honestly, writing isn’t about money or becoming a best-selling author, but self-fulfillment. I love creating worlds, putting them on paper, and if others enjoy the story, that’s even better. I love the freedom and control self-publishing provides, but if by chance a publishing contract appears, I won’t ignore it.  I will always write regardless of the avenue I take.

 

Trivia

Kalorama Road is  the author’s third novel.

Originally, Kalorama Road was titled ‘A Blog Affair’.

The ending was crafted long before the author wrote the beginning.

The inspiration for Kalorama Road came from an article the author read about men and women finding true love through blogging.  The idea intrigued her skeptical mind.

The scene the author grapple with the most was the murder scene

The author is an avid coffee drinker and she’s written about coffee in most of her novels.

 

Blog Tour Banner - Kalorama Road 07-10-2018

RELEASE DAY: QUINSEY WOLFE’S GLASS VAULT (Giveaway & Excerpt / Rockstar Book Tours)

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You might remember the author, Candace Robinson, from a book review I posted a few weeks ago, but today I’m excited to announce her latest novel is available and I get to share the news. If you haven’t yet heard about QUINSEY WOLFE’S GLASS VAULT by Author Candace Robinson, be sure to check out all the details below. This blitz also includes a giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card courtesy of Candace Robinson and Rockstar Book Tours. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post. Click on the banner to check out more information on the Release Day tour.

QUINSEY WOLFE'S GLASS VAULT

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About The Book:

Title: QUINSEY WOLFE’S GLASS VAULT

Author: Candace Robinson

Pub. Date: June 26, 2018

Publisher: The Parliament House

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 242

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

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What’s this book all about — BTW, isn’t that an awesome cover?

Some see it… Some don’t…

People in the town of Deer Park, Texas are vanishing. There is a strange museum, known as Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, that appears overnight. Perrie Madeline’s best friend and ex-boyfriend are among the missing. Perrie and her friend August go on a pursuit for them in the mysterious museum. Could the elusive Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault have anything to do with the disappearances?

Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault is the start of a thrilling duology full of magic, danger, and romance.

Book Trailer:

https://youtu.be/HU97b9hpz9s

Excerpt:

Maisie takes Oak Street, which I have always found ironic. The street is lined on both sides with tall trees, each one reaching toward the other as if longing for their touch. For a town called Deer Park, I have seen more trees on a street corner than actual deer. Not. One. Single. Deer.

Suddenly, Maisie slams on the brakes and my chest strikes hard against the seat belt. Then I smash back into the seat just as hard. The only thing I can think is, are my organs still intact? Seriously, they feel like they’re bleeding profusely.

“What the hell?” August and I say at the exact same time. Maisie is staring across the street to the left.

“Look!” she exclaims.

Now I see what Maisie is pointing at. Across from us stands an enormous stone building, unbelievably tall, and its walls are lined with huge rocks all along the base. Among the rocks, it appears there are absolutely no windows of any kind. The entrance has an archway that frames one of the tallest wooden doors I have ever seen. It’s creepily unusual.

“Impossible,” I breathe.

“This has never been here before.” August appears flabbergasted.

He’s right. He’s beyond right. There’s no way this place was just magically built overnight. Even if it were possible, it’s obviously old. It has to be over a hundred years old.

“Maybe we never really noticed it before.” Maisie unbuckles herself and opens the car door, completely taken by the sight of this building.

I throw my hands up hysterically and wave my hands around like a lunatic. “Never noticed it before? This giant stone mansion?”

“Perrie has a point, Maisie.” August stares up at the building in shock.

Hesitantly, I step out of the car and August follows. We walk around to stand beside Maisie, completely speechless as we continue our staring marathon at the place. It’s really an unusual structure to be sitting in the middle of our town. One would think something like this would have drawn major attention from the locals.

“We should investigate!” Maisie is moving before either of us can protest.

“Just a quick look,” I say, falling into step beside her, fingers itching with curiosity.

We walk to the door at a leisurely pace, as if we have all night to see what’s going on. As we inch closer to the arched doorway, where overgrown grass meets a block of cement, two things pop into my line of sight. First, there’s a plaque on the door that reads:

 Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault

It’s written in an elegant, yet outdated script. Maisie tilts her head to the side, skeptical of the plaque. “Not sure what a glass vault is.”

I point at a sign to the right of the door. Moving closer to see what it says, I read it aloud:

The illustrious Quinsey Wolfe presents a wonder of the world, a true sight to behold in his infamous glass museum. A forewarning to onlookers and wonderers, beware of your imagination and curiosity. This is not for the faint of heart.

  Candace

About Candace:

My name is Candace Robinson. I’m just your average hemiplegic migraine sufferer. My days are spent writing, book reviewing and traveling through books for my blog, Literary Dust. I live just outside of Houston, Texas, where it feels like the hottest place on Earth with the crazy weather. No, seriously, one day it’s 30 degrees and the next it’s 70 degrees! I live with my husband and awesome daughter!

You can also follow me on my review blog Literary Dust

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Giveaway Details: All International

NEXT LEVEL

COVER REVEAL: Entrapped by Claire Ayres

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It’s finally here! I’m super excited to reveal the amazing cover Claire Ayres has chosen for her debut novel in the ‘Musician’s Hope’ contemporary romance series. I read a few versions of this book during the beta reading phase, and I’ve recently finished a version prior to the final proofreading copy. I can’t wait for her to share her book with everyone. For now, you get the privilege of seeing the beautiful cover during today’s first preview, then read on to hear what the story’s all about!

Entrapped

 

My Top 5 Thoughts on the Cover

  1. How lucky did she get finding a cover that captures the entire story all in one haunting image? Oh wait, you haven’t read it, yet… but I have… and I am certain this is perfect! Hopefully this lights a fire for you to get a copy ASAP.
  2. Dark colors are so intriguing. It doesn’t always mean evil… it can be a psychological darkness like depression hovering about one of the characters. How does she get through it all?
  3. Playing an instrument can mean so many things… from the strings of our heart being fiddled with to the angles in which you hold your most beloved things… possessions… people…
  4. What do you suppose that is in the background, a mirror? A reflection of what we want in life versus what we actually get or think that we’ve gotten? Perhaps that’s a key point in the book…
  5. We cannot see her face, only his. I wonder what that might mean… Is she hidden or closed off? Maybe he is, too, but more willing to take a chance. Or is she in control waiting to accept what’s right before her?

 

Book Description

Cellist, Luka, has moved to Bristol to start a new job and recover from the betrayal of finding his best friend and his girlfriend in bed together. He doesn’t plan on the emotional thunderstorm that meeting his next-door neighbour Jess causes.

Jess had everything, a man she loved, friends she adored and then the world crashed around her. Depression came from nowhere and slowly started ripping her life away. Now she lives a lonely, sad life but the music which she keeps hearing next door is waking her up and she doesn’t know why.

Join Luka and Jess as they discover life after heartache, how to forgive and how to live and love again.

*Entrapped is an 18+ Contemporary Romance with several graphic sex scenes*

 

Book Links

Amazon (universal link)

Goodreads

 

About the author

Claire lives in Bristol, UK and has taken her inspiration from the people and the places she has seen over the years. She always has a book close at hand and devours Fantasy and Romance like some devour chocolate! Claire loves a happily ever after followed by lots of bloody sword-fighting and dangerous dragons! But when writing her debut novel Entrapped drew on her childhood ambition to be a musician and one of the instruments she played and still loves as a centre-point.

Claire is also a passionate mental health advocate who lives with bipolar disorder and has done regular radio interviews and even some TV. She is also a huge heavy metal fan and can regularly be found banging her head at a concert or festival.

 

Author Links

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Goodreads

 

Intro to Author & Blogger: Vote on RONE Awards for T. A. Henry’s Book ‘Ostrich Mentality’

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The life of authors and readers–besides being amazing fun–are ultra-busy and complex. With the market having tons of books that are easily accessible and full of fantastic content, how do you know which ones to choose? One option is to check out books being nominated for and/or winning various book awards… like RONE. If you’re unfamiliar, click this link to learn more about these cool awards for small and self-published authors. It’s free to subscribe and vote for the authors and books that you love.

Today, I’m highlighting a fellow author I’ve come to know in the last few months, T. A. Henry. You might recognize her from participating in the Agatha Christie Readathon the last few weeks. Or you might already being following her blog where she refers to herself as the Authoress (how cool is that!). I’ve got a copy of one of her books, Scripting the Truth, which I will be reading next month. Take a look… maybe you’ll join me!

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But today… I’m also sharing this post about Tara because she’s been nominated for a RONE award for her most recent novel, Ostrich Mentality. Click the blurb below to read a summary and see a review about the book that helped nominate it:

“An interesting take on a time period in the not so distant past, “Ostrich Mentality” is an eye-opening tale with a colorful cast. Despite being 316 pages, the reader will fly through this fast-paced novel, immersed in its intelligent suspense. The fact that this novel is not far from the truth gives the story a sinister feel. Overall, “Ostrich Mentality” is an engaging work of espionage and biological warfare.” 

If that’s enticed you, you can purchase it via Amazon. It’s important to support our fellow authors and bloggers when they’ve produced a fantastic novel and have been nominated for a very cool award. So… if you’ve got a few free moments, head over to the RONE Suspense/Thriller category and click the little button next to T. A. Henry’s name to vote for the Ostrich Mentality. I’ll be doing it when this week as the awards are open 4/23 thru 4/29.

CLICK to VOTE here for OSTRICH MENTALITY

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About Me
I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS.  My second novel, Father Figure, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/FatherFigure.

Beyond these two books, I have a number of short stories, poems and other novels in various shapes and forms. I also read A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at https://thisismytruthnow.com, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, Tags, Awards, Age/Genre/Book Reads and Author Spotlights, as well as the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge.

You can also access my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.