New Release Spotlight: “A Flair for Flip-Flops (The Sadie Kramer Flair Mysteries Book 5)” By Deborah Garner

A fun in the sun mystery sure to delight!

img_4170A vacation on the Southern California coast promises rest and relaxation for flamboyant senior sleuth Sadie Kramer and her mischievous Yorkie, Coco. But when the body of a heartthrob celebrity washes up on the beach outside her luxury hotel suite, Sadie’s fun-in-the-sun soon turns into sleuthing-with-the-stars.

The resort’s wine and appetizer gatherings, suspicious guest behavior, and casual strolls along the beach boardwalk may provide clues, but will they be enough to discover who the killer is? Or will mystery and mayhem leave a Hollywood scandal unsolved?

Start reading now!

Available on Amazon. A Kindle Unlimited Selection.

 

About the Author

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Deborah Garner is an accomplished travel writer with a passion for back roads and secret hideaways. Born and raised in California, she studied in France before returning to the U.S. to attend UCLA. After stints in graduate school and teaching, she attempted to clone herself for decades by founding and running a dance and performing arts center, designing and manufacturing clothing and accessories, and tackling both spreadsheets and display racks for corporate retail management. Her passions include photography, hiking and animal rescue. She speaks five languages, some substantially better than others. She now divides her time between California and Wyoming, dragging one human and two canines along whenever possible.

Connect with Deborah Garner

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NaNoWriMo Writer? Watch Your Back, Neck, Shoulders, Arms, and Hands, Your Most Important Writing Tools  

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The month of November brings many things:  Election Day, Veterans Day, Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month, Caregiver Appreciation Month, and Movember. But if you’re a writer, it also brings something else: NaNoWriMo, otherwise known as National Novel Writing Month.

NaNoWriMoNaNoWriMo is a what-seems-to-be impossible challenge to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It starts at midnight on November 1st and ends at 11:59 pm November 30th. Sound crazy? It did to me when I first heard about it in 2013, a rather latecomer to the game since it started in 1999. Better late than never. Anyway, since I live with chronic pain related to Repetitive Strain Injuries and Thoracic Outlet Syndrome the concept of NaNoWriMo is well beyond my capabilities, but I’m still seduced by the idea of it.

Imagine being able to commit to writing an average of 1,667 words each day for 30 days. At the end, you’ll have the first draft of a book, which over the next few months you can polish into something presentable, maybe even publishable. The possibilities astound me, a writer who worked on the first draft of a novel for four years. I started it as part of a NANO challenge in 2013, when I was able to produce 4,000 words over the course of a week before succumbing to a flare-up of RSIs and TOS.

NaNoWriMo is not for anyone without the stamina to sit at a keyboard for hours each day. One thousand six hundred and sixty-seven words sound easy – it’s the equivalent of six and a half pages – in theory, achievable for most people who are able to keep butt in chair and type long enough to do it. But if you’re prone to carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, headaches, or neck pain, this challenge will most likely exacerbate your condition and prevent future NaNoWriMo attempts.

Woman laptop sore neck Dollarphotoclub_47543595.jpgMaintaining the postures of keyboarding, mousing, and viewing a computer monitor for hours requires an incredible amount of exertion, muscle control, and energy. I’ve heard it said that an 8-hour worker at a computer station works her body as hard as a professional athlete, using primarily the smallest and most delicate of muscles and tendons, as well as a multitude of nerves. These micro-tissues, sustaining a static posture over long periods of time, become inflamed, injured, and cause great pain. If ignored, the condition continues. If left untreated, permanent disability can result. I am an authority on this topic: Permanently partially disabled since 2006, currently recovering from my fourth related surgery, the second on my right shoulder in ten years.

I’m not a killjoy. I simply don’t want to see other people end up like me. It’s no fun struggling to write 250 words a day and failing. It’s hard to complete a project when you have to avoid the computer for days on end. If you’re wrapped up in NaNoWriMo please take care of yourself. Here are some tips:

Prepare your body for a writing session:

  • Massage your hands with your favorite lotion.
  • Stretch your hands, wrists, arms, shoulders, and neck.
  • Don’t forget your back, which can also be overworked.

Adjust your work space for safety:

  • Make sure your monitor is an arm’s length away, at a height where your eyes are focused one inch below its upper edge.
  • Use a keyboard tray.
  • Ensure it’s at the appropriate height so your elbows are at rest and in a neutral position.
  • You should not be reaching for the keyboard.
  • Be careful with your mouse. It’s the root cause of a lot of disability. I use a keyboard with a built-in glide pad. Cured my five-year history of elbow tendinitis.
  • A lap top is not a desk top. Don’t use it as one. The ergonomics of it are completely off and will contort your body in painful ways.
  • Take the time to set your chair at the appropriate height, making sure your feet are on the floor. Use lumbar support if you have it.
  • If you can get a sit-stand desk get it! Makes a huge difference.

Watch your posture:

  • Sit up, don’t slump.
  • Position your ears over your shoulders and your shoulders over your hips.
  • Do not thrust your head forward. You’ll get “turtle head” and hurt your back.

Take frequent rest breaks:

  • Use a timer. Twenty minutes is as long as you should write before taking a break.
  • While resting, do some desk stretches or stand up and stretch, have a drink of water, rest your eyes.
  • Listen to your body.

After a writing session:

  • Stretch again.
  • Soothe your muscles with gentle massage, especially your hands.

If you have pain:

  • Don’t ignore it. Respond and treat.
  • Use ice or heat as tolerated on sore areas. Thermacare wraps are awesome!
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Motrin and Tylenol, can help.
  • Topical over the counter remedies such as Topricin, Bio-Freeze, and Real Time Pain Relief are easily available and provide relief.
  • Remember to stretch gently every day.
  • Limit computer time or perform multiple short sessions each day.

If the problem continues:

  • See your doctor
    • A course of physical and/or occupational therapy can ward off chronic pain issues.
    • Your doctor can order prescription strength medicine such as analgesics, muscle relaxants, and topical therapies.
    • Surgery is a last resort. Don’t let this happen to you.
  • Consult a chiropractor.
  • Hire a massage therapist.
  • Visit an ergonomist.
  • Stay off the computer!

Interesting FAQs:

  • Since its inception in 1999, 367,913 NaNoWriMo participants have completed a novel.
  • In 2017, 306,230 writers participated in NaNoWriMo.
  • Over 250 NaNoWriMo novels have been traditionally published, including:
    • Sara Gruen’s Water for Elephants
    • Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus
    • Hugh Howey’s Wool
    • Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl
    • Jason Hough’s The Darwin Elevator
    • Marissa Meyer’s Cinder

Avoiding repetitive strain injuries can keep you in the running to complete your own NaNoWriMo challenge and finish that novel!

For more info on NaNoWriMo visit https://nanowrimo.org/

NaNoWriMo image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month. Others via Adobe Stock and Dollar Photo Club.

New Release Spotlight: The Trouble with Paradise (a Madeline Dawkins Mystery), Action and Suspense from Cynthia Hamilton

img_4048-3Two dead husbands. Accident, suicide or murder?

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Life in beautiful Santa Barbara County will never be the same for two grieving widows. One is serving a lengthy sentence for the bizarre tractor death of her much older, land-rich husband. The other is convinced her husband’s death was no suicide.

During Madeline’s four-month convalescence, Steven Ridley—her jailbird ex—manages to get parole on the pretext of retraining inmates for their reentry into society. He has the audacity to enlist Mike’s help to find out if inmate Lindsay Bartholomew had been set up to take the fall for her husband’s death.

Santa Barbara D.A. Conrad Adams makes a personal appeal to MDPI on behalf of Natalie Sheckle, hoping Madeline and Mike can prove whether her husband took his own life, or if someone stitched him up for his own murder.

Never ones to shy away from long shots or lost causes, the duo dives into both cases. But now they must figure out what secrets these two men took to their graves.

The Trouble with Paradise is the fourth book in the Madeline Dawkins Series

Start reading now! Purchase on Amazon. A Kindle Unlimited book.

About the Author

Cynthia HamiltonA lifelong reader and lover of the written word, I turned to writing as a means of coping with a debilitating illness in 2000. Since then, I’ve written eleven books and have published nine of them. In addition to contemporary fiction, I write detective mysteries–THE MADELINE DAWKINS MYSTERY SERIES–and some memoir– FINDING RUTH and ONCE UPON A LYME…A TALE OF TWO JOURNEYS.

My Madeline series has really captured my mind and heart, allowing me to expand on one woman’s nightmare by giving her dual careers and a supporting cast of characters, with special emphasis on Mike Delaney, her partner in love and crime. THE TROUBLE WITH PARADISE is the fourth installment in the series and is set for release in the summer of 2019. As with the rest of the books, it is centered around Santa Barbara, California, Madeline’s hometown as well as mine.

Being a voracious reader, I’ve always got my Kindle with me, taking advantage of any spare moment to read, even while eating. In addition to reading and writing, I love nothing more than being outside, preferably taking hours-long walks with my husband.

I share my reading experiences through my reviews, though I only review books that I have truly enjoyed. I would take no pleasure in criticizing another author’s work. The reading experience is so subjective; if I’m not enjoying what I’m reading, I will move on to something else, but that is no reflection on the author or the book.

Connect with Cynthia Hamilton

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New Release Spotlight: “The Women of Great Heron Lake,” Heartwarming Women’s Fiction by Deanna Lynn Sletten

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From the author of the bestselling historical novel, Miss Etta.

img_3934Two strong women, generations apart, living parallel lives.

When Marla Madison’s husband dies, she realizes her life has become very small. Her daughter is grown and Marla has spent the past two decades focused on his friends, his interests, and his home. Feeling lost, she throws herself into fixing up the one-hundred and fifty-year-old family manor on the lake. She soon discovers an old journal in a secret drawer and is instantly intrigued. The handwritten book tells the tale of another Mrs. Madison from over a century ago, the first woman to live in the lake manor. As Marla reads the journal, she discovers that her life parallels that of the woman who wrote those words decades ago and Marla finds inspiration from her strength.

1875 – Alaina Carlton was content to become a spinster until her beloved father introduces her to Nathaniel Madison, one of the most prosperous men in St. Paul, Minnesota. Even though she values her independence, Alaina is intrigued by this man who pursues her. When they marry, she believes she’s found a man who will treat her as an equal, but soon realizes that isn’t entirely true. From their mansion on the illustrious Summit Avenue to their manor at Great Heron Lake, where the rich and powerful play, her life is no longer her own. But fifteen years and two children later when Nathaniel grows ill, she takes her rightful place where women weren’t allowed in order to secure her children’s inheritance and her future.

An inspiring family saga of two determined woman who found meaning in their lives by following their passions and not allowing society, or propriety, to hold them back.

Purchase The Women of Great Heron Lake now!

About the Authorimg_3933

Deanna Lynn Sletten is the author of Maggie’s Turn, Finding Libbie, One Wrong turn, Miss Etta, and several other titles. She writes heartwarming women’s fiction and romance novels with unforgettable characters. She has also written one middle-grade novel that takes you on the adventure of a lifetime. Deanna believes in fate, destiny, love at first sight, soul mates, second chances, and happily ever after, and her novels reflect that. Deanna is married and has two grown children. When not writing, she enjoys walking the wooded trails around her home with her beautiful Australian Shepherd, traveling, and relaxing on the lake.

Connect with Deanna Lynn Sletten

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New Release Spotlight: “A Kiss Beneath a Strawberry Moon,”  (Daydreams & Dragonflies Rock ‘N Sweet Romance 3)  by Tamara Ferguson

new release spotlight

Will Fate and the Magic Of A Kiss Beneath A Strawberry Moon Reunite 

a Star and a Wounded Veteran Composer?

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Vocalist Marielle McKinnon and composer Drew Kendall find love one magical summer after a Kiss Beneath A Strawberry Moon.

The future looks perfect for the two of them. Marielle’s a rising star, who becomes enormously successful, while Drew’s a composer who plans on completing college and going into teaching.

But after a family altercation, Drew is forced to drop out of college and decides to enlist.

When Drew is severely injured in Iraq, and refuses to contact Marielle, not wanting to burden her with his injuries, will their love survive?

 

Purchase this sweet, contemporary romance now. Amazon

About the Author

Tamara FergusonWriting steamy yet sweet compassionate stories of fate that are wonderfully romantic, Tamara Ferguson is the multi-award winning, USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR of the Tales of the Dragonfly Romance Suspense Series, the Kissed By Fate Series, the Two Hearts Wounded Warrior Romance Series, the Daydreams & Dragonflies Sweet Romance Series, and the Tales From Dragonfly Pointe Short Story Series.

If you don’t believe in the power of fate, you shouldn’t read her stories because Tamara always writes a happily-ever-after for her heroines and heroes, since it doesn’t always work out that way in real life.

Since 2015, she has earned more than twenty-five awards, seventeen of those for her Two Hearts Wounded Warrior romances, including five Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards with Two Hearts Unbroken earning the Bronze (2018), Two Hearts Unspoken earning the Silver (2016) and Two Hearts Find Christmas earning the GOLD Medal in Military Fiction (2018.) Two Hearts Surrendered was also a New Apple Romance Selection for excellence in Indie Publishing and 2018 Top Shelf Finalist. Two Hearts’ Christmas Wish is a 2017 IAN Book of the Year Finalist. And it’s the #13 BEST INDIE BOOK of 2017.

Since she remains a full-time caregiver for an autistic son (along with a bunch of adopted pets!), you can usually find Tammy working at home, where she spends a lot of time not completing her numerous home improvement projects, because she’s writing or helping author friends promote their books on twitter.

If you’d like to subscribe to her newsletter, she provides information about new releases as well as free books and available promotional sign ups and giveaways. Sign up now.

Follow Tamara Ferguson

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Twitter @KissedByFate2 

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New Release Spotlight: “Two Steps Forward, A Titus Ray Thriller” by Luana Ehrlich

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Can CIA spy thrillers be exciting, thrilling, and clean? Yes! Luana Ehrlich does it again.

Two Steps Forward

CIA operative Titus Ray expects the unexpected. 
Just not this time.

Just not this way.

Just not on his honeymoon.

An unexpected encounter in Morocco . . .
Titus and Nikki begin their new life together in a church ceremony in Norman, Oklahoma and immediately fly to Marrakesh, Morocco for their honeymoon. Then, the unexpected happens, and Titus has an encounter with Jihadi terrorist Baran Asan.

An unexpected discovery in Israel . . .
Cutting their honeymoon short, Titus and Nikki head over to Israel to search for their foster child’s grandmother, but then an unexpected discovery leads to a second sighting of Baran Asan and reveals disturbing news about a planned assassination in Iraq.

An unexpected assassination in Iraq . . .
With time running out, the Agency sends Titus to Baghdad to prevent the assassination of the Iraqi Prime Minister. But is he really the assassin’s target? Could it be someone else?

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Book VI in the Titus Ray Thriller Series is a spellbinding adventure of the unexpected, where Titus learns to rely on his fledgling faith, confront his past failures, and embrace a new life with Nikki Saxon Ray.

What People Are Saying About Titus Ray Thrillers

“The characters are very well-developed and believable. I enjoyed the way the author described Titus Ray’s internal struggles and character flaws creating a very authentic main character. The story was action-packed and one is left wondering how the author could be so knowledgeable of the CIA and the work of their covert operatives.”

“Excellent read full of action and intrigue, with a dash of soul mixed in for good measure.”

“A fast paced story line full of cliffhangers, conspiracy and romance!”

“I’m definitely hooked on this series. Much suspense, twists and turns.”

” I recommend these books for all who enjoy good clean fiction, especially involving current events in the world. I like the development of the characters and their relationship.”

Purchase this international fast-paced thriller TODAY! Amazon

About the Author

LuanaLuana Ehrlich is the author of the award-winning Titus Ray Thriller Series, featuring CIA intelligence officer Titus Ray. Her novels are clean reads with intriguing plots, fascinating characters, jaw-dropping twists, and occasional touches of heart-warming romance.

Luana developed her passion for spy thrillers and mystery novels at an early age, but she didn’t begin writing her series of Titus Ray Thrillers until her husband retired from the ministry. Now, she writes from an undisclosed location, trying to avoid the torture of mundane housework, grocery shopping, and golf stories. However, she occasionally comes out of hiding to visit with her two grandsons or to enjoy a Starbucks caramel macchiato.

Besides being an award-winning author, Luana is a freelance writer, minister’s wife, and former missionary. She and her husband are long-time residents of Norman, Oklahoma. She’s also lived in Indiana, Illinois, New Mexico, Texas, and Michigan, and for several years, she and her husband were missionaries in Costa Rica and Venezuela.

In addition to being an avid reader, Luana is also a news fanatic, following events around the world on a daily basis, particularly the Middle East. She loves to hear from her readers! Contact her through email, Author@LuanaEhrlich.com.

To learn more about Luana, visit her websites: www.LuanaEhrlich.com and www.TitusRayThrillers.com.

Readers are invited to sign up for the Titus Ray Thriller newsletter and receive a free book at LuanaEhrlich.com.

New Release Spotlight: “Mermaid’s Song” and “Mermaid’s Heart,” Paranormal Academy Romances from Stacy Claflin

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Stacy Claflin is at it again with a new series and two books already out there.

Book One: Mermaid’s Song

Mermaids Song

I live a double life—and it’s about to tangle me in its net.

I’m Marra Ayers, a mermaid pretending to be human. Or at least, I was. It’s over now that my uncle died, making my dad the new king of Valora. My parents are dragging me away from the life I love to our undersea kingdom. And to make matters worse, everybody hates us.

My parents send me straight to the Dark Sea Academy, where the building is creepy and the students are worse. The dean pairs me with a student to show me the ropes.

I get stuck with Bash, who’s one wrong move from being expelled, and showing me around is his latest punishment. He’s as gorgeous as he is arrogant. And an incredible guitarist, as it turns out. Not that it matters. We can’t stand each other, and when my orientation is over, we’ll go our separate ways. Good riddance.

Whispers and glares greet me at every turn, and the most popular girl has it out for me. My first night, she tries to kill me. Then, bloodied and bruised, I run into Bash. And this time, he actually seems to care…

He keeps looking at me with concern in his eyes while giving me this crooked smirk. Kind of makes me forget how irritating he is. Almost makes me forget all my problems.

But I can’t let myself get side-tracked by him. I won’t.

If I’m to survive the academy, I need to focus on staying alive. Unfortunately, that means relying on Bash—and he’s a distraction that could very well cost me everything.

Purchase Mermaid’s Song Now

Book Two: Mermaid’s Heart

Note: This is the second part of the Dark Sea Academy trilogy, and if you haven’t read Mermaid’s Song, you’ll want to do that first. The following description contains spoilers for the first book. 

Mermaids Heart
What’s the point of being a princess if the whole kingdom hates you?

Being a royal should make my life easier, but it only compounds my problems. When my father, the new King of Valora, succeeded the beloved King Tiberius, many of his subjects believed he killed my uncle just to gain the throne. His new policies only make the people hate him more.

Just my luck, they transfer their loathing onto me.

Even my best friend and my boyfriend aren’t enough of a buffer, and I’m continually fending off verbal, and sometimes physical, attacks.

That’s when my powers start growing…

When no one at the academy can—or will—help me learn about my new abilities, I begin to research them on my own. Modern answers seem to be entwined with a terrifying ancient legend.

If the lore is true, my destiny is far more tragic than my present problems. And I don’t know if I can change it.

Or if I should even try.

Purchase Mermaid’s Heart Now

About the Author

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I’m Stacy Claflin, a two-time USA Today bestselling author who has published sixty books at the time of this writing. I’ve always been an avid reader and a writer. When I was a teenager, I was always in the middle of reading at least five books at a time. Not only could I keep up with each storyline, but I also never needed a bookmark! These days, I’m lucky to remember why I went into the kitchen. There’s more to me than writing and reading. I’m the mom of two smart and hilarious boys that I educate from home. I love hiking and being active outdoors. There isn’t anything better than spending time with family and friends! I also enjoy watching a wide range of shows, such as SupernaturalReignThe Walking Dead, HavenPretty Little LiarsStranger ThingsDexterDesignated Survivor, and Glitch. I’m also obsessed with true crime podcasts and taking online courses to improve my writing craft.

I’m a thyroid cancer survivor. I’ve been cancer free since 2008. Get your thyroid checked!

Connect with Stacy Claflin

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