Making Christmas by Nancy Fraser!


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Making Christmas

A Dickens Holiday Romance Prequel


A 1980s Vintage Romance …

It’s been five years since William Barrett returned to Dickens to take over as CEO of Wil-Bar Toys. He’s spent these past years helping build Wil-Bar into a leader in creative, handmade toys. His work ethic and drive has left him little time for a personal life. Or, perhaps he’s still pining for the one who got away.

Catherine Gates moved away from Dickens six years earlier. Now a staff reporter for a woman’s magazine, she’s returning to Dickens to do a story on Wil-Bar Toys new production methods and get the scoop on their upcoming holiday line.

When Will and Cat meet up again for the first time in years, it’s as if they’ve never been apart. Rekindling their friendship, and attraction, becomes more important than Cat’s article, or even the secrecy of the new toy lines.

Can these two childhood friends make up for lost time and pursue the romance they missed out on years earlier? Or, will Cat’s story expose too much and put them at odds with one another?

Tagline: Will their first meeting in six years be all business? Or, can they make up for lost time?


September 1985

Wil-Bar Toy Factory

“Isn’t it a bit early for Christmas carols?” William asked, motioning skyward where the factory speakers were blaring a string of both classical and modern holiday songs. “If we don’t vary it every once-in-awhile, I’m going to end up ripping the wires out of the ceiling.”

His father shot him a pained look. “Is it ever too early for Christmas music in a toy factory where we spend every working hour up until the beginning of December getting ready for the rush?” Waving his hand dismissively overhead, Wilfred Barrett added, “Besides, it keeps the production line moving like clockwork.”

“How’s the new head of design working out? What’s his name? Gibson?” Will asked.

“Ted Gibson. He’s got some great ideas for sure. Including inviting that magazine editor to send someone to write an article on our new state-of-the-art assembly line.”

“Somehow I don’t picture an article in a woman’s magazine doing justice to the mechanics involved in creating toys like our latest designs.”

Giving a shrug, Wilfred admitted, “It can’t hurt. Besides, it’s women who do most of the buying, especially for the children. If the article can convince these mothers that our toys are safe and won’t come apart with one day of rough play, then it’s as much as we can hope for, I suppose.” Pushing aside the ledger in front of him, he added, “I’d like you to be the one to give them the tour.”

“Why me? Let Gibson do it. After all, it was his idea. Or, you do it—it’s your company, after all. I’d much rather keep my focus on these sales and shipping projections.”

“You’re the new face of Wil-Bar Toys, son. The younger—what’s the term—hip version of a toymaker. Not that I don’t still love it, but these young mothers would much rather see your picture accompanying the article than mine.”

“Ted’s young too. And, if the women crowding around the watercooler are to be believed, quite a catch.”

His father leaned back in his chair, a sure sign the discussion was coming to an end, his decision made. “The magazine is sending one of their staff writers to do the interview. She’ll be here day-after-tomorrow.”

Will turned toward the door to his father’s office. “I feel the flu coming on,” he groused. “I may have to call in sick.”

 “You might be a grown man, but I’m sure your mother would love to have you home all day long,” his dad quickly pointed out, a grin lighting his face. “She can stuff you with chicken noodle soup and fuss over you to her heart’s content.”

“You can be downright mean when you want to be, Pops” Will said, chuckling. “No doubt, you’d suggest she read to me too.”

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Author Bio & Media:

NANCY FRASERJumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.



Twitter:  @nfraserauthor


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Smart Bitches Buy Bitcoin by 2 Smart Bitches, Brandon LaNette & Andrea Waltz


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My review of Smart Bitches Buy Bitcoin:

Do your research, Bitches – the authors’ mantra.

If you’re looking to be spoon fed knowledge about Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, look elsewhere. (Yes, they do touch on other cryptocurrencies). But if you’re looking for a clever, entertaining read, and information presented in a way that doesn’t have you saying, “this is over my head”, Smart Bitches is it. I’m not saying you won’t learn from this book. You will. I don’t know enough about Bitcoin to invest in it yet, but this book gave me enough information to whet my appetite and encourage me to dig deeper. One thing I did learn:- To consider Bitcoin when, at the beginning, I’d thought it was an investment game for the very wealthy.

The authors’ witty presentation of dry facts keeps you turning the page. It doesn’t immediately put you off with huge, industry specific words that might daunt the uninitiated (like this reader), or put you to sleep in your recliner. If someone says ‘bitcoin’ now, at least I know what they’re talking about!

Where will you store your Bitcoin? They give you the alternatives.

A quick, fun, and illuminating read.

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Branden LaNette will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

It seems like everyone’s talking about Bitcoin these days. Still, a lot of people just don’t get it. Or they assume Bitcoin is just for tech-savvy millennial guys or rich investors like Elon Musk.

As for women, many of us didn’t get a great financial education. Some of us shy away from conversations about money and investing especially if it has to do with the crazy world of cryptocurrencies.

What to do? Start with this brand new short, fun, and easy read,”Smart Bitches Buy Bitcoin: A Simple Guide for Women Who Want to Learn the Truth About Bitcoin and Control Their Financial Future.”

The book is designed to help women understand the current financial situation, why Bitcoin could be the life raft they need, and how to get started investing in it. Don’t leave your economic future to chance just because it seems scary or confusing and this is the perfect book to get you started.

Read an Excerpt

Recently, at the annual gathering of the world’s elite in Davos, Switzerland (attendees included 119 billionaires, 53 heads of state, plus Shakira and Matt Damon), hedge fund manager Ray Dalio told the group, “Cash is trash. Get out of cash.” He went on to say that people who got stuck holding cash were going to feel stupid.

No one blinked. They’re the global elite, they already knew this was the case.

So where should you put your cash? Well, we know where not to put it, and that’s in the stock market.

The stock market isn’t a bubble that’s going to pop, it’s a super-bubble that’s going to eventually explode.

So, where do we think you should put your money? Anywhere that isn’t in cash, and anywhere that isn’t in stocks, that’s for sure.

What does that leave?

Well, there’s commodities. Like oil. And soybeans. Natural gas. Corn. Wheat. Cattle. Hogs. Lucky Charms. Whatever. And precious metals, of course: gold, silver, platinum, copper, etc.

All these things have a chance at growth, while the experts say cash is certain to drop in value. But do you know what is way better than all of them?

Yeah, you guessed it. Bitcoin.

About the Author:
Branden LaNette doesn’t look like a typical author but she has long ignored what she “should” do, say and look like. On her own at a very young age, Branden eventually found herself with the wrong guy, the wrong job, and a bleak future. The fairytale she was promised as a child never materialized.

Finally, Branden decided that she wanted something different for her life, and realized no one was going to do it for her. Prince charming wasn’t coming to save her—she’d have to save herself.

Step by step, decision by decision, through major trials and tribulations that would stop most people in their tracks, Branden learned how to turn heartbreak into happiness and self-judgement into inner joy.

Today, Branden LaNette is an entrepreneur, coach, speaker, wife, and stay-at-home Mom to six C-section babies (ages 1-16) and way too many f-ing pets. Somehow, however, she manages to juggle all of this effortlessly (a blatant lie) while pushing her way through the kinds of fear and self-doubts that whisper within all of us (totally true) to achieve her goals. Her most recent dream come true is this book, one that is destined to have a major impact on millions of women across the globe (or at least nine people in Michigan.)

Through it all, she has found her happiness, her joy, and more importantly, her voice.

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A Pride of Brothers: Aiden


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Book 2 in the series

A Romantic suspense by Peggy Jaeger…


Lexi Buckley wants answers about her younger sister’s death. The police have labeled it a suicide, but Lexi doesn’t believe it. Stymied in her investigation, she doesn’t know where to turn next. After a chance encounter with a private investigator, she thinks her prayers have been answered.

Aiden Keane has never been an answer to a prayer before, but he agrees to help Lexi. A quirky combo of brains and beauty, the pixie blonde makes him feel things no professional ever should for a client.

When their investigation puts Lexi’s life in jeopardy, her safety becomes his number one priority. The hard part is not falling for her.



Were you close with your sister?” Aiden asked.

Not the way we should have been. Not at the end.

“We had a sizable age difference between us. Almost ten years. I was the big sis. The oldest.” Her lips trembled when she pulled them into a sad line. Rolling her eyes she added, “The bossy one, according to her. She was the baby and took full advantage of her status from the moment she realized it.”

“And rightly so.” The corners of his eyes crinkled. “I’m the youngest of my brothers and I’ll can tell you with one hundred percent honesty, my oldest brother is the bossiest one of us. I think it comes with birth order. Although he takes his so called right uber-seriously. Especially at work.”

This time her grin was steadier.  “What kind of business do you all own together?”

“We a run a private security company.”


“Personal bodyguards, if a client needs protection from something. Background checks for employers. Mostly we do investigations.”

“What, like private eyes? Like on television?”

He laughed. “Nothing so glamorous. The fast cars and hot babes are all fantasy. It’s a lot of boring research, computer work, and surveillance, but yeah, you could say I’m a private eye.”

Lexi’s entire mood turned on his words. The sorrow flew, the hurt dissolved. Even her nervous trivia-speak went dormant. She sat bolt upright, her knees bumping against the tabletop when she shifted. Excitement shot from her system as she turned her body, placed a hand across his forearm and declared, “Oh, my God. You’re the answer to my prayers.”

A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: RICK is available now across all digital media and in print:

Truffle Me Not by M.K. Scott


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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. M.K. Scott will be awarding a $40 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The future of Cupid’s Catering Company hangs in the balance. With a rival bakery, owned by the queen of all mean, rich girls, Della is at a distinct disadvantage.

Della hinges her financial future on winning the local truffle contest. As if there wasn’t enough on her mind, additional problems arise, including missing cats, jewel thieves, and her desperate attempt to find the incredibly kind man who’d lent her hand when she had tire trouble.

Can she solve all these problems and find time to whip up a cookbook at the same time?

Read an Excerpt

Donning rubber gloves, Della tackled the dirty dishes, indulging in an impromptu trip down memory lane. Even though it was more than a decade ago, every now and then, the memories of not quite fitting in no matter what she did came back. Her school broke down into cliques with the predominant ones being jocks, popular kids, and the hipsters, plus everyone else that didn’t merit a label. As for the jocks, their name said it all while the popular kids were a little harder to define. Sure, it was easy to know who they were, but what made them popular was difficult to pinpoint. Most came from powerful, affluent families that usually had a member on the school board. This often translated into starring roles in the school play or being on the first string in athletics.

Thanks to a cyber security assembly in middle school at which her father presented the other students knew her father as that cop. It resulted in Della getting the side-eye now and then, especially if other students happened to be talking about underage parties. Every party that was busted somehow got laid on Della’s doorstep. Never mind the fact her detective father didn’t take noise complaints associated with teen parties. They assumed she told. Not sure how they came to that conclusion, when she’d never been invited. Not once did the partiers ever consider that deafening music, the abundance of cars, and raucous behavior might have resulted in irate neighbors calling the police.

Some kids might have let it go, but not Lacey. Just her name had Della gritting her teeth. Small town life had its share of mean girls who aged into entitled, mean women. Lacey had to be the queen of them all. For most, being beautiful, wealthy, and the topic of most conversations would be enough. Even with everyone treating the woman like royalty, Della could tolerate it if her royal meanness stayed far, far away.

That was why a woman’s condescending tone reaching into the kitchen and might as well pinched Della. “Oh, how quaint!”

Her head jerked up, and the pan slipped from her fingers. A shiver raced up her spine. No, it couldn’t be. Better check it to be sure. There had to more than one snotty female in town. Her athletic shoes allowed her to creep across the kitchen floor without making a sound. Whoever was out there would say something else, dispelling the possibility it was Lacey. Why would Lacey even visit her modest bakery?

About the Author: M. K. Scott is the husband and wife writing team behind The Painted Lady Inn Mysteries and The Talking Dog Detective Agency. Morgan K Wyatt is the general wordsmith, while her husband, Scott, is the grammar hammer and physics specialist. He uses his engineering skills to explain how fast a body falls when pushed over a cliff and various other felonious activities. The Internet and experts in the field provide forensic information, while the recipes and B and B details require a more hands-on approach. Morgan’s daughter, who manages a hotel, provides guest horror stories to fuel the plot lines. The couple’s dog, Chance, is the inspiration behind Jasper, Donna’s dog. Overall, both are fun series to create and read.


The book will be on sale for $0.99 on the day of the tour.

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Drifting by Steven M. Cross


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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Steven M. Cross will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Drifting brings light into the dark corners of mental health, bullying, and sexual assault.

Dean Knight has struggled against his personal demons for as long as he can remember. He thought he lost that struggle when he felt their knowing grip pull him deeper in the river, but he was saved. Saved for what? His memories are trapped within his mental illness. He hears his sister and father’s voices. The problem is, they’re dead, both killed in the same river that tried to claim Dean. As he struggles to remember, he discovers their voices aren’t pushing him to harm himself, but to discover the truth surrounding both their deaths. One person, Ella, has all the answers, but Dean can’t remember if she loved him or tried to kill him.

Roxanne “Rocky” Rivers struggles against her own demons, not voices, but a past trauma she can’t fully remember. She only knows everyone at school thinks she’s a slut and a head-case. A razor her only release for the pain. Rocky knows no one will believe a crazy girl who tries to kill herself.

Dean and Rocky find a connection. Can they find the strength and trust to help each other when neither can survive alone?

Read an Excerpt

We have walked into another large cave. In one wall, a small chamber is cut.

“I bet there’s treasure in there. Arrgh,” like a pirate, then laughing hysterically, cackling, and releasing my hand. I kneel and see a pocket watch lying at the chamber’s entrance.

A hand, half bone, half decayed skin, creeps from the chamber, grabs my wrist. My heart catches. My eyes bulge. A scream rises in my throat.

Then, I see a bashed in skull emerge from the opening, its jaw set in a gaping grin and then another hand. Behind it on the floor, I see part of a skull, blood, a tooth, and hair. The skeleton crawls out of the chamber. I hear the girl’s crazed laughter. Bones skitter over the ground, click like castanets.

“Dean.” Its voice is thick like it’s filled with sand. I, we, feel like our head is going to explode into pieces of blood and brain and bone.

When I close my eyes, it grabs me and lifts me up, flopping me over its shoulder like an old rug. I can’t move, can’t talk, can’t breathe. The dry, brittle bones click against my skin.

It takes me to another part of the cave on the edge of a high cliff, lifts me off its shoulder, grabs my shirt, dangles me over the edge of the cliff, lets go.

I kick and scream as I fall through the air. I look up, see the face of a beautiful girl, then disappear into a pool of hot, frothy water. As I peer through the churning water, the skeleton’s hand grabs my hair.

I scream, choke on water, but then I’m gulping fresh air and staring into the Rose’s face.

“What the hell?”

“I’m naked,” I say aloud, though I’m only thinking it in my head.

“Next time, I’ll let your skinny ass drown.” She turns, leaves the bathroom.

About the Author:
Steve Cross is an educator/freelance writer who lives in Poplar Bluff, MO. His credits include four young adult novels, two fantasy novels, and seven plays. He has optioned one script and sold another one. Plus, he’s finished as a quarterfinalist in Bluecat and in Fresh Voices screenwriting competition. He and his wife have one daughter and two grandchildren with whom they spend a lot of time. Cross loves Cardinals baseball, classic rock music, and character-driven movies. His favorite films are Dead Poets Society and Field of Dreams. Cross also likes to read, everything from Young Adult contemporary novels to screenplays, to horror and fantasy. At 62 and a cancer survivor, he believes his writing career is just now getting into full swing. His favorite type of screenplay to write is a psychological drama.

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Knight Light by Claudia Riess


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GENRE:   Mystery

Genre: Mystery!



On March 24, 1946, World Chess Champion, Alexander Alekhine, is found dead in his hotel room in Estoril, Portugal.  The cause of death remains mired in controversy when, three-quarters of a century later, a letter of his that could rock the art world is unearthed in a routine home renovation in upstate New York.  The letter is addressed to a person of international repute and offers information about art works looted during the German occupation of Paris.
When the young man in possession of the letter is brutally murdered, his mentor, art history professor Harrison Wheatley and Harrison’s sleuthing partner, art magazine editor Erika Shawn, hurl themselves into the dual mission of tracking down both the killer and the looted art.
The hunt takes the couple to far flung locations, and as the stakes rise along with the murder count, it looks like the denouement will take place far from the comforts of home.



Harrison was at a loss.  “Denise, what is so disturbing to you about this?”

She opened her mouth to answer, then changed her mind.  After a beat, she said, “I’ll tell you what happened next, and you will know for yourself.”

He had no choice.  He nodded and waited for her to continue.

She smoothed her skirt and refolded her hands, as if this would bring order to what was to come.  “The next morning after breakfast—dry rolls and tea without sugar, it was—Ben and I set out for our respective homes.”  Her voice had cracked a bit, and she cleared her throat.   “Ever since the incident at the cinema, Benny was keeping his distance from me.  It was clear he was unsure how to act in my presence.  I wanted us to go back to the way we were, so I turned around and caught up with him.  ‘I’ll walk you home,’ I said.  ‘I’m perfectly capable of walking by myself,’ he said.  I walked with him anyway.  I hardly knew what to say next, and he was of no help, giving me the cold shoulder, so we walked down the street in silence for the entire ten minutes it took us to get to number 110, the address of the Eisenberg gallery and residence.  You should know that the Eisenberg’s apartment, like the Wildenstein’s, was accessible from inside the building.  The apartment was not as grand as theirs, though.  Three rooms, three flights up.”  Madame D paused to take another of her curative deep breaths.

“I will get right to the point,” she said evenly, although Harrison saw her hands briefly unclasp to take up a patch of skirt material and clutch it between her palms.  “The door to the gallery was wide open, but we didn’t need that clue to realize that something terrible had happened.  We could see it through the gallery window.  Ben let out a low grunt, like an animal that had just been wounded, and ran into the building.  I followed after him.

“The floor was strewn with empty frames, like a heap of firewood.  Not a single canvas had been left behind.  I stood dumbly in the center of it as Ben tore around in circles screaming ‘Maman? Papa? Maman? Papa?’ before realizing he was going nowhere and shot out of orbit to head for the back office.  I followed behind in a kind of wide-awake daze, and when I reached the room, I saw first a neat pile of paperwork on a small desk, and then, beside it on the floor, the bodies of two German officers piled together like discarded rag dolls.  Ben was crammed in a corner as if pinned there by an invisible force, his mouth open, screaming without making a sound.  And then, as if suddenly released, he sprang out the door, brushing by me without seeing me, running and stumbling toward the stairwell that led up to the apartment.  I followed him like a sleepwalker, alert to every detail, but viewing it from another dimension of time and space.

“I was standing behind him as he pushed open the door to the apartment, and so my first view of the scene was obstructed.  His was not.  Both his parents were lying face-up on the hardwood floor.  Each had been shot in the middle of the forehead.  Except for the neat bullet holes, their faces were remarkably intact.  The pools of blood, like crimson pillows beneath their heads, were proof enough that their wounds had been fatal, but Ben, dropping to his knees beside his mother’s inert form, refused to believe it, whispering and howling that she wake up.  And still, not a word had passed between us.  What happened next was so unearthly, even more so than the murders, that I did not truly believe it was happening until it was done.” 

Madame D paused a moment before going on, and Harrison felt that if he said a word it would be considered an act of transgression.  “The window in the living room,” she continued—“we were in the living room, you see—went nearly from the floor to the ceiling.  The window was open and the long white curtains—cotton batiste they must have been—were fluttering in the breeze.  Maybe Ben saw them as angel wings, I don’t know.  Maybe he thought he could fly—remember, he believed he could become anything he wanted to be—and that the curtains were heavenly portals or something of the sort.  It’s so painful not to know what he was thinking when he rose to his feet and without a word, without a cry, ran to the window and flew off.  In my mind I hear myself shouting ‘Ben, no!’ just as he is about to jump, so I must have shouted, don’t you think?”  She looked at Harrison, actually wanting him to answer.

Harrison felt keenly aware of what he had just been hearing, yet stunned speechless by it.  Like the young Denise, he reflected.

“Harry?” she urged.  “Don’t you think I shouted that?”

He must choose his words carefully—no! say what you think!  “Yes, I believe you did,” he said, faltering.  “Probably you did.”  Counterpunching in the forefront of consciousness: What? Two German officers and two Jews killed by the same person? 

“In the end I know it doesn’t matter,” she said, “but I want to believe I said something.”

“How can anyone know how to react in such a situation?” he asked, as the question in his head refused to be gaveled into silence.  “I hardly know how to react in this situation, and I’m a grown-up!” 

She granted him a smile, but her thoughts were elsewhere: “I blame myself, you know,” she said quietly.  “If I had let Ben hold my hand in the theater, or if I had pulled my hand away less forcefully, he might have rushed to me, if even for a parting embrace, and I would have held onto him until that dreadful impulse had melted into a river of tears.”


Claudia Riess is a Vassar graduate who’s worked in the editorial departments of The New Yorker and Holt, Rinehart and Winston.  She is author of the Art History Mystery Series published by Level Best Books and includes: “Stolen Light,”* “False Light” and “Knight Light.” She is also author of “Semblance of Guilt” and “Love and Other Hazards.”

“Knight Light,” the third novel in her Art History Mystery Series, released February 23, 2021, follows the series amateur sleuths Erika Shawn, art magazine editor and Harrison Wheatley, art history professor, as they tackle the sinister world of art crime that tests both their courage- and love-under-fire.

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Fostered Identity by Maggie Thom


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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Maggie Thom will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Her teenage sister has run away. It’s her fault. And on her watch.

Shyla thought she was doing the right thing by helping her teenage sister get a little freedom. She never expected she’d bolt on her. Desperate to keep their mom from discovering she has a missing daughter, Shyla sets out to find her wayward sister.

A fluke encounter gives Shyla a clue. Only she gets a lot more than she bargained for. She finds her sister, but she gets pulled into doing a heist. An impossible heist. And not just any heist but that of stealing her mom’s million-dollar jewelry. Ones that recently arrived, with no explanation.

Damien is a good guy running from an awful past. When his brother ends up in the hospital, Damien is determined to stop the one man who has and is destroying their lives—their father. Damien will break all of his promises, even steal, if it will end their father’s control.

Shyla and Damien find themselves thrown together, not trusting each other but not having any choice. They will have to work together if Damien is going to stop his father once and for all. And if Shyla is going to protect her family. An impossible crime that will bring them surprises they didn’t see coming.

Can they catch a thief by being a thief?

Book 1
The Twisted Deception Series

Emerald grew up in a foster family. It wasn’t an ordinary foster family. She was the first of eight girls to move in. The jewels that she was given to play with as a teenager, that she was told were baubles, are now resurfacing thirty-five years later. They are worth millions. And it appears worth stealing. Who is sending them out? And who wants them back at all costs?

“…fast-paced and kept me guessing. I like a mystery enveloped with family secrets and jewel thieves. I want more, and I want to know the secrets. I will be excited to read the second novel…” Author Christine H-Jackson

Read an Excerpt

“You’re sick. You destroyed Jordie. Or tried to, but he turned you down. Isn’t that why you hurt him, ’cause he didn’t want any more to do with you? He was getting out. But you couldn’t lose your number one thief. He’s been clean for a whole year.”

The man chuckled. “He’s mine. One day, he’s gonna slip out of this world.”

“What do you want?”

“There’s something I need you to get. Jordie couldn’t do it. You saw what happened to him. If you do like him and ignore me, you will end up in the same place. Or worse.”

Damien felt sick, but he didn’t know what he was going to do. This man had destroyed his life. As much as he wanted to turn tail and run, it was his turn to step up and protect his brother. Their father would stop at nothing, even kill Jordie. It appeared he almost had.

“Fine. What do you want to steal?”

The door to the apartment opened. Damien’s eyes widened as he met Shyla’s whose eyebrows couldn’t have shot any higher. Thankfully, her hands were full of bags of groceries and trying to balance her purse and keys. He rushed over to her, grabbing the door, and stepping between her and it.

“Smart boy,” His father was at happy with his question. Shyla was going to be another matter.

Shyla hustled past him, almost throwing the bags of groceries onto the counter. She whirled around, staring him down. He leaned against the door. He at least needed a chance to explain.

“No. I just know you. You haven’t changed at all. All you’ve ever done your entire life is steal, steal, steal, and steal. So, what is it?” He waved at Shyla with his hand while making pleading facial expressions that she give him a minute and then he’d explain.

“Something a little bit different. It’s a beautiful set of jewelry.”

About the Author:
Take the adventure beyond your fingertips.

Multi-Award-Winning Author, Maggie Thom has written all types of stories but finally settled on her love of puzzles, mysteries, and rollercoaster rides and now writes suspense/thrillers/mysteries that keep you guessing and take you on one heck of an adventure.

She is the author of 8 suspense/thriller/mysteries. The award-winning Caspian Wine Series – Captured Lies, Deceitful Truths, and Split Seconds – and her other individual novels Tainted Waters, Deadly Ties, and Fractured Lines. And now a new series – The Twisted Deception Series – Fostered Identity, Book 1. On her website, you can find her free novel – Blurred Lines.

Her motto: Read to escape … Escape to read …

“Maggie Thom… proves her strength as a master of words, plots and finely chiseled characters… she weaves a brilliant cloth of the many colors of deceit.” Dii – TomeTender

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Arresting Onyx by Amber Daulton ON SALE!!


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For the first time ever, both Arresting Mason and Arresting Jeremiah are on sale for $2.99 each.

This romantic suspense series features smokin’ hot sex scenes, bad boy heroes, and badass heroines who fight their own battles and keep their men on their toes.

Now is the perfect time to catch up with these books since they’re half off! Find them on sale at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Apple/iBooks.

Limited Time Only – May 14 to May 28, 2021

Arresting Mason (Arresting Onyx book 1)

– Their chance encounter resulted in a steamy affair, but will his former gang and a parole officer tear them apart?


Once you’re in a prison gang, you’re in it for life. That’s what Mason Harding thought until the boss accepted his resignation. After the State releases him on parole, a sexy divorcée behind the wheel of a car almost ends his life quicker than a shank. His chance encounter with Mia Eddison results in a night of passion, but her brother—his parole officer—catches them together and doesn’t approve.

Mia falls hard for the cocky ex-con, but not because of his chiseled body. She vows to break through his walls and discover his secrets, but never expects those secrets to threaten her life.

When members of an organized crime ring kidnap Mia to force Mason’s return to the gang, he goes up against an old friend to save the woman he loves. Will his sacrifice be enough or will everything fall apart in a blaze of gunfire?

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Arresting Jeremiah (Arresting Onyx book 2)

– When threats escalate, will Jim and Calista succumb, or fight for a love they can’t deny?


Injured Parole Officer Jeremiah “Jim” Borden never expected Calista Barlow, the sassy blonde waitress he’s craved for months, to ring his doorbell. She slips into his heart—and his bed—but he’s obsessed with a gangland investigation that threatens his career and maybe even his life.

Calista doesn’t trust easily, not with a daughter to protect and the stalker who keeps calling her. After her violent ex-boyfriend returns, she finds solace in Jim’s arms.

Jim may have to forego his need for answers to protect the ready-made family he adores, but how will he and Calista escape an unseen enemy that is always one step ahead of them?

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About the Author

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press, Books to Go Now, and Daulton Publishing, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.

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Yes—These Are Your Grandma’s Romances by Nancy Fraser


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Heat Rating: 3.5/5

(Fully realized lovescenes/no language)



Ah … the Fifties!

A time of innocence, and the not so innocent. From “I Love Lucy” and “Willy” to “Private Secretary”, “Father Knows Best” and “Bachelor Father”, television and music from the fifties gave us inspiration. Come take a trip down memory lane with these five vintage reads!

Get your romance on, and make grandma proud!

Ed Loves Marnie ~ 1955 – Can this handsome military man convince the single mother to take another chance at love? Or, will their shared memory put a wall between them?

Willa Thomas, Attorney-in-Love ~ 1956 – Will these co-workers be able to tow the company line and forego a chance at romance? Or, will they risk everything for love?

Professor Knows Best ~ 1957 – Will this freaky trip back in time to 1957 give her the answers she seeks? Or, only more confusion? How difficult will she find it to navigate being best friends with the college-age version of her own mother?

His Private Secretary ~ 1958 – Can she run interference between her handsome boss, his needy family, and the scores of women trying to bed him and wed him and still remain unaffected by his many charms?

The Bachelor Father ~ 1959 – Will Nanny #5 be the one to finally ace the job, and coax him out of his shell and back into life? And, will a family vacation to Paris fulfill their wildest dreams?

Excerpts: (1 from each book)

Ed Loves Marnie ~ 1955

“You two know each other?” Terri asked. “That’s great.” The moment Stan set down the drinks, Terri tugged on his coat sleeve and pulled him toward the dance floor. “We’ll just leave you two to get reacquainted.”

“I’m sorry about that,” Marnie apologized, nodding toward her overzealous friend.

“No problem. Would you like to dance?” he asked.

“No, thank you. I’ve really got to be going. My kids—”

“Two, right? A little girl and you were expecting. They must be about four and seven now.”

“Three-and-a-half and a very precocious six,” she corrected, amazed at his excellent memory for detail.

He smiled and, for the first time in ages, Marnie let down her guard and actually enjoyed the simple gesture. She leaned in and asked, “How about you? I mean, you’re still in the military, and promoted to Major, too.”

“I’m stationed at Andrews Air Force Base,” he confirmed.

“So, you’re just in town for the wedding?”

“Actually, I’ve bought some property just outside Frederick.”

So close. The thought excited and frightened her in equal measure. She suspected a man like Edward Louden would be hard to ignore. “Well, as long as you don’t mind a small town, this is a great place to live.”

“What about you?” he asked. “Have you remarried?”

She shook her head. “I’ve been too busy raising my children and working. And, trying to cram some night classes in at the same time.”

“Sounds as if you’ve been busy.”

“Very. Thankfully, my parents are close by and have been a godsend with the kids.” After a moment’s silence, she asked, “How about you? Any kids?”

He shot her a broad grin. “No. I’d need a wife for that. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much time to look for one between duty assignments.”

She couldn’t help but appreciate his lighthearted sarcasm.

A comfortable silence fell between them. They both relaxed back in their chairs and enjoyed the music. When it looked as if the orchestra was about to take their break, Marnie stood to leave. “Please, tell Terri and Stan goodbye for me. My children will be up early, no matter how late I get to bed.”

“Would you like me to walk you to your car?” he asked.

 She shook her head. “No, but thank you. Stay here and enjoy the reception.” 


Stan and Terri came back to the table just minutes after Marnie Wilson made her escape. Ed had to admit, he’d barely recognized her. It hadn’t been until the name had registered that he’d realized who she was, and how he knew her. She’d certainly changed over the past three years. Matured. No doubt single-parenthood could do that to a person.

“So,” Terri asked the minute she hit the chair, “where’s Marnie?”

“She left,” Ed said simply. “Apparently her children are early risers.”

Stan chuckled. “All kids are early risers. It’s a gift.”

Ed waited for the inevitable question.

“Just how do you know Marnie?” Terri asked. “Has my best friend been holding out on me?”

“No,” he said, his voice solemn with the memory of their meeting. “We met four years ago this past March. I had the unfortunate task of delivering the military’s condolences when her husband’s plane was shot down over Korea.” 

Purchase Links:


(334 pages)








Author Bio:

NANCY FRASERJumping Across Romance Genres with Gleeful Abandon—is an Amazon Top 100 and Award-Winning author who can’t seem to decide which romance genre suits her best. So, she writes them all.

Like most authors, Nancy began writing at an early age, usually on the walls and with crayons or, heaven forbid, permanent markers. Her love of writing often made her the English teacher’s pet which, of course, resulted in a whole lot of teasing. Still, it was worth it.

Nancy has published over forty books in full-length, novella, and short format. When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.



Twitter:  @nfraserauthor


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Grandma’s Jigsaw Puzzle

Oh Good Now This by Susan Merson

Why did you choose literary fiction, particularly women’s fiction, over genre fiction, or did it choose you?

Yep, it chose me.

I’ve never been good at drawing inside the lines and while some find the rules of ‘genre’ as liberating, I get confused and distracted, worrying about “doing it right”.

So, I let myself wander deeply in the territory that I understand. I’ve put in a lot of time and digestion into this wonderful life of mine and the experiences that have changed me are the experiences I use to spin the stories that are mine to tell.  I have had my share of steamy romances, and maybe even a mystery or two that I needed to solve, but they are all wildly different, specific to me, and may lead to roads not usually open on the ‘genre’ highway.

I’ve also spent many years as an actress in the machine that is network television and ‘genre’ ruled my life in a big way. Once I passed thirty, the ‘genre’ dramas would not accept a love interest of my age, or ‘look’. Screenplays and television treatments were tortured into ‘high concept’ or “low concept’, ’buddy movies’ or ‘diseases of the week’. I used to appear in lots of medical shows or court room dramas. I think I played a character called Dr.Klein in at least ten different shows over the years, and the scenes were almost interchangeable, never mind the year or title of the show. And there was Judge Bernstein in several shows as well, same costume, same hair do, same dialogue, maybe even the same set— but different show.

And then, there’s language, rhythm, and structural shifts. I love them all and so want to use these tools in creating worlds that are based on the specific internal shifts of characters, rather than move swiftly to action and plot point.

I applaud all good storytelling, and confess to not paying enough attention to the marketplace, but so far… I seem to write in my own voice which is closer to ‘women’s fiction’ than romance or fantasy.

I like the idea of finding a character who would be interesting enough to move through a ~~~~series of books, but she hasn’t appeared yet. Maybe I need to turn the channel.

GENRE: Women’s Literary Fiction



Starting over is hard enough but when ghosts decide to hitch a ride into the future—things can get complicated.

Widowed Vivi leaves California for a new start back east landing in a college town near her old friend Vikram, now the local ‘spiritual’ leader and disappointing lover. But the two have old business which leads them to uncovering the ghosts they conjured long before and the ones that are haunting them now.  Vivi reclaims her life, — with the help of a couple different dimensions– saying hi to the ghosts who choose to hang around, and growing a new garden and a new life.



They climb into Vikram’s old Saab. The dope has worn off but the sugar high has not. Vikram reaches into his pocket. He brings out a little statue of an Indian god and goddess. He hands it to Vivi.

“A wedding present.”

“Gosh, this guy has four arms.”

“Yes,” Vikram says. “Doesn’t she look happy?”

Vivi blushes. “Never mind,” she says.

Vikram slides his arm along the top of the seat and pulls her close. Vivi isn’t sure.

“Don’t worry. It’s freezing.  We can keep each other warm.”

Viv slides closer and feels the warmth of his body. She snuggles in. He is so tall and it feels good to be smaller than, to be surrounded by.

“Jake is shorter than you,” she says. “I’m not used to being surrounded.”

“The more to keep you safer, my dear.” Vikram says with a soft smile.

“So, tll me about this. Who are these guys?” She is referring to the small statue.

“It’s the perfect wedding gift. Vishnu and Lakshmi are devoted to each other. She is the goddess of prosperity, purity and generosity. The embodiment of beauty, grace and feminine charm.”

“Just like me,” says Vivi.

“Just like you,” he echoes.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Susan Merson began her career as an actress on and off Broadway, in television and film. Co-founding the LA Writers Bloc in 1985 with award winning writer Jane Anderson, she has mentored writers through the Bloc and through her private and university classes in Playwriting, Life Stories, Writing as a Spiritual Practice, Tarot for Writers and the popular VOICING Series. Her short fiction has been featured in The Jew in America, Nice Jewish Girls (Penguin), The Worcester Review, the Chicken Soup series and several other online platforms.  As a playwright, her award-winning plays have been performed internationally, including her 8 solo plays featured and used as example in YOUT NAME HERE: An Actor Writers Guide to Solo Performance. (Amazon). Long form fiction available on Amazon is her award-winning blog, WHEN THEY GO AND YOU DO NOT and her first novel DREAMING IN DAYLIGHT.  OH GOOD NOW THIS, her newest novel launches 12/1/21. She is a tarot reader and counselor, a maker of quilts, clothing and whimsy.  Susan is a humble mother and a proud resident of New York City.




BUY LINKS:…/oh-good-now…/1138532579…/dp/B08RCXVNTX/


The author has also done a series of five videos regarding the use of Tarot for writers (for more information, visit her website):

1: Author/ teacher Susan Merson (OH GOOD NOW THIS/ Amazon) explores Tarot to jump start your writing. TAROT FOR WRITERS #1:  INTRODUCTION

An introduction to using your own intuitive powers to tap into the resonance of Tarot images, packed with archetypes and symbols, to jumpstart inspiration for your artistic projects.

**CORRECTION: The Raziel Tarot Deck is designed by artist Robert Place with commentary by Rachel Pollack.

 2: Author/teacher Susan Merson (OH GOOD NOW THIS/Amazon), explores TAROT cards to jumpstart your writing, TAROT FOR WRITERS #2: LANDSCAPE

Explore the landscape of story. Entering the world of the card offers visceral clues to the landscape of your writing.

3: Author/ teacher Susan Merson (OH GOOD NOW THIS/ Amazon) explores  TAROT cards to jump start your writing. TAROT FOR WRITERS #3: CHARACTER.

A brief exploration of character and how to find their first basic journey. Look deeply at the character clues in the cards and throw three cards to begin their adventure.

4: Author/teacher Susan Merson (OH GOOD NOW THIS/AMAZON) explores TAROT cards to jump start your writing. TAROT FOR WRITERS #4:  WHAT STORY SHOULD I WRITE TODAY

On pulling cards to intuitively discover the story, the genre, the themes and the major turning points of a new story.

5: Author/teacher Susan Merson (OH GOOD NOW THIS/AMAZON) explores TAROT to jumpstart your writing. TAROT FOR WRITERS/ #5 TIMELINES AND DEEPER DIVE INTO RELATIONSHIPS

Timelines and going deeper into relationships with pro and antagonists. The more cards you draw the more information you can gather.




 Susan Merson will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


  a Rafflecopter giveaway