All the Missing Pieces by J. Keyes


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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Julianna Keyes will be awarding a physical $25 Amazon GC, (US/Canada only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Reese Carlisle hates her life. Three years after her father’s arrest for one of the largest embezzlement schemes in history, twenty million dollars is still missing, and the world believes she knows where it is.

Two years after her brother’s death, they still think she killed him.

One year later, she’s still hiding.

When the loneliness is too much, she seeks out strangers for one dark night, no questions asked. She makes up a name, puts on a disguise, and tries to forget.

One night she meets a new man. She tells him her name is Denise, she’s a dental assistant, and she loves dogs. He tells her she’s smart, she’s pretty, she’s funny. Things she hasn’t heard in too long.

Things that are too good to be true…

Read an Excerpt

I enter my dark apartment, the wall of windows providing enough ambient light to see my uninspired, decidedly minimal decor. I drop my purse and press my back to the door, sliding down to the floor. My black skirt rides up my thighs and my legs flop apart, knees rubbery, ankles weak.

I’d like to think I had too much wine, but that’s not true.

Not even after a night of halfway decent sex am I this shaky.

I know what the issue is.

My gaze flickers to my purse the way it would to a ticking time bomb. I fumble with the clasp before retrieving the shiny black room key and turning it over and over in my hand like a magician with no trick.

I yank off the cheap wig. I have a closet full of them, thanks to my brother’s short-lived career in theater management. They’re one of the few items that were returned to us after the raid. At least they came in handy. They help me become Harriet and Isabel and Jess. People nothing like the person I was. And most definitely nothing like the woman I am.

The stranger wouldn’t want this woman. He likes redheads with brown eyes who laugh when they’re not supposed to. My once-bleached hair is back to its natural black, my fingernails haven’t been painted in three years, and I only bother to shave my legs when I have a date. I don’t think the stranger would know what to do with this girl. He could read a million newspaper stories exposing my father’s crimes and hypothesizing about mine and never find the truth.

Liar. Thief. Murderer. Whore.

It’s in there somewhere.

About the Author: Julianna Keyes is a Canadian writer who has lived on both coasts and several places in between. She’s been skydiving, bungee jumping and white water rafting, but nothing thrills—or terrifies—her as much as the blank page. She loves Chinese food, foreign languages, baseball and television, though not necessarily in that order, and writes sizzling stories with strong characters, plenty of conflict, and lots of making up.










Julianna Keyes will be awarding a physical $25 Amazon GC, (US/Canada only) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Sleeping with the Enemy by Jackie Barbosa


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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jackie Barbosa 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.

When Mrs. Laura Farnsworth discovers the blood-stained body of a man wearing the distinctive red coat of the British army, her first instinct is to let dead dogs lie. It has, after all, been just two days since the Battle of Plattsburgh, and the disposition of enemy corpses is hardly her purview. But then the man proves himself to be very much alive by grabbing her ankle and mumbling incoherently.

After almost twenty-five years in His Majesty’s service, Lieutenant Colonel Geoffrey Langston never expected to wake up in heaven, much less being tended by an angel. But when he regains consciousness in the presence of a beautiful, dark-haired woman and with no memory of how he came to be there, what else can he think? Except it’s rather odd for an angel to have an American accent.

As the long-widowed Laura nurses the wounded Geoffrey back to health, the attraction between them heats from a simmer to a boil. Bound by his oath to the British crown, Geoffrey should be working to find his way back to his regiment and from there, to England. Instead, he’s sleeping with the enemy…and thereby committing the crime of desertion if not treason. But then, who’s going to find out?

If only Geoffrey didn’t have a family back home who refuse to take “missing in action” for an answer.

Read an Excerpt

Where the hell was he?

Well, in a room, certainly, since there were four white walls and a white ceiling. And since he was lying on a bed, covered by a white—well, perhaps it was more cream-colored—duvet, it would be reasonable to posit he was in a bedroom. But a bedroom where?

The last thing he remembered was… He frowned in concentration, which hurt, so he immediately stopped.

He had been encamped with his battalion on the north side of the Saranac River, awaiting the order from Prévost to begin the ground offensive.

Well, this certainly was not a tent in a military encampment.

So where the hell was he, and how had he come to be here?

Gingerly, he turned his head…and found an angel.

She sat in a chair that had been pulled up alongside the bed. Her dark hair had been arranged in a simple knot at the back of her head, but curling tendrils of it escaped here and there to brush her cheeks and forehead. The dress she wore was not white, but a very pale shade of gray that sparkled in beam of light streaming in from the window behind her. In profile, her features were as fine and lovely as a porcelain doll’s, the way he imagined an angel’s would be, though there were tiny laugh lines around her eyes and mouth that seemed a trifle out of place on a divine being. But then again, perhaps angels had a lot to laugh about, seeing as how they lived in paradise. She didn’t seem to be laughing now, however. Instead, her head was bowed and her expression conveyed a state of relaxed concentration.


He squinted. Maybe the question was not where the hell he was, but where the heaven he was.

About the Author:

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a writer when I grew up, but there were plenty of times when I wasn’t sure I ever would be. As it turns out, it just took me about twenty years longer to grow up than I expected!

On the road to publication, I took a few detours, including a stint in academia (I hold an MA in Classics from the University of Chicago and was a recipient of a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities) and many years as a technical writer/instructional designer for a data processing company. I still hold my day job, but my true vocation has always been writing fiction and romance in particular.

I’m a firm believer that love is the most powerful force in the world, which that makes romance the most powerful genre in the world. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise!


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Rescued by a Highlander by Susan Payne


She would do anything to save her father and her heritage…even wed a highlander

I guess you could call me a “Second Chance” writer. I had always read everything I could. My ability to read so well and quickly, hid the fact I am dyslexic until my children began their reading.  I never realized why I had trouble writing or even printing until then.  I just thought of myself as being a messy writer.  So, my second chance came after I had joined and then left a writers group in the 1990s.  It seemed as if everyone else did it so effortlessly and I never cared for my words once they were down on paper.  They sounded so good in my head.  Like poetry only better.  Then one day a couple came to me and began telling me their story. Both at the same time talking over one another and wanting me to write it down.  That’s when I became a stenographer for the “people-in-my-head”.  Those two people began a series of eight stories of fictional Sweetwater, Kansas where they lived and thrived and, if you ask me, live there to this day even though my series began with two people living in 1873.

An interesting point is that I never see couples from the present.  Not even from this century although I now have two, I add to every once in a while.  One’s called Private Dick about an off-road P.I. who is a real sleaze and a short, short about a couple who ends up as singles at a hook-up all inclusive resort on the Caribe. Titled On the Same Page (Finally) they both have to do with writing/reading. Don’t know where they came from but they jump into my head every few weeks and I add it to their story.  Most stories I write, however, are historical romances for lack of a better term.  I usually have more than one couple involved in things and there is a secondary story along the way.  Love doesn’t happen in a vacuum and we all have family, friends, life that gets in the way.  No one can spend their whole day searching for and finding the perfect mate.  Even romance writers know better than that.  Not so easy sometimes to know what we want.

Since I got a late start, once I did begin writing in earnest, I’ve tried to make up for it in quantity.  I have over 80 ready to publish and another 20 works-in-progress. Actually, I was trying to free up my mind.  I know better now.  As soon as I finished one, two more jumped in.  I realized I’m never going to get ahead of them so have learned to live with the voices and the scenes and the unusual need to research equine encephalitis of 1873 or canning jars and how the lids were made.  This falls into my other love – learning tidbits that will make me no money.  I mean, it’s not as if I’ll ever get on Jeopardy or anything but I’m ready if I ever do.  Want to know the gestation of a calf or elephant?  Got it. Want to know how to make candles or soap from rendered fats?  Got it. If it’s something I don’t ‘got’ then I can’t sleep until I do understand it.  It may be why I read dictionaries and thesauruses as a child.  Encyclopedias were my best friends and one of the first things I bought as a married woman.  Remember, there wasn’t the internet and google available then.

I take reviews to heart and was one of the reasons I stayed away from publishing.  Even when people aren’t snarky it is difficult hearing that your baby is ugly.  I love my babies and do feel glad when I can see that a reader understood my character as well as I do.  That I was able to bring them to life so that another could meet them.  Understand where they came from and agree they deserved the happy-ever-after I gave them.  I know when I finish telling a story, my characters are happy and satisfied with their lives.  Most of them merely want to find someone to love them, to stay with that person and live a long and happy life.  Isn’t that what we all want for ourselves and our friends?


Tall, beautiful and slender, she dressed like a boy and fought like a warrior and won Laird Macgregor’s interest in a single moment. Jillian was fighting to protect her father and save her heritage – could she trust a Highlander to help her?


On the ride back to the fortress, Gawain had not turned around, knowing what the young woman looked like up in the saddle. Her legs splayed to both sides of the animal covered with the tight knit hose most men wore while riding through woods, the chainmail covering her more interesting attributes. The short length of dark blond hair emphasized her chin and jaw line which spelt beauty to his eyes. Her mouth, though most often held in a mutinous frown, appeared kissable.

In fact, Gawain wanted to kiss it into a soft poutiness, make those green eyes spark with desire not hatred. Even though he may have to sleep with one eye open to prevent the little vixen from piercing him with his own dagger in the night, he would think the experience of bedding her well worth the danger. He knew a smile settled on his features as he imagined her squirming under him once they were in his bed. Such thoughts had made for an uncomfortable ride home.


About Susan:

A voracious reader her whole life, author Susan Payne loved the written word.  When reading more than fifty books per month wasn’t enough, she decided to allow her mind to take flight and write all the many stories that kept intruding in her life. She blended her love of history and her love of words to create over eighty stories.  All historical and centering on a couple finding love and a happy ever after together.

The author has published a series of stories surrounding fictional Sweetwater Kansas beginning with Harrison Ranch through The Wild Rose Press and Montana Lineman by Literary Wanderlust due out by end of 2020.  Also, contracted through Wild Rose Press this summer was The Persistent Marquess, Forever Kind of Woman, Rescued By a Highlander and to be released yet this fall, Texas Ranger and the Professor, Regency Christmas anthology, Three Sisters and Blind Faith.


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MIDDLE AGEish by Shirley Goldberg


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I’m delighted to have a fellow Rose with me today. Shirley Goldberg and I both write for The Wild Rose Press. Shirley’s new release, Middle Ageish sounds like a fun read!

Welcome, Shirley. What drove you to write about a fifty-year old who does a lot of online dating?

 The old cliche about readers asking writers where their ideas come from? No one’s asked me that question. What they do ask is, “Did you really date 25 guys like your character in your book?”

They’re curious about how much of my book is autobiographical.

It’s complicated.

Some of Middle Ageish is based on real online dates I’ve––cough––enjoyed. So yes, I did meet a man who talked about his son way too much. (See the excerpt from the book, below.) As anyone who’s indulged in online dating knows, talking about one’s son is nothing more than an irritation when compared with the criminal acts perpetrated on well-meaning daters. (Now I sound like my Aunt Patty, who watched a lot of cop shows.)

What did these guys do? Everything from canceling at the last minute to waiting outside the restaurant to look me over before introducing himself.

We writers draw, in part, from our lives. But it’s call fiction for a reason.

You get to lie.

Lawrence Block, a crime writer with a column in Writers Digest for many years, wrote a book titled, Telling Lies for Fun and Profit. It’s a collection of his columns with highly entertaining tips about writing and the publishing industry.

Lying is the fun part because…well, I’m not writing a memoir.

I’m a reader. All writers are readers. Although I read across genres––recently dipping into paranormal and fantasy––my favorite is women’s fiction. Now that’s a broad category, and it ranges from the serious to the super light and fluffy.

These days, I look for humor in my reading life with an occasional detour into more substantial reads. What grabs me? Relationship stories of all kinds. A believable meet-cute that’s not over the top. Conversations between characters that are realistic yet entertaining and show why they’re attracted to one another. Subtle yet playful. A great break-up scene where the guy deserves to be kicked in the nut sack––metaphorically, of course. Or telling off the big boss and walking away, corny as that sounds. Haven’t we all wished we’d had the nerve? Also love relating to the changes a character undergoes as the story unwinds. These are the elements that resonate for me in a story.

So, back to the autobiographical stuff.

I’ll admit it, I exaggerated in the Donald scene. I took a mediocre date with a man who talked way too much about his son, and added a frustrated woman who grabs her chance to get back at him, if only a little bit. In real life, there was no phone call from another date, and I didn’t cut the evening short.

Many times I’ve wished I had the guts to follow my instinct, or my character’s example.

The thing about using real life experiences as a foundation for a scene is after a while I tend to forget what really happened. The more I read over and edit the fictional version, the more it becomes, in my mind, the real thing.

The teaching scenes in the book came from my experience as a teacher, and anyone who spends time with adolescents, especially fellow teachers, will identify with Sunny, my heroine. Kids are masters at finding your weaknesses.

As far as the online dating, yes, I did a lot of online dating. I carried a small notebook around, took a few minutes in my car––or in the restroom if it was too good an anecdote to risk forgetting––to jot down notes. Here are a few examples:

  • Asked nothing about me. Talked for 45 minutes straight.
  • Didn’t make eye contact.
  • The waitress knew him by name.
  • “I’ll treat if I can take home the leftovers.”
  • Widower, three months since wife died. Too soon to date?
  • Long nails on pinkies.

Short comments that eventually led to a book, even though writing a book wasn’t a plan, not at first.

And I still have that little packed-with-memories journal.

Middle Ageish Blurb

Sunny Chanel’s marriage is circling the drain when her husband marks his colonoscopy on the calendar and ignores their anniversary. With divorce papers instead of roses on the horizon, she says “au revoir” Paris and croissants, and “hello” cheap New Haven apartment and ramen noodles.

With the encouragement of her friends, Sunny jumps into online dating, twenty-three years and twenty pounds after her last date. To her surprise she discovers dating might require a helmet, and occasionally armor to protect her heart, but after years of being ignored, her adventurous side craves fun and conversation. She’s middle-aged not dead. Then suddenly, on the way to reinventing herself, life takes a left turn when the one man she can’t forget calls with an unexpected request.

Middle Ageish Excerpt         

On my second glass of wine––we’d hit the early bird special, Donald’s suggestion––at a new fish place on the water, The Fin and Tater. The air held the briny scent of fresh tuna and their specialty, fifteen potato dishes, from sweet mashed to curly and deep fried in olive oil.

“One minute, almost done here,” Donald’s thumbs operating at warp speed on his phone, an oversize smart phone.

I salivated. An appetizer, however small, would do the trick.

“Sorry about that,” he said. “Don’t like to be unavailable to Johnny. So. Where was I? Oh, did I tell you he just turned twelve?”


His phone dinged, signaling another text. “Sorry, one second.” He moved away.

The urge to gulp the wine was almost overwhelming, but I forced myself to sip slowly, realizing my whole face was clenched.

And here I was in the shortish red skirt to my red suit, feeling pretty jazzed. For what? So Donald could text-date his son on my time?

Plus, there was the hunger factor.

My phone pinged with a chat alert from the dating site. Some guy named José. Might as well send him my phone number. Twenty seconds later, he texted.

Hi, I’m intrigued. Thinking you have more online match-type experience than I have but I do not want to presume. Wanna talk?

Dinner wasn’t materializing, as our menus sat in the middle of the table where Donald had left them when he got his latest text. I breathed in the unmistakable, mouthwatering aroma of freshly-delivered garlic potatoes at the next table. If I could catch Donald between texts, I’d lobby for a potato appetizer, plenty of garlic, since for sure there wouldn’t be any kissing.

A glance over at Donald, still texting in a corner of the lobby. The server appeared with a basket of rolls wrapped in cloth.

“Did you get a chance to look at the menu?” she asked. The early bird deadline was upon us.

“Not yet,” I said, afraid she’d disappear with the rolls. I peeled back the napkin, inhaled the scent, the warm goodness radiating from the basket. Before the rolls, I’d considered leaving, but the rolls weren’t crappy, white doughy rolls.

“I’ll be back to check on you.”

Nope. They were dark and seeded, three different kinds, popovers and crisp crusts, a couple with raisins. I grabbed a raisiny one, tore it in half and smeared it with butter. Took a generous bite, geez. Heaven. Took a healthy glug of wine. That second glass was going to my head in a good way.

Donald reappeared and set his phone aside. “Sorry, can’t help myself when it comes to my son. You have kids?”

Donald’s phone rang as I started to answer, and he disappeared again. Never mind. I finished my roll and grabbed a popover, tore off a piece, savoring the buttery smoothness. I pulled my phone out, figuring to get some business done while Donald was busy being rude.

My bank account was down to $989.56. Nothing new there. My phone rang with a caller ID I didn’t recognize.


“Hi. Sunny? This is José. Figured talking was better than texting.” His voice was a purr, and my whole body reacted in a jumpy adrenaline mini-rush. I headed for the door, waving so Donald would know I was stepping outside for my own phone call.

The restaurant, at the end of a small street that dead ends at a boatyard, hosts a sailing club. Boats of all sizes, from Sunfish to two-motor jobs. I stood listening to the slap of the waves as José waxed on about a bad date.

“I yearn for normal,” he said.

“You didn’t have normal?” Fascinating, his word choice. Normal. Normal was for the very young. Wasn’t normal mostly over at our age?

“Well, it depends.” He paused. “I know this sounds dumb. I feel I can talk to you.” His voice lowered. “Lots of sex early on. If there’s nothing else, it all fades away. And you start the next one.”

“Well,” I hesitated, “I have this naïve idea that as we mature, we realize that sex is important, yes, but not the most important element in a relationship. Unless it’s missing.”  José was better company than Donald, my so-called date.

“Shouldn’t it be that way?” he said. “When you get older, well, you look for more.”

José talked the talk, but it irked me that he might be feeding me a line. I tried to truly listen to the voice, the breaks and pauses. Listen for the sincerity.

“Do you look for chemistry?” I asked, knowing the answer before he said it.

“Of course. Absolutely essential.”

“Gotta go,” I said, turning back to the restaurant. The smell of rotting fish from somewhere on the docks overpowered me. “I’m on this lousy date,” I blurted.

“Leave. He doesn’t deserve you. You’re too polite.”

“Yeah, I am a polite person.” José had no boundaries when it came to offering advice to strangers.

“Nice talking to you. I’ll call you again.”

Inside the restaurant, Donald bent over his phone in a classic text-neck posture. I plucked the remaining half of my popover, wrapped it in a napkin.

“Hey, I’ve got to get going.” Donald looked up as if unsure what was happening. A wave of irritation mixed with impatience washed over me. Not my place to tell Donald what women want.

“Good luck, Donald,” and I gave a little two-fingered wave, headed out.

Later that night, in my comfy pajamas, I went online, determined to start over, be more positive. Three emails from José hit my inbox. I skimmed the first two, and read the third email three times.

What do you dream about? I have one life to live, and while I want great sex, I want a real romance and a sense of closeness. Let’s meet soon. 

I crawled into bed, smiling. Great sex, huh? Does anyone want crappy sex?

About the Author

Shirley Goldberg is a writer, novelist, and former ESL and French teacher who’s lived in Paris, Crete, and Casablanca. She writes about men and women of a certain age starting over. Her website offers a humorous look at living single and  dating in mid life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true.  Middle Ageish is her first book in the series Starting Over. Her character believes you should never leave home without your sense of humor and Shirley agrees.

Visit my website and sign up for a copy of Happy Hour, a short story about an online meet and a tiny misunderstanding. 

ARC Reader Review:

Buckle up for a wild ride. Middle Ageish is a rom com romp of middle age dating complete with all the swipes, texts and angst you could ever desire.




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LIFE FOR SALE by Linda Nightingale

Judith Sterling

Please welcome Linda Nightingale back to the blog! She’s a sister Rose (published by The Wild Rose Press), and she’s here to talk about humanoid, sentient androids. Why, you ask? Her Tomorrow’s Angels series features them. Here’s a little about it:

Mayfair Electronics has created life.

In Love for Sale, the high-tech electronics company, in black and white, offers “love for sale”. Mayfair has engineered sentient androids indistinguishable from humans. March Morgan flies to England and meets the man she has been searching for her entire life. Christian requires no programming to love March at first sight, but her past and his future soon threaten their happiness—and their lives.

In the sequel, Life for Sale, four of the Special Editions have escaped. Rebel, Christian and March are on the run, but they have a bigger problem than his creator’s plan to destroy him. They’ve discovered that one of…

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Sub-lebrity by Leon Acord


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Today, I have Leon Acord with a clever guest post for you and stay tuned for his wonderful book Sub-lebrity and information on a Rafflecopter giveaway!  Here’s Leon:

“Road Trip!”

I was born in 1963 and grew up in rural 1970s Indiana.

The nation’s network of interstate highways was born shortly before I was, and we grew up together.

My Dad, not much older than a teenager himself, immediately embraced the concept of driving cross-country – with a vengeance!

When my sister Tammy and I were still quite young, Dad began what would become an oft-repeated family tradition: loading us and Mom into a car, usually attaching a camper, and driving … driving … driving … throughout the Midwest until we arrived at our destination.

Dad didn’t screw around.  Sleep? Forget about it! Motels were for soft city folk. Once we were on our way, stops were kept to an absolute minimum, and only when necessary: to refill the gas tank, or to empty our bladders.

Dad never began a trip with less than a full tank, so the first stop, made hours into the journey, was almost always due to me and Tammy.

“Dad, please! We gotta pee, I can’t hold it any longer!”

“Didn’t I tell you to go before we left home?” he’d scold us.

Eventually, Mom would finally admonish him. “Oh, now, come on, Norm. They’ve held it in long enough!”

Then we’d take the next exit and stop at the nearest Stuckley’s (whatever happened to those?). Once done in the little boys’ and girls’ rooms, Tammy and I would buy candy and soda, then rush back to the truck. You did not want to keep Dad waiting.

At the end of those endless drives, amazing adventures always awaited. Camping in Iowa; King’s Island amusement park outside Cincinnati, Ohio; Mackinac Island in Michigan.

As we got older, the campers got bigger, and Dad’s wanderlust shifted into a higher gear. We began driving the Eastern seaboard.

First, up North, all the way to Niagara Falls.  (Mom and Dad never had a proper honeymoon, I realize now, so…). It was an impressive spectacle – but I was far more amazed by the Adam West “Batman” figure we saw in a nearby wax museum.

Then South, to Disney World, via never-ending, maddening stand-still traffic jams in Georgia.

After the Happiest Place on Earth, I got my first glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean. I ran into the water, ecstatically about to take my first swim in an actual ocean, completely ignorant of how strong ocean waves are! I quickly found out. A large one knocked me over and dragged me under. I tumbled head over heels, over and over, until I eventually emerged, gagging on sea salt, with seashells embedded in my hair and down my shorts.

I’ve hated swimming ever since.

When I was 12 or so, Dad was required to attend a UAW convention in 1970s Los Angeles. He could have flown solo. But he decided to take his family (and a large “fifth-wheel” camper/trailer) to LA on the mother-of-all-road-trips and see much of the country along the way.

What followed was a week-long drive into the Deep South, then through the Southwest.

And we saw it all. Grand Canyon (“Now get back in the car!”), Petrified Forest, (“Come on now, you saw it!”), Painted Desert (“Let’s go, let’s go!”).

Alas, a tire on the fifth-wheel trailer blew out as we crossed the Arizona desert (while my sister and I were inside it, but that’s another story!). Once Dad was able to control, then stop, the wildly careening vehicles, we found ourselves stranded in the hot, dry desert on the side of the highway. Hours passed as we waited for roadside assistance. Mom wouldn’t let us venture too far, for fear of rattlesnakes.

Once help arrived, Dad learned he’d have to leave his beloved trailer in Arizona for repairs.

That may have been a blessing, because I can’t imagine Dad parking it where we stayed in Hollywood — the Sheraton Hotel near Universal Studios! (For details on that trip, read SUB-LEBRITY*).

Dad became a farmer when I entered high school, and that pretty much ended our family road-trips. And I did finally start flying, in my early 20s and, boy, did I make up for lost time once I did!

But now, as my “golden years” sparkle on the visible horizon, I’m longing for those road trips of old. My husband Laurence and I have talked often about buying a trailer and driving across the country once we retire.

We used to worry being together that much, that long, would drive us crazy! Now, five months into COVID-19 and counting, we’ve realized we can take it!

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GENRE:   Memoir



A droll, oddly inspirational memoir from the actor Breitbart once called “a gay leftist activist,” SUB-LEBRITY by Leon Acord (Old Dogs & New Tricks) is an honest, sometimes bitchy but always sincere story about growing up (very) gay in rural Indiana, achieving acting success outside the closet, and generating headlines with his very-public smackdown with Trump-loving Susan Olsen (Cindy, The Brady Bunch)



 One of my nemeses from the jock clique, Rick Sisson, was slumming, playing the bit part of an “Old Man” about to be poisoned by two murderous old ladies in Arsenic & Old Lace.

As Mortimer, I was to rush on stage, see the Old Man about to drink a glass of poisoned elderberry wine, grab him by the jacket, and shove him out of my crazy aunts’ house.

That was how we’d been playing it.

For closing night, he and his jock buddies thought of a hilarious prank.  Instead of setting his glass of fake wine on the table before I grabbed him, he’d throw the full glass of Hawaiian Punch into my face!  It was closing night, why not?  Smear the queer!

The sizable high-school auditorium was packed with a rowdy closing-night crowd of parents, faculty and friends, unaware they were about to witness my humiliation.

The moment arrived.  I entered, rushed to the Old Man with the glass near his lips, and SPLASH!

I was stunned.  Rick rushed through the door and off stage before I could do a thing.

The audience erupted with laughter.  Erupted!  And didn’t stop!

I’d seen it on sitcoms all my short life.  Actors forced to hold for a laugh.  I lived for the moments on the Carol Burnett Show when something went wrong or when the actors tried not to laugh.  And now, I was experiencing that myself.  It felt wonderful!

Rick wanted me to feel like Carrie White.  Instead, I felt like Cary Grant.

The two teenaged actresses playing my aunts just watched, trying not to laugh themselves.

I felt myself about to smile.  I turned my back to the audience and fumbled through a desk on stage, pretending to blindly look for a handkerchief – a cover until I could wipe the now-gigantic smile off my face.  The audience found this hilarious and continued howling.

Back in character, I gave up at the desk and turned to face the audience just as the laugh was softening.  I instinctively yanked off my clip-on tie and began dabbing my wet face with it.

The audience screamed with laughter again – this time, the laughter morphed into applause.

The song from the Broadway musical Applause is right – it’s better than pot, it’s better than booze.  Waiting out a long laugh break, instinctively finding ways to prolong it, riding it like a surfer on a wave, then crashing against the shore in a loud burst of applause, is the best feeling in the world.

I had flirted with the idea of being an actor, among other creative pursuits, all though childhood.

But in this moment, I knew. I’d spend the rest of my life chasing that feeling.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Leon Acord is an award-winning actor and writer who has appeared in over 35 films you’ve never seen and 30 plays you’ve never heard of. Possible exceptions include the digital TV series Old Dogs & New Tricks on Amazon Prime Video (which he created, wrote & co-produced), and the stage hit Carved in Stone (in which he played Quentin Crisp in both SF and LA productions). His memoir, SUB-LEBRITY: The Queer Life of a Show-Biz Footnote, is now available in paperback & e-book on Amazon. He wrote his one-man show Last Sunday in June (1996) and co-authored the 2014 play Setting the Record Gay. He was a “Take Five” columnist for Back Stage West throughout 2009 and a former contributor to Huffington Post. He has also written for San Francisco Examiner and the journal Human Prospect. He currently lives in West LA with husband Laurence Whiting & their cat Toby.  Learn more at



Old Dogs & New Tricks website:



Leon Acord will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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For more excerpts and more chances to win, follow Leon on his tour:

August 17: Read Your Writes Book Reviews
August 18: Straight From the Library
August 19: Author C.A.Milson
August 20: Independent Authors
August 21: Hurn Publications
August 24: Rogue’s Angels
August 25: Bookriot – review only

August 25: Author Deborah A. Bailey blog
August 26: Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews
August 27: Readeropolis
August 28: T’s Stuff
August 31: Dragon’s Den
September 1: Harlie’s Books
September 2: All the Ups and Downs
September 3: Long and Short Reviews
September 4: Jazzy Book Reviews
September 7: Let Me tell You a Story
September 8: The Avid Reader
September 9: Kit ‘N Kabookle
September 10: Fabulous and Brunette
September 11: Seven Troublesome Sisters


Cover Reveal! ~*~ Be the first! ~*~ Mistletoe, Mobsters & Mozzarella ~*~


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An excited Peggy Jaeger, author of Mistletoe, Mobsters & Mozzarella, is with us today to share her hot-of-the-presses new cover. Welcome, Peggy!!

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Mistletoe, Mobsters, and Mozzarella

Finding a body in the freezer of the family deli isn’t the way Madonna San Valentino planned to start her day.

Adding insult to injury, the investigating detective is the one guy she’s never been able to forget. After seven minutes of heaven in the back seat of his car when they were teenagers, Tony Roma skipped town without so much as a thanks for the memory.

Just when Madonna thinks the present situation can’t get any worse, Tony is ordered to go undercover at the deli to ferret out a killer. Forced to work together, she vows to keep their relationship cool and professional. But with the sexy, longing looks he tosses her at every turn, Madonna’s resolve is weakening.

With Christmas drawing closer and Tony’s investigation taking an unexpected turn, Madonna is at her wit’s end. Can she really be falling for him again? And will he wind up leaving her broken hearted and alone like the last time?


Here it is!!

Last Days of Sale! New Reviews for New Release…


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Love for Sale will remain at the discounted price of $.99 until September 28th, SO tomorrow is the last day of the sale. Purchase here.

Life for Sale is out of the gate with 6 reviews at a 4.4-star rating.  You can read them here

Happy Friday Eve!!

Today is Release Day for my latest, Life for Sale!


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Today, my new sci-fi romance Life for Sale, has been released by The Wild Rose Press! I’m very excited because Life for Sale is the sequel to Love for Sale.  This week, I will be hopping all over.  Here are the links for my virtual book tour: Enter the Rafflecopter for a chance to win a $25 Gift Card.

August 24: Kit n’ Kabookle
August 25: Author C.A.Milson
August 25: Readeropolis
August 26: Fabulous and Brunette
August 27: Christine Young

August 27: Author Deborah A Bailey
August 28: Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews


Mayfair Electronics has created life.

But four of their Special Editions—sentient androids indistinguishable from human—have escaped. Rebel, Christian Aguillard and his owner, March, are on the run, but they have a bigger problem than his creator’s plan to destroy him. They’ve discoveredthat one of the renegades has suffered a dangerous malfunction, threatening them with more than just exposure.

Trapped on a cruise ship in the middle of the Atlantic, March and Christian must stop the insane robot before someone else dies. All the evidence points to March being the killer’s next victim.


Life for Sale –

Love For Sale

To celebrate, Love for Sale is on sale for a limited time for only $.99! Start the series for less than a dollar!

Rise by Moonlight by Nancy Gideon


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Nancy is awarding a $20 Gift card by Rafflecopter giveaway.  Code below.

Saying Goodbye to Old Friends

Finishing the last book in a series is all about good-byes. It’s like going to a new school, leaving your old neighborhood, starting a new job in a different city. Everyone you’ve spent time with, depended upon, looked forward to seeing is suddenly no longer in your day-to-day life. This blog tour for RISE BY MOONLIGHT is my going away party for friends who’ve been with me almost everyday for the past ten years. And I’m going to miss them!

The “By Moonlight” dark shapeshifter series began with the introduction of a determined New Orleans police detective and the mysterious mob enforcer she’s driven to bring to justice . . . until duty tumbles over desire. It doesn’t help matters when CeeCee discovers he’s more than just the shadowy figure who rescued her as teen . . . that he’s more than just a man, and in fact, is not a man at all!  Max has been searching for who and what he is since his mother was killed when he was a child. That shocking truth and the tangled relationship between two should be enemies as both their worlds expand and are threatened is what sustained the initially contracted six books, then continued to develop through self-pubbing to a total of fifteen novels, concluding with this final book, RISE BY MOONLIGHT.

I could have gone on. The characters had more to say, to discover, to achieve. But it was time to move from my favorite city, from those beloved friends and enemies to other projects in the wings. Time to let go with this book that tied up all the loose ends into a satisfying knot.  I worked hard to incorporate just enough backstory so new readers wouldn’t be lost as previous couples and families found their happily-ever-afters—no easy task. It took me two full years to resolve all those dangling questions.

But a warning to those who’ve never experienced my “By Moonlight” world . . . you won’t want to leave it once you’ve read just one.

Now for Rise by Moonlight:


Max and Charlotte return for the explosive conclusion of the “By Moonlight” series . . . and the stakes have never been higher!

He’s the Promised One
A Mobster’s attack dog turned legitimate business powerhouse, Max Savoie is the reluctant leader of New Orleans’ shapeshifter clan. They’ve kept to anonymous shadows, working and living unnoticed by the human world until their new Shifter King’s past draws dangerous outsiders who threaten all.

She’s the Protector
A fiercely determined NOPD detective, Charlotte Caissie has sworn to defend her beloved city and her unborn child from both criminals and otherworldly factions at war. While standing boldly at the side of her mate/husband, secrets from the past return to shake the foundation of her beliefs.

They have a Problem
Walking a marital tightrope between opposite worlds, Max and Cee Cee’s paths place truth and trust at odds when outside threats force enemies to become allies. The time to take a stand for their family and their future is at hand. Time to rise together for the survival of all they love!

“Every delicious word on the page exhilarates with a sensuous ferocity. Hopelessly addicted.” – NYT bestselling author, Darynda Jones

About the Author:

Nancy Gideon is the award-winning, bestselling author of 68 romances ranging from historical, regency and series contemporary suspense to paranormal, with a couple of horror screenplays tossed into the mix. She’s also published under the pen names Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West and Lauren Giddings. She recently retired after 20 years as a legal assistant and, when not at the keyboard, feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin and fowl. For more information on the author, her books, or the “House of Terriot” and “By Moonlight” series, visit Nancy on the web.

Nancy’s Media Links: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter

Rise by Moonlight: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo Books | iBooks


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