Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Our Friendship Matters Book Trailer Blitz


Kimberley B. Jones
Rhetoric Askew Publishing, LLC

Two teenage friends, Sasha and Leah, live a comfortable life in the affluent St. Louis suburbs. They attend a well-established private Christian academy and the only thing on their mind as they enter their senior year is graduation and their senior prom. When tragedy strikes, however, the best friends are torn apart because of social tensions, ignorance, miscommunications, and fear.

Our Friendship Matters reveals a fictional story mirroring real-life cultural tensions and racial injustice – a young black boy, Mitchell, is mistaken for someone else and tragically killed by police. Tensions rise among the community, citizens are angry. One night, while Sasha is out, she sees her old childhood friend protesting the death of Mitchell. Curious about him and wondering if there is anything, she could do to become involved, Sasha talks to her friends about it. Sasha’s white friends are not interested in getting involved and her parents forbid her from taking part. Sasha’s makes a momentous decision to go against all the advice she is given and joins her old friends in protest. The fight for justice in Mitchell’s name causes a rift in her relationships.

An argument with Leah drives a wedge between them and leads Leah to take the opposite viewpoint, taking sides with those who are supporting different viewpoints, while Sasha’s boyfriend is jealous of the time she is spending with her old friends, he breaks off their relationship. The girlfriends, one black and one white, are unaware of an escalating war between the groups they support, and chaos and fear continue—lines are drawn and sides are chosen.

Our Friendship Matters is a beautifully thoughtful coming-of-age story about two friends who are forced to take a deeper look at their culture through different angles. The easy-to-read story is full of drama, well-rounded characters and a positive narrative that will engage readers of all ages



As I pulled up into Ricardo’s driveway, Victoria and two other girls who attended Eastview were standing there holding signs that said, “Justice for Mitchell.” I was sweating more than ever. Scared of both the police and the girls I didn’t even know who were going to be getting into my car.

“I didn’t know you were doing signs. I would’ve made me one.”

Ricardo and some guys were busy placing things in the car's trunk.

“Are you okay? The time is now,” said Ricardo.

“I’m ready but a little nervous, too.”

“You shouldn’t be nervous. All we are going to do is go downtown and making a statement that we want justice. Once we are done, we’ll come back home. I won’t let anything happen to you but, if something breaks out, I need you to look for Victoria and get in your car and go home. And if something happens to me, I need you to look for Victoria then go to my house and warn my peeps.”

As the girls got into my car, Victoria told me I could march, and chant the same thing they were planning on saying.

I was missing Leah. This could have been a positive moment that we could’ve shared together. I was still hoping she would come to her senses and realize that our fight from our disagreement was all crazy.

We arrived downtown, and I parked in the garage.

“Why didn’t you park on the streets?” Victoria said.

“My parents always told me to park in the garage so nothing would happen to my car.”

She laughed at me and said, “Well, you are driving a Mercedes. I would do the same if I had an expensive car.”



Amazon →



Kimberley B. Jones is a small country girl from St. George, SC. She followed her heart in college writing children books. Recently she decided to challenge herself and branch off to novels. She is your typical nomad who moves from place to place. Not by choice, but her husband serves in the military. She has a bachelors and masters in early childhood education. Kimberley is represented by Rhetaskew Publishing company and is best known for her debut novel, Our Friendship Matters. When she is not writing, she is either thinking of another topic or reading. She loves writing, it gives her a chance to escape into another human character and express herself, other than being your typical mother and wife. If you don’t want to be on her bad side, then she needs her white chocolate mocha every morning. Some days Folgers breakfast blend coffee is okay.

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Monday, October 19, 2020




A.S. Fenichel
Historical Romance

Finishing school failed to turn them into proper society ladies. Now these four friends vow to remain single until they find suitors worthy of their love and devotion…

Betrothed to a man she has barely met, Lady Faith Landon calls upon her three best friends—the self-proclaimed Wallflowers of West Lane—to help uncover the secrets of her mysterious fiancé. Her suspicions are aroused when she learns that he has recently returned from France. Is he a traitor to his country? The truth is quite the opposite. Nicholas Ellsworth, Duke of Breckenridge, is a secret agent for the English Crown who has just completed a risky mission to infiltrate Napoleon’s spy network.

After his adventures, Nicholas craves the peace and quiet of the country and settling into domestic bliss with his bride. Until he discovers Faith’s deceptive investigation. How can he wed a woman who doesn’t trust him? But a powerful spark has ignited between Nicholas and Faith that could bring about a change of heart. Faith seizes her second chance to prove to Nicholas that they are a true love match but his past catches up with them when three French spies come to exact revenge. Surviving rather than wooing has become the order of the day.

Praise for Misleading A Duke

Fenichel’s high-octane second Wallflowers of West Lane Regency romance (after The Earl Not Taken) follows a reluctantly betrothed couple as dire circumstances help them to see past their bad first impression. Lady Faith Landon earns the ire of her fiancé, Nicholas Ellsworth, the Duke of Breckenridge and a spy for the English government, when she and her friends snoop into his past. Faith hopes to explain that she was anxious and trying to learn more about him before their wedding day, but she needs the help of Nick’s friend and fellow spy Geb Arafa to convince him to hear her out. Geb requests Nick meet him at his hunting lodge, Parvus Castle, to discuss an urgent matter that Nick assumes to be of national importance. But when Nick arrives, he finds Faith waiting to plead her case. Her explanation is interrupted when French spies invade Parvus, take both captive, and torture Nick for information about the movement of English troops. Imprisoned together, Nick and Faith form an unshakable bond as Faith tends to Nick’s wounds and Nick witnesses her kindness and unflinching bravery. Fenichel juxtaposes the mannered world of Regency aristocracy with the gritty, life-or-death situation of Nick and Faith’s captivity to excellent effect. This immersive, fast-paced novel will have readers on the edges of their seats.

–Publishers Weekly

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Chapter 1

The home of Geb Arafa, a mile outside of London
The last person Nicholas Ellsworth expected to find at his good friend
Geb Arafa’s dinner party was Lady Faith Landon. Yet there she was,
Nicholas’s fiancée, maddeningly pretty and equally aggravating. She fit
perfectly with the lush décor and priceless artifacts in Geb’s parlor. “Lady
Faith, I had not expected to find you here. In fact, you and your friends’
presence is an astonishment.”
“I hope you are not too put out. It seems Lord and Lady Marsden have
become fast friends with Mr. Arafa, and that friendship has extended to
the rest of the Wallflowers of West Lane.” Despite his desire to be rid
of her, Faith’s soft voice flowed over him like a summer stream and he
longed to hear that voice in the dark, in their bed. The way her curves
filled out the rose gown set his body aflame and there seemed nothing he
could do about it.
He shook away his attraction, reminding himself that this was a sneaky,
manipulative woman whom it had been a mistake to attach himself to. The
fact that he longed to find out if her honey-brown curls were as wild as they
promised, despite her attempts to tame them into submission, shouldn’t
matter. Nor should his desire to get lost in her wheat-colored eyes and
voluptuous curves. This was a woman made for loving.
Lord, he hated himself. “I wonder that your being here with those
friends is not some dire plot in the making.”
He had reason to be suspicious. When he’d first arrived home from
France, in the spring, she and her friends had engaged in spying on him
and trying to ferret out his past. It was intolerable. He should have called
off the engagement, but the thought of ruining her for good society didn’t
sit well with Nicholas. Instead he’d offered her the opportunity to set him
aside, but she had refused to do so as of yet.
She frowned, and was no less stunning. Her full lips longed to be kissed
back into an upturned state. “We are here because Mr. Arafa invited us.
He’s your friend. I’m surprised he didn’t mention it.”
Nick was equally bewildered by Geb’s silence on the matter of Faith
and the other members of the Wallflowers of West Lane. He had met them
on several occasions during his feeble efforts to get to know Faith. Her
instant suspicions that he was hiding something may have led to her friends’
actions, but he still couldn’t let the slight die. Though he did admire the
strength of the friendship between Faith and the three women she’d gone
to finishing school with. They were as close as any soldiers who fought
and died together. Even if they called themselves “wallflowers,” there was
nothing diminished about any of the four.
“He is not required to give me his invitation list.” It pushed out more
bitterly than intended.
Those cunning eyes narrowed. “I think you would like it exceedingly
well if he did.”
That she wasn’t wrong raised the hair on the back of Nick’s neck. He
had not been able to keep many friends over the years. His work for the
Crown had made that impossible. Now his friendship with Geb Arafa was
in jeopardy as well.
He bowed to her. “I do not always get what I want, Lady Faith.”
Head cocked, she raised one brown eyebrow. “Don’t you, Your Grace?”
Geb chose that moment to stroll over. His dark skin set off his bright
tawny eyes, and though he dressed in the black suit and white cravat
typical of an Englishman, there was no mistaking his Eastern background.
“Nicholas, I’m so glad you are here. I thought you might be held up
with politics.”
Nicholas accepted his offered hand. “I finished my meetings and
came directly.”
Smiling in her charming way, Faith’s golden eyes flashed. “I shall leave
you gentlemen to catch up.”
Both Nicholas and Geb bowed and watched her join her friends near
the pianoforte.
“She is a delightful woman, Nick. You should reconcile and marry her.”
Geb ran his hand through his black hair, smoothing it back from his forehead.
Not willing to let his attraction to Faith rule his decisions, Nicholas
forced down the desire seeing his betrothed always ignited in him. “She
is sneaky and devious. I shall wait for her to give up and call off.”
“I would have thought such character traits would appeal to you.” Geb
lowered his voice. “After all, you are a spy with much the same qualities.
You might consider speaking to the lady and finding out the details
behind her actions.”
“Why don’t you just tell me what you know, Geb?” It was obvious his
friend knew more than he’d disclosed thus far. Nicholas asking for more
was futile. If Geb was going to tell him more than he already had, he would
have done so months ago when he’d first informed him that Poppy and Rhys,
now the Earl and Countess of Marsden, were investigating his character.
Being spies meant that Geb and Nick kept their own counsel most of the
time. As an information broker, Geb was even more closemouthed than
most spies. He only offered what was necessary to complete a contract or,
in this case, to inform a friend of something less than critical.
“I am not at liberty to divulge that information.” Geb’s white
teeth gleamed.
“I didn’t realize you were so keen on keeping a lady’s secrets,”
Nicholas teased.
Grabbing his chest, Geb feigned a knife to the heart. “I would never tell
tales of a good woman. There have been a few ladies of our acquaintance
who were not reputable, and those who are part of our line of work whose
secrets I had few scruples about divulging.”
“Indeed.” As much as he wanted to be angry with Geb for befriending
Faith and her friends, he couldn’t manage it. The truth was, Geb was quite
discerning about who he called friend.
During the time he’d spent with them, he couldn’t help but like them as
well. They were the most spirited and brightest women he’d ever known. He
recalled a beautiful blonde in Spain who had tried to put a knife between
his ribs, and shuddered. At least he didn’t think these Wallflowers were out
for his blood, just his secrets. What he didn’t know, was why they were so
keen on divining his past. He might be a fool to think them innocent. His
trust of a sweet face in the past had nearly gotten him killed.
Geb nudged him out of his thoughts. “Talk to the girl.”
Glancing at where Faith stood drinking a glass of wine and talking
to Poppy Draper, Nicholas mused over if they were plotting their next
attempt to invade his privacy. “Perhaps later. First, I would like a glass of
your excellent cognac.”
“Avoiding her will not make your situation better,” Geb warned, his rich
Egyptian accent rounding the words and lending a sense of foreboding.
“The lady will decide I am not worth the trouble and find herself a less
complicated gentleman to attach herself to.”
Nodding, Geb said, “I’m certain that is true. She is too lovely for half
the men in London to not be in love with.”
Nicholas wished that thought didn’t form a knot in his gut. He also
longed for a day when Faith wouldn’t enter his mind a dozen times. She
had gotten under his skin before he’d even met her, and he couldn’t rid
himself of her spell. Even knowing it had been her mother and not the
lady herself who had written to him when he was in France hadn’t dulled
what he knew and liked about Faith Landon.
“One day you shall have to tell me how you came to this, my friend.”
Geb signaled for Kosey, his servant.
The extremely tall Egyptian wore a white turban and loose black pants
and a similar blouse. He carried a tray with two glasses of dark amber
cognac. “Dinner will be ready in ten minutes, sir. Will that please you?”
Kosey spoke English in an Eastern way, which made the language warmer
and less harsh to the ear. It gained looks from some of the other guests,
but Nicholas liked the formal, old-fashioned speech.
“Very good,” said Geb.
Nick observed the gaping of the other guests. “Why have you invited
these snobs to Aaru, Geb?”
“Flitmore has some items I wish to obtain and Humphry has proved to
be a good source of information about certain parliamentary discussions.”
“I trust you would never use such information against my beloved
country.” A knot formed in Nick’s gut.
“No, but I might try to sway other members of your government. I like to
know what is happening in my adopted country, Nicholas. That is all. As a
foreigner, I have no say. This gives me some needed control.” Geb grinned.
Nick held back a scolding that would do no good.
“Do not look at me so ill. I merely use information to my advantage
just as everyone else does. I will share bits with them or buy back pieces
of Egyptian art. It will harm no one.”
Kosey moved to the door where he waited for word from the cook that
dinner was ready to be served.
Lord and Lady Flitmore gaped at Kosey. Perhaps it was his height as
he towered over everyone in the room. It might have been his odd clothes.
Whatever it was, their shocked regard needled at Nicholas.
Faith stepped between him and the couple. “Lady Flitmore, it’s nice to
see you again. I heard your daughter Mary would be here tonight, but I’ve
not seen her. I hope nothing is wrong. I know how she can get into mischief.”
Lord Flitmore coughed uncomfortably. “Mary had some trouble with
her gown and is coming in a later carriage. She will be here any moment.”
As if on cue, a footman announced the arrival of Lady Mary Yates.
A slim woman with red hair and flawless skin sauntered into the room.
Pretty in the classical way, her long, thin nose appeared in a perpetual state
of being turned up at everyone and everything. Hands folded lightly in
front of her, she walked directly to where Faith stood with Mary’s parents.
In a voice without modulation, Mary said, “Mother, Father, I’m sorry to
be late. I hope no one was waiting on me.”
The lack of any emotion in Mary’s voice made it difficult to tell if
she was sincere or just saying what was expected of her. “Thank you for
sending the carriage back for me.”
Lord Flitmore pulled his shoulders back and beamed at his daughter.
“Dinner has only just been announced, my dear girl. Please say hello to
His Grace, the Duke of Breckenridge.”
Mary made a pretty curtsy and plastered a wan smile on her rosy lips.
“How do you do, Your Grace?”
Bowing, Nick couldn’t help but notice the look of disdain that flitted
across Faith’s face. “A pleasure, Lady Mary. I’m pleased you could come
tonight. Do you know Lady Faith Landon?”
Another curtsy and a smile that likened to a wolf, and Mary said,
“Lady Faith and I went to the Wormbattle School together. We have been
acquainted for many years. How are you, Faith?”
Faith raised a brow. “Very well, Mary. You are looking fine. Your parents
tell me you’ve had some issue with your gown this evening.”
Mary’s gown was dark blue and threaded with gold. It pushed all her
assets up to the breaking point of the material at her breast and flowed
down, showing off her perfect figure. She blushed. “Just a small issue that
my maid and a needle and thread resolved easily enough.”
The ladies leered at each other.
Clearing his throat, Lord Flitmore said, “Mary, let me introduce
you to our host.”
“Of course,” Mary agreed, and with a nod to Nick, all three Yateses
left the circle.
Faith watched after Mary but had schooled her features to a pleasant
expression that no one could have noted anything amiss from. Nick had
many questions, but none of them were any of his business.
“Shall we go in to dinner?” As they were officially engaged, Nick
offered Faith his arm and they preceded the others into the dining room.
The long table had rounded corners and was draped in white linen.
Fine china leafed with gold, and highly polished crystal and silver, made
the setting gleam under three fully lit chandeliers hanging overhead, and
with four standing candelabras placed in all corners of the room. The
high-backed, dark wood chairs were cushioned with a pale blue damask.
It was decidedly English, and extremely elegant, to appeal to Geb’s guests.
At the head of the table, Geb welcomed everyone formally to his home
before launching into a story of being on a sinking ship, and the diners
were riveted despite the fact that most of them would not invite an Egyptian
man of no known rank into their own homes. Faith smiled warmly at Geb,
and Nick wondered if she were different. Would his friends, regardless of
their origins, be welcomed to her table?
He shook off the notion. He would not be going through with marrying
Faith Landon, no matter how much he desired her or how kind she pretended
to be. She had betrayed him with her spying, and he wouldn’t have it.
Another exception to the apparent prejudice against Geb were Rhys
and Poppy Draper. The earl and his bride genuinely liked Geb and had
become fast friends with him after being stranded at his house in a storm.
“Did you swim to shore from that distance, Mr. Arafa?” Poppy’s
blue eyes were wide and her dark hair and lashes made the color all the
more demonstrable.
Geb’s cheeks pinked and he laughed. “I’m afraid nothing so heroic,
my lady. I was hauled out of the ocean by a small fishing vessel. My lungs
were full of water and I caught a terrible ague and spent three weeks in
a Portuguese hospital.”
They all laughed with Geb.
Rhys Draper took a long pull on his wine. “I would be willing to bet
you were the most interesting thing those fishermen plucked from the
Atlantic that day. And you were damned lucky. Not only could you have
drowned, but if this had happened a year later, you might have been caught
up in Napoleon’s invasion.”
“Indeed, luck was with me that day and many others.” More sober, Geb
gave Nick a knowing look.
Nick noted his friend’s careful use of luck rather than invoke the name of
the Prophet in a room full of Christians. Knowing how religious Geb was,
Nick knew what he was thinking. They had experienced many adventures
together, and luck, Allah, or God had seen them through some things that
at the time, seemed impossible.
The footmen served the soup.
Nick noted that many of the guests poked at the fine broth, vegetables,
and bits of tender beef, but didn’t eat. The Yates family were among those
who would not eat from the table of an Egyptian but would be happy to
attend, since Geb was a good resource for many business dealings. Not
to mention the depth of Geb’s pocketbook.
Faith, Poppy, and Rhys ate with gusto. Perhaps more than was natural,
and Nick decided they had also noticed the rudeness of the other guests.
Besides the Yateses, Sir Duncan Humphrey, his wife and two sons,
Montgomery and Malcolm, were in attendance as well as William Wharton
and his wife. All were well respected among the ton and had obviously
not come for the food or company. They didn’t speak other than the
occasional thank you.
On Nick’s right, Faith sipped the last of her soup and turned to Mary.
“You didn’t like the soup?”
“I’m not hungry. I’m certain it is quite good.” Mary narrowed
her eyes at Faith.
“It’s really too bad, it was the best I’ve tasted.” Faith smiled warmly
and turned her attention back to Geb. “Poppy told me how wonderful your
cook is and now I can taste the truth of it.”
“You always did have a great love of food, Faith.” Mary’s voice rang with
disdain and she peered down that thin nose at Faith’s curvaceous figure.
Poppy looked ready to leap across the table and do Mary physical harm.
A low laugh from Faith calmed the situation. “I suppose where I am
fond of a good meal you are fond of a good bit of gossip. We each have
our hidden desires. Don’t we, Mary.”
It was a warning, but Nick didn’t have enough information to know
what was at stake.
Mary bit her bottom lip and narrowed her eyes before masking all
emotion and nodding. “I suppose that’s true of everyone.”
A flush of pride swept over Nick. He had no right to feel any sense
of esteem for Faith’s ability to outthink another woman and put her in
her place. Yet, he couldn’t help liking that she had not been bested by a
bigoted daughter of parents who would attend the dinner party of a man
they clearly didn’t like, but wanted something from.
Turning his attention back to Geb, Nick noted his friend’s amusement
at the social volley going on at the table. Geb smiled warmly at Poppy as
she changed the subject to the delectable pheasant and fine wine.
By the main course, Nick had given up on the other end of the table
and was ensconced in a lively conversation among the four people around
him. Rhys was well versed in politics and they discussed the state of coal
mines. Faith and Poppy both added their opinions, which were well thought
out and more astute than he would have thought for ladies of their rank.
Perhaps he should rethink his views of what ladies ponder in the course
of a day. Clearly it was more than stitching and tea patterns.
Geb, too, ignored the reticent group at the far end of the table and joined
the banter. When Kosey announced that cake and sherry were being served
in the grand parlor, Nick was disappointed to leave the conversation.
As soon as they entered the parlor, Flitmore cornered Geb about the
sale of several horses, and Sir Duncan wanted to know when the next
shipment of spices from India would be arriving.
Stomach turning at their duplicity, Nick escaped to the garden.
Geb had torches lighting the paths. The gardens here were one of Nick’s
favorite places in England. They were orderly and wild at once. White
stones lined the lanes meant to guide one through the low plantings. It
was a maze but without the threat of becoming lost. The fountain at the
far end broke the silence of the pleasant autumn night. Soon winter would
turn the garden into a wasteland and a good snow would give it the feel
of an abandoned house.
Nick sighed and walked on.
“Are you determined to be alone, or might I join you, Your Grace?”
Faith called from only a few feet behind him.
He must be losing his training for her to have sneaked up behind him
without notice. “Is there something you wanted, Lady Faith?”
She stepped closer. Several curls had freed themselves of her elaborate
coif and called out to Nick to touch them. “It is a lovely garden.” She
glanced around and smiled.
“Yes. Geb has taken bits from all his travels and placed them in his
home and this garden. I think it brings him comfort.”
Faith’s golden eyes filled with sorrow. “Do you think Mr. Arafa is
lonely here in England?”
“It is never easy to live amongst a people not your own.” Nick considered
all the time he’d spent in France, Spain, and Portugal and how much he’d
missed the rainy days in England and people who understood his humor.
“The Wallflowers are very fond of Mr. Arafa. We have not entertained
much, but I will see that he is added to our invitation list. Perhaps a circle
of good friends will make him feel more at home.” She’d placed her index
finger on her chin while she considered how best to help Geb.
He needed to be free of this woman. “You didn’t say what it was you
wanted, Lady Faith.”
Frowning, she walked forward and down the path. “Must I have a reason
to walk in the garden with my fiancé?”
Leaving her to her own devices and returning to the house flitted through
his mind, but it would cause gossip and he was curious about her reason for
seeking him out. “We are hardly the perfect picture of an engaged couple.”
“No. That is true. I wanted to apologize for any undue strain I may
have caused you by trying to find out what kind of character you have.”
“Is that your apology, or shall I wait for more?” he said when she
didn’t elaborate.
She stopped and puffed up her chest. Her cheeks were red and fire
flashed in her eyes. “Why must you be so difficult? Even when I’m trying
to be nice, you find fault. The entire situation was mostly your doing. If
you had been open and honest, that would have been an end to our query
and none of the rest would have been necessary.”
Even more beautiful when she was in a temper, he longed to pull her
into his arms and taste those alluring lips. He was certain just one tug
would topple all those curls from the pins that held her hair in place and
he could find out if they were as soft as they appeared. It was maddening.
“I hardly see how it was my fault. You and your friends spied on me and
involved Geb, which is unforgivable.”
As soft and lovely as she was, a hard edge caught in her voice. “I
suppose, then, you will not accept my apology. I see. Well, in that case,
I’ll leave you to your solitude.” She turned to walk away and stopped, eyes
narrowed into the darkness beyond the gardens, which were surrounded
by tall evergreens.
Following her gaze, Nick saw nothing, though the hair on the back of
his neck rose. “What is it?”
“I felt eyes on me, as if someone was watching.” She shivered and
continued straining to see in the shadows.
“I’m sure you are imagining things.” He dismissed her worry.
That hateful glance fell on him before she plastered false serenity on
her face. “Perhaps.”
He preferred the disdain to the untruthful agreement. Why he should
care when he wanted nothing to do with her, he didn’t know. “Shall I escort
you back inside, Lady Faith?”
“You are too kind, Your Grace, but I can manage the journey on my
own.” With a curt nod, she stormed away from him toward the house.
16 A.S. Fenichel
Unable to look away, he admired the gentle sway of her hips until she
climbed the veranda steps and went inside. Lord, how he longed to hold
those hips and slide his hands up to that slim waist, and so much more.
He shook away the wayward thoughts before he embarrassed himself
with his desires.
One thing was certain, Faith Landon would be his undoing.

A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.

A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.

Multi-published in historical, paranormal, erotic and contemporary romance, A.S. is the author of the several series, including Forever Brides, Everton Domestic Society, Wallflowers of West Lane and more. Strong, empowered heroines from Regency London to modern-day New Orleans are what really excites A.S., and that’s what you’ll find in all her books.

A Jersey Girl at heart, she now makes her home in Southern Missouri with her real-life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking, travel, history, puttering in her garden and spoiling her fussy cat.





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Thursday, October 15, 2020

My Lion's Den by E.M. Power


E.M. Power
Spotlight on Souls Publishing Group
Nonfiction / Autobiographical / Religious

This is my personal story of my trial with Domestic Abuse.  This book was not intended to sensationalize Domestic Abuse.  It is not to portray my abuser in a bad light or as an enemy.  Abuse has no prejudices.  Abuse may occur no matter a person’s religion, non-religion, race, economic income level, profession, culture, gender, or age.  Abuse may happen at any time and to anyone.  Yes, that means you too.  If you think you would never be the victim of abuse, you risk being gravely mistaken (pun intended).  Domestic Abuse may take place within any relationship type.  There is no formula, medicine, vaccine, proven theory, amount of therapy, answer or cure.  The abuser is not always someone that had ever been a victim themselves.  The abuser is not always someone that has witnessed violence or abuse.  By sharing my personal story, I hope to give you a better understanding of abuse in order to prevent this life trial to be your story too.

This is my personal story of my trial with Domestic Abuse.  This book was not intended to sensationalize Domestic Abuse.  It is not to portray my abuser in a bad light or as an enemy.  Abuse has no prejudices.  Abuse may occur no matter a person’s religion, non-religion, race, economic income level, profession, culture, gender, or age.  Abuse may happen at any time and to anyone.  Yes, that means you too.  If you think you would never be the victim of abuse, you risk being gravely mistaken (pun intended).  Domestic Abuse may take place within any relationship type.  There is no formula, medicine, vaccine, proven theory, amount of therapy, answer or cure.  The abuser is not always someone that had ever been a victim themselves.  The abuser is not always someone that has witnessed violence or abuse.  By sharing my personal story, I hope to give you a better understanding of abuse in order to prevent this life trial to be your story too.

E. M. (Eva Marie) Power, was born and lived for the first nine-years of her life on the Island of Guam.  She was adopted at birth and raised by a single Guamanian woman, Alfonsina Manyanona Duenas from the Southern Village of Talofofo, Guam.  E. M. (Eva Marie) Power moved stateside to Southern California at the age of nine and it is where she currently resides.  She is the mother of six children and the grandmother of four.  Just like she describes in this book, if ever in a Lions’ Den (life trial) she will always choose Faith!




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Sunday, October 4, 2020

Age of Authors When They First Published Bestsellers

 Age of Authors When They First Published Bestsellers


Have you ever wondered how long it takes authors to reach bestseller status? Personalized book publishers In The Book have done some fascinating research into the age of authors when they published their first New York Times bestseller. They discovered so many interesting statistics, including discrepancies between the genres, and how the average age has changed over the years. 


Overall, the average age of an author when they published a bestseller for the first time is 48 years old, since the New York Times bestseller list began in 1942. 

Differences Between Genre

Interestingly, the average age of first-time bestsellers is different across various genres. Horror authors have published bestsellers the youngest at an average age of 41. Thriller authors came in as the oldest at an average age of 52 - over a decade older than horror authors! With all other genres such as romance and fantasy being quite closely tied in the late 40s, we can see that authors are most likely to become New York Times bestsellers for the first time in their 40s. You can view the data here and even see where your favorite bestsellers sit on the interactive graph! 

How Has The Average Age Changed?

The research carried out by In The Book has shown that authors are now publishing their first-time bestseller later than in recent decades. The average age has been increasing by decade, with the average age now standing at 52 years, whereas in the 1950s, it was 44.5. This shows that authors are having to wait around 7 years longer to become a bestseller.


There are so many authors who appear on the New York Times bestseller list more than once. So far, John Grishamappears most often on the list, featuring 6 different times across 15 years! However, In The Book was interested in looking at only the first bestseller per author, to see how long it took authors to reach this status.


What About Gender?

There was very little difference between the gender of the author and the age they first published a New York Times bestseller! In the 2010s, women did achieve bestseller status at a younger age of 51, but only by a year. The greater discrepancies appear when looking at gender in specific genres.


A female mystery and crime author usually waits the longest to become a bestseller, with the average age coming in at 56 years. For male authors in the same genre, the average age is 48 years. 


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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

THE ANCESTOR by Lee Matthew Goldberg

Lee Matthew Goldberg
Thriller / Mystery

A man wakes up in present-day Alaskan wilderness with no idea who he is, nothing on him save an empty journal with the date 1898 and a mirror. He sees another man hunting nearby, astounded that they look exactly alike. After following this other man home, he witnesses a wife and child that brings forth a rush of memories of his own wife and child, except he’s certain they do not exist in modern times—but from his life in the late 1800s. After recalling his name is Wyatt, he worms his way into his doppelganger Travis Barlow’s life. Memories become unearthed the more time he spends, making him believe that he’d been frozen after coming to Alaska during the Gold Rush and that Travis is his great-great grandson. Wyatt is certain gold still exists in the area and finding it with Travis will ingratiate himself to the family, especially with Travis’s wife Callie, once Wyatt falls in love. This turns into a dangerous obsession affecting the Barlows and everyone in their small town, since Wyatt can’t be tamed until he also discovers the meaning of why he was able to be preserved on ice for over a century.

A meditation on love lost and unfulfilled dreams, The Ancestor is a thrilling page-turner in present day Alaska and a historical adventure about the perilous Gold Rush expeditions where prospectors left behind their lives for the promise of hope and a better future. The question remains whether it was all worth the sacrifice….

Praise for THE ANCESTOR:

“Lee Matthew Goldberg is an animal—there is no other way to say it. His prose is heavyweight ambitious, as visceral as a sweaty-toothed dog at your throat. He evokes Robert Louis Stevenson as much as he does a modern thriller novelist. And I’ll be honest: I expected a crime novel, but I got a spell-binding epic, an epistolary revelation, a tale as rich as a paying gold mine. The Ancestor is more than a novel. It’s an ode to the rich tradition of adventure storytelling…seasoned with ample spice of love and violence and greed.” —Matt Phillips, author of Countdown and Know Me from Smoke

“In The Ancestor, Lee Matthew Goldberg masterfully weaves together a story involving family and violence set against the backdrop of an unforgiving Alaska of both past and present.” —Andrew Davie, author of Pavement and Ouroboros

“From the icy opening battle of man vs. wolf, you feel yourself in the hands of a master storyteller and that feeling never lets up.” —SJ Rozan, bestselling author of Paper Son

“This thrilling novel is rich in descriptions of the vast, snowy, and deadly wilderness of Alaska; it ably captures the type of person who chases gold.” —Foreword Reviews

“A story that blends the familiar and the supernatural in a manner that calls Stephen King’s work to mind. That said, Goldberg’s book possesses a flavor all its own—a distinctive mélange of the sincere and the strange.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Beautifully written, and capturing the unforgiving grit of Gold Rush Alaska, Lee Matthew Goldberg’s The Ancestor is a thrilling page-turner with an ache in its heart. I’m a huge fan.” —Roz Nay, author of Hurry Home and Our Little Secret

“A suspenseful historical thriller.” —Indie Reader

“One of the year’s best thrillers. Blake Crouch fans will love Goldberg’s Alaskan opus.” —BestThrillers

Amazon →




       One eye open, the other frozen shut. He knows what an eye is, but that other “I” remains a mystery. Mind scooped out and left in ice. Words are hunted, slowly return. Blue sky, that’s what he sees. The sun twinkling like a diamond. Tundra, there’s another recalled word. Packed snow on all sides as if the world succumbed to white. The air a powerful whistle. A breeze blows, not a friend but a penance. It passes right through and chills to the core, this enemy wind. Limbs atrophied, no idea when they last moved. Boil of a sun thaws and prickles. Tiny spiders swinging from leg hairs, biting into flesh. He cries out but there is no sound. For it feels like he hasn’t spoken in centuries.
            Back of throat tastes of metal. Blood trapped in phlegm. A cough sends a splatter of red against the stark land, a streak in the form of a smile. When was the last time he ate? His stomach growls in agony, a good sign. Organs working, or at least attempting to work. His one eye scans to the left and the right, no sign of anyone, not even an animal. No chance for a savior or sustenance.
            He gums his jaw, the first inkling of movement. Aware of his scraggily beard coated in frost. Crystals spiral from his chin, collect in his lap. Now he sees his hands, luckily in gloves except they are a thin brown leather, rather useless. Bones crack as he maneuvers to remove the gloves. Fingers tremble once hit with fresh air and numbness subsides. Massages his legs, gets the blood flowing, an injection of life. The spiders accelerate and then relent, toes wiggle, and he sits up. Around his neck rests a notebook and a fountain pen, the tip crusted in flakes. He feels an object in a front pocket and pulls out a silver compact mirror, the back embroidered with floral patterns, ladylike. This is not my mirror, he decides, but then has a more important realization. Who am I? With trembling hands, he brings the mirror up to his face for a glance.
            The reflection of a stranger. All beard save for some features that emerge. A bulbous but authoritative nose, green eye flecked with gold, a mane of dark hair cascading to his shoulders. Handsome in a grizzled way. Shades of a bear in the roundness of his cheeks and a wolf in his stare.
            “I am…,” his lips try to say, but there is no answer. Often one can wake from a dream and the dream seems real for a moment, but a sense of self never vanishes. Whoever he was has been long gone, unlikely to return anytime soon. At least while he remains freezing in the wilderness.
            I must make it out of here.
            It’s relieving that he thinks of himself as an “I”. Whoever he is, he is someone. A mother birthed and fed him from her breast. A father taught him.…taught him what exactly? Survival skills? How to hunt? If he had a father worth his while, he’d know how to do this.
            And then, a caterwauling from the depths of his soul, a fawn-in-distress call that plants a trap for curious predators. He knows this sound well, meaning he’s lured prey before. His daddy schooled him like a good man should.      
            The waiting game. Another call erupts, a coyote’s howl this time. He can recognize the difference. Then it comes to him that he needs to know what to do should an animal appear. He pats down his pockets, no weapon but his fists. And then, the clinking of sharp nails against the ice sheet. A majestic wolf, eyes like the sky, shimmering coat the color of clouds. Its charcoal nose twitches; the blood he hacked up in plain sight. He and the wolf lock into a dueling stare, neither wanting to be the first to flinch. A vision of death with baring teeth, or the start of his new life if victorious. The wolf doesn’t give him a chance to contemplate, lunging with a mouth full of saliva. He catches it in a brutal embrace and becomes knocked off his heels, slamming his back against the hard ground. They skitter down a slick snowcap, snapping at one another like angry lovers. The wolf is relentless, a worthy opponent, a test of wills. He gets the beast in a headlock, trying to crack its neck, but the wolf is too slippery. Breath fumes from other kills circle into his nostrils—this wolf has never lost a battle before. Blood splashes, no clue which of them has been wounded. They spin in the snow like a tornado. He makes a fist, jams it in the wolf’s mouth. Teeth marks scrape against his knuckles as he rams his fist farther down the wolf’s throat. The wolf heaves, chokes, attempting to chew off his hand but its strategy is futile. It has only come across other animals, never a human mind that can think steps ahead.
            Now he attempts a headlock again with his left arm, squeezing off circulation. The wolf lets out a whimper that reverberates through his wrist. They lock into a dueling stare again, except this time he does not see the many kills of the wolf through its gaze. He visualizes its sadness, its inevitable end. And then, the sound of a heavy branch snapping, the wolf’s neck broken, his blood-soaked fist removed from the back of its throat. Its dead tongue lolling out of its mouth against the icy bed. He pets its beautiful coat, this formidable foe, now a present wrapped with a bow. Delectable to quench his all-consuming hunger.
He needs the clearest block of ice he can find. Using the wolf’s teeth to carve a fine translucent round piece, he creates a magnifying glass. He rubs the dirt away and keeps rubbing until enough moisture flecks off. There’s a bed of whittled grass at the slope he and wolf ended up in, and he holds the ice over the dry grass, propping it against two logs until a brilliant rainbow prism shoots through and ignites a fire. He rips off all the breakable branches he can locate to stoke the flames. While it continues to spread, he procures a rock to blunt out the wolf’s teeth, then uses them for the painstaking task of skinning the fur. He does it carefully so a semblance of a coat remains, which he dips into a nearby brook to wash away any lingering blood and sinew. The sun has mostly dipped behind the mountains and he wears the wolf’s coat to mask the chill, then roasts its carcass over the roaring fire, breaking off legs and gnawing while the true flesh still cooks.
            The meat is a godsend to his empty stomach and also an immediate poison that his body rejects by throwing up. But he sucks on some ice and the queasiness diminishes. By the time it’s fully cooked, darkness reigns and he feels more like a shell than anyone has before. Except with each chew, this lessens and soon he becomes human again. But the loneliness isn’t as easy to fight off. There are souls that feel lonely, he assumes, but at least they have themselves for company. They can rely on memories to help them through cold nights. He searches his mind for a wisp of the past, any nugget, wading through a never-ending sea. The horizon seemingly attainable, but with every stroke just as far away. He’d cry but the tears are frozen in his ducts, and his one eye still sealed shut.
            When enough of the wolf has been eaten so his belly distends like a newly pregnant woman, he feeds the fire with more broken limbs and curls up to its warmth, his only confident in this harsh wilderness, possibly his only companion forever—a lifetime of attempting to be caressed by flames and nothing more. He wraps himself tightly in the wolf’s fur, hoping that when he wakes again he’ll know who he is. The nightmare vanished along with the sun rising like a bride’s pretty little hand on his grizzled cheek.




Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE DESIRE CARD, THE MENTOR, and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The second book in the Desire Card series, PREY NO MORE, is forthcoming, along with his Alaskan Gold Rush novel THE ANCESTOR. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, Cagibi, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press, Monologging and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at


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Tuesday, September 22, 2020

TROPICAL DOUBTS by David Myles Robinson

David Myles Robinson
Legal Thriller

When Honolulu’s flamboyant and quirky attorney, Pancho McMartin, agrees to step out of his normal role as a criminal defense lawyer, he thinks it will be a challenging but welcome change from his daily dose of criminal clients. His old friend and father-figure, Manny Delacruz, has beseeched Pancho to handle a medical malpractice claim against the physicians who botched what should have been a routine surgery, but which resulted in Manny’s beloved wife being in a permanent vegetative state. The case looks good, the damages enormous, but when Manny is arrested for the murder of one of the doctors, Pancho finds himself back in his old role. If Manny is convicted, it means he won’t be able to be at his wife’s bedside to hold her hand, caress her face, and read his poems to her. He will have lost his reason to live. The pressure on Pancho is enormous. While he and his team try to make sense out of one of the most sinister and complicated murder schemes he’s ever seen, the medical malpractice case chugs forward, in jeopardy of being worthless should Manny be convicted.


Amazon →

 Barnes & Noble →


Other Books by David Myles Robinson:


 P ancho McMartin watched as his client, newly convicted of murder, was escorted to the side door of the courtroom by two men in brown jumpsuits with “Sheriff” stenciled across the back. The client, a large Samoan in his early twenties, had a shaved head. Except for his face, every square inch of visible flesh was tattooed.
With shackles on his wrists and ankles, he shuffled to the door and then stopped and glanced over his shoulder at Pancho. He’d sat through the trial with a look of absolute disdain, even menace, and now Pancho almost laughed out loud at the expression on the man’s face—fear. Pancho gave him a small nod, which he hoped would convey some sense of encouragement. Not that there was much to encourage. The Samoan would spend the rest of his life in prison unless Pancho could win an appeal of little or no merit.
 His client disappeared through the door, and Pancho was alone in the courtroom. He shivered as the room, now empty, returned to its usual freezing temperature. He leaned his elbows on the counsel table and put his head in his hands. This was his third trial loss in a row, the second this year—a record for him. Pancho knew his client was guilty and hadn’t wanted to take the case. But the client’s family in Samoa and Oceanside, California, had collected the $250,000 fee Pancho charged for a murder case. Even then he might have turned the case down, but Pancho’s private investigator and best friend, Drew Tulafono, had asked him to take it on.
“The guy’s family in Oceanside goes to church with my mother,” Drew had said. “And they’re using all their powers of persuasion to get her to get me to get you to take the case.”
“Don’t they know he’s guilty as hell?” Pancho asked.
Drew nodded. “Pretty much, although they’re hoping he’ll get off with self-defense. But the main thing here is that Samoan families, mine included, are tight-knit and supportive of each other. If someone’s in trouble, the family’s sacred duty is to come to their aid in whatever way possible.”
 So Pancho had taken the client on and had presented a decent case for self-defense. In the end, however, Pancho figured the jury just couldn’t get past the way his client looked, which was like a gangbanger who would just as soon kill you as step out of your way.
Pancho sighed heavily and ran his hand through his long brown hair. Three in a row. He wondered if he was losing his touch. He felt tired and depressed. It had been a bad six months. Just before he’d taken on this loser of a case, his longtime girlfriend, Paula Mizono, a financial adviser, had tearfully told him she was accepting a position in Hong Kong. She loved him, she said, but she was in the prime of her work life and this opportunity, at triple her current salary, was too hard to pass up. “Besides,” she said, almost as an afterthought, “even though I knew what I was getting into when we hooked up, the fact of the matter is we hardly see each other. I’m off to work at three in the morning because of the time change to New York, and I’m ready to hit the sack by the time you get home.”
Pancho had lost his first wife to the long hours of his law practice and had vowed not to lose Paula. It was her job that caused the split, he told himself. But the pain of the loss and the loneliness of his empty bed hurt just the same.
The door to the judge’s chambers opened and Lew, the bailiff, poked his head into the courtroom. “You all pau in here, Mr. McMartin? I need to lock up.”
Pancho nodded and stood. “Yes, Lew, I’m done. Put a fork in me.”
“For what it’s worth,” Lew said, walking into the courtroom and pulling his keys out of his pocket, “I thought you did a great job on a dead loser of a case.”
Pancho gave a wan smile. “Thanks.” He loosened his tie, picked up his briefcase, and walked out of courtroom into the real world.

David Myles Robinson was a trial attorney in Honolulu, HI for 38 years before retiring to the mountains of New Mexico, where he lives with his wife, a former Honolulu trial judge. In the days of yore, before becoming a lawyer, he was a freelance journalist and a staff reporter for a minority newspaper in Pasadena, CA. He is an award-winning author of six novels, three of which are Pancho McMartin legal thrillers set in Honolulu.

Having traveled to all seven continents, he has also published a travel memoir entitled CONGA LINE ON THE AMAZON, which includes two Solas Traveler’s Tales award winners.
He says he includes his middle name, Myles, in his authorial appellation because there are far too many other David Robinson’s running around.


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