Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Book Excerpt: Home Rule: Book III of The Tribal Wars by Stella Atrium #bookexcerpt #bookspotlight #blogtour


Title: Home Rule: Book 3 of The Tribal Wars
Author: Stella Atrium
Publisher: Stella Atrium Writes LLC
Pages: 458
Genre: Science Fiction

Sarafina di Ramonicc In book 3 of the award-winning series, photojournalist Hershel Henry witnesses the loss by self-torching of tribal women. The Madquii and Gora tribes have laid siege to the city of Urbyd, and Brianna Miller must seek a peace treaty.   

Kelly Osborn travels to Stargate Junction to set the wedding of ambassador Otieno. Hershel Henry opens a gazette to report on pending elections for home rule, but then shocking events upset their plans.  

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0C44QT91N


Dkar was my landlord in Cylay. A Putuki man with bulging eyes that judged everything, he owned a converted warehouse eight blocks from the governor’s house, if you can call them blocks. I paid rent for two rooms above the storefront where Cylahi-constructed furniture was sold to the newly rich residents of the Putuki city section. People on the street did not bother me much, sometimes to beg alms. My rooms were tossed and robbed, however, whenever I left to pursue a news story. 

Aging and maimed warriors lingered in Cylay; desperate women with toddlers, free-roaming fowl and pigs. Electricity came on for two hours a day and the faucets never worked. Rabbenu Ely and the Putuki bazaari still held authority in Cylay, but rabbenu provided few services to the people. Unblessed ones, as poor residents were called, understood little of where the city funds originated and why foreign aid arrived at the governor’s mansion. 

I was in Dkar’s office to lodge a complaint about being robbed again. Dkar sat in a squeaky chair behind a desk scrounged from an abandoned hotel. “The thefts are friendliness, Hershel Henry,” he said. “Their way of saying that you are useful to them.”

“Look, if you refuse to take my complaint seriously—” 

“I like you, Softcheeks,” he interrupted. “You can feel safe here. Safe as long as you allow the activity. If you should bother Putuki police about the theft, well . . . that’s different, huh?”

“Is that a threat? Are you making a threat?”

“I want to help you, Henry. I’m helping here. Tomorrow we go to the bazaar, and there we find your solution.” Dkar leaned forward with a grin, showing the absence of two teeth on the left side. “Trust me.” 

I had washed the insect repellent from my hair and beard, now a silvery blond against tan skin. I wore the dungarees and shirt of the clutch of Kenru, provided to me when I first visited Uburu land. I had a field vest with notepad and light meter. And I constantly wore the sheathed beltknife that was a gift, more for show against the hungry eyes of local beggars than for soldiering. 

I was forced to keep my cameras and everything but a change of clothes at the hotel Press Club. John Milan and other journalists jeered at me for preferring to live among the people, and I was beginning to get the message. 

“You got a woman, Henry?” Doug Endicott guessed when I was sharing drinks with John Milan and Regan Villines at the Press Club. Endicott was the network dog who parceled out paychecks.

I squinted at his smirk. “Just closer to events.”

“You stink of that slum,” Endicott complained. “You bring their diseases in here.”

“I’ll try not to infect the tribes with your attitude.” 

“Why did you even come to Westend?” Endicott demanded. “What was it, Henry? The lure of exotic locales, or running away from a broken heart?”

“Where I come from, everything is broken. The savannah tribes have a purpose.”

Endicott shook his head slightly. “So . . . it’s the romance thing. Your tour will end six months early. Mark my words. You’ll shake with malaria chills for a decade.”

“Maybe not. Australian pioneer stock.”

“An urban pioneer?” Endicott realized his drink was empty and stepped to the bar for a refill. 

The comtech over the bar had the volume turned down, but the news clip replayed Rabbenu Ely announcing a new business in Cylay for an upstart stock exchange. The rotund rabbenu wore a dark suit and blue silk sash to designate his office. Ely made a stately stroll down a gilded hallway to step up to the podium and face reporters. Three suited Putuki men and General Sector in a starched uniform, head of Consortium peace-keeping troops in Cylay, crowded behind Ely. 

“Ely has gained weight,” Regan said derisively. “And he chose blue for that sash.”

“Why blue?” I asked.

 “Blue is forbidden on the savannah,” Regan said, seated shoulder-to-shoulder with me. “In honor of the blue macaw, the god-agent of Rularim.”

“What’s a god-agent?” I asked. 

“You have much to learn about the tribes, Henry.” John Milan said. “It’s like a witch has a black cat, but some animals can share dream images with favorites.”

“With you?” I asked him. 

John made a snorting noise and looked around for the waiter. He sighed and went to the bar to order, lingering with Endicott. 

“Why does General Sector lend himself to this charade?” Regan asked as she watched the comtech news. “That’s the real question.” 

We saw Ely encourage a shorter man in a blue suit to step up to the podium, further crowding the ministers. 

“Manenowski! Can you believe it?” Regan said. Her weathered face and khaki clothes tagged her as a veteran reporter. “He was promoted to captain under General Sector,” she added. “He resigned his commission for this new position as a stock trader. And Sector just stands there, like that turncoat act was nothing at all. Man, this job will make you cynical.”

John returned with drinks for him and Regan but not for me. I took the hint. I headed out from the Press Club, just catching Regan’s comment as she speculated to John Milan, “How much different from Henry’s station in Australia is that slum alleyway?”

 About Stella Atrium

Stella Atrium is writing The Tribal Wars series. The first trilogy is available as ebooks and in print. BookLife has awarded the Editor’s Pick designation for each book upon its release.    

Home Rule rounds out the first trilogy and received first place in the 2023 Artisan Book Review Awards for Science Fiction and Fantasy.     

Book 4 titled Tribal Logic is scheduled for release in early 2024. Also be certain to pick up Atrium’s standalone novel Seven Beyond that won a 2014 Reader’s Favorites award in science fiction.   

Website: https://stellaatrium.com   

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/SAtriumWrites 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SAtriumWrites
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Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Book Excerpt: Blood & Water by Linda Armstrong-Miller #bookexcerpt #bookspotlight #blogtour


Title: Blood & Water

Author: Linda Armstrong-Miller
Publisher: Dorrance Publishing
Pages: 266
Genre: Christian Thriller

Lisa Rivers is a genius with a photographic memory. She is the youngest, highest paid computer designer for the Department of Defense. Her program promises no more POWs and can be used domestically. No more missing children. So, how is it that Lisa is kidnapped? How was her identity discovered? Is she still alive and if so, can she be found before it is too late?

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/35nwbkz3

Barnes & Noble: https://tinyurl.com/bdcu442x

Goodreads: https://tinyurl.com/tbn9suhe


Sunday morning, Sam Rivers and his son Zach ran from the parking lot to the entry of the emergency room. The run had only been a hundred yards but, with the guilt Sam carried, twenty extra pounds, and no sleep in the past twenty-four hours, he found himself panting and sweating as if he had just run a marathon.

He bent over, placed a hand on each knee for support. As he did, sweat joined in the center of his smooth, black forehead, ran down to a point, and dropped off his nose as he held his head first down then up, trying to catch his breath.

The few gray strands at his temple appeared to outshine the rest of his black hair. If this is what getting old is all about, Sam decided he didn’t want any part of it. He stood and wiped his face. The sweat made his skin look like dark shiny caramel.

Breathing less like an asthmatic old man, Sam led Zach through the door-way. Once inside, they felt lost and overwhelmed. They stopped, looked around for a familiar face then tried not to panic when they didn’t find one.

As Sam looked around, he continued to work on controlling his breathing and on the catch that had seized his right side.

There were two areas where they could seek help, triage and the information desk—both busy. Between the two areas was a door sporting a Staff Only sign. Sam thought about trying the door. Before he could, a young woman wearing baggy blue jeans and a sagging yellow T-shirt—Sam could only guess she was someone wanting to be seen but hadn’t—beat him to it.

The exasperated attendant of the information desk turned to her and asked, “Can’t you read?”

“I was just looking for the bathroom,” the lady with the yellow T-shirt said then sucked her teeth.

“That sign don’t say Bathroom.” He pointed down the hall to a sign that did.

With that, the attendant turned back to the young mother of two standing before the information desk. The lady with the yellow T-shirt turned from the door, flipped the attendant a bird then left through the doors Sam and Zach had just entered.

The waiting room was filled with mothers holding babies and with men and women reading magazines as they waited for one of the too-few rooms to become available. Sam and Zach felt like intruders as they walked through the waiting room trying to find a way back into the patient care area; unwilling to wait. On the way to the bathrooms, they passed a man holding his head down as if snoozing, a lady sitting next to him, trying to quiet her crying baby. He never looked up but she watched them suspiciously as they walked through.

After checking the phone and bathroom areas, Sam and Zach had no choice but to go back and wait for someone at either the triage area or information desk to become available. There were two nurses at triage. One, somewhere in her early twenties, was assisting an elderly white-haired lady—who was not making her job easy. For some reason, the lady kept trying to pull her blouse up and show the nurse something underneath. Each time she did, the woman exposed her undergarment. The nurse noticed Sam, smiled then looked back at the elderly lady.

The other nurse, mid-thirties, maybe older, was with a young mother who was holding a runny-nosed little boy. He squirmed, trying to get down. When he didn’t get what he wanted, he screamed for all to hear, “Let go!”

More focused and quicker than the younger nurse, the older nurse finished with the mother who couldn’t control her child then moved on to yet another mother and child combo. When done, she turned to Sam and Zach.

“Sir, may I help you?” she asked.

Her name was Tish, no last name, just Tish. She was light skinned with sandy brown hair, which was pulled tightly into a ponytail. Tish was heavy-set with a pretty face but, for some reason, she seemed unwilling or unable to smile. She looked tired, although it was only 0800.

Tish looked at Sam through the open glass partition which separated them as he approached. “Yes, I’m Detective Rivers. My daughter was just brought in by helicopter.” Sam who was tired and had pain in both his knees and his legs also found it hard to smile at 0800.

The pain in his knees and legs were the least of the pain he felt, the pain that encompassed his heart threatened to encompass the rest of him. He felt all of the fifty-three years that made up his life catching up with him. At least he was no longer panting. He was thankful for that.

“Sir, let me get the patient representative. She’ll be able to…”

“I don’t want the patient representative.” Sam walked away from Zach, meaning for him to stay where he was, and approached the door. Zach followed anyway. "I want to see my daughter, Lisa Rivers. I know she's here?"

Sam looked through the open door into the hallway located behind triage. He wondered where Special Agent Frank Millwood was. Sam couldn’t help feeling angry at Frank. He knew they were coming. Where was he? Why hadn’t he made arrangements for them to be taken straight back upon their arrival?

“Sir, at the moment—” Tish started again.

“There was an FBI agent that came in with my daughter, Agent Millwood.

Where is he?” Sam interrupted her again.

“Detective Rivers, Zach, over here.” They turned and saw Millwood standing in the hallway, at the end of the waiting room. The sight of him immediately made Sam forget he had been angry at him. In fact, he was glad to see him. According to Frank’s partner, Sam couldn’t ask for anyone better to protect Lisa. That kind of praise from one lawman about another was gold.

Saturday night, when Frank was called in, before Lisa’s rescue had gone down, Frank had been dressed in a nice coat and tie. Sam marveled that all he had to show for the day’s wear and tear was a little dirt. As far as Sam was concerned, that made him a lucky man.

Frank had thick curly brown hair with even thicker and curlier eyelashes, the kind that women envied. He had perfect white teeth that flashed easily.

Sam found him easy to like and trust—something he rarely found, especially the first time he met someone.

Millwood was a second-generation FBI agent, joining the agency because it was expected of him. If Millwood was feeling the pressure of walking in his father’s footsteps, it didn’t show.

“Thank God,” Sam said leaving Tish and triage.

Millwood waved at Tish, indicating that Sam and Zach were friends, not foes. This didn’t seem to impress Tish one way or the other, but she said nothing more, allowing the two to pass.

As Sam and Zach walked with Millwood, it appeared that he was either already familiar with this emergency room or he’d done a lot of investigating since arriving. He led them down a long hallway that had no patient examination rooms, just closed doors.

They went about halfway down that hall and turned to the right, which placed them in an area that did have examination rooms. They passed the mother with the runny-nosed little boy. She was chasing him in the hallway while other patients watched her. Some were laughing at her and encouraging the little boy to run faster.

Millwood caught the kid and held him for his mother. He then flashed a look at a young, white male of about twenty-two, sporting tattoos of horned serpents all over his right arm. The look said, I dare you to say another word.

When the mother had her son in the room again, Millwood pulled the door shut and the three of them continued.

They made a left onto another hall and Millwood led Sam and Zach to room 104, where all else ceased to exist for Sam. The door to the room was open and no one in the room seemed to realize visitors were standing outside looking in. Sam and Zach watched the flurry of activity centered on a stretcher that sat in the center of the room.

Lisa laid on that stretcher, attached to three IVs—one in each arm, and another one with four tails extending from it, protruded from her neck. Two one-liter bags, which were almost empty, hung from an IV pole; their fluids ran into Lisa’s veins. A small bag with the word Dopamine and the life saving liquid from two units of blood were also running into Lisa’s bruised and battered body.

As if that weren’t enough, she also had wires running from her small chest to a cardiac monitor mounted to the wall. Other wires ran from her chest and back to another monitor that sat on a red cart. Without being told, Sam and Zach knew what all the activity was about. Lisa had gone into cardiac arrest and now she was being resuscitated. She had coded.

 About Linda Armstrong-Miller

Linda Armstrong-Miller has worked in the medical field for over twenty years. In that time she has worked as a counselor, registered nurse in the emergency room, ICU, Recovery Room, and she has worked with children placed in psychiatric hospitals. She understands when a family is in crisis and she has been with them during their time of distress, depression, anxiety and difficulty. She believes in God and uses her belief as well as her experience when writing. Blood and Water is her second book published. Touched is her first book. Currently she is working on a young adult trilogy.

Website: lindaarmstrongmillerauthor.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/lindaam1 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100039732613292

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Sunday, July 16, 2023

Book Excerpt: Mom's Search for Meaning: Grief and Growth After Child Loss by Melissa M. Monroe #bookexcerpt #bookspotlight #blogtour


Title: Mom’s Search for Meaning: Grief and Growth After Child Loss
Author: Melissa M. Monroe
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 276
Genre: Memoir

Paralyzed by guilt, grief, and PTSD after her 2-year-old daughter Alice died in her sleep of unknown causes, acupuncturist Melissa Monroe determined not to become a victim in the story of her life. While taking the advice she had given to many grief and trauma patients throughout the years, hoping she could create a meaningful life without closure, she took notes throughout her healing process.

Struggling to advance her timeline beyond that of her daughter’s – and still eager to be the keeper of Alice’s stories – Melissa began to write about Alice’s life and the impact of her death. She became her own lab rat, trying various approaches to healing with the hope that her experience might be helpful to others stuck in a trauma time loop.

As much a study of trauma’s effect on time perception as it is an intimate view into the heart and mind of a bereaved mother, Mom’s Search for Meaning shows us that meaning resides in the search itself…with a spoonful of gallows humor to help the medicine go down.

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/yrmuumc6

Barnes & Noble: https://tinyurl.com/mryd9z7s

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/123189454

Billy Dees Podcast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EMzd6XXm-kU

Book Excerpt  

"When everything we love turns to ash, all we have is love. I began to realize that if I marched toward the love — even on a day when I felt like shit — I would always be guided and surrounded by love. If I cursed the path, I wouldn’t see the love that was all around me and would find a cursed path.

When Alice died, it became crystal clear to me that nothing matters but love. That clarity was notable because not one other thing was clear. But more importantly, I began to see that love doesn’t die. My love for Alice went nowhere; I just didn’t know what to do with all that love when her body was no longer here, when I could not interact with her personality or hug her chubby belly. It was clear to me my love for her survived though her body did not. I could still feel her, though I couldn’t see or touch her. Grief is love in the absence of the recipient of the love.

Grief is the phantom limb of love.

This meant I had to learn how to love someone no longer here ... and to do that, I had to focus on the love that was here. And there was so much love around me, thank God.”


Now living in Los Angeles with her daughter Grace, Melissa M. Monroe was born in Yuma, AZ. She attended Loyola University in Chicago. After finishing at Loyola, she studied modern dance at University of Chicago. In 1995, she moved to California to train in Pilates, yoga, and acupuncture, which she practices as a professional.

Website: http://www.melissamariemonroe.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/tripleMMeaning

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelissaMarieMonroeAuthor

Tik Tok: https://www.tiktok.com/@triplemmeaning

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/melissammonroe/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissa-monroe-b0b1197/

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Tuesday, July 11, 2023

Book Excerpt: Becoming Flawesome by Kristina Mand-Lakhiani #bookexcerpt #bookspotlight #blogtour #BecomingFlawesome


Title: Becoming Flawesome
Author: Kristina Mand-Lakhiani
Publisher: Hay House Publishing
Pages: 280
Genre: Nonfiction

Perfection. We all dream of living by it, feeling it, being it…

And it is in the name of perfection that we demonise our flaws, make ourselves ‘less-than,’ and render ourselves vulnerable to the shame of not being good enough.

We live in a society that subliminally encourages us to wear metaphorical masks, slay our inner sadness, and ignore our imperfections, or as Kristina refers to them, her ‘dragons.’ Even within the world of personal development and spirituality, toxic perfectionism lurks in the shadows.

In Kristina’s upcoming book Becoming Flawesome #BecomingFlawesome, she reflects on her own story, her battle against perfectionism, and what it took for her to return to what she now deems to be her most authentic self. Being described as “10 years worth of therapy in one book,Becoming Flawsome is a celebration of our whole selves, warts and all, and the glory that is to be found in living in our truth.

Every chapter is closed with reflection points and exercises to encourage the readers to dive deep into the essence of who they truly are, what their values are, and how to navigate an oftentimes overwhelming world.

In this book, Kristina breaks the mould as she takes the reader on a journey through:

  • The dark, controversial side of ‘personal growth,’ and the insecurities that thrive on it

  • Self-care vs self-love, and why you need both

  • What authenticity actually is, beyond the buzz

  • The ‘Hermione Syndrome,’ and how to diagnose if you’re secretly suffering from it

  • How to create aligned lifestyle habits that stick

  • Why the more you judge others, the more you judge yourself

  • Societal masks, and how to remove them from your psyche 

  • Imposter syndrome in the world of high-flyers 

  • Emotional literacy: how to cope with strong, painful emotions healthily 

Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/mwtzj3jx 

Mind Valley Books: https://www.mindvalley.com/books/flawesome 

Book Excerpt  

The Key to Living an Imperfectly Authentic Life


Let’s Begin

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a good book has to start with a proper introduction.

And by “proper” I mean that it has to prime the reader for the journey, raise excitement and set expectations, explain the process, and make reading the book an experience both profitable and smooth. After all, we are about to spend some time together on this journey.

Therefore, I was not surprised when on the first meeting with my publisher I was asked if I would consider writing a proper introduction to my book. You see—the original manuscript started with a story of me pondering my future book while standing in the shower, warm water running down my back, and my finger absentmindedly drawing random patterns on the fogged-up glass.

I started this book during the long years of successive COVID confinements, and I was planning to self-publish it because I wanted the freedom to make decisions about the book—how to write, what to write, what stories to include, what kind of experience to offer to my reader. So, naturally, it wasn’t following any universally acknowledged truths or conventions.

Yet, by the time I had to present my book-baby to the world, I felt that I wanted to give it the best possible future, and I had to face the big decision between my heart and my brain: Will it be self-published (heart), or will I work with a traditional publisher (brain)? Going the traditional way meant facing more choices between my quirky and obstinate self-expression and conventional ways of doing things.

This book is about finding your way back to yourself, about understanding who you really are, accepting your dents and scratches, your quirky uniqueness and even your flaws. It is about thriving in being unapologetically you, most flawesomely.

This book has been through the hands of several editors ever since I put the last stop on its original manuscript. This journey has been both emotional and transformative for me. I had to face my biggest dragon by far—my obstinate need for pure self-expression—over and over again.

When do you follow convention, and when do you stick to your own principles and values?

There is no simple answer to this question, except: you have to learn to balance.

If you follow all the rules that your peers expect you to follow, you bet all there is on a slim chance of the grand prize, but you do it at the price of your own unique self-expression. At times, I felt like I had to “sell my soul to the devil” for a chance at success.

But if you obstinately stick to your own unique quirks and principles, you might end up being unheard and misunderstood so universally that there is no point in writing a book. For it is the readers who make a writer. Without the readers, a book is just a private diary.

Reader, will you judge me if I tell you that this book is a delicate balance between convention and my own uniqueness? Of course, I want you to succeed. But I cannot give you the proper introduction to my book because every book is a journey. This book has been my journey, and

now it is yours. I walked my path to my true self, to understanding what makes me truly me . . .

and what of that unique quirkiness is simply noise. You see, your flaws and your dragons are there for a reason—they make you who you are, but they also hold the key to your biggest value, to your mightiest strengths, if you choose to look your dragons in the eye.

Now I am hoping that you will take this journey with me to your unique destination—to finding the path back to you. I will be your companion on this journey, but it is yours to take.

So why wouldn’t I tell you what’s ahead? Imagine if Gandalf told Bilbo Baggins that on his journey, he would encounter trolls, go through a perilous enchanted forest, and face a dragon in a far-away mountain. Wouldn’t that be a bit of a spoiler?

I want you to take this journey back to you without any spoilers, with an open heart, and trust that the destination is going to be worth your effort. Because becoming flawesome is the best gift you can give to yourself.

So, if you are ready, let’s begin!


Kristina Mand-Lakhiani is an international speaker, entrepreneur, artist, philanthropist, and mother of 2 kids. As a co-founder of Mindvalley, a leading publisher in the personal growth industry, Kristina dedicated the last 20 years of her career from teachers like Michael Beckwith, Bob Proctor, Lisa Nichols, and many more. 

She started her career in a government office in her native Estonia and, by her mid-20s, achieved a level of success mostly known to male politicians at the end of their careers. It was shortly after that Kristina and her then-husband Vishen founded Mindvalley. From a small meditation business operating out of the couple’s apartment in New York, the company quickly grew into a global educational organization offering top training for peak human performance to hundreds of thousands of students all around the world. 

Kristina believes life is too important to be taken seriously and makes sure to bring fun into every one of her roles: as a teacher, mother, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and world traveller. Kristina helps her students to virtually hack happiness by taking them through her unique framework - “Hacking happiness” - a unique framework of balancing your life, taking in every moment, and paying close attention to the small daily choices.  

Kristina is also the author of three transformational quests - "7 Days To Happiness", "Live By Your Own Rules.” and "The Art of Being Flawesome". Kristina talks about personal transformation, authenticity, understanding and accepting oneself, and a path to happiness.

In July 2023, with the help of Hay House Publishing, Kristina releases her very first book - "Becoming Flawesome" #BecomingFlawesome. In her book, Kristina shares her own journey from being on top of a personal growth empire like Mindvalley to stepping aside, conscious uncoupling from her husband, and walking her path towards being more honest with herself. 

Website: https://kristinamand.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kristinamand

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kristina-mand-lakhiani-73168414/

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Tuesday, July 4, 2023

It's Released! Happy Book Birthday to Smooth by Celia Bonaduce


We're thrilled to announce the release of Celia Bonaduce's new book, SMOOTH: LIFE HACKS TO GET YOU SMOOTHLY THROUGH CHEMO today! To help celebrate, we are asking our readers if you can please pretty please pick up a copy at Amazon and come back and tell us how you liked it? Or, leave a review while you're there! 

Congratulations, Celia, on your new release, Smooth: Life Hacks to Get You Smoothly Through Chemo!

Is Now Available in Paperback!

Title: Smooth: Life Hacks To Get You Smoothly Through Chemo
Author: Celia Bonaduce
Publisher: BookBaby
Pages: 100
Genre: Nonfiction

When cancer got in the way of Celia traveling for her day job as a field producer on the hit HGTV show, House Hunters, she did not let it stop her creativity. While the road to her first nonfiction book was anything but SMOOTH, it was a path that Celia felt compelled to explore. This collection of life hacks comes from Celia’s own experiences living through chemo.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3pmQoFa


One test had led to the next and then the next. I’d had two mammograms, an ultrasound, and a biopsy. So when the call came, I was ready.

“Hi, Celia…” my doctor said, her voice trailing off. “It’s cancer.”

“Yeah,” I said, picturing my life as a novelist and a TV producer grinding to an immediate halt. “My village would have to be missing its idiot for me to not have suspected this.”

So then I did the breast cancer thing—lumpectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation. I learned a lot about breast cancer (for example, that mine was Stage 1-B triple-negative breast cancer). But here’s a secret: while there are lots of books out there about women’s personal stories during their breast cancer journeys, when you’re going through it, you don’t give a rat’s ass about anyone else’s story. You just want to know how to get through it yourself.

This isn’t a personal retrospective, nor is it a medical journal. But I do have some recommendations I’d like to pass along—just some ideas that might make your life easier during this most stressful of times. All the products mentioned are my personal favorites from my own chemo adventure. No company has endorsed, sponsored, or bribed me. The photographs of the products are beautiful and professional looking because my beautiful and professional friend Justine shot them.

As you start your journey, you will wonder where you will get the mental as well as physical strength to voluntarily show up for chemo month after month. But you will find that strength or that strength will find you. I hope these tips will make your trip easier.

Because it’s all about you.

As it should be.


Celia Bonaduce is an award-winning novelist, podcast writer, and television producer. Celia spent fifteen years as a producer-director in lifestyle programming on shows that include ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and HGTV’s House Hunters and Tiny House Hunters. As a novelist with Kensington Publishing, Celia has written three trilogies: the Venice Beach Romances, the Fat Chance, Texas series, and the Tiny House Novels. The Tiny House Novel series won top honors with a Grand Finalist nod from the New Apple Official Selection, first place in the Book Excellence Awards and Gold from both the National Federation of Press Women and the Elite Choice Awards. Celia is also a co-author of A Texas Kind of Christmas, an Amazon #1 Best Seller in Historical Romance that took Gold from the National Federation of Press Women.

Website: https://www.celiabonaduce.com

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/CeliaBonaduce

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CeliaBonaduceAuthor

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/celiabonaduce

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/celia-bonaduce

Celia Bonaduce is giving away one $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.

  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Amazon Gift Card.

  • This giveaway ends midnight July 5.

  • Winner will be contacted via email on July 6.

  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



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Monday, June 26, 2023

Book Excerpt: Hush Hush City by Jo Denning @jo_denning #bookexcerpt #bookspotlight #blogtour


Cruel Prince meets Law & Order in Hush Hush City, the thrilling sequel to Dead Blood City and second installment in the Saoirse Reilly series!


Title: Hush Hush City
Author: Jo Denning
Publisher: Leabhar & Fola Publishing House
Pages: 330
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy Romance

Cruel Prince meets Law & Order in Hush Hush City, the thrilling sequel to Dead Blood City and second installment in the Saoirse Reilly series! Saoirse Reilly, police detective and wayward psychic, is still reeling from the events of Dead Blood City. Her lies are piling up but there’s no time to deal. She and her loved ones are in danger once again. While investigating the murder of a Boston blueblood, Reilly is drawn into a supernatural power struggle centuries in the making. 

Ancient monsters are prowling the streets and Domenico Alderisi, newly installed vrykolakas master, needs Reilly’s help securing his territory – which just so happens to be her hometown. Alderisi, once her enemy, may be the only one who can save the city. But he has his own agenda and a taste for Reilly’s blood. The only way for Reilly to protect all she holds dear may be to rely on her two-faced teacher, Dr. Emrys Somerled. The criminal psychologist and occult expert is something more than human. If anyone can take on monsters, it’s him. And he’d like to get closer to Reilly than ever before. There’s just one problem. Somerled is keeping secrets, too, and there’s nothing more dangerous. After all…

Stepping out of the silence is scary but secrets can kill.

Will Reilly escape the web of death and deception?

Find out in this urban fantasy meets gritty noir detective novel featuring imperfect heroes and slow burn dark romance with beautiful monsters who can’t be trusted.

Amazon: https://amzn.to/41Z1UUq

Book Excerpt  


I felt a shift in the air as the winding road through Boston’s jumbled brick became a straight shot cutting through the tidy squares of Cambridge. Full trees obscured my view of the pastel mansions along Brattle Street aka The King’s Highway, a moniker worth a thousand words. While a sense of belonging was a rarity in my life, the disconnect was inescapable in the well-to-do neighborhood Somerled beckoned me to. 

West Cambridge once housed revolutionaries and artists. Now the historic homes priced the average resident right out the door. 

The good doctor must feel at ease here. 

Me? I wanted to go back to bed in my barely-within-the-realm-of-reasonably-priced, cramped South End apartment. 

What the fuck was I doing? 

Not three months ago, I would’ve told Somerled to jump in the Harbor if he told me to meet him anywhere at three thirty-two a.m. 

Or anywhere at any time of day, for that matter. 

Now I was parking my dusty Jeep on the street in front of some Boston Brahmin’s inviting eight-foot-high steel fence. The vehicle took the brunt of my frustration as I slammed the door. Manicured hedges might have softened the fence but their lines were even harsher than the metal tines piercing the night sky. 

There was an intercom by the entrance. Before I could lift my hand to it, the gate creaked open. 

Because that wasn’t creepy at all. 

A fountain percolated in the center of the verdant grounds. Some people milled around near the entryway. On closer inspection, I realized they were statues. Bronze approximations of regular humans, unlike the residents of the butter-yellow mansion at the other end of the cobblestone path. 

If the front yard was fancy, the house itself was fucking excessive. 

It was at least four stories. Towering columns banked the grand entrance and fussy white trim wrapped the windows. Multiple brick chimneys stacked along the exterior walls for the multiple fireplaces inside. The whole display was topped off with a balcony fit for Juliet to hang from. 

Jamming my hands in my pockets, I trotted down the stupidly long front walk. I took the many, many front steps two at a time and stopped at the front door. Now what? 

The pure white door opened, depositing Somerled’s unfairly dapper form onto the piazza. He wore a three-piece suit in burgundy plaid despite the late summer heat because, well, you already know why. 

“Ah, Saoirse,” he said, “I see you have arrived without issue. I wondered if you would be too inebriated for travel at this time of day.” 

“Fuck you,” the curse dropped from my lips without conscious thought. “What do you want? And you’re welcome, by the way.” 

I could be polite. 

He smiled. “Of course. It is gratifying to find you here.” 

“You told me to come here. And I stopped drinking! Fuck knows why. You’re the one—” 

“So I did. Shall we go inside?” 

I planted my feet on the piazza, arms crossing over my chest. “Not until you tell me what’s going on.” 

“It appears one of my patients has been the victim of a homicide,” Somerled said as though commenting on the muggy weather. 


“I believe—” 

“No, I heard you just… what?” I scrubbed my hands over my face. “What happened? Why are you here?” 

He clicked his tongue. “His family requested my support with this delicate matter.” “Okay,” I said, “you need to do whatever the cops tell you.” 

“Yes, and what is that?” 

No. This is not happening. 

“You did call the cops, right?” 

“Obviously, I am currently engaged in that process,” he scoffed. 

An inadvertent sound encompassing all of the frustration of interacting with Somerled escaped me. 


“No, not me,” I shouted. “Like the actual— Like dispatch!” 

He laughed. He actually fucking laughed at me. “The actual police? To whom am I speaking?” 

“What if the guy’s not dead?” My voice pitched higher with disbelief and a touch of panic. 

“I assure you he is.” 

My hands went from cradling my forehead to ripping out my hair. “Is the scene secure? Do you even know if it’s safe? What if—” 

“Calm yourself,” he said. “It is your job to attend to such eventualities, is it not?” “For fuck’s sake. You stay out here.” 

“It is a bit late for that, I am afraid.” 

“Stay. Here.” I pointed to a patch of wood planking. “And call nine-one-one!” I threw open the door and stepped inside. 



About the Author

Jo Denning is the author of the Saoirse Reilly series. She has spent her career as a behavioral health therapist supporting kids and teens who struggle with addiction. Jo began writing supernatural crime thrillers as a way of processing the traumatic things she has seen and heard. Her characters may be supernatural but their stories, their fear, and their pain are real. So, too, are the triumphs over impossible odds.

When she’s not writing, Jo enjoys baking, drawing, and watching trashy reality TV. She makes her home somewhere in the contiguous United States with her husband, one fluffy cat, and one barely domesticated cat.

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