Thursday, February 23, 2023

Spotlight: The Disappearing Names by Avis M. Adams

I'm happy to welcome Avis M. Adams to my blog. She answered a quick round of This or That and shared an intriguing excerpt from her new book, The Disappearing Names. Please help me welcome, Avis.

This or That 

Morning or night? Morning
Coffee or tea? Coffee
eBook, paperback, or audiobook? eBook
Plotter or Pantster? Hybrid
Favorite season? Fall
Night on the town or cozy evening in? Cozy evening in
Cake, cookies, or pie? Pie
Paranormal or Historical:? Historical

Do you have anything in common with Avis? 

About the book

The Disappearing Names
Author: Avis M. Adams
Genre: YA, fantasy, time travel

If she could just go back in time one week, she could retrieve the key and her dad wouldn’t have to leave. What could go wrong?


Sam wants her father back. On an underground tour in Seattle, Sam learns the legend of the Roman Bricks and how they transport people to the past. A plan forms and she stays behind and touches the glowing bricks, but Nicole tries to stop her. When the dust settles, they are in a strange room where a kid wants to know who they are. It is soon apparent that they aren’t in Seattle anymore or in their own time. They are in 1901 Portland in the Shanghai Tunnels.

Sam and Nicole begin the journey to get home, but first they must understand how the bricks work and who to trust. Grandma Meyer gives her the answer, but can Sam trust her? Racing against the clock, Sam learns the hard way that if she’s not careful she could run out of time.

Read it today!

Peek between the pages...

Archie cleared his throat and turned to the wall. He pointed at two bricks, longer and narrower than the rest. “Around this same time, another legend started about these bricks, referred to as the Roman Bricks. They are a shade of pink, not red like the rest, and it takes two stacked one on the other to make them the same height as the others.”

A lighter colored mortar filled the space around them, as though to patch a hole. If Archie had not pointed them out, Sam wouldn’t have noticed them.

“Roman Bricks? Hmm.” She shuffled to get closer. Dad had mentioned bricks.

“Bricks?” Nicole crossed her arms. “Pffft.”

Sam nudged Nicole. “Pay attention, or Mrs. Phelps . . .”

Nicole shook her head, but her frown remained.

Sam had to get closer to those bricks, but a stack of wood and an old door with Koko Hair Tonic painted across the top leaned against the wall. Yellow “caution” tape cordoned off the area around the wall. How could she examine them with all that junk in the way?

“So, what’s that legend about?” a gray-haired man asked.

Had he read her mind? She tensed, waiting for the answer.

“I thought you’d never ask.” Archie rubbed his hands together. “Legend has it that they came from Romania when the Roman dominated Europe. Experts say the mica dust in them gives them their glow, but it’s rumored that magic is stamped right into the clay.”

About the author: Avis Adams loves to write. Her first YA novel, The Incident, released in 2022. Several of her poems have won awards and been published online and in various literary journals, and Quilcene, her first chapbook was released in 2019. She belongs to the Baker Street Writers Group, and the Flamingo Writers, and is an active member of the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. She loves to present sessions on writing craft at local conferences. She lives in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, where she writes, hikes, kayaks, gardens, and walks her dog. She teaches English at a local community college.

Connect with Avis

Thanks for stopping by! Let us know in the comments if you have anything in common with Avis.

Stay safe and have a wonderful day!

Thursday, February 16, 2023

Chatting with Kaia Misk author of The Firstborn Son

I'm delighted to have Kaia Misk with me today. The Firstborn Son, a steamy romance, is packed with suspense. But before we learn more about the book and read an excerpt, let's meet Kaia.

Hi Kaia, thanks for being here today!

What inspired you to write this book?
When I first learned of Nanowrimo, someone dared me to try and write a novel in one month, stating I would never be able to do it. I succeeded. It was not a great book, but I learned more about the craft of writing and went on to write The Firstborn Son.

What are you working on now?
I am working on The Second Son - Book 2 in The Renzi Affairs series.

How did you come up with the characters for the book?
Many of the characters are based on family members and people I know. For example, Nutsy’s character uses the name of my great uncle, Ignatius or Ignazio. He was a president at the Sons of Italy club in my parents’ hometown. His accent was taken from an Italian tailor I worked with for years.

Tell us about your main character.
Frankie Renzi is a mob boss’s son destined to take over the family when his father retires, but he doesn’t want the job. He’s grown the family’s construction company, a legitimate business, into something that can sustain him well into the future. He plans to marry his girlfriend and forego the Mafia way of life.

Tell us about the antagonist.
Frankie’s father, Angelo, loves his son but does not agree with everything Frankie wants. The family’s enforcer, Geno, wants to marry Frankie’s girlfriend and create his own family who would act as an ally to the Renzi family. Angelo agrees with Geno. The Oferti family opposes both of them and Frankie, and plans for Frankie’s girlfriend to marry their boss’s nephew.

What are you reading?
I read every day. Currently, I’m reading a cozy mystery called The Curse of Braeburn Castle by Karen Baugh Menuhin. I’m in a romance book club who chose Two Wrongs Make a Right by Chloe Liese as our next read.

Tell us about a book that stayed with you long after you finished reading it.
I Can See You by Karen Rose stayed with me because of the character of Noah Webster.

Favorite genre and why? 
Romantic suspense. Romance is fun but a strong desire to see what happens next keeps me turning the pages.

Did anyone’s writing inspire you to become an author? 
Joe Lansdale for his banter between characters. Karen Rose for her fantastic and suspenseful stories. David Rosenfelt for making me want to read every word and not skip past overly descriptive parts.

Guilt pleasure…books you can’t get enough of? 
Tami Hoad wrote the Novak and Liska series about two detectives, one male and one female. I’ve read all of them and some more than once. I wish there more.

Who is your favorite authors?
Those I previously mentioned are my favorites.

Tell us something about yourself and how you became an author.
I needed a creative outlet. I instructed people at my office on legal writing from a paralegal’s perspective and ran into the Nanowrimo dare. I wrote some children’s poems when my first nephew was born and made a book for him.

What do you do when you’re not writing?
I am a corporate trainer. I have a large family and am usually with them. Also, I walk my dog, Boss.

Describe yourself in 5 words or less.
Sometimes inappropriate, but means well.

Tell us something unique/quirky about yourself.
I’ve never held one job more than 2.5 years.

Where were you born/grew up?
Suburban Pittsburgh, PA.

Who is your hero and why?
I don’t think I have one, although I generally admire people who are honest regardless of fame or monetary success.

What are you passionate about?

What do you do to unwind and relax?
If it’s summer, I like to be near the water. Swimming or kayaking. In winter, I read and stay inside with my dog.

Anything specific you want to tell readers?
I sincerely hope that The Firstborn Son provides readers with an escape from the outside world when they need it.

What makes you laugh out loud?
The humor in everyday life that can’t be put on paper, like my little nephew who complains about his sister’s singing.

What is your favorite comfort food?
Pizzelles, an Italian cookie.

Now for a speed round of This or That...

Morning or night?  Definitely morning.
Coffee or tea?  Tea
eBook, paperback, or audiobook?  Paperback
Favorite season?  Fall
Dogs or cats?  Dogs
Night on the town or cozy evening in?  Cozy evening in
Beach or mountains?  Beach
Stilettos or flipflops or sneakers?  Flipflops

Thanks so much for being here today!

About the book

The Firstborn Son
Author: Kaia Misk
Genre: Romance / Romantic Suspense
Heat level: Medium-High; a few graphic sex scenes

Tagline: Mafia marriage—may the best wiseguy win

Becoming a ruthless mob boss like his father is the last thing Frankie wants, but when Sofia’s father is gunned down, Frankie must become the very thing he loathes to protect the woman he loves.

Sofia was a devoted girlfriend to Frankie, until he stood her up and she questioned his fidelity. Now that she’s alone and rich, mafia suitors slither around her. Marriage to him might be her only hope.

They try to rekindle their love amidst a mob war. But can a hasty marriage withstand what the Mafia has in store?

Grab your copy!

Peek between the pages…

Her hands went to her hips. “I mean someone that puts me first. Like my father.”

“Oh, I’m not signing up to be your father, sweet. I want way more than that.”

Lust, anxiety, and fear of a lonely future came to a fiery head within him. He prowled closer, grabbed her hand and pulled her to him. Heedless of the open window, he braced his arm behind her back with one hand behind her head. When he pressed his mouth against hers, she struggled for a moment. He almost let her go.

Slowly, her body settled. Chest to chest, hip to hip, her voracious kiss gave him hope. But he had to be clever, had to keep her mouth occupied so she wouldn’t argue. He stripped off his shirt and broke the kiss for a second.

Big mistake. She slapped him. The magic ended.

“This can’t happen, Frankie,” she said and stomped away. “You don’t get to seduce me and pretend everything’s all right. I love you. I want your body. I can hardly stand here and look at your chest without ripping the rest of your clothes off. But I need more than you’re giving me.”

About the author: Kaia Misk is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, otherwise known as a “Yinzer.” Her parents grew up across the street from each other in a small town where most people worked in the steel mills. Their Italian and Slovak families were a strong part of her childhood which included foods, holidays and religion. Several of her characters are based on her family members and other Pittsburghers.

Kaia has a background in legal and technical writing including training manuals, training presentations and legal documents. She is also an excellent tailor and patternmaker. Her IMDb page lists her work on two full-length films as a costumer.

She is particularly inspired by the Hat Squad books of Karen Rose and Joe Lansdale’s novels, although her first love was Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. She follows numerous other authors and reads every day. She currently lives in suburban Pittsburgh with her Norwegian Elkhound, Boss.

See more at her website:

Connect with Kaia:

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Book Tour & Interview: The Matchmaker’s Royal Mess by Frieda J. Downing

I'm delighted to be a part of The Matchmaker's Royal Mess by Frieda J. Downing book tour, hosted by Xpresso Book Tours, and to have had the opportunity to ask Frieda a few questions. She will be giving away a paperback copy of The Matchmaker's Royal Mess and a $25 gift card at the end of the tour.

The Matchmaker’s Royal Mess

Frieda J. Downing
Publication date: November 25th 2022
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

She’d rather give a mountain lion a bikini wax than mess with love again.

Been there, went viral, never going back. Hattie Montague’s life as a backcountry guide for the spoiled and famous suits her just fine, thanks. It’s the only place she feels completely safe being herself. So what if she has nightmares that she can only speak squirrel and craves pine cones for breakfast? It beats leaving yourself vulnerable to humans. Fine, all of them aren’t bad. She likes probably three, so when one needs her help, she drags herself back to civilization. If she can navigate white water rapids, she can babysit a matchmaking office for a weekend. It’s not like she’ll have to deal with people or, you know, be nice. Ew.

Alexander Greye ruined her life ten years ago. Not his proudest moment. Known as the Winter Warlocke, he’s a man born and raised to lead a country with logical precision. Yet around her, he can’t seem to think rationally. He’s never met anyone who dives into the unknown like she does or tames chaos like she can. In a world as perfectly controlled as his, that makes her irresistible and utterly dangerous. And he’s willing to risk it all to thaw his frozen heart.

It’s half past too late when he realizes his carefully laid plans to win her over covered everything except the theft of the Crown Jewels, an abandoned mine where they’d have to face their deepest fears, and the betrayal that forces them to let go.Quite literally.

Warning: Not for the faint of heart. Sassy romantic adventure, with instances of chaos, misunderstandings, and feels. Oh, and the occasional sheep. Sparks will fly, it’s gonna get awkward, and the Happily-Ever-After will be well-earned.

Goodreads / Amazon

Please help me welcome Frieda!

What inspired you to write this book?

I’d like to say it was something deep and meaningful, but initially, it was the picture of a college girl who had access to a shower but really just wanted a bath. Being resourceful, she dug out her plastic storage tote that she’d used to pack her bedding in, emptied it, and filled it with water in her shower. Roommates being roommates, they took a picture of her all crumpled up and happy in her “tub” and posted it. My imagination was off and running about a straight shooting, rough-around-her-many-edges backcountry guide who becomes a royal fish out of water. And a modern, messy fairy tale was born.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the next book in the series, The Matchmaker’s Not-So-Honest Mistake, a sort of bad boy Cyrano de Bergerac meets The Bachelorette. Luna, a high school teacher, teams up with the Matchmakers to prove to some of her “less popular” teens that anything is possible if you stay true to yourself, including dating the guy or girl of your dreams. The Matchmakers decide to hold a Bachelorette sort of contest to find her perfect match. To make the competition even more exciting (or terrifying, if you ask Luna) they hire Cy, a notorious ladies’ man, wide receiver for the Denver Broncos, and her brother’s best friend. His job? Coach the bachelors to provide the ultimate romantic experience. It’s a lighthearted bad boy falls for best friend’s sister romance, if you enjoy chatting tropes.

What are you reading?

Several books, like a lot of you. With my daughter: The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. I mean mansions, puzzles, secrets, hunks, romance, danger? Uh, sold. I’m absolutely enjoying it. I’m also reading Double Whammy by Gretchen Archer and am completely entertained. Loving the main character and the fact that things are a whole lot more than what they first appeared to be. Now everything is going sideways, and I’m such a happy reader.

What is your favorite genre and why?

Romantic Comedy, without a doubt, especially when I find writers who can surprise me. I adore it because from start to finish relationships are a gold mine of heartfelt desires, vulnerability, misunderstandings, awkwardness, and just plain dumb decisions sometimes when our hearts overrule our brains. Who hasn’t done something totally mortifying in front of a crush? Who hasn’t gone into a situation with golden intentions, only for everything to explode into an utter trainwreck? It’s just so cathartic. For me, it’s often a fountain of never-ending relatability. Add that Happily-Ever-After, and I just keep coming back for more.

How did you become an author?

I was a stay-at-home mom, and it was a time in my marriage where things weren’t awesome. There was financial stress, my husband was working nights, and we were living with my mother-in-law. One night I saw an ad in a magazine for a writing contest and thought what the heck. I can’t sleep anyway. So I wrote a story for my own jollies, sent it in, and forgot about it. That is, until I won. What I neglected to read in the fine print was the prize was a publishing contract. And so it all began.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I get into trouble lol. Seriously, because when I get bored, I get sketchy ideas. And sometimes you just gotta try that stuff out, you know? To keep myself out of jail, I read, of course, in all kinds of genres. Aside from that, I love to mountain bike (not the crazy stuff you see on YouTube), kayak (easy Class III or below because I love my life and I’m not twenty anymore), bake crazy new stuff with my family, play Settlers of Catan, and travel. We’re complete travel junkies. Then summers I run an outdoor mystery adventure camp for girls with a sassy partner in crime and some incredible volunteers. We’ve helped over 700 girls learn outdoor skills and overcome fears through searching for clues and solving mysteries. I adore seeing the confidence, strength, and courage they develop.

Author Bio:

Nice to meet you. I’m Frieda. I write sweet contemporary romance as well as romantic adventure.

I blame it on my childhood babysitters. For some reason they thought I shouldn’t ride our family’s buffalo. Believe me, I was just as shocked as you. Though I never did get that buffalo ride, I found plenty of other creative outlets for my adventure needs. Some were good clean fun, some got me kicked out of various and sundry events, and others ended with me getting lost in catacombs. (Not metaphorically speaking. Somewhere there’s an Austrian catacomb caretaker? guy whom I owe dinner and a large apology.)

I like to think I’ve gotten a tiny bit wiser.

I married my best friend and dove head first into the magnificent cyclone known as raising kids. I mountain bike every chance I get, lose my coffee cup daily, and bake a mean lemon merengue pie, if I do say so myself. I may indulge in shenanigans on a regular basis, but I plead the fifth every time.

I suppose it’s important to me that you know how very much I love us crazy, broken humans. We dream so big. We try so hard. Yet somehow, so often, things just go terribly, horribly wrong.

That’s where my books begin… because that’s where the real love story’s found. I hope you enjoy reading them. Most of all, I wish you adventure, joy, and more love than you knew was possible,


You can find more at

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Instagram

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 9, 2023

Chatting with author Lee Renwick Steele

I'm thrilled to welcome Lee Renwick Steele to my blog. She was kind enough to answer a few questions to help us get to know her better. Plus, I have a sneak peek from her debut novel, GRISELDA RELLA, a young adult Cinderella retelling with the heroine and adversary characters reversed.

Please help me welcome Lee!


What inspired you to write this book?

I took a class on writing children’s books, and the instructor gave us an assignment to rewrite a folktale or fairy tale and give it unique twist to make it fresh. So I tried a few story starters, found that it was fun, and eventually came up with the concept for GRISELDA RELLA, a young adult Cindrella 


What are you reading? 

One of the books I read recently was THE LAST CUENTISTA, by Donna Barba Higuera. I enjoyed the blend of science fiction and folklore.


What makes you laugh out loud?

The antics of my cat. She came to live with me several months before the pandemic began, so she gave me ongoing reasons to smile during the lockdown. By now she has me very well trained.


About the book

Author: Lee Renwick Steele
Genre: Fantasy
Published by The Wild Rose Press
Releasing Feb. 22, 2023 (currently on pre-order)

A fairy-blessed gift, an inherited burden, and a scheming stepsister… Cinderella reimagined.


Sixteen-year-old Griselda and her father have a secret—fairy sight, a trait punishable by death. Her world is upended when her father is killed, her mother remarries, and her new stepfather dies of illness. Griselda must grapple with her scheming stepsister, the burden of fairy sight inherited from her father, and a pair of fairy-blessed slippers. A young-adult fairy story, GRISELDA RELLA is a reimaging of the Cinderella story, by Charles Perrault, with the heroine and adversary characters reversed.

Pre-order your copy today!

Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Walmart ~ Goodreads ~ Bookbub


Peek between the pages...

I strode across the dandelion dotted yard scattering chickens, robins, and fairies in my haste, an open-ended basket swinging from one hand, a pair of clippers clenched in the other, my mind whirling like a storm. No one could replace my father, not for me, not for my family, not for the kingdom.

Reaching the flowers bordering the yard, I threw the basket and clippers on the dirt near the dried-up hyacinths and daffodils. “Stupid bandits,” I sobbed, snot dripping from my nose. “Stupid, stupid bandits.”

The sun, now one-quarter of its journey through the sky, warmed my face but not my heart. I brushed past the flowering red azaleas and pink rhododendrons, skirted around Isabella’s arbor-covered garden bench, angled through the freshly sprouting vegetable and herb gardens, and stumbled my way past the sheds to the fallow field about an arrow’s shot from the cottage. 

I threw my black-clothed self to the ground and glared back at the cottage. How could my mother marry this man, Lord Rella, not yet two months after my father’s death? He was wealthy to be sure, but the man had very little sense—I was sure of it. And he would never be a father to me.


About the author:
Lee Renwick Steele lives with an orange and white kitty in a small home situated near red maples, rhododendron shrubs, and abundant avian wildlife: juncos, robins, white-crowned sparrows, towhees, and the occasional flicker pecking in the attic. She has an MFA in Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults and is a member of her local writers’ association and SCBWI. She enjoys reading, writing, traveling, long walks, spending time with family and friends, and moments of quiet. GRISELDA RELLA is her first novel.

Connect with Lee Renwick Steele:


Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Book Tour & Giveaway: Realm of Enchantments by E.L Summers


I'm delighted to have a spot on the Realm of Enchantments by E.L Summers Tour hosted by Silver Dagger Book Tours. This anthology is a collection of short stories and poems. E.L Summers will be giving away a $20 Amazon gift card at the end of the tour. Enter below.

Realm of Enchantments

compiled by E.L. Summers

Genre: Epic Fantasy Anthology 

We all wish to escape to a time where the sky is filled with mystical creatures and magic is more commonly found. Replacing not only reality but logic, what adults claim as nothing more than make believe. Yet many throughout the ages hold onto these myths and legends following traditions first created by the ancients. Embark on an epic adventure enjoying these twelve authors, and poets. See firsthand their imagination exploring the realms of fantasy filled with love, family, discovery of your true self, and a bit of dark humor.

There are various fantastical short stories and poems written by E.L Summers, L.N Frost, Katelyn Young, Ben Pick, Natalie Locke, J.M. Celi, Alvin Fraser, Norbert Góra, Lucas Alan Dietsche, Jenna O’Malley, Kurt Wagner, & Samantha Preston-Morris

Amazon * Bookbub

Ignited Melodies

by Emberly Lily Summers

Genre: Fantasy Poetry

What lures us into the realm of fantasy? What makes us leave reality behind for a world created inside our head? Everyone dreams about going on adventures hoping to find things many believe are mere myths while discovering themselves along the way. In this collection of poetry, you may just find yourself lured to a world of dragons, sirens, demons, musicians, ocean adventures, and so much more. Brought to you by an author who tried to bring her own dreams to life.

E.L Summers (Lauren Adele) is native to Baltimore, MD and has been writing for the last ten years. She is a blind author and writes poetry, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. Her debut novel HUNTED: The Immortal’s Kiss cowritten with Luna Nyx Frost is available on Amazon.  She hopes to inspire creativity and imagination to others with her writing. She has had several poems featured in Maryland’s Best Emerging Poets 2019 by Z Publishing and Fae Thee Well: An Anthology and Rogues and Rebels: An Anthology both published by Dreampunk Press. Her inspiration comes from nature, the fantasy and paranormal literature, classic musicals such as The Phantom of the Opera and Wicked and of course, her favorite music ranging from showtunes to punk rock. Emberly also loves reading about magic, mythology, faeries, witches, and dragons.

Facebook * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$20 Amazon

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Book Spotlight: Pillar of Heaven by Kitty Shields

Hi! I have an urban fantasy spotlight for you today. Pillar of Heaven is the first book in the Pillar of Heaven series. 

Pillar of Heaven
Author: Kitty Shields
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Heat level: PG13

Do you stop assassins from killing your evil boss or help them out?

With the holidays looming and student loans coming to call, Kate McGovern needs to find a good-paying job and fast, preferably away from the masses of caffeine junkies and coffee snobs. But finding a job sucks. Finding your first proper job after college when you have no experience and no idea what you want to do really sucks. Then Kate’s favorite customer puts her up for an executive assistant gig with one of the richest men in Boston. And suddenly, Kate’s luck has changed. The catch? Her new boss expects her to read his mind. Literally. And she’s pretty sure he’s evil. No big deal. First jobs are always tough, right?

Grab your copy

Peek between the pages...

“I’m sorry,” Kate said. “We’re out of the cinnamon dolce syrup.”

In response, the man glared at Kate as if she, personally, had gulped down all of the cinnamon dolce syrup in the back room moments before he walked in just to spite him. Kate couldn’t really blame him. Honestly, she thought of doing things like that all the time. She called it coffee espionage, and it got her through the day.

For example, she’d spent the better part of the morning rush imagining grabbing a bottle of syrup, cinnamon dolceor otherwise, shaking it like a soda can, and spraying it all over the line of customers. Kate could just see of all those housewives with their Gucci bags and businessmen with their Rolex watches dripping with sticky, flavored syrup. It appealed to Kate on a deep level. This was coffee espionage, and Kate was a master. At least in her head. And also when she gave awful people decaf espresso instead of regular because they deserved it.

Coffee espionage was what kept Kate sane. Sometimes she wondered if she could be convicted of coffee espionage. Then she wondered if jail was better than the post-college slump and surmised, in this economy, it probably was.

Other news...

Pre-order the sequel The Second Pillar! Coming May 16, 2023! 

About the author: Kitty Shields (she/her) lives outside Philadelphia, where she writes to overcome the fact that she was born a middle child with hobbit feet, vampire skin, and a tendency to daydream. In her spare time, she binds books, takes bad photos, and tries to avoid the death traps her cat sets for her. She earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Arcadia University in 2015 and has been published in several journals including The After Happy Hour Review, Furious Gazelle, and Sick Lit among others.

Connect with Kitty: