{Mystery/Maggie Thorsen Mystery}




On the road with Murder on the Orient Espresso

by Sandra Balzo

The idea of taking somebody on vacation is usually greeted with cheers. Even jubilation. Not always so, though, when you’re a series author and that “somebody” is your protagonist.

It’s no coincidence that those of us who read series mystery enjoy the familiar settings and characters from book to book. That is, after all, the very definition of a series. I have to admit that, as a reader, I’m not all that enthusiastic about change.   For my money, you can keep your “fish out of water” plot, thank you very much. I prefer my finny friends comfortably submerged in a familiar pond.

That being the case, I’ve wondered why authors decided to send their sleuths on field trips.  Before I started writing my Maggy Thorsen Coffeehouse Mysteries, I assumed it was because the authors–not their readers–were bored and looking for a new challenge.

After seven books in the Maggy series, I’m not so sure about that. For my part, I’m quite happy keeping Maggy in the coffeehouse and the coffeehouse in Brookhills, Wisconsin. (Though I did knock it down once and move it across town.)

The problem I’ve found through the years, though, is a dearth of people to kill. Small town, small population. And getting smaller.

And so, in Murder on the Orient Espresso, I decided to have Maggy accompany her main squeeze, Sheriff Jake Pavlik, to South Florida to a mystery writers’ conference, where Pavlik is to speak.

This was not as much of a stretch for me as it was for Maggy. I now live in Fort Lauderdale and am treasurer of the Florida Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, which puts on the premier mystery writers conference in the world, Sleuthfest.

[Disclaimer: Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is unintentional and purely coincidental. Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear.]

For the record, Sleuthfest does NOT pile various warring factions of writers, reviewers and fans onto a night train into the Everglades to re-enact Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express. And if we did, we’d make damn sure the weather was good, the tracks were solid and . . . well, I can’t promise you an absence of pythons. They are becoming a bit of a nuisance down here.

But you get my point. The scenario would have been a little tougher to achieve in Brookhills. Besides, I’d been dying to give Maggy some alone-time with Sheriff Pavlik, he of the tousled dark hair and mood-ring blue eyes. Sending them away together was just the ticket–both for the relationship to develop, but also to give Pavlik a co-starring role.

I think it all works very nicely, and researching and writing Murder on the Orient Espresso was an absolute blast. I even put a diagram of the train and a cast of characters at the front of the book, like in an old-time mystery novel.  Publishers Weekly says Orient Espresso is “exciting,” and Booklist predicts this “cozy with a shot of Christie” will be a hit with my readers.

I sure hope so. And, in return, I swear I will send Maggy and Pavlik back to Brookhills posthaste for the ninth book. In the meantime, though, I hope you’ll come along with us for the ride.

I promise you it’s a wild one.

Thank you, Sandra for stopping by today!!


A bit about Sandra…..

Sandra Balzo is an award-winning author of crime fiction, including nine books in two different mystery series from Severn House–the Maggy Thorsen Coffeehouse Mysteries and Main Street Murders, set in the High Country of North Carolina.  Balzo’s books have garnered starred reviews from Kirkus and Booklist, while being recommended to readers of Janet Evanovich, Charlaine Harris, Mary Daheim, Joan Hess and Margaret Maron. A Wisconsin native, Sandy now splits her time between South Florida and North Carolina.

Find Sandy online at, Pinterest (, Facebook (www.facebook/SandraBalzoMysteries), LinkedIn (Sandra Balzo), Goodreads ( and Twitter (@SandraBalzo).


Murder on the Orient Espresso
Series: Maggy Thorsen Mysteries (Book 8)
by Sandra Balzo
Released: December 01, 2013


Wisconsin coffeehouse owner Maggy Thorsen accompanies her main squeeze, Sheriff Jake Pavlik, to South Florida, where he’s been asked to speak at a mystery-writers’ conference.  Maggy is anticipating a romantic arrival in their hotel suite, but when the opening night event turns out to be a re-enactment of Agatha Christie’s classic, Murder on the Orient Express, the couple reluctantly sets off on a night train into the Everglades.


The idea is to solve the “crime” and return, but the troupe soon finds itself embroiled in a real-life murder mystery as creepy and baffling as any work of fiction.


Available in U.S. December 1st!


Murder on the Orient Espresso

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So set back and enjoy your visit with author, P.M. Terrell!!




I’ve noticed something interesting since I introduced the characters of Dylan Maguire in my Black Swamp Mysteries series and Ryan O’Clery in The Tempest Murders. I can be talking about the books and my audience is listening politely, but as soon as I mention that they’re Irish, their eyes get wide and they don’t need to hear anything else. They want the books.


Just what is it about the Irish that we love so much?


Ancestors on both sides of my family were from Ireland. My father’s family was from what is now Northern Ireland, having arrived on America’s shores long before the Emerald Isle was divided into two countries. They all had jet black hair and vivid green eyes. My mother’s family, however, was filled with red-heads. It turned out that when the Vikings came south and raided Ireland, many of them remained and became more Irish than the Irish. It was the Vikings who brought the red hair to Ireland, so those towns and villages on the east coast were more likely to have red-heads since those were the landing sites of the Vikings. Those on the far west coast were more isolated and were more likely to have black or dark brown hair.


I learned from my mother that the Irish are a happy lot. “The luck of the Irish” is actually tongue-in-cheek because anyone who knows the Irish know they tend to have the worst luck of just about anybody. But they are incredibly resilient. They live in a country where it rains almost constantly and yet they’re the first to point out how green everything is, how fresh the air smells, and what a wonderful day they’re having. When I developed the character of Dylan Maguire, I gave him the personality of the happy Irishman; the one who is always ready for an ale and a laugh and a bit of craic (conversation). Conversation, as it turns out, is another character trait of the Irish. It’s said if you ever kiss the Blarney Stone, you’ll be given the gift of gab. But you won’t find many Irish kissing it, because if they did they might never shut up.


I learned from my father that the Irish can also be fierce defenders of their families and homes. Both Dylan Maguire and Ryan O’Clery are very strong, very capable and as it turns out, able to kill when the situation warrants it. They would both rather be passionately in love and having a romping good time but when CIA operative Dylan Maguire or Detective Ryan O’Clery are at work, they are all work. Physically fit and robust, no one could be more serious about keeping their families safe.


But let’s face it. One reason we love the Irish is because of their awesome accents. In a recent survey, the Scottish have the number 1 most admired accent in the world followed by the Irish and then the Australians. They have a lilt to their voices that make them easy to listen to; it’s sexy, it’s melodious and we just can’t get enough of it.


So tell me, what do you like most about an Irish character?

Thank you, for stopping by today, P.M. !


The Tempest Murders

P.M.-TerrellAbout the Author:

P.M. Terrell is the award-winning, internationally acclaimed author of more than 18 books in 4 genres. A full-time author since 2002, she previously opened and operated two computer companies in the Washington, DC area. Her specialties were in the areas of computer crime and computer intelligence and her clients included the Secret Service, CIA and Department of Defense as well as local law enforcement. Computer and spy technology are two themes that recur throughout her books. She is the co-founder of The Book ‘Em Foundation, whose mission is to raise awareness of the link between high illiteracy rates and high crime rates. And she founded the annual Book ‘Em North Carolina Writers Conference and Book Fair which takes place each February. She is also an animal advocate and helped to start the New Leash on Life program in which dogs destined for euthanasia are rescued and paired with prison inmates in Robeson County, North Carolina, who train them. The dogs are then adopted into loving homes.


About the Book:

Detective Ryan O’Clery has always had dreams of a beautiful woman he’d loved and lost but when he discovers his ancestor’s journals from his native Ireland, he realizes his dreams are really the other man’s memories.


Now he is working a series of murders in North Carolina that are eerily similar to cases Rian Kelly was working when his soul mate was murdered during one of Ireland’s most horrific storms, in which the Atlantic Ocean swept over the island all the way to the Irish Sea.


As Hurricane Irene barrels toward the North Carolina coastline, Ryan discovers the serial killer’s real target is a reporter who bears a striking resemblance to the woman of his dreams—a woman with whom Ryan O’Clery is falling deeply in love.


Is history destined to repeat itself? Or can Ryan save Cathleen Reilly from a killer intent on destroying everything he ever loved?


You can follow her blog at



Purchase Your Copy Here:



Thanks everyone for stopping by today and helping us to spread the word on “The Temptest Murders” by P.M. Terrell!!



Please stop by our sister site, MyBookAddictionReviews


Have a great week everyone!!





[Children’s Book/ Middle Schoolers/Ages 8-12]



the loop kid

*From the publicist*

The Hoop Kid from Elmdale Park, by Teko Bernard, is written to delight and challenge middle schoolers, ages 8 – 13.


All Bernard Jones wanted to do while staying with his grandparents for the summer in Elmdale, his father’s childhood hometown, was work on his basketball skills. When Bernard excitedly enters a team into the Annual Elmdale Park Basketball Tournament, he’s shocked to discover that the future of the park is at stake. The town of Elmdale hasn’t won the tournament in 20 years, and Victor Franco, a ruthless millionaire, is planning to shut down the annual tournament for good so that he can turn the historic Elmdale Park into a landfill for his own profit. It can all be stopped if Bernard and his team, the Elmdale Warriors, win the tournament this year. Can the courageous Bernard and his fun and wacky crew defeat their Oakdale rivals and save the historic Park?

  • Paperback: 126 pages
  • Publisher: Elmdale Park Books (October 23, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0986059307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0986059308


The Hoop Kid from Elmdale Park released on November 25, 2013. For more information, go to
Watch THE LOOP KID book trailer:




A bit about the author…..


Before creating and developing the Elmdale Park brand and Book series, Teko spent over a decade as a creative director/graphic designer crafting stories for brands in the sportswear and sports event industries. After an exciting career as a creative director/graphic designer in the sports world Teko set out to pursue his lifelong dream of producing kid’s books & entertainment. Thus Elmdale Park was born. Elmdale Park currently produces a unique brand of middle grade chapter books & activewear with plans for animation and game apps. Teko lives and works in Overland Park, KS, and collaborates with a team of seasoned writers, illustrators, editors and designers who also share the same passion for kids books, cartoons, sports and outdoor recreation. When he’s not designing or developing new story concepts for Elmdale Park, Teko is usually reading, listening to music, enjoying the outdoors or being an amateur movie critic.


Twitter: @Thehoopkid




(Sponsored by the publicist and/or MBA&M)

We are offering 1 lucky commenter a chance to win a either a print or digital (digital gifted from Amazon) of “The Loop Kid From Elmdale Park”. Sorry, U.S. Residents only for print! Giveaway will run from December 7 until December 14, 2013.

*You MUST help spread the word and come back here to tell who or where you spread the word*

The more you spread the word the more chances to win!!



For My Thoughts visit:


Thanks everyone for all your support during 2013. We hope you will continue to support us and our guests in the New Year!!


We at MBA&M and MBAR wish you  and yours a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Safe and Happy New Year!!





[Women’s Fiction/Mystery]


The Secrets She Carried

MBA&M: Good morning, Barbara! Please tell our readers a little about yourself?

Good morning, and thanks so much for giving me a chance to talk about The Secrets She Carried. It really has been the most amazing and rewarding journey that I almost have to pinch myself. Fourteen years ago, my fiancé, Tom, and I moved to North Carolina. At the time I was a V.P. with a national jewelry chain, but about four years ago I was laid off from my job. At the time, it felt like the end of the world, particularly since it was the second time in five years. Then I realized I hadn’t been paying attention to the messages the Universe was sending me. Finally, with tons of encouragement from my fiancé, I saw that it was time to pursue my lifelong dream. I’d been simmering on the idea for SECRETS for several years, and suddenly I had no excuse not to follow it through. It took a good six months to find my voice again, after so many years in the corporate world, but I finally did, and I’ve never looked back. I’ve been so very blessed. I found the love of my life, and am living the life of my dreams. Like I said… pinch me.      

 MBA&M: What was your inspiration behind writing “The Secrets She Carried”?

One day I was waiting in the car for Tom when I noticed a single gravestone on the side of the road. Now, in North Carolina, this isn’t really unusual. They’re everywhere, along the sides of the road, in the middle of cornfields, even in a mall parking lot in Greenville, because back in the day that’s what people did. Loved ones were buried on family farms. But now those farms are gone, roads have been built—the landscape has changed, and yet these graves, these lost loved-ones, remain. And as I sat there I found myself wondering who was buried in that particular grave, and how long they’d been there. It all felt very sad to me, very lonely. I wondered if there were family members looking for that person, and what story that departed loved one might have to tell so many years later. And just like that Adele Laveau was born. In what felt like minutes, her story came to life in my head and refused to go away.

MBA&M: What made you decide to write a story about a Southern Plantation and its secrets?

Peak Plantation, the setting for Secrets, evolved fairly naturally from Adele’s story. Living in Carolina, where tobacco was once such a huge part of the heritage and history of the state, it was hard to imagine that tobacco in some form wouldn’t be part of Adele’s story. I also liked the fish-out-of-water contrast a plantation setting would offer to Adele’s more humble beginnings. Plus, I’d be lying if I said Gone With the Wind wasn’t one of my favorite books of all time, so there’s that “romantic south” image that’s always been with me. 

MBA&M: What were some of the challenges you found while writing “The Secrets She Carried”?

I think finding and maintaining Adele’s voice was one of the largest challenges, but I also have to say it was also one of my favorites. When I started the novel, Adele Laveau played a much smaller role in the writing. She was more a memory around which the story revolved than an active participant in the story. Gradually, though, that changed, as she began to come to life refused to be quiet. Eventually, my editor encouraged me to expand her role and make her more the focal point of the story. This required some pretty major re-writes, which, as a new writer, I found pretty terrifying. You worry that if you start plucking at the treads of your story it will all unravel and you’ll never be able to put it back together again. Luckily, in this case I did put it back together, and the book is much stronger for those rewrites.  

MBA&M: Inquiring minds want to know, or me anyway: Is the Peak Plantation real or fiction? If real, where did you find the research to begin your project?
Some of my ancestors come from Georgia, they owned a Plantation there, can’t remember the name of it, sad really, but do remember how it looked. I was only a child where they tore it down for farmland. So this is a fascinating and intriguing story to me….

Peak Plantation, as well as the town of Gavin, is purely fictional, although I think all writers tend to create composites of a lot of the places they’ve seen and researched over the years. Over time, those places wind up blending together into a kind of ideal and have a way of finding their way onto the page. Peak is that for me, a place I’d love to visit, timeless and grand and romantic; the kind of place you can’t imagine not standing forever. It’s my own version of Tara, I suppose.

MBA&M: Which character in “The Secrets She Carried” was the most difficult or most challenging to write and why?

Aside from Adele, I think Jimmy Nichols, Leslie’s hard-drinking, con-man of a father, presented the largest challenge, because at the start of the book he needed to be intimidating enough to present a credible threat, but also needed to be redeemable by the end. So, there’s a line you have to walk there, one you can’t cross if you hope to salvage him later on. You have to keep that in mind as you write, and find ways to leave that door open. Funny story: at one time early in the writing, I was considering killing him off, but wasn’t sure how to do it. Tom and I were sitting at a bar one day, discussing my options… gun shot, stabbing, pushed off a cliff… and we noticed the bartenders whispering and giving us the eye. I had to explain that I wasn’t plotting a real murder, just one on paper. To this day, I’m not sure they believed me.  

MBA&M: Which scene was the most difficult to write and why?

Well, I don’t want to give anything away here, but I’d have to say the scene with Adele in the woodshed was by far the toughest to write for me. There are things that happen in life, terrible things that are hard to stomach, but when they happen to someone you care about, and you’re the one actually making those things happen, you can find yourself getting emotional, and even second guessing yourself.   

MBA&M: What you do your for enjoyment in your daily activity?

Would you believe, write? I really do love what I do, and I spend the vast majority of everyday on my laptop, making stuff up for a living. But when I’m not writing, I love to read, cook, travel, and am an avid college football fan. I also run a Facebook Page called The Sunshine Page, which is near and dear to my heart. The page has a about 35,000 followers and embraces a positive living philosophy of love and gratitude, which is something I feel very strongly about. 

MBA&M: We live in Eastern North Carolina, I see you live in North Carolina also, so do you enjoy the Mountains or the Beach?

Seriously, you’re going to make me pick? Wow, that’s really hard. North Carolina has so much to offer that I can’t truly say one way or the other. What I will admit is that we tend to get to the beach side of the state more often than the mountains, simply because it’s a little closer. Tom and I have no qualms about deciding at four o’clock in the afternoon that we’d like to have dinner at the beach, and off we go. Two hours later, we’re sharing a glass of wine and looking out over the Atlantic from our favorite Wrightsville Beach restaurant. In the fall and winter, though, I absolutely want the mountains. Luckily, in Carolina, you have the best of both worlds.     

MBA&M: Please tell our readers where to find you and where they may purchase “The Secrets She Carried”?

My Facebook author page is:

My author website is:

The Secrets She Carried is available where ever books are sold, including:

Thank you so much for taking time to spend with us and our readers today! As I have read “The Secrets She Carried” I would highly recommend this amazing story!




*from the publisher*

THE SECRETS SHE CARRIED (NAL Accent Trade Paperback Original; October 1, 2013; 978-0-451-41877-7; $15.00), a stunning story about a woman journey of discovery into her family‘s journey of discovery into her family’s long-buried past.

For Leslie Nichols, Peak Plantation doesn’t have a happy place in her memory.  She is plagued by the death of her mother, her father’s disgrace, and an unhappy childhood.  When Leslie’s grandmother Maggie dies, Leslie isn’t the only one who was left with the property.  Jay Davenport also has claim to Peak Plantation as the caretaker. 
Before Maggie died, she told Jay about a terrible secret that haunted him about a mysterious lady named Adele who came to the plantation in the 1930’s and died there.  When Leslie finds a cryptically marked grave on the property, both she and Jay are about to discover shocking secrets that have the power to change Leslie’s life forever.
Buy Links: 
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(Sponsored by the publisher)
Thanks to Kayleigh, we are offering 1 lucky commenter a print copy of “The Secrets She Carried”. Sorry, open to U.S. residents only! Giveaway will run from December 5 until December 12, 2013.
Thank you everyone for stopping by today and spending a few moments with our guest, Literary Debut author, Barbara Davis.
If you feel so inclined, please help us spread the word on this talented new author!
We at MBA&M wish each and everyone a safe and happy Holiday Season!


Terry Spear and Grace Burrowes in BTS Magazine!

Terry Spear and Grace Burrowes are one of our biggest featuers with their Christmas books Lady Jenny’s Christmas Portrait and A Seal Wolf Christmas. Read their interviews you might find out something magical.

Authors also featured inside: Heather Long, Carrie Ann Ryan, Kelly York, Mary Manners …and more ColumnsRead all about the newest book trends with Sandra’s column: Chic Trends in Romance Bring on the Christmas Spice: A Whole Lot of Naughty and A Little Bit of Nice. The Heat Diva: Nestling in the Naughtiness, The Lowdown with Laurie: A Labor of Love.

Check out these great Short Stories and Serials:

Suzy’s Wintery Wait by Myra Nour – a true story
Sex & the Single Woman by Nicole Morgan – the adventure continues









MBA&M: Please give our readers some insight into John Pennington?
I am a recent law graduate and have worked as Father Christmas. Yes, really. I do much of my ‘writing’ in my own head as I walk and often find I’ve travelled miles off course when lost in my own worlds.

MBA&M:  Why did you choose to write in the YA genre and why Fantasy? 

For me, the Young Adult genre stands on that strange border between the unlimited magic of children’s’ stories and the greater danger that is inexorably tied with the reality of adult fiction. I’ve always been partial to that balance. As for Fantasy it is the siren song of absolute freedom, the chance to bring the complete wonder of the human imagination to the page.

MBA&M:  What was the appeal of Outcasts and Demons?

Everybody has felt a little different sometimes and the fear of becoming an outcast is something that can linger at the back of anyone’s mind. I thought the conflict between individuality and acceptance was the perfect formula for a unique protagonist. At the same time I realised that many are made outcast based on nothing to do with their character and are shunned simply for what they are, not who they are. This conjured tales of demons in my mind, beings that are supposedly born evil and I realised I could play with that concept to create some interesting heroes and villains.

MBA&M: Give our readers some insight into the process of writing a YA Fantasy?

It is much the same as it would be for any story: world and character. One defines the other. The only difference with fantasy is you have no restrictions which can lead to more work when creating your world but is ultimately liberating as it truly will be ‘your’ world. Making your protagonists around the Young Adult age is a natural choice and really will help establish a voice and tone for your story.

MBA&M:  How do you choose appropriate content for a  YA story?

As the Young Adult genre is already teetering on the precipice of Adult fiction, determining appropriate content can be an unusual task. You shouldn’t run from what your audience already knows and there often isn’t a need to. Still there is a certain expectation that you will ‘tone things down’. The simplest advice would be to determine what your story truly requires and decide what must be blatant and what would be better delivered with a little subtlety.

MBA&M: What is next in the “Outcast Legacy”?

I am presently working on the second novel in the series, tentatively titled ‘Shadowborn’, which will give me the chance to explore a whole new territory.

MBA&M: How may our readers connect with you and where may they purchase “The Outcast Legacy: A Different Demon”?

I would be delighted to hear from readers and the best way to contact me is by email on I also have a facebook page for The Outcast Legacy and a Deviantart page if you would like to try reading some of my other stories. The best place to buy is from Amazon. I look forward to hearing from you and thank you for this opportunity.

Thank you, John, for taking a few moments of your time for us and our readers!
“The Outcasts Legacy: A Different Demon” sounds intriguing!



Follow the Standard. This is the law and it keeps humanity safe from the Different. Now the law has failed. Something new has crawled into the shining streets of Absoldem and fear stalks its footsteps. A million terrified people stand poised to tear their city apart. Someone must fight the rising shadows. For Sion, an outcast raised to hunt the Different, the chance to become a hero cannot be ignored. Yet the world is not kind to heroes. With right and wrong impossibly blurred, Sion must face monsters hiding in the light even as he journeys into the darkness. Time runs short and if he is to succeed, there must be sacrifice.


Buy on Amazon: Amazon

Facebook: The Outcast Legacy

Deviantart: Deviantart


Author Bio

John Pennington (also known as J E G Pennington when he wants to sound more like a professional author) grew up in the North West of England, in a town of coal and glass. His formative years were spent in the idle certainty that he would become either a fireman or Batman. What he actually became was ‘man’ which is probably for the best. One constant however was a passion for writing and a fascination with the human minds capability to conjure infinity in the smallest of places. Law degree in hand, John is determined to make stories everywhere he goes.

Contact J. E.G.  Pennington  by email on
Facebook page for The Outcast Legacy and a Deviantart page
Thanks everyone for stopping by today and spending a bit of time with our guest, E. P. Pennington!
Please spread the word!
Have a safe and happy upcoming holiday!






So without further ado, welcome, Rebecca!!

Baby Sleeping - large

Rebecca Welton is the author of the non-fiction book, ‘Baby Sleeping Trust Techniques – Alternatives to Controlled Crying’.  She is a qualified child sleep practitioner and runs free drop-in sleep clinics for parents in Southampton, England.  Her facebook page for sleep-deprived parents, the Walking Zombies, has information sheets all about baby and child sleep issues, along with the best tips and techniques to help.   


What made you want to write a book about baby sleep?


My second child, Harry, was a terrible sleeper – waking between eight and ten times each night – yet I found it incredibly difficult finding any information about how to help him, other than the standard controlled crying advise (something we didn’t want to do).  I ended up doing a ton of research on the subject and found out first-hand what worked, and what didn’t.  Once Harry was sleeping better, I decided I really wanted to help other mums in similar situations. So I trained with the Southampton Sleep Clinic to become a qualified child sleep practitioner and set up some free drop-in sleep clinics for parents in and around Southampton, England.  Once I realized just how many parents want alternative techniques to controlled crying and crying-it-out, I knew I had to write a book so that all the best tips for getting babies to sleep and nap better and for longer, along with different settling techniques that parents can use, could be found in one place.  


What was the most challenging aspect of writing the book?


Finding the time!  When you have two children under four, most of your day is spent running after them, playing and clearing up.  I think it is the same for most authors – juggling writing around your every-day life.  I am a writer who much prefers sitting down for a couple of hours to write, but I had to train myself to write around the children: ten minutes here, half an hour there.  It was difficult but I really believed in what I was doing and that drove me on to keep at it.        


What advice would you give aspiring authors?


Don’t think about writing a book, concentrate instead on writing a sentence, then a paragraph, then a page.  See, that wasn’t scary was it? If you want to be a writer, then you have to be a writer – and write a little bit each day. 


What are you working on next?


A book about toddler and child sleep.  Everybody knows that babies wake often in the night but many families have issues with their toddler or child, who either won’t settle to sleep at bedtime or wake in the night and need help getting back to sleep.  There is very little information around about how to address these issues and yet so many families experience them.  I want to change that. 


 Thank you, Rebecca, for spending time with us and our readers today!




Author bio:
Rebecca Welton married John in 2008 and, shortly afterwards, became mother to two energetic and delightful children, Alexandra and Harry. Originally from Scotland, Rebecca now lives in Southampton, England where she spends rather a lot of time running after her offspring. She is a qualified child sleep practitioner, and runs several free drop-in sleep clinics for parents. She is currently working on her second book – Trust Techniques for toddlers and children.
Baby Sleeping - largeAs a parent, what do you do if you are suffering sleepless nights but don’t want to let your baby cry it out? Most families are left just trying to weather the storm. Baby Sleeping Trust Techniques: Alternatives to Controlled Crying offers families a new approach. The book provides effective options for helping parents teach their babies to happily settle to sleep on their own and sleep through the night – without leaving them to cry alone.Mother-of-two, Rebecca Welton, knows all about sleepless nights. At five months, her youngest was still waking 8 to 10 times a night. With little information available, Rebecca set about devising a settling technique that worked for her baby and her family. Now a qualified child sleep practitioner, she has brought together the best tips on how to get your baby to sleep better and for longer. Rebecca delivers five different Trust Techniques, including one for co-sleepers, that build on the trust between you and your baby by ensuring that you always respond to their needs and never leave them to cry alone. Baby Sleeping Trust Techniques: Alternatives to Controlled Crying covers:
  1. The best tips and ideas to help babies sleep, and nap, better and for longer.
  2. Five different settling techniques, to suit all families.
  3. The effects a sleepless baby has on other members of the family, especially older siblings, and provides strategies for dealing with issues that can arise from this.
  4. Ways of coping with sleep deprivation.

What parents say

“This book changed my life. We used the Peekaboo Baby technique along with some of the tips and after 5 days Lucas slept through – for the first time in 10 months! The difference it has made to our family is amazing – Rebecca Welton thank you so much.”
Poppy, mum to Lucas (aged 10 months).

“Totally awesome book! Love the fact that the author really knows what she is talking about as she’s been through it herself and the chapter on coping with sleep deprivation really helped me. Pixie was still feeding 3 to 4 times at night but now sleeps through 7pm to 7am.”
Jess, mum to Pixie (aged 8 and 1/2 months) and Jordan (aged 4).

“This book helped our family through a very difficult time. Jack needed to be rocked to sleep at nap times and bedtime, but it was taking longer and longer to get him to sleep, sometimes up to 45 minutes. We also have a toddler so it was becoming impossible to rock Jack while looking after Joshua too. We followed the advice in this book and two weeks later, we could put Jack in his cot and he would settle himself to sleep while we played with Joshua. Thank you.”
Lyla and John, parents to Jack (aged 6 months) and Joshua (aged 2 and 1/2).

  • Paperback: 124 pages
  • Publisher: Spottiswoode Publishing (May 3, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957547528
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957547520
Amazon link UK:
Amazon link US:
Thanks everyone for stopping by today, please spread the word, if you get the opportunity!






{YA for ages 13 AND UP}


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Welcome Emma!!

DeadDreamsBook1Why YA Pyschological Thriller?


When I first saw the movie “Shutter Island” which was based on the book of the same name by Dennis Lehaye I was intrigued and it kept me thinking for days. Unlike a regular thriller, which could be a spy movie, or something like a techno thriller, a psychological thriller plays on the mind of the reader. It leaves a message long after the book is read or the movie watched, which was one of the reasons I felt led to write Dead Dreams.


I wanted to develop a novel that could have longevity–in that the reasons behind the motivations of its characters are complex enough so I could continue the mystery as the series unravels. Sort of like the Breaking Bad series–you never really understand the character until later in the season.


With Dead Dreams I hope the readers will see that as the story progresses major plot threads will unwind and it’ll become clear how the characters are entangled with another. The human psyche is complex, interesting and is never black and white, is it? A person may say something but may mean something totally different. No one is totally a saint, or is exactly a devil in disguise.


But YA, young adult?


I’ve always loved books for that eleven to eighteen age range–maybe it’s because I have five kids and can relate to adolescents since I am around them 24/7. Also being a homeschooling mother we do lots of read-alouds and so I have gone through tons of young adult books. The YA books explore themes and ideas without going into explicit details; take goriness for instance–a young adult horror is less gruesome than a regular horror novel. I wanted teen readers to experience a psychological thriller without all the usual profanity peppering the entire novel (don’t kids hear enough bad words in school, already?) or the explicit sex found in many regular thriller books.


And yes, there’s hints of murder in Dead Dreams, but it is after all a thriller mystery, and just by definition that genre requires suspense. I promise lots of chilling tension in book 2 and 3 of Dead Dreams, and I hope readers will long remember Brie O’Mara’s story.

Thank you, Emma for stopping by today! What a great pleasure to have you visit with us and our readers today!



“Dead Dreams”

By Emma Right

Book Blurb:
Eighteen-year-old Brie O’Mara has so much going for her: a loving family in the sidelines, an heiress for a roommate, and dreams that might just come true. Big dreams–of going to acting school, finishing college and making a name for herself. She is about to be the envy of everyone she knew. What more could she hope for? Except her dreams are about to lead her down the road to nightmares. Nightmares that could turn into a deadly reality.

Dead Dreams, Book 1, a young adult psychological thriller and contemporary mystery.

Genre: YA for ages 13 AND UP
Published AUG 2013

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(Sponsored by the publicist and/or author)

1 Paperback copy of DEAD DREAMS (DOMESTIC ONLY – ebook for International)
1 Amazon Gift Card for $15


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Emma RIGHT headshot (1)Author’s Bio:
Emma Right is a happy wife and home school mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast of the USA. Besides running a busy home, and looking after their five pets, which includes two cats, two bunnies and a long-haired dachshund, she also writes stories for her children. When she doesn’t have her nose in a book, she is telling her kids to get theirs in one.

Right worked as a copywriter for two major advertising agencies and won several awards, including the prestigious Clio Award for her ads, before she settled down to have children.

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{Mystery/Maggie Thorsen Mystery}


Thank you for spending time with us on this Thanksgiving weekend! We hope you and family has had a safe and happy weekend!


A bit about Sandy……
. . . turned to mystery writing after twenty years in corporate public relations, event management and publicity in Wisconsin. Murder on the Orient Espresso, her eighth Maggy Thorsen coffeehouse mystery has just been released, while Hit and Run, the third Main Street Murder, should be out early next year. The books, set in the popular vacation destination of North Carolina’s High Country, alternate with the Maggy series.




Twitter: @SandraBalzo



Murder on the Orient Espresso
Series: Maggy Thorsen Mysteries (Book 8)
by Sandra Balzo
Released: December 01, 2013


Wisconsin coffeehouse owner Maggy Thorsen accompanies her main squeeze, Sheriff Jake Pavlik, to South Florida, where he’s been asked to speak at a mystery-writers’ conference.  Maggy is anticipating a romantic arrival in their hotel suite, but when the opening night event turns out to be a re-enactment of Agatha Christie’s classic, Murder on the Orient Express, the couple reluctantly sets off on a night train into the Everglades.


The idea is to solve the “crime” and return, but the troupe soon finds itself embroiled in a real-life murder mystery as creepy and baffling as any work of fiction.


Available in U.S. December 1st!


Murder on the Orient Espresso

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(Sponsored by the author)

We are offering 1 lucky commenter a signed print copy of “Murder on the Orient Espresso”.  Giveaway will run from December 1,2013 until December 7, 2013.



Please spread the word if you can!!


My Thoughts!

Coming soon on our sister site, MyBookAddictionReviews


Thanks everyone for stopping by today and spending time with our guest, Sandra Balzo.





A wonderful Holiday novella!!

Once Upon A Highland Christmas II Final


Official bio:




A - SE - Sue-Ellen Bio PixSue-Ellen Welfonder is a USA Today Bestselling author who writes Scottish medieval romances for Grand Central Publishing. As time allows, she also writes as Allie Mackay, penning contemporary paranormals, mostly set in the Scottish Highlands.




Her twenty-year airline career allowed her to see the world, but it was always to Scotland that she returned. She spent fifteen years living in Europe, using that time to explore as many castle ruins, medieval abbeys, and stone circles, as possible. Anything ancient, crumbling, or lichened caught her eye. She still visits Scotland when she can as such trips give her inspiration for new books.




Proud of her own Hebridean ancestry, she belongs to two clan societies and never misses a chance to attend Highland Games. In addition to Scotland, her greatest passions are medieval history, the paranormal, nature, and animals. She enjoys long walks and bicycling, loves haggis, and writes at a 450-year-old desk that once stood in a Bavarian castle.




Unofficial Bio:




I’m proudly old-fashioned, listen to classical and New Age music as I write, I live, breath, and dream medieval Scotland, and enjoy living quietly.  Shabby chic suits me better than glitz and glam.  Hate shopping except bookstores and thrift shops.  I believe in Highland magic and love whimsy.  I’m also convinced some people are born out of time and place, and am sure I’m one of them.




If I wasn’t writing, I’d be out in the field fighting for animal rights, rescuing stray cats and dogs, saving whales and seals, hugging trees, and going ghost-hunting, always searching for a time portal to sweep me out of this world and back to medieval Scotland.







Hello Everyone!  Special thanks to WendyK and April for hosting me today.  My holiday novella, Once Upon A Highland Christmas releases on Dec. 3rd, so I’m thrilled to celebrate at My Book Addiction and More.




Once Upon A Highland Christmas II FinalBy now, you may have seen the novella’s official blurb.  Chances are you haven’t seen the one I wrote.  Publishers do these back cover snippets, not the authors.  Yet who knows the story better than the writer?  As I was waiting for my publisher to send me their official blurb for the novella, I did my own.  I think it gives a good feel for Once Upon A Highland Christmas, a magical holiday tale about two unlikely lovers and set in the enchanted world of the Highlands at Christmas.




Here is my blurb…




In A Magical Season…




As a lass who has lost everything, Breena O’ Doherty’s only wish for Christmas is to brighten the holidays at her new Highland home, Duncreag Castle, where the MacNab laird is determined not to celebrate.  Hoping to bring joy to the clan she dearly loves, she’s stunned to see her efforts thwarted by the rugged Highlander who secretly holds her heart.




Once Upon A Highland Christmas II FinalLove Is The Greatest Gift Of All




Grim Mackintosh, Duncreag’s captain of the guard, knows he isn’t a man to stir female hearts.  But he’s shocked when Breena believes he’s been stealing her festive decorations.  Having admired her from afar, he seizes an unexpected chance to kiss her beneath the mistletoe.  His boldness spurs a quest to bring Christmas cheer to Duncreag.  Together, they travel across the sparkling, snow-clad hills where passion soon blazes between them.  But more than holiday magic is afoot in the Highlands.  Can their love survive a secret danger from the past?  Or will the wonder of the season give them the happily-ever-after they deserve?








In Once Upon A Highland Christmas, Grim and Breena do enjoy a Happy Ever After, of course.  They set off on their quest to heal hearts and end up losing their own to each other, discovering the most beautiful love.  It is my hope that readers will finish the story with a happy sigh.  The novella is also a ‘happy ending’ of sorts for me.  I’ve always wanted to write a holiday story.  So I was delighted when my publisher asked me to do one.  I loved every hour at the keyboard, smiled through each typed word.  Grim and Breena felt as real as if they stood beside me, looking on to make sure I told their tale to suit them.




I hope I did.




I do know I had fun with them.  Here’s an early glimpse of them, near the opening of their story.




Once Upon A Highland Christmas II FinalMini-Excerpt from Once Upon A Highland Christmas




Set-Up: It is late at night in the great hall.  Breena is hiding behind a tapestry, hoping to catch the evil-doer who has been stealing her holiday decorations.  She is horrified to see Grim kneeling beside the Yule Log aka known as the Cailleach Nollaigh or ‘Old Christmas Wife’ because it is carved to resemble a crone.  Breena looks on as Grim prepares to deface the sacred log, or so she believes…






     How could she have been so wrong about him?


     Silently vowing to never make such a mistake again, Breena leaned closer into the back of the wall hanging and pressed one eye to the spy slit.  To her horror, a dirk now glittered in Grim’s hand.  She looked on as he raised the blade above the Cailleach Nollaigh, clearly bent on gouging into the hallowed wood, ruining the hag’s features.


     Breena couldn’t believe his wickedness.


     Or that the tapestry’s dust and a loose thread tickled her nose so mightily that she sneezed.


     Mortified, she clapped a hand to her lips.


     Across the hall, Grim stood, shoving his dirk back beneath his belt as he did so.


     He turned her way, his unusual smoke-gray eyes honing in on the tapestry.  Breena’s breath caught at the determination in his gaze.  She’d always found his eyes so compelling, his exceptionally thick lashes.  His dark hair swung loose about his shoulders, the strands gleaming in the dim torchlight.


     His beard rings also glinted, and the silver Thor’s hammer at his throat.


     Grim was pagan.


     And just now he looked earthy and bold enough to eat her alive.


     Her heart hammering wildly, Breena flattened herself against the cold stone of the wall.


     Grim started forward, his strides slow and sure, smooth as a predator’s.


     “Dinnae think I cannae see you, lassie.”  His voice was rich and smooth, deeply burred and lowered intimately enough to send heat to her face.


     She refused to think about what it did to other places.


     Nor was there time for any such foolish contemplation.  He was almost upon her.


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Once Upon A Highland Christmas gave me the opportunity to write the kind of hero I love best: Grim is battle-hardened, a fierce warrior, but also great-hearted.  He’s loyal, a staunch friend, and he loves animals.  He’s a rough-hewn man, forged of strength, steel, and rock-hard muscle.  He isn’t a ‘bonnie’ sort and he worries that Breena would never desire a fearsome brute like him.  Breena has been through some really rough times.  She is Irish and was captured in a raid on her village.  The raiders planned to sell her at a slave market.  They brought her to Scotland and she was with them when they attacked a Highland stronghold.  Grim was in the party of neighboring allies who rid the castle of the brigands.  So he basically rescued her in the months before Once Upon A Highland Christmas begins.  Breena is strong and resilient, refusing to let bad things break her.  She adapts to her new home, coming to love the Highlands, and the clan that welcomes her so warmly.  She is drawn to Grim, but as he rarely even speaks to her, she is sure her feelings aren’t reciprocated.




I loved bringing these two together.  They didn’t stand a chance against the season’s magic.  Add the enchantment of cold and dark Highland nights, full of stars and wonder, and these two loving hearts soon saw reason.  And that brought a new kind of problem because once they accepted their fate, their love scenes blazed so hot that I nearly scorched my fingers on the keys!




But all is well that ends well.




I hope you’ll enjoy visiting the Highlands at Christmas.  Grim and Breena will make excellent guides.  If you like them, you’ll be glad to know that you’ll see them again in my upcoming four-book series, Scandalous Scots.  Grim plays a major role in the new series, so you’ll be able to revisit him and his fair lady wife in the pages of the new books.




WendyK and April, thank you so much for letting me celebrate this new release with you.  It’s always such a pleasure to visit My Book Addiction and More.

Sue-Ellen, thank you for the chance to spend time with you again, we so love you and your stories. Who doesn’t love characters such as Grim, and Breena. What a pleasure and an honor to have you visit with us and our readers!!




Everyone else, thank you for stopping by!  In honor of Grim and Breena, one reader will win a copy of Seduction of a Highland Warrior from my Highland Warriors trilogy (Grim is a secondary character in the book) and an e-copy of Once Upon A Highland Christmas.  If you read and enjoy the story, please tell your friends and help me spread word about Once Upon A Highland Christmas.  I’d really appreciate it.




Happy Holidays!




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Sue-Ellen, you say the sweetest things. Thank you for spending time with us and our readers. It is always such a pleasure to have you visit with us.


Temptation of a Highland Scoundrel~GIVEAWAY ALERT~Once Upon A Highland Christmas II Final

(Sponsored by the author)


 Thanks to Sue-Ellen, one reader will win a copy of Seduction of a Highland Warrior from my Highland Warriors trilogy (Grim is a secondary character in the book) and an e-copy of Once Upon A Highland Christmas.

Giveaway will run from December 1 until December 7,2013.

Good luck and please, spread the word!!

As an added surprise, answer the following question for a chance to win a digtial copy of “Once Upon a Highland Christmas” this giveaway will be sponsored by the site. This is for an Amazon, gifted copy!!


 Eggnog or Hot Spiced Cider?

Thanks everyone for your support of MBA&M and our guest!!



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Now everyone go forth and spread the word far and wide!!