Monday, April 6, 2020

DOG TOWN by Debbie Richardson

by Debbie Richardson

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Harry loves to race around the streets of Dog Town. When he stumbles upon the lost city of cats, he finds himself in a race against Dog Town’s fastest canine, Grizzly.

The winner of this race will have the power to save Cat World, or destroy it.

Harry wants to win, but there is one small problem. The race is in the ocean, and Harry is terribly afraid of water.

Can Harry overcome his fear of the water and save Cat Town?

HARRY was dreaming that a cat fell out of the sky and landed on his head.

He woke at once. It was dark inside his kennel. He was uncertain if it was very late or very early, but he was wide awake and puzzled about the cat in his dream.

Cats were unheard of in Dog Town. The way summers without mosquitoes were unheard of. Or non-fattening chocolate bars were unheard of.

Baffled, Harry tried thinking about something else. Instead, he became consumed by visions of cats. As he struggled to find meaning behind his odd dream, he became convinced it meant something horrible for dog-kind.

The blanket at his feet offered a good place to avoid thinking on his dream any further. He hid under the blanket, until the heat of the summer’s night made it hot enough to cook a roast.

Harry pushed his nose outside his kennel. It was hot and humid tonight, and there wasn’t a breath of wind. Vastly different to that afternoon when the wind’s temper had set every door in the house banging.

Even though it was too hot inside his kennel, he didn’t want to leave it. Outside in his backyard, shadows skipped across the treetops. Shadows that didn’t belong to the moon or to the wind.



~Follow the rest of the tour


Debbie Richardson has published fiction novels as D L Richardson. She has published three young adults supernatural fiction novels, and science fiction and supernatural thrillers for adults. This is her first children’s book.

She was born in Dublin, Ireland and grew up in Australia. It was always crowded and noisy in the family home. At one stage there were also three dogs, a cat, a budgie, and three mice living with seven people the same house.

Debbie learned to find a quiet space within books.

She now lives in the south coast of New South Wales with her husband and a small dog named Teeka.

Find her online:



Debbie Richardson will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Tips 'N Treats: Week 5

Welcome to Tips and Treats!

Read on for…

Have a tip/resource to contribute or an upcoming release/book deal? Email me at

This post contains affiliate links. Click here to read the full disclosure statement.

New Releases

Ebook Deals

Deals that are still running:

Smashwords Authors Give Back
-High Lonesome Sound by Jaye Wells
-BookFunnel Sneak Peek Giveaway

My Tip

This week, I’ve got a quick tip for making your third-person close POV even closer.

First, let’s define third-person close. You’ve probably heard that it’s third-person that focuses on one character exclusively, but what does that really mean? Think of it this way. Third-person close is like there’s a camera behind your character’s eyes. It’s recording the story as your character sees it and has access to your character’s thoughts. It’s literally as close as you can get to your character without being them (first-person).

Like first-person, though, you are seeing the world through your character’s eyes, which means that your character can’t see himself/herself unless they are looking in a mirror. So, they can’t see the result of an eyeroll or the blush that’s spreading across their cheeks.

So how do you describe these things? Well, a character can still certainly roll their eyes, but you would only describe the actual eye-roll action.

Close POV: “Jenny rolled her eyes.”

Not Close POV: “Jenny rolled her eyes up into her skull so the whites showed.”

In the second example, Jenny wouldn’t see this happen, so the camera behind her eyes wouldn’t pick it up to show the reader.

Now, blushing.

Close POV: “Heat blossomed across Jenny’s cheeks.”

Not close POV: “Red spread across Jenny’s cheeks.”

Again, the camera wouldn’t see the red color, but Jenny would feel the result of the blush—the heat in her cheeks.

Connect with me:

This week’s posts:

-DREAM CHASERS by Christy J. Breedlove
-PARAGON by Shauna Alderson
-CALEDON by Virginia Crow

Guest Tip

This week, I’m pleased to have Savannah Gilbo on Tips ‘N Treats. Savannah’s here to share her Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast, and since she does such a lovely job of introducing both herself and the podcast, I’ll leave it to her.

Savannah Gilbo is a certified developmental editor and book coach who helps fiction authors write, edit, and publish their books. As a fantasy writer herself, Savannah knows what it's like to feel overwhelmed and confused about what to focus on or what to do next. But as an editor and book coach, she knows that it doesn't have to feel this way. Through her blog, podcast, and online courses, Savannah breaks the complex writing process down into smaller, more manageable pieces to help combat these feelings of overwhelm and confusion. Her mission is to help as many writers as possible so that the world can benefit from the power of stories.

The Fiction Writing Made Easy podcast is a weekly podcast for writers. Each week, there's a brand new episode with simple, actionable, and step-by-step strategies to help writers of all skill levels write, edit, and publish their books. Each episode is around 15-20 minutes long with no fluff and no filler -- just real-life tips and advice from a developmental editor and book coach. So, whether you're brand-new to writing, or more of a seasoned author looking to improve your craft, this podcast is for you!

Tune in to the podcast at:

-Savannah’s website
-Apple Podcasts

~And join the Podcast’s FB Group

Connect with Savannah:

Friday, April 3, 2020


by Richard Hacker

This post contains affiliate links. Click here for the full disclosure statement.

Addison and Jules, members of the League, a secret alchemist society of Inkers who protect the time continuum, believe they defeated their enemy, Cuthbert Grimwald, known to them as Kairos. When he resurfaces filled with vengeance, intent on destroying the League, and acquiring the Alchimeia, a book of such power the League has hidden it for millennia, Grimwald leaves a path of destruction across centuries. As he quests for absolute control of reality, Addison and Jules pursue him through time and death in a desperate struggle to save the world from his vengeance.

“You’ve done well my friends. A bit of a shaky start, but in the end, I am pleased with the result.”

Jules glanced to Addison, who was also pulling himself up to stand. “What are you talking about? You could have killed us.”

“If I wanted you dead, we wouldn’t be talking.” Boggy raised his hands as if to parry their blows. “Today’s lesson is partnership. Do you see?”

Addison slowly rotated an arm with a grimace. “Keep talking.”

“Inking is a dangerous enterprise. You find yourself in a foreign world in an earlier time, often fighting to survive long enough to complete your mission. But the physical dangers of inking do not hold a candle to the emotional and psychological dangers. Your consciousness, the essence of your being, occupies the mind of another. With each passing moment, a small part of who you are slips out of your grasp unless you master the relationship between Inker and host. You must die to live, right? But all living creatures naturally gravitate toward life and away from death. The world of an Inker is therefore a paradox of conflicting realities. Without a partner, you struggle alone against insurmountable odds. Partners have each other’s backs, keeping the hosts alive and the mission viable. And upon completion, partners ensure their hosts die. Because we never leave an Inker behind. Never.”


~Follow the rest of the tour

-What inspired you to become a writer?

I think it’s a number of things. As a kid I was captivated by storytelling, to the point that while other kids were bringing bunnies to school for show and tell, I’d read my short stories to the class. My Dad, who was a voracious reader, communicated a great respect for the written word. We’d go to the library every Saturday and I always remember my Dad with a book on the table by his den chair. He communicated a great respect for books and it made an impression on me. Then in high school I had an English teacher, Mrs. Seal, very old school, and a great writing instructor. She laid the foundation of good writing skills for me.

-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?

Oh my. The Die Back thing is pretty scary. You’re consciousness is going into the mind of someone who has lived and died in the past. And the only way home is to die. Maybe it would be inking someone whose death is shrouded in mystery, like Emilia Earhart. I’d be able uncover when and where she died on her last flight across the Pacific.

-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)

Yeah, I’m up. Couldn’t sleep. I just can’t stop thinking about Jules, you know, the Jules I lost in 16th century Peru? I didn’t get a chance to tell her, but I loved her. And I think she loved me. But now she’s trapped in a time shift and I’m in a different time continuum with a different Jules who doesn’t love me.

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

Nikki Babineaux. She’s the leader of the League. Smart, quick, fun. And she appreciates good food and good cocktails. Definitely Nikki.

-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?

In the real world, I’d talk the dwarf down, try to understand the dwarf’s perspective and buy a round of drinks as a peace offering. In the fantasy world, I’d try the real world strategy, which wouldn’t work since it’s the fantasy world, then smash a flagon of ale across the dwarf’s head, leading to an all-out tavern brawl, where I’d be aided by an elf named Vlandyn Ellowryth I befriended when he was about to be killed by a band of roving orcs. We’d vanquish our attackers and have one more for the road.

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

I imagine I could write in any fiction genre. Now do I want to write in the genre? That’s the issue. Horror is low on the list. I think I wouldn’t want to be haunted about the horrible things I would have to keep in my mind while writing in the genre!


Richard Hacker, lives and writes in Seattle, Washington after living many years in Austin, Texas. In addition to the science fiction/fantasy novels of The AlchimeĆ­a Series, his crime novels ride the thin line between fact and fiction in Texas. Along the way, his writing has been recognized by the Writer’s League of Texas and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. As a judge in literary contests shuch as PNWA and ChicLit, and as a freelance development editor, he enjoys the opportunity to work with other writers. In addition, he is the Sci-Fi/Fantasy editor for the Del Sol Review. DIE BACK was his first novel in the Alchimeia series.

Del Sol Press books by Richard Hacker are available at Amazon

The AlchimeĆ­a Series

Other books by Richard Hacker:

Nick Sibelius Crime Series

Follow the author at
Or on Facebook


Richard Hacker will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Thursday, April 2, 2020

CALEDON by Virginia Crow

by Virginia Crow

This post contains affiliate links. Click here for the full disclosure statement.

An historical fantasy adventure set in post-Culloden Scotland.

After the destruction of the Jacobite forces at Culloden, Scotland is divided, vulnerable and leaderless. But, as the ageless Caledon awakes, so too does an ancient evil. The small Clan of Caledon face enemies at every turn, discovering that even those closest to them may seek to destroy them.

"Go out and tell all those you meet, Caledon has risen. Caledon will be protected and defended. And to you who would cause her harm, be prepared. A new fight has come."

After the destruction of the Jacobite forces at Culloden, Scotland is divided, vulnerable and leaderless, with survivors from both sides seeking to make sense of the battles they have fought against their fellow Scots.

James Og flees Drumossie, seeking the protection of his uncle's house in Sutherland. It is here James learns that the Northern Highlands hold a secret power only he can wield: Caledon. When Ensign John Mackay begins hunting Og's family, James realises he must harness this power to defeat the enemies of Scotland.

But, as the ageless Caledon awakes, so too does an ancient evil. When it allies with Mackay, the small Clan of Caledon faces enemies at every turn, discovering that even those closest to them may seek to destroy them.

This is the first book in a series, which spans the years 1746-1752.

Somewhere, only a short distance from him, the sound of a waterfall could be heard, both heavy and gentle in a manner which made his head throb even more. It was the hard work and efforts of these falls which had carved out the ravine where he lay. The trees which had broken his fall on his way down, clung to the sheer sides and gave the April sky a peculiar criss-cross with their branches which, though budding, had not yet come into full leaf. He realised it was no longer raining. The ground around him was dry save for the spray from the waterfall which he noticed, with interest, was coming into view. He lifted his head up and, though it spun when he moved, he was surprised to find he was able to rise. At first, he felt his eyes were betraying him, and he screwed them closed before opening them once more, but the peculiar form of the waterfall was indeed beginning to take shape. Two hands with long watery fingers reached away from the rock and rolling from side to side on wide though fragile shoulders an ever-changing head appeared. It was queer, the manner in which this form looked so alive in its monochrome appearance, and James Og gave a slight cry as two large eye sockets appeared.

He would have liked to run, to have turned away and promised himself he had only imagined the whole apparition, but he could not take his eyes from it. It had no mouth, yet as it looked at him, he could hear its liquid voice, as though a peculiar form of telepathy existed between them.

"Jamie Og," it began, its soothing voice neither male nor female in tone. "Your coming here was far from misfortune."




I found this book immersive. The world felt real and like I could walk right into it. Given that this is historical fantasy, it’s at least partly based on Earth. Even so, the descriptions were lush and engaged multiple senses. I wanted to explore the forests and towns that I only got glimpses of.

The main cast of characters was interesting. They banded together with unsurpassed loyalty. It was a bit odd that the main group was five men and one woman, but I guess it spoke to the times. The mix of lore, magic, and adventure came together well. That said, while the world fascinated me, I felt a bit lost in the main conflict. There is a family feud at the core of the story, and unless I missed something, I wasn’t sure why.

My main issue with this story was Mary. I think she’s supposed to be unlikeable, and she certainly is. Even so, she came across as too unlikeable for me. She whined about how everyone abandoned her but never did anything to show she was someone worth standing beside. She just expected people to fall at her feet, but she was nasty to almost everyone. She despises the hero, but he helps her anyway. It’s very, well, heroic, but after how she treats him, I can’t understand why he’s nice to her, even if it’s the hero’s prerogative to be nice.

The story wrapped up everything while leaving plenty of room for a sequel. This one wasn’t quite for me, but those who are more into historical fantasy may find this to their liking.


Virginia grew up in Orkney, using the breath-taking scenery to fuel her imagination and the writing fire within her. Her favourite genres to write are fantasy and historical fiction, sometimes mixing the two together such as her soon-to-be-published book "Caledon". She enjoys swashbuckling stories such as the Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas and is still waiting for a screen adaption that lives up to the book!

When she's not writing, Virginia is usually to be found teaching music, and obtained her MLitt in "History of the Highlands and Islands" last year. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of music, especially as a tool of inspiration. She also helps out with the John o' Groats Book Festival which is celebrating its 3rd year this April.

She now lives in the far-flung corner of Scotland, soaking in inspiration from the rugged cliffs and miles of sandy beaches.

She loves cheese, music and films, but hates mushrooms.

Find her online:



Virginia Crow will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

PARAGON by Shauna Alderson

by Shauna Alderson

This post contains affiliate links. Click here for the full disclosure statement.

Now that high school is over, Randi just wants to live her quiet life in her little town, but it doesn’t feel right without her friends there. Ever the daredevils, they’ve gone to seek adventure in the capital city of Grandin, and Randi can’t help but feel left behind. Not to mention she definitely can’t stop thinking about that kiss she and Eddy shared before he left.

When Randi discovers a mysterious mark on her skin that matches an illustration in “A Handbook on Paragonhood”, she’s thrown into a world of powerful gods and ancient magic that she thought only existed in the myths. She’ll have to step out of her comfort zone—and into the dangerous streets of Grandin—to find a way to protect herself and the people she loves.

Randi’s not the only one with a secret, though, and she finds herself questioning who she can trust. Randi will have to wrestle with what it means to be a Paragon and how far she’s willing to go to do what’s right.

With the fate of the world on the line, can she live up to being one of the chosen?

A rumble downstairs tells me my folks are pulling into the garage. I gently set Barnaby back on the pillow and pick up the lotion I bought earlier. In the bathroom across the hall, I strip off my dress, cringing at the sight of the spider bite, now haloed in red. It looks infected and feels hot when I touch it. What if the spider that bit me was venomous?

I peer closer, stretching the skin on my left ribs. The center’s a bit swollen, although it’s not white, which is a good sign. But there’s something strange about the red ring surrounding it. Wait ... no. Not a ring. The red is scratched into my skin in a bunch of tiny lines.

Not a spider bite.

I crane my neck even more, heart hammering as I count seven lines. Seven lines making seven sides.

“Heptagram-shaped ... approximately half the size of one’s pinky fingernail, red-brown in color, hot to the touch.”

My knees give and I barely catch myself on the counter. It can’t be. Those are myths. The marks aren’t real. But what if—

Stop. Calm down. Giselle and Howard both mentioned hunters—that’s why I’m jumping to conclusions. And I wouldn’t even be considering it if it weren’t for that book.

I hurry across the hall to my room. I pull a dozen or so hairstyling magazines off my bookshelf, revealing the worn, leather-bound book tucked behind them. A Handbook on Paragonhood. Eddy lent it to me because I’ve always loved the myths. But that’s all they are. No one takes the stories seriously except hunters.  



~Follow the rest of the tour

Shauna Alderson began writing teen fantasy even before she was a teen. After she “grew up", she completed creative writing courses (and a BA in Development Studies) at the University of Calgary. When not reading or writing, she can usually be found teaching ESL, composing on the piano, creating art, or volunteering abroad. She also enjoys dessert, Studio Ghibli films, and being the silliest person she knows.

Find her online:



Shauna Alderson will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, March 31, 2020


by Liz Delton

This post contains affiliate links. Click here for the full disclosure statement.

Have you ever wanted to write a book? Or are you an experienced writer, starting your next story? Get your thoughts on paper by writing all your story ideas in this pre-organized journal.

This notebook is part blank journal, part guided story planner. There’s plenty of room for you to customize your notes, and enough guidance to help figure out your plot, characters, and publishing goals.

It’s your writer’s notebook. Now, go write your story.


~Find Writers Notebook online:

-website ~Attend the Facebook launch party on March 31


Liz Delton started bullet journaling in 2015 when she realized she needed a writer’s notebook, not just a jumble of documents to organize her writing. She has published four novels, one novella, and one short story, and is currently writing a handful of other books. She lives in New England with her husband and son. When she’s not writing, you can find her hands busy with one of her many craft projects. Check out her website at

Find her online:


Monday, March 30, 2020

DREAM CHASERS by Christy J. Breedlove

DREAM CHASERS: Screamcatcher, book 2
by Christy J. Breedlove

This post contains affiliate links. Click here for the full disclosure statement.

Seventeen year-old Jory Pike knows a thing or two about Indian lore from her half-blood Chippewa ancestry. She can trap, hunt and fish with the best of them. She has a team of three other teens friends called The Badlands Paranormal Society. Instead of bagging groceries or playing on I-pods, they think they can excel at banishing evil spirits. They hope to cleanse houses and earn fat paychecks for their services.

Dream catchers aren't just the chic hoops tourists buy at novelty shops--they work. And sometimes they clog up with nightmares until they collapse under their own evil weight, imploding and sending the dreamer into an alternate world. Jory uses her worst nightmare to enter the dream catcher world. She’s pulled her teammates in deliberately. Everything goes right on schedule but they’ve bitten off more than they can chew. Now Jory and her friends are there, trapped between the people who have confessed their sins to the Great Spirit and are seeking a way out, and the monsters and evil spirits, which are happy to keep them trapped in the web world forever.

They were once considered Seekers in the dream world. Now they’ve become vigilantes and call themselves Pathfinders. Is it spiritual enlightenment they after? Or have they now become fatally reckless?

~Buy DREAM CHASERS on Amazon



It all started with a dream catcher. This iconic item, which is rightfully ingrained in Indian lore, is a dream symbol respected by the culture that created it. It is mystifying, an enigma that that prods the imagination. Legends about the dream catcher are passed down from multiple tribes. There are variations, but the one fact that can be agreed upon is that it is a nightmare entrapment device, designed to sift through evil thoughts and images and only allow pleasant and peaceful dreams to enter into consciousness of the sleeper.

I wondered what would happen to a very ancient dream catcher that was topped off with dreams and nightmares. What if the nightmares became too sick or deathly? What if the web strings could not hold anymore visions? Would the dream catcher melt, burst, vanish, implode? I reasoned that something would have to give if too much evil was allowed to congregate inside of its structure. I found nothing on the Internet that offered a solution to this problem—I might have missed a relevant story, but nothing stood out to me. Stephen King had a story called Dream Catcher, but I found nothing in it that was similar to what I had in mind. So I took it upon myself to answer such a burning question. Like too much death on a battlefield could inundate the immediate location with lost and angry spirits, so could a dream catcher hold no more of its fill of sheer terror without morphing into something else, or opening up a lost and forbidden existence. What would it be like to be caught up in another world inside the webs of a dream catcher, and how would you get out? What would this world look like? How could it be navigated? What was the source of the exit, and what was inside of it that threatened your existence? Screamcatcher: Web World, the first in the series, was my answer. I can only hope that I have done it justice.


“It is said that Iktomi, the great trickster and searcher of wisdom, appeared to an old spiritual leader in the form of a spider. Iktomi, the spider, picked up the elder’s willow hoop, which had feathers, horsehair and beads on it and began to spin a web. He spoke to the elder about the cycles of life and the many forces--some good and some bad—and how it was important to listen to the clean, good forces and to avoid the darker ones that could hurt and lead you astray.”

“The big spider was the teacher, then?” asked Choice.

Jory rolled her eyes, having heard the legend before.

Albert’s eyes became slits. “Yes. When Iktomi finished the web, he returned it to the elder and said ‘The web is a perfect circle with a hole in the middle. All of the bad forces, visions and dreams enter onto the web where they are trapped and held. All of the good forces find their way into the center and slip through, to travel down the feather and bead path, arriving upon the sleeper. If you believe in the Great Spirit, the web will filter your visions and give you pleasant dreams. The bad ones will never pass.’”

“But, Grandfather, said Jory, “the dream catcher was used for babies and small children to comfort them. They were used above cradle boards.”

Albert seemed not to have heard her words, having focused on Choice. “And when the sun rose the next morning it would wash all of the bad spirits from the catcher, cleansing it for another sleep cycle. It was always made to fall apart and wither after years of use so that it would never be filled up with the dark things.”

“Damn,” said Choice. “What’s it made of? Little sticks and strings?”

“They were made for adults too,” said Albert, looking at Jory. “The hoop is made from the twigs of the red willow, formed and dried. It is woven with the thread from the stalk of the stinging nettle. The very old ones have sinew for web. The beads are a decoration, and only one gemstone is used to show that there is only one creator in the web of life. Long ago, the government of this country outlawed the use of real eagle feathers, so most are made from feathers of other birds.”

Choice nodded and waved his hand at the board. “Then they’re just copies?”

“Not these,” said Albert. “I made many of them as a youth when no such law existed.”


Albert lifted one of the smaller dream catchers from the board with delicate fingers and extended it to Jory. “Granddaughter, I make this a gift to you. May you find protection in it with the blessings of all our ancestors. It will drive the devil spirit from your thoughts and give you peace.”

Jory gave him an endearing smile. “It’s really generous, and it’s not that I don’t appreciate the offer. But, Grandfather, you have to understand that the ways and teachings of the old ones are so very lost in today’s culture. I don’t think I have the proper faith to make it work.”

Albert grunted. “You are saying it is an embarrassment to carry the blood of your family tribe and you find suspicion with things that are held dear and sacred.” He glanced at Choice. “It is a shame that the tribal youth of today--the Ojibway or Chippewa--have no time for the chants and songs, nor do they understand the words in the old stories.”

Choice nodded.

Albert looked at the large, front panel windows and out into the street. “This is an age of bending metal, cutting down the trees of the forest, fouling the waters and blackening the earth with soot and chemicals. The sound of the flute song and drums has disappeared, along with the dances and animal pantomimes. Today the music is born of electric violence and its words are lost in savage mutterings and howls. The world--the great circle upon which all creatures great and small live--is an angry, dying spirit.” He looked back at Jory. “That is the today you speak of, precious granddaughter. You have lost touch with your origins. The spirit cries out for your return. You have only to give heed to that calling. It’s never left you.”


Christy J. Breedlove (Chris H. Stevenson), originally born in California, moved to Sylvania, Alabama in 2009. Her occupations have included newspaper editor/reporter, astronomer, federal police officer, housecleaner and part time surfer girl. She has been writing off and on for 36 years, having officially published books beginning in 1988. Today she writes in her favorite genre, Young Adult, but has published in multiple genres and categories. She was a finalist in the L. Ron. Hubbard Writers of the Future contest, and took the first place grand prize in a YA novel writing contest for The Girl They Sold to the Moon. She writes the popular blog, Guerrilla Warfare for Writers (special weapons and tactics), hoping to inform and educate writers all over the world about the high points and pitfalls of publishing.

Find her online:

-Amazon Author Page