Art and Soul by Claire Huston / #SpotlightPost #BlogTour @rararesources @ClaraVal



There’s no problem Becky Watson can’t fix. Except her own love life…

Struggling single mother Becky Watson longs to revive her career as a life-fixer, working miracles to solve her clients’ problems, no matter how big or small. Since the birth of her two-year-old son she has been stuck preventing wedding fiascos for the richest and rudest residents of the Comptons, a charming, leafy area of southern England known for its artistic heritage.

So when semi-reclusive local artist Charlie Handren reluctantly hires Becky to fix his six-year creative slump, she’s delighted to set him up with a come-back exhibition and Rachel Stone, the woman of his dreams.

Though they get off to a rocky start, Becky and Charlie soon become close. But as the beautiful Rachel becomes Charlie’s muse, Becky is forced to wonder: will giving Charlie everything he wants mean giving up her own happily ever after?



Spotlight Post

Thank you, Claire Huston and Rachel’s Random Resources


About the author

Claire Huston lives in Warwickshire with her husband and two children. Art and Soul is her first novel.

A keen amateur baker, she enjoys making cakes, biscuits and brownies almost as much as eating them. You can find recipes for all the cakes mentioned in Art and Soul on her website along with over 100 other recipes. This is also where she talks about and reviews books.


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If I Ever Doubt You by Jan Brigden / #Review @ChocLituk @JanBrigden

She might have scored a celebrity footballer, but the game isn’t over yet …

Rebecca Dunning should be blissfully happy – after a whirlwind weekend, she and top footballer Alex Heath are still going strong. But as the murkier side of the celebrity lifestyle reveals itself, so does the creeping doubt.

Rebecca finds herself isolated in the fake, flashy world of toxic WAG cliques and ruthless reporters, and when a mysterious online admirer follows Alex’s every move, she struggles to cope. Can she keep playing the media game for the man she loves, or will she have to admit defeat?

Sequel to As Weekends Go. 




I have read part 1 quite some time ago and although I can’t remember every detail anymore, there is 1 thing I do recall and that is that I loved the story.

Now the author is back with the sequel and I hope there are more parts to follow.

I love the setting of this book. I was a huge fan of the ‘The Footballers’ wives’ series in English as well as in Dutch. I love the world of glamour and glitter with the love and the romance but with a lot of lies and deceit as well. 

It was fun having a peek behind the scenes. It’s true that footballers earn a lot of money, but there is more to it than just playing a match. I know it’s fiction, but I do believe there is truth in it as well.

I liked how Rebecca developped, fitting better in her new world little by little. And than there is Alex… Big, strong, handsome captain of the team, but inside as soft as a cuddly teddy bear.

Old friends, new friends… always there to have your back or is it rather to stab you in the back…?

I flew through the story and loved it. 5 stars

Thank you, Jan Brigden and Choc Lit.


About the author

Jan lives in South East London with her husband and motley crew of cuddly toys. Jan’s written for pleasure from a young age; short stories for classmates, odes for workmates, fun quizzes for family and friends, progressing to her first novel, the idea for which sprang from a script she composed as part of a creative writing course assignment via The Writers Bureau. Following much secret plotting, research and feigning of passion for the customer accounts she was supposed to be reconciling during the day job, the chance finally arose to put pen to paper.

After attending many author talks, literary events, and connecting with writers and readers on Facebook and Twitter, Jan learned of and subsequently joined the Romantic Novelists’ Association New Writers’ Scheme. An avid reader, reviewer and all round book devotee, Jan is also one eighth of online group blog The Romaniacs.

Jan won Choc Lit’s Search for a Star competition with her debut, As Weekends Go.


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In Service to Love – Darlene Green / #GuestPost @annasacca @FSBAssociates

Book 1: Love Remembered: A Dynamic Experience of Consciousness, Transformation and Enlightenment 

In Service to Love offers a pathway for shifting your awareness from the de-stabilizing chaos of the external world to the ever-present, potent, multi-dimensional, innovative expression of Love that is your authentic nature. When it is time for you to discover your own purpose and truth, In Service to Love offers a modern day mystery school that elevates your conscious awareness, catalyzing transformation and ultimately enlightenment. Revealed through daily messages, scribed by Darlene Green from the Masters that comprise the Council of Light, you experience your own unique, exquisite process of enlightenment. Each day’s message holds rich frequency. Simple foundational concepts, exercises, meditations, light infusions and activations guide your experience, allowing your own resonance to reveal truth.

Enlightenment is not a privilege to be earned, it is who you are at your essence. The process of enlightenment uncovers what gets in the way of your greatest expression. With each step made on your unique journey, the experience of your life here and now is enhanced. The work of In Service to Love masterfully aligns your awareness to your divine nature so you may hear the voice of your soul and create your best life possible.



Guest Post

Living on the Edge of Creation

In Service to Love began the morning of December 26, 2017. When I awoke, I felt immediately overcome with Love, appreciation, and enveloped in the rich, palpable presence of the sacred divine. I could feel and see the exquisite, brilliant light of Masters, and the Elohim before me. I could do no other than sob. An invitation was extended to sit with the Masters of the Council of Light as Scribe for one year in collaboration. I said, “Yes!” I knew in an instant this was the mission I had always felt at the depths of my being and was so sacredly kept I dared not even utter the words. And “Day 1” poured through my fingers.

I have always been deeply empathic, intuitive and sensitive. This created a chasm between what I sensed and the physical reality I saw. I became an avid student of spirituality and pieces of the puzzle started lining up. I never thought of myself as a writer. My natural inclinations are as a healer and teacher. In 2015 I connected powerfully with my own history as Scribe with profound events at sacred sites in Southern France. I began to practice reaching for the fine frequencies that contain inspiration. It was both beautiful and frustrating as the experience required developing adeptness at sensing my own inner realms. Following a car accident in February of 2017, all work stopped as I turned deeply inward for healing. Then December 26, 2017 occurred.

As I sat down each day to write In Service to Love, I was guided by the Council of Light to what I can only describe as a field of fine, exquisite frequency that contains depth, concepts, pictures and colors. Each day was written from a different frequency even as my mind struggled to understand the process. Sometimes full concepts landed in my awareness as a picture that contained all the information then, my work was to interpret the picture I was given utilizing words that were a frequency match. Some days I was invited to expand my reach as the Council of Light moved into even finer light realms. Other times there was no thinking at all as the words flowed like honey onto the keyboard.

I continue to live a Master’s class in accessing original thought. At times I work to reach the space of connection and ultimately realize there is some limitation I am taking into the space that clouds my vision. My personality left to its own devices is fraught with doubt. So, my goal is to access my

unlimited divine knowing by raising my awareness and frequency. In those moments in meditation I ask, “What may I release that I may see clearly?” Mostly what shows up are ways I discount myself. When I release my limitations, the air clears as I reach my truth unfettered by the beliefs of my personality. An expansive sense of freedom and delight ensues.

Two of the keys to access my most potent creativity:

1) Immaculate presence in the Now: I visualize myself within a series of concentric circles, with my center-most point being the exquisite stillness of the present moment. When my attention is in the outer-rings I am highly distracted, so, I watch myself walk to my center. There I experience the absence of thought. I take a deep breath and allow.

2) Willingness to not know: Accessing my greatest innovative capacity only occurs as I move beyond what I already know. Potent creating is not about rearranging what already has been, it is about accessing my own high frequency field where innovation arises in my awareness only in the Now moment.

Central messaging of In Service to Love invites us each to consider our own innovative capacity. Not as something that is unreachable, or only for a few of us, but as something that is deeply, intrinsically connected to our soul’s voice. As we connect to our own heart’s essence, we become the contribution we each intend. I continue to lean into the unknown to move beyond my own limited perceptions as I write daily. I feel the time we are in now requests our best to show up. With works inspired through the lens of our essential Self, how could we be anything else?

I am hoping the works of In Service to Love invites a new perspective for the reader. One that resonates powerfully with their own exquisite truth. Enlightenment is not a state to be earned; it is a natural process where we claim our wholeness. When we gently release the burden of who we are not, who we are shines brilliantly

Thank you, Darlene Green and FSB Associates


About the author

Highly sensitive, an empath, innate healer and teacher, Darlene has been drawn to studies related to healing and discovery of the sacred for over thirty years. Aware of the presence of Jesus and her “Council” at four years of age, clarity and communication has expanded over time, commensurate with her deep inner work. In 2015 at sacred sites in Southern France, Darlene connected powerfully with her Scribe heritage. Profound spiritual events 1 of 3 December, 2017 signaled an invitation by the Masters that comprise the Council of Light for collaboration. The result is the extensive works of In Service to Love, led by the voice and palpable presence of Love.


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The Worst Lie by Shauna Bickley / #Interview #BlogTour @rararesources @ShaunaBickley



A Lexie Wyatt murder mystery, #2

Madelaine had everything she wanted.
Friends, a successful film career, and a loving boyfriend.
Then she was dead…

Lexie’s friend Helen was part of a close-knit group at university. Now, ten years later, Helen is fearful when another of the group reappears and suggests a reunion.

Lexie contrives an invitation to the weekend get-together at one of England’s ancient stone circles where one of the group admits they believe their long-dead friend was murdered.

Lexie discovers each of the group has secrets and each has lied, but could they also have committed murder?

There is another death at the stone circles, and Lexie uncovers information that may connect the two crimes… and implicate her good friend.

Is someone targeting the former students, or is the killer one of the group?




Hello and thanks for inviting me on your blog.

– When and where do you prefer to write?

I’m a morning person and I’m generally more creative earlier in the day so I like to write then, but I don’t have a hard and fast rule about it. I do try to get work done on the current book before getting sucked into emails and social media. If I’m in a flow and the scenes are coming then it doesn’t matter what time of day it is. Part of the mind-set of being an ‘almost’ fulltime writer is treating it as a job rather than writing only when the muse strikes.

– Do you have a certain ritual?

Not really. I try to keep things as flexible as possible because I think it’s too easy to fool yourself into thinking that if one part of the ritual isn’t there then you can’t write. I do like to go for a walk first thing and then come home and write but that’s a preference not a necessity. I often find ideas come when I’m walking and thinking about the upcoming scenes and action, and then I’m ready to write when I arrive home.

– Is there a drink or some food that keeps you company while you write?

Unlike most people I know I’m not a coffee drinker. I spent some time in England last year where I discovered Elderflower cordial and I enjoy that mixed with still or sparkling water. We also had an abundance of citrus in the garden over winter and bought a hand press to juice the fruit and freeze some and so I’m enjoying plenty of vitamin C right now.

– What is your favourite book?

Such a difficult question! I’m not sure I have a favourite book but if I had to select a book to take to a desert island (or self-isolate) then I’d probably go for Stephen Donaldson’s First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant as the three books together make a good, long read and it’s a set of books that I enjoyed but haven’t read for quite a few years, or perhaps on the same thinking the Harry Potter novels.

– Do you consider writing a different genre in the future?

Crime fiction is my favourite genre for reading and writing but I also write women’s contemporary fiction which to me means elements of everyday life mixed together with drama, romance and sometimes a mystery. At the moment that feels like enough.

– Do you sometimes base your characters on people you know?

No. Like a lot of writers I’m a people-watcher and I sometimes use an individual characteristic, or I see an outfit and think yes, that’s something that character would wear, or I copy the flow of overheard dialogue to give more authenticity to a character’s voice, but it’s merely a snippet of something to add to a character that’s already created. I’ve never based an entire character on someone I know.

– Do you take a notebook everywhere in order to write down ideas that pop up?

I used to but I find the note app on my phone more useful these days. Noting down ideas is a necessity or else I forget.

– Which genre do you not like at all?

Horror. I already have a vivid imagination which works overtime if I watch or read anything scary.

– If you had the chance to co-write a book. Whom would it be with?

Someone like Liane Moriarty. She writes beautiful prose but her books all have good plots and while they’re not necessarily crime novels there’s generally an element of a puzzle or mystery to work out.

– If you should travel to a foreign country to do research, which one would you chose and why?

Last year I visited England and parts of Europe and while research wasn’t the reason for the trip I spent several weeks in Italy. Some of the places I visited there were in the spirit of research for an idea I have for a time-slip novel. Goodness knows if I’ll ever come up with an entire plot but I had fun researching.

Many thanks again and happy reading to you and your followers, Shauna xx

Thank you, Shauna Bickley and Rachel’s Random Resources


About the author

Shauna writes mysteries featuring characters who aren’t afraid to go looking for murderers and generally get themselves in all sorts of danger. In real life, Shauna doesn’t do any of those things.

When she can’t come up with a murderous plot, she also likes to write about ordinary people pushed into extraordinary situations. Underneath all that criminal intrigue is a true romantic who likes to see the magic and mystery in everyday life.

When Shauna isn’t writing (or surfing the internet pretending she’s researching), you can find her reading, running (or more likely walking), coming up with excuses not to attend Zumba, and trying to find new ways to use the excess fruit from the trees in the garden.

Shauna’s latest release is a crime thriller, The Worst Lie, featuring Lexie Wyatt from the novel Still Death.

Currently she is working on a sequel to Writing the Stars, but if discovered staring out of the window she’s probably contemplating new ways to kill people for a third Lexie Wyatt novel.

Shauna is always happy to hear from people, but only if they’re friendly and don’t ask hard questions. You can find her on Twitter, Pinterest and via her website or through good old-fashioned email.


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Twitter: @ShaunaBickley




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Please Do Not Ask for Mercy As A Refusal Often Offends by Paul Bassett Davies / #SpotlightPost @EyeAndLightning @thewritertype

Detective Kilroy is assigned to investigate a horrible murder. He’s a fine cop, from the brim of his hat to the soles of his brogues, but his inquiries, far from solving the mystery, lead him into a deeper one – and to Cynthia, an enigmatic woman with a secret that could overturn Kilroy’s entire world.

But where is this world? It seems both familiar and uncanny, with electric cars, but no digital devices, and the audience for a public execution arriving by tram. Meanwhile, the seas are retreating, and the Church exerts an iron grip on society – and history. Power belongs to those who control the narrative.

Kilroy is forced to take sides between the Kafkaesque state that pays his wages, and the truth-seekers striving to destroy it, all the while becoming increasingly besotted with a woman who may only love him for his mind – in an alarmingly literal way.



Spotlight Post

Thank you, Paul Bassett Davies and Eye and Lightning Books


About the author

Paul Bassett Davies worked in experimental theatre before moving to television and radio, where he wrote for some of the biggest names in British comedy. He also wrote his own radio sitcom, and scripted several radio plays.

He wrote the screenplay for the 2005 feature animation The Magic Roundabout and has written and produced music videos with Kate Bush and Ken Russell. He is a former creative director of the London Comedy Writers Festival.

His first novel, Utter Folly, topped the Amazon humorous fiction chart in 2012, and his second, Dead Writers in Rehab, was published by Unbound in 2017.


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Pre-order this book and you receive a free ebook of Paul’s brand-new short story collection, The Glade And Other stories, worth £2.99. At the checkout just enter the code KINDLE or EPUB

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Through Dust and Dreams by Roxana Valea / #Extract #BlogBlitz @rararesources @roxana_valea




The Story of an African Adventure

At a crossroads in her life, Roxana decides to take a ten-day safari trip to Africa. In Namibia, she meets a local guide who talks about “the courage to become who you are” and tells her that “the world belongs to those who dream.” Her holiday over, Roxana still carries the spell of his words within her soul. Six months later she quits her job and searches for a way to fulfil an old dream: crossing Africa from north to south. Teaming up with Richard and Peter, two total strangers she meets over the Internet, Roxana starts a journey that will take her and her companions from Morocco to Namibia, crossing desserts and war-torn countries and surviving threats from corrupt officials and tensions within their own group. Through Dust and Dreams is the story of their journey: a story of courage and friendship, of daring to ask questions and search for answers, and of self-discovery on a long, dusty road south. 





Crossing the Sahara, Roxana and her travel mates hire a local Touareg guide and start a 7 day tip into the heart of the dessert. But do they fully realise the risks they are about to take?

The music was on and we had been driving for a while. I didn’t know if I should speak to him; if I should try to wake him up from his trance. I drove on in silence, trying to concentrate on the path ahead. Peter was on the back seat, too far away to speak to, Richard had gone in the other car that was following us, and Ibrahim on my right seemed to be lost in his own thoughts.

His palms came up slowly towards his face, and when he wiped them all around his forehead and cheeks I knew he had been praying and this was the end of it. He opened his eyes and seemed to have come back.

“Were you praying?” I asked him. I knew he was. And I also knew that a devout Muslim would pray before starting anything, like a trip into the desert for instance.

“Yes,” he said.

“What were you praying for?” I went on.

“That we would come back. That the desert gives us back.”

I suddenly didn’t feel like asking anything else. I looked around. The landscape was more rocky than sandy, but there was sand in the air and sand on the horizon. It looked like we were about to lose ourselves in an ocean of sand.

“What is the biggest danger? That we lose our direction? That we can’t find the way back?” I asked after a while, not managing to get my mind off his earlier comment.

“This, too, happens sometimes,” he admitted. By now he was smiling, though, and I knew he was not too worried about this possibility.

“But you know the way. You said you’ve been here thousands of times.”

“It is not the same. It is never the same. The desert moves. It changes. The dunes move, they change their shapes and their place. Everything changes.”

We might have trouble finding the way, but I still didn’t think this was the biggest problem we had. In the past month, 32 European tourists had disappeared from nearby Algeria. They still hadn’t been found. We knew about it from the Internet news sites we used to check frantically every time we had the chance to go online. We also knew that the Tuaregs used to highjack cars from tourists not very long ago, and it happened even in the middle of the towns.

Agadez was also another hotspot on the Tuareg rebellion map in the mid-1990s. If in Mali the Tuaregs were demanding an independent state, here they only wanted an autonomous region in a federal country. They were as unsuccessful here as they were in Mali. And in both countries the central governments had sent troops against them and there were battles and blood. More than 100 people, Tuareg rebels, civilians and armed forces, died here following the beginning of the rebellion in 1990. At the height of the conflict, in 1992 Agadez became a closed city and the borders with Algeria were closed as well.

A peace treaty was finally signed in 1995, but it didn’t make the region any safer. Banditry and sporadic violence were still reported, and some tourists had lost their cars around here. Some others had lost their lives, too, and right now all we were thinking about were the 32 people missing just over the border in Algeria, somewhere in the Sahara. This, I thought, was a bigger problem than the dunes that kept on moving.

“Do you think we’ll have problems with the bandits?”

“Not really. Otherwise I wouldn’t take you here, would I?” His eyes were sparkling with amusement. It was a dumb question. But if so, why was he praying?

“The desert takes us now and I prayed that the desert would give us back. May Allah’s will be done,” he concluded.

Then he told me a bit more about the Tuareg rebellion in Agadez a few years before.

“They were crazy people. They were driving around the town in their 4×4 cars armed with their rifles and they were talking of war. Madness. They scared all the tourists away. It was a very bad time for business.”

“What did they want?”

“Autonomy and independence and all these kind of things. Stupid people. They should have known this would never happen. Not in this country,” he said, with bitterness in his voice.

“But what do you think?” I insisted. “Do you think you should have an independent Tuareg state?”

“I don’t know. I don’t care. All I care about is my business and those people scared away my tourists,” he said, as if he was avoiding answering.

“I think what they wanted was impossible. And you don’t need all that shooting and killing to find out. You see, we’re just too many tribes in this country; the Hausa, the Fula, us, the Tuaregs. Too many people; too different.”

Maybe all conflicts were about one and the same thing in the end.

 “Anyway, I was happy when it was all over,” he said after a while. “And we could go back to our business and take tourists around once more. It’s reasonably safe now.”

Reasonably safe. I had heard this before. This was what the websites said. This was what he told us as we struck the deal, when we asked him if it was safe to go there. This was what we told ourselves as we decided to go on and have a tour in the Ténéré, the desert of deserts, the most beautiful place in the Sahara; reasonably safe. What did this mean anyway?

Thank you, Roxana Valea and Rachel’s Random Resources


About the author

Roxana Valea was born in Romania and lived in Italy, Switzerland, England and Argentina before settling in Spain. She has a BA in journalism and an MBA degree. She spent more than twenty years in the business world as an entrepreneur, manager and management consultant working for top companies like Apple, eBay, and Sony. She is also a Reiki Master and shamanic energy medicine practitioner.

As an author, Roxana writes books inspired by real events. Her memoir Through Dust and Dreams is a faithful account of a trip she took at the age of twenty-eight across Africa by car in the company of two strangers she met over the internet. Her following book, Personal Power: Mindfulness Techniques for the Corporate World is a nonfiction book filled with personal anecdotes from her consulting years. The Polo Diaries series is inspired by her experiences as a female polo player–traveling to Argentina, falling in love, and surviving the highs and lows of this dangerous sport.

Roxana lives with her husband in Mallorca, Spain, where she writes, coaches, and does energy therapies, but her first passion remains writing.


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The Poor Relation by Susanna Bavin / #SpotlightPost #BlogTour @rararesources @SusannaBavin



1908, Manchester. Mary Maitland is an attractive and intelligent young woman determined to strike out on her own and earn a living. Finding work at a women’s employment agency, her creative talent is soon noticed and Mary begins writing articles for newspapers and magazines. But being of independent and progressive mind are troublesome traits when those you hold dear must constantly live up to the expectations of the well-to-do family to which they are linked. With increasing pressures from the powers that be, can Mary find the fine line between honouring her family and honouring herself?



Spotlight Post

Thank you, Susanna Bavin and Rachel’s Random Resources


About the author

I am a saga writer, living in beautiful North Wales. Moving here was the fulfilment of a lifelong dream, but my writing is inspired by my Mancunian roots.


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Peripheral Visions by Nancy Christie / #Extract #BlogTour @RABTBookTours @NChristie_OH



What do you do when the hand that life deals you isn’t the one you wanted? In Peripheral Visions and Other Stories, the characters choose to play the best game they can with the cards they’ve received. For some, it’s making the most of the circumstances in which they find themselves, even if it’s not the life they planned. For others, it’s following an unconventional path—not the easiest course or the one that others would take, but the one that’s right for them. But they never lose hope that life will get better if they can just hold on.




Excerpt from “Lucinda and The Christmas List” in Peripheral Visions and Other Stories

“Is this… No, may I speak with the… No, that’s not right either… Hello, my name is….”

“May I help you?” I interrupted her, certain that, wherever this obviously scripted conversation was going, I didn’t want to follow. I was tired. I was hungry. And my microwave bell was signaling that my “honey-dipped chicken tenders with fragrant mashed potatoes and crisp green beans” were ready for consumption, if not quite living up to the package hype.

But then, I thought to myself as I pulled out the tray, few things do in this world.

“I’m sorry,” and then came a belch of such significant proportions that I instinctively moved the phone from my ear, in case any of the breath made its way through the phone wires.

“I’m sorry,” she said again. “My name is Lucinda and this is really my first day on the job and even though I went through a lot of training—six months starting last July!—I don’t think practice is the same as real life, know what I mean?”

“May I help you?” I said again, rummaging through the drawer for a clean fork or spoon. Obviously I needed to wash dishes since all twenty-three of my mismatched eating utensils were at that moment sitting in the sink with dried bits of food stuck all over them.

“Anyway, I’m calling to ask you if you have made your Christmas list yet because—”

“Look, please take my name and number off your list. I already gave at the office.”

This was a lie in more ways than one. For one thing, I hadn’t given anything anywhere yet—not a dime into the red kettles, not a dollar into the food pantry collection baskets. It wasn’t that I was selfish or cheap or uncaring but rather because I just hadn’t gotten around to it yet.

I’d do it as soon as I had a few extra bucks, I would tell myself every time I passed by one of the opportunities to “give so everyone can have a Merry Christmas,” as one of the signs proclaimed. It was just that, so far, I didn’t have any hard currency to spare.

As for the “office” part—that was just a repurposed utility closet off my kitchen where I managed to eke out a living editing theses and manuscripts and résumés for people who needed my creative touch and ability to identify the proper usage of the possessive and plural form of nouns. And the only money I had “donated” thus far was the monthly rent check to my landlord.

“I’m not asking for anything,” she said, her chipper voice starting to grate on me. “Well, that’s not true. I am asking for something but what I am asking for is your list. Your Christmas list. According to our records, you haven’t submitted one yet and if we don’t get it in time, there’s a chance that your delivery will be delayed. After all, it is December 23rd.”

“Oh, for—look, I don’t know who you are or what you want but my dinner is waiting for me,” I said, opening another drawer in search of any plasticware that would work in a pinch. I was hungry and my meal, such as it was, was starting to cool.

“Third drawer down,” she said, and without thinking I moved to open the one she had suggested and then stopped in mid-pull.

“What?” not sure if I had heard her right.

“Third drawer down. That’s where you put the utensils you get from Mama Leonie’s and Pho Ho takeaway. Papa’s Pizzeria only gives you napkins. I guess they figure you eat your cheese-and-broccoli pizza with your hands, so why waste the inventory?”

That was more than a little weird. How did she know where I ordered my meals? Was this yet another indication of personal information being sold to the highest bidder, namely the telemarketing industry? Or was I being spied on?

I instinctively closed the blinds over the kitchen sink, went to the living room where I pulled the curtains shut and then checked to make sure my front door was still triple-locked.

“I’m sorry, I’m doing this all wrong. My instructor told me if I wasn’t careful, I’d scare people and that’s just what I did. Let me try again. My name is Lucinda and—”

“What do you want?” I intended to make my voice belligerent and demanding, but instead it came out all quavery.

“We need that list,” she said. “When you were a child, you were very good about putting it together early enough that we could access it, even if most of the items you requested weren’t really within our power. And we really felt bad about that, especially the one for a real horse. That was on your list every year from when you were five until you were ten. But we did bring you the Suzy doll and her pony Sassy—remember?”

This was beyond weird and into the scary category—the stuff nightmares were made of. How did she know about that?

“Don’t worry about how I know all this,” she said reassuringly. “It’s just part of your file. I mean, if I wanted to, I could even tell you what you wanted during those horrible high school years when all you asked for was—”

“A face with no breakouts and a date with Billy. And I didn’t get either one,” I added bitterly. “Fat lot of good writing letters to Santa did me!”

“Now, don’t feel that way. Besides, that’s all in the past. This is a new Christmas and you still have time to write your list and check it twice so my boss can review it and bring you what you most need this holiday.”

Thank you, Nancy Christie and RABT Book Tours


About the author

Nancy Christie is the award-winning author of Peripheral Visions and Other Stories Rut-Busting Book for AuthorsRut-Busting Book for WritersTraveling Left of Center and Other Stories and The Gifts Of Change. Her short stories and essays have appeared in numerous print and online publications. A member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the Florida Writers Association, Christie teaches writing workshops at conferences, libraries and schools. She is also the founder of the annual “Celebrate Short Fiction” Day.


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Focus on Fiction

The Writer’s Place

One on One










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1 digital copy of Peripheral Visions and Other Stories per blog stop via Smashwords.




The Girl from the Hermitage by Molly Gartland / #SpotlightPost @EyeAndLightning @molbobolly

It is December 1941, and eight-year-old Galina and her friend Katya are caught in the siege of Leningrad, eating soup made of wallpaper, with the occasional luxury of a dead rat. Galina’s artist father Mikhail has been kept away from the front to help save the treasures of the Hermitage. Its cellars could now provide a safe haven, provided Mikhail can navigate the perils of a portrait commission from one of Stalin’s colonels. Nearly 40 years later, Galina herself is a teacher at the Leningrad Art Institute. What ought to be a celebratory weekend at her forest dacha turns sour when she makes an unwelcome discovery. The painting she embarks upon that day will hold a grim significance for the rest of her life, as the old Soviet Union makes way for the new Russia and Galina’s familiar world changes out of all recognition.



Spotlight Post

Thank you, Molly Gartland and Eye and Lightning Books


About the author

Originally from Michigan, Molly Gartland worked in Moscow from 1994 to 2000 and has been fascinated by Russian culture ever since.

She has an MA in Creative Writing from St Mary’s University, Twickenham and lives in London.

The manuscript for her debut novel The Girl from the Hermitage was shortlisted for the Impress Prize and longlisted for the Mslexia Novel Competition, the Bath Novel Award and Grindstone Novel Award.


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A Deadly Inside Scoop by Abby Collette / #SpotlightPost #BlogTour @SDSXXTours @abbyvandiver



An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery Book 1

This book kicks off a charming cozy mystery series set in an ice cream shop—with a fabulous cast of quirky characters. Recent MBA grad Bronwyn Crewse has just taken over her family’s ice cream shop in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and she’s going back to basics. Win is renovating Crewse Creamery to restore its former glory, and filling the menu with delicious, homemade ice cream flavors—many from her grandmother’s original recipes. But unexpected construction delays mean she misses the summer season, and the shop has a literal cold opening: the day she opens her doors an early first snow descends on the village and keeps the customers away. To make matters worse, that evening, Win finds a body in the snow, and it turns out the dead man was a grifter with an old feud with the Crewse family. Soon, Win’s father is implicated in his death. It’s not easy to juggle a new-to-her business while solving a crime, but Win is determined to do it. With the help of her quirky best friends and her tight-knit family, she’ll catch the ice cold killer before she has a meltdown…



Spotlight Post

Thank you, Abby Collette and Silver Dagger Book Tours


About the author

I write as Abby L. Vandiver and Abby Collette but you can just call me Abby . . .

I love mysteries! Whatever I write, I put a little mystery into it.

Now I’ve got a new cozy mystery coming out May 12, 2020. A Deadly Inside Scoop, is part of my new series, An Ice Cream Parlor Mystery from Penguin Berkley. I’m so excited for its release.

Stay tuned as I gear up for Release Day with giveaways, interviews and of course. ice cream. (Okay, I won’t actually have ice cream on my page, but I’ll talk about it. A lot.) 


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An ice cream maker and one-time ice cream delivery and scooper

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