Author Guest Post and Giveaway: Nunzio’s Way by Nick Chiarkas

Hello all, please join me in welcoming author Nick Chiarkas as he stops by today for a wonderful guest post about the positive influence one of his teachers had on him when he was 9 years old. Read on for a bit about his latest book, Nunzio’s Way which is the sequel to his book titled Weepers. Also, find out how you can enter to win a copy of the book and an Amazon gift card at the end of this post.



“In this city, you can have anything you want if you kill the right four people.” ~ Nunzio Sabino In Weepers (Book 1), Angelo and his gang, with a bit of help from his beloved “uncle” Nunzio Sabino, defeated the notorious Satan’s Knights. Now, in this standalone sequel to Weepers, it’s 1960 and Nunzio is still the most powerful organized crime boss in New York City, protecting what’s his with political schemes and ‘business’ deals.
Against this backdrop of Mafia turf wars, local gang battles, and political power-plays in the mayoral election, the bodies begin stacking up. An unlikely assassin arrives fresh from Naples after killing a top member of the Camorra to avenge the murder of her family. She blends seamlessly into the neighborhood and with the focus on the threat from the Satan’s Knights, no one suspects that Angelo’s father and Nunzio are next on her hit list. Nunzio has lived his entire life by the mantra; Be a fox when there are traps and a lion when there are wolves. Will Nunzio be a lion in time?

Praise for Nick Chiarkas:
“Writers are always told, ‘Write what you know.’ Nick Chiarkas knows New York, organized crime, and how to write an engaging story. Nunzio’s Way is gritty and thoroughly gripping.” John DeDakis, award-winning Novelist and former editor for CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer”

Book Details:
Genre: Crime Thriller / Historical
Published by: HenschelHAUS Publishing
Publication Date: October 2022
Number of Pages: 261
ISBN: 978159595-908-6
Series: Weepers, #2
Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Author Guest Post:A Lakefly Question by Nick Chiarkas

I was recently asked if I attribute my achievements to defiance. It was at a recent writers’ conference in Wisconsin, I was presenting a session on self-editing, and my bio was posted in the conference brochure.

My bio: “Nick Chiarkas grew up in the Al Smith housing projects in the Two Bridges neighborhood on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. When he was in the fourth grade, his mother was told by the principal of PS-1 that “Nick was unlikely ever to complete high school, so you must steer him toward a simple and secure vocation.”

Instead, Nick became a writer, with a few stops along the way: a U.S. Army Paratrooper (101st Airborne Division); a New York City Police Officer; the Deputy Chief Counsel for the U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations; the Deputy Chief Counsel and Research Director for the President’s Commission on Organized Crime; and the Director of the Wisconsin State Public Defender Agency. On the way, he picked up a Doctorate from Columbia University; a Law Degree from Temple University; and was a Pickett Fellow at Harvard.
How many mothers are told that their children are hopeless? How many kids with potential surrender to despair? That’s why Nick wrote Weepers and Nunzio’s Way — for them.”

Obviously, the question was about my wanting to prove the principal wrong. Usually, I respond to this question by saying it could have been a wee bit of a desire for a reckoning and let it go with that. But these were writers like me; they ought to know the power of their words. The truth. So, here’s the truth I shared that day.

I was nine years old, sitting outside the principal’s office, it was the end of the day, and his secretary was gone. Just me, and I could hear every derogatory word he was telling my mother about me. My mother was a poor Italian second-generation immigrant who thought God ordained principals. A teacher who had left for the day to pick up a bag of groceries had returned to the school to retrieve papers she inadvertently left on her desk. She stopped in front of me. Clearly, she could hear the principal. She took my hand, and we went to the teacher’s lounge. She made a pot of tea for us. At this point, I was feeling like a big shot. She took a poundcake with white frosting out of her shopping bag and asked if I liked cake. I said, “Yeah, especially the icing.” She unwrapped and cut the cake horizontally, leaving about an inch of cake and a half-inch of icing. We enjoyed tea and cake, and we talked. We talked about her growing up, and then she asked about me. What I think about. What I care about. She gave me a book of poems, Yesterday and Today, by Louis Untermeyer (I still have it). She told me to read it. I said, “I can’t read poems like these.” She said, “I believe you can. Read them and read everything and anything you can find.” And then she said, “And, Nicky, always eat the icing off the cake.”

When I was eleven, I had a job delivering groceries and would have money in my pockets when returning to the store. Gangs knew that and would chase me. I was good at running across the rooftops, jumping from roof to roof, they would give up, and I would go to the New York Public Library, gaining access from the roof, and hide in the fiction section, and I would read and read until it was safe to leave.
When I received my doctorate, I tracked down that teacher and mailed it (actually a copy of it) to her with a note that said, “See what you did.” That teacher made me feel valued, her advice empowered me, and reading gave me wings. I hope teachers, writers, and all those who take a moment to share a thought know how powerful their words are. That kids remember you. That we readers remember your words. That you can make a child fly.



About the author:


Author Links:
NickChiarkas.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @AuthorNickChiarkas
Twitter – @chiarkas
Facebook – @NicholasChiarkasAuthor

Giveaway details:
There will be FIVE (5) winners for this tour.
1 – Grand prize: $10 Amazon.com Gift Card & gift ebook (epub) of Weepers and Nunzio’s Way
4 – Runner Up prizes of Nunzio’s Way ebook (epub)

CLICK HERE to enter to win!



Special thanks to Partners in Crime Tours

Tour Stops:
10/24 Review @ I Read What You Write

10/24 Showcase @ BOOK REVIEWS by LINDA MOORE
10/25 Showcase @ 411 ON BOOKS, AUTHORS, AND PUBLISHING NEWS
10/26 Guest post @ The Bookworm
10/27 Showcase @ Books, Ramblings, and Tea
10/28 Guest post @ The Mystery of Writing
10/30 Review @ Guatemala Paula Loves to Read
11/08 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews
11/09 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader
11/1 Interview @ I Read What You Write
11/13 Review @ Paws. Read. Repeat
11/16 Guest post @ The Reading Frenzy
11/18 Review @ The Page Ladies

Shifting and Shenanigans by Elizabeth Pantley Review and Giveaway



book source: free review copy via Partners In Crime Book Tours

About the book:
Paige and her adventurous Aunt Glo inherit a country inn from eccentric GeeGee. They pack up and hit the road, arriving at the charming place they both loved since childhood. Finally! They can get into the secret room in the basement that GeeGee kept locked! They discover it’s a wonderful library filled to the brim with mystery books. But more than the room was a secret – it’s a magical place that houses enchanted books. Paige and Glo find themselves smack-dab in the middle of a murder mystery, along with a motley group of book club friends. The club will need to work together to solve the case in order to get out of the book and back to their home.

Praise for Shifting and Shenanigans:
“A book club cozy mystery with a wonderful twist!” – Judi, Amazon Reviewer

“I’m ravenous for the next book!”- @mullanewayne

“The concept is nothing short of brilliant!”- Book Bites

“A must-read mystery!”- JACW, Amazon

“A unique twist to the cozy mystery genre! I was enchanted.”- Cozy Up with Kathy

Book Details:
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: July 15th 2022
Number of Pages: 210
ASIN: B0B3WLF7CW
Series: Magical Mystery Book Club #1
Book Links: Amazon | Goodreads

Excerpt:

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said the locksmith. He took a step back and scratched his head. He’d been at it for twenty minutes and still hadn’t opened the door. “It doesn’t make sense. This takes a skeleton key. It should be a simple task. People can do it with a couple of Allen wrenches. I’ve even done it with a pair of paperclips.”

“So, what do we do now?” Glo asked.
“Best thing is to contact a carpenter. Since the hinges are inside, he’ll have to drill the lock. It’ll destroy the lock and damage your door, though.”
“We don’t have much choice. We want to get into the room, so we’ll have to do it,” I said.

After the locksmith left, we looked up a couple of local contractors, but any openings were days away. We texted Theo but hadn’t heard back from him yet.
We decided to start the day by sorting out the kitchen. There were plenty of dishes and dry goods, but the organization was an absolute mess.
“How in the world did she work in this disaster?” Glo mumbled. “You’d spend half your time searching for things!” She was emptying out a cabinet. She pulled out an odd assortment of dishes, pots, cleaning supplies, and canned goods. She started to laugh and held up a hundred-piece puzzle in one hand and a shoeshine kit in the other.
“Now this makes perfect sense.” She was snorting. “Make dinner, clean up, shine your shoes and do a puzzle.” I held up a few treasures from the cabinet I was working on. “And here you go. In case you need a spare pair of socks, a stack of plastic containers – no lids – and printer ink.”
“It’s like a treasure hunt! It’s good for us to sort through all this anyhow.”
“True,” I agreed. “Then we’ll know what we’ve got. Let me find some paper and a pen and we’ll start a list of things we need.”
I began to sort through the typical drawers most people would use for things like pens and scratch paper, then groaned. “You know what’s in her junk drawers? Talcum powder, coffee creamer, clothespins, and aha! The soup bowls!”
“Where’s the very last place you’d look for a pen and paper? Try that first,” snickered Glo.
“Probably the bathroom,” I joked. “I’ll just make a list on my phone.”
I opened another cabinet and groaned at the stack of boxes and plastic containers jammed into every inch. They were filled with random stuff. I took them to the table and dumped them out.
“Holy Toledo! Glo, look at this!” I stood up and did a little dance around the kitchen. I shimmied over to her, then held up a very old-looking skeleton key.

~ ~ ~

“I feel like we should have a drum roll or a trumpet fanfare—”
“—or fireworks!” laughed Glo. “At least a countdown. Five … four … three … two … one! Blastoff!”
I turned the key and heard the click as it unlocked. “Houston, we have liftoff.”
I twisted the knob and pushed the door open. There was a set of stairs to the basement. At the bottom of the stairs was another door. We opened it. Impossibly, there was another set of stairs. At the bottom of those stairs was yet another door. It required a skeleton key to open. I stared at the key in my hand. “You better work,” I told the key.
The key worked smoothly, and I opened the door.
Our jaws dropped and neither of us spoke. You could have heard a cotton ball drop.
Finally, Glo broke the silence. “Holy macaroni! This is insane!”
“How could she have kept this secret our whole lives?” I wondered.
“WHY did she keep this secret?” Glo added.
“This room is the size of the entire house! It’s enormous. Ginormous!” I whistled.
“This secret space is underneath the inn! How is it two stories high? Is that even structurally sound? This is bizarre.”

The room was indeed two levels high, connected by a brass spiral staircase. In the front area, where we were glued to the spot, was a large seating area with eight cozy floral patterned armchairs. A beautiful wooden coffee table sat in the middle. There was an antique globe on a brass stand, and a stone fireplace like the one upstairs. This one had an intricately carved wood mantle and a stone hearth. A large statue of a woman holding a book was centered on the mantle.

“Look at all these books!” exclaimed Glo, spinning in a circle.
“This is the library GeeGee referred to in her will! Remember? She said she’s putting us in charge. That it’s priceless!”
“I am beyond confused, Paige. How is this even possible? GeeGee was just a sweet little innkeeper. She was the lady who baked us cookies and homemade stew. And she was hiding all this right under our feet?!”



My Thoughts:

Shifting and Shenanigans is book 1 in Elizabeth Pantley’s cozy paranormal mystery series. As the story starts, newly divorced 30 year old Paige and her bff Aunt Gloria have inherited their grandmother’s lakeside Colorado inn called the Snapdragon. Grandma a.k.a. GeeGee said the ladies have to also take care of the library there. Soon enough the ladies discover the huge library in the basement and meet a talking Siamese cat named Frank. If this awesome start doesn’t draw a reader in, I don’t know what will.

Gloria and Paige are informed that the book club of 8 members is mandatory when owning this library. So the ladies pick the members and have their first club meeting when they realize this a magical mystery book club. The book club members get transported into their current mystery read and can come back home once they solve said mystery. When the group find themselves transported into a small-town murder mystery, they start meeting the locals to try and solve the whodunnit. The Snapdragon Inn remains in the bookish world providing the club members a place to stay.

The story took off from page one and I was entertained throughout. I enjoyed trying to figure out who the killer was as the book club members went around questioning the local townspeople. I do wish there was a little more character development with the central characters but hopefully that happens as the series progresses. The talking cat Frank was definitely my favorite character, he made me laugh out loud a few times with his antics. Frank had even had me worried about him at one point, I’ll leave it at that lol.

The author does a wonderful job at bringing the setting to life and I could easily envision the Snapdragon Inn with it’s lakefront views and the themed guest rooms as well as the mystery book setting. With a few twists to the storyline towards the end, this was a fun cozy and the perfect start to a new series, and I breezed through it in one sitting. I recommend Shifting and Shenanigans if you’re in the mood for a fun cozy paranormal mystery.

Tour stops:
10/12 Review @ Avonna Loves Genres

10/12 Review @ Scrapping&Playing
10/14 Review @ Waterside Kennels Mysteries
10/15 Review @ Review Thick And Thin
10/16 Review @ Guatemala Paula Loves to Read
10/19 Review @ The Bookworm
10/19 Review @ Totally Addicted to Reading
10/20 Review @ Fredas Voice
10/20 Review @ Pick a good book
10/21 Review @ nanasbookreviews
 

Giveaway:

This is a giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Elizabeth Pantley. See the widget for entry terms and conditions. Void where prohibited.
The giveaway is for: One $10 Amazon.com Gift card PLUS a choice of one eBook from the Magical Mystery Book Club series OR the Destiny Falls Mystery & Magic series.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN



Author Bio:

Elizabeth Pantley says that writing her Mystery and Magic book series is the most fun she’s ever had at work. Fans of the series say her joy is evident through the engaging stories she tells. Elizabeth is also the international bestselling author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution and twelve other books for parents. Her books have been published in over twenty languages. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, a beautiful inspiration for her enchanted worlds.

Catch Up With Elizabeth Pantley:
www.NoCrySolution.com
Goodreads
BookBub – @DestinyFalls
Instagram – @destinyfallsmystery
Facebook – @DestinyFallsMysteryandMagic



Disclaimer:This review is my honest opinion. I did not receive any kind of compensation for reading and reviewing this book. I am under no obligation to write a positive review. My copy of Shifting and Shenanigans by Elizabeth Pantley came via Partners In Crime Book Tours in exchange for my honest thoughts on it.

Book/Author Spotlight and Book Giveaway: Dreadful Beauty by L.M. Rapp


Hi everyone, please join me in welcoming author L.M. Rapp as she stops by on virtual tour today for her book A Dreadful Beauty. Read on for an excerpt, guest post, a few interview questions including some gorgeous Notre Dame gargoyle pictures and information on entering to win a copy of A Dreadful Beauty.


About the book:
Nymphosis, a disease that turns humans into Chimeras, is ravaging the land of Gashom.
The More-Than-Pure, determined to protect themselves, have seized power and enacted segregationist laws.
Neria, the daughter of a high dignitary, witnesses more and more of the Chimeras being ruthlessly executed.
When she learns she is afflicted by the very disease her father is determined to eradicate, she’s forced to surrender her privileges. She flees the capital amid her terrifying transformation and traverses the strange wilds to seek refuge with others like her.
But she knows what’s happening isn’t right. Find out how Neria develops the courage to fight oppression in this inspiring and elegantly written fantasy novel that pushes all to look deeper.

———————–

A Dreadful Beauty Excerpt

One moment, she had been enjoying the security and comfort of her family home. The next, she was left helpless in a deserted square. An oil lamp rested in Neria’s hand. A clay container, filled with a greenish-yellow liquid. A wick, coiled within its heart, snaked up to the groove that guided it into the open air. A flame danced on its tip, a paltry defense against the darkness of that night, one of those gentle nights that often follow the heat of the day. The moon watched her with a wry smile.

Neria suddenly felt she was going to collapse, crumpling like a sheet that had fallen to the ground. Without the warmth of the hand curled inside hers, she would have indeed done so. She remembered the last time she had seen Arhel’s hand, crimson and reaching out of the covers. Who knew what the disease would do to her? But before she succumbed to it, she would save Anaëlle.

She breathed in, then out, and took a step forward. Her aching limbs strained at first, but after a few minutes, she was walking briskly, her head bowed like a servant, the child in tow. First, she had to find the secret passage her mother had told her about and cross the wall of the High District without going through the ever-guarded gates.

She came to a dead-end and saw the dried-up well and a withered pistachio tree lined with shrubs of rosemary leaning against the perimeter wall. It concealed a narrow, low opening. She went in first, crawled into a tunnel bereft of cobwebs and emerged behind an olive tree, also surrounded by shrubbery. Crouching down, she peeked between the branches. No one was there. She called to Anaëlle in a hushed voice, the child joining her. They emerged from their cover and arrived on the street. Before long, they had made their way to an impoverished part of town they had never been to before. The hovels were huddled together, separated here and there by narrow, randomly arranged passageways. The first on the left… The second on the right…

“Hey there, little lady! Where are you off to in such a hurry?”
Three guards had concealed themselves in a nook to drink to their hearts’ content…


Author guest post:

A Dream Come True
I loved reading and writing from a very early age. In elementary school, I remember writing a poem in which I described, in rhyme, the sunlight shining on the snow… My family complimented me, but I soon realized that writing stories or poetry wasn’t what was expected of me. My aim in school and university was to get a diploma, so I would be able to have a good job and earn a decent living.

So, I stopped all my efforts to develop my writing skills, though I did continue on reading. In fact, I never left home without a book. Even now, since I read on my phone, I carry my library with me everywhere I go. It’s amazing and it gives me an inexplicable level of serenity.
But this thought of becoming a writer was still sitting on the back of my head and I decided to check back in with my abilities. While I was a student, on a long train ride from Toulouse to Bordeaux, I took out a sheet of paper and a pen to brainstorm an idea worthy of exploration. Nothing came to mind. At least, nothing that warranted delving deeper and eventually morphing into a novel. So, I reached the conclusion that I had no talent as a writer and that I would never be skillful enough to pursue this profession.

Years have now passed, I’ve lived in other countries, and have had several jobs. I spent some time painting. This discipline, like any discipline practiced seriously, taught me precision and the search for a harmonious balance. To promote my painting, I kept a blog. At a certain point, I wished a bit like a classical pianist learning to play jazz, to free myself from constraints. Abandoning methods and technical means, armed with a pencil or a ballpoint pen, I started to scribble on scraps of paper.
Monsters appeared for the first time. Unlike humans, who always try to smile in pictures, and showcase ourselves at our best to hide weaknesses and negative emotions, my monsters don’t smile if they don’t feel like it. I decided to write their stories, a short one for each of the paintings. And slowly but surely I began imagining a young heroine growing up in a family of supremacists until the day a disease turns her into one of these persecuted creatures. With just a storyline and a few characters in mind, how did the ideas come to me when I thought I had none?

Well, I sat down at my computer for more than five minutes. Even now I dread that floating sensation, that emptiness, that time of latency during which I look at the screen without knowing if the miracle will happen again. The brain spins, searches, weighs, then the inspiration arrives. And if it doesn’t, I scribble what comes to mind. Anything and everything. Truncated, wobbly and unintelligible phrases… But it doesn’t matter. I have to keep the flow moving and I’ll get it right later.

For three years, I worked alone. I read essays, tried to learn, and went through some typical steps: first the doubt, then the wonder at a short story or a few well-turned sentences I had just written. After a while, I began to realize that I didn’t understand anything. We imagine artists as isolated, and while it’s true that most of the creative process is accomplished in solitude, everyone needs community and support. After three years, determined to find answers, I was fortunate enough to discover an excellent literary consultant on the Internet. He guided me to rework the story, make it denser and improve my style. He often quotes a phrase from Proust: “The main quality of a writer is courage.” The courage to persevere despite difficulties, to admit mistakes and to ask for help when necessary. The rewriting took a year.

Today, I can hold my dream in my hand and I would like to motivate you to pursue yours, not for the money or potential fame, but for the unspeakable joy of seeing it come true.

A few interview questions:
Q: How did you do research for your book?
A: The research took place mostly on the internet. A word I stumble upon while writing can instantly turn into several hours of reading.

Q: Which was the hardest character to write? The easiest?
A: None of the characters were easy to write about, but certainly the most difficult was the tyrannical father. I read three different books about serial killers before I began to understand the reasoning of a psychopath.

Q: In your book, you describe the gargoyles’ people. What made you use elements of Gothic architecture for creating these characters?

A: During a visit to Notre Dame de Paris, I was able to admire the sculptures of gargoyles that adorn its facade. Their mere presence evoked a fabulous universe and served as great inspiration in my novel.

Q: Where do you get inspiration for your stories?
A: The ideas seem to me to be floating around, in books, events, and encounters, and that it is enough to sit for long hours in front of a computer screen and concentrate on arranging them in a new way.

Q: There are many books out there about chimeras. What makes yours different?

A: The story follows a family and a people through a tone that is both intimate and epic, which is rather unusual in this kind of literature.

—————————-

About the author:
L.M. Rapp has lived in different countries and practiced several professions: dentist, web developer, artist, aikido teacher, farmer. Eager to learn and discover, she uses her experiences to enrich her stories. She has also written a thriller, Of Flesh and Tears.
Website: https://www.lmrap.com/en Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/L.M.Rapp

Giveaway details: *open worldwide now through September 25th*
To enter to win a copy of A Dreadful Beauty by L.M. Rapp:
1. comment on this post and leave your email address
2. spread the word about this giveaway for an extra entry
That’s it! good luck! I will email the winner on September 26th

*this giveaway is now closed*.


Special thanks to A Marketing Expert for making this possible.

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: Last Stop on the 6 by Patricia Dunn

Hello everyone. Today I am spotlighting a book called Last Stop on the 6 by author Patricia Dunn which is being released on November 9th. I’m also hosting a book giveaway!
Read on for more about the book, a book excerpt and the giveaway details.



ADVANCE PRAISE FOR LAST STOP ON THE 6

“Bravo to Patricia Dunn for creating this uniquely powerful journey from which it is nearly impossible to turn away.” -Mary Calvi, author of Dear George, Dear Mary: A Novel of George Washington’s First Love, Emmy® award winning journalist, anchor for CBS 2 News and Inside Edition

“If you like quick-witted, fast-talking, and street-smart characters who have big dilemmas and even bigger hearts, look no further than Patricia Dunn’s Last Stop on the 6.” -Kathy Curto, author of Not for Nothing: Glimpses into a Jersey Girlhood

“Last Stop on the 6 is a rip-roaring love song to the Bronx, a coming-of-age story about the places that make us, that we try so hard to leave, and that so often pull us home.”- Melissa Faliveno, author of Tomboyland

“Dunn writes with verve and eloquence in this deftly told, gorgeously crafted story that crackles with wry humor and remarkable observations about love, departure, and its aftermath.” – Jimin Han, author of A Small Revolution

“Last Stop on the 6 is one of the funniest books I’ve read—laugh out loud funny—and one of the wisest. A miracle.” -Kathleen Hill, author of Still Waters in Niger, Who Occupies This House, and She Read to Us in the Late Afternoons

“These are characters you will want to know and live with through her novel. Get on that 6 train now and take it until the last stop.” – David Masello, executive editor of Milieu, author of Architecture Without Rules, Art in Public Places, and a forthcoming book from Rizzoli

“A superb book that I couldn’t stop reading.” – Joan Silber, author of Secrets of Happiness, Ideas of Heaven, and Improvement, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction and the PEN/Faulkner Award

“Dunn has introduced me to characters all possessing questions for which there are no easy answers-only the slow and steady reawakenings of familial bonds and moral responsibility. A heartfelt work of art.”- Carolyn Ferrell, author of Dear Miss Metropolitan and Don’t Erase Me



About the book:

LAST STOP ON THE 6 By Patricia Dunn

Can you ever really go home again? Theresa Angela Campanosi is about to find out in LAST STOP ON THE 6 by Patricia Dunn (November 9, 2021; Bordighera Press; $20). This hilarious, hard-hitting and big-hearted novel brings to mind the movie A Bronx Tale as it follows Angela back home to her Italian-American family in the Bronx to prepare for her brother’s wedding.

After a decade as a political activist in Venice, California, Angela is back in her childhood home about to topple her family’s tower of secrets—the truth about her brother’s accident, impending marriage and subsequent disappearance, her alcoholic father’s fall off the wagon, and her former boyfriend’s recovery from heroin addiction. And most of all, why Fat Freddie is tormenting her family.

As Angela navigates love, guilt, and red gravy, she learns the price of living in the past, allowing her parents to squeeze her back into her childhood bedroom, and the cost of redemption. LAST STOP ON THE 6 is the express train back to those feelings we thought we left behind and the heartfelt promise of something better when we face them at last.

PATRICIA DUNN is an Italian rebel raised in the Bronx. She is the author of the young adult novel, Rebels by Accident (Sourcebooks Fire). Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, The Village Voice, The Nation, LA Weekly, and The Christian Science Monitor. Dunn has served as the senior director of the Writing Institute at Sarah Lawrence College, where she holds an MFA in creative writing. She is the co-founder of The Joe Papaleo Writers Workshop in Cetera, Italy.

LAST STOP ON THE 6 by Patricia Dunn
Bordighera Press; November 9, 2021
$20; 286 Pages
ISBN-13: 978-1-59954-173-0


Excerpt from Last Stop on the 6 by Patricia Dunn

Size 9 was printed on the front of the shoebox. Since my mother was barely a size 6, I knew whatever was in that box was for me. The only thing that made her happier than buying shoes for herself was buying shoes for someone else.

“Open it.” She smiled widely, somewhat resembling The Joker from Batman.

Inside the box was exactly what I didn’t want – six-inch sling- back stiletto heels. Mommy thought my five-foot, eight-inch model height was my best feature, and accentuating it was, she claimed, the main reason she focused on my achieving model weight. The only feature these shoes were meant to accentuate was a latent desire to join the ranks of prostitution. But the height of the heels wasn’t the most disturbing part of the shoes. They were dyed to match a color – mauve. Dyed-to-match mauve shoes meant there was a mauve dress I was expected to wear – a bridesmaid’s dress? Was this the big secret Mommy didn’t want me to know yet? She expected me to be a bridesmaid? I don’t know if I was more relieved or repulsed, but I was certain my brother and the bride-to-be had no intention of my being part of their wedding party.

I dropped the shoes back into their box and reached up over the closet to touch the hanging crucifix, which had instilled fear in me since my First Holy Communion. With the exception of a tiny black mole on his cheek, which Jimmy had put there with an indelible Magic Marker, this Jesus’s features were erased. His head leaned to one side, and he was missing the fake-blood color in all those places where he had been nailed to the cross.

After I made my First Communion, everything was Jesus to me. Every day, I’d climb up on a chair so I could kiss Jesus on each wound – the palm of his right hand, the palm of his left hand, and the place where his ankles crossed. Then, one day, Jesus slid down and fell off the cross. Convinced I’d broken Jesus, I started to cry, until Jimmy came into the room, stepped up onto the chair, and standing at my side, demonstrated how Jesus slid up and down.
“See, his body is a panel, hiding a secret compartment.”
The inside of Jesus was empty.

Mommy later told me the secret compartment once held a vial of holy water and two candles, which a priest would need to perform last rites. “Priests don’t need to break glass in case of an emergency, they need to break Jesus open.” It was rare for her to make a joke, and I wanted to encourage her, so I laughed extra loud before I asked, “Who died?”

“No one died.” She stopped smiling. “The candles and holy water vanished.”

When I asked her if Jesus was a magician and could make things disappear, she bent down and whispered in my ear, “Only children who misbehave.”


Giveaway Details: U.S. residents only please.
To enter to win a print copy of Last Stop on the 6 by Patricia Dunn:

1. Comment on this post.
2. For an extra entry share this post on your social media and let me know in the comments section.

Thanks everyone. This contest is now closed. Congrats to C. Lee!” Thank you for entering and sharing. Happy reading!

Special thanks to Meryl Moss Media for making this possible.

Giveaway: Sarana and the Dark King by Ivy Keating and Amazon Gift Card

Hello blog friends, thanks for stopping in today. I am very excited to be hosting a giveaway here at The Bookworm blog. Author Ivy Keating is generously giving away a paperback copy of her book AND a $10.00 Amazon E-gift card to 3 lucky winners! (U.S. residents only please)
I read Sarana and the Dark King this summer and I shared my thoughts on it here.



Also of note, Sarana and the Dark King is a finalist in the Global Book Awards. The publisher is running an e-book sale from September 15-September 30 for $1.99.

Read on for more about the book as well as a post about confidence by the author. The contest details are at the end of this post.

Blurb:
The fearsome Dark King of Bounten, with a magical creature known as a Valomere by his side, is on a quest to find the rare metal tarilium. His brutal ways incite the powerful psychic Allani. But when news of his plans to invade the kingdom of Attaveer spread, a new opponent emerges—Sarana, the daughter of a farmer…or is she?

At birth Sarana was sentenced to death for her “cursed” white hair. The delivery nurse, Meriden, whisked the fair-haired babe to a loving home across the waters from Bounten. Her entire life she hid her appearance to avoid prejudice. Things changed when she discovered she too had a Valomere. She strived to learn the creature’s magic and master fighting skills with the hope of becoming a warrior. Her dreams came true when she was allowed to join the Attaveerian king’s network of spies–a group poised to help defend the kingdom from an invasion by the Dark King and his powerful army.

When word of the white-haired messenger reached the Dark King he vowed to stop at nothing to capture or kill his opponent.

The time for hiding is over.

Can Sarana save herself and her kingdom? Follow Sarana from death to destiny as she joins forces with psychics, Valomeres, and the power of inner strength, to defeat an evil king.


Finding Confidence by Ivy Keating

How important is having confidence? Studies have shown that having confidence can increase our ability to solve problems. We’ve also discovered that people are more likely to trust someone that appears confident. But, maybe even more important, having confidence can help us feel better when we’re faced with upsetting situations.

I believe the key to confidence is embedded in the concept of a “locus of control.” Postulated by Julian Rotter, it refers to the varying degrees we feel we have control of things versus the degree that external things have control over us.

It’s easy to see how someone could feel insecure if they constantly had to wait for someone else’s approval. Let’s say you’re a writer. If the only way you value what you created is based on how others rate it, then you’re subjected to the whim of external forces.

So, how can we develop a strong sense of being in control?

First, accept and appreciate who you are. We all have flaws. It’s ok to work on them, but it is not helpful to saddle yourself with negativity. Always acknowledge your accomplishments and use self affirmations –– positive statements about yourself –– for encouragement.

Next, remember that you’re in control of your actions. How you respond to negative news is your choice. Just as how you act when you get positive news. Build on your accomplishments, and work on the failures.

And, finally, outside forces affect us but we can dictate to what degree. Self appreciation and the knowledge that we are capable of initiating our own coping behaviors will bolster feelings of having an internal locus of control. Armed with this feeling, the power that comes with confidence is yours!

-This article was written by Ivy Keating, originally posted at her website https://storiestonovels.com/blog/2021/6/30/finding-confidence and used here with the author’s permission.




Contest Details open to U.S. residents only please:
The giveaway starts now September 6th and ends on September 18th. The 3 winners will be notified via e-mail and here on this post on September 19th. If you do not reply with your mailing address within 48 hours of being e-mailed a runner up will be chosen.
* There will be 3 winners drawn. Each winner will get a print copy of Sarana and the Dark King by Ivy Keating AND a $10.00 Amazon E-Gift card



**THIS CONTEST IS NOW CLOSED** THANK YOU FOR STOPPING IN


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Disclaimer: Nothing in this post is available for download. The article titled Confidence is by Ivy Keating and shared here with her permission.