Thursday, February 27, 2020

#52WeeksofGratitude - Week 9

How Did You Do and Feel?

How does it feel to be grateful?

Uh, this list is a bit strange sometimes… but okay, I’ll answer. 

Regarding last week’s task…I did fine, and it felt great.  Of course it did!  It always feels great to thank people.

So good I’ll keep doing it. 

It’s addictive!

Love and Peace,  


Why do this?

To exercise fingers on the keyboard.

It’s only one post a week.

Positivity is a great energy conductor.

I have lots to be grateful for!

It’ll be fun! (maybe?)

Join me, if you dare.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Author Kay Phoenix

A few weeks ago, I took a 3-day weekend to travel to one of my favorite places in the world...The Grand Canyon.  My sister had never seen it, so it seemed only logical to go. A person must see it.

We stayed two nights in a fifty year old hotel called the Red Feather Lodge in Tusayan, Arizona, right outside of the National Park border.  We even saw some wild elk rambling through town. 

We also took a side trip to Meteor Crater right outside of Flagstaff, and spent the night there (in Flagstaff, not in the crater).  If you've never heard of Meteor Crater, you should read about it. 

The last morning of our mini-vacation, we stopped into a place I know and love called Bearizona.  It's a first class wildlife facility in the tiny Route 66 town of Williams, Arizona. 

It was a great, somewhat exhausting, 3 day weekend and I can't wait to get on the road again....I just can't wait to get on the road again....

Title: Steele and Stone

Author/pen name:  Kay Phoenix

Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Date of Publication:  November 2, 2016


Number of pages: 133

Word Count:  42,000


Elle Thompson was raised in Denver. She paints. She hikes. She knows how to avoid cougar attacks.

The only cougars Michael Williams usually worries about are the ones that wear leopard print leggings on 5th Avenue.

But, when his acquisition firm sets its sights on Elle's family business, his tidy life goes awry. As things unravel, so do all his preconceived notions of love and what makes a perfect partner.

Buy links:


“So, how are you feeling today?” a familiar voice asked behind him. He didn’t have to turn to know who it was, but he turned anyway, temporarily forgetting about his sunburn until he saw the shocked expression on her face.
“Whoa! No sunblock either? I had some, you could have asked,” she giggled. “That’ll peel for sure.”
Blue! Brilliant, shimmering blue eyes. He hadn’t seen her eyes during their hike, as they’d been hidden behind sunglasses the whole time, and he’d always been a sucker for blue eyes. Her blonde hair hung long, loose and wavy as she leaned casually against the doorframe.
“I see you’ve already made yourself quite at home,” she said. “Randall told me he let you use the conference room.”
“What are you doing here?” he asked in a tone that sounded a bit too firm.
“Oh, no ‘How are you?’ or ‘Nice to see you?’” She tilted her head to the side, causing a loose curl to graze her breast.
He turned back to the coffee. “I didn’t mean to sound rude. You just surprised me.”

Author bio:

Ms. Phoenix is a rare bird herself...a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, Nevada. She belonged to Las Vegas Romance Writers and served on the board for ten years. She was also a member of Romance Writers of America with PAN status.

Prior to writing, Kay was a Graphic Artist for fifteen years in the casino industry and holds degrees in both Graphic Arts and Psychology. Currently she works in an elementary school library. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, traveling and photography. 

Kay has been blessed to be able to travel many places, which inspired her to host a weekly author spotlight called “Midweek Escapes” on her blog. It features guest author’s favorite vacation destinations, their travel tips, and, of course, information about their book releases and occasional giveaways.

Author website and social media links:




Thursday, February 20, 2020

#52WeeksofGratitude - Week 8

Express Gratitude to 3 People

Ok, this one is extremely easy because there are so many people I could list.  It’s tough to narrow it down!  So tough!

First, my amazing Grandmother, without whom I wouldn’t be the person I am today.  She was the wisest woman I’ve known.

Second, I’m grateful to my mom for also being an inspiration to me.  She was a single mother, and she put herself through college and spent many a late night up studying while I was young in order to make a better life for us. 

I’m also grateful to the many other lovely female souls in my ancestors who went before me and laid the foundation for this life.  I don’t know all of their stories, but I know that it is because of them that I am here. 

(I guess that constitutes 3 people?)  I can’t limit it to just 3! 

Love and Peace,  


Why do this?

To exercise fingers on the keyboard.

It’s only one post a week.

Positivity is a great energy conductor.

I have lots to be grateful for!

It’ll be fun! (maybe?)

Join me, if you dare.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Author Constance G. Jones

Emerging Butterfly
Constance G. Jones

Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir

Publisher: Beautiful Sky Publishing

Date of Publication:  1213/2020

ISBN: 978-1-7338439-0-4
ISBN: 978-1-7338439-1-1
ISBN: 978-1-7338439-2-8

Number of pages: 245
Word Count: 65,132

Cover Artist:

Tagline: Survive the darkness of the cocoon and you will emerge into the light of day.

Book Description:

Raised in San Diego in the 1980s, Constance was born to be a Californian dreamer. The fourth of nine children in a poor, dysfunctional family, she grew up with three demons in her household: alcohol, abuse, and absence. She buried her dreams in the dark cocoon of her childhood. As a teenager, an accident upended her world and cursed her with epilepsy for the rest of her life.

Entering adulthood, Constance hoped she’d left the worst behind her. Instead, toxic relationships, misguided spiritual teachings, and close calls with death nearly broke her.

But Constance discovered curses can hide blessings in their inner layers. Instead of breaking, she chose to break free, realizing her heart could sprout wings to take her in the direction of her wildest dreams…

In a mesmerizing memoir that is by turns heartbreaking and heartwarming, writer and philanthropist Constance Grays Jones retraces her precarious journey towards truth, love, community, and self-discovery. Tackling issues of epilepsy, depression, infertility, and family drama with refreshing sass, humor, and compassion, she reminds us that we are products of our past but also the creators of our purpose. Her inspiring story is a wakeup call for the soul, showcasing the tenacity of the human spirit, the pockets of sunlight in the darkest corners, and the transformational power of belief and love.


It is remarkable how lonely you can feel even when constantly surrounded by people. It is eerie how life is dictated by luck—the luck of which family you are born into. I had friends who had stable households, loving parents, families who always made time for them, normal siblings, and access to ballet lessons, summer camp, and nice clothes. I, on the other hand, lived in the heart of chaos. I felt neglected, unseen, and forced to grow up fast. I’d tried running away a few times. I’d tried staying with my relatives for as long as I was able. I always ended up back home.
Would they even notice if I was gone? Would they even care?
I’d be one less kid to worry about. One less mouth to feed. There were so many of us anyway. And I would be free… free from the pain, neglect, emptiness… free from my returning father.
Derrick would care. I felt a pang of regret that I would leave my best friend behind. I thought about my younger sisters. Would they hate me for abandoning them as our dad had abandoned us? Would they be able to take care of themselves without me? Maybe my parents would have regrets. Maybe my mom would feel horrible for ignoring me. Maybe she would cry over my little dead body and wish she’d treated me nicer. She would tell my dad and he would feel like it was his fault. He’d have to live with the regret for his entire life.
Yes. Good. It would serve them right.
I wondered if I would go to Hell. According to the Bible, God would damn me for taking my own life. It was a sin. The fires would be hot… there would be pitch forks, torture, and demons…
My hands started to shake. I couldn’t get myself to open the bottle of pills.
Or maybe God would take pity on me. Maybe he’d take me up to Heaven so I could finally be happy. That would be a very different sort of afterlife. I envisioned blue skies and sunny fields of lush green grass, colorful flowers and refreshing rivers, beautiful smiling angels and music. I would be able to fly in Heaven, it would be a place filled with enchanting music, and I would be given everything I’d ever wanted in my life. I wouldn’t be poor. I wouldn’t cry myself to sleep at night. I wouldn’t need to live with my father ever again.
I can’t take it anymore. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t…
A knock on the door startled me. “Connie?” Andre’s voice drifted through the keyhole. “What are you doing in there?”
I paused. He had seen me go in. I’d pushed past him while I’d been crying. Had he seen the pill bottle? “None of your business!”
“Open the door!” he said.
“No!” I retorted.
“Open the door! Open it now!”
His demands and his frantic knocking incited a fresh wave of tears. The enormity of what I was about to do frightened me. His frantic awareness of it frightened me even further.
“No,” I kept saying. My hands were shaking so badly that it was difficult to get the cap off the bottle, but I finally managed. “No!” This was what I wanted, right? Yes, I told myself. This was what I needed. There couldn’t be any turning back. They won’t change, I reprimanded myself. Nothing will change. Only I can change this. It wasn’t a bad thing. I hadn’t contemplated death too much, but I hoped that it would be like swimming out of blackness and into the light, like a butterfly emerging from a cocoon. Surely it would be better than all this.
I’ve wondered, since then, why so many people choose bathrooms as a suicide setting. There are many reasons to choose from, probably. Bathrooms are where pills and razors are located. They are private spaces, where other people are far less likely to interrupt you or bang down the door if they think you’re taking your sweet time flossing or grappling with constipation. Bathrooms are also easier to clean, since water is in great supply. Then there’s the mirror, too, offering a final face-down and farewell.
For my fourteen-year-old self, this bathroom had become a narrow ledge at the world’s end. I teetered on the cliff between hope and despair, reeling from my never-ending exposure to a world of violence and vulnerability where no one seemed to care and no one seemed to notice. From my vantage point, there was only one way out: step off the cliff and into the void. I wasn’t sure yet if falling meant flying.

About the Author:

Constance G. Jones is a San Diego native, an avid reader, and a storyteller. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Management and Organizational Communications from Point Loma Nazarene University and has since worked in administration, public relations, and career services; most recently, she serves as a site manager at Walmart Global eCommerce. In 2016, Constance founded Elevate Foundation with her husband, Claude, driven by their personal mission to make an impact in their local community and inspire others to do the same. Emerging Butterfly: A Memoir is Constance’s debut book.

Elevate Foundation:

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Thursday, February 13, 2020

#52WeeksofGratitude - Week 7

A Friend.
I was lucky enough to meet my best friend/ sister from another mister in 3rd grade. That means, we’ve been besties for more years that I care to admit (because, we are only 21, after all).

She’s been there for me through many rough days, and has even saved me a few times.  She’s been there to knock sense into me too.  She’s often the voice of reason in an obnoxiously loud, confusing world. 

She was placed in my life for a reason, because God knew I needed her.  And, I hope that I’ve been a good friend to her as well.  I appreciate her so much.

Love and Peace,  


Why do this?

To exercise fingers on the keyboard.

It’s only one post a week.

Positivity is a great energy conductor.

I have lots to be grateful for!

It’ll be fun! (maybe?)

Join me, if you dare.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Authors Holly Graf and Krissy May

Blue Note
The Fractured Prism
Book One
Holly Graf and Krissy May

Genre: NA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: 252 Publishing
Date of Publication: 6/21/19
ISBN: 978-1-950753-00-0
ASIN: 195075300X
Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 67,444

Cover Artist: Krissy May

Tagline: Everything has a price

Book Description:

Niels Poulsen, self-styled God of Rock and lead singer in a popular punk band, has everything he could want: family, friends, fortune, and fame. When his best friend and fellow band member, Jace, goes missing, Niels will do anything to get him home safe.

Niels discovers that their money and connections won’t help them on their journey. They will rely on an model airplane, a family secret, and a tangled magic that weaves the band into the fabric of other realms so tightly they may never make it home again. Their quest takes them across new worlds, through foreign dangers, and straight into the path of an ancient prophecy that wants Niels for itself.

If Niels and his friends survive long enough to find Jace and negotiate their way home to Manhattan, will it be worth the price? The magic says one of them will have to die…

Amazon     BN


       As they walked away from the sketchy people, Niels leaned down close to Hattie’s face. “The liquor stall? Or do you think it’s a setup? Christ.” He leaned away. “I’m as paranoid as Rhyss now.”
       “No you’re not.” She side-hugged him as they walked. “I’ve got a bad feeling too.”
       “They pointed that way,” he gestured, “so let’s go this way.”
       “Good idea.”
       They passed several stalls. One had all kinds of colorful eggs on display. Another had a row of kids dancing in front with a sign that read: Ontriss Academy of Noc Thui. Another stall had fried dough smothered in cinnamon.
       Niels’ stomach rumbled again.
       They should’ve begged Kenzie for some money before she left, but Niels had the feeling she didn’t have much in the way of funds. Land pirates were still pirates, after all.
       Something just ahead of them started screeching.
       Places to go: not in that direction. Whatever was up there probably ate people. Niels steered them casually toward a stall with jewelry, but Hattie was having none of being steered around.
       “What is that?” She moved towards the keening, cutting off a pissy guy with a cart full of vegetables. Some of the food toppled off the cart.
       Niels almost reached for one, but two thoughts stopped him: One, he had no idea whether they were even edible; two, Kenzie said they executed thieves, and this didn’t feel like a good day for that. Dying wasn’t on his agenda.
       He let Hattie pull him across the road on her quest for death-by-screech, until they were in sight of the screeching thing.
“Is that a dragon?” Niels asked.
Holy shit.
Not just a dragon, but...a dragon. It was about the size of a teacup, or a gerbil maybe because teacups didn’t have tails, and this dragon did. It was covered with spines and opalescent scales in every pastel color of the rainbow.
Even though it wasn’t as big as the other dragons they’d seen in Sylem, it made the most god awful noise to make up for its size. Niels was tempted to screech back at it, see how it liked that. Or bring his guitar and climb into the higher notes, with an amp.
When the dragon saw Niels, it screeched even louder, rattling the side of its cage so violently Niels thought it might knock itself off the table.
“It wants you,” Hattie said.
No it didn’t. Clearly it wanted out so it could attack him. While that technically counted as wanting him it wasn’t the good thing Hattie’s tone made it out to be.
He stopped freaking out. What had he just said to himself? He needed to trust that Hattie was often more right than he was about shit.
He finished crossing the road with her and didn’t stop her when she asked, “Can we look at that dragon?”
The stall owner, a beefy guy who would have been a butcher - or a Mafioso, which amounted to the same thing - in any decent, clich├ęd movie, frowned at them. “You spoiled my dragon.”
He lifted the latch on the cage door and the little rainbow-tiled monster shot out of the cage, directly at Niels.
Niels backed away. He couldn’t die yet. He still had songs to write, Hattie to date, his mom to annoy…
The dragon landed on his shoulder, chirped once, and let out a huff of steam that condensed into beads of water on Niels' neck.
Okay, so not dying today. Not yet, anyway.
Niels allowed himself to breathe.
The dragon was kind of cute if he ignored its claws digging into his shoulder through his shirt.
“That’s three hundred Angmol.”
Oh yeah, Niels could just pull that out of his ass.
“We don’t have three hundred those things,” Hattie said.
“Or one,” Niels muttered so only she could hear. She laughed.

About the Authors:

Holly began her career as an accountant. While her sense of humor tends appropriately dry, her love for writing far exceeds the constraints of an office job. She attended four colleges across three states in pursuit of her BS in Accounting, while taking extra courses in philosophy, law, and writing. Between words, she spends her time immersing herself in the magic of life.

Krissy lives in a chaos factory, which is run by a merciless team of miniature humans and their pets. She enjoys music, foreign languages, noise-cancelling headphones, and the smell of fresh-mowed grass. She has a useless degree in Physics and part of another useless degree in Nursing, neither of which helped in the creation of this book.

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Thursday, February 6, 2020

#52WeeksofGratitude - Week 6

The City I Live In

Sin City….is not entirely accurate.  That could be said of any city or town. 

But, it so happens my hometown is famous for it. And, sin must not be that bad of a thing if we’re constantly inundated with droves of tourists. 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder?  Well, I guess, so is SIN.

Have you been to Sin City?

Love and Peace,  


I found this challenge on Pinterest and thought it would be fun/interesting/maybe torturous to try to do it and keep up. I've decided to post each Thursday in 2020 (ThankfulThursday), following the outline of the challenge. 

Why do this?

To exercise fingers on the keyboard.

It’s only one post a week.

Positivity is a great energy conductor.

I have lots to be grateful for!

It’ll be fun! (maybe?)

Join me, if you dare.

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Author E.B. Black

Love And The Undead
E.B. Black

Genre: SciFiRom/PNR Reverse Harem

Publisher: E.B. Black

Date of Publication: January 31, 2020


Cover Artist: Swoon Worthy Book Covers

Tagline: Sometimes it takes the end of the world to find true love.

Book Description:

Max doesn't believe in hope or true love.

She's divorced. She lost her daughter and mother in the zombie apocalypse. She's losing her grandmother slowly to alzheimers. She's seen more dead and undead bodies than she ever thought possible.

But fate doesn't care.

It brings her not ONE...not TWO...not even THREE...but FOUR hot men whose only desire is to win over her heart.

And while the world is being ravaged by tragedy, she'd rather confront a horde of zombies than the possibility of getting hurt again.

This book is perfect for romance readers who are also fans of shows like "The Walking Dead" and "iZombie." It is part of the "Common Elements Romance Project."

ORDER TODAY to find out if TRUE LOVE wins in the end!

On Sale for .99



“Let me see.” Derrick had gathered some supplies from Jed, who still carried my backpack. There were unused rags leftover from Nick’s gunshot wound and a sewing kit in his hands. The doctor had gotten down on one knee, set his supplies aside, and was staring at my injured hand.
His jaw and fists were clenched. I could see on his face that he was holding a part of himself back as he drew near me.
I rolled my eyes. “I’m fine. I’m sure you have more important things to do. My wounds aren’t deep.”
The muscles in his forearm tightened at my words. His voice sounded strained. “That’s for me to decide.” He grabbed my hand and turned it over impatiently before dropping it. “Flex your fingers.”
I did so easily.
He nodded his head. “Good. The cuts don’t appear to be deep enough to have done damage to your nerves. I don’t think you need stitches.”
I raised one eyebrow. “Told you I’m fine.”
“But that doesn’t mean you don’t need my help.” His dark gaze met mine as his voice grew hoarse. I could hear whatever he was holding back coming through. “You’re making a big mess with all this blood. Have I told you how much I hate messes?”
“You didn’t have to, I could tell.”
My words were nonchalant, but my heart was pounding loudly in my ears as he licked his lips. He looked ready to either throw me off the edge of this barn for offending him with my uncleanliness or like he was the real zombie here and ready to eat me...
“We need to clean you before I bandage you up.” He lifted one of my hands towards his face. “It stopped raining and we don’t have any water to spare, so I’ve been left with no choice. It’s not the most sanitary option, but...”
He parted his full, sexy lips and popped one of my fingers into his wet mouth. I wanted to protest, but I was paralyzed. He sucked the blood off like some kind of ravenous vampire. I gasped in surprise, feeling weak in the knees. His mouth was so soft, warm, gentle, and slow. He sucked on each of my fingers in turn until I shut my eyes, ready to give myself over to him.
He moaned as he continued to suck and I couldn’t help imagining that mouth exploring other places. We would-
The moment was interrupted as Nick grabbed him by the shoulder and yanked him up and off of me. Nick punched him in the stomach. Derrick grunted and hunched over, almost collapsing to his knees again.
“I told you to keep your hands off of her,” Nick growled the words. “If you touch her again, I’ll hurtle you off this roof and let the zombies take care of you for me.”
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