Hide and Seek (Criminal Profiler #1) by Mary Burton ~ Book Review

Book Description: 

She’s hunting. He’s watching.

Special Agent Macy Crow is a survivor. After a vicious hit-and-run nearly kills her, she gets right back to work, and now she’s gunning for a spot on the FBI’s elite profiling team. As an audition, she offers to investigate the recently discovered bones of Tobi Turner, a high school girl who disappeared fifteen years ago.

While investigating with local sheriff Mike Nevada, a former colleague and onetime lover, Macy discovers a link between Tobi’s case and several others that occurred around the same time as her disappearance. As Macy interviews victims and examines old cases, she uncovers a sinister picture of a stalker who graduated to sexual assault—and then murder.

Macy and Nevada race to put this monster behind bars before he can come out of hiding. But the murderer’s had years to hone his skills, and soon Macy herself becomes a target. She’s no stranger to pain and terror, but will Macy’s first profiling case be her last?

Purchase a copy on Amazon or Thomas Allen & Son

About the Author: 

Mary Burton, whose latest novel is Hide and Seek, loves writing suspense, getting to know her characters, keeping up with law enforcement and forensic procedure, morning walks, baking, and tiny dachshunds. She also enjoys hunting down serial killers, which she does in her New York Times and USA Today bestselling novels. Library Journal has compared her work to that of Lisa Jackson and Lisa Gardner, and Fresh Fiction likened her writing to that of James Patterson.

Mary is routinely featured among the top ten writers in Amazon’s Author Rankings for romantic suspense. Upon publication, her novels, including 2018’s Cut and Run and Her Last Word, consistently rank high on the Kindle eBooks Store Bestseller List.

Additionally, Cut and Run has been nominated for the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA Award for Romantic Suspense. Previous recipients in this category include Nora Roberts, J.D. Robb, Tess Gerritsen, Karen Rose and Mary Jo Putney. The award will be announced at the RITA Award Ceremony July 26th in New York City during the organization’s annual conference.

A Richmond native, Mary has lived there for most of her life. Her first book was published in 2000. Her first book was published in 2000. Today she’s the author of thirty-two published novels and five novellas as Mary Burton and five works of contemporary fiction written as Mary Ellen Taylor, including 2018’s Winter Cottage. She is co-editor with novelist Mary Miley of Deadly Southern Charm, A Lethal Ladies Mystery Anthology.

A member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, Novelists, Inc., and Romance Writers of America, Mary is known for creating multiple suspense stories connected by characters and/or place.

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This is the first Mary Burton novel I have read and was pretty excited to start reading this newer series. Book #2 was just released this month so I thought I better start at the beginning, only to find out that really this isn't Agent Macy Crow's beginning. After a bit of digging I found out that Crow was introduced in Cut and Run. Do you need to read that one before reading Hide and Seek? No, I don't believe so. Burton gives us a brief background into what happened to Crow but only enough to get us interested in her back story. I was wondering if there was a story on her now I will have to go back further. Anyways Hide and Seek is set five month after a terrible accident that leaves Crow with pain and a limp. Crow is on a case to prove she is still capable of being the great Agent she once was, sent off to solve a cold missing persons case in a small town she spots links between this case and several rape/stalking cases. 
Teaming up with the local Sheriff and once lover Macy is hot on the stalkers trail. Could it be one of the Dream Team football boys from 15 years ago?  

Mary Burton ropes readers in right from page one on this thrilling ride to solve a case dating back 15 years. Intertwining characters from this small country town and leading Macy on a chase. Will Agent Macy Crow and Sheriff Nevada catch the killer before he kills another women? Throw in a little romance between the two law enforcement and its a ride you wont want to miss. I can't wait to read book #2 in the criminal profiler series! 

I give this book a 5 out of 5 stars.    

~*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*~

Marley by Jon Clinch ~ Book Review ~ New Release

Book Description: 

From the acclaimed author of the “marvel of a novel” (Entertainment Weekly) Finn comes a masterful reimagining of Charles Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol with this darkly entertaining and moving exploration of the twisted relationship between Ebenezer Scrooge and Jacob Marley.

“Marley was dead, to begin with,” Charles Dickens tells us at the beginning of A Christmas Carol. But in Jon Clinch’s ingenious novel, Jacob Marley, business partner to Ebenezer Scrooge, is very much alive: a rapacious and cunning boy who grows up to be a forger, a scoundrel, and the man who will be both the making and the undoing of Scrooge.

They meet as youths in the gloomy confines of Professor Drabb’s Academy for Boys, where Marley begins their twisted friendship by initiating the innocent Scrooge into the gentle art of extortion. Years later, in the dank heart of London, their shared ambition manifests itself in a fledgling shipping empire. Between Marley’s genius for deception and Scrooge’s brilliance with numbers, they amass a considerable fortune of dubious legality, all rooted in a pitiless commitment to the soon-to-be-outlawed slave trade.

As Marley toys with the affections of Scrooge’s sister, Fan, Scrooge falls under the spell of Fan’s best friend, Belle Fairchild. Now, for the first time, Scrooge and Marley find themselves at cross-purposes. With their business interests inextricably bound together and instincts for secrecy and greed bred in their very bones, the two men engage in a shadowy war of deception, false identities, forged documents, theft, and cold-blooded murder. Marley and Scrooge are destined to clash in an unforgettable reckoning that will echo into the future and set the stage for Marley’s ghostly return.

Meticulously crafted and beguilingly told, Marley revisits and illuminates one of Charles Dickens’s most cherished works to spellbinding effect.

Pick up a copy of this new release on Amazon
About the Author:

Jon Clinch’s first novel, Finn—the secret history of Huckleberry Finn’s father—was named an American Library Association Notable Book and was chosen as one of the year’s best books by The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Chicago Tribune. His second novel, Kings of the Earth, was named a Best Book of the Year by The Washington Post and led the 2010 Summer Reading List at O, The Oprah Magazine. A native of upstate New York, Jon lives with his wife in the Green Mountains of Vermont.

Follow: Website | Goodreads


I have always enjoyed Charles Dicken's A Christmas Carol so when I spotted this title I was pretty excited to read it and learn more about Jacob Marley and Scrooge. When I first started reading it I found the start didn't draw me right in. I am not a huge historical fiction fan. I pushed on through and got hooked into the story of Jacob Marley a few chapters in. The author starts off with Scrooge meeting Marley in a boarding school for boys where we see that Jacob is already into lying and deceiving people. I would have enjoyed a bit more back story on Jacob's childhood and what may have happened before heading to the boarding school.

Following the boys after boarding school we learn about the business of Marley & Scrooge, the fraud, lies, slave trade, fictional characters that the imagination of Jacob Marley brings to life to earn his fortune in any way he can. Marley is a deceitful man who enjoys knocking-shops and staying one ball ahead of the law by taking on different characters wherever he goes. I think that if Scrooge had a different partner for his business things in his life might have turned out a lot differently.   

Jon Clinch does a great job at keeping with the historical nature of the story, giving us a good idea what & who Jacob Marley was but still keeping so many things a mystery as that is the life Marley lived. This is definitely not a feel good story, it is indeed a sad story of lost hope & love, cruel men, lies and murder. I give this a 4 out of 5 stars and think this would be a great read for any Charles Dickens fans. 

~*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in advance in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*~

The Bake Shop (An Amish Marketplace Novel) by Amy Clipston ~ Book Review

Book Description:

Return to Lancaster County with the first installment of Amy Clipston's charming new Amish Marketplace series.

Christiana Kurtz loves to bake, but when her bake stand becomes too busy, her mother encourages her to move her business to the local market. Her new bake shop becomes so inundated with customers that the line blocks the leather and woodcraft shop next door, which is run by Jeffrey Stoltzfus. When Jeffrey complains that her stand is driving away business due to the lines, she complains to him that his personalization machine smells. Though their relationship starts off on bad footing, they eventually forge a friendship.

When Christiana’s father makes a surprise visit to the market, he is upset to find that Jeffrey uses the building’s electricity to personalize his items. He tells Christiana that Jeffrey is too modern for her, and she’s forbidden from dating him. Christiana is crushed, but she knows she must obey her father.

When Jeffrey’s shop catches fire one day, he puts the entire market in jeopardy—including Christiana’s bake shop. Christiana, however, can’t deny how she feels about Jeffrey despite his mistakes. Though the odds are against them, can two young people find a way to rebuild both their businesses and their relationship?

Pre-order on Amazon for the Release date: November 5,2019.  

About the Author:

Hi, I’m Amy Clipston. I am an author of Amish and Christian fiction with HarperCollins Christian Publishing. Most of my books focus on the Amish community, faith, and love. I also write romance novels and young adult inspirational stories.

I'm an advocate for organ and blood donation. I donated a kidney on June 14, 2011, at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Through my donation, my husband received a second kidney transplant. My husband and I matched another couple and we swapped kidneys with them. I gave a kidney to my husband's donor's wife. Feel free to email me and ask me what it was like to be a kidney donor. It was one of the most amazing experiences in my life. If you're healthy, please donate blood! Also, become an organ donor.

Follow: Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter |


I really enjoyed this sweet romance. It is a welcoming change from my usual reads and I always look for something that will hook me in from the beginning. I fell in love with the characters right from the start. I also love that the author used Amish language for dialog throughout. If you read it on ebook it's a little harder to flip to the glossary but it was different and more authentic to me. Chrisitiana and Jeffrey have a budding romance but Jeffrey has had a major heartbreak in the past and isn't sure if he wants/should look to Christiana for more than friendship. I look forward to the next book in the series as I am sure we will get to follow other characters from this book, which are mainly Christiana's cousins but there are a few other interesting characters at the market. I love the market cat. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it if you are looking for a sweet Amish read. 

~*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this title in exchange for an honest review. These are my own thoughts and comments.*~

Saving Buddy by Nicola Owst ~ Book Review

Book Description: 

'In my darkest hour, I reached for a hand and found your paw'

When Nicola found Buddy, abandoned and broken, she vowed to do all she could to help save him. What she didn't know at the time was that this little dog would in turn save her.

Monday morning, 27th April 2009.

The sat nav told us we'd reached our destination. The rain was pelting down, the kind that feels as if buckets of water are being chucked at the windscreen.

I'll never forget that day. The horror, fear and the uncertainty of what was to come are still etched on my memory. But I didn't know that in that moment, somewhere off the M1 in a place that seemed as unnerving as it was eerie, I would find something so precious that would change my life forever.

That was the day I discovered my Buddy, abandoned in a crate, unable to move and so frail that he only had moments to live. He stopped me in my tracks, and without pausing to think I scooped him up and quickly ran from the scene. This was no place for people or animals.

Slowly, as I learned to take care of this broken little dog, I began to realise with each new day that as I was saving him, he too was helping to free me from my past.

This is the story of Buddy and me: a remarkable true story of survival, hope, and never giving up, no matter how hard life gets.

Purchase a copy on Amazon

About the Author: 
Nicola Owst is a busy working Mum. She was born and brought up in Leicestershire and lives with her husband Jon and toddler son Toby. Together they love the outdoors and exploring the countryside with their beloved rescue dogs Buddy and Susie. This is her first book. Follow their adventures on Facebook: Buddy Dog - The Rescue Staffy

This book caught my attention right from the cute doggy picture on the front cover to the book synopsis. I have rescued my Buddy (or as we call him Budrick) about 4 years ago and more recently we adopted our beautiful Lachinia. We also open a spot in our house and our hearts for one rescue foster dog at a time. This is something I feel so strongly about and can't stand watching poor puppies suffer at a humans hands. I wish I rescue more at a time.

This book really resonated with me. I have been lucky that the couple dogs we have adopted came to us as they were not wanted anymore but no harm physically was done to them (that we are aware of), mentally I am sure they have went through tremendous hurt. Nicola has a heart of gold picking Buddy up and not worrying what might happen to her when she left the property with him. Fighting for Buddy to make a full recovery from his horrendous start in life. The bond and love that Buddy and Nicola share through their story is so heartwarming. Nicola shares her personal struggles in life and the joys, along with all the dog shows Buddy took part in. I don't know a lot about Staffies but that they are in the "bad" dog rep. espescially in Ontario Canada as we are not allowed any kind of Pit bull/Staffordshire Terrier or even a dog that resembles them. Unfortunately there have been a few dogs over the years that I wanted to adopt but can't because of the ban. I don't believe these dogs are bad and that some where breed for the wrong reasons.

I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars as it was a heartwarming story of love, companionship and survival. I did find the author over used telling us that Staffies are not mean dogs and that they can be trusted. A couple mentions would have sufficed. Overall I did enjoy this book and hope all the best for Buddy and Nicola as they both have been through a lot.

~*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. *~

The Lies We Tell by Debra Webb ~ Book Review

Book Description: 

Nothing hurts like the truth.

Doctor Rowan Dupont knows a serial killer is coming for her. Julian Addington has been waiting. Watching. And it’s only a matter of time before he strikes. But what Julian doesn’t know is that Rowan is ready for him. And more than anything she wants answers. How well did the depraved killer actually know her mother? And how many lies have been spun in the years since she took her own life?

Working alongside her childhood friend Police Chief Billy Brannigan, Rowan is determined to get to the bottom of her mother’s puzzling suicide once and for all—even if it means exposing an unsettling past. It certainly seems like her family’s Victorian funeral home has borne witness to more than one dark secret, but when a recent double homicide leads to an even grislier discovery, separating the truth from the lies might be the last thing Rowan does. 

Purchase a copy on Amazon

About the Author: 

DEBRA WEBB is the USA Today bestselling author of more than 140 novels, including reader favorites the Shades of Death, the Faces of Evil and the Colby Agency series. She is the recipient of the prestigious Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Romantic Suspense as well as numerous Reviewers Choice Awards. In 2012 Debra was honored as the first recipient of the esteemed L. A. Banks Warrior Woman Award for her courage, strength, and grace in the face of adversity. Recently Debra was awarded the distinguished Centennial Award for having achieved publication of her 100th novel.

With more than four million books in print in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood when her mother bought her an old typewriter in a tag sale. Born in Alabama, Debra grew up on a farm. She spent every available hour exploring the world around her and creating her stories. She wrote her first story at age nine and her first romance at thirteen. It wasn’t until she spent three years working for the Commanding General of the US Army in Berlin behind the Iron Curtain and a five-year stint in NASA’s Shuttle Program that she realized her true calling. A collision course between suspense and romance was set. Since then she has expanded her work into some of the darkest places the human psyche dares to go.

Follow: Website | Twitter | Goodreads |


The main character, Rowan grew up around death being the undertaker's daughter but now even worse she has a serial killer after her. Rowan has lost her twin sister, her mother when she was 12 years old and more recently her father. How many secrets did her parents have never tell her about? She is trying to figure out what the real truth is all the while staying one step ahead of the killer, Julian. This is book #2 in The Undertaker's Daughter series but I was able to read it as a stand alone. I am finding myself so intrigued that I want to go back and read the first book.  The author did a great job of weaving the characters together and making it a real page turner. I love how this was really more a crime, suspense book with a hint of a blossoming romance between Rowan and Billy (the police of chief and life long friend). So many murders and are they all connected? I couldn't put this book down and I didn't want it to end. I can't wait for the next book to release! I am also very much interested in reading other series by Debra Webb in the future. 

I give this book 5 out of 5 stars!
Excerpt from The Lies We Tell by Debra Webb


Franklin County Jail, Winchester, Tennessee Thursday, October 24, 11:55 a.m.

Herman Carter looked old. So very old.

The past five months in jail awaiting trial had taken a toll on the seventy-one-year-old man. He’d lost weight, and his gray hair lacked its usual sheen. But it was his eyes that told the real story. Dull, list-less, resigned.

Rowan DuPont felt no sympathy.

Renewed indignation tightened her lips. This man—a man she had known and trusted her entire life—had deceived her. He had taken advantage of her father…and betrayed so many people. For no other rea-son than greed. He could toss out his excuses about his wife’s illness, but the truth was he had hurt people, using Rowan’s family and the funeral home that had belonged to her family for 150 years.

He deserved a far heavier punishment than she imagined the court system would eventually dole out. Eventually being the key word. The trial wasn’t scheduled to begin for another three months. The wheels of justice indeed moved slowly.

“Did you get my letters?” His voice sounded rusty, as if he rarely found a reason to use it.

“One every week,” Rowan said, her voice stiff, no matter that she had repeatedly attempted to relax. No matter that she did not want to be here, this meeting was necessary. Furthermore, it was essential that she proceed with caution where her personal feelings were concerned. She needed him cooperative. Revealing her utter disdain would not aid toward that end.

Herman had written to her every week since his ar-rest. Until yesterday, she had not opened a single one of his letters. She had felt no desire to read anything he had to say. He could not be trusted in any capacity. Yet, unfortunately, he was the one person still living who was well versed in her family’s history. He and her father had been best friends their whole lives.

With her father dead going on a year now, Herman was the only person who might be able to help her.

For five months she had attempted to dissect her mother’s journals. She had searched the funeral home, as well as the living quarters, from top to bottom. One by one she had questioned neighbors, business asso-ciates and anyone else who had known her parents. She had learned nothing useful toward her goal of uncovering the facts surrounding the deaths of her sister and her mother.

Perhaps the truth had died with her father.

Rowan still struggled with the loss of her father. The idea that he might have lied to her made adjust-ing to this new reality all the more difficult. A part of her refused to believe he had lied, despite the rumors and innuendos she had encountered. The trouble was, she had to know for certain. Herman Carter, the man who had stolen body parts from the dead to sell on the black market, was the sole person on this planet who might be able to help her find the answers she sought. However hard she had searched to find the facts some other way, ultimately, she had realized this was her only choice.

He was her final hope. The thought of living with the uncertainty was something she was not prepared to do. Too much hinged on knowing the whole truth.

“Is that why you’re here after all this time?” Herman asked, a spark of hope lighting his dark eyes.

“Did my words persuade you to forgive me?”

Rowan clenched her jaw long enough to restrain the urge to laugh in the man’s face. Forgive him?

Not in this lifetime. All those weeks and months she had ignored his attempts at communicating. She had fully expected to continue on that course. Then, the day before yesterday she had hit a wall, run out of viable options for finding answers. With no other alternative, she reluctantly began to open the letters and read each one, twice. They told her nothing useful. Rather, his words had repeatedly expressed how deeply sorry he was and how desperately he wanted her forgiveness.

Forgiveness was the one thing she could not give him. Beneath the table that separated them, her right knee started to bounce. She braced against the out-ward display of her emotions and said what needed to be said. “No.”

The optimistic gleam that had appeared in his eyes died an abrupt death. “Then why are you here?”

“I’m here for information.” Rowan squared her shoulders and stared straight into his defeated gaze.

“You owe me the truth, Herman. The whole truth.”

He shook his head, turned up his shackled hands. “I’ve told you and the police everything I did. I don’t know what else I can do.”

If only the issue were so simple. “I don’t need the truth about what you did, Herman. We know what you did.”

His shoulders drooped. “I don’t understand what you’re saying, Ro. I did bad things—but never at Du-Pont. Never. It was Woody who crossed that line, not me. I wouldn’t have done that to Edward. And it only happened once. Even if Woody hadn’t ended up dead, I guarantee you he wouldn’t have done that again.”

Really? She was supposed to be grateful he did his stealing from the dead at another funeral home?

Focus, Ro.

Sticking with her agenda was imperative. The chief of police had allowed her this extended visit with Her-man for that specific purpose. She wasn’t allowed to discuss the ongoing criminal case with Herman—not that she had any desire to do so. The chief—her long-time friend, William “Billy” Brannigan—had allowed her to use this interview room rather than the usual vis-itation area with the metal bars and Plexiglas. Today could very well be her one chance to speak with Herman in this sort of setting. The elderly man was likely going away for the rest of his life.

~*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are honest and my own.*~

Rock-A-Bye Baby by Luke Murphy ~ Book Promo

What are people saying about Rock-A-Bye Baby?

“Rock a Bye Baby has everything—a haunted protagonist, heartfelt emotion, and a twisty, thrilling plot. A scorcher of a follow-up in a promising series.”—David Ellis, NYT bestselling author of The Last Alibi

"Murphy has cleverly crafted a riveting crime thriller, with a hefty dose of white-knuckle suspense. Entertaining and enticing to the very last page."—Cheryl Kaye Tardif, bestselling author of Submerged

“Rock a Bye Baby is an exquisitely told thriller, full of surprises and terrifying moments. Murphy is a gifted storyteller who keeps the tension crackling throughout. Charlene Taylor drives the story to a very satisfying and unexpected ending.”—Kristina Stanley, bestselling author of the Stone Mountain series.

Book Description:
An aunt’s worst nightmare…

In the city of Denver, a series of baby kidnappings has the town devastated. With no ransom demands and no contact from the perpetrators, local law enforcement is at a dead end. No motive equals no answers.

A cop’s personal obsession…

Charlene Taylor’s niece becomes a victim, and the LAPD detective is thrown headfirst into a whirlwind case with similarities to one from seven years earlier. Out of her jurisdiction, and with no friends or leads, Charlene must walk-the-line between cop and sister.

Who can she trust?

Charlene has to decide who’s an ally, and when an unlikely partner steps forward, they must race against the clock: because that critical 48 hour window has come and gone.

Purchase a copy on Amazon.

About the Author:
Luke Murphy is the International bestselling author of two series. The Calvin Watters Mysteries: Dead Man’s Hand (2012) and Wild Card (2017). The Charlene Taylor Mysteries: Kiss & Tell (2015) and Rock-A-Bye Baby (2019).

Murphy played six years of professional hockey before retiring in 2006. His sports column, “Overtime” (Pontiac Equity), was nominated for the 2007 Best Sports Page in Quebec, and won the award in 2009. He has also worked as a radio journalist (CHIPFM 101.7).

Murphy lives in Shawville, QC with his wife and three daughters. He is a teacher who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, and a Bachelor of Education (Magna Cum Laude).

Follow: Website | Facebook | Twitter |

Book Tour Dates for No Entry by Gila Green ~ FREE eBook Copy!

Book Description: 
In No Entry, Canadian teenager, Yael Amar, signs on to an elephant conservation program and ends up coming face to face with violence, greed, murder, and the taste of a very real danger for all of us: elephant extinction. The story takes place in South Africa’s famous, breathtaking Kruger National Park.

Yael vows to devote herself to saving the planet from human greed and is set to learn all she can about ivory poaching when she accidentally encounters a murderous poaching ring taking place below the surface of her newfound paradise. She receives a second blow when she discovers her idol, Clara Smith, the prestigious and well-respected program director, profits from blood ivory, while preaching about the sanctity of wildlife. Yael is forced to decide on a new mission: expose this poaching ring to the police or return to the safety of her normal life—before she becomes their next victim.

On her journey she is accompanied at times by her conservative, naive boyfriend, David, and at other times by her new brash best friend, New Yorker, Nadine Kelly. She is inspired by her African guide Sipho, a poverty-stricken artist, professional park ranger, and ultimately, her partner in risking her life.

At the same time as Yael is forced to confront the ugly face of elephant slaughter, she grieves the loss of her brother, Ezra, murdered in a terrorist firebombing before the novel begins. It is this grief that gives her the strength to confront the evil men, who would empty Africa of every last elephant to fill their own pockets.

Purchase a copy on Stormbird Press (25% off coupon - sp-noentry-25 ) or Grab your FREE ebook copy from BookFunnel

Book Tour Dates

All my Ontario Readers here's some tour dates for you!

Monday September 16 Jewish Community Center library and interview with Ottawa Jewish Bulletin
Tuesday September 17 Algonquin College
Wednesday September 18 Naamat Women
Thursday September 19 Carleton University
Friday September 20 Podcasting on Boston's NovelClass with Dave Pezza

About the Author: 
Canadian writer and editor Gila Green is the author of three novels, White Zion (Cervena Barva Press, March 2019), Passport Control (S&H Publishing, 2018), and King of the Class (NON Publishing). She has published two dozen short stories and writes often about immigration, alienation, and dislocation. No Entry is her first South African novel which she wrote based on her own memories of Kruger National Park. She felt compelled to write it when she discovered the horrors encountered by African elephants.

For more info: Website.

Unexpected Desires: The Serendipity Trilogy (Book #1) by Zoey Derrick - Book Review

Book Description: 

I agreed to be their surrogate; to give my friends the one thing they couldn't do on their own. The choice was easy.

What followed was not.
I fell in love with them along the way, but they can’t give me what I want most- their love.
The connection between them is undeniable.
How could I possibly come between them?
The truth is that I can’t.

Now, I’m pregnant and alone when all I’ve ever wanted is someone to love me, wholly and unconditionally.
I thought they were it, the Ones, but I was wrong.
My name is River Ashley Bennett and better plans are in store for me.
I just don’t know what they are yet.

We're broken.
Shells of the men we once were.
Our love has never been stronger, but we're missing the one thing we want above all else- a woman between us.
We gave up our dream when we were left unexpectedly by a woman in our past.
We want it back.
We didn't realize how much until she fell into our laps.

We have a chance to redeem ourselves; to feel complete in a way we never imagined.
There's only one problem.
She's pregnant with our best friend's child.

Can our desire and dreams withstand the time and trials we’ll have to endure to make her ours? Or will we be left on the outside looking in?

We want her.
We need her.
We are Keenan and Bodie Carmikael and we will stop at nothing to make her ours.

Grab a copy on Amazon.
About the Author:

Best Selling Erotic, Paranormal and Contemporary Romance author Zoey Derrick comes from Glendale, Arizona. Zoey, was a mortgage underwriter by day and is now a romance and erotica novelist full-time. She writes stories as hot as the desert sun itself. It is this passion that drips off of her work, bringing excitement to anyone who enjoys a good and sensual love story.

Not only does she aim to take her readers on an erotic dance that lasts the night, it allows her to empty her mind of stories we all wish were true.
 Her stories are hopeful yet true to life, skillfully avoiding melodrama and the unrealistic, bringing her gripping Erotica only closer to the heart of those that dare dipping into it.

The intimacy of her fantasies that she shares with her readers is thrilling and encouraging, climactic yet full of suspense. She is a loving mistress, up for anything, of which any reader is doomed to return to again and again.

Follow the Author: Amazon | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook |

Book Review: 

Yay! Welcome back to the writing world Zoey Derrick!! I am so happy to read up on some of my favourite characters from the past.
To get this out of the way, this is not a sweet romance, this is a BDSM (gay and bi sexual) erotica. This book is hot hot hot. It has heat but also has a great storyline. River accept being a surrogate for Caden and Aryn who are in a same sex marriage. They also live the BDSM lifestyle. I learned a bit more about BDSM (D/S) and a mmf triad relationship as it has been awhile since I have read an erotica novel. I love how Zoey Derrick can take you on a trip with each of these characters and by the end of it you are totally hooked. I felt like I was truly getting to know River and her relationships between Caden/Aryn and Bodie/Keenan - swoon. The author makes the characters very relatable, even if you do not live the same life style. I can't wait to read book two! All of the authors books have connections with each other and I remember some characters from previous books I have read in the past. I give this a 4.5 out of 5 stars!

~*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. The opinions and thoughts are 100% my own.*~

The Suicide Season by Jeremy Gadd ~ Excerpt & Free Book Giveaway!

Excerpt from The Suicide Season by Jeremy Gadd ~ Get your FREE ebook copy below! 

Yeats motored on. He imagined the angler in the pub that night, telling his story about the huge fish that had got away, breaking his rod to do so. Yeats couldn’t be bothered to fish. He neither expected a strike nor now to meet Crumb. The shadows were lengthening when he entered a previously unexplored section of waterway and saw a punt in centre stream ahead of him. The wind had dropped, and the water lay unruffled, disturbed only by the legs of a water-walking insect or fish fin. The punt held two men. They were both standing and casting into the lilies along either side of the arm. As Yeats came closer he saw they were oriental, possibly Indonesian. One was obviously older than the other and wore all white: a hat, shirt, and baggy trousers. His younger companion was similarly dressed but wore a baseball cap instead of a hat.

They were using fly rods of thin bamboo, and they flicked and whipped their lures along the edge of the lilies with skill. As they worked their lures, they changed places in the punt with, what seemed to Yeats, to be a sixth sense, each knowing exactly where the other was so that the punt was never destabilised and they never got in each other’s way. They cast and retrieved with ease and poise worthy of artistry found on the Opera house or Covent Garden stages, yet one false step and the yellow water of the billabong could part to reveal the villain of the melodrama, with a fixed grin but no moustache.

Yeats followed behind them as they worked along the billabong, mesmerised by the knowledge that their dance of cast and shuffle could become a dance of death. They saw him and acknowledged his presence with short bows before continuing. Although the width between the banks remained constant, the channel narrowed where water lilies had spread almost from one side to the other. The punt with the balletic Asians on board slowly turned into another channel and Yeats, sprawled in his punt and lazily somnambulant with the hypnotic effect of having watched the fishermen repeatedly cast and collect, motored slowly on.

The perfume from the lilies was almost overpowering, and Yeats felt heady. He couldn’t believe the beauty of the place. Even the name, Fire Dreaming Island, had a beauty and mystery about it. If the trip had led him here and nowhere else, it would have made the journey worthwhile. Yeats felt ecstatic. This experience almost compensated for the dilemma in which he now found himself. At that moment, his fishing rod, which he had rested behind him, its lure dangling and occasionally touching the water, bent downwards. The tug became a pull, and then the reel whined as line ran out, cleaving the water like wire through cheese. Yeats grabbed the rod and applied the tension, and a fish leapt out of the billabong. Bright in the sunlight and beautiful to behold, it tail-danced across the water, shaking its head to throw the lure. Yeats tried to reel in the slack line created by the fish’s leap for freedom but couldn’t keep sufficient tension on the line. The fish leapt a second time, and shaking its head again, tossed the lure-free. As quickly as it had appeared, it was gone. Yeats sat trembling in the punt, his breath shallow, his eyes wide with wonder. Yeats was disappointed, yet glad the fish had got away.

He smelled the familiar cigarette smoke before he heard the familiar voice.

“That’s not how I taught you how to fish, Wazza.”

The voice came from over his shoulder, and Yeats turned to see Crumb standing on the bank about three or four metres from the punt.

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About the Author:

Jeremy Gadd is an Australian author and poet. After graduating from the National Institute of Dramatic Art, he worked extensively in professional theatre in Australia and the United Kingdom before concentrating on his writing, which includes plays, the publication of novels, fifty short stories and poetry. He has also written dialogue for a dance performed by The Sydney Dance Company at the Sydney Opera House. He later earned Master of Arts with Honours and PhD degrees from the University of New England. He is a Writing Fellow of the Fellowship of Australian Writers.

The Oddmire: Changeling (Book#1) by William Ritter ~ Book Review

Book Description:

Magic is fading from the Wild Wood. To renew it, goblins must perform an ancient ritual involving the rarest of their kind—a newborn changeling. But when the fateful night arrives to trade a human baby for a goblin one, something goes terribly wrong. After laying the changeling in a human infant’s crib, the goblin Kull is briefly distracted from his task. By the time he turns back, the changeling has already perfectly mimicked the human child. Too perfectly: Kull cannot tell them apart. Not knowing which to bring back, he leaves both babies behind.

Tinn and Cole are raised as human twins, neither knowing what secrets may be buried deep inside one of them. Then when they are twelve years old, a mysterious message arrives, calling the brothers to be heroes and protectors of magic. The boys must leave behind their sleepy town of Endsborough and risk their lives in the Wild Wood, crossing the perilous Oddmire swamp and journeying through the Deep Dark to reach the goblin horde and discover who they truly are.

Grab a copy on Amazon.
About the Author:

WILLIAM RITTER is an Oregon educator and author of the New York Times bestselling Jackaby series. He is the proud father of the two bravest boys in the Wild Wood, and husband to the indomitable Queen of the Deep Dark.

Follow the Author: Website | Twitter |

Review (by Parker):

The Oddmire is a unique book that gives young readers a new fantasy world to explore and learn about through the eyes that live there.The main characters Tinn and Cole love to mess around and are very mischievous they have such a great bond with each other and their mom. But there is one thing that gets them wondering. Which one is a changeling and which one is a normal human boy? A changeling is a goblin that replicates another human at a very young age all the goblins must do is place the changeling beside the human baby and take the human away. After the changeling has been with the humans it turns back into a goblin and returns to the goblin horde. But what happens when you leave the changeling and human together and forget which one is which. Will the forest die without the changeling coming back? There is still hope that one of the goblins ,named Kull who started the mess, can get the changeling back to horde and restore magic in the Wild Wood. It may sound easy but many different creepy creatures live in the Wild Wood. This book would probably be best suited with kids aged 8-13. Out of 5 stars I’d give a rating of 4.5 as the book gives you plenty of details of what is happening. It’s a real page turner for sure!

~*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*~

International Action Thriller, Dark Spiral Down—The Real Message Behind the Book ~ Guest Post by Michael Houtz

Every novel written begins life with an inspired idea—an author experience, expertise in a given field, or any number of other bits and pieces that speaks to the writer. Dark Spiral Down chronicles the life of a former Shaolin monk, living in the U.S. with his beautiful wife and toddler son, who earns his living as one of the greatest fighters in professional mixed martial arts history. The motivation behind the book has little to do with the actual manuscript. Nothing on the pages hints at the true purpose of why I wrote this story. Let me tell you how it came about.

A few years ago, I retired early from a career in medicine. No surprise, my first writing effort started with a medical thriller. I felt, and still do, the story has a strong premise and has the potential to do well. Somewhere around that same time, I read an appalling account of a child whisked away from his father to South America by his ex-wife. The courts in that part of the world were manipulated by the new boyfriend, an attorney, and the father struggled mightily against unsympathetic ears. From all accounts on subsequent research, I discovered the dad was a good guy with no history of violence, and he’d been a loving father to his son. His journey for the return of his son spanned years. Imagine dropping off your child with a spouse for visitation and never seeing them again. The account really hit home.

I continued with my medical thriller but kept going back to the event and grew increasingly angry when all his attempts to just visit with his son were thwarted. How could someone be so cruel? I imagined someone traveling there, in the middle of the night, and whisking the boy away from this horrendous adult and reuniting him with his father. Not long after that initial thought, I formed a character in my head capable of a rescue. That’s when I knew I had to write another book. Now.

With all that backstory of my motivation to write my newest novel, you’d expect the storyline mirroring my description. Well, that’s not how this book turned out. Yes, the protagonist, Cole Haufner, is a man with the necessary skill in performing a rescue, but he doesn’t pursue an innocent child’s return. He rescues two young adult women, his Delta Force brother, and recovers a device capable of incalculable destruction. Hey! Where’s the kid? Here’s where my pragmatic brain kicked in.

I’ve seen Best Selling authors write a book later in a series that explains the roots of their primary character. I consciously decided that the first would show where they came from and not wait until #5. Cole’s story-arc beginning has nothing to do with saving children. Only later does he discover his true talent and begin his life’s purpose. I wanted to follow his life in a linear fashion—just as we all live our lives in real life. I also have a secondary motivation.

Dark Spiral Down is my first published, full-length novel. So? Well, I reasoned my freshman effort would possibly look just like what you’d expect from someone’s first attempt—rough around the edges. I’m hedging my bet that Cole’s real purpose in life should be met with more writing experience and thus an improved reader experience. I didn’t anticipate the excellent reviews I’m receiving by significant members of the thriller marketplace—very welcome but unexpected. Did my decision negatively impact what I hoped to accomplish? Not at all. I’m more fired up that ever for Cole to begin his journey of bringing these children home—my true motivation for breathing life into this character. Just so happens I did learn a lot on the mechanics of writing novels this first go-‘round, and I’m confident future books in the series will benefit from my newfound knowledge.

I hope readers will join me in supporting the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Like my imaginary friend, Cole Haufner, I too discovered my new purpose in life.

Bring them home!

About the Author

After a career in medicine, Mike Houtz succumbed to the call to hang up his stethoscope and pursue his other passion as a writer of fast-paced thrillers. A rabid fan of authors such as Clancy, Mark Greaney, Vince Flynn, and Brad Thor, Mike loves series writing with strong characters, fast pacing and international locations, all of which explode into action in his debut novel, a 2017 Zebulon Award winner. When not at the keyboard, he can be found on the firing range, traveling for research across the globe, or trying out the latest dry-fly pattern on a Gold Medal trout stream.

He lives at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

His latest book is the thriller/international/action novel, Dark Spiral Down.




About the Book:


Author: Michael Houtz

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Pages: 377

Genre: Thriller/International/Action


COLE HAUFNER is a reluctant superstar in the professional mixed martial arts world. After his latest fight, his wife and child perish in a car crash. His grief deepens when his brother, BUTCH, a Delta Force operator, is absent from the funeral and reported missing by two furtive strangers who show up unannounced at the burial. Despairing, and acting on a tip, Cole travels to his childhood home in southeast China, looking for his brother.

Butch and his teammate, HAMMER, are the sole American survivors of a gun battle between their unit and North Korean commandos, both sides fighting over possession of a stolen suitcase containing a miniaturized fusion device that could either provide unlimited clean energy or be converted to an undetectable bomb seven times more powerful than a nuclear explosion. Leading the North Koreans is the sociopath, Commander PARK. Pressed into helping the Koreans is a disgraced former CIA operative, BARRETT JENNINGS.

Cole meets with the uncle who raised him, MASTER LI, and is warned to stop his search for Butch. Barrett discovers Cole’s identity (with the help of a genius computer hacker, LILLY), which opens a twenty-year-old wound when Barrett was blamed for the disappearance of Cole’s father, along with the man’s invention. Barrett enlists the 14K organized crime syndicate to help capture Cole. Hammer, separated from Butch during the fight for the device, thwarts the gang’s attempt to kidnap Cole, and the two then set off to find Butch and the device. All parties converge on the city library where Butch, now disguised as a monk, is attempting to communicate with the Pentagon. Barrett and Park capture Butch, while the 14K gang nabs Cole.

Danger mounts as Chinese authorities begin investigating foul play within their borders. Cole fights his way free of the gang and reunites with Hammer. Both men find Barrett’s apartment and discover Lilly (the man’s stepdaughter), who divulges Barrett’s identity and plan. Cole clashes with Hammer, who is willing to sacrifice Butch in order to recover the fusion device. Lilly offers her help in exchange for her and Barrett’s rescue from Park’s grip. Meanwhile, Barrett discovers the true nature of the case the North Koreans are pursuing and, sensing he and Lilly are to be assassinated by Park once he has the device, frees Butch. Butch, trusting Barrett was sent to rescue him, leads the turncoat to the site where he hid the device. Barrett, hoping to make a quick fortune selling it, shoots Butch before escaping with the case.

Cole, along with Hammer and Lilly, arrives at the location of Butch and finds him gravely wounded. Butch fingers Barrett for shooting him and for stealing the case. Cole wants only to save his brother but Butch makes him promise to kill Barrett and recover their dad’s invention. The revelation that the device is his father’s scientific discovery propels Cole forward to fulfill his brother’s mission. Cole is forced to abandon Butch at a hospital. Cole pursues Barrett to a remote dock where the ex-CIA man is planning to escape China by boat. With the Chinese military now actively looking for Cole, Cole confronts Barrett and Park sparking a gunfight. Barrett kills Park. As Barrett turns the gun on Cole, Hammer kills Barrett. Cole, Hammer and Lilly escape via the boat, and the fusion device is safely returned.

Praise for Michael Houtz Books

“If you’re in the market for a fast paced, action filled, page-turning thriller, Mike Houtz delivers a must-read novel. I highly recommend this emotional rollercoaster of a book for every die-hard thriller reader…Get it ASAP!”

~Lima Charlie Review

“…this work proves that author Houtz is undoubtedly a rising star in the publishing world.” ~Andrea Brunais, Author

“Mike Houtz takes us on fast-pace adventure in Dark Spiral Down, a thrilling ride along the border between China and North Korea, where Cole Haufner is in pursuit of his Delta Force brother and a device that has the potential to change the world forever or destroy it.”

~Dan Grant, Author

“Dark Spiral Down is a phenomenal debut novel by Mike Houtz. This book has everything readers of the genre love: a great plot, memorable characters, and a powerful voice. It’s a must-read!” ~Ammar Habib, Bestselling & Award-Winning Author, Editor-in-Chief of Thriller Magazine


EN by Michelle Reynoso - Book Review

Book Description:
Faith McDaniels is smart, but defiant. A loner in a new high school, she openly rebels against a cruel world that took her mother. When Faith unexpectedly discovers the secret symbiotic world of Enlitra, it looks like the universe still has a surprise or two. But her newfound abilities to bend & shape energy (EN) gain the interest of an unnamed, energy-siphoning fiend, who wants to harvest Faith's power to destroy both Earth and Enlitra.
Faith rallies her old friends for help, but now she must decide how to keep them safe without plunging both worlds into destruction. Or becoming the dark entity herself.

Where to Purchase:

Australia: Australia Link
Brazil: Brazil Link
Canada: Canada Link
France: France Link
Germany: Germany Link
Italy: Italy Link
India: India Link
Japan: Japan Link
Netherlands: Netherlands Link
Mexico: Mexico Link
Spain: Spain Link
UK: UK Link

Connect with the Author:
Twitter: Twitter Link
Author Website: Author Website Link

Author Bio:
As a teen growing up in NH, nationally-recognized author Michelle Reynoso juggled milking goats by dawn, high school honors classes by day, and soliloquys on stage at night. She went to New York City for the first time on a leap of faith, on her very first day of college after never visiting the city before. She's held a variety of jobs, but some of the quirkiest ones are as a reader to the blind, greeting card assembler, and overnight mail stuffer, but it was while working as a manager for a global telecom software company she wrote the majority of her first young adult novel. Like many of her characters, Michelle is a culmination of a wide range of experiences, and these are what inspire her diverse characters and richly creative fantasy worlds.
Michelle has been writing since she was six years old. She received national recognition when her debut book Do You? was a finalist in the Writers' Digest International Self-Published Book Awards, the New York Book Festival, and the Global E-book Awards. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Wordsmith Studio, and the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA).
And now Michelle's journey continues with new experiences developing day-by-day as she lives and writes in NJ with her husband of twenty-plus years, teenaged lyricist son, diva cat, and her monster-sized goldfish, crafting stories to delight readers young and old. 

Book Review by Carmen:
This book was unfortunately not quite for me. The writing was fine; but the story didn't catch my attention. The initial blurb sounded interesting, though it turned out to be a little too YA for me. If you're into paranormal/fantasy YA that has a strong female (protagonist) character, then try picking this book up. I ended up giving this book a two star rating and got a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

*Please be sure to support the author by buying their books and connecting with them on social media.

I Challenge You....
To a 4 week Health & Fitness challenge! 

Let's get on track with nutrition and fitness right in time for the summer. 

Been awhile since you have been to the gym? Never joined a gym before? No problem. This challenge will be for beginners +. I will be giving out free weekly tips and exercises for the 4 weeks on my Facebook & Instagram pages. 

Want a full program including meal ideas/recipes and workouts to either lose weight or build muscle? 

Sign up for my 4 week challenge program for $50. You will be added to a super secret email list & Facebook group (for conversation and motivation). This program is all online - can be done from the comfort of your own home - no gym membership required. You will need a couple sets of dumbbells, stability ball, yoga mat and a couple resistance bands. 

Help the dogs!

$10 from each participant will be donated to Rocky Road Dog Rescue. Space is limited.  Sign up today. I will be sending out the first email on May 6th, 2019! 

Want in-person training? I will be offering my personal training and nutrition coaching services starting in June - either in yours/my home or 1:1 online live training. 

Talking about Depression by Cindy Stulberg and Ronald Frey ~ An Excerpt from Feeling Better

For years, the first line of defense for depression has been pharmaceuticals, but in their new book Feeling Better: Beat Depression and Improve Your Relationships with Interpersonal Psychotherapy (New World Library, November 20, 2018), psychologists and authors Cindy Goodman Stulberg and Ronald J. Frey, PhD, say that it is actually our relationships that offer the most effective path to healing.

Knowing that depression is an illness as legitimate as any physical ailment, Feeling Better helps readers get clarity around the four main areas in life that can be contributing factors to why people feel sad, blue, down, and depressed: life transitions, complicated grief, interpersonal conflict, or social isolation. We hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from the book.

# # #

If you’ve been keeping your depression to yourself, it’s time to share the burden with someone else. If we let others know about our temporary limitations, we’re more likely to receive support for our efforts and new ideas for how to cope. Opening up also gives others the opportunity to share their struggles with us — experiences we may never have known they had. Suddenly, we don’t feel so alone anymore.

It’s normal to feel shy, scared, embarrassed, and anxious about telling people. Many of us — me included — have our feelings of self-worth tied up with being seen as one of those people who have their act together. (It’s common among people in helping professions. We help others, but we don’t always have the skills to help ourselves.) If you’re used to being the capable one, it can feel uncomfortable to admit to others that you’re struggling. Plus, if you haven’t reached out for help before, you don’t know it’s possible for someone to offer you support and show they care.

The first step is to acknowledge that being strong isn’t always a strength. The next is to imagine a different future, one where there’s a little more give-and-take in your relationships. Many people will want to help you as much as you want to help them. Let them in.

Don’t feel you have to tell everyone about your depression. Start with one or two people who are affected by your illness or who you think will be understanding.

It’s usually helpful to share the symptoms of depression with the person you’re confiding in. That way you both have the same understanding of the many physical and emotional impacts of the illness and can speak a common language. Let the person know that you’re working hard to feel better. Explain that you need to take a break from some of the things you usually do to give yourself the time and energy to make positive changes. Reassure them that the situation is temporary. Listen to their concerns, and be open to their suggestions.

Some people will really understand. Some may offer to help. (Don’t refuse the casserole.) Some might not get it; you can sense they’re trying, but they’re struggling to empathize. If that person is close to you or you need their help with some of your responsibilities, try sharing this chapter of the book with them. Of course, you won’t want to assign reading homework to a person who isn’t a reader. Instead, show them the book and talk them through the important information, as in a highlight reel or postgame recap. They’ll get the point that your information comes from a credible source — the book — but they won’t have to read it themselves.

Unfortunately, some people might not be supportive at all. You can’t change that. But at least you’ll know who you can turn to the next time you need advice or assistance. Try not to blame those who don’t understand. They may show their support through actions, not words, by doing things like fixing the car or spending more time with the kids.

Many people who have depression stop socializing, and their isolation may be compounded by other circumstances, for example, a move to a new city, the arrival of a new baby, a spouse who travels a lot, or the lack of a strong support system. John, for example, never felt he had kind, caring friends or family. Admitting to himself that he was depressed has been hard enough, because it feels like one more way he’s failed. How is he supposed to share that with the very people who are responsible for his feelings of inadequacy?

If, like John, you feel there’s no one you can talk to about your depression, we encourage you to open up to one person anyway. John swallows his pride and tells his brother (the most supportive of his unsupportive siblings) about how he’s feeling. First, he explains the symptoms. Then he says that he’s working on getting better. His brother expected John to say the things he’s said so many times before: “I’d feel better if I had a girlfriend,” “The problem is my job,” “I just need more money,” “If I’d stayed in school, this wouldn’t be happening,” “It’s because I’m living with Mom and Dad.” When John’s brother doesn’t hear John singing the same old tune, he’s pleasantly surprised. He praises John for making an effort — a first in their relationship.

Often our words are received poorly not because of what we want to say, but because of how we say it. It takes a little self-reflection to recognize the patterns in the way we communicate with the people in our lives, but it’s worth taking a look. John’s go-to style has been to make excuses and blame others. You may find, like John, that making a change in the way you communicate helps you feel you have someone to talk to. It’s not something you can accomplish overnight, but now’s as good a time as any to start — and we’ll continue working on this together over the weeks ahead.

You may feel there’s no one you can talk to about your depression because, in your family and community, talk of mental illness is shameful and therefore off-limits. You may worry that if it gets out that you’re depressed, it could affect your future. Rest assured, there will be someone you can talk to. That person may be outside your immediate family or cultural community. They may be more of an acquaintance than a friend, or they may be a professional.

# # #

Cindy Goodman Stulberg, DCS, CPsych, and Ronald J. Frey, PhD, CPsych, are the authors of Feeling Better and directors of the Institute for Interpersonal Psychotherapy. Visit them online at

Excerpted from the book Feeling Better. Copyright ©2018 by Cindy Goodman Stulberg and Ronald J. Frey. Printed with permission from New World Library —

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