Please help me make fellow author S. M. Spencer feel at home at this stop on her blog tour! The best way to do that is liking, commenting, and sharing her post as well as writing sincere REVIEWS for her books! 😀

I for one loved her post about the inspiration for the Absent Shadows trilogy. After all, I’m a HUGE fan of paranormal romance! So I decided to make a small contribution to her awesome post by means of illustrating it.

Queen Victoria Markets

aka Old Melbourne Cemetery








Hello, and thanks for stopping by on my blog tour!  I would like to thank today’s host for having me here, and also 4Wills Publishing for organizing this tour for me. To see all the stops on the tour, check out their website:



The YA paranormal romance trilogy Absent Shadows takes place (predominantly) in Melbourne, Australia. The story is completely fictional; however it is set in real locations. Most of the story takes place in what are some of the oldest parts of Melbourne, namely the Queen Victoria Market and the Flagstaff Gardens.


I’d like to share with you a bit of the history of this area so you will understand what inspired me to come up with a story about ghosts and vampires in this area.



A few years ago, I was working around the corner from Melbourne’s Queen Victoria Market, up near the Flagstaff Gardens. One day while walking around at lunchtime, I started sensing that the area was the perfect setting for a story about ghosts and vampires. There had been a strong resurgence in the popularity of vampires and ghosts, and I’d always been keenly interested in both. In fact, I’d done a late night ghost tour through the area just a few years earlier. It was on this ghost tour that I first learned the history of the cemetery under the market’s carpark.

When I set out to write the story, I decided to do a bit of research on the area. Of course I headed straight to Google and WIKIPEDIA. I read numerous accounts of the market and the gardens, and although not everything I read appeared to be consistent, the general gist of it was that the area we now call the Flagstaff Gardens was originally referred to as Burial Hill. In the early 1800’s, not long after the colony of Melbourne was established, this became the site of Melbourne’s first burials.

A few years later a proper cemetery was built, the Melbourne Cemetery, in the area that is now the Queen Victoria Market. This cemetery was used from 1837 until the early 1850’s but was felt to be too small for the growing population. As such, in the early 1850’s, what is now referred to as the Melbourne General Cemetery was built.

In the early 1900’s there were plans to expand the Queen Victoria Market, so a number of bodies (approximately 900) were exhumed from the Old Melbourne Cemetery and relocated to other cemeteries. Poor records, deterioration of headstones, and numerous other factors prevented the remaining bodies from being exhumed however.

Although there is no doubt that a large number of bodies still remain under the market carpark, the exact number seems somewhat debatable. Some accounts suggested that there were originally over 10,000 bodies in the Old Melbourne Cemetery, so with only approximately 900 having been relocated there would still be in excess of 9,000 remaining.  However, another report suggests that due to a fire in 1864 that destroyed early records, the 10,000 bodies cannot be verified.

Regardless of the exact number, there is no argument that not all the bodies were exhumed, and when you walk across the carpark, you are walking over the top of some thousands of bodies that reside as little as six feet below.

Now, with the Melbourne City Council in the midst of massive redevelopment plans for the area, the controversy lives on.

You can read all about the history by simply Googling “Old Melbourne Cemetery”. It makes for some very interesting reading, indeed.

The Absent Shadows Trilogy is not in any sense of the words an historical account of the area. The story is a novel, set in an interesting location. Therefore, this background is supplied purely to provide a bit of insight into the inspiration for the writing of the story.


To find out more about the Absent Shadows Trilogy, and obtain free samples of each of the books, visit Amazon:



You can also follow SM Spencer on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/SMSpencer.writer  for advice about upcoming promotions as well as updates on works in progress.





S M Spencer

Absent Shadows Trilogy: Destiny, Sacrifice & Deception

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Series Description:

The Absent Shadows Trilogy is the story of nineteen year-old Lili McIntyre who decides to trade her California summer for a mid-winter visit to Australia in hope of finding inspiration and direction in the country where her father was born.

When she arrives in Melbourne, the first thing Lili finds is the last thing she’s looking for—a brooding man who makes her heart race every time she sees him. Against her better judgement, Lili finds herself drawn into a relationship that tests her very beliefs about life, reality and fantasy.

Follow Lili’s journey across Australia as she searches for her destiny, faces some of the hardest decisions of her life, makes incredible sacrifices, and encounters deception in places where it is least expected.

Available at   Amazon    Brag Medallion


Destiny Excerpt:


Sometimes, when something bad happens, time seems to slow to a crawl.

Like that time I was running to visit my friend who lived down the street. I was only about ten at the time, but it seemed like it was yesterday. I remember exactly how it felt as I ran down that street toward her house. And how, when I was only part way there, I stepped on an acorn and my foot rolled out from under me. As I fell, the pavement got closer and closer to my face—in horrible slow-motion. I hit the ground with my hands stretched out in front of me, scraping the skin off both palms. They barely bled but man they hurt like crazy.

Yes, I could replay that memory like a slow-motion movie in my head even now—years later.

But this … well, this wasn’t like that.

What happened next was like a series of still photos. Tom flew out of the bedroom in a blur, but stopped just long enough for the image of his face to be burnt into my mind. His eyes were no longer soft brown, but were instead a glowing red, and his normally tanned complexion was now pallid grey. But what really stood out was the blood that ran down from the corner of his mouth.

Then I heard Sam’s voice—loud and harsh. ‘Go!’

Tom was gone and I heard the door slam.

I closed my eyes for no more than a long blink—it couldn’t have been more than a second—but when I opened them, Sam was in the bedroom, bending over Claire. Was he doing something to her neck? She was so still.

I ran to the doorway but stopped short of going in. I couldn’t draw a breath to scream or talk. I just stood there, frozen.




About the Author:


S M Spencer was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area of California.

As a young teenager she was introduced to the world of romantic suspense through the works of authors such as Daphne du Maurier and Mary Stewart. These books stirred in her a passion that would last a lifetime: to become a writer.

Feeling the need to experience life before embarking on a writing career, Ms Spencer completed a business degree. Her career eventually landed her in Melbourne, Australia, where she has lived ever since.

SM Spencer now writes from her home in a semi-rural part of Australia, where she lives with her husband, horses, cats and dogs.





 “This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

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‘AS LIFE GOES’ Blog Tour

One of the prior topics on the blog tour was the discussion regarding offering up segments of your books online as free excerpts as a way to get readers engaged with your writing, your style of writing, and the theme of the given story you’re sharing with them.

I then offered three existing links that are also offered below in the “About As Life Goes: Elementary” section, with the promise of a fourth, never released excerpt for your enjoyment.

With that, here is the never before released, As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt IV

The school bus pulled up to Ward Street, and only Melissa and Matthew got out at the corner. They crossed the street in front of the bus, and then it continued northbound past Boylan’s corner store on South Cherry Street.

“So, I saw Liz finally got around to saying hello to you,” Melissa said, with her head turned to watch Matthew’s expression while they headed down the street to her house.

“Yeah. I didn’t know her so well. You know, except from class. I thought she lived in this neighborhood somewhere, but she lives over on Blakeslee.” Matthew kicked some of the snow boulders forward on the sidewalk.

“That’s closer to the southeast side schools: Dag, and Lyman Hall.” Melissa slowed at her driveway cut. “This is my house. I’ll call my mom. You’ll have to wait on the porch. I can’t have anyone in when no one’s home. Especially a boy.”

“Have you had many boys here?” Matthew said, and immediately regretted blurting it out.

Melissa thought about the comment for a second and smiled. “No. You’re the first one I brought home.” She kissed him on the cheek then darted into the house.


Melissa closed the front door behind her and blew a lung full of air out of her mouth all at once. I can’t believe I did that. TWICE now! What was I thinking? When did I become this mushy girl? She headed into the kitchen and grabbed the phone that hung on the wall. She dialed the number to her mother’s workplace and stretched the long coiled cord to the phone so that she could look towards the front windows. She watched Matthew pace around on the porch.

“Corametrics—how can I direct your call?” the female voice on the other end of the phone asked.

“Um … Accounting, Mrs. Canton, please,” Melissa asked, unsure of herself.

“One moment, please.” The line went on hold.

Too many last names, Melissa thought with a slight frown as the hold music filled her ear. Diane Wakeford, Melissa Bancroft, Karen Canton, wife of Joseph Canton … ugh! I miss Dad. I guess Diane feels the same way. I know Mom just wants to be happy and have someone in her life …”

“Hello,” the woman on the phone said on her return. “Mrs. Canton is unavailable to take a call at the moment. May I take a message for her?”

“Um … no, thank you. I’ll try her later.” Melissa hung up. She hated to leave messages despite her mother asking her to call once she got home from school, especially now with Diane not around because of work.

What could I say? She thought as she rummaged through the drawer in the kitchen for a pen and a piece of scratch paper. “Can you tell her, her daughter called, and leave her the message that she’s going up the street to do homework with a nice boy?” I hate that. It’s stupid to call, and I’m going to get her yelled at and into trouble at work. Melissa looked back to the front windows while she started the note to her mother. Still, he is a nice boy. I wouldn’t mind getting yelled at if it meant spending time with him. I wonder what music he likes. Melissa looked down at the little heart shape she’d drawn on the piece of paper. “This boy is making me brain damaged!” she said aloud and with a huff. She crumpled the paper, tossed it into the trash, and started a new note:

“Mom—I went up the street to Colony Convenience, where Diane works, to study with Matthew Sanford.” Melissa paused her writing for a moment. “I need help with Geography, and Matthew is a wiz at it. I will come home with Diane when the store closes around six. Love you—Missy.”

Oh, that sounded ridiculous, Melissa thought, dropping the pen on the table and walking away from the note. It serves the purpose. It communicated where I am, whom I’m with, and how and when I will be home, even if it sounds dorky.


Matthew peered briefly in through the window to check how far into the house he could see. It was too dark to make out much more than a hallway into the house going past a flight of stairs. The room at the far end might be the kitchen. He could see Melissa’s outline in the poor lighting. From where he stood, it looked like she’d taken off her hat and pulled the phone from the wall to place a call. With the tiny amount of light coming from the kitchen, it was hard to make out much, but she did shake out her long black hair.

I never really noticed how long it was, Matthew thought. She always has it pinned up or under a hat. The bangs look cute. Matthew pulled his face away from the window and walked back and forth on the porch, shaking his head like a puppy might. When the heck did I become a girl’s hair expert?

A few moments later, after thinking about Baseball cards, Styx, and whether it would be cool to have cable TV and thirty-six channels for the first time, Matthew stopped walking when Melissa came out of the house.


“All set?” Matthew turned to step off the porch but stopped short.

“Yep, all set. I called my mother.” Melissa turned to him since he’d stopped. “Everything okay?”

“Yes,” Matthew said, waving his hand forward in a partial motion to the stairs. Melissa stepped forward and realized he was letting her go first. Once she appreciated that, she simply stepped off and walked at a normal pace. “So, your Mom was okay with things?”

“Well,” Melissa admitted, sheepish, “I didn’t reach her. She couldn’t take the call, and I hate leaving a personal message like that with the woman who takes the calls, so I hung up and wrote her a note.” Melissa turned half a step in front of him. “It’s not a huge deal.”

“Of course not.” Matthew nodded. “I leave my Dad a note all the time when I take off to do something. It’s so he knows where I am and that way he doesn’t worry.”

Matthew slipped on an icy patch but caught his balance. Melissa stepped forward with her head turned back and snorted with a quick laugh then slipped herself. Matthew reached forward and grabbed her, one hand low on her waist and another on her shoulder to stop her fall. He held her effortlessly while keeping his stance on the remainder of the ice. The cold winter air escaped both of their open mouths as the two of them stood looking at one another. A look of uncertainty overtook Matthew’s expression as he held her, and he stood her up to let her go.

Keep breathing, Melissa said to herself. Saying something now would be cool. “Thanks for catching me. No point in cracking my head open; I could ruin the rest of winter that way.” Oh my God! Stop talking. The remainder of the walk. Say nothing!

“Uh, yeah. No problem. Sorry. I didn’t mean to grab at you.” Matthew sounded nervous.

“Oh yeah, well, anytime,” Melissa said, stepping forward. Oh God, maybe I can get out into the road at the corner, and a car can hit me. “Anytime?” What is wrong with me? He caught me and couldn’t wait to let me go. He had such an awful look on his face.

Matthew became quiet and said nothing further, and the two of them continued over the next few blocks to the store in silence.

When they came up alongside the building of his father’s store they each looked up at Diane, who stared back at them through the glass. Matthew confidently stepped ahead of Melissa to open the door for her. She jittered just a little but then immediately calmed down once she sensed that strength of character coming from him again.

Melissa stepped in and took her hat off, and Matthew pulled the door closed. Diane waved over to them. “Hi.” She looked surprised to see her little sister. “What are you doing here?” she mouthed silently to her as Matthew turned his head away and toward the glass windows of the garage area.

“Just a second,” Matthew said, touching her softly on her lower back and over her heavy winter jacket. “I want to see what my Dad is doing and then I can introduce you.” Matthew stepped away, and Melissa felt a tingle from his light touch.

“What are you doing here?” Diane whispered sharply. “No way Mom said this was okay.”

“I called her. She couldn’t come to the phone, so I left her a note on the kitchen table,” Melissa said in a hushed tone, looking back over at Matthew, who’d stepped into the garage area.

“What if Joe sees the note? He’ll go ballistic!” Diane said as her voice began to come back to a normal volume with Matthew out of hearing range. The sounds of the power tools going on and off would certainly drown out their voices.

“You worry too much about stepfather Canton, Diane,” Melissa said, cracking wise. “You’re twenty-four; if I were twenty-four, I wouldn’t let him push me around the way he does you and Mom.”

“Well, you’re not me. And you’re not depending on him for a place to live like I am. You’re still a minor and Mom’s daughter. If she’s there, he sort of has to keep you. He can remove me at any time.”

“You know he works until eleven and doesn’t get home for half an hour after that. Longer if he stops at the club to play cards.” Melissa’s irritation showed in her voice.

“He’s a cute boy,” Diane said, trying to change the subject to something more light hearted.

“I suppose,” Melissa said, attempting to sound indifferent.

“That was a miserable effort to sound uninterested in him,” Diane said, giggling. “Fifth grade …” She gave a sigh. “What a wonderful time of change.”

“Is that when you started liking boys?” Melissa asked.

“It might have been over the summer,” Diane said. “It might have even been the start of sixth grade, but it was Danny Quintin. I’d had a crush on him since second grade. It blossomed into something around then. Well, for me at least.”

Melissa looked over at Matthew talking to his father. He motioned over towards the two of them. Noticing they were looking at him, Matthew waved to the two of them, looking directly at Melissa. The blood rushed to her face, turning it red, while Diane waved back.

“My God, you’re blushing. You must really like him,” Diane said with a smile.

“I do.” She bit her lip, nervous. “I don’t think he does, you know, like that.”

“Why would you say that?” Diane asked.

“Well, I slipped on the ice earlier and he caught me before I fell. He barely said anything to me and then couldn’t wait to let me go,” Melissa said with a sad tone in her voice, looking through the shop window at him.

Diane countered, “Well, he asked you to study with him, and he could study and do homework by himself or with one of his other friends, but he asked you instead.”

“He also said we might listen to some music. I assume if we finished early,” Melissa responded, and glanced at the floor shyly.

“An invitation to study and then listen to music too?” Diane said. “When’s the wedding?”

“Stop. Please. Tease me any other day like a sister might but please not today. Yes. I do like him. He’s nice. He’s polite. He talks to me like I’m anyone. He knows I’m a girl, but he treats me the same as any of his friends. I like that. All the way home on the bus I talked, and he listened and he talked and I listened. It was better than talking to Carrie or Alecia.” Melissa turned to look at him again, and then turned around and looked at Diane. “I know I give you a lot of flak about Steve. I’m sorry. He treated you like crap as if he owned you. I’m not sorry to say I was happy when he kicked you out because that meant you got to come home and be with us. I like having you there.” She closed her eyes as tears welled up in them. “I’m sorry I was hard, saying what I felt, while that was all happening and when you first came home. I could have found a better way to tell you.”

“I know, Missy, and I understand,” Diane said. “That’s your style. Straightforward and from the hip. Someday, when I grow up, I want to be like you.”

Melissa wiped a stray tear away as the garage door opened, and Matthew and his father walked into the store area.

“Missy,” Matthew called out to her, “this is my Dad. Dad, this is Melissa, Diane’s sister.”

“Hi,” Mark said as he brushed his hands on his work pants. “It’s nice to meet you. I’m a little dirty, sorry.”

“It’s nice to meet you, Mr. Sanford,” Melissa said with a smile.

“Did you want a soda or anything before you go study? Matthew said that he asked you here and that no one was at your house.” Mark motioned toward the coolers.

A car pulled up to the fuel pumps, and Mark turned his head to look out.

“You seem to get a lot of cars through the fuel pumps,” Melissa said, looking out the windows as well. “I saw a few coming and going last week when I stopped in here with my Step Dad. He says you have the cheapest fuel in town.”

“Well, we have the location here on Route 5 and it’s on the corner; that’s certainly a traffic pull, but the main attraction is that we do have the lowest cost for fuel in town. It’s because we did away with the full-service pumps and have people pump fuel themselves, unlike most of the other stations, so we’re able to shed that cost and pass the savings along to the customer.” Mark gave a gentle laugh. “Honestly, I’d like to sell more coffee. I earn more per unit.” Mark looked over at Diane then back to Melissa. “The work I’m doing out there …” He pointed over his shoulder. “… converting two of the bays into more store space; I’m going to sublet that out. Your sister gave me that idea.”

“She’s smart like that,” Melissa said with a wide smile and turned toward Diane. “She’s pretty and kind, too. When I grow up, I want to be like her.”


The words from Mark and Melissa overwhelmed Diane, and she began to cry a little, so she turned her head away and tried to look busy. Matthew went over to the display of paper products and grabbed a small box of facial tissues for her. “Thank you,” she said, then sniffed and dried her eyes.

Matthew nodded and took Melissa by the hand to head into his Dad’s office area to do homework.

Mark watched them round the corner and turned back to Diane. “Are you okay?”

“Oh yes,” Diane said with a sniff. “Complements are scarce at home.”

“I’m sorry about that.” Mark sounded sympathetic. “They shouldn’t be in general, but especially not at home.”

“I can see where Matthew gets his kindness.” Diane leaned over the counter. “I think my sister likes him. You know. Like a girl likes a boy,” she said in a soft whisper.

“Oh,” Mark said, caught somewhat off guard. “Well, I guess I’ll need to have ‘that’ conversation with him soon. At least it’s a nice girl like your sister.”

Diane laughed a little. “She’s nice, but she’s tough too.”

“Matthew can use the challenge. Besides, if she’s anything like you, it’s worth any potential negative,” Mark said as he backed away and turned to head to the garage. “I mean that. Your idea for these two bays is very progressive. I’m encouraged that it will be successful. All I need now, really, is someone to operate that final garage bay for all the things I can’t do.”


Diane took on that intense look that she had when she focused on something. Mark could almost feel the look on him. The bell on the door rang as the customer came in to pay for his fuel. With Diane turned away to collect the payment, Mark headed back out to the garage.



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About As Life Goes: Elementary

“Every new beginning starts from nothing. Understanding that you can have everything in the love of one person, isn’t that worth the risk of personal capital? Isn’t that kind of love worth it?” – Diane Wakeford

“Have I ever told you, you’re the nicest boy I’ve ever met?” – Melissa Bancroft

“I will have the friends I want. I don’t care what boy likes me or what boy I like. You’re an awesome friend. I am not giving you up because we’re going to different schools or for any one person either.” – Elizabeth Wellsworth

Mark Sanford returns to his hometown with his son Matthew in tow to rebuild their lives. Recently divorced, and with the mother totally abandoning her parental responsibilities, both father and son are beginning their fresh start together.

Matthew begins to make new friends in the neighborhood and at school while he tries to find his place among people that have been friends with one another for years at elementary school.

Mark takes over the reins of the former family corner store with the help of a young woman looking for work. The ability to love and trust that woman entering his life is difficult for him because of all he has lost. For Matthew, that “first love” is difficult to understand without a motherly influence and with a father that has been deeply hurt.


As Life Goes: Elementary – Links to Excerpts

As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt I

As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt II

As Life Goes: Elementary – Excerpt III


Books and links

Before Another Sunset (The Sunset Series Book 1)

Another Sunset (The Sunset Series Book 2)

I Hero: The Beginning

I Hero: Nathan Returns

As Life Goes: Elementary


As Life Goes: The End of the Innocence – (expected November 2015)
As Life Goes: The Reunion – (expected April 2016)
As Life Goes: The Wedding (expected July 2016)
As Life Goes: The Funeral (expected October 2016)


I Hero: Untitled Book 3 (Expected first half 2016)
I Hero: Untitled Book 4 (Expected second half 2016)
I Hero: Untitled Book 5 (Expected first half 2017)


Social Media links

Twitter – @GUNDERSTONE https://twitter.com/gunderstone/
Facebook Author page – https://www.facebook.com/jzandri
LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/jasonzandri
Google+ – https://plus.google.com/+JasonZandri/
Author blog – The GUNDERSTONE Review https://gunderstone.wordpress.com/




Jason has been working in the information technology field in one form or the other since 1996. He is currently employed full time at Bloomberg LP as a Systems Engineer in the R&D group. Jason lives in Wallingford Connecticut, with his wife Renata. He is the father to four children, three boys and 1 girl – 11 years (Andrew), 9 years (Angela), 7 years (Adam) and 6 years old (Alex).


“This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”


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 Apologies are in order as Giveaway Wednesday became Giveaway Thursday this time.

Last month, when I started my Giveaway Wednesday posts, I had the intention of featuring a new author every week. Unfortunately, life has a very bad habit – it keeps throwing off people’s plans. So, I had to resign myself to monthly posts for now. LOL

Even so, I wasn’t able to post this yesterday, so my sincere apologies to Jenny, in particular, and to all my readers! 😦

If you want to check the first featured author in this series, please click here – because you’ll love getting to know Harmony Kent better.

Today, however, I’d like to introduce you to another supportive Rave Reviews Book Club member and super talented author, my second GIVE BACK WEDNESDAY blog…


I met Jenny in 2014 during my first 4Wills Publishing Blog Tour because our tour dates ovelapped. During those two weeks, I found out how generous and special she is, as Jenny never missed one single post. After that, I kept bumping into her on Rave Reviews Book Club’s page and events because she’s always there encouraging people, reading and reviewing books. Last month, her second novel was chosen as Book of the Month and everyone had a chance to see for themselves what I mean when I say: this girl has talent and she’s going places!! I said she’s a special person, right? Check out here one of reasons: she adopts rescue animals for pets!! AWW!! Isn’t she the best? These little fellows are the greatest friends we can find!! 71RL0-bvdaL._UY200_   Although Jenny has published ‘only’ two novels so far, her ranking ratings speak of her talent – ‘Angel of Death‘ has a 4.7 average out of 5 stars (43 reviews on Amazon today – Jun 4, 2015) while ‘Soul: A Novel‘, her second book, has a 4.5 average out of 5 stars (11 reviews on Amazon also today).




Friends from college, Tancy and Audrey love one another like family. They grew up in very different worlds, one poor, with absent, drug-addicted parents, the other with wealth and privilege. As roommates, they delve into the seedy world of escorts as they try to solve a cold case murder from Tancy’s childhood. Chance meetings and twists of fate alter both their lives. Romance, steamy sex and danger await the women, as everything about the murder is uncovered. Shocking details emerge that change their lives forever and reinforces the bond of true friendship.



Souls is the unforgettable story of Ann, and the painful death of her twin sister, Celeste. Ann sets out on a quest to find the killer of her womb-mate following the subsequent death of her parents and after depression nearly kills her. Ann finds herself in California seeking out a Hollywood producer as the perpetrator and while there finds her soul coming back to life when she meets a young actor, Tyler Peters. She cringes at the idea of dating someone younger and becoming a ‘cougar’, but she may be able to use him for his Hollywood connections. An astonishing electricity between the two turns to a passionate and deep love that is tested by an unpredictable twist that comes when Ann figures out who is behind her sister’s death.






Remember to leave a comment to Jenny here but,most of all, read and review her books as this is the best support you can give to an author, mainly an indie one!



 Hmm… where was I? Oh, yes… I was about to introduce today’s guest!

I apologize but I always get distracted when I visit this talented author’s website and am greeted with the vision … I mean, the picture above. LOL

Please welcome



Michelle serves at the Governing Board of Rave Reviews Book Club (if you’re not a member JOIN NOW – where else can you find great and supportive people and initiatives like this PAY IT FORWARD WEEK?).

That’s where I met her and learned to admire her style – discreet and quiet presence, which translates into few but insightful and funny remarks. The kind of person I need to learn a thing or two from since I’m too loud and exaggerated! LOL

But I’ll let Michelle tell you about herself:

“Hi, I’m MICHELLE ABBOTT. I’ve lived all my life in the UK. I’m a mother to two awesome children who are now adults. My own mother regularly took me to the library as a child, so I’ve grown up with a love of reading. I’ve enjoyed writing ever since I was old enough to hold a pen. I remember winning a writing contest at school and being too nervous to go on stage to collect my prize; my father had to accept the prize on my behalf. I’m no longer so shy, but I’m still somewhat of an introvert. I’ve written three new adult romance books, my latest being ‘Just Stay’ which I published in May. I’m currently working on my fourth book. I love the support we get from Rave Reviews Book Club and I’m delighted to serve in the role of HOSPITALITY Co-ordinator!”


 Trailer on YouTube


Barnes & Noble
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Trailer on YouTube​


​Trailer on YouTube

Author Page on Amazon

Author Page on GoodReads












Joy Nwosu LoBamijoko

 When I think of this amazing author, who I met at Rave Reviews Book Club, the radiant smile in the picture above – same one that’s on the cover of her book – is what pops into my mind. So I naturally associate Joy with… well, joy!

And isn’t it a wonderful thing, I mean, being associated with such a good feeling? Let me tell you that this lady lives up to the promise in her name, and then some, once you have a chance to interact with her more closely.

In a group where supportive people abound, like RRBC, Joy stands out because of her awesome, tireless support of others. She’s everywhere – visiting blog tours, tweeting, commenting on the Book Club’s website and, mostly, reading and reviewing other members’ books. She is a sweetheart and I’m delighted to have her visiting today.

Here’s a little bit about Joy Nwosu LoBamijoko:

Joy Nwosu was born in Enugu, Anambra State of south-eastern Nigeria. Her parents were Charles Belonwu and Deborah Nwosu. She is the fifth in rank of the seven children of her parents. Joy was born into a music family.

Joy, now retired, was a music teacher, trained in Santa Cecilia, Rome, and obtained her Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Michigan, USA.

She has written and published extensively on national and international scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers.


Her short story I Come from Utopia was published in African Voices, Spring/Summer, 2007, pg. 18, and her first English novel; Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women was published in 2011, and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Contest in 2012. She has also two books published in the Italian language.


She is a trained musician, and taught music for 35 years. She writes and records folk songs.


 There’s no better way to thank authors than reading and reviewing their books.



Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies is a journey into the mysteries of life and death of the Igbos of Nigeria. The book draws readers into the Igbo people’s ancient and traditional beliefs about life and death.

There is a very thin line dividing the land of the living and the land of the dead, so thin that spirits from both lands coexist. Sometimes, during the story, it is difficult to differentiate between the living and the dead. Both have bodies; the living existing in their bodies, while the dead exist in (are using) borrowed bodies.

Fifteen-year-old Osondu has disappeared. His mother goes searching for her son and faces the same fate. She too goes missing.

The gods are ever present, in control, and minister to both the living and the dead. This is because the gods minister to the spirits, not the bodies that harbor them. To the gods, the spirits of both the living and the dead are ever alive.

The world of the traditional Igbo society is a world in which the dead visit and interact easily with the living. It is also a world in which most of the time the living are at the mercy of the gods.




In Mirror of Our Lives, four Nigerian women share the compelling tales of their troubled lives and failed marriages, revealing how each managed to not only survive, but triumph under difficult and repressive circumstances.

Njide, Nneka, Miss Nelly, and Oby relive their stories of passion, deceit, heartache, and strength as they push through life—each on a unique journey to attain happiness, self-respect and inner peace. But none of the women’s journeys is without misjudgments and missteps. Njide falls in love at first sight, marries Tunji too quickly, and is dismayed when Tunji shows his true colors. Nneka once thought that she and Oji were the perfect couple—until Oji traveled to the United States. Miss Nelly is a kind and good-natured woman who allows everyone to take advantage of her—even her husband, whom she married only for his name. But everyone wonders why Oby and Mat even married at all, for their marriage was a battle from the very beginning.

The tales in Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women will inspire womenaround the world to never give up, to discover a sense of worth, and most of all, to learn to love themselves above everyone else.


Author Page on Amazon

Author Page on GoodReads





Website 1

Website 2




 My third assigment on Pay it Forward Week is




Don’t worry! You’re NOT seeing double or had too much wine!!

In fact, this mother/daughter team of writers, with a plethora of shared passions – Lake Erie, boating, shopping, drinking good wine, and eating cheese in all its wonderful varieties – is known as Maureen K. Howard.

Maureen is a soon-to-be retired high school English teacher with a focus on American Literature and Creative Writing. Brigette is the general manager of a well-known franchised restaurant and has a degree in Marketing. Their first novel, Sunny Side Up, is a humorous cozy mystery set on Kelleys Island in Lake Erie, Ohio. Book 2 in the Lake Erie Mystery series, Deviled, is scheduled to be released in the summer of 2015. People ask us if we argue about our books. We say No! Weird but true.

Even though I don’t know these two ladies personally, I can assure you they’re supportive, interesting people because you have to be like that to belong to such an awesome organization as the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB. And they’re very active members!!





From the relative safety of the doorway, I stared at my windblown friend as she extricated herself from the silky fabric. Considering she had just fallen from the sky, she was remarkably calm and collected. She looked like a superhero just stopping by, and I easily imagined her leaping back up into the blue and flying off to save the world from mayhem.

This is how Maureen Kovach and Brigette Howard present their book collaborative project – SUNNY SIDE UP – on their website and here’s the book’s blurb:

“Drink in one hand, credit card in the other, and everything else will sort itself out.”

The school year is over and the article deadlines have been met, so best friends, Francie and June, ditch their business attire, grab their flip flops, and head to the lake for some fun in the sun.
Instead of enjoying a relaxing Memorial Day weekend at Kelleys Island on Lake Erie, this dynamic duo finds themselves in the middle of a murder investigation. They need to find out who burned down their friend’s store, discover the identity of the charred corpse found in the wreckage, and clear Francie’s husband, Hamm, before he is charged with the crime.
Fueled up with their favorite snacks of wine and cheese, these adventure-loving ladies manage to keep their eyes open for a bargain, come up with a plan, and even indulge in a bit of romance, all while dodging increasingly dangerous attempts to silence them for good.
Grab your sunglasses, your favorite cocktail, a copy of Sunny Side Up, and head to the lake with them for an unforgettable weekend adventure.


There’s no better way to thank authors than reading and reviewing their books. Find Maureen and Brigette’s:

Amazon US

Amazon UK



Author Page on Amazon

Twitter handle @Mhowardbooks


 Email mhowardbooks@gmail.com



 “Don’t do that, Abby. 

I don’t like him and I will never like him. And he’ll never like me.

But, like it or not, we both love you. So we’ll make it work.”

John F. Kennedy Jr. very accurately predicting the less-than-stellar relationship he and Christopher Dean would have for the next twenty years

 Does the quote above sound implausible to you?

Well, in my opinion, it’s brilliant! And you’ll find it in I’ve Loved These Days (Book One in The Abigail Phelps Series) by amazingly talented author



I’ve met her through Rave Reviews Book Club (if you’re not yet a member go there RIGHT NOW and join us) and I can tell you she’s not only a talented indie author but amazingly supportive of fellow writers. Well, the whole idea of this PAY IT FORWARD WEEK originated with her , so you get my meaning! If you don’t know this awesome initiative, please, take your time to check it here.

Bethany is currently RRBC’s SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR and you don’t want to miss her posts there. They’re informative, interesting, and fun! Click here for the lineup!

In my opinion, there’s no better way to thank authors than reading and reviewing their books.

Here’s where you can go for Bethany’s- http://www.abbyphelps.com

I’ve Loved These Days: Abigail Phelps, Book One



Scenes From Highland Falls: Abigail Phelps, Book Two 



Two Thousand Years: Abigail Phelps, Book Three 

Author Page on Amazon

Author Page on GoodReads





 Email Links




Twitter handle @BTLiteraryStuff

Facebook Author Bethany Turner Page 

Facebook Abigail Phelps Page 



The Homepage of Bethany Turner

Abigail Phelps Reality is in the eye of the beholder…


See Bethany Write

The Year of Blogging Faithfully


WOW! What a kick-off for my very first PAY IT FORWARD WEEK !!






At Rave Reviews Book Club they’re one and the same. I joined the club a little over a year ago but only recently I got to know Nonnie Jules better, after she generously invited me to join the Governing Board. Boy! It’s been a ride!!

But I won’t talk about myself. Today the SPOTLIGHT is on this talented author and hard-working founder and President of Rave Reviews Book Club, which by the way, is the best Book Club you’ll find online. Please, don’t take only my word on that – check what RRBC has done for our members here.

Among the many quotes you will find in her book “SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYING IS FOR KIDS” – go get it NOW if you haven’t yet because it’s a treat!! –  this one summarizes the essence of RRBC:

 “A tiny spark ignites a flame, just as a helping hand can do the same” – Nonnie Jules.

You can’t go wrong with this kind of thinking, right? I mean, if you put together an organization based on that principle you’re bound to attract generous and supportive people who share your vision. I guess that’s part of the secret of Rave Reviews Book Club and we have only Nonnie Jules to thank for that.

And, in my opinion, there’s no better way to thank authors than reading and reviewing their books.

Here’s where you can go – https://booksbynonnie.wordpress.com








Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend





 Sugarcoatin’ Is For Candy & Pacifyin’ Is For Kids Yes, I Said It!



If Only There Was Music…The Poetry of Forbidden Love





If you want to know more about Nonnie Jules, read her blog – https://nonniewrites.wordpress.com

For great tips on parenting, be sure to check – https://askthegoodmommy.wordpress.com

If you’re looking for priceless services for authors, here’s the place to go to – https://4willspublishing.wordpress.com




Twitter:  @NonnieJules

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/BooksByNonnie.


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Hello readers!

I’m honored to host today’s stop on the HEART OF THE STAFF BLOG TOUR so, please, help me welcome these awesome Rave Reviews Book Club members – Carol & Tom!

They’re not only supportive people but excellent authors. What are you waiting for? Rush to Amazon and grab their books! I recommend them! 😀





Heart of the Staff Box, Best


 The Collector Witch

Book Two

“So,” rasped Hubba Hubba with a derisive squint. “Just how much of the time which you just spent outside was actually taken up by deciding if your unicorns were indeed gone? At this rate, I’ll be lucky to get into the air before Ugleeuh gets back. Why, she might not even see me up there and crash into me. Chaos and mayhem. I’d be dead and you two would be to blame. She’d never get over it. She’d never forgive you. Never let you go if she even let you live.”

“Don’t you dare threaten us with that old sow witch of yours, Lard Ball!” shouted Lukus. “What I want to know is what the old bat’s done with our unicorns. She has no right to take them! She could hang for it, don’t you know. Where are they? She has no…”

“Careful there snot,” he said, leaning forward to follow his movements. “You’re repeating yourself. And I’d also advise you to be cautious about how you speak to me and how you treat me, because Ugleeuh will hear of it. In fact, she’s told me to give her a complete report of your entire behavior upon her return, and I must say that it’s not very favorable, so far.”

“Look ‘ee here, you feathered sack of dung…!” shouted Lukus.

“Lukus!” cried Rose. “He’s no doubt telling the truth about reporting everything to Ugleeuh. You’ve seen how she treats this winged hog. You can bet that there’ll be hell to pay when she gets back if she doesn’t like what she hears. I’d just like to do what we came here for and then go home. Don’t lose your head and have us end up as prisoners here for years on end.”

“You’re right. You’re right Rose. Me too. Filth and pin feathers, here, just rubs me the wrong way. Very well then. Let’s hitch him to his sparrows and launch him.”

Rose turned away to fetch the strange harness from its peg. “All right,” she said warily, as she held it up in front of Hubba Hubba. “I’m not quite sure how this thing works, but it looks simple enough, if you just stay right still.” She paused for a scowl and a shake of her finger.” And don’t you dare try to bite me.”

Saying not a word, Hubba Hubba cocked an eye at Rose and sat quietly, letting her fumble with the harness, fitting and fastening it over his layers of fat and feathers. She gently tugged at its bottom strap. “So, how does it feel, Hubba Hubba? Too tight?”

“It feels as good as any contraption like this can,” he said, with a curious glance at her. “You’ve actually got it adjusted about the way it usually is.”

“Good,” she said, studying the sparrows, shackled to their iron balls, pecking away at crumbs on the floor. “Next I suppose we’ve no choice but to hitch up those things… So then, Hubba Hubba, just how does one wrangle venomous little birds into harnesses and make them do your bidding without getting poisoned in the process?”

He made no reply, but Rose’s comment stopped all three sparrows at once. They gazed up at her, keenly absorbed in what she was up to. He leant forward, clacked his beak and leered at them, but the grumpy gesture caused them to break out in a titter. He ruffled up with a heavy shake and hoisted himself aloof.

“Well Lukus?” she said. “What do you think?”

A shrug was the best he could do.

“Well,” said Hubba Hubba from under a half opened eye, “they might not be quite as deadly as Ugleeuh led you to believe.”

“Just how much risk is there to handling them?” said Rose.

“Practically none,” he said with a sigh..

“Practically!” cried Lukus. “What does that mean? Either the birds are dangerous or they aren’t, Tubbo!”

“Name calling is very childish and rude,” said Hubba Hubba as he drew himself up on his perch. “It was not I, dear impetuous one, who told you about the slave sparrows, you know.”

“Yea? But you’re the one who’s refused to be clear about it.”

“Lukus! None of this is getting us anywhere,” said Rose. “Hubba Hubba, are the sparrows poisonous or not?”

“Not in the least,” he sighed. “Chirp, Tweet and Squeak merely have small minds.”

“Good. At least that will speed things up,” she said, undoing the wee thralls from their chains and handing them to Lukus to tether to Hubba Hubba. At last she knelt for Hubba Hubba to waddle onto her shoulder while Lukus parked the sparrows along her outstretched arm. She rose with the solemn care of one who is blindfolded and made her way to the door, which Lukus held open.

“Ready?” she said, stepping off the porch with a great swing of her arm for the sky. The sparrows sprang into the air at once, only to come to a jerking halt at the ends of their lines as Hubba Hubba swayed and dug his toenails into her shoulder. The sparrows stayed aloft, flapping and pulling against his mass, trying to haul him into the sky. To help them, she grabbed him in the crook of her arm, rolled him off her shoulder and hove him with all her might into the air like an oil filled football. To her horror, it looked for a moment as though he would surely come back down and burst on the ground. At the last possible moment, he recovered from the shock of being thrown into the air and began madly pumping his wings. Mere inches from the ground, the frantic gang of fowl rose into the air.

Hubba Hubba and his entourage were up to speed at once, careening around in the air about the outbuildings. He couldn’t possibly fly by himself, but his flapping was absolutely necessary for them to stay aloft, for any time he slowed his efforts, the group would sink. Presently he was utterly winded and the sparrows had no choice but to follow him to the ground, furiously beating their wings to break his fall. When he touched down, he broke into a bounding roll across the yard, winding the sparrows tightly about him.

Ch. 11, The Collector Witch


Buy Links for The Heart of the Staff

US Amazon

UK Amazon



Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps


Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps spent twenty years writing together and teaching on the Navajo, Apache, Hualapai and Paiute reservations in the Southwest before returning to their farm in Southern Illinois, where they now write epic fantasy full time. They have independently published seven books with more to come.



Our Websites



Other Contact Info

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Car01am

Page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CarolMarrsPhippsTomPhipps

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carol.phipps3

Follow on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Carol-Marrs-Phipps/e/B005HB8MC0

Follow on Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/car01am/

Amazon Buy Page for all our books: http://www.amazon.com/Carol-Marrs-Phipps/e/B005HB8MC0




WOW – told you they were GREAT! 😀

Thank you for your visit today and please remember to leave your thoughts before you go as I’m sure Carol & Tom will appreciate that!

Finally, thanks to 4WillsPublishing for putting together this Blog Tour. If you’re looking for great services for author – check them out.

 This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.


Please welcome 4WILLS PUBLISHING‘s

CHOICES BLOG TOUR and J.L. MacFadden today.

This amazingly talented author is on a month-long blog tour organized by the AWESOME team at 4WillsPublishing. Check the complete list of tour stops here because you don’t want to miss any!! They are that good. 😀

Remember to show J.L. your SUPPORT by leaving a comment below and helping spread the word!!


Book Cover


What inspires you to write? Is there a person or something else that drives you to write?

Well, different things or people will do something in front of me and a story will start unfolding in my head. I really never know when it is going to happen, but it is always out of the blue. However, the last idea that has sprung up was due to the fact that I am going to be a dad.

Tell us about your work area. Do you have a place that is sectioned off and only for your writing like a little office or cave of some sort?

Actually, in the spring, summer, and even the fall I move all my writing out onto my enclosed balcony. It reminds me of the camp I used to go to as a kid –  outside my window is a small wooded area – and you cannot even tell I live in the middle of a European city when looking out the balconies window. In the winter, I move into the warmer area of the apartment, but miss my balcony time a lot. My chinchilla likes to spend time on my shoulder as I write; I have no idea, but inside the apartment he doesn’t spend so much time with me and my works.

Do you plot out your stories before writing them down?

The story unfolds for me and I spend no time on the plot. Sometimes I will need to do some research if it is something in the past or some technical field I am not up to par on, but other than that the story is like a movie in my head and I just write it down as I see it.

Do your characters ever takeover and steer you into an unplanned direction?

Adela did, because the first book in the series was really more about Gala and John, but her character shined so much I had to write the prequel to the trilogy about her, which in turn, made Choices more about the wicked love triangle that steamed up.

What are some things you need to be able to write?

I need to be left alone by people or it can stop my flow. Usually, I am listening to music or a video on one screen and writing my book on another monitor.  I good cup of coffee or something like it.

What is the hardest part of being a writer?

Wondering what book I should write. I have a waiting list of books in my head, but I can only write so fast.  There are times I wonder if I should rewrite a part just due to thinking there is a better way of writing it down. The same scene can be written a million ways, but what way will portray it as you want?

Do you prefer working under a deadline?

I wouldn’t have it any other way, because I work better under pressure.

Is there going to be any additions to your trilogy?

There is actually three more in the planning: One of them will be a look into  Adela’s Lost Guardian, the continuation from Choices, and one that is really a spin off that could stand alone; it will show how the Order of Hunters got started, so the vampires will all be written as evil beings.

What is something you strive to do in your writing?

To write stories that people identify with. I also hope to take some people down a road that they had never thought of before.




Author Photo

Author Bio

J.L McFadden was born in  Pennsylvania and spent his life bouncing around the States until beginning to travel the world. Starting out he was a well-known musician in upstate New York that had a heavy playing schedule. Later he went back to his home state to work in the Lumber mills of the mountains. In California working in sales, management and even directed a small moving company until deciding to see the world. His travels around the world have allotted him to not only join an International Aikikai Aikido Federation, but have trained with Sanseis from Belgium, Ukraine, Russia and other European countries. He accounts his journeys and meeting of new people to his broad character types in his books.


Contact Info

Site: http://jlmcfadden.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officaljlmcfadden

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JamieLeeMcfadde

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20842432-choices



Book Cover


Book Blurb:

While still doubled over, picking up a book, Adela stated with a sultry voice, “One of these days, I am going to make you deliver on all of those promised ideas, running through your head when you watch me.” She had a playful sound to her voice with her smile, telling that fulfilling his dreams was not out of the question.



Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1492747246

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/choices-j-l-mcfadden/1121101320





4WillsPublishing Links:


Rafflecopter Giveaway: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4af5be7f12


Goodreads Event Page: https://www.goodreads.com/event/show/956279

 “This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”