Thursday, June 30, 2022

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway - The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses by K.N. Smith. This book tour was organized by Pump Up Your Book. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Visa virtual gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: The Urban Boys: Discovery of the Five Senses
Author: K.N. Smith
Publisher: Two Petals Publishing
Publication Date: September 29th 2015
Print Length: 340 pages
Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy Adventure

Welcome or unwelcome. Fate has arrived.
"A captivating and poetic tale of mystery, fantasy, and reality tied together by action!" 5-stars, Lars Jackson, Amazon Customer

A suspenseful incident in a forbidden preserve heightens the senses of five friends. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become super-gifts that forever change the world. But furious battles confront the boys as they try to understand their sensory super powers in a race to save mankind. With light beings and mysterious strangers complicating their plight, will the boys be able to defeat the evil Druth before it’s too late? Get prepared for the twisting and grinding of this award-winning, action-adventure story — an edge-of-your-seat narrative for young and mature readers alike.

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"Brilliantly crafted and written!" - Megan King, Indie Book Reviewers

"An energetic adventure debut with stellar action sequences. Smith's writing is intelligent and often lyrical. Her exuberant prose never fails to dazzle." - Kirkus Media

"Author K.N. Smith uses her mastery of the written word to weave an entrancing, yet powerful tale of adventure that keeps you turning pages in an unquenchable desire to find out what happens next." - Publishers Daily Reviews
Soft swirls of light rose, dissipating as they spoke.

“The others are capable, but they need our help. Peace will not come easily. We must give them strength.”

“Druth will destroy our home. He will hurt the gifted ones if the nectar finds him.”

“They will not survive him.”

“The others must seek the will for survival. They must understand their own power.”

A transient suspension held the beings in the preserve. Faint flecks of light dotted the landscape.

“In these two worlds, our ideas converge, yet collide.”

“He must be stopped!”

“It is true.”

“Naculea must endure.”

“It is chosen.”

Now resting upon the succulent, running rich with the life-giving nectar, the beings absorbed its energy, glowing as bright as the sun.

Thirst became a distant need yet again.

“We must warn… the one.”

“The one who sees.”

“The one who sees and hears much.”

“It is the only way.”

Final clicks faded into silence.
K.N. Smith, winner of the “Best of” in the category of “Outstanding Young Adult Novel” at the Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Awards, is an author, screenwriter, and passionate advocate of literacy and arts programs throughout the world. She inspires people of all ages to reach their highest potential in their creative, educational, and life pursuits.

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Win a $25 Visa eGift card - four winners!
(Open worldwide.)

Terms & Conditions:
• By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
• Four winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Visa e-card.
• This giveaway ends midnight August 31.
• Winner will be contacted via email on September 1.
• Winner has 48 hours to reply.

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Pump Up Your Book and the author assume all responsibility with this giveaway.)

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Book Blitz and Giveaway: Thief (Popov Bratva #4) by Leslie Georgeson

Title: Thief
Series: Popov Bratva #4
Author: Leslie Georgeson
Publication Date: June 14th 2022
Print Length: 511 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense

I live by one simple rule.

Do not get attached.

Feelings are a weakness that I can’t allow.

It’s an easy rule to abide by. Keep everyone at a distance.

Then a sassy, smart-mouthed redhead interferes in my heist. For the first time in my life, I botch the job.

If I let her go, she’ll turn me in. I have no choice other than to take her hostage.

Too late, I learn she’s a celebrity. Her disappearance will make the headlines and lead back to me. She’s nothing but trouble in a tight, sexy body.

Can I strike a deal with a woman who challenges me at every turn?

Then I discover she has secrets that could ruin her. Now I have the upper hand. I plan to use it to my advantage.

She has more to lose than I do. Or so I think.

I am about to learn that some rules are meant to be broken.

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My stomach dropped. Had I seriously lost my wallet? This was not good. I needed to go back to the store before they closed and see if I could find it.

It was ten-thirty at night. The store closed at eleven. I needed to hurry.

There might be a slim chance someone had found my wallet and turned it in to someone at the store. It was also possible I’d dropped it somewhere and it still lay where it had fallen. If I hurried, I might actually get lucky and find it before someone picked it up.

The paparazzi should be long gone by now.

Snatching up my purse, I tossed my phone inside and headed for the garage. I’d never lost my wallet before. I wouldn’t feel better until I had it back in my possession.

Snagging a hoodie from the coat rack by the back door, I slipped it over my head. Moments later, I was in my Audi R8 and pulling out of the garage. I’d fallen in car lust the moment I’d seen the sleek and sexy convertible at the car dealership last year. Melanie called it a “d*ckmobile” and I loved the description with its intended pun. The sports car had cost me over a hundred and fifty grand. It was one of my few splurges. Mostly, I was careful with my money, investing over half of it for the future. I was smart enough to know I wouldn’t be on top forever. Everyone’s career had its ups and downs. Considering where I’d come from, I wasn’t about to be too confident. Today I might have it all, but tomorrow I might have squat.

I took nothing for granted.

Ten minutes later, I reached the store. 10:45 p.m. I still had fifteen minutes until closing.

The parking lot was nearly empty now. Only a few cars remaining. A sleek black Escalade. A beat-up blue Honda. A nondescript gray sedan.

Assuming the owner of the Escalade was wealthy, probably a celebrity and unlikely to care if he or she spotted another celebrity, I parked next to it. Plus, I felt safer parking near another expensive car. People with nice cars were less likely to ding your vehicle with their doors.

Pulling the hoodie up over my head to hide my face and stuffing a pepper spray in the pocket for my safety—a girl could never be too cautious—I exited the car and hurried toward the south entrance where Gus had picked us up earlier. If I couldn’t find my wallet on the ground, then I would go inside and ask the store clerk if someone had turned it in.

I’d only taken about eight or nine steps across the parking lot when I sensed a movement behind me.

My skin prickling, I whirled around.

A man dressed all in black slipped out of the back of the Escalade and rushed around to the driver’s side of my Audi, his face hidden beneath a black balaclava.

My mouth dropped open.

Are you kidding me?

Frozen with shock and cursing my dumb luck and the decision to park near the SUV, I could only stare as my car bleeped, the lights flashing as it unlocked, and the man slipped behind the wheel. Of my car. How the hell did he unlock it?

What I did next was probably the stupidest thing I’ve ever done in my life. But I wasn’t about to lose my precious Audi in addition to my wallet.

Pulling the pepper spray from the pocket of my hoodie, I raced back to my car just as the engine fired up.

Oh, no, you don’t!

Yanking the passenger’s side door open, I leaped into the vehicle just as it started to move forward.

The man jerked toward me in surprise.

I aimed the pepper spray at his face.

And pressed the trigger.
Leslie Georgeson writes romance and suspense, sometimes with a dash of sci-fi or paranormal tossed in to make things more interesting. She is the author of the popular military romantic suspense series, THE DREGS, which was nominated for the 2018 TopShelf Indie Book Awards. Her other titles include the UNLIKELY HEROES series, the UNDERNEATH series, the standalone romantic mystery, NO SON OF MINE, and the newly released romantic suspense duet, THE PACT. Book one, The Mocking Man, is now available on Amazon.

Leslie lives with her husband and daughter on a quiet country acreage in Idaho.

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Win a $25 Amazon gift card!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Xpresso Book Tours and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

NBtM Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway - God's Intervention: A Second Chance for Humankind by Kenneth B. Little and Helen Davies

Welcome to my stop on the NBtM virtual book tour for God's Intervention: A Second Chance for Humankind by Kenneth B. Little and Helen Davies. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a guest post from one of the authors. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: God's Intervention: A Second Chance for Humankind
Authors: Kenneth B. Little & Helen Davies
Publisher: Tellwell Talent
Publication Date: April 29th 2022
Print Length: 698 pages
Genre: Literary Fiction
Humans are on the brink of disaster...

In the United States, President Samuel Cummings has taken the reins of a deeply divided country at a time when nuclear, chemical, biological and cyberthreats loom.

Things look bleak until God's emissary Sarah, a composite of 40 million female souls from Heaven, arrives on Earth with the message that God is intervening in human affairs to save the human race from itself. God, she explains, is the life force of the universe, the only intelligent form of energy. People who help others grow their own life force will join God in Heaven. However, many humans are more inclined toward hatred, intolerance and greed and so God is intervening to course-correct them.

The first thing Sarah does is to announce God's edict of 'thou shalt not kill' to the world. Anyone who tries to kill another person—or who enables someone to do so—will die instead. As commander-in-chief, Cummings must call back his military troops or risk his life. He must then deal with both the fallout and benefits of the dissolution of America's military-industrial complex.

Sarah's mission is to establish a new world order that is kinder, better and united. As she guides the world through this evolution, President Cummings begins to notice a depth in his own soul that makes him both a better man and a better leader.

Sarah remains on Earth for one year to help the world come together, and leaves behind a legacy of hope—a second chance for humankind.

Immediately on alert, and with as much bravado as he could muster, he stuttered, “What in the hell are you doing here . . . ?” He punched a button on his desk and yelped, “Security!” as loudly as he could, expecting his personal bodyguard, Don Taylor, to rush into the room and usher this intruder out posthaste . . . but Don didn’t come.

Instead, the woman continued to stand in front of him as bright as a satellite in space. Glowing, it seemed.

“You must leave immediately!” he shouted at her, but she appeared unperturbed by his anxiety and did not move. “Now!” he yelled again, this time with more fervor as he pointed toward the door.

When she did not react, he slowly glanced around the room and noted an unnatural stillness. The usual electronic sounds that were part and parcel of day-to-day life—like lights buzzing and clocks ticking—were absent. It was like he was in a vacuum of some sort. He started to realize that he was alone with this woman and that no one was going to save him.

Don’t panic, he told himself, and he calmed down a little. He glanced quickly at her and had the uncomfortable sensation that she was flitting around the room. He looked away, at the door behind her, still hoping Taylor would bust through and usher her out, but nothing happened.

Finally, he managed to muster the words, “Where did you come from . . . ?” and then his tongue tied itself into a knot, and further speech failed him as he felt the full power of her presence.

This was no ordinary woman. She seemed to suck the oxygen from the room, leaving him light-headed, and oddly light-hearted as well. As he felt himself being somehow drawn to her, he could hear his heart beating as if in anticipation of something delightful, though his rational mind told him it was probably just due to surprise and shock. He fought to hide his odd mix of feelings from her by reminding himself that she was an intruder. The truth of the matter, he told himself sternly, is that this woman breached White House security in order to threaten me in the Oval Office.
Kenneth B. Little is a 72-year-old retired business executive who is unhappy about how the state of the world has deteriorated during his lifetime.

The human population has ballooned from one billion to nearly eight billion, and people have moved off the land into massive cities where they have no ability to survive on their own. Instead, we rely on massive electrical grids energized by power plants largely burning fossil fuel; we’ve developed industrial complexes and global transportation systems that also rely on fossil fuel; we’ve created corporate farms that promote animal cruelty and destroy the soil by overusing chemicals; we’ve decimated our ocean marine life by dragging the ocean floor; we’ve created plastics that pollute land, rivers, lakes and oceans; and, of course, we’ve created nuclear, chemical, biological and cyber weapons that are now in the hands of unstable countries and terrorist organizations.

In short, we are racing headlong into a series of mass extinction events.

At seventy-two, Ken felt motivated to try to create a better world for his grandchildren by writing a fiction book full of non-fiction ideas that could potentially correct many of the world’s problems. Realizing that the only two avenues toward this were themes of divine intervention or mass extinction, he chose divine intervention as the solution, creating a scenario where God could step in to save humankind.

Ken wrote his initial manuscript during the Covid-19 lockdown, a 70,000-word overview that his wife told him read like a textbook. Deciding to see professional help, he engaged Tellwell Publishing to do a critical edit, which was performed by Tellwell editor Helen Davies.

Helen was intrigued by the storyline but, like Ken’s wife, felt it needed a lot of work to develop the characters and make it more engaging. With Tellwell’s blessing, Ken then contracted Helen to do just that. Thus began a most unusual and successful collaboration!

Says Ken:

Helen and I are completely different people. She is a writer, musician, and farmer. I am the grumpy old man who watches European business news when I get up at 3:00 a.m. We live as far apart as possible in Canada. She lives in Victoria on the West Coast, and I live in Fredericton on the East Coast. We have never met, yet we talked for nearly two hours on our first phone conversation. Usually, I never talk for more than five minutes with anybody on the phone. What unites us is that we share a passion for this story, and for the idea of a better, more united world.

During the writing process, Helen routinely sent me edited chapters, one at a time, always with the tagline, “I hope you like it.” I like it very much; the story I wrote that sounded like a textbook now brings tears to my eyes.

God’s Intervention: A Second Chance for Humankind is a story of hope.

We hope you like it.

Kenneth B. Little and Helen Davies
Humankind is on the Brink of Extinction.

God’s Intervention: a second chance for humankind addresses the problem that technology has evolved geometrically while human evolution is proceeding at a snail’s pace.

Weapons of mass destruction have proliferated. We now face a smorgasbord of nuclear, chemical, biological and cyber weaponry and it is only a matter of time until a strike and counterstrikes are triggered.

Humans are at the top of the food chain on Earth and after hundreds of thousands of years of evolution we have become very proficient at forming tribes to help us secure and protect resources at the expense of other tribes.

Any group of people that comes together to pursue a common interest is a tribe. Villages are tribes. Nation states are tribes. Religions are tribes. Companies are tribes.

People in groups are capable of atrocities that they would never commit as individuals. Tribes tend to enable hatred, intolerance and greed and can be extremely dangerous.

If we don’t soon make radical changes to unite humankind, the world faces a series of wars and a dystopian future.

I Can’t Save Us, But Maybe You Can.

I am a 72 year old man. I am too old to solve any of the problems. Besides, I would lack credibility as the savior of the human race because my generation and male leaders in particular have caused many of the problems we now face.

We need young champions and a lot more female leaders to move us forward.

Fortunately, covid-19 came along and gave me a prolonged period with nothing else to do but write a book outlining the things somebody else needs to do if we are to survive.

Now, if I can just get people to read my book …

Divine Intervention Or Go It Alone?

Making humans at one with their species is a very tall order!

I decided to call upon divine intervention because it allowed me the flexibility to select a most extraordinary emissary named Sarah whose supernatural abilities make the book a much more interesting read. (I need to confess that my wife still thought it read like a text book until I engaged co-author Helen Davies to bring Sarah and the other characters in the book to life. Helen and I have never met and we are polar opposites but the message of our book brought us together. We hope you like it.)

The True Nature of God

The religions that have grown out of past divine interventions have caused many of the deadliest wars experienced by humankind.

I had to refine the concept of “God” to unite the world’s existing religions and hopefully reconcile God and science.

I am not a religious person but I do believe there is a force inside each of us that is capable of great compassion and giving. When we help a person in need we feel warm inside like the feeling we get when we bite into a piece of homemade fudge, only the feeling lasts a lifetime.

I have chosen to call this the universal life force and in the book, this is “intelligent” form of energy is the essence of “God”.

Sarah communicates the message of God’s intervention directly to every person on Earth. She also clarifies the true nature of God and addresses questions like:

- How can I grow the life force within me?

- What is my role in the universe?

- What happens to my life force when I die?

The Protagonist

The protagonist in the book is Samuel Cummings, President of the United States.

God’s intervention totally disrupts the socio-economic balance of the world leaving heads of state pre-occupied with their own survival and the survival of their economies and social order.

Sarah helps Samuel survive but quickly moves to helping him grow as a human being so he can help move humankind forward to a world united and at peace.

Sarah as a Role Model

Absent divine intervention, course correcting humankind will require enormous effort but may be possible. I am inspired by the efforts of Greta Thunberg who led a grass roots movement to call out world leaders on the issue of fossil fuels and climate change.

If 40 million women from every corner of the Earth came together as one and called out world leaders on the issue of uniting humankind …
Kenneth B. Little and Helen Davies will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter.

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the authors assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

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Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Fairly Royal (The Fair Series #3) by Grace Grahme

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Fairly Royal by Grace Grahme. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a great guest post from the author about romance tropes. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: Fairly Royal
Series: The Fair Series #3
Author: Grace Grahme
Publication Date: June 27th 2022
Print Length: 400 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Can a ruse of a royal relationship result in a real romance?

Philip has a problem.

Namely, his relationship to the throne.

Well, that and paparazzi hounding him, plus family obligations on steroids.

Years ago, the notoriously private Earl of Arburne and Glasgow’s #1 most eligible bachelor decided relationships were impossible with his unique pressures.

So he avoids anything serious. Hell, he avoids dating at all.

When he lands in yet another tabloid headline, he has the brilliant (or brilliantly stupid) idea to give the tabloids what they want.

A romance.

No one needs to know it’s fake.

But when he enlists beautiful, bold, and outspoken Anna McDonnell, his best friend’s little sister, he finds himself with a whole new set of troubles.

Anna’s rules for their ruse make their arrangement feel far from pretend. Counterfeit feels more and more like something authentic.

And in the realm of royalty and public scrutiny, anything real and pure can’t survive.

Philip has a problem.

Will this liason be a love-match or will their fling fall flat?

Fairly Royal is the page-turning third book in The Fair Series of contemporary billionaire romances. If you like bold heroines, billionaire heroes, and plenty of steam, then you’ll adore Grace Grahme’s royal romance.

**Book 1 is free and book 2 is 99¢.**

“You’re freaking me out, Phillip. Do you need a kidney or something?”

He chuckled but didn’t look amused. “Nothing quite so grave.” He took a sip of the whisky and cleared his throat. “Have you seen the paper today?”

“The paper?” she asked as he pulled a newspaper from his jacket. “You read The Daily Gazette?”

“Not by choice. I’d rather eat rats.” He tapped a picture in the corner.

“A new lady for the lord? Who writes this crap?” She flipped to the story and skimmed it. The pictures were good. She looked great. “Okay, so we were in the paper. Is this a big deal? They write about you all the time.”

“I apologize for you being a subject of speculation. Nobody should have unwanted attention thrust on them. I’m a very private man, Anna, mostly out of necessity to avoid this kind of thing. But my reluctance to give them coverage makes them prone to making up stories about me.”

“Aye. Like when you took Janet to the Charity Awards. The papers had a field day when she went to the event with you, but left with my brother.”

“Right. Classic example. There’s a lot of pressure on me to settle down, especially from my family. But I don’t want to get married and expose a wife to the structured life I lead and the restrictions due to my title.”

Anna nodded. Janet said last night how Phillip resented his place in the peerage. That still didn’t explain why he was here.

“Too much bowing and scraping?” she joked.

“Something like that.”

“Ya ken that the Estate is always open if you need to get away, right? We don’t care about your title.”

“You don’t care much about the peerage. You’re bolder than anyone I know because of your disregard for the politics that come with Society.”

“Och, dinnae remind me. Robbie’s harping at me to watch my tongue, given all the marketing he expects me to do.”

“It’s why I’m here, though.” He smiled, and her heart twisted at how it transformed his face. “If I had a girlfriend, the papers would stop caring who I went to what event with and, even better, my family would leave me in peace. You’re strong enough to withstand the scrutiny of the gossip columnists and my mother. You’d be the perfect girlfriend.”

“Are you asking me to be your girlfriend?”

“In name only. Let’s keep up the charade the paper started. Pretend to be my girlfriend, and it’ll give me some peace.”

A pretend girlfriend. Her heart shriveled. He didn’t want to date her. He just wanted her help. She took a sip of whisky, buying time before answering. He couldn’t know how his words dashed her hope of a romance with him. It wasn’t like he knew she had a crush on him.
I love reading and I love writing even more- I balance (not always successfully) writing, a career, a family, and a menagerie of rescued dogs, cats, and backyard chickens.

Writing allows me to live vicariously through my characters, escape to worlds and experiences I might never have, and my characters always have a witty response or a perfect retort. (no more 5 hours later having the thought of 'that's what I should have said!')

I'm an avid coffee consumer and adult beverage fan. I love catching up with my friends on Marco Polo and working out at they gym. I avoid cleaning, cardio, and carbs- unless it's an emergency.

I carve out writing time by starting my day at 515am. Which unfortunately means I'm in bed earlier than I'd like. And I still don’t get my to-do list done!

- What is your favorite romance trope and why?

I hate choosing! But if you look at my novels, they all feature billionaires- wealthy heroes that offer a world beyond what my heroines are used to. I'm also fond of workplace romances. My newest novel combines a handful of tropes- billionaire/royalty, fake dating, and secret crush.

When I read romances I love the ones above plus frenemies to lovers- in fact my upcoming Christmas romcom features my first true frenemy trope- and I'm crossing my fingers it's funny with snappy dialogue. In fact, the name is "Snappy Santa" a play on both my hero is a photographer AND the witty dialogue between my leads. (and it's my first attempt at a romcom as well!)

I write strong women who don't NEED a man; my heroines can stand on their own, so my heroes need to really offer my ladies the full package- they need to be intelligent, charming, rich, AND hot.

I've heard complaints from the peanut gallery that we romance writers write 'unrealistic' heroes and books- but I view romance as a type of fantasy, just one that doesn't include magic, and if I'm going to be whisked away, I want it to be with a guy who checks all my boxes, and just enough negatives to not make him a caricature. If you want realism, don't read MY books at least. My characters are like the best version of reality ever- and that's just the way I and my readers like it. The real world has enough realism, I want to escape in the books I read AND the books I write. I hope you agree!
Grace Grahme will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

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Book Blitz and Giveaway: Etude (The Dark Nocturne #2) by Morgan Shamy

Title: Etude
Series: The Dark Nocturne #2
Author: Morgan Shamy
Publisher: Aethon Books
Publication Date: June 28th 2022
Print Length: 323 pages
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Mystery

For November Huntington, the past haunts worse than any ghost.

After spending a summer without Vincent, a tortured pianist who also happens to be immortal, November tries to move on. When kids begin to fall into comas, November is thrust back into the haunted, musical world. Except, this time, more danger lurks.

Vincent is powerful. Dreams are causing these comas, and November believes he’s the one behind the attacks. To stop him, November must find the Blood Magic—the only power capable of helping her save these kids. But in doing so, she awakens a horrific group who live off of blood and kill for sport. What’s worse? A brood of witches con their way in, hungry for the power at hand.

One by one, November finds all her loved ones being wrenched away. Fear grips her, and she’s worried she might lose her mind, her sanity slowly fading, until she must face Vincent alone.

Is he her true love? Or is he out for her blood?

Only her dreams will tell.

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Warmth continued to spread inside her veins, stretching through her whole being, her skin alive and buzzing. The feeling seeped into her, stirring an awareness to every part of her body. She allowed the feeling to overtake her, send her mind spinning.

“Do you feel it?” Cam asked, his voice rough.

“Yes,” November answered.

“Open up your mind, try to control the feeling. We need to search on the different layers we slip through.”

Cam’s hold on her tightened as if willing them to stay on the same plane. His jaw was clamped tight, his teeth grit together. November tried to follow Cam’s lead, focusing in on her mind instead of the dance.

Everything was cloudy—hazy images and sparks and blurring shapes. The visions flicked from one to the next, blending together inside her head. It was impossible to stop the layers that were slipping from one to the other.

“Focus harder,” Cam bit out.
Morgan Shamy is an ex-ballerina turned YA writer. She has been immersed in the arts since the young age of 4, where she performed various roles alongside a professional ballet company for over seven years, and has danced on prestigious stages like soloing at Carnegie Hall in New York City. She has taught hundreds of girls in her fifteen years of teaching, where some of her students have received full-ride scholarships to schools like School of American Ballet, the Harid Conservatory, Kirov Academy of Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, to name a few.

Morgan discovered writing when her three-year-old son was diagnosed with cancer. It was through that experience which instilled the need to share art and magic with children through words on the page.

Morgan is also an accomplished concert pianist. She was the first girl in Utah to receive the 75 pt. Gold Cup in the Utah Federation of Music in piano solo/concerto competition. Morgan currently lives with her X-Games gold-medalist husband and four children in Salt Lake City, Utah.

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Win a paperback of Etude by Morgan Shamy!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Xpresso Book Tours and the author assume all responsibility over this giveaway.)

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Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway - The Breaking Point: When Life Requires a Shift compiled by Paulette Harper

Welcome to my stop on The Breaking Point: When Life Requires a Shift compiled by Paulette Harper. This book tour was organized by Write Now Literary Book Tours. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a great guest post about the inspiration behind the book from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card. Enjoy!
Title: The Breaking Point: When Life Requires a Shift
Compiled By: Paulette Harper
Publisher: Thy Word Publishing
Publication Date: April 14th 2022
Print Length: 159 pages
Genre: Inspirational Non-Fiction
The Breaking Point is Endorsed by Les Brown

Have you ever arrived at a place in life where you knew you were created for more, and you were hungry for more?

You knew you possessed greatness, but the life you’d been living didn’t mirror the life you desired or even deserved?

These authors, who share their stories in The Breaking Point, wanted more in life. Yes, they were broken, afraid and flawed, but decided to believe in themselves.

They wanted to live in their full purpose and potential, and did what was required to obtain it.

With strong conviction and passion, they made the necessary turns and adjustments because they wanted more from life.

This book will inspire you to bet on yourself and push forward, despite what you face, knowing that you have what it takes to steer the course of your life in the direction you deserve.

Les Brown
Speaker, Author, Trainer

The Breaking Point is stories by men and women on how they came to that turning point and were able to over- come adversity and reach their own personal break- through in life.

Each story will encompass their unique struggle of how they overcame the challenges to find that you had the courage, the power, and the resolve to build your life again.

This book will serve as a potent reminder that everyone has the power to choose which direction they want for their own lives.

These twenty women and men, some first-time authors, said yes to the transformation; yes to the stretching; yes to going back to those dark places that brought them pain. Because they knew what they experienced wasn’t just for them, but it was for others who will come behind them needing those words to pull them up and help them move to a place of wholeness. These authors are writing from a place of victory, a place where they are no longer the victim.

Excerpt from the chapter
Discovering my Strength
by Carolyn Coleman

I was done with the party life that didn’t satisfy me anymore. I had enough of being second to his friends and done with feeling unappreciated. I had put everyone before my wants and desires, and dreams. Now, I was done with feeling like I was wasting my life and not accomplishing something I could be proud of. Enough of going through life unfulfilled and empty, catering to others. But what do I do? How will I survive? I have a child, no job and my husband wants a divorce. Help me, Jesus. I don’t know what to do?

Have you been there? Have you gone through something so devastating it forced you to dig deep within and pull on strength you didn't even know you had? I did. It forced me to learn to focus, to place blinders on and move at my pace. Being stubborn can be an attribute; it can create resilience.
Carolyn Pickens Coleman is a daughter, wife, mother, sister, cousin, friend, and co-worker from Bessemer, Alabama. She has a B.S. in Nursing from Samford University and an M.A. in Health Service Administration from Strayer University. Carolyn is a member of the Birmingham Black Nurses Association, Inc., serving as the Chairperson of the Outreach committee, and is the current President of the Bessemer Public Library Trustee Board. She has a big heart and volunteers in her community.

Carolyn has more than 36 years of experience as a critical care nurse and spent five years as a nurse case manager. She worked with hospital administrators to establish plans regarding complex patient cases, concentrating on outcome management, utilizing best practices, advocating for patients. She is also an adjunct instructor.

Carolyn is the author of four books a series about Gentry who faces her life choices, as we all do, Happiness Hurt Healing, The Re-Entry of Gentry, Gentry’s Journey, and Gentry’s Circle of Friends. For Carolyn, writing is cathartic. She enjoys reading and staying active by line dancing, walking, and spending time with her family and friends.

Carolyn joins a group of esteemed authors in The Breaking Point and hopes that her chapter will give you the insight to find your passion and purpose for a meaningful life.

What inspired me to write this book
by Carolyn Coleman

The inspiration for my book came from a co-worker. Cassie is her name. She arrived to work one day saying she was now a published author. I congratulated her and told her I have always wanted to write, and she said do it, write Ms. Carolyn write. I have always enjoyed reading and since I was a young adult, I desired to write a book; often telling co-worker and friends “I am going to write a book about this, or no one will believe this happens in our line of work. As they say, ‘truth is stranger than fiction.’ We all know life gets in the way.

I accepted the call to run for a local political position. I needed and outlet to let off some stream, to redirect some energy from days of campaigning. For anyone who has ever campaigned knows it is not for the faint of heart, it is work, going door to door, shaking hand, asking for votes, presenting at events, just doing everything it takes to get your name noticed by the citizens.

Writing became cathartic, after a day of being in the community or strategizing I needed a health release. I begin writing my long-awaited book. I began with a thought then went into a paragraph, it flowed for me. No, my work of fiction was not about campaigning. It was about healing from a broken heart. I held back some; left the ending open just in case I decided to take the main character in a different direction.

We know everyone is not going to clap with you or for you. I was not deterred or offended by their avoidance, in an odd way I was amused. Working as a nurse gives one an odd sense of humor. One can say a protective shield. I did receive some very positive responses from that book. I was approached by several women (it is a girl flick on paper) informing me that they could relate to the story, and they wanted to read more about the main character.
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