Sunday, November 17, 2019

Blog Tour and Giveaway: This Son of York by Anne Easter Smith

This Son of York by Anne Easter Smith

Publication Date: November 10, 2019
Bellastoria Press
eBook & Paperback; 504 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
"Now is the winter of our discontent, Made glorious summer by This Son of York..." -- William Shakespeare, Richard III Richard III was Anne's muse for her first five books, but, finally, in This Son of York he becomes her protagonist. The story of this English king is one of history's most compelling, made even more fascinating through the discovery in 2012 of his bones buried under a car park in Leicester. This new portrait of England's most controversial king is meticulously researched and brings to vivid life the troubled, complex Richard of Gloucester, who ruled for two years over an England tired of war and civil strife. The loyal and dutiful youngest son of York, Richard lived most of his short life in the shadow of his brother, Edward IV, loyally supporting his sibling until the mantle of power was thrust unexpectedly on him. Some of his actions and motives were misunderstood by his enemies to have been a deliberate usurpation of the throne, but throughout his life, Richard never demonstrated any loftier ambitions than to honorably discharge his duty to his family and his country. In a gentler vein, despite the cruel onset of severe scoliosis in his teens, Richard did find love, first with a lover and then in his marriage to Anne Neville. Between these two devoted women in his life, he sired three and perhaps four children. Bringing the Plantagenet dynasty to a violent end, Richard was the last king of England to die in battle. This Son of York is a faithful chronicle of this much maligned man.

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About the Author

Anne is the award-winning author of The King's Grace and the best-selling A Rose for the Crown, Daughter of York, Queen By Right, and Royal Mistress. She is an expert on Richard III, having studied the king and his times for decades. Her sixth book, This Son of York, will be published soon. She grew up in England, Germany and Egypt, and has been a resident/citizen of the US since 1968. Anne was the Features Editor at a daily newspaper in northern New York State for ten years, and her writing has been published in several national magazines.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Sunday, November 10 Review at Broken Teepee Review at Gwendalyn's Books Monday, November 11 Excerpt at Words and Peace Review at Jorie Loves a Story Tuesday, November 12 Review at Passages to the Past Review at So Many Books, So Little Time Wednesday, November 13 Review at Macsbooks Interview at The Writing Desk Thursday, November 14 Review at A Chick Who Reads Friday, November 15 Excerpt at The Lit Bitch Interview at Jorie Loves a Story Saturday, November 16 Review at Curling up by the Fire Review & Excerpt at Nursebookie Review at Red Headed Book Lady Review at WTF Are You Reading? Review at Historical Fiction with Spirit Sunday, November 17 Review at Bookramblings Review at Just One More Chapter Review at Locks, Hooks and Books Review at Carole Rae's Random Ramblings


During the Blog Tour, we are giving away a copy of Royal Beauty Bright by Ryan Byrnes! To enter, please use the Gleam form below. Giveaway Rules - Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on November 14th. You must be 18 or older to enter. - Paperback giveaway is open to the US only. - Only one entry per household. - All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud will be decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion. - The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or a new winner is chosen. This Son of York

My Review: 

This Son of York is a fabulous book. I love to read anything about the Plantagenet dynasty and Anne Easter Smith does not disappoint. This book tells the life story of King Richard III, the last of the Plantagenet kings. I like how he is portrayed in this book. He was such a fascinating man from England’s history. I was intrigued with his life until the end. 

I am giving This Son of York a very well deserved five plus stars. I highly recommend it for readers who love English History.

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Book Tour and Giveaway: The Cowboy's Christmas Baby by Cathy McDavid

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

The Cowboy's Christmas Baby
(The Sweetheart Ranch #3)
By Cathy McDavid
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 Pages
November 1st 2019 by Harlequin Heartwarming

She gifted him with a daughter

He stunned her with the truth

When Tanner Bridwell discovers he’s a father, he gains some much needed hope. A year ago, Tanner lost his livelihood as a champion bull rider, and—more important—Jewel Saunders, the love of his life. Now this cowboy wants to do right by his family. But first he must reveal a stunning secret that will send Jewel and his beloved daughter either packing…or into his arms forever!

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Other Books in the Series

About the Author

As a sophomore in high school, NY TimesUSA Today, and Amazon bestselling author Cathy McDavid won a local writing competition with her self-illustrated children’s book. Who knew that small triumph would eventually lead to a career writing contemporary romances with over 1.3 million books sold? With forty-seven titles to date, Cathy is also a member of the prestigious Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll. This “almost” Arizona native and mother of grown twins recently married her own real-life sweetheart. After leaving the corporate world four years ago, she now spends her days penning stories about good looking men who ride the range or fight fires or hunt creatures all while sweeping the girl off her feet. It’s a tough job but she’s willing to make the sacrifice.

Tour Schedule

Tour Giveaway

- One winner will receive a $10 Amazon gift card and one of Cathy's backlisted titles, winner's choice of print (US only) or ebook
- Three winners will each receive one of Cathy's backlisted titles, winner's choice of print (US only) or ebook
- Open internationally
- Ends November 20, 2019

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My Review: 

The Cowboy's Christmas Baby is a sweet, clean and heartwarming romance. I loved getting to know Tanner and Jewel. I thought they had great chemistry and was rooting for them. I enjoyed watching them grow throughout the book. Such a great story of forgiveness and second chances. 

I highly recommend The Cowboys’ Christmas Baby for readers who love to read cowboy romance. I am giving it five plus stars. I believe this one should not be missed and definitely a must read. 

I received this book from the publisher. This review is 100% my own honest opinion.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

VBT and Giveaway: Chance for Rain by Tricia Downing

Chance for Rain
by Tricia Downing


GENRE:   Chick Lit/Romance



Elite athlete Rainey Abbott is an intense competitor on the outside, but inside, she feels a daunting apprehension about her chances of finding true love. Her life as a downhill skier and race car driver keeps her on the edge, but her love life is stuck in neutral. A tragedy from her past has left her feeling insecure and unlovable.
Now that she’s in her thirties, Rainey’s best friend Natalie insists she take a leap and try online dating. Rainey connects with brian85 and becomes cautiously hopeful as a natural attraction grows between them. Fearful a face to face meeting could ruin the magic, Rainey enlists Natalie to scheme up an encounter between the two where Brian is unaware he is meeting his online mystery woman. Rainey is left feeling both guilty about the deception and disappointed by something Brian says.
When they finally meet in earnest, Rainey’s insecurities threaten to derail the blossoming romance. As she struggles with self-acceptance, she reveals the risks we all must take to have a chance for love.



“Sometimes going shopping is work,” Natalie announces as we head back to her house after a morning at the mall. “You can’t be creative when you’ve been jammed up in an office for five hours. You have to get out for new ideas to come to you.”

“I love how you can rationalize almost any of life’s indulgences,” I say. Nat turns and winks in response to my playful smirk.

“Life is too short to deny yourself all self-indulgent behavior.” The words hang in the air slightly, as we both know it was an off-handed comment, but our minds go immediately back to the event that reinforces her words.

“Yes, life is short.” I say this in a way that reassures her that her comment was taken in the spirit it was said, rather than meant to dredge up bad memories. Though I can’t help but elaborate on the subject. “Do you realize I’m only six years shy of my mom’s age at the time of the accident?”

“Yep,” Nat answers a bit too quickly. “I do. And I also realize something else. Your mom was thirty-eight, married to the love of her life and had two charming young girls.” I quickly realize I have given her the perfect segue into a lecture that has been constructed, rehearsed, and delivered to me many times in many different iterations over the past ten years. Now, as if she is attempting an intervention while we drive down Colorado Boulevard, Natalie blurts out, “Rainey, it’s about time we found you a man.”
“Why? Are you getting tired of hanging out with me?”

“It’s not that,” she says. “It’s just. That. It’s time,” the words spit out of her mouth. It’s obvious she wants to punctuate her points. “You can’t keep running away from it. You’re an incredible catch—beautiful and charming to be around. Athletic. Everything most girls would die to be.”

I know she is keenly aware of my resistance, but I get the feeling she isn’t going to fall for it today. But I also can’t ignore my feelings or my truth.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Paralympian, Speaker, Author, Disability Advocate

On September 17, 2000, Tricia Downing went from being a competitive cyclist to a paraplegic requiring a wheelchair for mobility. Her life was changed forever, but Tricia’s competitive spirit and zest for life continued on. Making the transition from able-bodied cyclist to an athlete with a disability, Tricia has completed over 100 races, including marathons and triathlons, since her accident. She was the first female paraplegic to complete an Ironman triathlon and qualified for the Hawaii Ironman World Championship twice. Additionally, she was a member of Team USA at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Tricia’s professional life has been immersed in sports as she earned a master’s degree in Sport Management in 1995 and worked at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. She was the press officer for the USA Table Tennis team at the 1996 Olympic Games.

She has received many sports accolades, including the USA Triathlon Physically Challenged Athlete of the Year (2003), Sportswomen of Colorado—Inspiration (’03), Triathlon (’05), Hall of Fame (’12) Awards, the 2006 Most Inspirational Athlete from the Challenged Athletes Foundation and the 2008 Courage Award from the Tempe Sports Authority.

As a community leader and disability advocate, she was a member of the 2013 class of the Girl Scouts Women of Distinction. She also received the 2019 Inspiration Award from Craig Hospital for outstanding community contribution from a Craig Hospital “graduate.” (Craig is a world-renowned spinal cord and brain injury rehabilitation hospital) Tricia has truly excelled despite her life-altering injury.

In addition to her sports pursuits, Tricia has taken an active leadership role in her community as a peer mentor to others experiencing spinal cord injuries, she founded Camp Discovery (and subsequently The Cycle of Hope non-profit) dedicating 10 years to helping female wheelchair users gain confidence and self-esteem through a yearly sports and fitness retreat. Additionally, she serves on the board of USA Shooting, which is the National Governing Body for the Olympic sport of shooting.

Tricia published her memoir: Cycle of Hope—A Journey from Paralysis to Possibility in June 2010, with the second edition released in January 2017. In August of 2018, she published her first fiction novel Chance for Rain.


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Who do you admire most and why?

I think the person I admire most was my grandma Downing, my dad’s mom. She was an English teacher, mom to five kids, grandma to seventeen grandchildren and a storyteller, note taker and historian. When she passed away and we went through her house, all of the grandchildren were allowed to take things that reminded us of her. I ended up taking many pieces of the vintage clothing she had collected throughout her life. She had labeled each piece with the year she bought it, the special occasion for which it was purchased or given and any other details she found relevant. I have clothes from her collection that date back to the 1920’s. I also got her “Commonplace Book.”

I found this definition in a blog online which describes this type of collection of articles, quotes, prayers and more:

For centuries, authors and thinkers have kept commonplace books: focused journals that serve to collect thoughts, quotes, moments of introspection, transcribed passages from reading — anything of purpose worth reviewing later.

Why keep a commonplace book today? When we are inundated by information through social media and our digital devices, it’s easy to overlook what drives and intrigues us. Keeping a journal helps, but keeping a focused journal is better, even if that focus is on self-fulfillment. (

What is the title of your first book (published or non-published)?

The first book I wrote was a memoir called Cycle of Hope. It is the story of my bike accident, what it was like to lose the use of my legs and become a paraplegic. It was a pretty massive change in my life and took a long time to accept and make the transition. But along the way, as I started doing sports again and began seeing parts of “me” re-emerge, I got to a point of acceptance and even joy. That was something I never thought I would feel again, but I’ve actually had the opportunity to do some amazing things as a result of my injury and I feel like I have personally pushed myself further because I know how fortunate I was to get a second chance at life. I think it has allowed me to take risks, and one of those risks was to start living and doing the things I wanted to be doing rather than what I thought other people expected of me. So, my journey has taught me to go for my dreams because you never know which day will be your last. And it might come much sooner than you expect. It’s taught me to live with no regrets. 

When did you decide to become an author?

I majored in Journalism in college, so I’ve been doing some sort of writing ever since, whether it be magazine articles, press releases or speaking presentations. I wrote Cycle of Hope in 2010. I didn’t know when I wrote that book, that writing would become something that I would pursue and have a desire to turn out more books. Further, I never imagined I would turn to a fiction writing career, but after completing Chance for Rain as my debut novel, I am excited about jumping into another story and honing my writing skills. It has been an incredible experience from pushing myself as a writer, to learning about the production and marketing side of publishing. I look forward to continuing to write to see what comes up for me next!

What inspired you to write Chance for Rain?

Chance for Rain started out merely as a fun side project for me. The seedlings of the story came to me one night as I was falling asleep and nearly kept me up all night. Each time I put my head back on the pillow, another scene, sentence or paragraph came to me and I had to keep sitting up, pulling out the notebook and writing everything down so I wouldn’t forget it by morning. Once I got to writing and getting into the character of Rainey, it became an opportunity for me to highlight a character with a disability, and in the process of telling her story, I was able to add teaching moments into the manuscript that highlighted disability etiquette and awareness, to give the reader a perspective that might be something different than the norm. So often in the movies, we see characters with disabilities as being tragic, unhappy characters, or the opposite—overly inspiring; the character who overcomes his/her disability to do something that no one thought was possible. In Chance for Rain, my goal was to make Rainey an interesting and believable character, but one with a universal problem to tackle—a problem that could belong to anyone. And in this case, a concern about her ability to fall in love and to experience that love in return.

How long did it take you to write?

Chance for Rain took eight years to complete. Although the first notes were written in 2010, the book didn’t come to fruition until 2018. When I began writing the book, I had no immediate goal for it, I mostly wrote when the mood struck me and put it away for months and years at a time. But when I mentioned to my husband about all of the half-written manuscripts on my computer, he suggested it was time to do something about them. He encouraged me, saying if I felt I had something to share, I should get busy getting it out into the world. So, I would say, out of the eight years CFR was sitting on my computer, I actively worked on it for about two. The other six years were spent wondering if it was good enough to publish or if I had the guts to go through the editing process (and potentially see massive markups throughout). Eventually, I decided to give it a go and I was fueled by the opportunity to share my world with readers—what it’s like to live with a disability like paraplegia and to hopefully surprise people with how normal life can be even when a wheelchair involved.



Tricia Downing will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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November 4: Fabulous and Brunette
November 5: Christine Young
November 11: Viviana MacKade
November 12: BookChatter
November 13: Readeropolis
November 14: Locks, Hooks and Books
November 18: Joanne Guidoccio
November 19: All the Ups and Downs
November 20: The Avid Reader 
November 21: Our Town Book Reviews
November 22: Long and Short Reviews

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Blog Tour and Giveaway: Great Kids Don't Just Happen by Dr Paul Smolen

Book Details:


​Book Title:  Great Kids Don't Just Happen, 5 Essentials for Raising Successful Children by Dr. Paul Smolen
Category:  Adult Non-Fiction
Genre Parenting/Family
Publisher:  Torchflame Books
Release date:   October 22, 2019
Tour dates: Nov 4 to Nov 29, 2019
Content Rating: G


Book Description:


If there are children in your life, you need Dr. Smolen's research and wisdom!

Physically and emotionally healthy children are Great Kids. They are happier when young and thrive as adults.

Pediatrician Dr. Paul Smolen identifies five essential parenting elements which help develop happy and successful kids.

In Great Kids Don't Just Happen you will learn how to use those elements and nurture the children in your life.

The author's observations and advice are supported by scientific studies referenced throughout the book and personal observations from his many years of practice as a pediatrician. The five essential elements and how to apply them are made easy to understand in the warm words of one who knows, practices, and teaches from research, observation, and experience.

Learn how to provide:
  1.         Realistic praise
  2.         Consistent limits
  3.         A healthy emotional environment
  4.         Strong parental commitment
  5.         Stability
Dr. Smolen's research and wisdom are sure to be of great help for your family and loved ones.

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Meet the Author:

Dr. Paul Smolen, also known as Doc Smo by his friends, is a pediatrician with 37 years of experience caring for children and families. He is a graduate of Duke University (1974), Rutgers Medical School (1978), and Wake Forest University-N.C. Baptist Hospital (1982). At Wake Forest University he completed a residency in general pediatrics, served as chief resident, and completed a fellowship in ambulatory pediatrics. Subsequently, he became board certified in the American Academy of Pediatrics (1983) and completed his recertification in 2014. For the last 37 years, he has been an Adjunct Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, helping to train a generation of medical students and pediatric residents as well as author several research papers. He is also the author of a parenting book called, Can Doesn’t Mean Should.

With 37 years under his belt, Doc Smo is a bona-fide expert in knowing what parents want and need to know about parenting and child health. Imparting practical and useful advice is the goal of every “Pedcast”. Smiling along the way can’t hurt!

Connect with the author:      Website      Facebook    Twitter   

GUEST POST: Are Your Children Spending Enough Time Outdoors?
By Dr. Paul Smolen

Recently, I was walking back from the tennis courts on a crisp winter day when I had a flashback to my youth. Suddenly, in that moment, I recalled the wonderful sensation of my childhood, being outdoors, free of immediate demands and responsibilities. I was just enjoying the air, the green, and the sky all around me. I could feel my mental state improve and my body and mind relax. You see, during my childhood, the only entertainment we had after school was to go outside and find things to do.  My memory of childhood was outdoors, walking, experiencing whatever the weather was serving that day along with whomever I could find to play with. My walk from the courts reminded me of the joyous feeling that my experiences of youth had created.  On that walk home, I began to wonder, what the children growing up today will remember as their happy place? Where will that place be that brings out the relaxation reflex in your children, twenty years from now? An interesting question and one that every parent should ponder because you have a lot to do with the kind of childhood your children have.  So stay tuned, for the next edition of Portable Practical Pediatrics where we will ponder the question of where your children will recall the joy in their childhood?  
In the past few years, there has been an increasing recognition that for children, being surrounded by nature, improves many aspects of their psychological functioning. And, it turns out that this is especially true for children with ADHD. Here is a list of a few ways exposure to outdoors has been found to benefit children:
-Being outside improves a child’s mood
-Being physically active outdoors reduces a child’s chance of obesity
-Being outside can often increase a child’s feeling of well being and relaxation.
-Exposure to the outdoors also has been shown to improve a child’s ability to concentrate and control impulses that need to be controlled.
-And finally, outdoor time has been shown to be restorative psychologically for children- the evidence is clear on that point.
What is the reality of a modern childhood today for many children? In a nutshell, the trend is striking and involves screens of all sorts, substituting for what previous generations called play. I know you probably get tired of me talking about the current generation of children as victims of digital technology and how this is changing their childhoods but I believe it is true. Sadly, the evidence is on my side. Don’t believe it, consider these current facts:
The average preteen spends six hours on entertainment technologies per day. For teens, the figure is nine hours. Digital crack.
More than 50% of children consider themselves “addicted” to their smart phone.
40% percent of children have difficulty falling sleeping. a problem that has been clearly linked to screen exposure.
The average child spends only 50% of the time that their parents did outside despite the fact that the majority of parents feel outdoor time is important for their children.
I think you can see that with increasing wealth along with other factors, childhood is being fundamentally changed for the next generation. How this will work out for them, only time will tell. Before you make up your mind about the new screen reality for today’s children however, there are a few things I want to remind you about that we now understand about screen time and children:
-Screens are isolating for children. They generally draw children away from social interaction and into a lonely place of gaming.
-Screen time for children does not teach children needed social skills that real interpersonal interactions would. Like compromise, problem solving, filling boring time with inventive play, the art of conversation with peers, learning to read body language of peers, and how to be empathetic of others. All valuable lessons that they are not going to get from a screen and isolated play, no matter how great the graphics of the game are.
-All of this screen time and “virtual play”  moves children away from being physically active an toward a sedentary lifestyle.
-Many of today’s children have a childhood devoid of the outdoors. They are not experiencing nearly the amount of outdoor exposure to the natural world that previous generations have enjoyed. I think it is clear that video games are designed to grab the attention of a child and evoke strong emotions from them while outdoor exposure does the opposite. Your children’s brains are wired to relax when exposed to the bright light of outdoors and sights  and sounds of green vegetation and flowing water.
Doc Smo Pearl-Parents create the reality that their children experience
Many of you will be familiar with what I call a “Doc Smo pearl”-an important observation about parenting and childhood that I want you to remember. And here is one that is really important- Pearl: Parents create the reality that their children experience. That means that the parenting choices you make in your everyday interactions and activities with your children, to a large degree, create the world that your children live in. From what they eat, to how much sleep they get, to how they spend their free time, to really everything. Remember, you are the captain of that ship, especially when they are young. I wrote an entire book on the subject called Can Doesn’t Mean Should. I hope you have read it. The point is, is that if you allow your children’s childhood to be filled with video games, smart phones, and texting rather than outdoor unstructured play with friends and outdoor activities, their happy place of from their childhood is likely to be indoors, in bathed in artificial light, and involving technology of one sort or another. I think that is a shame. By one estimate, adults spend 90% of their time indoors. Are children now destined to live the same indoor fate during their childhoods as well? Will their feeling of well-being come when exposed to wonderful graphics on a screen or super sweet video game console? I truly hope not. They might miss out on the feeling that I get, to this day, when outdoors on a crisp bright day… that of relaxation and happiness.

Book Tour Schedule:

Nov 4 – Literary Flits – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 4 - Working Mommy Journal / book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 5 – fundinmental – book spotlight
Nov 5 - Over Coffee Conversations – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 6 – Reading Authors Network – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 7 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 8 – b for bookreview – book spotlight / author interview
Nov 11 – The Clipped Nightingale – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 12 –Character Madness and Musings - book spotlight /
Nov 13 – To Thine Own Shelf – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 14 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 18 – Momfluenster - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Nov 19 – Laura's Interests – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 20 – Genuine Jenn – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Nov 21 – On My Bookshelf – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 22 –From the TBR Pile - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 26 – Bookmark and fork – book spotlight / author interview
Nov 27 – – book spotlight
Nov 28 – Library of Clean Reads – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 29 -  Celticlady's Reviews – book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 29 - Svetlana's reads and views - book spotlight / giveaway

Enter the Giveaway:

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