Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Marianne Scott Multi-Book Spotlight

This morning, I have author Marianne Scott in our spotlight!  Check out some of Marianne Scott's books, learn about the author & enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post!


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Space Opera Spotlight: For the Love of Dog Tales 2 by I L Cannon

Today, we have a sci fi space opera to share!  Check out For the Love of Dog Tales 2 and learn about author I L Cannon in this book spotlight!

Sci-Fi / Space Opera

Date Published: March 20, 2023

Publisher: MindStir Media

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About the Book


Envision and bear witness through the seemingly simplistic mind's eye of a wondrous canine!

The Canine story Ebe: Take a kaleidoscopic infinite cosmic time trek cast well beyond 100 billion light years!

The Canine Story Blu: Witness through the scientific machinations of their own undoing the violent and tragic last stand of known humanity within a futuristic icy abyss.

The Canine story Deake 0: Through his fateful origin, with police companions in tow, trudge through the battle weary pursuit for life and the unselfish drive for ultimate justice for our defenseless and the downtrodden.

The Feline story of Swiftclaw at Heroes Fall: Champion alongside once again with a now seasoned cat warrior's desperate fight against a misaligned foe with the potential for unlimited irreversible deadly possibilities in its wake.

These are the challenges, these are the conquests, these are the dreams, these are the successes, and with life, these are the sometimes tragic failures.

The story-telling, the fable, the book. For the Love of Dog Tales 2.

About the Author

Storyteller and dreamer, Irvin L. Cannon, put pen to paper for the first time in response to a challenge. A simple challenge issued in response to his comment… “I can write a better story than that.” The challenge uttered, “Do it then”! He began scribbling story after story into notebooks. For the Love of Dog Tales is the first release from those tucked away pages birthed from that short exchange.

His vision and imagination for the art of storytelling was primarily nurtured by his love for comic books. A scientist by training, dog lover by nature, and a man with many years in law enforcement, Irvin’s experience in the inner city street wars, combine to produce a biting view of the world around us as seen through the eyes of his canine characters—characters with whom he has crossed paths.


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Psychological Suspense Spotlight: The Psychologist's Shadow by Laury A. Egan

I love psychological thrillers and suspense novels!  Today, I have a novel to share from author Laury A. Egan.  Check out The Psychologist's Shadow, learn about the author & read an excerpt from the book.

Book Title:  The Psychologist's Shadow by Laury A. Egan
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+), 336 pages
Genre:  Psychological Suspense
Publisher:  Enigma Books, imprint of Spectrum Books, UK
Release date:   Nov 18, 2023
Content Rating:  PG-13. One scene of violence, no sexual scene

“…a ‘I-read-it-in-two-days’ book. Egan creates a gifted analyst and gripping case studies of her clients, one of whom is a disturbed admirer. The novel delivers chills in a highly sophisticated, wise, and ultimately poignant psychodrama.”—Karla Linn Merrifield, author of Psyche’s Scroll


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About the Book

In October 1992, Dr. Ellen Haskell begins a new therapy practice in Princeton after a tragic error with a former client. Demoralized by her failure, Ellen strives to restore her emotional and professional confidence. Her parents have departed for Greece, leaving Ellen alone in their secluded country house. As the reader is introduced to her roster of clients through their individual sessions, Ellen becomes unnerved when she receives hang-up phone calls and a series of bizarre gifts from an anonymous admirer—at first at her office and then at home. As the obsessive lover increasingly invades her life, Ellen’s anxiety crescendos and she begins to fear the stalker’s behavior will escalate into violence.

The Psychologist’s Shadow is a portrait of a compassionate, introspective therapist who finds herself in a dangerous struggle with an unknown stalker. The novel is a simmering literary suspense, one in which tension accumulates as the reader gains insights during sessions with clients—one of whom may be the psychologist’s shadow—and through the stalker’s journal entries, which serve as a discordant counterpoint.
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Also available at all other fine bookstores!


  About the Author

Laury A. Egan is the author of eleven novels, The Firefly; Once, Upon an Island; Wave in D Minor; Turnabout; Doublecrossed; The Swimmer; The Ungodly Hour; A Bittersweet Tale; Fabulous! An Opera Buffa; The Outcast Oracle; and Jenny Kidd; in addition to a collection, Fog and Other Stories. Four limited-edition poetry volumes have been published: Snow, Shadows, a Stranger; Beneath the Lion’s Paw; The Sea & Beyond" and Presence & Absence."She lives on the northern coast of New Jersey.

connect with author: website ~ X/twitter facebook instagram goodreads

Monday, November 27, 2023

Religious Nonfiction Spotlight: God and His Word by Mark Daniel Twombly

Today, I have a spiritual, nonfiction book in our book spotlight!  Check out God and His Word and learn about author Mark Daniel Twombly in this book spotlight!


A Devotional Commentary in Psalm 119

Nonfiction / Religion / Spiritual / Devotional

Date Published: September 19, 2023

Publisher: Lucid Books



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About the Book


Do you desire the delight and joy described in the Bible, but find it elusive? Do you find yourself struggling to move from obligation to heartfelt desire? Do you desire more than information, but deep transformation? If so, this book is for you. Psalm 119 is a prayer to God for all of these things, and a personal answer from the Lord Himself. The infinitely perfect God of the universe draws near to perfect those who walk in His law, observe His testimonies, and seek Him with all their heart. How does He do this? He provides the knowledge, understanding, desire, ability, and delight; He initiates, sustains, and completes it all. This devotional commentary is a companion and a tour guide to help you toward a growing realization of the incalculable treasure that God in His mercy has placed before you in His word. You will be blessed beyond measure as you experience God’s presence as He speaks personally and powerfully to you by His perfect Word.




About the Author

Mark Daniel Twombly is fueled by the desire to know Christ, proclaim Him, and ‘present every man complete in Christ’ (Colossians 1:28-29) as God’s transcendent purpose for him. Having come to faith in Christ as a child, God has built into him a love for His word as the foundation for all of life. He lives in central New Jersey as a husband to Betty, father of 6, and grandfather to 4. He has been blessed to serve in local church ministry in formal leadership for most of his adult life and continues to be active in teaching, leading, and discipleship. A graduate of Rutgers College, vocationally he is a Senior Manager of Program Management in the Telecommunications industry. He has written for Well Thought magazine and is author of the blog ‘In His Grip’ (

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Monday, November 20, 2023

Non-Fiction Spotlight: Delaware from Railways to Freeways First State Second Phase by Dave Tabler

This morning, I have nonfiction novel in our book spotlight! Check out Delaware from Railways to Freeways - First State Second Phase and learn about author Dave Tabler! Be sure to enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post too!


Book Title:  Delaware from Railways to Freeways / First State, Second Phase by Dave Tabler
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 110 pages
Genre: American History, Colonial
Publisher: Dave Tabler
Publication Date: Nov 1, 2023
Content Rating: G. None needed. Works for all audiences.

"Delaware from Railroads to Freeways by Dave Tabler is a visually stunning book that takes readers on a captivating journey through Delaware's 19th-century history. With engaging narrative and stunning graphics that seem to leap off the page, this book provides an immersive and enthralling reading experience as Tabler chronicles the rich history of Delaware. This is his second installment of a three-part series on the history of Delaware – the First State.... For Delaware natives and enthusiasts, this is probably one of the best-illustrated background books of Delaware's 19th-century history as you can find about the First State. It is truly a captivating book." -- AuthorsReading

"Dave Tabler’s Delaware from Railways to Freeways is a fascinating history text covering important sites and artifacts from the first state. The book includes a wealth of historical and social insights into the production techniques and ultimate significance behind the early Delaware artifacts and events it covers. It makes note of the geographical importance of certain buildings and landscapes as well. Detailed images appear on each page of the book alongside brief, evocative descriptions of their meaning and significance. The result is an involving pictorial history of the evolution of Delaware, complemented by distinguishing coverage of the development of the state’s transportation infrastructure." -- Foreword Reviews

"Tabler’s second entry in a trilogy covering the history of Delaware rides the rails into the First State’s storied past, covering the tumultuous yet prosperous 19th century and the dawn of the 20th, that era of iron, steam, Civil War, suffragettes, technical marvels, and surprises both fun—like the history of scrapple, or the suspender-and-pants rig known as a “breeches buoy” used to rescue mariners—to the morbid, like public whipping posts or the jolting tale of a child’s corpse being sent through the mail. The stories of trends, people, and material goods that Tabler highlights, in short and inviting bursts of text, are interesting and well buttressed by the copious illustrations." -- Booklife

"The contents are entertaining and varied, offering glimpses of little-known aspects of American history, from Colonial-era enmity between Whigs and Tories to inventions such as the Manby mortar, a cannon-like device used in rescuing people from sinking ships, to a bartending goose.-- Kirkus Reviews
Delaware from Railways to Freeways is the second book in a series that began with Delaware Before the Railroads and whose planned conclusion is Delaware from Freeways to e-Ways. In his preface, author Dave Tabler touts the advent of the railroad, saying that it “ushered in a prosperous era for the First State” due to Delaware’s “strategic location” on the Delaware Bay. The book is mostly photographs, all of which are vibrant and compelling and include objects that would not be present in most histories of the state, such as John Jones’s adjustable peach sorter: an 1874 invention that revolutionized peach sorting. Or the crawlspace in the home of Quaker couple Daniel and Mary Corbit, in which they hid a fugitive slave in 1845. Tabler’s captions are bite-sized yet satisfying, offering readers a plethora of history without making them feel overworked. ...More a coffee-table book than a proper history, Dave Tabler’s Delaware from Railways to Freeways is a worthy read for any devotee of Delaware’s past." -- Indie Reader
Delaware from Railways to Freeways offers readers a captivating journey through Delaware’s lesser-known history. It is an excellent choice for those who relish reading about unusual facts and harbor a passion for history, even if it occasionally leans toward trivia. This book provides a valuable contribution to understanding Delaware’s rich heritage." -- Literary Titan


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About the Book

Delaware from Railways to Freeways covers eye-opening information about the region and its residents from 1800 to 1907. Laying out a captivating journey through pictures and offering up little-known anecdotes, entertainingly educational stories, and a comprehensive deep dive, Tabler gives insightful commentary on inventions, contributors to society, and transformative technology. History lovers of all ages will immensely enjoy this trove of 19th-century lore.
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Meet the Author

Ten year old Dave Tabler decided he was going to read the ‘R’ volume from the family’s World Book Encyclopedia set over summer vacation. He never made it from beginning to end. He did, however, become interested in Norman Rockwell, rare-earth elements, and Run for the Roses.

Tabler’s father encouraged him to try his hand at taking pictures with the family camera. With visions of Rockwell dancing in his head, Tabler press-ganged his younger brother into wearing a straw hat and sitting next to a stream barefoot with a homemade fishing pole in his hand. The resulting image was terrible.

Dave Tabler went on to earn degrees in art history and photojournalism despite being told he needed a ‘Plan B.'

Fresh out of college, Tabler contributed the photography for The Illustrated History of American Civil War Relics, which taught him how to work with museum curators, collectors, and white cotton gloves. He met a man in the Shenandoah Valley who played the musical saw, a Knoxville fellow who specialized in collecting barbed wire, and Tom Dickey, brother of the man who wrote ‘Deliverance.’

In 2006 Tabler circled back to these earlier encounters with Appalachian culture as an idea for a blog. today reaches 375,000 readers a year.

Dave Tabler moved to Delaware in 2010 and became smitten with its rich past. He no longer copies Norman Rockwell, but his experience working with curators and collectors came in handy when he got the urge to photograph a love letter to Delaware’s early heritage. This may be the start of something.

connect with the author: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ pinterest ~ instagram ~ goodreads

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Thursday, November 16, 2023

Historical Fiction Review: The Mark of the Salamander by Justin Newland

Today,  I have a historical fiction novel  in our book review spotlight.  Check out The Mark of the Salamander, learn about author Justin Newland, read a guest post and my thoughts on the book & be sure to enter for a chance to win a prize in the book tour giveaway at the end of this post.

​Book Title:  The Mark of the Salamander by Justin Newland
Category:  Adult Fiction (18 +),  246 pages
GenreHistorical Fiction and Magical Realism 
Publisher:  The Book Guild
Release date:  September 2023
Content Rating: PG-13 +M. Mild sex and cruelty. Mature themes.


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About the Book



Nelan Michaels is a young Flemish man fleeing religious persecution in the Spanish Netherlands. Settling in Mortlake outside London, he studies under Queen Elizabeth’s court astrologer, conjuring a bright future – until he’s wrongly accused of murder. Forced into the life of a fugitive, Nelan hides in London, before he is dramatically pressed into the crew of the Golden Hind. Thrust into a strange new world on board Francis Drake’s vessel, Nelan sails the seas on a voyage to discover discovery itself. Encountering mutiny, ancient tribes and hordes of treasure, Nelan must explore and master his own mystical powers – including the Mark of the Salamander, the mysterious spirit of fire.

THE MARK OF THE SALAMANDER is the first in The Island of Angels series: a two-book saga that tells the epic story and secret history of England’s coming of age during the Elizabethan era.
My Review

The Mark of the Salamander is a Wonderful Blend of Historical Fiction and Magical Fantasy. It took me a bit to settle into the period and fall into sync with the author's writing style and the flow of the storyline. I was not very familiar with Francis Drake, so initially, much of this novel read like a historical fantasy for me--but, once I did a little research into the character's history, the book took on a much greater depth. Once I settled into the time, I was very impressed by the author's setting development, attention to detail, and the historical accuracy of the scenes and storyline. The historical fiction aspect is strong, but the realistic fantasy plays very well into the story and is quite engaging and entertaining.


Strong, Interesting Characters and an Engaging Storyline Hold Readers' Interest from Beginning to End--and Beyond. The author does a beautiful job creating well-developed, well-rounded, and realistic characters. I found Nelan very relatable and engaging as he discovered more about the world around him, navigating his time at sea and coming of age a bit with his magical powers and his life purpose. While I didn't know much about Francis Drake, I found his character interesting and believable as well. Once I settled into the storyline, the author's writing style pulled me along on a journey to a faraway time and place. It kept me so invested in the characters that I was sad to see this book end, and I look forward to following the story in the second book of the series.

Would I Recommend The Mark of the Salamander by Justin Newland? If you enjoy historical fiction and historical fantasies, this novel is well written, with characters to love and a setting that does not disappoint. This novel is not a light read but holds well-formed dialogue and well-developed characters and scenes. I would definitely recommend this novel to readers who prefer realistic fantasy and relatable characters. I look forward to reading the second book in this series and following Nelan's journey ahead. 

Guest Post
by author Justin Newland


My latest historical fiction novel, The Mark of the Salamander, is hot off the press. It’s the first title in a two-book series, The Island of Angels, which tells the epic story and secret history of England’s coming of age during the Elizabethan era.

This blog relates the true story of a slave who have a profound impact on the life of Sir Francis Drake, a story which features in the novel.

Diego—his surname is not known—was an African enslaved by the Spanish and transported to Panama. He escaped and banded together with other Cimarrons, runaway Africans who established their own settlements in the Panama hinterlands.

This image shows perhaps an idealised version of what he may have looked and dressed like.

At the time, the Spanish pilfered much of their wealth from the Aztec temples and dug it out of the ground in places like the silver and gold Pitosi mine in Peru. Every year, this huge yield was shipped up the Pacific coast of South America to Panama, where it was loaded on a mule train and hauled across the Isthmus to Nombre de Dios on the Atlantic side, before being shipped to Spain on the annual treasure ship.

When the English buccaneer Francis Drake and his company attacked the port of Nombre de Dios in 1572, Diego bravely ran through a hail of bullets and persuaded the English to let him join them. Deigo then helped the English combine with the local Cimarrons to launch a successful attack on the annual Spanish mule train. After that escapade, Diego then returned to Plymouth with Drake.

Diego’s knowledge of the geography of the Isthmus of Panama was, in a strange way, instrumental in changing the fortunes of Drake, as well as of England, and in some ways, the world.

Because during the 1572 escapade, Diego took Drake to a unique hill. He climbed a tree, and made his way to a rickety platform that had been assembled there. Drake stood on it, and was perhaps the first Englishmen to see the panorama that spread out before him. Because looking east, he saw the vast expanse of the Pacific, but turning west, and gazing across the narrow Isthmus, he glimpsed the Atlantic. Both oceans at the same time! This was a vision that he never forgot, and Drake promised himself that one day he would sail in the Pacific Ocean, and one day he did. 

On 15 November 1577, Diego joined nearly 170 men to set sail with Drake on his vessel The Pelican from Plymouth to sail around the world. On board ship, Diego acted as Drake’s personal manservant, preparing his clothing and serving his meals. Diego had experience of long sea voyages, and was fluent in Spanish and now English, which made him an valuable interpreter. Like the rest of the crew, Diego was paid wages.

In April 1578, the fleet reached Brazil, sailed south along the coast of South America before crossing the Magellan straits. By the time Drake rounded Cape Horn, his was the only ship of the fleet remaining. That was when it was renamed The Golden Hind.

On 25 November 1578, Drake and his crew landed on Mocha Isle off the coast of Chile. After their horrendous passage across the straits, they were desperate for fresh water and food. To their delight, the island’s inhabitants gave them food, and told them to return the next day for drinking water. That night, they enjoyed a welcome feast.

The next morning, Diego, Drake and ten other men set out for the island. This time they were met not with friendship, but with a flurry of arrows. The natives’ sudden change of heart seems to have been caused by a misunderstanding over the translation of a word. Whatever it was, arrows rained down on the boat. Men died. Drake was hit in the face. Diego received more than 20 wounds.

Francis Drake’s ship, the Golden Hind, the first English vessel to sail around the globe.

Despite his multiple wounds, Diego survived for nearly another year, and died as the Golden Hind passed the Indonesian Moluccas on the way home.

This was a sad end to an extraordinary life that started in Africa, took him to South America, England, Brazil and Peru.

In my novel, I imagine the relationship between Drake and Diego in which Drake learns some of the arcane arts of seamanship from Diego, who also told the crew some of the extraordinary myths of his African people.

Long live Diego the Cimarron, the runaway, who didn’t run away and turned and faced his enslavers.

Justin Newland

6th October, 2023


Diego the Cimarron 

Map of the Isthmus of Panama

Sir Francis Drake’s The Golden Hind 


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Meet the Author

JUSTIN NEWLAND’s novels represent an innovative blend of genres from historical adventure to supernatural thriller and magical realism. His stories explore the themes of war and religion, and speculate on the human’s spiritual place in the universe.

Undeterred by the award of a Doctorate in Mathematics from Imperial College, London, he conceived his debut novel, The Genes of Isis (Matador, 2018), an epic fantasy set under Ancient Egyptian skies.

The historical thriller, The Old Dragon’s Head (Matador, 2018), is set in Ming Dynasty China in the shadows of the Great Wall.

The Coronation (Matador, 2019) was another historical adventure and speculates on the genesis of the most important event in the modern world – the Industrial Revolution.

The Abdication (Matador, 2021) is a mystery thriller in which a young woman confronts her faith in a higher purpose and what it means to abdicate that faith.

The Mark of the Salamander (Book Guild, 2023) is the first in a two-book series, The Island of Angels. Set in the Elizabethan era, it’s an epic tale of England’s coming of age.

His work in progress is the second in the series, The Midnight of Eights, the charting of the uncanny coincidences that led to the repulse of the Spanish Armada.

Author, speaker and broadcaster, Justin appears on LitFest panels, gives talks to historical associations and libraries and enjoys giving radio interviews and making podcasts. Born three days before the end of 1953, he lives with his partner in plain sight of the Mendip Hills in Somerset, England.

connect with the author: 
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Cozy Mystery Review Spotlight: A Felonious Finale by C.S. McDonald

I love cozy mysteries! Today, I have a book from on my favorite cozy mystery writers! Check out A Felonious Finale by C.S. McDonald, read my review of the book and learn about the series and author.

Book Title:   A FELONIOUS FINALE (The Owl's Nest Mysteries) 
Author:  C.S. McDonald
Category:  Adult Fiction, 268 pages
Genre:  Cozy Mystery
Publisher:  McWriter Books
Release date:  April 2023
Tour dates:  Nov 6 to Dec 8
Content Rating:  G. C.S. McDonald's books are appropriate for YA readers as well as adults--no bad language or sexual content.

About the Book

Alexa Owl has one burning question: Who killed Bobby Starr?

Out of the blue that ornery angel, Detective Bobby Starr, shows up at The Owl’s Nest Couturier Shoppe. Much to Alexa Owl’s surprise, Bobby doesn’t need her help. Rather, he’s brought along someone else who wants to qualify for Saint Peter’s Guardian Angel Squad. Saint Pete has delegated this new inductee to solve a murder to get into the group, and it’s a doozie: Who killed Detective Bobby Starr? How can Alexa turn this assignment down?

Back in the 60s, Bobby’s fifth wife, Katherine was a diva in a community operetta company. During a performance of The Merry Widow, Bobby was forced to stand-in for a member of the chorus who fell ill. Only, Bobby’s first performance would be his last! The suspects are hitting all the notes as this mystery comes to crescendo!

My Review

A Felonious Finale is a Great Addition to the Series. I love The Owl's Nest Mysteries. Over the past few years, I have read several books from the author and this series. They are all fun, young adult-friendly, cozy mysteries that are clean, entertaining, and easy to read. A Felonious Finale is another fun, time-travel-style mystery with twists and turns and humorous interactions and surprises for readers.

A Felonious Finale Brings Together Another Cast of Likable, Interesting Characters. I love the unique cast of characters that the author uses in her stories. If you have read previous books in the series, you will find old favorites like Bobby Starr and Winnie and old characters like Clifton Slater shifting into new, central roles. Personally, I think I like Slater's mystery-solving style and personality a little more than Bobby's--but both characters offer humor and perspective to their roles.  

Would I Recommend A Felonious Finale by C.S. McDonald? If you enjoy a clean, cozy mystery that combines a well-done mystery with some unique, paranormal, time-traveling twists--this is another excellent book from C.S. McDonald. Even if you are new to the series, the author gives you enough backstories and history to settle quickly into the story and enjoy it from beginning to end. This mystery is simple but has enough twists and surprises to make it engaging enough for cozy, mystery-loving adults and tweens or teens. While this novel is a "finale," of sorts in some respects,  I love these characters so much that I hope to see more of them in the future! 
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