Friday, December 21, 2018

Seasons Greetings

Hi all, just a quick post to wish everyone a safe, healthy and Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. For those not celebrating the season, I wish you a safe and joyous time as well.

I'll probably be offline until after the first of year so I want to take this time to say I am most thankful for each and everyone of you. I hope to have something interesting to share with you in January or early February. I've been working on a project for the past year that has been both exciting and a bit scary. I have been on a journey that I never really thought I'd go on. Can't wait to share it with you.

I'm also gearing up to host back to back book tours through MC Book Tours for author Sherilyn Decter's upcoming releases in a fascinating series, the Bootleggers' Chronicles. The books fall into the genre of literature historical women's crime fiction. You can check out the first tour here. Sign up and come along for a fun adventure.

I hope the new year brings wonderful things to all of you!! If I don't get a chance to stop by and visit with you in the next few days, please know I'm wishing you all MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

I saw this online and couldn't resist sharing it. It says so much.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Happy Planner … Happy Me

Let me begin by asking you to bear with me today as this post doesn’t deal directly with book. Instead, I want to tell you a story and how a company came through with flying colors.

My Happy Planner
I am always searching for a planner to help me be more organized. I usually wind up with three or more planners/calendars because I can’t seem to help myself. Besides, that way I have one for home life, one for blogging and books, one for book tours and you get the picture.

I have a bound A5 planner that I like because it has a pocket to store items in, a loop for my pen, and a magnetic flap to keep it closed. What I don’t like is if you put too many pages in it at one time, the back pages get curled under the ring closure.

For this reason, I started looking at Happy Planners by the Me and My Big Ideas. With the disc binding, the planners can lie flat to write on and the pages don’t curl – no matter how many pages you add. Well my search went on for several months with me looking at various Happy Planner designs in several stores and online. I finally decided it was time to get one or quit looking, so I got one.

I can’t even remember what store I got the planner at, but I finally got a 9-disc Happy Planner. But then I didn’t use it right away. Finally, I decided last month to start using it. It is one that doesn’t run January to December, but August to July so I had only wasted a few months.

I started using the planner because I wanted to mark down some upcoming book tours that authors had booked. Well, I discovered there was no February or March section in the planner. I looked online and in stores but couldn’t find the months I was missing. I could get a pack that had six months with no dates, but honestly, I don’t like calendars where I have to put the dates in (crazy, I know).

After thinking about changing planners again, I decided to send an email to the Happy Planner company, explain the problem and see what happened. At this point I had nothing to lose except a little time corresponding.

I got a form reply to my email in less than an hour or so and I really thought that was it. But to my surprise I received an email by the next morning from a customer specialist named Iris Kim. The email was courtesy and asked for additional information about my problem, along with requesting photos of what my planner looks like. The delightful specialist explained they would try to find the planner I had or something similar. I responded I was happy with similar, just needed those two months.

New pages for my planner
Their response was the next day saying my package style wasn’t available, but they were sending something they hoped would work for me. I received the two months I was missing within a few days. I actually love the style they send more than what I have. Wish I had found that planner to begin with.

I shared this long drawn out story with you to say I was surprised, pleased and delighted with my recent experience with the folks at Me and My Big Ideas that make the Happy Planners. They answered my email in a prompt manner, assisted me with my problem, and found a solution that works great.

I’m enjoying the ease and convenience of my Happy Planner and am seriously thinking about getting another one just to use for my MC Book Tours business. This has been one of the very best experiences I’ve ever had when dealing with a company where there was a problem. I’m truly happy with their product and their customer service.

Thanks for stopping by today and for reading through until the end. What has been your experience when dealing with a company where you had an issue – good or bad? Do you use a Happy Planner? How do you stay organized? 

New planner sections I received

Monday, December 17, 2018

Shades of Betrayal (+ Giveaway)

I’m delighted to be a part of author Jill Ramsower’s Xpresso Book Tour for her latest release, SHADES OF BETRAYAL, the third installment in her Fae Games series.

Shades of Betrayal
Jill Ramsower
(The Fae Games #3)
Publication date: November 7th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

All my wildest fantasies have come true, but reality is never quite as simple as we imagine. I dreamed of living in a wondrous world of the supernatural and having magical powers of my own. Now, I have all of that, but it comes with a caveat—a six-foot Fae brute who is supposed to train me on all things Fae. He’s a dauntless warrior of the Wild Hunt. A beautiful bigot. He’s my lover and my burden, my savior and my curse.
There’s a monster lose in the city leaving a trail of bodies in its wake. I want more than anything to help others with my new abilities—what better use of my power than to stop a killer? Too bad Michael doesn’t feel the same.

She’s a born fighter. Courageous and brash like the heroes she reads about. Two weeks ago I carried her lifeless body out of a dirty alley. Ever since, my carefully constructed world has been leveled, despite my endless efforts at damage control.

Ashley Moore is a force of nature. Her best friend is the Erlking’s woman, and together, Ashley and Rebecca have infiltrated our brotherhood. Everything about our lives is dangerous, so I’ve done what I can to protect her—even if she ends up hating me for it.

**This is the third book in The Fae Games Series but can be read as a standalone novel.

Warning: This is NOT a Young Adult novel! It contains scenes with graphic violence and mature sexual content.

Ashley had me off balance from the first time I met her at the club months before. She was outgoing and vibrant, but not in an obnoxious way like so many other women. Her comments were thought-provoking, and her smart mouth had me envisioning what else she could do with her full red lips. Those images were far too dangerous for my taste, and I had known immediately that I needed to keep my distance.
When Ashley was turned Fae, I was ordered to introduce her to our way of life. I had anticipated her to be distraught and withdrawn—she had been anything but. Ashley was level-headed, confident, and everything I didn’t want her to be.
Contrary to the wishes of every fiber of my being, she intrigued me. She wasn’t afraid of the darkness surrounding her like most would be. I had known another woman who was also tenacious to a fault and courageous beyond reason, and she was dead. Losing Raisa left me uninterested in maintaining any meaningful female relationships in my life. I’d made it a habit to single out the vapid ones—happy to please and easy to walk away from. That had been my life for a long time, and I had no desire to change.
I appreciated Ashley’s natural beauty and strength of conviction, but that didn’t mean I was interested in being with her. I enjoyed fine works of art, but I didn’t need to own them. Not that what I thought or felt mattered anyway—if she ever saw beneath my surface, knew the things I’d done, she wouldn’t want anything to do with me.
It was a fact, and just one of the many reasons I should have kept my distance. Too bad Lochlan hadn’t gotten that memo. No matter how much I argued, he seemed hell-bent on ignoring my advice. He was my leader, so despite my objections, if he ordered me to do something, I would do it. I was nothing if not disciplined.
My moral compass may have had its own unique settings, but I lived by that code and the rules of the Hunt unerringly. Only once had my own personal code conflicted with my loyalties to my brothers, and that incident had been buried centuries ago.

About the author:

Author Jill Ramsower
Jill is a Texan, born and raised. She manages the hectic social calendars for her three active children and occasionally spends an evening with her dashing husband. Aside from being an author and a mom, she’s an attorney, travel junkie, and voracious reader.


Enter for your chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card + an eBook copy of all 3 The Fae Games books

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Do you enjoy books that feature a strong female lead?

Friday, December 14, 2018

The Thing Is

One of the things I enjoy most about blogging is the wonderful people you get to interact with and that includes getting to know new authors.

Today I’m delighted to welcome a new-to-me author, Andrew Carter, to Thoughts in Progress. Andrew is here to talk about his latest release, THE THING IS, which is now available on Amazon.

First here’s a brief synopsis of his book:

          Andrew Carter is a man in his thirties with a wife and child, greying hair and a tendency to go to bed before 10pm. His second book, THE THING IS, is a collection of charming and hilarious tales about all that went on before. From a childhood where he cheated in chess tournaments and tough kids stole his SNES games, he grows into an adolescence including dalliances with drink and drugs, attempts at punk rock stardom and an overwhelming desire to look cool in front of girls.
Wanderlust takes him across the globe where there’s a spot of bother in Bolivia, Australia in a battered van, a police chase in the Greek mountains and a stint as a minor celebrity in Hong Kong. There are late nights and fistfights, Sunday league struggles, call centre hell, a campus love story and a whole lot more.
Like a perfect conversation with your pals in the pub, you’ll feel fuzzy with nostalgia, wince in recognition and laugh out loud.

*  Paperback: 286 pages
*  Publisher: Proverse Hong Kong; 1 edition (4 Dec. 2018)
*  Language: English
*  ISBN-10: 9888491407
*  ISBN-13: 978-9888491407

Now please join me in giving a warm welcome to Andrew. Welcome, Andrew.

"My second book The Thing Is has just been published so I should probably be doing something to try and drum up a bit of interest rather than spending my limited free time watching hip hop documentaries and drifting into Wikipedia wormholes researching the breakdown of Dr Dre and Ice Cube’s relationship.

I certainly need to work on my sales pitch. Someone asked me what the book was about last week, and I said:

“Hmm, I guess it’s a collection of anecdotal tales from various points of my life.

I bet you’re gripped.

The issue is; however, this is an accurate description of the book. Anecdotal tales from various points in the life of a spectacularly unspectacular bloke from England. I think I’m in trouble, aren’t I? 

As much as I enjoy writing, and I’m excited about The Thing Is, I feel awkward talking about it in person (on the internet, evidently no such problem. Thanks for featuring this, Mason!) Even if my friends show an interest, I give short answers and try to move the conversation on to more comfortable subjects such as their thoughts on Dr Dre’s The Chronic. It’s self-indulgent enough to write a book about your own life, so to also talk about a book about my own life, I fear I would become insufferable. I need to spruce my description up a bit though, don’t I? Perhaps I’ll ask my old boss from a former recruitment job for some advice. She had the ability to make a commission-only job selling car breakdown cover outside budget supermarket sound like a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity. She wasn’t entirely honest but that’s by the by.

I finished The Thing Is just before our son was born, which feels like another lifetime now, but I have just read through it for the final edit and I’m really pleased with it. My first book, Bright Lights and White Nights was a novel but, to be honest, the protagonist was basically just me and, aside from the drugs and Triads, the story was representative of my own experiences living in Hong Kong. I thought I had created a good, original lead character, which kind of means I think I am good and original, doesn’t it? This is extremely arrogant.

It took me until after Bright Lights and White Nights had been released to realize how blatantly I’d plagiarized my own life. As a result, I tried to start a second novel about a bunch of people who are absolutely nothing like me in any way whatsoever. When I read back my chapter about a guy who was working in a soul-destroying recruitment job with a charismatic but morally-dubious manager, I could no longer kid myself. Perhaps when I’m in my forties I’ll write a novel that bears no semblance to my own lifea tale about how a group of young men from Compton went on to change the face of music?

A few weeks after Bright Lights and White Nights came out, I started writing a blog, Monday Musings. This started as an attempt to “gain an online presence,” an irritating phrase that kept cropping up in any research I did about book marketing, and something that I absolutely did not have (I have a presence in personIm unusually tallbut this does not help to flog books sadly.) Id never thought of myself as a blog-writing kind of guy, associating the idea more with sun-kissed Scandinavians writing about finding themselves on Tibetan yoga retreats, so I was surprised to find I enjoyed it. After initially writing about my book and getting published, Monday Musings evolved into tales of the mundane and the unusual from my week, such as the time my wife and I were accosted by a giant man holding a box of biscuits.

Monday Musings gathered a steady following and I was pleased to hear that people beyond friends and family were enjoying it. So pleased that I wrote The Thing Is, an entire book in much the same style, only recounting tales from my whole life rather than just the past week. Given the general positivity around my blogs, I’m hopeful that people will enjoy The Thing Is and I’ll sell a few copies. This could be inaccurate, and the only buyers will be a handful of friends and family and I will regret that my mum now knows I got arrested in Greece in my teens. Time will tell.

If you think this sounds like your cup of tea, please have a look at my Facebook page which features regular blogs and book updates.

Andrew, thanks for joining us and sharing this insight into your book. It sounds most intriguing.

Author Andrew Carter
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Andrew, here’s a bit of background on him.

ANDREW CARTER was born in Leeds in 1986 and grew up in the city. After graduating from Lancaster University in 2009, he spent three years in Hong Kong where he taught English and wrote his first novel, Bright Lights and White Nights, which was released in 2015 to critical acclaim.

Andrew has since moved back to Leeds where he works as a probation officer and occasionally writes for local magazines. In his free time, he plays tennis and 6-aside football and enjoys hiking in the Yorkshire dales. He lives with his wife, Louise and son, Joshua.

Thanks so much for stopping by today during Andrew’s visit. If you’re a writer, do you find that you include bits of yourself in your writing without realizing it?

Monday, December 10, 2018

All Eyes on Alexandra

It’s a delight to be a part of the WOW! Women on Writing Blog Tour for author Anna Levine’s ALL EYES ON ALEXANDRA.

This charming book would be a wonderful Christmas (or any day) gift. As part of the tour, Anna is joining us to talk about “Straight from the horse’s mouth and other anthropomorphic animals.”

In All Eyes on Alexandra, young Alexandra Crane is terrible at following her family in their flying Vee. She can’t help it that the world is so full of interesting distracting sights! When it's time for the Cranes to migrate to Israel's Hula Valley for the winter, Alexandra is excited, but her family is worried.
Will Alexandra stay with the group, and what happens if a dangerous situation should arise? Might Alexandra—and the rest of the flock—discover that a bad follower can sometimes make a great leader?

Based on the true story of Israel’s annual crane migration.

Print Length: 32 Pages
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Publisher: Kar-Ben Pub
ISBN-10: 1512444391
ISBN-13: 978-1512444391

All Eyes on Alexandra is available to purchase on AmazonBarnes and NobleTarget and Thrift Books.

Now please join me in giving Anna a warm welcome to Thoughts in Progress. Welcome, Anna.

“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen though. That’s the problem.” A.A. Milne 
Though many publishers are reluctant to accept anthropomorphic stories and insist on, “no talking animals,” the fact is that most of our favorite classics and modern picture books have animals with human traits.

One advantage of anthropomorphism is that it allows the reader to feel and explore emotional issues without feeling threatened. Though my picture book is about bird migration, it’s also about family relationships.

Animals erase gender, race, and age giving the writer the freedom to write about complex ideological and ethical issues. I wanted Alexandra to be female. When it comes to leading the flock, birds are equal opportunists. And as for this author, living in a country where borders are the cause of a lot of tension, Alexandra and the flocks of birds are, for me, ‘birds without borders,’ a glimmer of hope, perhaps, that if they can all find common ground, so can we.

Topics like immigration, bullying, sharing, loss and acceptance are some of the many subjects an author can tackle through the voices of animal characters.

Anna, thanks for joining us today and sharing this insight into your story.

About the Author, Anna Levine

Author Anna Levine
Anna Levine is an award-winning children’s book author. Like Alexandra Crane, the character in her latest picture book, she loves to explore new worlds. Born in Canada, Anna has lived in the US and Europe.  She now lives in Israel, where she writes and teaches.

You can find Anna Levine online at --
Author website:
Twitter: @LevineAnna 
Instagram: @booksfromanna 

About the Illustrator, Chiara Pasqualotto,

Artist Chiara Pasqualotto
Chiara Pasqualotto was born in Padua, in northern Italy, currently teaches illustration and drawing classes to children and adults, in particular in Padua during the summer at the Scuola Internazionale di Comics and in Rome. 

Since 2008 she's been living in Rome and working with illustration professionally: her first picture book, Mine, All Mine! was published in 2009 by Boxer Books (UK), since then she published with Oxford University Press, Giunti, Terranuova and some American publishers (Paraclete Press, Tyndale, LearningAZ, Kar-Ben Publisher).

You can find Chiara Pasqualotto online at -

If you’d like to find out more about this fascinating book, check out Anna’s  Blog Tour Dates:

December 3rd @ The Muffin
What goes better in the morning than a muffin? Make sure you visit WOW's blog today and read an interview with the author and enter for a chance to win a copy of the book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 5th @ Cassandra's Writing World
Visit Cassandra's blog where she shares her thoughts about Anna Levine's picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 6th @ Break Even Books
Visit Erik's blog where you can read Anna Levine's guest post about how to jog your inspiration.

December 7th @ Coffee with Lacey
Grab some coffee and visit Lacey's blog where you can read her review of Anna Levine's picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 8th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Visit Anthony Avina's blog today where he joins in the fun of celebrating and shares information about Anna Levine's book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 8th @ Christy's Cozy Corners
Visit Christy's blog and cozy up while you read her review of Anna Levine's picture book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 9th @ Coffee with Lacey
Visit Lacey's blog again where you can read Anna Levine's guest post about designing your ideal writing spot.

December 9th @ Christy's Cozy Corner
Visit Christy's blog where you can read Anna Levine's blog post about how she decided to use crane's in her story.

December 11th @ Read. Write. Sparkle. Coffee.
Make sure you visit Jeanie's blog today and read her thoughts about Anna Levine's book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 12th @ Author Anthony Avina Blog
Visit Anthony Avina's blog where he interviews Anna Levine, author of All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 13th @ Read. Write. Sparkle. Coffee.
Make sure you visit Jeanie's blog today and read Anna Levine's guest post about building a theme day around a picture book.

December 13th @ Oh for the Hook of a Book
Visit Erin's blog where she shares her thoughts on Anna Levine's book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 14th @ Growing with Science Blog
Be sure to visit Roberta's blog and read her review of Anna Levine's book All Eyes on Alexandra as well as read Anna's guest post about five fun bird-themed activities.

December 14th @ Wrapped in Foil
Visit Roberta's blog today where Anna Levine's book All Eyes on Alexandra gets featured on the weekly STEM Friday post (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math books!).

December 15th @ A Storybook World
Visit Deirdra's blog where she features Anna Levine's book All Eyes on Alexandra in a spotlight post.

December 17th @ World of My Imagination
Stop by Nicole's blog today where you can read her review of Anna Levine's book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 18th @ Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Visit Erin's blog again where you can read Anna Levine's blog post featuring activities for young children to explore their world. 

December 19th @ Cassandra's Writing World
Visit Cassandra's blog again where you can read Anna Levine's blog post about naming your characters.

December 19th @ Linda's Blog
Make sure you visit Linda's blog today where you can read her thoughts about Anna Levine's book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 20th @ Word Magic: All About Books 
Visit Fiona's blog where you can read her review of Anna Levine's book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 21st @ Bring on Lemons
Make sure you grab some lemonade and stop by Crystal's blog today where she reviews Anna Levine's book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 27th @ Linda's Blog
Visit Linda's blog again where you can read her interview with author Anna Levine.

December 28th @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Visit Beverley's blog today you can read her review of Anna Levine's book All Eyes on Alexandra.

December 31st @ Strength 4 Spouses
Visit Wendi's blog and read Anna Levine's guest post on learning about families and different cultures.

January 2nd @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Visit author Anthony Avina's blog where he shares his thoughts about Anna Levine's picture book All Eyes on Alexandra. 

January 3rd @ Beverley A. Baird's Blog
Visit Beverley's blog again where you can read Anna Levine's blog post about getting into the head of your middle-grade characters.

January 4th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog
Visit author Anthony Avina's blog again where you can read Anna Levine's blog post about using fiction to write non-fiction.

January 7th @ Strength 4 Spouses Blog
Visit Wendi's blog again where you can read her thoughts about the book All Eyes on Alexandra by Anna Levine.

Thanks for stopping by today. Doesn’t this book look like it would be a fun gift to give?

Friday, December 7, 2018

Cover Reveal – the Southern Side of Paradise

I’m thrilled to be a part of the cover reveal for author Kristy Woodson Harvey’s latest release, THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF PARADISE, the third installment in her Peachtree Bluff series.

The book will be released in May. For those of us entering the coldest months of the year, doesn’t that cover make you wish that much more for summer?

*  Series: The Peachtree Bluff Series (Book 3)
*  Paperback: 400 pages
*  Publisher: Gallery Books (May 7, 2019)
*  Language: English
*  ISBN-10: 1982116625
*  ISBN-13: 978-1982116620

From internationally bestselling author and “rising star of Southern fiction” (Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author) Kristy Woodson Harvey comes the third novel in her Peachtree Bluff series, in which a secret threatens the tight-knit bond between a trio of sisters and their mother.

With the man of her dreams back in her life and all three of her daughters happy, Ansley Murphy should be content. But she can’t help but feel like it’s all a little too good to be true.
Meanwhile, youngest daughter and actress Emerson, who is recently engaged and has just landed the role of a lifetime, seemingly has the world by the tail. Only, something she can’t quite put her finger on is worrying her—and it has nothing to do with her recent health scare.
When two new women arrive in Peachtree Bluff—one who has the potential to wreck Ansley’s happiness and one who could tear Emerson’s world apart—everything is put in perspective. And after secrets that were never meant to be told come to light, the powerful bond between the Murphy sisters and their mother comes crumbling down, testing their devotion to each other and forcing them to evaluate the meaning of family.

THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF PARADISE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Indiebound.

With Kristy Woodson Harvey’s signature charm, wit, and heart, The Southern Side of Paradise is another masterful Peachtree Bluff novel that proves she is a “Southern writer with staying power” (Booklist).

One of the hottest new Southern writers.” —

"Writers come and writers go, but Kristy Woodson Harvey is here to stay. The warmth, wit, and wisdom of this novel pave her way into the exclusive sisterhood of southern writers.” —The Huffington Post 

"The south is known for breeding brilliant storytellers and Kristy Woodson Harvey has proven herself to be one of the south’s most heartfelt female driven authors of our generation.”—Jaime Pressly, star of CBS’s Mom

About the Author
Kristy Woodson Harvey is a born-and-bred North Carolina girl who loves all four seasons—especially fall in Chapel Hill, where she attended college, and summer in Beaufort, where she and her family spend every free moment.

The author of The Southern Side of Paradise, The Secret of Southern Charm, Slightly South of Simple, Dear Carolina, and Lies and Other Acts of Love, Kristy is also the founder of the popular interior design blog Design Chic. 

For more on Kristy and her writing, visit her website and Design Chic.

Thanks for stopping by today. Do you enjoy reading books with a Southern charm? Have you read any of the previous Peachtree Bluff series (you should)?