Friday, October 30, 2020

Early for a Change

This post is actually a day early. Can you believe I'm finally posting something early instead of several months late?
This post is all about Oct. 31st, but since I don't normally post on Saturday I decided to do it today.
First, of course, tomorrow will be Halloween in the U.S. A day of ghosts, goblins, tricks, and treats. Due to Covid-19 I'm sure this year's celebration will be different in so many ways. I hope everyone has a very safe and happy Halloween no matter how you're celebrating.
Second, Oct. 31st is the anniversary of Thoughts in Progress. I can't believe it's been 11 years since that first port I scheduled went live. It's been an amazing journey so far. I've been honored to have "meet" so many wonderful friends, found such terrific new books, and discovered authors are more fascinating than I ever imaged.
I know blogging can sometimes get to be more work than it should be (thanks Blogger for changing!), but in the end it is rewarding. The blogging community comes together in good times and bad. This year has already had way too many hurdles in my opinion. 
I lost my fur baby Traveler, work has changed, life in general is different, and I've lost good friends and family members to Covid-19 (as I'm sure many of you have too). There's been tragedy through fires, floods, hurricanes, and much more. But through it all there have been happy times, good memories, and new friendships. We are strong together.

I won't make any promises as to what I'm going to do for the next year of blogging (besides my plans don't always go the way I want). I will say I hope to continue sharing new books and interesting stories, introducing new-to-me authors, and welcoming returning authors. If there are any types of posts you'd like to see or see more of, please let me know in the comments. 
I enjoy visiting with everyone (though I might not always comment) and I'm honored when you stop by here. A huge THANK YOU to everyone for your support. I really appreciate each and everyone of you. Ya'll are awesome. 

Now I have a bit of book news to share with your.

Discover over 40 amazing dark fantasy and paranormal romance titles at either free or discounted pricing from the 26th to the 31st of October!!!!

So, what are you waiting for? Let’s buy some books!

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Thanks again for stopping by and for being a part of my journey here. Ya'll have made blogging a wonderful thing. What's the first thought that comes to mind when you say blogging (for me, it's friends)?

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Don't Tell Me You Love Me (+ Giveaway)

Don’t Tell Me You Love Me
by Holly Kerr
* Publication date: October 27th, 2020
* Genres: Contemporary, Adult, Romance

The only thing stopping Shae from living her best life is the fact that she’s dying.

Together with her social media followers, popular travel vlogger Shae hides her illness from the world and lives every day like it’s her last. Her picture perfect life is only missing one thing—love, because for Shae, it’s not better to have loved and lost—it’s better not to love at all.

Emmett knows all about loss—he had it all until the death of his wife sent his life spinning out of control. It took him three years to pull himself together, trading ball diamonds for the strawberry patch and sweet corn fields of the family farm but now it’s time for him to take another chance at love.

After Emmett escorts Shae down the aisle at his sister’s wedding, he falls hard. One glimpse of her fun-filled life and Emmett knows he’s ready to be a part of it.

As they spend more time together, Shae fights against her feelings. How can she let him love her when it’s only going to lead to more heartache? But it’s hard to keep her distance, especially when Emmet is fighting for her heart.

Is love the one thing Shae can’t live without?

Don’t Tell Me You Love Me is the first book of the Don’t Sweet Romance series, a picture-perfect tale of first love, second chances, and living your best life. Fall in love with Shae and Emmett today.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

Only 99¢ for a limited time!


A sudden guitar riff from one of the roadies has the crowd rushing to the stage, almost knocking me off my feet. When I look up, Dawson is gone. I jump up and down as Denzel strums a few chords, trying to see over the heads of the group of girls that have moved in front of me. We can’t lose this footage.

A hand on my shoulder stops me. It’s one of the roadies we’ve gotten friendly with, the one I nicknamed The Rock.

“Need a hand?” He towers over me like some tree hidden in an old-time forest. My face must show my confusion because he touches his shoulder. “C’mon, get up here so you can see.”

He kneels and I clamour onto his linebacker shoulders, which gives me an excellent view of the stage. This is more like it because I can see Dawson right up at the front.

“You okay up there, Shae?” Neely calls up to me with a concerned smile.

I grin widely in response. “Perfect.” Then I turn my attention to Denzel, who starts to sing.

Pink hair, dark eyes

I watch you watching me

Big smile, wide eyes

I love you loving me

Is he…? Is this…? My jaw drops as excitement turns into a tingling feeling of wonderment.

Pink hair, dark eyes

I like you following me

Big smile, wide eyes

I want you in my life

Neely turns with an expression of disbelief. “Is this song about you?” she shouts over the noise.

Denzel Duke wrote a song about me? About me?

“He wrote a song about you!” Neely cries, for once excitement breaking past her usual cool composure. A few feet away, Dawson comes to the same conclusion and turns the phone to me sitting on the guy’s shoulders and being serenaded by one of pop music’s fastest rising stars.

If there was any doubt in anyone’s mind who Denzel is singing to, the fact that he catches my eyes with a big smile, and actually stops playing to hold out his hand confirms it.

“Oh my God!” Neely is now jumping up and down.

Still with me perched on his shoulders, the security guard pushes his way through the crowd to the edge of the stage. The crowd parts with a collective mutinous expression when the females realize I am Pink Hair of the song. I can’t stop my grin even if I wanted to, my heart bouncing faster than the music.

Denzel Duke puts down his guitar as I awkwardly transfer from shoulders to stage.

I’m onstage with Denzel Duke!

He meets me in the middle of the stage and takes my hand, giving me a twirl before leading me into a slow dance in front of a thousand screaming fans, all singing to me.

Sometimes I really love my life.

Meet the Author

Holly Kerr is the author of fifteen chick-lit, romantic comedy, and women's fiction novels, but don't ask her to explain the differences in the genres. She grew up a farm girl but now calls Toronto home, where she lives with her three very tall children, following their sports exploits like any dutiful mother.

She's a lover of Marvel movies, Star Wars movies...really, any movies, and has a surprising amount of worthless pop culture info stored in her head. She likes oceans over mountains, tea over coffee, and can mix a darn fine dirty martini, with extra olives, of course.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Doesn't this sound like one of those stories that tugs at your heart strings and will stay with you for a long time?

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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Festive Mayhem (+ Giveaway)

If you’re looking for a good mystery with a little holiday twist, look no further. Today I’m delighted to be participating in the FESTIVE MAYHEM Book Blast featuring 10 talented authors with stories of mystery, crime, and suspense with a holiday flair.

◊ Genre: Mystery Anthologies
◊ Publisher: Marla Bradeen (October 26,2020)
◊ eBooks
◊ File Size: 1232 KB
◊ Print Length: 159 Pages


Ten crime writers of color have teamed up to offer you the gift of escape this holiday season. From Christmas crime capers to Thanksgiving thrillers, historical hard-boiled to contemporary cozies, mystery fans of all genres will find something to love in this limited-time collection of exclusive, never-before-published seasonal short stories.

What you’ll find inside:
• “The New Year’s Hex” by Carolyn Marie Wilkins. Carrie McFarland finds her New Year’s plans derailed when a psychic vision pulls the 1920s African American amateur sleuth into someone’s evil scheme.
• “Pipe Dreams” by S.G. Wong. In this hard-boiled Crescent City short story, infatuation and passion drive Minnie Chen straight into danger as she tries to best the City’s most glamorous private detective in a reimagined 1930s-era Chinese Los Angeles.
• “A Christmas Tip” by Elizabeth Wilkerson. A surprise Christmas bonus becomes too tempting for Philadelphia nursing assistant Brianna Byers to resist—even if accepting requires some skillful skirting of the law.
• “The Stranger in the House” by Stella Oni. This London House Mystery prequel stars Elizabeth Ojo, a Nigerian housekeeper at a posh guest house, who finds her Christmas intersecting with that of a mysterious resident in trouble.
• “What Lies Inside” by Kia Dennis. A tormented university professor falls deeper and deeper into a destructive obsession in this harrowing tale of love and longing.
• “A Pub, Bed & Breakfast & A Dead Body” by Forest Issac Jones. A dark past becomes the deadly present when North Carolina police detective Ike Coates and his intrepid young partner are tasked with determining the cause of a suspicious death.
• “A Deadly First” by Delia C. Pitts. Thanksgiving takes a fatal turn when New York private eye SJ Rook finds himself thrust into his first murder case in this darkly atmospheric tale of noir.
• “The Holiday Murder Mélange” by Myra Jolivet. This Sarah Doucette Jean-Louis short story follows the Creole P.I. around the San Francisco Bay Area on her quest to figure out who killed a man outside of her office.
• “Those Holiday Blues” by Jennifer J. Chow. Jasmine, aka “Jazz,” can’t escape the tragic past when an old boyfriend asks to meet on the anniversary of his mother’s death.
• “Holiday Holdup” by Paige Sleuth. In this Cozy Cat Caper Mystery Short, Imogene Little gets tangled up in a Christmas Eve bank robbery orchestrated by none other than Santa Claus himself.

To entice you just a bit more, here's an excerpt for your reading pleasure.  

What Lies Inside 
By Kia Dennis

I WATCHED THE SNOW fall, shimmering against the strings of white lights twisted around lamp posts and coating the Happy Holiday banners still waving days after the New Year. The incongruity of that snowy picture yards in front of me and the stench of urine and garbage that surrounded me, permeating my tweed blazer, did not escape me.

It was the tragedy of love reducing a man of my station and distinction to loitering in a darkened alleyway. Yet, here I stood, waiting for her. Waiting. I’d been waiting for the entirety of my forty-seven years, although I’d only recently realized this truth.

I’d led a life of contentment if not happiness. I could not say I loved my wife, but Muriel, though given to sickliness, was an adequate partner. She tended to our two-bedroom ranch and adorned my arm at faculty functions with all the grace I’d foreseen in the pretty graduate student she’d been ten years earlier.

That chilly final Monday in October, I left my home for campus, irritated that Muriel’s recent malady kept her from making my luncheon for the day. I took the twelve-mile drive as I did each weekday.

My pique subsided as I turned onto the campus road, gliding by the impeccably manicured campus lawns. Tenure had not only bestowed job security but a reserved parking space on the faculty level of the garage. I positioned the sedan between two bright yellow markings and strode briskly from the parking garage to the red brick building that housed the English department lecture halls and offices.

My thoughts traversed the lecture I would give in just a short time. I would not have even noticed her had the greasy haired ruffian on rollerblades not almost run me off the sidewalk.

He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking.

Tolstoy. It had happened this way before. The words of the great long-dead author leaping to my mind. I felt the import of the moment profoundly.

She glided down the steps of the science building, dark luminous curls atop her head, a colorful battered backpack slung over her shoulder and jeans faded to white at the knee. She laughed at something the painfully plain girl walking with her said. The sound was a siren call on the wind. She didn’t see me that day, though I stood rooted to the concrete sidewalk unable to move until she’d faded from view.

Oh how I tried, those first days, to push her from my mind. The futility of the effort was apparent as the need to see her grew stronger and stronger with each passing day. I looked for her every day thereafter until her pattern became my own.

This anthology is only available for a short time, so grab it now before it’s gone. It would be criminal to miss it! 

FESTIVE MAYHEM is available at the following sites:





About the Authors


FESTIVE MAYHEM features a collection of never-before-published short stories authored by 10 mystery, crime, and suspense writers of color: 

Carolyn Marie Wilkins
S.G. Wong
Elizabeth Wilkerson
Stella Oni
Kia Dennis 
Forest Issac Jones
Delia C. Pitts
Myra Jolivet
Jennifer J. Chow
Paige Sleuth


Be sure to enter the giveaway below. If the widget doesn’t work, just click HERE to enter. You can read more about this fascinating book by visiting the other stops on the Book Blast.


Thanks for stopping by today. Don’t you just love a good mystery with a holiday theme?


Monday, Oct. 26 – Just Jemi – Review
Rockin’ BookReviews – Feature
Nesie’s Place – Excerpt
Writer’s Gambit – Review & Feature

Tuesday, Oct. 27 – First of All – Review & Excerpt
CelticLady’s Reviews – Feature
BookishRantings – Excerpt

Wednesday, Oct. 28 – I Found This Great Book – Review & Excerpt
Book Reviews by Pat Garcia – Review
Thoughts in Progress – Excerpt
Author Deborah A. Bailey – Excerpt

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Tuesday, October 27, 2020

No Place to Hide by Opa Hysea Wise

I have another captivating and fast-paced mystery thriller to tell you about today. NO PLACE TO HIDE by Opa Hysea Wise is one of the most anticipated novels of 2020 and it releases on November 3rd.

NO PLACE TO HIDE has been labeled a suspenseful page-turner that examines personal transformation amid violence and racial injustice. Others are saying it is a thrilling new mystery novel that encourages readers to explore the uncertain path of self-discovery. 

By Opa Hysea Wise
*Release Date: Nov. 3, 2020
*Publisher: Made for Success Publishing
*ISBN-10: 1641464771
*ISBN-13: 978-1641464772

Here’s more about this fascinating book.

Against hope, Smythe Windwalker Daniels anonymity is compromised, and a threat has been made against her life. The danger impacts not only her life but the lives of those around her. She reluctantly accepts the FBI’s protection, hoping to testify and bring a promise of justice to a community.

Smythe is a woman with vision in her eyes and fire in her soul. From a young age, Smythe was discriminated against as a mixed-race girl in a predominantly white neighborhood. She travels to Hawaii to escape the corporate rat race, only to get entangled in a pesticide poisoning cover-up attempt by a mega corporation. While on the run, she seeks to find meaning in events that now threaten her life. Through a series of misadventures, she discovers how all events are all woven together in this tapestry called “life.”

As she uses her past experience to find meaning in her present, she begins to see beauty in the midst of chaos. But the harder she tries to hide, the more difficult it is to survive.

NO PLACE TO HIDE is available for Pre-Order on AmazonIndieboundBookshop, and Barnes & Noble.

Why you need this book:

NO PLACE TO HIDE is, of course, a must-read for mystery fans and crime junkies, but it is also making waves outside this genre for being an unexpected source of inspiration and self-help.

The book examines deep and topical issues such as racial discrimination, indigenous injustices, the unscrupulousness of big business, our ingrained belief systems, and above all, the innate human need for belonging.

It's a powerful book not only because of the character development and the pulse-pounding plot line but because it ignites a personal journey in its readers as well.

Written by a highly acclaimed motivational speaker and success coach, the book offers profound life lessons, wrapped in an engaging, fictional story that presents an opportunity for the audience to grow alongside the protagonist, without even realizing that it has happened.

Whether you want to embark on a personal quest for self-discovery or just want to curl up with an action-packed mystery, "No Place to Hide" has something in it for everyone. The story is easily consumable and can be appreciated on many levels. It's a gripping novel that also has the ability to leave a lasting impression.

Meet the Author

Opa Hysea Wise is an American author, born to mixed race parents. She grew up across the fabric of the United States and currently resides out West.

As an adult, Opa understood the deep need for connection that we as humans have. Like so many people of color, she came to experience a sense of “otherness,” the longer she remained in the States. Those experiences fueled her desire to discuss diversity as the woven fabric within the American tapestry. She worked as a Training and Development specialist and manager in Government and Corporate organizations.

Often tasked to develop and deliver diversity courses, Opa brought a sense of understanding, compassion and a call to action to her audience, with the firm knowledge that returning to the connection we all have as one body in this universe would be but one step to returning to love.

For more information on Opa and her writing, visit

Thanks for stopping by today. What are your thoughts on this intriguing story?

Monday, October 26, 2020

A Case for the Toy Maker (+ Giveaway)

A Case for the Toy Maker
by Candace Havens
*(Ainsley McGregor #3)
*Published by: Tule Publishing
*Publication date: October 26th 2020
*Genres: Adult, Cozy Mystery

Ho. Ho. No…

It’s Christmas in Sweet River, Texas, and the whole town is feeling festive apart from Ainsley McGregor. Ainsley has never enjoyed the holidays and would rather ignore them, but with her shop Bless Your Art busier than ever and filled with happy shoppers, even she’s feeling some Christmas spirit. That is, until her Great Dane, George Clooney, sniffs out a dead body in the Santa House at the Christmas Festival.

When one of her favorite crafters becomes the prime suspect, Ainsley is determined to prove his innocence. The case is full of so many twists and turns that even Ainsley begins to fear the truth. Is she protecting a killer?

With help from her friends and some extremely nosey townsfolk, Ainsley and her dog hurry to find the truth––as long as they can outwit and outrun the killer first. Otherwise, this Christmas might just be her last.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo


“There’s the Santa house,” Shannon said, just as George growled menacingly. “What’s wrong, George?” That growl was never a good sign, and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

I had a strong urge to turn around and walk back to the store. But my curiosity knew no bounds. I had to find out what was going on.

We stopped in front of Santa’s house, which was a bigger version of our booth except it really did look like a house right out of the North Pole. “Wow, they did a great job. It’s fancy,” I said.

George growled again. A knot formed in my stomach, twisting hard.

Shannon glanced at him and then me. “Ainsley? You don’t think…is something wrong?”

“I hope not,” I said. George had done this before and it had never been good news.

He barked and then did the high-pitched whine that told me something I really didn’t want to know.

“No,” I whispered.


I took a deep breath and pulled my phone out of my pocket. “Hold on to George—tight.” After handing her the leash, I turned on the flashlight app on my phone.

“You’re freaking me out,” she said, as she gripped the leash tightly.

“I’m freaking myself out.” Opening the double doors to Santa’s house, I peeked inside.

My breath caught, and bile rose in my throat.

“Call my brother.” My voice was nothing more than a hoarse whisper. I forgot I had my phone in my hand. “What is it?”

The image of the man with the candy-cane-striped pole sticking out of his chest would be burned in my brain forever.

“Santa is dead.”

Meet the Author

Bestselling author Candace Havens has written more than 35 novels. She has won the Holt Medallion and her books have received nominations for the RITA's and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is the author of the biography Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation's leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities including Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, George Clooney and many more. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 2000 writers and teaches comprehensive writing classes. She does film reviews for Hawkeye in the morning on 96.3 KSCS, and is a former President of the Television Critics Association.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Doesn't this sound like the perfect cozy mystery for this time of year, especially with the Christmas theme?

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Friday, October 23, 2020

The Killer Outdoors (+ Giveaway)

It’s a pleasure today to be a part of author Jodi Linton’s Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for her latest release, THE KILLER OUTDOORS, the first installment in her Southwest Exposure Mystery series.
The Killer Outdoors
By Jodi Linton
*1st in Series: A Southwest Exposure Mystery)
*Cozy Mystery
*Independently Published (October 5, 2020)
*Digital ASIN : B08C72CMSV

Welcome to Bushwhack, New Mexico: home to tourists, the great outdoors, and murder...

Tourist season has hit Bushwhack and Andie Sullivan--owner of Sullivan's Adventure Company--is ready for her town to fill up with city slickers, snotty teens, and the dollars she needs to keep her business afloat after her messy divorce from Bucky Gunn--local celebrity rafting guide and Sullivan's main competition. With all her guided tours booked, it finally seems lady luck is on her side.

But then Bucky is found dead. Not great.

And she's the prime murder suspect. Double not great.

Being framed for murder sucks worse than a rabid chipmunk bite. Andie's determined to clear her name, and this time her survival training skills won't be used to fetch an ice pack. But how long can she stay one step ahead of a killer before she becomes the final victim?

THE KILLER OUTDOORS is available at Amazon

 Meet Jodi Linton

Hey Y’all,

I’m just a girl from Texas, minus the big hair…and oh, yeah, a horse. My crew consists of two kiddos, one which inherited my makeup addiction, and a husband still living out his garage band dreams, but in our closet next to my shoe collection.

I love to hang out with my readers, discussing books, recipes, and just everyday shenanigans. I got started in the romance community, which you might know a few of my books from there. Now, I’m all about the cozies…and the coffee. Yeah, can’t forget that.

I’d love for you to come join my reader group, Jodi’s Book Corner or come like me on Facebook to discover my books. And chat. Naturally.

You can connect with Jodi on the following sites:







Jodi's Book Corner:


You can follow Jodi on her tour by visiting the tour participants’ sites below. Be sure to enter the giveaway.

Thanks so much for stopping by today. Isn’t it fun to find new cozy murder mystery series to follow?

October 12 – I'm All About Books - SPOTLIGHT

October 12 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW

October 13 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT

October 14 – Read Your Writes Book Reviews – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 15 – Moonlight Rendezvous – REVIEW

October 16 – I Read What You Write – SPOTLIGHT

October 17 – Baroness' Book Trove - CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 18 – StoreyBook Reviews - REVIEW

October 18 – Books a Plenty Book Reviews – REVIEW

October 19 – Socrates Book Reviews- SPOTLIGHT


October 20 – A Blue Million Books – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 21 - The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 21 - Elizabeth McKenna - Author – SPOTLIGHT

October 22 – Ascroft, eh? – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 22 – Celticlady's Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

October 23 – Christy's Cozy Corners – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

October 24 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT

October 24 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW

October 25 – Cozy Up With Kathy – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

October 25 – The Ninja Librarian – REVIEW

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