Focus Friday: Full Circle

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A preview teaser from the upcoming new novel

By D.G. Torrens

The door slamming startled Dena. She spun around when Christian burst into the kitchen in one of his moods, “What’s for dinner,” he demanded.

Dena brushed a stray hair back off her face and inhaled a deep breath. “Pasta,” she answered in a low whisper.

Christian exited the kitchen and made his way into the living room, slumped down on the couch, and waited for his dinner. Dena dished up a plate for Christian and took it to him.

Christian looked up from his mobile phone, glanced at Dena and rolled his eyes, “Is there any salt in this?

“Of course,” she replied.

Christian took a mouthful, ignoring Dena.

“So, how is it?” she asked.

Yeh, it’s okay,” he grunted.

Dena shrugged her shoulders and left the room. I don’t know why I bother. He is so ungrateful and rude, she thought.

Mia ran down the stairs, “Daddy, daddy, guess what?”

Christian’s eyes lit up, “I have no idea. Why don’t you tell me?”

Mia jumped on his lap, excitedly, “I got a head teacher’s award today,” blurted Mia.

Christian kissed Mia on the forehead, “Well done, sweetheart. I am proud of you.”

Dena entered the room and took the plate from Christian. She glanced at the half-eaten pasta, “What was wrong with it?”

“It wasn’t your best dish,” he said, turning away.

Mia ran over to Dena, “Can I sleep with you tonight, Mummy. I had a bad dream last night?”

Dena nodded, “Of course, sweetheart. Now come on, let’s get you bathed and ready for bed.”

Christian studied Dena as she left the living room with Mia, his face flashed with anger.

Dena ran a bath for Mia and waited for her to get in then left her to play for a while. She went into the bedroom and sat down on the king-sized bed with a heavy heart. This was not how marriage was supposed to be. What the hell happened to us? I never signed up for this. Christian is colder than Antarctica. I am so lonely.

Full Circle

We hope you enjoyed this sample from the upcoming new novel by bestseller D.G. Torrens, in the vein of bestsellers like ike Finding You, Broken Wings and Forbidden.

Look for it in January 2021.

D.G. Torrens

is the author of 14 books, including the bestselling trilogy, Amelia’s Story #1, Amelia’s Destiny #2 and Amelia The Mother #3. This is an emotion-charged true story that the author wrote for her daughter.

D.G is a mother/writer/blogger who has a dream to inspire as many people as possible through her story. To show those with little hope that dreams can come true.

Born in England, passionate about writing, D.G. Torrens is married with a daughter. Her first book, Amelia’s Story, has inspired people all over the world. Amelia’s Destiny, book #2 is the sequel and is followed by Amelia The Mother book #3 in this awe-inspiring trilogy. A memoir that remains with D.G.’s readers long after they have put the book down …

D.G is a prolific writer and in 2013, her works were recognized by BBC Radio WM, where she has given several live interviews in the BBC studios in Birmingham, UK. Thereafter, D.G. became a regular Headline Reviewer for the radio show for the next 12 months.

Visit her on:

And follow her on Twitter @torrenstp.

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Summer time, and the reading is easy

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Monday musings

By Scott Bury

The season is here. The big parties that traditionally open the season have happened, despite all advice to the contrary. Weekend visits to the cottage or beach have turned into weeks-long vacations and road trips.

And that means that summer reading season has started, as well.

What is summer reading?

Summer reading has come to mean, for most, reading one or more of the blockbuster bestsellers, the ones heavily promoted by one of the five major commercial publishers, a new release by one of the reigning bestselling authors, or an earlier book that’s been turned into a movie.

This summer, that second category is not likely to be as big a factor, as most cinemas are closed. The closest will doubtless be something that’s been adapted for the smaller screen by a streaming service.

(Speaking of streaming services, there seems to be a new one vying for my monthly fee every week. And much of the content looks fascinating. But that’s a subject for a later post.)

For me, summer reading means trying to catch up with a large number of books I’ve bought or been given over the past twelve months.

Books to surprise and delight

The books I look forward most to reading are less well-known, by less well-known authors. Independent writers, new and emerging writers, and authors not promoted by big commercial corporations.

Often times, that means I have to turn to my friends for recommendations, or scour sites like Goodreads and, of course, BestSelling Reads, for new books to read.

So given all that, here are some of the books I look forward to reading this summer:

  • Hiding Scars, by Winnipeg writer Richard Zaric, the story of immigrants to western Canada during the First World War and the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919
  • What Had to Be Done by DelSheree Gladden
  • Beautiful Finale by Raine Thomas, the fourth, and final book of the House of Archer rock romance series

Okay, those last three are well-known, bestselling authors, but I like them, so …

  • The Winnipeg General Strike by Michael Dupuis, a book I bought a year ago on the centennial of the great, nation-shaping event
  • The Quisling Factor by J.L. Oakley, the follow-up to the excellent World War II drama set in Norway, The Jossing Affair, which I hope to see very soon

That should be enough for one summer.

I know what you avid readers are thinking: that’s not so many for three months! In my defence, I have also been working hard on finishing my oft-promised, and oft-delayed second Dark Age novel, The Children of the Seventh Son.

While that’s with alpha- and beta-readers and an editor, I have also been working on a new (or renewed) Hawaiian Storm mystery, Dead Man Lying.

So it’s going to be a literary summer for me.

What about you?

What are your summer reading plans? Tell us in the Comments.

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From Alaska with Love

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The romance Thursday teaser from the new novel

By Ally James

It wasn’t as if Gabe believed that Sara, this mythical creature who was interested in corresponding with him, had just happened upon his life to be his forever love. That would be foolish thinking, and if there was one thing Gabriel was not, it was foolish. Nor illogical. Contact with Sara would be brief and entertaining. He doubted her intention of writing had been anything other than an obligatory greeting to the overseas soldier she had been assigned. Should I nip this in the bud now? Although what’s the harm in writing back and forth for a bit? He could delete her latest e-mail and let it go. But—he just couldn’t do it.

Military mail was a pain in the ass at times. What if he changed his mind and it was not in the recycle bin? Just that thought alone made him feel a little queasy. So maybe he wouldn’t get rid of her latest e-mail yet. No harm in letting it sit there. The trick was not replying.

Gabe grabbed a nearby folder with some information for the morning meeting and hurried from his office. He would stay busy until the urge had passed.

Two hours later, Gabe felt like a junky deprived of his fix. His knees were bouncing up and down and he was chewing gum as if his life depended on it. It was mean not to send a quick message. A gentleman doesn’t ignore a lady. He knew that last one was a reach, but still, he’d take any justification at this point. It was almost alarming how much he craved hearing from this Sara again. And he knew for that to happen, he had to do his part. Before he could wage another inner battle, he opened her e-mail and hit the Reply button.

Sara:

Yes, I am single and my dog’s name is Trouble. After being surrounded by our uniforms for many years, I don’t think I share your views on them suiting everyone equally well. I would agree that touching your nose with your tongue isn’t necessarily a feature. And I’ve never given any thought as to what mine would be.

Thanks,

Gabe

Gabe shook his head in defeat. He hadn’t thought it could get much worse than his first written disaster, but this one was a strong contender. Why can’t I just talk to her like a friend? If he was this uptight with all women, that might explain why they weren’t exactly beating his door down. Again, he wondered why it suddenly mattered so much to him.

As intrigued as he was with his new pen pal, a part of him resented her as well. He had more than enough shit to keep him awake at night. Now thanks to her, he was actually giving thought to being liked? When had he ever given a damn about anyone’s approval? He’d moved up in the ranks of the military through hard work, dedication, and precision, not kissing ass. Same thing applied to other areas of his life. He was there if needed and stayed out of things that weren’t any of his concern. You’re the social butterfly of Anchorage, Alaska. Winning them over everywhere you go with that personality.

Before he wasted more of his day on self-analysis, Gabe hit the Send button and logged off his computer. He’d never been happier to know he was needed at the airfield. At least that would keep his mind off her for a while. Get out of my head lady, he inwardly groused as he crossed the runway. As if afraid he’d jinxed himself, his next thought was, Please write back.

From Alaska with Love

A soldier has six weeks to convince the only woman he has ever longed for to take a chance on life with him in Alaska….

Sara’s letters were the only bright spot during Gabe’s devastating tour in Iraq. With each new correspondence he fell harder, needed her more, wanted to be with her. Now, after initially rejecting his offer to meet, she’s shown up at the door of his isolated cabin in Alaska looking for…what? Gabe’s not sure what made Sara change her mind, but he knows he never wants to let her go.

Major Gabe Randall is everything Sara Ryan wants but nothing she feels she deserves. A modern-day spinster, Sara hides behind family obligations and the safe, quiet life she’s resigned herself to living. But secretly, even though she may have stretched the truth about who she is in her letters to him, she wants Gabe. Will he still want her when he discovers the real woman behind the pen?

Once they meet, Gabe asks her for six weeks in Alaska. Six weeks to spend getting to know each other, and then she’ll have to decide whether they are better together or apart.

Ally James

is a pen name for bestselling romance author Sydney Landon.

Sydney Landon, romance

Sydney Landon is the New York Times & USA Today best selling author of:  Weekends Required, Not Planning on You, Fall For Me, Fighting For You, Betting on You, No Denying You, Always Loving You, Pierced and Fractured.  Sydney is currently working on the next book in the Danvers’ Series as well as the Pierced Series.

When she isn’t writing, Sydney enjoys reading, swimming and the beach.

She lives with her family in Greenville, South Carolina.

Get to know more about Sydney:

BestSelling Reads author page     |     Website    |    Amazon Author page    |    Barnes & Noble    |    Kobo    |    Google Play    |    iBooks

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Getting inspired in uninspiring times

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Monday musings by the bestselling

by Raine Thomas

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

The world is changing moment by moment, but if you’re like me and still homebound due to COVID-19, you might feel like every day is the same. I’ve begun to understand with far too much clarity why Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day slowly lost his mind. This repetitive lifestyle can be stifling!

For a writer, inspiration is critical. It’s what helps us sit in front of our computers for hours on end writing stories and developing characters. When those creative juices aren’t flowing, the work comes to a grinding halt. So how does one find inspiration in the uninspiring?

The great news is that most of us have access to inspiration everywhere, even within the confines of our homes. We can find it within the pages of books and magazines, while listening to the lyrics of the latest hits on the radio, by engaging in conversations with our family members and friends, and scrolling through social media. We can even open our windows and look outside for a change—unless, like me, you live in Florida where it rains nearly every day between May and November.

I, of course, have to mention movies and television as sources of inspiration. I’ve been researching sports and athletes for future story ideas, but with all professional sports currently on a COVID hiatus, I’ve had to get creative to find the inspiration I need. Hello, YouTube! Amidst my family’s constant eye-rolling, I’ve watched hours of sports highlights and fails over the past couple months.

Sometimes, we can even find inspiration within ourselves. My upcoming release, For the Win, is a baseball romance. I started the basic outline of the book years ago. Even the book cover has been done for a couple years, just waiting for inspiration to strike. My other writing projects ended up taking precedence, however.

Until COVID hit.

It seems having my hours cut in my full-time event planning job finally gave me the kickstart to write this story. It was like the characters woke up from a deep sleep and all started talking to me at once. I finished the first draft in five weeks, and with all humility aside, it’s already become one of my favorite books I’ve ever written. The beta feedback has been incredible! It makes me wonder why it took so long for that inspiration to strike.

My advice? If you’re struggling to find inspiration through some of the ways I mentioned above, dig through your archives. You’re bound to have first drafts of projects you started and never finished. Dust them off, give them a review, and see if one of them finally speak to you. You might have a future hit on your hands!

These times are unpredictable, my friends. Let’s use that to our advantage. Find inspiration wherever you can and use it to make some magic in this crazy world of ours!

Raine Thomas

Raine Thomas, new adult, young adult and romance

Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of bestselling Young Adult and New Adult fiction. Known for character-driven stories that inspire the imagination, Raine has signed with multiple award-winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions to bring her popular Daughters of Saraqael trilogy to the big screen.

She’s a proud indie author who is living the dream. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Get to know Raine on her

And follow her on Twitter @Raine_Thomas.

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For the Win

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An exciting excerpt from the upcoming new romance by the bestselling author

Raine Thomas

It didn’t take long to get to their destination. Will had given the driver an address a few blocks from his house. It was a safety measure his father had suggested years ago when Will first started living on his own. There had been several times when the advice had saved his ass, especially once he started getting more well-known.

They pulled up to the curb in front of the dark dwelling belonging to the incorrect address. “Nice neighborhood,” the driver observed as he entered their arrival into his app.

Will finished entering a tip amount in the app on his own phone, knowing he’d likely forget otherwise. “Yeah, it’s quiet,” he said as he reached for his door handle. “Thanks for the ride.”

“Hey, wait…can I get your autograph?”

Although Will wanted nothing more than to get out of the car and into the crisp December air, he obliged the driver by signing a couple of greasy napkins that looked as though they were the source of the cheeseburger smell. He signed one for the driver and one, he was told, for the driver’s son, then made his escape.

He focused on his phone and pretended to get absorbed in responding to a text on his way up the driveway. As soon as the car pulled away and turned out of sight, Will put the phone in his pants pocket and walked along the silent suburban streets to his house.

The driver had been right about the neighborhood, he idly thought as he rounded the bend towards home. The houses were all well-tended and there was little crime in the area. In the months he’d been renting there, he hadn’t met a single unfriendly neighbor. It also suited him being a short drive from the ballfield and convenient to Denver nightlife. Although he doubted he’d be there much longer since his contract was up and his agent was close to finalizing a deal with Atlanta, the neighborhood had served him well.

His head throbbed dully with every step he took, telling him he was sobering up. He longed for a bottle of water. A frigid wind had him picking up the pace and burying his hands in the pockets of his Berluti suede bomber jacket. He sure as hell wouldn’t miss the Denver winters, he mused as he finally headed up the path to his front door and fished his keys out of his pocket.

Photo by Zachary Keimig on Unsplash

He’d forgotten to leave the porch light on, so he struggled with finding the right key on his heavily shadowed front porch. The cold night air quickly numbed his fingers. He dropped the keys with a jarring clang.

Cursing, he shifted to look for them. His foot connected with them, sending them skittering under one of the two porch chairs. He cursed again, more loudly this time, and bent to retrieve them. He couldn’t see a damn thing under the chair.

Having an a-ha moment, he pulled out his phone and triggered the flashlight. He turned the light towards the chair and caught the glint of light off metal.

Then the shadows in the second chair moved.

He jerked back into a standing position and braced himself for a possible assault. His heart throttled into overdrive.

“Who’s there?” he demanded.

Jesus, Campbell, he thought. Could you sound any more like a fucking horror movie cliché?

Forcing his hand to remain steady, he aimed the phone towards the second chair. His racing heart calmed as fear eased into confusion. There was a small, shivering lump sitting on the chair…a lump with two long braids and wide, glistening eyes staring right at him.

A little girl.

Why the hell was there a little girl on his front porch?

For the Win

Determination.

It’s what gets Jasmine Li out of bed every morning. She’s determined to overcome the injury that has derailed her career in ballet, the only love she’s ever known. She can’t afford to allow a baseball player to distract her, no matter how hot and persistent he might be.

Commitment.

Will Campbell defines the word. It’s what makes him a successful pitcher and it’s helping him learn how to be a single dad to a little girl with plenty of trust issues. Just his luck, the one person his daughter—and his heart—finally respond to is a stubborn, sexy ballerina with plans that don’t involve relationships or children.

But Will didn’t become the best closer in the majors by giving up. He knows what he wants and what his daughter needs, and he’s going to get it. Jasmine Li has met her match … and he’s playing for the win.

For the Win will be published in the summer of 2020.

Raine Thomas

Raine Thomas is the award-winning author of bestselling Young Adult and New Adult fiction. Known for character-driven stories that inspire the imagination, Raine has signed with multiple award-winning producer Chase Chenowith of Back Fence Productions to bring her popular Daughters of Saraqael trilogy to the big screen.

She’s a proud indie author who is living the dream. When she isn’t writing or glued to e-mail or social networking sites, Raine can usually be found vacationing with her husband and daughter on one of Florida’s beautiful beaches or crossing the border to visit with her Canadian friends and relatives.

Get to know Raine on her

And follow her on Twitter @Raine_Thomas.

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Repelling the Shark: Date Shark book 5

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An excerpt from the upcoming contemporary romance from the USA Today bestselling author

DelSheree Gladden

“Look,” Katheryn said, “I’m happy to hang out with you any time, but I’m out for the kid parties and group picnics and whatever else involves sticky toddler hands and holding babies for hours on end.”

Leo huffed, understanding more than what she was saying. He was in no rush to settle down, but he’d been honest with Katheryn that it was something he wanted eventually. She didn’t. That had always been fine, because they both knew they weren’t anything more than friends in the long term. Her refusal to attend baby Moira’s first birthday party signaled and end to their friendship.

Katheryn had ordered her drink and muffin by the time Leo came out of his thoughts. He stepped up to the counter as she moved along to collect her iced coffee further down.

“Hey, Leo. You want your regular, or what? You’re holding up the line.”

He scowled at her, but there was no heat behind it. “Hey, Piper. Yeah, the usual.”

Her chuckle lifted his mood a little. He couldn’t remember exactly when she’d started working at the coffee shop, but it had been at least a few years and he always enjoyed her banter. She seemed at home in the shop and always knew just how to handle each customer.

“You and Legs,” Piper said, tilting her head toward Katheryn, “time to part ways, if you ask me.”

“I didn’t,” Leo said with a snort.

She winked. “Yeah, but you were going to.”

Chuckling, he shrugged before handing over his credit card. Leo wouldn’t call Piper a friend, seeing as he knew almost nothing about her outside the realm of the coffee shop, but he’d asked her opinion on women more than once. She’d never been wrong before, and he knew she’d assessed the demise of his relationship with Katheryn just as expertly.

Repelling the Shark

Leo Bailey is the only one in his circle of friends whose involvement with the date shark business has yet to see him tied down to marriage and family. Even if thoughts of one day creep into his mind occasionally, he’s not ready to give up the casual relationships or be expected to devote what little free time he has outside of the hospital to handling family emergencies.

When Piper Moretti witnesses the death of another friends-with-benefits situation between her favorite customer and the woman she refers to as Legs, she doesn’t think much of it. It isn’t the first of his relationships she’d seen fizzle, and she has a long list of more pressing responsibilities and stressors to occupy her mind. Friends, and the strings that go with them, are at the bottom of her priority list.

A date shark client who tops the list of bizarre behavior Leo has seen while helping out with the business drags Piper into the chaos and into Leo’s life. Neither one wants more than a simple, no-stress friendship. Secrets and surprises force them to admit neither one is nearly as in control as they think they are. Helping each other means getting involved, making promises, and opening themselves up to the hurt and hope they’re both terrified to face.

Coming to an e-tailer near you in July 2020. Watch for the announcement on BestSelling Reads and DelSheree Gladden’s website.

DelSheree Gladden

DelSheree Gladden

was one of those shy, quiet kids who spent more time reading than talking. Literally. She didn’t speak a single word for the first three months of preschool, but she had already taught herself to read. Her fascination with reading led to many hours spent in the library and bookstores, and eventually to writing.

She wrote her first novel when she was sixteen years old, but spent ten years rewriting and perfecting it before having it published.

Native to New Mexico, DelSheree and her husband spent several years in Colorado for college and work before moving back home to be near family again. Their two children love having their seventeen cousins close by.

When not writing, you can find DelSheree reading, painting and sewing.

Check out her latest books, get updates and sneak peeks of new projects at

And find her on social media

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