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Avery Neal’s event at B&N in Spring, TX near Houston on April 19th


Foreword by Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D., New York Times bestselling author of Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office

Are You A Victim Of Subtle Abuse?

Are you always the one apologizing?

Constantly questioning and blaming yourself?

Do you often feel confused, frustrated, and angry?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you’re not alone. Nearly half of all women—and men—in the United States experience psychological abuse without realizing it. Manipulation, deception, and disrespect leave no physical scars, but they can be just as traumatic as physical abuse. In this groundbreaking book, Avery Neal, founder of the Women’s Therapy Clinic, helps you recognize the warning signs of subtle abuse. As you learn to identify patterns that have never made sense before, you are better equipped to make changes.

From letting go of fear to setting boundaries, whether you’re gathering the courage to finally leave or learning how to guard against a chronically abusive pattern, If He’s So Great, Why Do I Feel So Bad? will help you enjoy a happy, healthy, fulfilling life, free of shame or blame.

“This book can open eyes for people who may have lost pieces of themselves along the way. Great examples and exercises. It is a companion from start to finish.” –Dr. Jay Carter, author of Nasty People

“No-nonsense insights and practical ways to regain control of and empower your life.” —Dr. George Simon, author of In Sheep’s Clothing

“The new gold standard in abuse recovery, allowing readers to break free from old patterns and reclaim their lives.” –Jackson MacKenzie, author of Psychopath Free

“This insightful book can awaken self-esteem, save relationships, even save lives.” –Gavin de Becker, author of The Gift of Fear


Author Post by Kate Clayborn

When it comes to gardening, my husband and I have an arrangement that’s evolved over time: I’m secretary of the interior, and he’s secretary of the exterior. Since we’ve lived in our house, he’s built our fence, constructed beds for the vegetable garden, and dug out plots for landscape features. For the past couple of years, he’s been pretty invested in attracting monarch butterflies, which means lots of beautiful experiments with wildflowers.

As for me? Well, I contribute pretty regularly to our outdoor garden, but unless I’ve got SPF ten million and someone giving me compliments about my work ethic every thirty seconds, I’m less in love with the big projects that sometimes go along with outdoor gardening. A little harvesting from our lavender plants, sure…but digging out a huge new garden bed that’s going to require tons of mulch? Well, I think I’ll stay inside…

But me and indoor plants, we get along just fine. When I was younger, I thought I’d never get the hang of keeping a plant alive, but over time, maintaining a set of indoor plants has become really special to me, and that’s because nearly every plant I have in my house comes from a cutting given to me by a loved one. Continue reading “Author Post by Kate Clayborn”

Blood to Booty Vampire Countdown by Melody Johnson

Whether you’re into vampires for the action, blood, danger, or crazy sexual tension, it’s typically the right combination of the “immortal creature” element and the sex appeal that makes this genre so delicious. From blood to booty, below is my top ten live action (tv and movie) vampires to die for:

  • 30 Days of Dark – all blood, all the time
  • Underworld – mostly blood, but the little booty is delicious
  • Blade – mostly blood, but you can’t deny that Wesley Snipes has a booty
  • Queen of the Damned – a little blood, a little booty
  • Interview with a Vampire – a little blood, a little booty
  • What we do in the shadows – funny how they attempt to get blood and booty
  • Twilight – little blood, wanting booty
  • Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer – blood and booty and everything in between.
  • True Blood – all blood, all booty, all the time.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer – perfect blood and booty balance (until the final season when we were so hard up for booty we were practically panting when Buffy and Spike were FINALLY back in bed, and they weren’t even kissing.)

Continue reading “Blood to Booty Vampire Countdown by Melody Johnson”

Cupcake Ornaments by Tara Sheets

The truth is, I’m a sucker for all things crafty and messy and fun.  As much as I love writing, crafts are an outlet for when I need a break, or when I need a fresh boost of creativity.  Today I’m going to share with you the latest craze in my house:  Faux Cupcake Ornaments!

Over the holidays, my family and I wanted to do something fun that would tie in with my debut novel, DON’T CALL ME CUPCAKE.  We searched various YouTube videos, Pinterest boards, and craft books until we came up with the fabulous idea of making faux cupcake ornaments.  Please note that even though we made this craft during the holidays, this is a fun activity that can be done any time of year.  Also, these faux cupcakes don’t have to be made into ornaments.  My teenage daughter has one without an ornament hook.  She keeps it on her desk as a sweet decoration!

Supply List

Cupcake baking tray
Cupcake liners
Wire for hooks (if you want to make ornaments)
Inexpensive acrylic craft paint for faux frosting colors
Disposable paper cups
Disposable spoons for mixing
Frosting tips and piping bags
Expandable foam sealant
Lightweight spackle

To start, you’re going to need to head to your local craft store and hardware store.  The two main “ingredients” in this faux cupcake recipe are expandable foam sealant, and lightweight spackle (see photo #1).  These brands are just suggestions, but feel free to use whichever brand you prefer, or whatever you might have in your garage.  Just keep in mind that the spackle needs to be lightweight, so your faux cupcake ornaments don’t end up being too heavy.

Continue reading “Cupcake Ornaments by Tara Sheets”

Welcome, Devon Delaney and a Giveaway

Wicked Cozy Authors

by Barb, loving being back in Maine

Devon Delaney’s cozy, culinary mystery Expiration Datereleases on April 24, (my anniversary!). I recently met Devon at the Kensington Cozy-con here in Portland and learned about her amazing success at a fascinating hobby–cooking contesting.

Devon is giving away a copy of Expiration Date to one lucky commenter below.

Take it away, Devon!

If someone had told me my life’s journey would lead me from teaching computer education and Lego Robotics to cooking contesting, then on to writing cozy murder mysteries I would have had a much easier time convincing my father the money he invested in my liberal arts college degree was money well spent. Admittedly, cooking contesting isn’t a degree offered in any schools I’m aware of, but the highly successful twenty years I’ve been involved in the hobby is an education in of itself.

Making the leap from competing in…

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THE NEIGHBOR by Joseph Souza

Books, Books and More Books!

The Neighbor

In a taut psychological thriller filled with breathtaking twists, Joseph Souza explores the tangle of betrayal and deception between two neighboring couples, and asks how well we can really know others–or ourselves.

It all seems so promising at the start . . .

When Leah and her husband, Clay, move from Seattle to Maine, she envisions a vibrant new neighborhood packed with families–playmates for her twins, new friends she can confide in and bond with. But while Clay works long hours to establish his brewery, Leah is left alone each day in a nearly deserted housing development where the only other occupants are aloof and standoffish.

Bored and adrift, Leah finds herself watching Clarissa and Russell Gaines next door, envying their stylishly decorated home and their university careers. But Leah’s obsession with the intriguing, elegant Clarissa grows until she’s not just spying from afar but sneaking into their house, taking…

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Southern Comfort by Eldonna Edwards

I’ve always felt a little sorry for friends who grew up as an only child. Raised in a large family, I was rarely more than an arm’s length from my nearest sibling. I also enjoyed a built-in gaggle of playmates through my dad’s church. But what I didn’t have, and envied in others, were close aunts and uncles. My mother had one sister who we saw on rare occasions. My dad’s family lived in Missouri.

I remember the first time I met my Aunt Ruth, who came to visit when my mom was pregnant with my brother. She smiled a lot and spoke real slow in her honey-like southern accent. When she called me sweet pea, I thought I’d melt on the spot. Aunt Ruth was married to my Uncle Cecil, a petite, white-haired man who played the harmonica and guitar at the same time. They were devoutly religious, loving and playful. When Aunt Ruth hugged you, it was like her heart soaked up all your troubles and replaced them with giggles. My Midwestern people are known for being kind. But there’s a deep-down warmth to Southern women that feels rooted in utter affection.

I’ll admit to channeling a bit of my Aunt Ruth when I drew my protagonist’s beloved Aunt Pearl in my book THIS I KNOW. Young Grace’s family is in turmoil when Rev. Carter’s sister travels from Mississippi to lend a hand. From the moment Aunt Pearl steps off the bus in her flowered slippers, Grace finally feels as though she has a confidant, an adult who is on her side for once.

Aunt Pearl is round like Daddy but not much taller than me. She rocks back and forth when she walks, which makes her slippers lean to the outside. She takes the black rubbered stairs one at a time, saying, “Lordy, Lordy,” as if it’ll take a miracle to get to the bottom step. As soon as she hits the sidewalk she looks at me and grins, her front gold tooth sparkling like a little star. 

“Come here, shoog,” she says, and opens her arms. 

What about you? Did you have a favorite aunt or uncle, a mentor who stood up for you and who honored your individuality?


Continue reading “Southern Comfort by Eldonna Edwards”

The Story Within the Story & Release Day Giveaway

Musings from the Middle Ages & More

Most writers will tell you that inspiration happens when we least expect it. When our minds are untethered from the computer and allowed to roam free.

Thus is the case with my April 17th release. Three unexpected paths I took inspired WILLOW’S WAY…

View of The Circus, Bath, England

The first was a trip to England, where we visited a region known as the Cotswolds. This area in southern-central England includes not only gorgeous countryside, but the city of Bath– home to Jane Austen. The region is known as an “Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty”   in the UK–meaning an area designated for conservation due to its significant landscape value. As we toured the region, the writer inside of me knew someday this incredible place would end up in my one of my books. For more on the area, here’s a post I wrote about a national trail in the…

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The 4th book of the Kelly Jackson mysteries covers multitude issues making an extraordinary story. Among the issues, the cover is a cooking class on mushrooms, public lands, sinker logs, Indian sacred grounds, problems with redwood and a mushroom hunting dog and pig.
Redwood Cove is a B&B hotel situated along California northern coast. As the name implies the redwood grow there in large numbers. The town is hosting its annual mushrooms festival. Kelly has just been named manager of the hotel. The Silver Sentinels is a group of senior citizens that meet at the hotel.
A dislike reporter is found dead on Indian sacred grounds. The reporter has been selling information on mushrooms locations on public lands that some natives feel The locations belong to them. The area overlooks a huge sinker log that is holding the creek in place. The environment protection agency has refused all requested to…

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