Wednesday, December 29, 2021

SuperScruff by P. Lynn Halliday (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT




P. Lynn Halliday




GENRE: Children's







Goat Tails are a series of stories all about life on our family farm in Manitowaning. Join with us as we share the entertaining and crazy antics of all the critters that occupied that farm . . . especially the goats.


In our second book, Scruffy the kid arrives back from his BIG adventure. The lost had been found, but would he be welcomed or was it Pen Prison for him again? Scruffy had been in trouble so many times in the past that he began to have doubts. Sure the Maker loved him . . . but did everyone else?


Imagine his surprise when he was greeted at the fence by a churning, hopping, squawking sea of excitement, all straining to get a look at him! Wow, he was a superstar!


It suddenly struck him: now he knew for sure what his purpose was. He was made to be super . . . the super, duper hopping hero of the barnyard!


SuperScruff, the fearless leader of the Scruffkids!


"Oh no," bleated Nellie Nanny, "here we go again!"


Truer words have never been spoken: Scruffy was at it again. Join the fun as SuperScruff learns how to be truly Super!







Scruffy looked around him, searching for the perfect way to show just how Super he was. He spied a ladder leaning against the side of the barn. Papa had been using that ladder to paint the window frames in the loft of the barn. He gazed up to the top of the ladder and an idea began to form. What if he climbed the ladder into the loft of the barn? Surely if he hopped the length of the barn and leapt out of the window, he would be able to fly clear over Poop Hill. It was probably 20 or 30 feet. This was far enough away that no one could claim that he did it only by hopping. They would think he was flying, just like he said he could. This would be the perfect demo to show his Super-Powers.


Calling everyone over, he told them that the barrel-jumping earlier was just a warm-up for the real event. Now he was going to show everyone how Super he was by flying over Poop Hill. Everyone quickly looked at the poop pile. It was a ten-foot-high stinking, steaming pile of poop... way too huge to hop over. Even Hobby had to admit that if Scruffy managed to pull off this stunt, he was really SuperScruff!







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Book Depository





AUTHOR Bio and Links:



Lynn is a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a pharmacist, a storyteller and a Christian, living and working in Northern Ontario. Life on the farm has helped each member of our family to grow in so many different ways. Perhaps the most profound growth has been spiritual, as we have all marvelled while working on our farm at the amazing world that our loving God has made. How wonderful it is that God designed each person and critter for a special purpose—no mistakes and no misfits.
















Please also enter the Goodreads Giveaways for print copies of the two books in this series!

Scruffy Finds His Way entries via this link.
SuperScruff entries via this link.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The tour dates can be found here




My review:


3.75 stars



SuperScruff by P Lynn Halliday is part of the ‘Goat Tails’ series, and features some of the barnyard animals on a family farm in Canada, particularly an exuberant kid goat named Scruffy. His decision to live up to the name SuperScruff leads him into multiple adventures and requires that he learn the purpose the Maker has decreed for his life.


This Christian children’s fantasy teaches several lessons utilizing cute animal characters. In addition to the identical bible scriptures that bookend the story, Scruff’s mother counsels him about serving the Lord’s purpose rather than puffing up his own importance. There are a few consequences that are glossed over, and at times I was a bit confused about whether the characters referred to were human or animal, but I enjoyed the interactions between Scruff and his friends and family. The illustrations do a great job of enhancing the story, and I think this is a lovely teaching story for youngsters.



A copy of this story was provided for review


Tuesday, December 28, 2021

KidVenture: Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT




KidVenture: Twelve Weeks To Midnight Blue


Steve Searfoss




GENRE:   Middle Grade Fiction






Chance Sterling launches a pool cleaning business over the summer. Join Chance as he looks for new customers, discovers how much to charge them, takes on a business partner, recruits an employee, deals with difficult clients, and figures out how to make a profit. He has twelve weeks to reach his goal. Will he make it? Only if he takes some chances.

KidVenture stories are business adventures where kids figure out how to market their company, understand risk, and negotiate. Each chapter ends with a challenge, including business decisions, ethical dilemmas and interpersonal conflict for young readers to wrestle with. As the story progresses, the characters track revenue, costs, profit margin, and other key metrics which are explained in simple, fun ways that tie into the story.






If anyone tells you that kids can’t start a business, don’t listen to them. They can. I should know, because I did. People sometimes ask me how KidVenture started and how it got its name. Well, I’ll tell you. It all started the summer before sixth grade. All I remember about that summer is that it was hot, so hot I thought I would melt. That and my sister Addison kept annoying me. You could say I was boiling and steaming that summer.


My dad told me he would pay me ten bucks to clean the pool. It was a pretty good deal. I’d take a net and scoop out all the leaves and dead bugs that had landed in the water. It took me about two hours to clean the pool so I figure I was making about five dollars an hour. Not bad for a ten-year-old kid.


I thought it was going to be a one-time gig, but the following week my dad asked me if I wanted to clean the pool again.


“But I already did,” I said. He told me to go take a look. I couldn’t believe it. The pool was full of leaves and dead bugs again. I had spent all the money I made from cleaning the pool the week before on a slingshot, two comic books and an ice cream cone. I needed the cash so I said yes.


Next thing you know, I’m cleaning the pool every week and making an easy ten bucks each time. After a couple weeks, I realized I could save my money and buy that bicycle I had seen one time at that big sporting goods store on Wilson Street. The bike was super cool. When I looked at the sticker, it said the color was midnight blue. I didn’t know what that meant, except that it sounded dangerous and I liked that. I asked my dad if we could get it and he said, which is the grown-up way of saying No, but I want to let you down easy.


The bike, the dangerous one, cost $225. Which is way more money than a ten-year-old could ever hope to get. That is, unless said impoverished ten-year-old had a job, which I now apparently had.


“It’s going to take forever to save up for that bike,” I said, after I had just finished cleaning the pool for the second time, and my dad handed me a crisp ten dollar bill.


“No, not forever,” my dad retorted.  “You’ll save up $225 in no time.”


“Not when I’m only making ten bucks a week.” I started to feel sorry for myself and walked away.


Then I turned around.  “Dad, how long will it take if I save all my pool cleaning money?”


“You figure it out,” my dad said, and handed me a paper and pencil.


“But I hate math!” I protested.


“Well then you’re right. It will take forever,” my dad said and returned to reading his newspaper.


“Oh all right,” I sighed. “Hand me the pencil.”


I started scribbling some numbers.


“Twenty…Twenty-two…Twenty-three! No, wait. Twenty-two and a half weeks!” I shouted excitedly.


“How many months is that?” my dad asked.


“Ugh. More math? Seriously?”




My dad has a way with words. I began scribbling numbers again. “Let’s see, four weeks in a month, approximately, so that works out to…” I mumbled.


“Five-point-six-two-3ve months.” I said triumphantly.


“That’s right,” my dad smiled. “So about five and a half months.”


“Wait…” I said dejectedly. “Oh no!”


“What?” “That’s five and a half months, if I don’t buy any more ice cream.”




“Better call it six months.”


“Six months is not a long time,” my dad insisted.


“It is!” I scowled. “At this rate I might was well just wait till Christmas.”


A couple more weeks went by, and even though I dreamed of mint chocolate chip ice cream almost every night, I had managed to save all of my pool money. I had $30 tucked away in my bike fund when I suddenly had an idea.


I went straight to my dad and declared, “Dad! Dad! I have an idea.” He put his newspaper down slowly and raised an eyebrow.




I could barely contain myself. “How about you pay me $20 for cleaning the pool!”




“Yes! Yes! Twenty buckaroos. I can’t believe I didn’t think of this sooner. Twenty dollars for cleaning the pool instead of ten.”


“Hm….I like it.”


“You do?” I have to admit, even as excited as I was, I wasn’t really expecting the conversation to go so well.


“You’re negotiating,” my dad said. “I like that.”


“Great!” I exclaimed. “Wait, what’s negotiating?”


“It’s what you’re doing now,” my dad said. “Asking for more.”


“Great! Awesome. So, is that a yes?”




“But why not? I’m negotiating, just like you said.”


“Yes,” my dad said. And then he smiled. I recognized that same smile. It was the smile he had when he told me when I was three years old that Santa had made a wrong turn somewhere east of Winnipeg on his way to our house and there would be no Christmas presents that year.


“You’re forgetting that I’m negotiating too.”


My mom had her own smile. It was the smile that immediately told my dad to stop making the children cry on Christmas Eve.


“And I want to know,” my Dad continued, still smiling, “why would I pay more for the exact same pool cleaning service you’re already providing for the handsome sum of $10.”


I had to admit he had a point. Where was Mom? I could really use her help right now.


 “You raise an interesting question,” I said, trying to sound as serious as I could. “I’ll have to think about that and get back to you.”


I couldn’t sleep that night. I was thinking about what I could do that would be different than just the same pool cleaning service I offered. What could I offer my dad that would be of more value, so I could charge more?


Buy links:


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:


I wrote my first KidVenture book after years of making up stories to teach my kids about business and economics. Whenever they'd ask how something works or why things were a certain way, I would say, "Let's pretend you have a business that sells..." and off we'd go. What would start as a simple hypothetical to explain a concept would become an adventure spanning several days as my kids would come back with new questions which would spawn more plot twists. Rather than give them quick answers, I tried to create cliffhangers to get them to really think through an idea and make the experience as interactive as possible.


I try to bring that same spirit of fun, curiosity and challenge to each KidVenture book. That’s why every chapter ends with a dilemma and a set of questions. KidVenture books are fun for kids to read alone, and even more fun to read together and discuss. There are plenty of books where kids learn about being doctors and astronauts and firefighters. There are hardly any where they learn what it’s like to run small business. KidVenture is different. The companies the kids start are modest and simple, but the themes are serious and important.


I’m an entrepreneur who has started a half dozen or so businesses and have had my share of failures. My dad was an entrepreneur and as a kid I used to love asking him about his business and learning the ins and outs of what to do and not do. Mistakes make the best stories — and the best lessons. I wanted to write a business book that was realistic, where you get to see the characters stumble and wander and reset, the way entrepreneurs do in real life. Unlike most books and movies where business is portrayed as easy, where all you need is one good idea and the desire to be successful, the characters in KidVenture find that every day brings new problems to solve.


KidVenture Links




Amazon author page


















a Rafflecopter giveaway


The tour dates can be found here





 My review:


4.5 out of 5 stars



KidVenture: Twelve Weeks to Midnight Blue by Steve Searfoss follows ten-year-old Chance Sterling as he parlays a chore into a quest to obtain a new bike and learns the principles of entrepeneurship during the journey.



This children’s book is both an entertaining story and a fantastic way to explain the concepts involved in setting up a business. I love that things gradually get more and more complicated but the terms and concepts are demonstrated in an easy to understand and relevant fashion. The math problems that accompany the progression of Chance’s undertaking are straightforward and illustrate the concepts he is trying to grasp. The ideas of dependability, creativity, partnership, and friendship are explored in a fun and enjoyable manner. I hope there are even more of these educational and enlightening tales to come.



A copy of this title was provided for review


Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Life Lessons by Kaje Harper (Spotlight, excerpt, and review) GBP

Life Lessons

ADULT title


 Kaje Harper



Publisher: Self-published rerelease

Narrator: JF Harding

Release Date: December 02 2021

Genre: Mystery/Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: murder-mystery, in the closet, modest age gap, single parenting 

Themes: hurt-comfort, closet-getting-tight, MC in danger

Heat Rating: 3-4 flames  

Length: 8 hours and 47 minutes

It is the first book in the Life Lessons series. It does not end on a cliffhanger but a HFN.


Mac's three goals: keep Tony safe, catch the killer, don't come out.


Tony Hart's a dedicated teacher, though he's not much older than his high-school students. Between his profession, a few good friends, and plenty of books, he's content with his quiet life. Then the murdered body of another teacher falls into the elevator at his feet, and Tony's life becomes all too exciting.

Jared MacLean is a homicide detective, widowed father to a young daughter, and deeply in the closet. But from the moment he meets Tony's blue eyes in that high school hallway, Mac can't help wanting this man in his life. Mac's not out ― can't afford to be out ― but Tony makes him want the impossible.

Mac isn't the only one with their eyes on Tony, though. As the murderer tries to cover their tracks, Mac has to work fast or lose Tony, permanently.

(This is a rerelease of the 2011 original with light editing.)


Tony said after a pause. “You’re not the only person trapped in the closet. All those guys in the military, stuck with don’task, don’t tell; other guys with macho jobs or religious families. Lots of guys are doing it.”

“But you don’t want to,” Mac acknowledged.

“It wouldn’t be my first choice, no. I’ve put a lot of effort and pain into being out so I wouldn’t have to hide. But I do want you, and I know that comes on your terms.”

“They’re not my terms,” Mac protested.

“Whatever. It comes with being secret and hiding whatever we have together. The question is whether that’s better than not having anything together.”

Mac wanted to shout that of course it was, but he bit his tongue.

Tony looked at him hard. “The other question you have to ask yourself is whether you want to take the risk. No matter how careful we are, you may get caught. A wrong look, a note in your pocket, someone tracking down your cell in an emergency; there are lots of ways this could come out in the open. It’s not a problem for me. But is that a risk that you want to take?”

Mac opened his mouth to say yes, and hesitated. How have I come this far this fast? He’d been willing to cut away anything in his life that risked his daughter Anna or the job. And sex had never been that important. But this wasn’t about sex; it was about Tony. And Tony had somehow become too important to cut away. It might hurt less to give up breathing.

“There’s never been anyone I could go to, to just be myself. I’ve never had a lover, or even a fuck-buddy. I thought I could live without that, but now… I don’t want to. Even with Mai, I wasn’t… I couldn’t relax completely. With you, I’m just me.”

“Yeah.” Tony smiled at him. “That’s part of being gay, you know. It’s not just who you want in bed. It’s who your emotional relationships are with the other twenty-three hours of the day, whose arms you want around you when life hands you shit.”

About the Author  


I get asked about my name a lot. It's not something exotic, though. “Kaje” is pronounced just like “cage” – it’s an old nickname, and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I’ve been writing far longer than I care to admit (*whispers – forty-five years*), although mostly for my own entertainment. I write M/M romance, often with added mystery, fantasy, historical, SciFi, paranormal… I also have Young Adult short stories (some released under the pen name Kira Harp.) 

After decades of writing just for fun, my husband convinced me I really should submit something, somewhere. My first professionally published book, Life Lessons, came out in May 2011. I now have a good-sized backlist in ebooks and print, both free and professionally published, including Amazon bestseller The Rebuilding Year and Rainbow Award Best Mystery-Thriller Tracefinder: Contact. A complete list with links can be found on my website "Books" page at




Social Media Links

Audible Profile  |  Blog/Website  |  Newsletter Sign-up

Facebook | Facebook Group: Kaje's Conversation Corner  

Goodreads Author page  | BookBub

About the Narrator

JF Harding Facebook Page  |  Facebook Group

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions


4.5 stars


Life Lessons by Kaje Harper is the first book in the series of the same name and introduces teacher Tony Hart as detective Jared (Mac) MacLean comes into his life to investigate a murder. As Mac comes to realize that Tony is important to him personally as well as professionally, danger mounts, and Mac may lose what he’s only just discovered he wants in life.



This adult gay contemporary romantic suspense story is the first tale in one of my favorite series by this author. I love the revelations, both in terms of Mac’s beliefs and comfort levels and regarding the murder mystery itself, as well as the secondary characters that enrich this story. The realism is so skillfully depicted that I ache for each of the men who must decide how much compromise they can tolerate even as they stand in their truths and care for those around them. This is one of my comfort reads because I find it heartwarming and inspirational, even as I am instantly caught up in the exciting action that gets more and more dangerous.


I don’t usually listen to audiobooks, but I enjoyed the sample I listened to, and I think narrator J.F. Harding gives life to the story. I’m so glad there are several books in this series, and I enjoy watching the connections between these two fascinating men deepen and grow.



A copy of this story was provided for review




Friday, December 17, 2021

Stealing the Dragon by Mell Eight (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY)



 Stealing the Dragon

Dragon's Hoard, Book Three



 Mell Eight



Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 12/14/2021

Heat Level: 1 - No Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 26800

Genre: Paranormal, LGBTQIA+, bonded mates, royalty, prison, interspecies, mythical creatures, dragon shifters

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Stealing from a dragon’s hoard is never a bright idea, but stealing from a baby dragon’s hoard can lead to tears, sniffles, and smoke in the middle of a busy marketplace.

Jerney, a witch who does work for a well-known thieves’ guild, knows exactly who’s to blame for the brazen theft. With no other choice in the matter, he quickly becomes entangled in trying to help the baby dragon. What he doesn’t expect is his own heart might get stolen in the process.




Stealing the Dragon
Mell Eight © 2021
All Rights Reserved

“Tori, you’re the only one I can send. I’m sorry.”

Tori looked up from where he was carefully shining his favorite ruby necklace and glared at his human uncle Bast.

“This time you really are the only one. Rex and Jag are both out of the city, and we needed this solved five years ago.”

Uncle Bast’s expression showed real remorse at having to pull Tori from his hoard room, but that didn’t make Tori feel any better. He wasn’t human, regardless of the fact that his shape was. Both of his parents were dragons, and he was the result of an experiment on what would happen if dragons tried to procreate in human form. Instead of being born in dragon shape from an egg, as all dragons were, Tori had been born from a womb in human form as humans were.

The fact that his mother had managed to stay in human form for the requisite nine months surprised Tori every time he went to visit her. Gail was the flightiest of dragons, and sometimes she barely remembered she had two sons and that one of them, Tori, was stuck in human form until he matured enough to shift.

At eighteen, Tori was still a baby dragon. He hadn’t even reached his second decade yet! His older brother Nyle was still considered to be a child, and he had lived for centuries. But humans didn’t understand that Tori should still be cave-bound, barely starting to learn about pretties and his magic. Eighteen years old for a human was considered to be the age of adulthood when young men and women were expected to take on adult responsibilities. Raised among humans, Tori was able to act at least close to that age, but it was hard to pretend maturity sometimes.

Eight months ago, his uncle Bast had forced Tori to take command of a rank of troops. Tori had tried to treat it as an experiment, to see if a dragon could handle warring humans. Needless to say, it had failed, and the humans had blamed Tori as if Tori should have been old enough to understand what had gone wrong.

Three months ago, Bast had given Tori some basic investigation work in the castle. A servant had been stealing the silver. Tori had just shrugged off the investigation entirely. If the humans didn’t consider the silver their hoard, then they had no right to keep someone from taking it. Luckily, even the human servant stealing from the castle had known better than to touch Tori’s small hoard.

There was no way Uncle Bast was sending Tori out on another investigation. Tori would prefer to move in with his big brother Nyle, even if Nyle and Leon were a bit sickening with their snuggling all the time. Tori turned his back on Uncle Bast and went back to polishing his ruby necklace set in gold.

He held it up to his hair, admiring the fact that the red parts of his hair so closely matched the ruby and the gold parts of his hair matched the gold setting. That was another strange thing about him. Tori was stuck in human form until his magic matured enough to allow him a second shape, and instead of solely being gold like his father, Tori had both his parents’ coloring. Being bicolored, red and gold, was odd for a dragon, but it pleased Tori to be so pretty.

“There’s a witch spell casting for the thieves’ guild!” Uncle Bast tried to explain. “They’ve been getting away with crimes for almost ten years. I just need you to locate the witch; that’s all.”

Tori finished polishing his favorite necklace and clasped it around his neck. His glance around the small storeroom filled with his pretties showed that nothing was out of place or in need of polish. Tori stood with a groan and walked over to his small pile of rubies. He felt the urge to curl up on the rubies. There was one advantage to being in human shape: as a dragon, the pile would only serve as a pillow, but as a human, his entire shape would fit on it.

Tori gave into the urge without much thought. He spread a soft blanket to keep the sharp points from digging into his skin and curled up with one hand buried in red and purple brilliance.

“Tori!” Uncle Bast snapped from the doorway. Tori ignored him, and soon enough his uncle sighed as if disappointed and left. Tori snuggled deeper into his blanket and took a nap.


NineStar Press | Books2Read




Meet the Author

When Mell Eight was in high school, she discovered dragons. Beautiful, wondrous creatures that took her on epic adventures both to faraway lands and on journeys of the heart. Mell wanted to create dragons of her own, so she put pen to paper. Mell Eight is now known for her own soaring dragons, as well as for other wonderful characters dancing across the pages of her books. While she mostly writes paranormal or fantasy stories, she has been seen exploring the real world once or twice.

Website | Facebook | Twitter





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Competition hosted by NineStar Press. 

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My review:


4.25 stars


Stealing the Dragon by Mell Eight is the third book in the ‘Dragon’s Hoard’ series and centers on young Tori, An’tatori, the special offspring of dragons Gail and Toel. He crosses paths with the witch Jerney, whose sister prompts their meeting. Jerney has no idea he’s about to become deeply embroiled in a dragon’s life, but his life will never be the same.



This gay fantasy story is charming and imaginative and is a wonderful addition to the series. The concept of Tori being a baby dragon but an eighteen-year-old human is a little mind-boggling, but provides a fascinating twist to the story. I’m always entertained by these stories, whose whimsicality reminds me of the Patricia Wrede dragon stories, and I was delighted that the characters from the previous episodes made cameo appearances. I’m disappointed when this author’s stories end, and I anxiously await new additions to the series. Hopefully other of the secondary characters will get their own time in the spotlight and we’ll also be able to see how Tori matures. Although this story can be read as a stand-alone tale, it will be better savored if the previous two are read first.



A copy of this title was provided for review