Thursday, August 25, 2022

Sophie Washington: Treasure Beach by Tonya Duncan Ellis (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

Sophie Washington: Treasure Beach


Tonya Duncan Ellis




GENRE: Children's Middle Grade






A message in a bottle leads Sophie Washington and friends on a seaside treasure hunt in this exciting, illustrated chapter book adventure. It's summertime, and Sophie, her best friend, Chloe, and her younger brother, Cole are spending two fun-filled weeks in Corpus Christi, Texas with her young-at-heart grandmother. A surprise discovery on a day out at the beach takes them on a quest for riches. During their search, the kids snorkel, encounter endangered sea turtles, visit a World War II warship, and learn that honesty and true friendship are worth more than gold.






Spooked, I backtrack on the slippery sand like I’m dancing the moonwalk.




I almost step on a fish skeleton that includes a full set of teeth. Whatever ate the fish cleaned its bones. Creepy.


“Why’re you jumping around like that, Sophie?” asks Cole. “I thought you said we should be careful, so we don’t accidentally step on any baby turtles?”


 “Look!” I gesture toward the cove, and Granny, Cole, and Chloe gather around.


What I thought was a rock wiggles again. It seems too heavy to be a piece of paper. Is it an old trash bag? A dead animal?


“Is that rock shaking?” Chloe leans in.


“I think so,” I answer.


This is weird. I’d have goosebumps if the sun wasn’t burning my arms. I rub my forehead with the back of my hand to stop sweat from dripping into my eyes.


 Peering closer, I recognize what I see. “It’s a sea turtle!” I exclaim.


At first, the reptile’s head was inside its shell, so we didn’t recognize it. It’s nearly the size of a dinner plate. Somehow, Cole’s baseball cap is attached to one of its back flippers.


“Check that thing out!” His eyes widen.


This is my first time seeing a grown sea turtle up close.


“Good morning, Mr. Turtle!” I sing-song.


Its shell is dark, grayish-green, and its body is white. The reptile’s nose reminds me of a beak.


Spotting us, the turtle shuffles its legs to flee, but its shell sticks like glue to the rocks underneath.




AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Tonya Duncan Ellis is author of the award winning, bestselling, Sophie Washington children's book series, geared toward readers ages 8 to 12, and is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). Her independently published books have been featured in the Houston Chronicle and the Baltimore Sun and have seen over 70,000 downloads and sales in the United States, India, Canada, and Great Britain. She has worked as a journalist and a freelance magazine writer, and is a graduate of Centre College of Kentucky and holds an M.B.A. degree from Washington University in St. Louis.


The twelve book Sophie Washington series stars a sweet and sassy African American preteen from Houston, TX and her diverse group of friends. Each funny and heartwarming story teaches lessons about friendship, responsibility, truthfulness, and perseverance.


Tonya loves to travel and has visited 49 American states, 20 countries, and three continents, but some of her best journeys have been between the pages of a novel. As a girl she could always be found with a book in her hand, and reading is still one of her favorite hobbies. When she's not reading or writing, the author likes to ride her bike, swim, and spend time with her husband and three children. She lives in Missouri City.





Amazon author page




a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here


My review:

4.25 stars


Sophie Washington: Treasure Beach by Tonya Duncan Ellis is part of the 'Sophie Washington' series that centers around a young girl’s adventures in life. Sophie, her best friend Chloe, and little brother Cole are visiting Corpus Christi and Granny Washington. Between adventures at the beach, learning about sea creatures, and a treasure hunt, the fun almost never ends, until a wrong choice threatens to destroy a valued relationship.


This fun children’s series features the everyday adventures of a personable young girl and her younger brother as they navigate through life. I adore these stories because the characters are realistic and vivid, and their experiences provide life lessons without being preachy. The interactions between Sophie and Cole seem so normal, with typical sibling squabbles but also heartwarming love, and I love their zest for life and enthusiasm. This story has great info about the hazards facing the animals who live in the sea, touches on jealousy and the importance of being able to understand another person’s perspective, and allows one to see how the differently abled can adapt their world to keep from being excluded from things they love. Another great addition to the series, and as usual, each story can be read as a stand-alone tale, although once you read one, you’ll want to read all of the others.


A copy was provided for review

Thursday, August 18, 2022

Twist My Parm Goodles Pasta review


Twist My Parm 

Asiago and Parmesan with Spirals

Nutrient Packed with Real Cheese, Fiber, Protein, Prebiotics, Plants, & Vegetables | Non-GMO, Organic Ingredients


About this item

  • MAC'S BACK, BABY: We're noodles, gooder. With real cheese, non-GMO ingredients, no artificial flavors or preservatives, we're not just another healthy noodle that claims to taste good.
  • NUTRIENT-PACKED MAC: With 14g of Protein, 6g of Fiber with Prebiotics and 21 Nutrients from Plants, our Mac is unbelievably delicious. That's a whole lot of nutrients in one easy, ready made meal. We've really cracked the code, folks.
  • TWIST MY PARM: Asiago cheese sauce coats every noodly twist of nourishing indulgence. Your old favorite mac could never. Simple, yet oh so satisfying. This is some next gen alfredo.
  • CLEAN LABEL CERTIFIED: After rigorous, independent testing of our products for over 400 different contaminants, Clean Label Project has determined that GOODLES mac & cheese meets their highest standard. We are the first boxed mac and cheese ever to receive Clean Label Certification. It doesn't get much gooder than that.
  • "LITTLE NOODLES, BIG MISSION: As a brand, we strive to Make, Be and Do Gooder everywhere. Sure, we make a gooder mac, but we’re out to celebrate gooders of all kinds: little things with big impact, random acts of kindness and yes, tasty-bowl-of-mac stuff that makes us just feel…gooder. "


Website link


My review:

5 out of 5 stars

Twist My Parm Goodles are tasty, creamy, and good for you, what more can you ask for? At first, I was a little skeptical about how tasty something with so many vegetables in it could be. Surely, there would be an odd aftertaste, right?


Nope. I was excited when I realized there were several different flavors to try, and delighted to see that one included asiago cheese and spiral noodles, although I was a little concerned because sometimes spiral noodles are a bit large for my tastes, and don’t seem to soak up the flavor properly.

 I was pleasantly surprised to open the box and discover that the spiral noodles were about the same size as an elbow macaroni. Perfect! 

A watched pot does eventually boil, and I added the noodles, stirring several times while I gathered my almond milk and butter to add. It didn’t take long for the noodles to cook, and I added the contents of the sauce pouch, the butter, and the almond milk, and stirred until the contents were well mixed.


Yum. My first taste was delicious. I was a little concerned that I might have ruined the flavor by using almond milk, but that wasn’t the case. I used this as a side dish, and received compliments on the flavor (of course I didn’t mention how healthy it was until AFTER it was consumed, lol). 

This is a dish I would definitely try again, even though it costs a bit more than other packaged side dishes I normally purchase. I’m not sure I will try the other flavors since I liked this one so much, but who knows, I might branch out one of these days. I heartily recommend Twist My Parm, and hope you enjoy it as much as we did.



This product was provided for review

P.S. I bought mine at Target, but you can search for local locations or purchase directly on the company's website.

Monday, August 15, 2022

She's the One Who Won't Behave by S.R. Cronin (Spotlight, excerpt, review, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

She's the One Who Won't Behave

Adult title


S.R. Cronin




GENRE:  Historical Fantasy






Gypsum, the sixth of seven sisters, has always been a rebel. Yet no one thought she would go so far as to join the reczavy, a group living in tents on the edge of the desert and known for their sexual promiscuity and playful ways.


But as the date of the Mongols’ return draws near, Ilarians of all types must work together if they are to have any hope of surviving. And the reczavy, for all of their odd ways, do have plenty of tricks up their sleeves. Well, up their sleeves whenever they are bothering to wear clothes, that is.


Gypsum is touched when her oldest sister Ryalgar comes to call, and brings an olive branch with her. Ryalgar recognizes that the reczavy have as much to lose as anyone, and as much to contribute. Will Gypsum accept a key role in the plan to stop the invasion? Of course she will.


Unfortunately, her playmates don’t all feel the same sense of urgency. Many would rather simply enjoy the time they have left. A few claim to be allergic to long term planning. And some are too busy with their own poorly-timed plans to overthrow the government Ilari already has.


Good thing needlepoint is the one traditional skill at which Gypsum has always excelled. She will need to thread a fine needle in order to coax this recalcitrant group into becoming life-saving warriors of a very different kind.






Curled up naked beside him on his lumpy bed, I learned of the ill-advised pranks that forced him to change schools. Stupid things. I thought his school over-reacted until I learned his closest friend received no punishment at all.


“They decided I had to be the bad influence. Best to get rid of me, you know? Probably shouldn’t have let me in to begin with…”


“Because your name is Sheep Scump?” Despite my joke, I sat up, indignant for him.


He sat up as well, and wrapped a blanket around both of our shoulders.


“No. Because my friend has a father who teaches there. They look out for their own.”


Maybe this wasn’t the time to tell him my father taught also.


“Your parents weren’t inclined to intervene on your behalf?” I saw the displeasure on his face before I finished the sentence. “Wait. I remember. They don’t care that you’re in school.”


“Oh, they care; they just don’t care which one. Anything that keeps me from herding goats pisses them off.”


I only knew one place in Ilari where goat herding was common. I scooted away from him without thinking.


“You’re an Edser?”


“Yes.” He met my gaze with a look saying you want make something of it?


I didn’t. Edsers were known for being cranky, intolerant, and ignorant. So far Sheep Scump had only shown signs of crankiness. I didn’t want to encourage it.


“So. You’re an unusual Edser who wants an education.”


“I thought I did. And what are you? The cherished daughter of a  …”


I interrupted him. “Don’t go there. I’m not a cherished anything. I’m the sixth daughter of wheat farmers, and I’m the child both parents wish had never been born.”


My eyes met his. Top that they said.



Amazon buy link



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Sherrie Cronin writes stories about people achieving the astonishing by developing abilities they barely knew they had. She’s made a lot of stops along the way to telling these tells — living in seven cities, visiting forty-six countries, and working as a waitress, technical writer, and geophysicist. She’s lost too many beloved cats to mention, but has acquired a husband and three children who are all doing fine, despite how odd she is.


Today she lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina where she writes, answers a hotline, and occasionally checks her phone for a message from Captain Picard. She still hopes to get the chance to pursue her remaining dream in life and become Chief Science Officer on the Starship Enterprise.


Author Social Media Links:






Amazon author page


Author blog



a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here



My review:

4.25 out of 5 stars


“She’s the One Who Won’t Behave” by S.R. Cronin is Book 6 of ‘The War Stories of the Seven Troublesome Sisters’ series and features Gypsum, the sixth of the seven sisters. Her ongoing discomfort with her place in the family and lack of connection to her mother, plus the relationship she forms with a fellow student she affectionately calls Sheep Scump, leads her on an adventure she never would have dreamed of. Her habit of imbuing her needlework with a sentiment morphs into an amazing journey of self-realization and bolsters her self-appointed task of finding a way to help oppose the invasion of the Mongols. Like her sisters, Gypsum has hidden depths, and her refusal to be forced into the expectations of others will make her into a force to be reckoned with.


This intricately plotted fantasy portrays a massive, world-changing invasion as seen and reacted to by seven very different sisters. The excellent world building allows the reader to clearly picture the various factions that must learn to cooperate in order to defeat their common enemy. Gypsum’s frustration, both with her family and with those who are vital to resist the usurpation of their part of the world, comes through clearly and vividly.


I enjoyed watching Gypsum as she navigates life and grows into her role and into self-acceptance. The unfolding of her relationships as she learns to search for the truth rather than just accepting what she is being told is inspirational and compelling, and I was fascinated by the way I changed my opinion about some of the characters as I learned more about their motives and backgrounds.

The stories in this series explore the various aspects of love…romantic, patriotic, and familial. Gypsum’s journey requires that she learn certain truths, but also that she finds a way to gently bend and coax rather than demand. Although this is part of a series, I think one could read it without having read any of the other stories because there are recaps of major events, but it is even better savored when one learns more details about the adventures the other sisters are having. Even though I haven’t read all of the stories prior to this one, I had no trouble becoming immersed in the struggles and adventures portrayed in this tale.


I like the mixture of pragmatism and the mystical as well as the life lessons that are portrayed, and I look forward to learning more about the last sister.


A copy of this story was provided for review 

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Again: Fox Hollow Zodiac by Morgan Brice (Spotlight, interview, excerpt, and review) GBP

 It is my pleasure to share an interview from prolific author Morgan Brice (aka Gail Z. Martin)

Tell us a little about yourself and your writing goals.

A: I’m a full-time author, I love writing MM romance, and I’m a huge fan of the TV show Supernatural. My goal is to write fun stories that let readers escape from their worries!


Congratulations on your new release. Please tell us a little bit about it.

A: Again is the second book in my Fox Hollow Zodiac series, which is set in a small upstate New York town that is a haven for misfit shifters and psychics. 

Again is a thrill-packed MM shifter romance adventure full of sexy shifters, hurt/comfort, one true pairing, reincarnation, sincere psychics, hunky mechanics, first responders, a sexy wildlife photographer, found family, and fated mates.


Are you a planner or a pantser? How much do you know about your story before you start writing? How often does your plan change? Why does this work best for you?

A: I’m mostly a planner, although I am totally up for seizing inspiration when it presents itself. I have a solid idea of the story when I start, although sometimes new twists and additions present themselves as the book goes along. Those almost always make the book better, so I’ve learned to roll with them.

What was the most difficult part of writing this book? Why?

A: There’s something about getting to the two-thirds point in a manuscript that presents a mental obstacle. Usually that’s because there’s something missing that I haven’t figured out yet—and don’t know that I don’t know. Once I dig down and work that through, the rest comes along pretty easily.

How do you develop a story idea? Do you always use the same method? Specifically, which do you develop first in your story building, the characters or the plot?

A: It really depends on the book. Sometimes I just get the plot idea and then fill in the characters from there. In other cases, I have a general direction in mind and fill in the details and world building and flesh out the plot.

Does writing energize or exhaust you?

A: Both—but I get cranky if I don’t write. Plus I have bills to pay!

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

A: Hang in there. Everything takes longer than you think it will.

What is the best money you ever spent as an author?

A: A good desk chair!

How do you select the names of your characters?

A: I think about their age and where they’re from and their ethnicity, and then look at lists of baby names that fit those criteria.


What do you think about when you’re alone in your car?

A: Usually the next scene I have to write!

What were you like in high school?

A: I was the nerd who said she was going to be a writer when she grew up.



 Fox Hollow Zodiac Novel 2

MM Shifter Romance Suspense


Morgan Brice

Publisher: Darkwind Press

Cover Artist: Adrijus Guscia, cover wrap by Natania Barron

Release Date: July 5, 2022

Genres: Urban fantasy, MM shifter romance suspense

Tropes: Shifters, one true pairing (OTP), reincarnation, fated mates, mating bites, psychics, magic, curses, hurt/comfort, found family, 

Themes: Long-distance relationship, having faith in each other, knowing you can depend on each other, navigating a new relationship

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 247 pages

It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.


The fast, furry, and furious! A lynx shifter, pursued by a cryptid trophy hunter. A wolf shifter desperate to rescue a lover who's not just his fated mate—but his one true pairing across past lives. And a love that transcends time.


The fast, furry, and furious! A lynx shifter, pursued by a cryptid trophy hunter. A wolf shifter desperate to rescue a lover who's not just his fated mate—but his one true pairing across past lives. And a love that transcends time.

Lynx shifter Noah Wilson narrowly escaped being captured by the Huntsman. While recuperating in Fox Hollow, he meets his fated mate, wolf shifter Drew Lowe.

Noah has to return to Canada to finish filming his TV projects, so he and Drew visit when they can and come up with creative solutions to their long-distance relationship. Noah and Drew are sure they're meant for each other and start making plans.

Drew's dreams make him wonder if he and Noah are more than fated mates—could they be a true pairing, destined to find each other lifetime after lifetime?

Then Noah accidentally records a murder, and the killer is on his trail. Can he elude a master tracker and reach the safety of Fox Hollow, or will he and Drew have to wait to find happiness in another life?

Again is a thrill-packed MM shifter romance adventure full of sexy shifters, hurt/comfort, one true pairing, reincarnation, sincere psychics, hunky mechanics, first responders, a sexy wildlife photographer, found family, and fated mates.


“I wish you could see this view in person—except for how cold it is.” Noah snapped a photo that didn’t do the colors of dawn justice, and sent it with his text to Drew.

He waited for a reply and realized Drew probably wasn’t awake yet. No one in their right mind is up at this hour.

He’d made the best of the cramped hotel room, knowing from experience to bring an extra blanket, good pillow, books, and power strips. Hotels never had enough outlets to charge his cameras. Fortunately, travel wasn’t a constant, but staying overnight to get the right light or have time to set up cameras happened fairly often.

Will that be a problem with Drew? Will he resent my photography? It’s a demanding job.

Noah cleaned his lenses and checked his batteries as he packed his day bag. Travel made it easy to find overnight company without entanglement, and he’d long ago grown tired of waking up alone. He’d had a serious relationship back in film school, which fizzled after graduation. There were a few boyfriends who lasted more than a month or two, but his irregular hours always ended up being more than anyone wanted to deal with for long.

Can it be different with Drew? We felt such an immediate bond—I’ve never had a connection like that with anyone. It’s like we’ve known each other forever.

“Of course. We’re fated mates,” his lynx reminded him, as if Noah could forget.

He smiled, thinking of their conversation that ended only a few hours ago. It wasn’t just the sex—although that was combustible in a way Noah had never experienced before. Everything took on a different light when it involved Drew. Talking about the trivial activities of the day wasn’t boring. Sharing a movie or even reading the same book and talking about their reactions now felt satisfying and fun.

I’m a Cancer—we’re protective and defend our family. Except I don’t really have any. 

Noah didn’t have many living relatives. His father had vanished when he was young, and his mother died two years ago from a bad heart. He had a brother and sister, but they drifted apart, and Noah hadn’t heard from them in years. He wasn’t sure he even had valid addresses for them. 

Drew is my mate. He’s my family now. And he has Russ and Liam and their friends. A pack. Someday, they’ll be my pack.

Clowder, his lynx sniffed. Lynxes have a clowder, not a pack.

Sounds like soup.

Clowder is not chowder, silly human. But we could vote to let Drew be an honorary lynx and join.

Vote? Who—you and me? 

We are the only ones in our clowder now. It would be nice to add our mate—even if he is a dog.



I’ve fallen hard. And it should scare me. But it doesn’t. When I worry that he might not feel the same, I can’t breathe

About the Author

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.

On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.

Series include Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!

Author Links

Website  |  Audible Profile  |  Amazon profile

Facebook Group  |   Facebook Page

  Pinterest (for Morgan and Gail)  |  Twitter    

 BookBub  |  Instagram  |  TikTok 

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one of two ebooks of Huntsman (book 1 in the series)

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Hosted by Gay Book Promotions


My review:

4.25 stars



Again by Morgan Brice is the second book in the ‘Fox Hollow Zodiac’ series, and picks up where “Huntsman” ends, as the former victims start to recover from their ordeal. Drew Lowe is supporting Noah Wilson, and despite their animal shapes being potential enemies, they decide to explore the connection they feel almost from the start. When Noah is caught in the wrong place at the wrong time, danger mounts, and Drew discovers the glimpses of couples he’s been dreaming of have more significance than he ever dreamed of, they must find a way to break a terrible cycle if they’re going to survive to explore their attraction.


This exciting adult gay paranormal romance continues to give more insight into the inhabitants of Fox Hollow and the challenges they face. I was immediately drawn into the story and invested in the journey for these guys. I love that the characters from the previous story are also important in this one even as we get to know Drew and his wolf and Noah and his lynx. The tension mounts even as the mystical elements complicate matters, and I couldn’t help but root for the guys to find their happy ever after, despite them being from different countries and having different species as their alter egos. This is a fun addition to the series, and I hope there will be even more stories about the residents of Fox Hollow.



A copy of this story was provided for review


Monday, August 1, 2022

Whiskey Love by Joy Allyson (VBB, excerpt, and GIVEAWAY) GFT

 Congrats to Joy on the release of her debut novel!


Whiskey Love


Joy Allyson




GENRE:   Historic Romance






She’s an uptight Bostonian
Proud and beautiful, Chloe Tanner, inherits her family’s famous distillery—a legacy she must save from certain disaster. Her troubles can be traced back to one man. The man whose very presence is more intoxicating to her than whiskey.

He’s a laid-back Tennessean
No one disputes handsome Penland Kittrell’s expertise in all things whiskey. But Pen can’t make heads or tails of his new neighbor and now business rival; an undeniable attraction tainted by her connections to the powerful group of Eastern moguls and tycoons she moves among.

It’s a Whiskey War they both want to Win!

Passions ignite between Chloe and Pen in this deadly tangle against revenuers, moonshiners, and robber barons who all try and come between them and their whiskey in this gilded age adventure where the real gold is amber nectar.


 Amazon link




“Are you not afraid of reaching a stage of inebriation I might be tempted to take advantage of?” he asked cocking one dark brow up.


“No. As you have reminded me several times earlier tonight—there is not anything else you could do with me you have not already done.”


“What a little innocent you are, Chloe.” He circled the table and took the flask and pulled her up from the chair. “I’ve thought a lot about you these past few months. Didn’t want to. But did.” He wrapped his arms around her and nuzzled her neck.


She breathed in the butterscotch whiskey and sandalwood smell she associated with him. Wanting to see if there was truth in his eyes, she pushed against his chest locking her arms to study his face. Could she believe him?


“Tell me you want to kiss me too,” he whispered.


Inch by inch she moved in, surrendering equal distance. Finally their lips met as if no time had passed between them—a continuation of their night together a few months before. She could taste the heavy sweetness of the whiskey they had drunk, smell its heady scent, but it was his mouth, his touch that made her dizzy with desire.

 Amazon link



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


As the daughter of a United States military officer, Joy Allyson grew up with a love of travel and a deep appreciation of history. A teacher by training, she always preferred reading historical romances to pedagogy. Her favorite characters – rebel heroines and salvageable scoundrels. Joy believes the best romances are the ones you want to read over and over again.


She is a member of Romance Writers of America and Music City Writers. She resides among the beautiful hills of Tennessee with her husband and near her two daughters and six grandchildren. Whiskey Love is her debut novel.












a Rafflecopter giveaway

The tour dates can be found here