Blog Archives

A kiss to remember


Book Blurb:

Roman Briggs built a life for himself in Siren’s Cove. He restored the Sugar Cones Ice Cream Parlor and turned it into a popular stop along the boardwalk. He has everything he needs until a certain blue-eyed woman wanders back into his life.

Seer and witch Peyton Woods isn’t sure why her latest visions feature a man and boy she’s never met. Determined to find out, she casts a spell that leads her to a small beach town in Maine and, to her utter surprise, the man who broke her heart eight years earlier.

Peyton’s left with one question. Why didn’t her magic show her him?


“We’re meeting up with Henry and some friends,” Roman said. “We always watch the fireworks together during the summer festival. You’re welcome to join us.”

Since I was there to see Henry and Travis, I couldn’t say no.

I expected to stop at a picnic table, but Roman strolled past them on his way to the docks.

“We’re going on a boat?” I asked. On land, if the metaphorical shield protecting my heart from breaking cracked, I could leave. But on a boat, I’d be trapped.

“Just a mile out. We can see the fireworks better. Come on.” He jerked his head to the side. When I still hesitated, he added, “I don’t bite.”

I remembered him nibbling all the right places when we dated. The memories sent an elated shiver through me. Sex with Roman had always been amazing. At least, I thought it was. Roman obviously enjoyed love-making with Travis’s mom more. The thought added a new layer of protection around my heart. I reminded myself that I was over him. His endless brown eyes and smoky voice no longer had any sway over me. Now, if I could just convince the fireflies in my stomach to settle down, I’d be okay.

I could do this. I could be held captive on a boat with Roman and not let old emotions ruin the evening. Maybe we were destined to be friends all along.

That thought had me agreeing to go with them to watch the fireworks.

Roman led the way to the pier and a battered blue- and-white fishing boat. I stumbled. The boat looked as if it had made hundreds of exhausting voyages and was ready to sink.

“She isn’t pretty,” Roman said as he lifted Travis onboard. “But she’s safe.”

“Sturdiest fishing boats on these waters,” Henry said from the back of the boat. He sat on a folding chair next to an older Black couple.

“It’s the only fishing boat docked in this harbor,” a white-haired man said, clapping Henry on the back as he walked by.

“Don’t listen to Mattie.” Roman climbed in and then held his hand out to help me.

I glanced over my shoulder, finally second-guessing this whole trip. What had I been thinking, racing off to follow a vision and then sticking around even after I found out Roman was here? I should have fled Siren’s Cove the moment Karly said his name.

But then Henry coughed as if choking, and Travis patted his back, just like I’d seen in a vision.

Jinx jumped on my legs. She wasn’t worried about boarding the vessel. I scooped her up and whispered, “Don’t get attached to these people. Hanging with them is a onetime thing.”

Jinx licked my face. I seriously wondered if I should trust the instincts of such a young familiar. Maybe magical companions grew into their sixth sense instead of being born with it. Past the boat, a spark shimmered above the water. Was the spell that led me here telling me this was the right course to take? Or was the glow of the evening sun reflecting off a buoy? I hoped to soon find out.

Pre-order your copy today:


Barnes & Noble:


Universal link:

Add to your wish list:




Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble ~ Apple ~ Universal link

Goodreads ~ Bookbub

About the author:

Professional network technician by day, novelist by night, Cherie lives a quiet life in the Chicago suburbs with her charming husband. She has four amazing sons who she loves dearly. Cherie magically weaves together stories with a paranormal twist. She’s the author of the Embrace series, Challenging Destiny, Damned When I Didn’t, and Friends to the End. She waltzed into the adult novel world with Merry Little Wishing Spritz. She’s delighted to be back with Salted Caramel Bliss with a Wedding Kiss.

To learn more about Cherie and her novels, visit

Keep in Touch:

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ InstagramGoodreads ~ Bookbub 

Adventure is a dog!


Hey Lyndi! So glad to be here! Thought we’d chat about the canine companion in An Angel’s Wylder Assignment her name is Adventure. Writing this book was a bit out of my wheelhouse. It’s a paranormal romance/mystery/historical/time travel/western adventure. Challenged me at every turn, but in the end I believe it’s one of my best.

Meet Adventure, canine companion, from An Angel’s Wylder Assignment by Tena Stetler

Full name: Adventure

Nickname: Addy

Gender: Female

Species: Canine

Physical description: very furry buff colored, curly tail, with blue tongue about 65 lbs, friendly but protective.

Relationship to main character: She kinda belongs to the Blacksmith shop. Killian and Chinoah took over the blacksmith shop when they arrived from the future. Chinoah and the dog bonded immediately. She promised to never leave the dog on its own again. She named it Adventure because of events in the dog’s life .

Relationship to the villain/antagonist: None

Where this furbaby came from: The dog was a stray. The old owner took her in during frigid weather and left her at the blacksmith shop when he moved due to health issues.

Do you have any working or service animals in your stories? Tell us about them.

I have several working or service animals in most of my stories. A Witch’s Journey Series is all about animal rescue. Several animals in these stories have duties. The animals in my other stories are companions, mostly.

What inspired you to create this character?

Well, I try to have companion animals in most of my stories. They add so much to our daily lives and do the same to the characters in my books. Adventure seemed to just come as part of the story when I started writing it. I’m what is known as a panster (write by the seat of my pants) so my stories are character driven. Adventure stole the story in many ways and even saved a life.

What does the main character think about this furbaby? There is a deep bond there because Chinoah is a wolf shifter. Once Adventured learned to trust Chinoah in both forms they were inseparable. Killian enjoys a good bond with Adventure but not like Chinoah. He was a bit worried she Chinoah announced that the pup would be returning to present day with them when the assignment was over.

What does this furbaby add to the story? Humorous events, Heroic event, and heartwarming details.

What about this furbaby will readers like, and why? Adventure is loyal, protective and adds another layer of feel good to the book.

Please share an interesting fact or tidbit about this furbaby.

She knows the town inside and out. Time travel or porting by magic from place to place doesn’t phase her at all.

Describe a humorous incident involving the animal character.

When Chinoah shifts into a wolf, Adventure is a bit taken back. Not quite sure what to do with this wolf in her domain. The dog gets over it rapidly.

Killian indicates Adventure must stay at the blacksmith shop while he and Chinoah port to another place in Wyoming. Chinoah disagrees and the dog jumps into her arms just as they ported. No way Adventure was going to be left behind.

Another reoccurring one is that the pup always pushes her way into the buildings first then runs straight to her rug by the wood burning stoves.

Tell us a little about the story:

Warrior Angel Killian Dugan’s annual trip to the family castle in Scotland is shattered by the arrival of Legion Commander North. Killian’s skills are needed for an urgent time travel assignment. A rogue demon has escaped back in time. He must discover the why and where and stop the demon before it can damage the past and change the future.

Killian’s girlfriend Chinoah Grace, a Native American shapeshifter is included in the mission which takes them to the wild west town of Wylder, Wyoming in the year 1878. She will have her hands full fitting in and making friends.

Nothing is as it seems.  They encounter visions, spirit quests, and a mysterious shaman.  On top of it all, blending in as a blacksmith is more physically difficult than he imagined. But not as challenging as keeping his hands off his undercover wife. Will they complete their assignment or run out of time? 

Buy Links:

Amazon, AmazonUKAmazonCA, AmazonDE (Germany) Barnes&Noble, ibooks  Google Play, and KOBO

A Peek Between the Pages of An Angel’s Wylder Assignment:

Clambering out of the wagon, the knot in Chinoah’s belly tightened. She followed Ray and Lily up the narrow footpath. Killian brought up the rear. The rock walls were multi-colored layers of red, orange, and yellow rock in a deeply eroded river canyon. A filmy form of a Native American dressed in what she considered chieftain ceremonial clothes wavered over the water then at the canyon’s edge against the rock walls. She waved her hand toward the form. “You seeing this?”

“What?” Ray looked in her direction. “Not seeing anything.” He paused at a stone section where bird images and bird/human hybrids were carved into the rock. He nodded to her. She reached out hesitantly and held her hand a few inches off the face of the rock. Nothing. She blew out a breath and relaxed a little. Ray moved on.

It wasn’t until the path ended and they had to pick their way down a steep slope that the Native American spirit made another appearance. Halfway down the path, her feet slipping and sliding over loose rocks and gravel, the toe of her boot caught on an arched root sticking out of the ground. She pitched forward. Her hands came up in front of her in an attempt to avoid face-planting on the rock’s surface. Something cool grabbed her arms and set her on her feet. Looking into the misty, high cheek-boned face of the chieftain, she gawked. When she peered into his eyes, she felt sorrow, disillusion, and pain. She gulped in air.

They must be stopped. You’re destined to make it happen. A male voice echoed through her mind. A picture of a log room formed in her mind then was gone. Before she could respond, the apparition disappeared, and so did the cold that had engulfed her.

Ok, how about a little about the Author?

Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal tales. Some call her crazy others creative. She deals with the voices in her head by writing them down and creating a fantasy world and characters you won’t soon forget.  Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Travel, adventure, magic, and a bit of mystery flourish in her books along with a few companion animals to round out the tales.

Colorado is home; shared with her husband of many moons, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a fifty-year-old box turtle. When she’s not writing, her time is spent kayaking, camping, hiking, biking or just relaxing in the great Colorado outdoors. During the winter you can find her curled up in front of the fireplace with a good book, bowl of popcorn and mug of hot chocolate.

Social Media:


Authors’ Secret’s Blog –

My Say What Blog –

Facebook Page:

Twitter Page:  





Tribber –




Linkedin –

Down the drain with Janyce Brawn and her fantasy hero David Gonzales!

Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc.

Hi Lyndi. Thanks for having me here today. Well, I live in Northwestern Pennsylvania with my husband and a spoiled Boston Terrier named, Gracie. My three grown sons are living their busy lives: one in Chicago and the other two close by. I have used their exploits as fodder for my imagination over the years in my writing and drawing. I mean, it’s not everyday when you come home from a busy day teaching Middle and High school Spanish to find two of your 13 year-old sons on the roof of your house. One was chasing the other with a 2X4 and the third was on the ground laughing. To this day, they will deny this and of course some of their other “adventures”.

Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times?

I enjoy coffee and have learned to drink it black to avoid the extra calories but I do love a rare cappuccino or caramel macchiato. My son in Chicago is a coffee Connoisseur. He has sent me bags of coffee beans and I have a grinder that I’ll use to grind the coffee beans and my favorite comes from Uruguay. Of course That could change and some other coffee bean will take first place in my taste bud repertoire. That said, I usually only drink 2 cups and occasionally 3 cups a day and mostly before 3:00 PM. So, coffee and a huge 24-32 ounce cup of water are on my desk as I write and draw. In the evenings, I’ll drink decaf tea if I write.

Is your education relevant to your writing, or have you branched off in something entirely different to create? How would you best describe your books?

My education is first as an art teacher, then Spanish and English as a Second Language teacher. I taught before I had my children and returned to it part-time when they were in second grade. Family is most important to me so my teaching was secondary. I wrote and illustrated books with crayons with my twin sister when we were in elementary school. So, when my sons were young and one had a tracheostomy, we did oodles of art and craft projects daily at home. We even used food for edible crafts at lunchtime while they sat in their high chairs.
My husband and I read to them at bedtime and whenever he had a business trip, he’d bring back a new book for them. When my sons were in 8th grade, I started a new job teaching Spanish to 8th graders. I think my sense of humor and language stayed at that age and even at younger levels, so I really enjoy writing middle grade and in-betweener novels.
As an artist, I’ve illustrated one issue a year (10-15 pen and ink illustrations) for the poetry magazine, Time of Singing, for over 20 years.
I think I’d best describe my books as an adventure into the world of imagination. I enjoy escaping into my imagination so I believe children do too, especially with all the problems and concerns today with the virus and politics and stress. Since kids have been doing home schooling and have been away from their friends, a good book that entertains and develops their imaginations in fun ways, is needed all the more.

Tell us about your most recent publication/whichever book you’d like to talk about today?

David and the Drainosaurs is a middle grade novel, geared for ages 8-12. It’s a story about a young boy, David Gonzales who accidentally drops his mother’s diamond ring down the kitchen sink drain. He winds up in a tussle with a dinosaur-like creature who thinks it’s her kingdom’s missing crown. The battle over the ring results in David shrinking and falling down into the kingdom of Drainovia. He learns he has 3 days to find the real missing crown to exchange for the ring or be stuck forever in a land where doors fly, hats teleport, and treachery abounds.

What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

This story came about from an exercise I did with one of my elementary ESL students. We picked an alphabet letter (D), then opened a dictionary to the D section then closed our eyes and picked words. We ended up with dinosaur, diamond and drain. We each picked a name that started with D also. We had to write a paragraph using these words. I did the exercise too and this story evolved from a paragraph to a children’s picture book story. I entered it into a writing contest and won first place. The editor that judged the contest said she loved the idea but it needed to be developed into a chapter book or novel. So, it grew and morphed into the novel, David and the Drainosaurs. I think all kids at one time or another have thought about what happens down in a drain.
When I was writing and doing the illustrations, I researched what drains looked like. I also had to research Prince and Princess names that were not already used for this book. It’s amazing how many Princesses there already are.

Is there anything you particularly enjoyed about writing this?

I enjoyed writing the story and developing unique characters. I brainstormed the creation of the psychedelic caterpillar when I was out for lunch with a couple friends. I hear the voices of the hermit crabs and of course David’s cocky sidekick, Oliver, a ferret, who teaches him all about the teleporting hats.

What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

The thing I like most about writing is letting my imagination go crazy. It’s fun to think up new characters, their names and what they will do with each other. Since I write from my imagination, I’m not a big planner. Of course I know the beginning and the end. It’s the journey that is fun. If I had to write a detailed plan, I’d be dead in the water. It would dry up my creative juices. So I’d say writing synopses, queries, and doing the marketing of writing is not something I enjoy.
I’ve loved reading from first grade on and to me it is the cheapest vacation you can take- anywhere, and any place in time and with whoever you want to “travel”. My twin sister and I used to write stories and plays that we would put on with the neighborhood kids when we were in elementary school.

Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

I belong to a variety of writing groups such as Pennwriters, St. Davids Christian Writers, Storytellers’ Academy, and I’ve belonged to Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators too. I’m especially thrilled to work with my weekly critique group, Fellowship of the Quill- a group of writers from Pennwriters’ Area 1 that meets on Zoom weekly to help each other with our work. Websites? Hmm. I’m still navigating that. I’m on that phase “I just want to create and not worry about the rest.” I do use adobe illustrator draw for my illustrations.

Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

I generally don’t listen to music when I write. It pulls me out of the “zone” so I just listen to the voices of my characters.

Do you belong to a critique group? What do you find most valuable about the experience?

I love the critique group I mentioned earlier, Fellowship of the Quill. To me, we’re a family and I love how we can respect each other, desire the best for each other and help each other. They have helped the quality of my writing to improve and I’ve made stronger connections with friends and enjoyed their writing paths. We are very diverse and yet we can offer valuable advice. I really thank you, Lyndi, for the connections you’ve given me in the publishing world.

To encourage those still on the path, tell us a little about your path to publication. How many books have you published? How many books did you write before selling one? What do you think was the key to selling that first book?

My illustrations have been published for over 20 years and I’ve had little illustrated prayers and inspirational articles with other illustrations in the Penned From the Heart Anthologies over the years. Likewise some of my poems have been published in Time of Singing poetry magazine.
David and the Drainosaurs is my debut novel. I am working on a companion coloring book and I’ve written book 2 and started book 3 in the Tales of the Teleporting Topsider series.
The key to selling the book I think, is being in a critique group that wants me to do my very best. That and holding each other accountable to write. Making connections at conferences and learning the craft is important too. Of course networking is for me the most valuable recently as I got my publisher by advice and suggestions from my critique partners, especially, from Lyndi, in this case.

What are you writing now? What’s next for you—will you be making personal appearances anywhere our readers can find you?

With COVID, I’m not doing any school visits this year, but I certainly would like to do them and maybe some book signings this summer. We shall see.
As far as what I’m writing now, I’m working on book 3, working on illustrations for a coloring book of book 1 and starting illustrations for book 2. I’m writing a few blog posts, and trying to redo my website. Everything is a work in progress.

BUY David and the Drainosaurs now!

Paperback at Amazon • Paperback at Barnes & Noble • Hardback at Barnes & Noble • eBook at Amazon Kindle • eBook at Apple Books • eBook at Barnes & Noble • eBook at Kobo • eBook at Smashwords

You can find me on facebook as Janyce Brawn, and email me at: janyce at janycebrawn dot com
And read an excerpt on Dragonfly Publishing’s website-

Thankful for the Internet! #mfrwhooks

Daven Talvi made a choice a quarter-century ago to serve the Bitterroot Elf Clan, allowing the Circle of Elders to send him into suspended animation until the queen could be rescued. In doing so, he gave up his mate and his newborn son, sacrificing his own life for that of the clan.

It had been a mistake.

With the clan now in chaos and the new young queen in hiding, Daven must acknowledge his own errors and take responsibility to set things right. He teams up with Lane Donatelli, a human who has too long used food and computer gaming to feed his own insecurities.

Together, they use Lane’s beloved technology with Daven’s innate magical abilities to wage battle against the evil elf mages threatening the clan.

[Clan Elves of the Bitterroot (Book 3) | Fantasy novel from Dragonfly Publishing, Inc. | Available in Hardback, Paperback, and eBook]


“Kev! Come in! Man, you should have called. I woulda come down and saved you the steps.” He stepped aside so Kevin could skinny past him; fortunately, Kevin kept himself in military trim. Lane, on the other hand, had a longstanding love affair with Creamy Cupcakes that kept him mostly round.

            Kevin continued into the kitchen. “What’s that noise? I thought you took that hawk back to the forest?”

            Lane swallowed hard. “Oh, the hawk. Yeah. Yeah, we did.” He wandered back into the small living room where Crispy sat curled into the corner of their brown Salvation-Army acquired couch.

            “That’s a….” Kevin blinked as he leaned on the counter at the pass-through.

            “Yep. That’s a baby.” Lane smiled as little Elliun snuggled into Crispy’s arm, both hands on the bottle Crispy had just warmed. Elliun’s blue fleece sleeper zipped all the way to his chin, but Crispy had insisted on wrapping him in a knit blanket, too. Just in case.

            Kevin set down the box he’d carried upstairs and walked into the living room, staring. His words dropped like stones. “Where. Did. You. Get. A. Baby.” He glanced first at the door, then at the webcam on the edge of the Cave. “Are we going to have police on the doorstep?”

            “Not likely.” Lane sighed. “We’re just…babysitting.”

            “Babysitting.” Kevin’s dry tone was laced with skepticism. “Really.”

            “At least I hope so.”

            Satisfied Crispy was meeting the child’s needs, Lane leaned against the door frame into the kitchen. ‘Babysitting’ wasn’t really the right word. “Kidnapping,’ now that was more accurate, in the legal sense. He’d had to take the baby. He had to. For the baby’s sake. Before something bad happened.

              Crispy suspected, but he hadn’t said anything until they got home. Then he’d turned into the perfect little mother, tending to Elliun’s every need. But it didn’t keep the little one from crying. And even though it had been less than two days, the noise and needs of this child grated on Lane’s nerves. More ibuprofen, please…

            “Seriously, Lane. Isn’t that your friend’s baby? How long are you keeping it?”           

            Crispy looked up, a Madonna-like smile on his face. “Until he’s safe. Everyone needs to be safe. You know that. You were a soldier.”

            A furrow developed between Kevin’s thin brows. “Well, I can’t argue with you. Everyone sure does need to be safe. It’s just really peculiar.” He inched closer to the couch. “He’s a handsome little guy. But…how did you learn to–”

            “,” Lane said. “They also have a page on how to change a diaper and how to mix formula.”

            Kevin laughed. “I guess I never looked it up. I had plenty of brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins. We did it all by watching. You want to know how to put a baby to sleep?”

            “We learned that on WikiHow,” Crispy said. “They even have a video.”

            “Unbelievable.” Kevin shook his head. “Hey…do you think I could hold him?”

            Crispy looked suspiciously at Kevin. “Do you have baby credentials?”

            “Probably more than you do, Crisp,” Lane said. “Go ahead. It’ll be fine.”

            Elliun went to Kevin without a peep, studying his dark face curiously. He reached out to touch Kevin’s skin, then broke into a smile.

            “See? He likes you.”

            A knock at the door sent them all into shocked silence. Crispy hid his head behind a green sofa pillow. “The government’s here! Your camera told them we’re criminals!”

Magic is a way of life for author Jim Stein’s characters

Please welcome Lyndi’s Adventurous Friend Jim Stein!

Jim Stein writes science fiction and fantasy with a goal of transporting readers to extraordinary realms. Life’s hard, and speculative fiction offers a ready form of escapism. It also provides a safe crucible where concepts such as good and evil or tolerance and isolationism can be explored and perhaps bring personal growth. Jim has a soft spot for the underdog and central themes using teamwork to overcome adversity. His stories are teen through adult appropriate, often featuring older protagonists that don’t strictly fit the YA mold.

An avid booklover from early on, Jim hopes to reach new readers of speculative fiction interested in fantastic tales without excessive gore and language. Relationships are part of life and his work, but his books don’t embrace explicit scenes nor insta-romance.

After three decades in the navy, Jim and Claudia, his wife of 34 years, retired to northwestern Pennsylvania with furry companions and occasional visits from their adult son and daughter—a big shout out to Katie, who created character sketches for Magic Trade School (MTS) and also the commissioned oil painting used for the Planet Fred book cover. Not to be outdone, Matt produced the Legends Walk series video trailer.

Aside from fixing up their 1890’s home and recent motorhome jaunts, Jim’s been writing full time and was first published in 2018. His debut novel published through a small press, with subsequent work under his own imprint, Jagged Sky Books. With two series and eight novels, he’s still a fledgling author who gets inordinately excited when new readers give his books a try and shout out their opinions through social media or reviews.

What’s the one thing Jim wished he’d known before publishing? The demands of Marketing! OMG, you don’t just release a book and watch it fly off the virtual shelves. I’ve never needed to be a best seller, but for mental health it’s important to see people enjoying my stories. Otherwise what’s the point? A bonus would be earning back enough to cover the bills for editing, covers, and the myriad associated expenses.

It’s a hard business. Algorithms seem designed to show already successful products to the masses. Don’t believe me? Just try finding something new to watch on your streaming service outside of the standard recommendations. Paid advertising and social media often overtake my writing days—tough for an introvert who agonizes over every post in his Facebook readers’ group. Achieving life balance is something I continue to pursue with limited success. –End rant

What’s next? I’m currently working on a free reader magnet for MTS and to expand the scifi slime quotient with sequels to Planet Fred. To keep things simple, most books are exclusive to Amazon and available to borrow through Kindle Unlimited.

Legends Walk Series. A post-apocalyptic urban fantasy steeped in Native American lore. Music has true power for eighteen-year-old Edan Johnson…but can he harness that magic in time to save all he holds dear?

Magic Trade School Series: A magic academy adventure with a twist. Jason’s robots explode thanks to haywire magic. Attwater Academy trains students for lucrative trades using their special abilities…but can Jason’s fledgling powers save his friends when school turns deadly?

Planet Fred: A soft scifi novel in the space-slime continuum. After the jungle kills her crew, Nancy befriends a wise-cracking alien slug…but can one human botanist and a morally-compromised mollusk delve the mysteries of the harsh world?

Bethany’s art comes to life

Excerpt from The Heartstone Chamber (MTS book 1):

“Every one of you has special talents. We will put your gifts through their paces to figure out the vocation for which you are best suited. In just a few minutes, you’ll meet our staff.” Dean Gladstone waved to the line of people sitting in chairs across the back of the stage. “Excellent tradespeople one and all. But our placement office is just as important to your success. Setting your feet on the right career path is paramount.”

This time the applause echoed from the high domed ceiling, accompanied by a few whistles and shouts. My gaze drifted back to where Bethany now drew something roughly the shape of a butterfly below the other sketch. Maybe they were characters from a game like Pokémon.

“Work hard, earn your certification, and let us place you in the very best positions. Now, there is a catch.” Gladstone leaned in, cupped the microphone with one hand, and continued in a conspiratorial whisper that of course rang from the speakers across our hushed group. “Some would wade into sensitive topics slowly like a swimmer testing the water temperature with a toe, while their friends dove into the lake embracing the shock of cold. Such shocks are invigorating. They wake the body and mind. That jolting contrast, the excruciating moment of discovery and acceptance, is what makes us alive.” His voice rose with his passion, then dropped back down to a quiet question. “So I ask you, my new friends, do you want to tiptoe into your short time here with us, or do you want to dive in headfirst and learn?”

Owen’s a wizard with engines

“Dive in…dive in…dive in.”

The chant rose from the corners of the room, surely seeded by administration lackeys. But I surged to my feet and joined in anyway, blowing off steam and the nervousness of being in new environs with so many strangers. Stupid, but it helped.

Bethany and I grinned at each other, and Chad slapped me on the back, nearly driving me to my knees—stupid cowboy. But we all were smiling by the time Gladstone motioned everyone to sit back down.

“I guess I had better dive right in then.” His comment brought chuckles of agreement. “So the catch is—” he looked left and right as if for prying eyes. “In order to be successful and make the kind of money you’ve dreamed of—” again with the sideways glances and pregnant pause. “You’ll have to learn magic.”

Jason’s robots tend to explode!

Another wave of quiet laughter punctuated by a few high-pitched giggles crested quickly and petered out at the look of sincerity on the dean’s face. Bethany gripped her notebook tight, positively quivering with nervous energy, or maybe anticipation.

“Magic is real, my friends. Each and every one of you have the gift.”

Also, check out Lyndi’s review of the first book in the Magic Trade School series above, under the Goodreads column. Can’t wait to read more!


Legends Walk series

Planet Fred

MTS Series



Twitter:  @JimSteinBooks


Amazon Author page:



It’s good to be the queen — #MFRWHooks

At her friend’s coaxing, Jelani tries on a glass slipper left lying on the sidewalk. When she steps into the shoe, it shatters, cutting her foot. As blood trickles to the pavement and mingles with the broken glass, dozens of two-inch high creatures emerge and then scurry away into the shadows. Soon she is approached by two mysterious and handsome men claiming to be elves who need her help to rescue their queen. More revelations come, threatening to unravel the life of this sassy barista from Missoula, Montana. Jelani must learn to accept that elves are real and living in the forests of the Bitterroot Mountains.

Paperback at Amazon •Paperback at Barnes & Noble • Paperback at Lulu • Hardback at Barnes & Noble • Hardback at Lulu • eBook at Amazon Kindle • eBook at Apple • eBook at Barnes & Noble • eBook at Kobo • eBook at Smashwords


Jelani opened her eyes and discovered a different world.

She and Daven had come up a single trail that led to the area. Now, as she looked behind them, she could see a dozen imprints snaking across the grass around them. The deer, the elk, even rabbits left distinctive marks and patterns on the green blades that made it clear to her what had stepped there. She looked behind to see her own footprints, heavy and destructive, plants crushed under the weight of her boot. Daven’s passing was marked only by a shadow on the grass that faded as she watched.

But that wasn’t all. Her new sight revealed patterns in the trees, many of them set close together to create small enclosures. Looking up, she saw gossamer platforms extending between the branches, the elves on them hardly noticing her below through the nearly opaque walls of their chambers. For the first time, she saw elf children. Their tinkling laughter lifted her spirit.

“Kids? There were kids out here the whole time?”

Daven smiled, raising a hand to the curious toddler above, whose attention had now been captured. She laughed and scattered a handful of flower petals over them. “We didn’t all come out of a glass slipper, you know. We procreate much as humans do.”

She considered the view, looking around her. As her eyes adjusted, she noticed other dwellings in the trees around them. Surely their walls were like those of the Circle chambers, diaphanous but sturdy with magic, keeping out the elements. Even so… She winced as the small ones ran in what seemed to be open space, awaiting their death-defying tumble to the ground. But of course, magic kept them safe.

“You just live in the open? Just hang out?” She shuddered. “I don’t think I could do that.”

“We did not believe you would. That’s why we have created a special place for our new queen.”

They continued into the woods to the foot of a Douglas fir so tall it hurt her neck to crane back to see the top. Astan waited there to meet them, a warm smile on his face.

Her eyes narrowed at the negative thought that came to mind, even though she couldn’t believe Astan would be involved with something that could hurt her. “You’ll shove me in a tree, like my mother?”

“Of course not, denami,” Astan said. “This is specially created for you-for us.” He gestured at the trunk. “Look closely.”

She eyed the rugged bark, suspicious, but saw at last the outline of a door and three dots spaced closely together. When she reached for the dots, she found them separated by an interval that comfortably matched her fingertips. Contact gave her fingers a little tingle, then the trunk split open without the crack or noise she expected, the two sides raising and separating.

“Come into our home,” Astan said softly, taking her hand. They entered the opening to discover a small cottage of several rooms, complete with windows.

“Now, wait a minute,” she said, stepping out to examine the trunk of the tree, no more than four feet across. She looked back inside at the roomy space, which held several chairs, a small table, and some cabinets. A fireplace was laid out, but not burning. An open space in the back hinted at a bedroom. “How did you do this?”

“We want to make our queen happy,” Daven said. “Welcome, Jelani.”

She could hardly believe what she saw. The space reminded her of something Snow White might have stumbled upon in the woods. Except, of course, this was elves. “Is this the only house like this? Just for us?”

“No,” Astan said. “Others exist, but none are quite so suited to humans. The Circle has gone to some length to keep your comfort in mind.”

Grateful at the concern for her well-being, she’d marveled at the creation, her one frown prompted by the fireplace. “You want me to burn a fire inside a tree? That seems counter-productive somehow. Even if we wouldn’t die from smoke inhalation.”

A laugh burst from Daven, amusement flickering in his eyes. Shaking his head, he patted her on the shoulder. “You are quite right, Jelani. Burning an actual fire in this enclosure could be dangerous to you, and the tree as well. One of the elders has left you some flash dust.”

He demonstrated the use of the gift by opening a small glass box on the mantel. Inside was some nondescript powder that looked like well-dried ash. He said a few words in elvish and tossed a pinch of the powder onto the hearth and a fire appeared.

“Whoa.” Jelani stared at the flames, then came near. No smoke came from the fire, and heat came only as high as the fireplace enclosure. While the room warmed perceptibly, the heat faded as it approached the walls formed by the trunk of the tree that housed her.

More magic.

“You’re going to teach me that abracadabra part, right?”

Daven crossed his arms and studied her. “I’ll teach you all the magic you can learn, my queen.”

A swashbuckling cat!

Welcome to Lyndi’s adventurous friend, Mary Kit Caelsto!


When an anthology call for swashbuckling cats hit my social media feed, I easily imagined a cat with a jaunty hat, a cutlass in one hand, and an eyepatch. Probably not a parrot, though my parrot and the kitties seem to get along well enough. As a self-proclaimed crazy cat lady, pirate cats seemed like the perfect thing to write. And they fit into my magical world very well since I wrote characters that each had their scotia or familiar.

Orains’ story came to me. Not only would he be the sotia of someone who looked for magical artifacts in shipwrecks, but he also had mythology and a mission of his own. The characters arrived fully formed, with this snippet of their story, and this novella pretty much wrote itself.

This story allowed me to expand my world of Musimagium to the high seas and bring the idea of a pirate cat into the modern world. Pirates still exist, and they’re not the ones you hear about occasionally on the news. There are explorers and scientists all looking for sunken treasure and answers to questions. As someone who really enjoys documentaries on the topic, it fascinates me. Add in a cat and an element of magic, not to mention a few pictures of cats in scuba suits, and Nadia and Orains sail on in my imagination.

This story stands alone and I suspect it also won’t be the last we hear of them.

Chasing Neptune’s Cat Blurb

Nadia and her cat Orains pilot the Lilly Princess around the world in search of sunken magical treasure. She’s got a lead on the sunken wreck of the Astrea and its magical cargo. A magical storm conjured by the Samurai, a group of mages with designs of their own on the treasure, pushes them off course. What could have scuttled the entire mission turns fortuitous when they discover the mystical treasure of Neptune’s Cat. And once Orains puts on one of the collars, things may never be the same again.

Book link on my site (with all links and excerpt) :


Good Reads:

About The Author

Mary Kit Caelsto never grew out of the phase of being a “horse crazy girl”. Though she’s now over 40, she’s finally fulfilling her dream of writing equestrian books for others who haven’t grown out of being “horse crazy”. She lives in the Ozarks with her four very spoiled and very opinionated horses, as well as a large flock of poultry and enough cats to qualify her as a crazy cat lady. Her husband, though not an equestrian himself, understands and supports all her equestrian dreams.

She’s convinced three of the best things in the world are the smell of a sun warmed horse, the smell of leather tack, and making sure to hug her horses every single day.


Picture of the author and “SuperDuck” taken 3/2019. Hair color varies depending on mood.

Website: (Visit and sign up for free stories!)

Patreon: (Patreons receive free stories. Support starts at $1/month.)






The Truth About Night: Amanda Arista

The Truth About Night_388x600Welcome to our guest AMANDA ARISTA and her paranormal mystery, The Truth About Night! Read to the bottom to sign up for her Amazon card and swag giveaway!

As an investigative journalist, Merci Lanard has an uncanny knack for getting the truth out of people, a talent she uses to expose the real story behind her city’s most gruesome crimes. 

Until one night, when her partner, Ethan, is killed. 

Reeling from shock and grief, Merci vows to track down his murderer. As she starts digging, she meets Ethan’s estranged brother, Rafe, who agrees to work with Merci to find his brother’s killer. She soon discovers Ethan had been hiding things from her, mainly that he was a Shifter and had a whole life in a supernatural world she knew nothing about.

A Shifter himself, Rafe introduces Merci to magic she never knew existed. As they work together to uncover hidden connections between Ethan’s murder and a series of strange dead bodies, they find themselves in the crosshairs of a turf war for the soul of the city. 

If Merci is to have any hope of saving her city, she will have to face the truth about this war, the truth about this new magical world, and the truth about who she truly is.



About the Author

Amanda was born in Illinois, raised in Corpus Christi, lives in Dallas but her heart lies in London. Good thing she loves to travel.

Amanda Arista_400x300During the summer after second grade, she read every book in the young adult section of the library, much to the surprise of the local librarian. So she started making up her own stories and hasn’t stopped.

She has a husband who fights crime, one dog who thinks he’s a real boy, and another who might be a fruit bat in disguise. She recently added a tiny human to the mix who is following in her mother’s footsteps of storytelling.

Along with her BA in English & Psychology and her MA in Education, Amanda is a graduate of the SMU Creative Writing Program and now teaches other aspiring authors. She has delivered lectures at several writer conferences and loves discussing craft, character, and structure. Her current favorite: Stirring up Trouble with Romantic Subplots.

She is represented by Kimberly Brower, of Brower Literary & Management.

Random Facts:

Amanda is adopted and loves to share that story with others to promote adoption.

Amanda has a collection of turtle figurines that collects on her travels.

Amanda has a strange love of cheesy horror movies. She prefers demons and witchcraft to slasher films.

Amanda is a really good bowler and completely rocks at croquet.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Author Links








SDBT Host Button


Amazon gift card and Merci Lanard swag pack.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


An energy vortex, and Bigfoot, too??

The northwest corner of Montana is a magical place indeed. Not only do my Clan Elves of the Bitterroot live in the forests alongside the Montana Vortex, the Sasquatch is also rumored to live there! Advice from the pros?  Pack your PBJ’s; leave the Skittles at home.

Pippa Jay and her SFR Keir come to visit with Lyndi from across the pond!

May the Fourth be with all of us today!

Especially with our guest author from the other side of the sea, Pippa Jay

Thanks for being with us today. First, would you tell us a bit about yourself? What area of the country do you live in, do you have a family, pets, etc. Are you a coffee fiend, or do you have another “addiction” you must have on your desk at all times? What’s your education, if it’s relevant to your writing, and how does that education help you/or do you find that you can write well even without the diploma others might think they must have?

 Thanks for having me! I’m a stay-at-home mum with three little monsters, firmly lodged in the historical town of Colchester in the UK with my husband of 19 years. I’m far too addicted to my high-caffeine coffee, still dream of being a Jedi and having my own X-wing, and spend my days goofing off to an alternate universe in my head.

 I started studying a university course in Creative Writing back in 2010, but had only passed the introductory level when I got my first publishing contract. Since then I haven’t had the time to go back and complete it! Maybe one day… I’d say I learnt a lot of useful techniques from the course, but I don’t believe it’s essential to have that kind of academic standing to write a good book.

 Tell us about your most recent publication?

Keir – a science fiction romance – is my first full-length novel.


Outcast. Cursed. Dying. Is Keir beyond redemption?

For Keirlan de Corizi–the legendary ‘Blue Demon’ of Adalucien–death seems the only escape from a world where his discolored skin marks him as an oddity and condemns him to life as a pariah. But salvation comes in an unexpected guise: Tarquin Secker, a young woman who can travel the stars with a wave of her hand. 

 But Quin has secrets of her own. She’s spent eternity searching through space and time with a strange band of companions at her back. Defying her friends’ counsel, Quin risks her apparent immortality to save Keir. She offers him sanctuary and a new life on her home world, Lyagnius. 

 When Keir mistakenly unleashes his dormant alien powers and earns instant exile from Quin’s home world, will she risk everything to stand by him again? 

 WARNING: Contains sweet romance, some violence and plenty of adventure. 

 What inspired you to write this story? What interesting thing did you learn or research to write it that you didn’t know before?

Keir started out as a dream which led to a short story that ended up dumped in a drawer. Five years later and suffering from a deep sense of losing my identity and total frustration, it grew into a novel, inspired by my favourite band – The Rasmus. At its heart, Keir’s story is about exclusion–of how society rejects anyone outside the norm. But at its heart there’s a glimmer of hope for those exiled–that love can see beyond the surface and lift even the darkest existence back into the light.

On research – I looked up quite a few things. But the most disturbing thing to research was the process of drowning.

 How would you best describe your books?

Science fiction with a romantic soul.

 What is your favorite genre to write? To read?

 To write – scifi, without a doubt. To read? I go through phases but always in speculative fiction. Right now I’m reading a lot of science fiction romance.

 What would you write if you could do write anything you wanted to write?

I’d like to write bigger and better. I’m already writing the stories I’d love to read, but I feel there’s scope to improve and do it all on a grander scale.

 What do you most like about writing? Least like? When did you first know you wanted to be an author?

 Getting the idea down, or that magical phrase that expresses your thoughts, is fantastic. What I don’t like is the days those words won’t come, or are so poor that you have to scrub them. I never really thought about being an author-the idea kind of crept in. I’ve just always written, but after I finished Keir I looked at it and thought “well, what shall I do with this now?” That’s when I started to think about publication.

 Do you belong to any writing groups? Are there any writing websites you find particularly useful?

 I still take part in a writing forum set up for and by some of my fellow students from the Creative Writing course. Everyone there is really supportive as a group. I also recently joined Critique Circle, originally just to crit a friend’s work, but after putting a piece of my own up there I’ve found the feedback to be incredibly helpful.

 Is there any special music you like to listen to while writing? How does it inspire you?

My favourite band is The Rasmus, but I listen to a lot of different tracks while I write. Generally they give a feel to the pieces overall, but sometimes a lyric will trigger a story idea too. The bands are all a mixture of rock, light metal and pop.

 How did you find a publisher? How did you receive the Call?

Originally I subbed to agents in the UK, but there aren’t many who’ll even consider speculative fiction. A friend and fellow author in the US encouraged me to sub to the States instead, and helped me find publishers in the relevant genre. I made a list of my top three, submitted, and Lyrical Press Inc offered me a contract.

What’s your favorite thing about the book featured here today? Any special memories you have in the creation of it?

 The fact that I not only managed to finish it, but where it’s taken me to. The whole experience, from writing to getting feedback, and then the path to publication, has been a blast. It’s had its downs, but mostly it’s been ups, and the people I’ve met along the way have made it one of the most fabulous experiences in my life.

What are you writing now?

 I have a YA scifi novella that I’m trying to get the final tweaks done on. I have someone looking at the sequel to Keir at the moment, and another sfr novella that needs a small amount of work before I can submit it. Also, and oddly, I had an idea for an urban fantasy. It isn’t something I read a lot of and certainly not something I’d ever have said I would write, but I always obey the muse.

What would you like to tell readers?

Please let me know what you like and what you don’t. I know I can’t please everyone, but if there’s elements that are/aren’t working, I’d like to hear.

%d bloggers like this: