Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fix Your Diet, Fix Your Diabetes by Tony Hampton MD


Title: FIX YOUR DIET FIX YOUR DIABETES
Author: Tony Hampton, MD
Publisher: Windy City Publishers
Pages: 168
Genre: Self-Help

BOOK BLURB:
Want to fix your diabetes?  In this book, I share with my diabetic and borderline diabetic readers that they have the power to reverse or prevent diabetes simply by changing their diets.  It starts with how you think.  By removing old beliefs to new ones that better serve you, the path to recovery from diabetes can be that simple.  Once I provide the rationale for changing old beliefs to more productive ones, I then share with you ways to stay motivated as you journey to a new way of eating.  You are then given a deeper understanding of why so many people have diabetes.  This knowledge will allow you to remove thoughts you may have had where you blamed yourself for having diabetes.  You are then given tips on how to maintain the motivation needed to make a successful transition to a diabetic friendly diet.  Additional knowledge is given about the many complications which could occur when this condition is not well controlled.  Empowered with the understanding of why diabetes occurs and its many complications, you will be given a case for changing how diabetes is treated.  This is done by changing the focus of diabetes management away from the symptoms (elevated glucose), which is how we currently manage this condition, to treating the cause of the disease (insulin resistance).  You are then given the rationale for increasing healthy fats in your diets while reducing starchy carbohydrates and processed foods.  Once this is explained, examples of foods that should be considered for smoothies, snacks, and dinner are given so you will know how to choose foods which are best.   Finally, tips on how to avoid being fooled by marketing labels and claims of so-called healthy foods provide the framework by which great dietary choices can be made.  This new approach to reversing diabetes with diet will reverse diabetes in nearly anyone willing to make these simply lifestyle changes.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Book Excerpt:

INSULIN RESISTANCE AND HOW TO REVERSE IT

Now that you understand that Type 2 diabetes is about insulin resistance, it’s time to rethink how you are approaching your treatment for this condition. Most doctors and their patients focus on reducing the blood glucose values and if they’re successful they feel they’re controlling diabetes. But I asked myself if we were fixing the core problem or simply treating the symptoms. After reflecting on the question, I realized the core problem may not be elevated blood glucose levels after all. High glucose values are simply a symptom of diabetes. So where should the focus be?

The answer is insulin resistance. By focusing on this, you could achieve much better results, since this is essential to fixing your diabetes. Let’s use an analogy to help think about this concept in a different way. If I see a patient who presents with a painful throat, red and swollen tonsils, swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and a fever, I know I likely have a patient who needs to be treated for strep throat. In order to solve his problem, I will need to give him an antibiotic to fight the bacteria that is causing his symptoms. If I gave this patient Tylenol, I would only be treating his symptoms, and would likely end up with a patient who feels better but isn’t really cured.

This is what we are doing with our diabetes treatment. This is also likely the reason we consider this a progressively worsening disease. By shifting your focus, you will find a path to the solution you’ve been searching for. Why focus on insulin resistance? Because when insulin levels are high due to resistance, lipolysis (fat breakdown) is inhibited, sensitive arteries throughout the body are exposed to damaging higher levels of glucose, muscle protein synthesis is reduced, and glycogen-filled cells are converted to fat for storage.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Book Blast: A Tangled Web by Mike Martin @mike54martin #bookblast



 We're happy to bring you Mike Martin's A TANGLED WEB Book Blast! Please leave a comment for Mike to let him know you stopped by!


Title: A TANGLED WEB
Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Booklocker
Pages: 338
Genre: Mystery

BOOK BLURB: 

Life is good for Sgt. Wind­flower in Grand Bank, Newfoundland. But something’s missing from the Mountie’s life. Actually, a lot of things go missing, including a little girl and supplies from the new factory. It’s Windflower’s job to unravel the tangled web of murder, deceit and an accidental kidnapping that threatens to engulf this sleepy little town and destroy those closest to him. But there’s always good food, good friends and the love of a great woman to make everything better in the end.

Find out more about when this book will be released at

Mike’s Facebook Page


Book Excerpt:


“Life doesn’t get much better than this,” said Winston Windflower. The Mountie looked over at his collie, Lady, who wagged her tail at the sound of his voice. If dogs could smile, she smiled back. His world was almost perfect. He had the love of a great woman and a good job as a Sergeant in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police patrolling one of the lowest crime regions in the country. Plus, the weather had been mild so far, at least for Newfoundland in early December, and that meant no snowstorms with forced overnighters at the detachment. Life was very good indeed.
He had good friends, including Lady, who was amongst the best of them. And he had a child on the way. His wife, Sheila Hillier, was pregnant and at the clinic for her three-month checkup. He was waiting to hear how both Sheila and the baby were doing. His Auntie Marie had told him the baby was a girl, and if anyone knew about these things, it was his Auntie. She was a dream weaver, an interpreter of not just dreams but of messages from the spirit world. Windflower had recently spent a week with her and his Uncle Frank, another dream weaver, to learn more about the dream world.
Interpreting dreams was part of his family’s tradition. But it was an imperfect tool that gave information, not always answers. Perhaps the most important thing he learned was that dreams do not predict the future. Instead, as his Auntie told him, “Dreams tell us about our past, what has already happened. They also point to actions we should take if we want to get the right result in the future and to the signs all around us that we need to follow.”
Windflower was contemplating that piece of wisdom when he noticed a very distraught woman get out of her car outside the RCMP detachment in Grand Bank. She ran towards the front door. He walked out to meet her, but the administrative assistant, Betsy Molloy, beat him to it.
“There, there now, Molly. What’s goin’ on?” asked Betsy as she put her arms around the other woman and guided her to a seat in the reception area.
“It’s Sarah, she’s gone,” said the other woman between sobs. “I told her to stay close by the house where I could see her. I went out back to put the wash on the line. When I came in, she was gone.”
“Okay, Mrs. Quinlan,” said Windflower as he knelt down beside the two women. “How old is Sarah?” He didn’t really need to know how old the girl was. He wanted to help the mother calm down so she could give them as much information as possible.
“She’s going to be six next month,” said Molly Quinlan. “She’s growing up so fast. But she’s still such a little girl. And now I’ve lost her. Brent is going to kill me.” She started sobbing again.
“What was she wearing so that we can help find her?” asked Windflower, trying to get information but also trying to help Molly Quinlan feel useful.
The woman stopped crying and said her daughter was wearing jeans and a favourite t-shirt. “It was pink and had sparkles. She said it made her feel like she was a princess. And she had her light blue jacket on with a hood.”
Windflower smiled. “I’m sure she’ll show up soon. But let’s go over to where you last saw her, and we’ll start looking. She can’t have gone far. Leave your car here, and come with me. I’ll drive you over.” The woman smiled weakly at Windflower through her tears and allowed him to take her arm and guide her to his Jeep outside the door.
He returned inside to give directions to Betsy. “Get Constable Smithson in here. I’ll call Frost and get him to come in from his rounds.”
Betsy nodded her agreement, and Windflower went outside to drive Molly Quinlan home.
Meanwhile, it turns out, Sarah Quinlan was fine, perfectly fine. She had wandered a little way from home in the centre of town. She was going to go down to the nearby brook to feed the ducks. She knew better than to go into the water, but she couldn’t see any reason why she couldn’t just look. She’d done it before, and nobody seemed to mind. As long as she didn’t stay away too long, everything was okay.
Sarah had that great fearless attitude of a child who grew up in a small and very safe community. She knew most of her neighbours, and they all watched out for her. She also had the natural curiosity of little children, especially when she saw something new. The truck parked on the roadway above the brook was new, so Sarah went to take a closer look. Even better, the back door of the truck was open, and there was a ramp leading inside. This was certainly worth a closer inspection.
Sarah Quinlan was having fun exploring the back of the large truck when she heard a loud, rumbling noise. She didn’t know it, but the driver had started the engine. It was so loud, and Sarah was so frightened by it, she froze. The next thing she remembered was everything going almost completely black and the back door of the truck slamming shut. She cried out, but by then it was too late. Seconds later she, the truck and the unsuspecting driver were barrelling out of town and onto the highway.
Windflower drove Molly Quinlan to her house and got her to show him where Sarah had been playing. Together they walked through the house to see if the little girl had come home and hidden there. But no such luck. While they were searching the house, they were joined by two of Quinlan’s neighbours who took over Molly’s care and made her a cup of tea. Soon afterwards Constable Harry Frost arrived from his highway patrol.
Windflower gave him a quick update and directed him to go to one end of town to start the search. He would begin the house-to-house search through the neighbourhood when Smithson showed up.
He first checked out back and looked in the storage shed, a favourite hiding place of every little kid and probably where Windflower himself would have taken refuge. But Sarah was not there. As he went to the front of the house, Constable Rick Smithson showed up.
“Afternoon, Boss,” said Smithson. “Any sign of her yet?”
Windflower shook his head. “Frost is doing the big circle search. You and I will start the door-to-door. Ask them if they saw the girl this afternoon. I’ll start from here. You go down to the brook, and work your way up.”
Smithson returned to his cruiser and sped off. Windflower wasn’t worried. Yet. But he knew that the first few hours were crucial in finding a missing child. If they didn’t, then it was almost always something more serious. Not time to panic, but no time to waste. He walked up to the first door and knocked.




About the Author

Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a longtime freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand.

He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home.

A Long Ways from Home was shortlisted for the 2017 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web is the newest book in the series.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Stairway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin by Nadia Natali



Title: STAIRWAY TO PARADISE: GROWING UP GERSHWIN
Author: Nadia Natali
Publisher: RareBird Books
Pages: 304
Genre: Memoir

BOOK BLURB: 

Growing up as Frankie Gershwin's daughter, the sister of George and Ira Gershwin, was quite a challenge. I didn't have the perspective to realize that so much unhappiness in a family was out of the ordinary. But I knew something was off. My mother was often depressed and my father was tyrannical and scary, one never knew when he would blow up. I learned early on that I had to be the cheery one, the one to fix the problems. Both sides of my family were famous; the Gershwin side and my father who invented color film. But even though there was more than enough recognition, money and parties I understood that wasn't what made people happy.

As a young adult adrift and depressed I broke from that unsatisfactory life by marrying Enrico Natali, a photographer, deeply immersed in his own questions about life. We moved into the wilderness away from what we considered as the dysfunction of society. That’s when we discovered that life had other kinds of challenges: flood, fire, rattlesnakes, mountain lions and bears. We lived in a teepee for more than four years while building a house. Curiously my mother never commented on my life choice. She must have realized on some level that her own life was less than satisfactory.

Enrico had developed a serious meditation practice that had become a kind of ground for him. As for me I danced. Understanding the somatic, the inner body experience, became my way to shift the inner story.

We raised and homeschooled our three children. I taught them to read, Enrico taught them math. The kids ran free, happy, always engaged, making things, and discovering. We were so sure we were doing the right thing. However, we didn't have a clue how they would make the transition to the so-called ‘real world’. The children thrived until they became teenagers. They then wanted out. Everything fell apart for them and for Enrico and me. Our lives were turned upside down, our paradise lost. There was tragedy: our son lost his life while attempting to cross our river during a fierce storm. Later I was further challenged by advanced breast cancer.

It was during these times that I delved deeply into the somatic recesses of myself. I began to find my own voice, a long learning process. I emerged with a profound trust in my own authority. It became clear that everyone has to find his or her way through layers of inauthenticity, where a deep knowing can develop. And I came to see that is the best anyone can offer to the world.

Enrico and I still live in the wilds of the Lost Padres National Forest, a paradise with many steps going up and down, a life I would not change.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Audible


Book Excerpt:
We’d caravanned in separate vehicles, hauling all that we could carry in and on top of our cars, in addition to a foldout trailer hitched to Enrico’s Toyota jeep. At the end of a long, winding two-lane road that followed Matilija Creek, a brown metal gate barred our way. Beyond the gate lay the Los Padres National Forest, wilderness, and a mile farther up a dirt road through the canyon, our property. We had to wait for a key to open the lock, a key that a forest ranger was going to hand over—the key to our new life. I gazed toward the jagged and intimidating mountains that leaned over the canyon. Inhaling the sweet smell of the dry chaparral, I couldn’t help but compare it to the lush, green landscape of my childhood home in Connecticut. This is going to be a very different life, I thought. My privileged upbringing seemed the polar opposite of this place, and maybe that was what attracted me to it. Observing the struggles of my family and seeing that money and fame had failed to bring happiness, I’d learned I needed to find my own path. I had not fully formulated my goal, but it was something unique and original, and I had to find it on my own.

Monsterland by Michael Okon



Title: MONSTERLAND
Author: Michael Okon
Publisher: Wordfire Press
Pages: 232
Genre: Monsters

BOOK BLURB: 

Welcome to Monsterland—the scariest place on Earth.

The last couple years of high school have not been fun for Wyatt Baldwin. His parents divorce, then his dad mysteriously dies. He’s not exactly comfortable with his new stepfather, Carter White, either. An on-going debate with his best friends Howard Drucker and Melvin over which monster is superior has gotten stale. He’d much rather spend his days with beautiful and popular Jade. However, she’s dating the brash high-school quarterback Nolan, and Wyatt thinks he doesn’t stand a chance.

But everything changes when Wyatt and his friends are invited to attend the grand opening of Monsterland, a groundbreaking theme park where guests can rock out with vampires at Vampire Village, be chased by actual werewolves on the Werewolf River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville.

With real werewolves, vampires and zombies as the main attractions, what could possibly go wrong?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon


Book Excerpt:
What did these strangers want? Billy fought the urge to scream.
This is our home. Humans don’t belong in the swamp.
The moon continued to rise, the familiar agony beginning in his chest. A full moon, a dangerous moon, Billy fought the demons churning within his body, feeling the pain of metamorphosis.
He curled inward, hunching his shoulders, the curse of his nature making his spine pull until his tendons and muscles tore from their human positions to transform into something wicked.
A howl erupted from his throat, followed by another, and then another. Grabbing handfuls of dirt, he tried to fight the awful change, but, as the sun set, the moon took control of his life, and the unnatural force tore through his unwilling body.
Reason fled; his heart raced. Falling on his hands and knees, Billy let loose a keening cry as his face elongated, his body changing into a canine, fangs filling his mouth. He raced in a circle in a demented dance, knowing his fellow pack members did the same thing.
Slowing, he regulated his labored breathing, forcing the icy calmness he needed to keep some semblance of reason. He peered through the dense brush. Lights from the search party bobbed in the distance. The odor, the stench of humanity, filled the clearing. The enemy had arrived.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Dog Trouble! by Galia Oz



Title: DOG TROUBLE!
Author: Galia Oz
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 144
Genre: Children's book for young readers, ages 8-12

BOOK BLURB: 

Readers who have graduated from Junie B. Jones and Ivy & Bean will fall head over heels for feisty Julie and her troublesome new dog.
 
Julie has only had her dog for two weeks, but she is already causing all sorts of problems. For starters, she is missing! Julie suspects the school bully Danny must be behind it. But it will take some detective work, the help of Julie’s friends, and maybe even her munchkin twin brothers to bring her new pet home.

Wonderfully sassy and endlessly entertaining, the escapades of Julie and her dog are just beginning!

Julie’s adventures have sold across the globe and been translated into five languages. Popular filmmaker and children’s author Galia Oz effortlessly captures the love of a girl and her dog.

"A funny exploration of schoolyard controversy and resolution.” –Kirkus Reviews 

"Will resonate with readers and have them waiting for more installments.” –Booklist  

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Excerpt:


My puppy, Shakshuka, disappeared. It happened when my dad was away on a business trip and my mom was in one of her worst moods ever because Max and Monty had both just had their vaccinations and they both had reactions and they didn’t sleep all night. Max and Monty—­I called them the Munchkins for short—­ were babies and twins and also my brothers, and every­ one knew that if there were two babies in the house, no one was going to pay any attention to a dog, even if she was only a baby herself.
At night, I lay awake in bed and I was cold, and I remembered that once on TV I saw pictures of a hun-gry dog that was really skinny whose family went on
a vacation and left him tied to a tree. And they said that the SPCA couldn’t take care of all the dogs that were abandoned by their families. And I thought about Shakshuka, who was gone and might be tied to a tree at that very minute, hungry and missing me.
The next morning in class, Brody told me there was no way that Shakshuka had been stolen. “No way, ­Julie!” he said. “Why would anyone bother? You could get five dogs like her, with spots and stripes, for less than ten dollars.” Or maybe he said you could get ten dogs like her for less than five dollars. Brody said things like that sometimes, but most of the time he was okay. When Max and Monty were born, he said that was it, no one at home would ever pay attention to me again, and when I cut my hair short, he said it was ugly.
I turned my back on Brody and pretended to listen to Adam. He sat at the desk next to mine and spent his whole life telling these crazy stories.
Adam said, “My father won f‑f-­fifty thousand, do you get it? In the lottery. He’s g‑going to buy me an i‑P‑P . . .” People didn’t always listen to Adam because he stuttered, and they didn’t always have the patience to
wait until he got the word out. This time Brody tried to help him finish his sentence.
“An iPod?”
“N‑not an i‑P-­Pod, you idiot. An i‑P-­Pad.”
Brody called Adam “Ad-­d-­d-­dam” because of his stutter, and because he liked to be annoying. But he was still my friend, and that was just how it was, and anyway, there were lots of kids worse than he was.
I cried about Shakshuka during morning recess and Danny laughed at me because that was Danny, that was just the way he was, and Duke also laughed, obvi-ously, because Duke was Danny’s number two. But at the time I didn’t know that they had anything to do with Shakshuka’s disappearance and kept telling my-self that maybe they were just being mean, as usual.
That Danny, everyone­ was afraid of him. And they’d have been nuts not to be. It was bad enough that he was the kind of kid who would smear your seat with glue and laugh at you when you sat down; that he and his friends would come up and offer you what looked like the tastiest muffin you’d ever seen, and when you opened your mouth to take a bite you discovered it was really a sponge. But none of that was important. The problem was, he remembered everything­ that anyone had ever done to him, and he made sure to get back at them. The day before Shakshuka disappeared, Mrs.
Brown asked us what a potter did, and Danny jumped up and said that a potter was a person who put plants in pots, but Mrs. Brown said that was not what a potter did. And then I raised my hand and said that a potter was a person who worked with clay and made pottery.
Danny, who sat right behind me, leaned forward and smacked my head, and I said, “Ow.” It wasn’t too bad, but the teacher saw him and she wrote a note he had to take home to his parents. That shouldn’t have been so bad either, but later, when school got out, he grabbed me in the yard and kicked me in the leg. I went flying and crashed into the seesaw, where I banged my other leg as well.
Danny said, “If you hadn’t said ‘Ow’ before in class, the teacher wouldn’t have given me a note. Now because of you I’m suspended. That was my third note.”
Our school had this system that every time a kid hit another kid, he got a note he had to take home to his parents, and if it happened three times his par-ents had to come to school and the kid got sent home. My mother said it was mainly a punishment for the parents, who had to miss a day of work and come to school.
I could have told on him for kicking me in the yard as well. My bag flew off my shoulder and landed right
in the middle of a puddle, and Mom was really angry at me when I got home because we had to take out all the books and leave them out to dry and we had to wash the bag. I really could have told on him, but there wouldn’t have been any point. It would just have meant another note for him, another kick for me.
Thanks but no thanks.
In the evening, when the Munchkins went to sleep, Mom took one look at me and burst out laughing and said she wished that you could buy a doll that looked just like me, with scratches on her right knee, black dirt under her fingernails, and a mosquito bite on her cheek.
“It’s not a bite, it’s a bruise,” I told her. “And any-way, who would buy a doll like that?”
“I would,” said Mom. “But what happened to you? Take a look at your legs—­how on earth . . .”
“Ow! Don’t touch.”
“You look as if you were in a fight with a tiger.” That was so close to the truth that I blurted out the whole story about what happened with Danny. And I was really sorry I did that because that was the reason Shakshuka disappeared. Mom spoke to Mrs. Brown and she must have told her I was black-­and-­blue after Danny pushed me because the next day at school Mrs. Brown took me aside and told me that I had to let her know whenever something like that happened because otherwise Danny would just keep on hitting me, and other kids too, and we had to put a stop to it. Mrs. Brown meant well, but I knew that when it came to Danny, I was on my own.
Later, at the end of the day, Danny caught me again, this time when I was right by the gate. Maybe someone saw me talking to the teacher and told him. Suddenly I was lying on the ground with my face in the dirt. I must have shouted because Danny told me to keep quiet.
Then he said, “Tell me what you told Mrs. Brown!” “Let me get up!” I yelled.
“First tell me what you told her.”
“Let me get up!” My neck was all twisted, but somehow I managed to turn to the side and I saw two first graders walking out of the building toward the gate.
Danny must have seen them too because he let me go, and when I stood up he looked at me and started
laughing, probably because of the dirt on my face, and I decided I’d had enough of this jerk. I saw red, no matter where I looked I saw red, and without think-ing about what grown-­ups always taught us—­that we shouldn’t hit back because whoever hit back would be punished just like the one who started it—­I threw a plant at him.
At the entrance to our school there was this huge plant. The nature teacher once told us that it grew so big because it always got water from this pipe that dripped down into it, and also because it was in a pro-tected corner.
It was a shame about the plant, it really was. And it didn’t even hit him. It crashed to the ground halfway between us. Then Mrs. Brown came. And without even thinking I told her that Danny knocked me down and then threw the plant at me.
“But it didn’t hit me,” I said, and I looked Danny straight in the eye to see what he’d say.
Danny said I was a liar, but Mrs. Brown took one look at my dirty clothes and she believed me. And be-cause of me he got into serious trouble. They didn’t only make his parents come to school and suspend him for a day—­after the incident with the plant they also told him he’d have to start seeing this really horrible counselor every Wednesday. The kids who knew him said his office stunk of cigarettes and he was a real bore.
That was why Danny found a way to get back at me. He said, “Just you wait.” That was exactly what he said: “Just you wait.” And I did wait because I knew him. But Shakshuka didn’t wait and she couldn’t have known how to wait for what ended up happening to her.





Monday, September 18, 2017

Wickedly Ever After Book Blast!




Title: WICKEDLY EVER AFTER: HALLOWEEN HIJINKS
Author: Lotta Smith
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 213
Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery

As the new Mrs. Rowling, life is supposed to be easy for former FBI Special Assistant Amanda Meyer. Marriage to her drop dead gorgeous boss Rick is everything she dreamed of, unfortunately she can’t sleep, and she can’t even blame the ghost of his late stepmom Clara for popping up in the middle of the night with a tricky request.
Someone staged mechanic Fynn’s death to look like a suicide, and now his unhappy ghost is keeping Clara and her dead friends awake all night. Proving he was murdered will keep the newlyweds hopping, and the real trick will be staying alive in this hilariously wicked book in the Manhattan Mystery Series. 

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon


At exactly three o’clock in the morning, I was in bed, turning over for the umpteenth time. For some unknown reason, I couldn’t fall asleep. In fact, I didn’t have even a blink of sleep.

Okay, so I was pretending not to know the reason for my difficulty, but I could come up with possible reasons. For starters, I had a little too much espresso cake after dinner and a few more cups of strong green tea than the recommended amount at lunch. Also, in the past few hours alone, I had at least thirteen people visit me, asking about the whereabouts of their personal belongings and if I thought their spouses were cheating on them. All of them happened to be former residents of this upscale condo on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, where I called home. The last straw was Mrs. Williams, who kept demanding I return her hearing aid. I kept telling her that I wasn’t the evil woman who hid her belongings, and I shared my hunch that her family might have forgotten to put her hearing device with her; however, she didn’t seem to fathom what I was trying to say—perhaps because she didn’t have her hearing aid.

By the way, did I mention that all those people who visited me during these ungodly hours had been dead for years?

My name is Amanda Rowling, née Meyer, a part-time secretary for my husband and mostly a stay-at-home housewife, and people, including but not limited to my husband Rick, usually call me Mandy.

Anyway, I was trying my best to grab some sleep before dawn, not that I had to get up early and go to work in the morning, but Rick had been busy since joining USCAB—United States Cover All Bases, a security-based conglomerate owned and run by his dad—and I wanted to do my best to be his super-supportive partner. Cooking power breakfasts for him and myself had become my ritual since I moved in with him at this condo over a year ago, and I was determined to continue this ritual. Anyway, using knives and a hot oven in a sleep-deprived status wasn’t high on my to-do list. I tended to commit faux-pas in the kitchen, like scorching eggs and bacon to a crisp, whenever I was short of sleep.

Before marrying him, I used to work for the FBI’s New York City headquarters as a special assistant. At first, I was just an assistant with a mission to keep my then-boss Rick Rowling, the sexy, arrogant loose cannon who loved nothing more than trouble, from wreaking havoc and destroying NYC. However, a little after starting my FBI career, I developed a special skill of seeing dead people and communicating with them, and my tasks expanded to interviewing murder victims and dead witnesses.

When Rick, who was the head of Paranormal Cases Division and the only colleague I had, left the feds to join his family business, I followed his suit and resigned from the feds.

Even though Sheldon Hernandez, the head of the FBI’s New York City headquarters, offered me a lucrative consulting contract, I declined. At that time, leaving my life with the FBI, communicating with dead people and dodging frequent temper tantrums thrown at me by the deceased, and concentrating on being Mrs. Rowling seemed like a fabulous idea. But after the wedding and returning from our honeymoon, I wasn’t sure if I made the right decision. At that time, I presumed I’d stop encountering the spirits of dead; however, things didn’t go as I’d hoped. I was still having as many ghostly visitors as before.

And, recalling my past life as an FBI assistant, I was horrified to found myself sort of missing my days dealing with the murderers, crooks, and dead people. Okay, so having nothing to do with criminals should be the norm for most people, and when I left the feds, I couldn’t wait to spend my days without worrying about being assaulted by evil ghosts and bad humans, but…

Lotta Smith is the author of Paranormal in Manhattan Mystery series. She fell in love with mystery the moment she developed consciousness. She is especially fond of lighthearted murder mystery stories with a little sprinkle of romance.

She went to medical school hoping to see real corpses and sexy professors. Back then, she was into this kind of mystery series about a smokin' hot forensic medicine professor and a quirky female student going a-sleuthing, cracking unsolvable cases. Lotta truly, madly wanted to team up with a superhot professor and crack a difficult murder or two. (Note; she got to see the corpses, but sexy professors were nonexistent.)

Lotta loves to hear from her readers. Feel free to drop her a line at lottasmith_author@yahoo.com.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 



Monday, September 11, 2017

A Long Ways From Home Book Blast!







Title: A LONG WAYS FROM HOME
Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Friesen Press
Pages: 364
Genre: Mystery

A weekend visit to picturesque Newfoundland by a large crew of outlaw bikers leaves
behind another mess for Sgt. Windflower to clean up. This time he’s facing violence, murder, mystery and intrigue. This adventure has Windflower questioning everything he thought he knew. There are troubles on the home front, cutbacks in the policing budget, old friends leaving and new ones not quite here yet. Windflower is seeking to find answers in territory that is both dangerous and unfamiliar.
A Long Ways from Home explores more than just homicides or the dirty dealings of outlaw bikers. It’s also about some old and some very new challenges and hard choices facing an uncertain future in small communities all over this part of the world. 
Windflower relies on his friends and allies, sometimes four-legged ones, to help him find the answers. Sometimes those answers will find us, and like Windflower, we discover that we are never really alone, even if we are a long ways from home.

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He drove the short distance to Sheila’s, and by the time he pulled up at her house he was certifiably starving. When he opened the door and smelled the roast beef he felt his knees go weak.
“Hi, Sheila,” he called out as he took off his hat and coat and hung them on a hook in the hallway. “That smells fabulous.”
Sheila came out of the kitchen with her apron on and went to Windflower to meet his embrace. “I’m glad you’re home.” She hugged him closely.
“Me too. Dinner smells delicious.”
“I could probably have come out here naked and you would have still talked about dinner,” said Sheila with a laugh.
“No, I might have asked for my dessert first though,” Windflower said
“Go get cleaned up. Dinner is almost ready.”
Windflower gave her another squeeze and went to the small bathroom in the hall to wash up for dinner. By the time he got back, Sheila had placed two bowls of vegetables on the table along with a small, perfectly-browned roast. She handed him the carving knife and fork and went back to the stove to pour the gravy into a serving dish.
The sharp knife slid smoothly through the peppered crust of the meat revealing a ring of growing pink towards the middle. Windflower tried to keep from drooling as the room filled with the aroma of the meat and the newly released juices. He placed a large slice on each of their plates, which Sheila had already prepared with scoops of mashed potatoes and steaming vegetables. She poured a ladle full of gravy over the meat and smiled at Windflower.
But he was long gone to meat heaven and for a few minutes all Sheila got in return was the murmured sighs of her hungry man. Finally, the muted Windflower awoke and raised his plate to Sheila for another slice of meat. “This is so good, Sheila,” he said as she handed him back his refilled plate. “What did you use for spices?”
“Nothing special. Some black and white pepper, salt, thyme, garlic powder and onion powder. Plus, my secret ingredient.”
“Secret ingredient?” mumbled Windflower with a mouth full of beef.
“If I told you, I’d have to kill you,” said Sheila. But by now Windflower had drifted back into his food, and she knew all conversation with Windflower would be one-sided and futile until he was done.
Once Windflower’s appetite had been satiated he gave Sheila his undivided attention. She gave him an update on the latest plans for the wedding, including who had confirmed they would attend and those sending their regrets. One of the positive replies was from Guy Simard, who sent along a little note saying he and the missus would happily be attending the festivities.
“And by the way my cousin, Carol, is coming to visit,” Sheila said. “She’s a bit of an outlaw in the family. Rides a big motorcycle. Has never been married. She lives up north in Ontario now but every couple of years takes a big trip on her Harley. This year she is heading down our way. I was expecting to see her show up by now.”
“What does she look like?” asked Windflower.
“She’s tall, pretty. The last time I saw her she had long blond hair. Liked to wear it up in a ponytail.”
“That’s interesting. I might have seen her at Goobies. Or someone fitting that description anyway. But I didn’t see her on the way down. Maybe she stopped off in Marystown along the way.”
“Maybe,” said Sheila.
Then Windflower remembered the motorcycle and trailer he’d seen parked along the highway. That might have been her bike, he thought. But he didn’t want to alarm Sheila. Not yet anyway. Instead he said, “I’ll get Tizzard to start looking out for her.”
“Thanks,” said Sheila. “Any word on Eddie yet?”
“I haven’t heard anything new, but I’ll ask him about it when I see him tomorrow.”
“We’re all going to miss him,” Sheila said. Windflower just nodded at this last remark. It was still a little too painful for him to talk about. Sheila reached out and took his hand in hers.
“What’s new at the Council?” asked Windflower, trying to move the conversation to safer and less emotional grounds.
“Well, Francis Tibbo made it official today. He’s going to run for the mayor’s job again!”
“That officious little prig,” started Windflower, but Sheila cut him off.
“Stay out of the politics, Sergeant,” she cautioned. “The RCMP has to stay neutral in this race. You have to work with whoever gets elected.”
“That doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion.”
“I appreciate the support, but I can fight my own political battles, thank you very much,” said Sheila. “I’m not worried about Francis Tibbo. I’m not even worried about getting elected again. We’ve already got things moving in the right direction.”
This time Windflower simply nodded his agreement. It was clear from the coat of fresh paint on the aging properties on the wharf to the popular new programming at the museum that things were headed in the right direction.
Sheila got up. “If you really want to help, you can do the dishes while I make us some tea.”
“Finally something I’m allowed to do.” Windflower smiled. Sheila laughed and threw a dishcloth at him while she put on the kettle to boil.
“Let’s watch a movie tonight,” she said as she went to the fridge to look for something.
“Okay.” Windflower had his hands in a sink full of soapy water and his eyes firmly fixed on her activities. When she pulled a small cardboard box out of the refrigerator he almost started to glow.
Sheila pretended to ignore him as she took their dessert out of the box, cut it into two pieces and put it along with her tea pot onto a small tray. “See you in the living room.”
Windflower finished the chore in record time and was soon sitting next to Sheila on the couch with half of his dessert, the fabulous chocolate peanut butter cheesecake from the Mug-Up Café, already gone. He barely breathed as he finished it off. “Mmmmmm,” was his only response.
Sheila laughed at his post-meal antics as she looked for a movie on T.V. “Let’s watch ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’,” she said. “I just picked up the new Harper Lee book and I’d like to see the old movie before I dig into the new story.”
“That would be great. “I love that movie. Atticus Finch has always been a hero of mine.”
“I love Scout,” said Sheila. “This was one of my favourite books growing up.”
“Me too. Although I hear the new story is a bit more revealing of the racist attitudes that existed back then.”
“That was always the reality. In some ways, the new book may be closer to the truth. I’m glad we had a kinder version of that truth when we were kids. It doesn’t make it any easier to take, just the same.”
“Let’s just enjoy the movie. It’s been a long week. We both deserve a break. And it’s good to know that at least in the movies there’s a possibility of a happy ending.”
The pair snuggled up on the couch and totally enjoyed both the classic film and their time together. When the movie was over Windflower went back to his house for the final walk of the evening with Lady. Once again she was very pleased to see him and bounded out the door when he held it open for her. They did the extended loop that led them down near the brook where Lady had a good, long drink and then they darted around the perimeter of the wharf.









Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a longtime freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home.

A Long Ways from Home was shortlisted for the 2017 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web is the newest book in the series.

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