Thursday, October 1, 2020

Book Tour/Giveaway - Campaigning Can Be Deadly by Charlotte Stuart



Campaigning Can Be Deadly by Charlotte Stuart 


GENRE: Mystery, Female PI 


BLURB: What begins as a prank ends in murder. The campaign for the U.S. Congressional seat was referred to in the press as “Mr. Smith goes to Washington versus the carpetbagger.” The popular local candidate gets the majority of endorsements, but his opponent’s wealthy, out-of-state family is willing to do whatever it takes for him to win. Penny-wise Investigations, a discount detective agency located in a mall, is hired to find out who is stealing the local candidate’s political signs. Two of their investigators, Cameron Chandler and Yuri Webster, not only catch the thieves in the act, they find a body next to a pile of stolen signs, proving that Campaigning Can Be Deadly. 


Excerpt: Shortly after the evening news, it happened. An event that would change our lives. A barking dog shattered the silence of early evening. It barked and barked, right outside our front door. Under normal circumstances I would have simply gone out to see what was happening. But for all we knew, it was a trap. What kind, I wasn’t sure. Jason and Mara both wanted to take a look. Then Mom came down to complain, and I finally got up the courage to see what the commotion was all about. When I opened the door a crack, a black, moist nose tried to pry the door open more. The barking changed to whining. “It’s a dog, Mom,” Jason said. “He wants in.” That much was obvious, but why? “Oh, just open the damn door,” Mom said. She grabbed the doorknob and a medium-sized black and white dog came bounding in and ran right into Jason’s outstretched arms. I was staring at Jason, trying to figure out what was happening, while he rubbed the dog’s head and buried his face in the dog’s neck fur. That’s why I didn’t notice the dark figure looming in our doorway until Mom said, “You might as well come in. The damage is done.” When I saw Yuri standing there, all I could think of to say was, “You didn’t.”


From The Author:

Why I Write Mysteries

I have a whole shelf devoted to Rex Stout mysteries. I find their humor and formulaic structure satisfying. Yes, they are dated, and yes there are much better writers, but somethings you need the written comfort equivalent of macaroni and cheese. Also, I’m impressed with the story about why he started writing mysteries. After managing to make enough money to retire and write the great American novel, Stout discovered he didn’t have the necessary talent to achieve his goal. So, he turned to writing mysteries featuring Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin and quickly made a name for himself as a mystery writer.

Did I ever aspire to write the great American novel? No. But I find Stout’s history reassuring. My takeaway? You don’t need to feel like a failure if you aren’t nominated for a Man Booker award. I will feel fulfilled if I can write mysteries that have interesting plots and make people smile. But that doesn’t answer the question of why mysteries?

I’m an eclectic reader and belong to three book clubs, one for nonfiction, one for “literature,” and one for mysteries. I also read science fiction and thrillers, revel in adventure books, and often try new genres or sub-genres when a book is recommended. I guess I just like to read. But, like so many women, I was weaned on Nancy Drew mysteries and have never lost my love of a twisty plot and strong female characters.

My particular interest is in the humorous mystery. I’ve done considerable research on what makes us laugh and why individuals respond to different types of humor. I’ve even created a matrix to categorize mystery writers by the level and type of humor they employ. I began that process to answer the question often asked by publishers, “What authors write comparable books to yours?” What I discovered is that the authors I like to read don’t actually share my written sense of humor. When I sit down at my computer to write, what comes out is unique to my experiences and values. And I can’t seem to fake it. I’ve tried. When I wrote what I thought was a traditional cozy, my agent had to do a lot of editing. She found softer equivalents for my already modest profanity and advised me to “bring that cat back to life.” I hadn’t realized that you never put animals in danger in cozies and definitely didn’t want to have one taken out by a coyote. (You will be pleased to know that the cat lives on, even though my cozy isn’t as cozy as it should be--.)

But…I still haven’t directly responded to the main question – why mysteries? Here’s why for me:

·         I like researching topics for underlying themes. Each mystery can have a different theme. For me they’ve included survival camps, chimera research and the illegal human organ trade, the controversy over wild animals in populated areas, and competing interests in political campaigns.

·         Since I have to live with the protagonist during the writing process, I want it to be someone I like, someone I can empathize with, and someone who is grounded in positive relationships with others.

·         In addition to the main protagonist, mysteries can be filled with a wide range of recurring characters. I prefer mine to be flawed and a bit quirky.

·         Although I’m not outrageously funny, I still want to incorporate enough humor in my writing that readers will find solace and distraction from the harsher real world.

·         Finally, I may not be able to promise every ending will provide complete closure, but in the mystery genre most loose ends are tied up, with, at the least, perhaps a couple of strands trailing off into the reader’s imagination.

In short, I write mysteries because they offer a platform for writing series with strong, likeable female protagonists and happy endings. And if I find myself smiling while I write, perhaps my readers will smile too.

AUTHOR Bio and Links: In a world filled with uncertainty and too little chocolate, Charlotte Stuart has a passion for writing lighthearted mysteries with a pinch of adventure and a dollop of humor. Her first discount detective mystery, Survival Can Be Deadly, was a Foreward INDIES finalist. Why me? Chimeras, Conundrums and Dead Goldfish was a semi-finalist for the Chanticleer Murder and Mayhem contest before it was published. She began her career in academia with a PhD in communications. Then, she and her husband decided to build a commercial boat and go fishing for salmon in Alaska. Currently she is the VP for Puget Sound Sisters in Crime and lives and writes on Vashon Island in Washington State’s Puget Sound. She spends time each day entertained by herons, seals, eagles and other wildlife. 

Charlotte Stuart – social media website: 





Campaigning Can Be Deadly -primary online 

purchase links: 


 Charlotte Stuart will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. RAFFLECOPTER:  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Book Tour/Giveaway - Fly Backward Twice by David McCracken

Fly Twice Backward by David McCracken 


GENRE: Alt-history/sci-fi 


BLURB: You wake back in early adolescence, adult memories intact, including ones that could make you very wealthy now. Your birth family is here, alive again, but your later families are gone, perhaps forever. What has happened, what should you do about coming problems like violence, ignorance, pollution, and global warming? You realize one key connects most, the fundamentalist strains of all the major religions, disdaining science, equality, and social welfare. You see that there are some things you can change, some you can’t, and one you don’t dare to. Fellow idealists help you spend your growing fortune well--such as an artistic Zoroastrian prince in the Iranian oil industry, a rising officer in the Soviet army working to find a way to destroy his corrupt government, a Bahai woman struggling against Islamic brutality, a Peruvian leader working for a liberal future, and a snake-handling Christian minister, grappling with doubts, sexuality, and destiny. They are supported by an ally who develops essential psychic powers. The group faces familiar-looking corrupt politicians, religious leaders, and corporate czars, but there is an ancient force in the background, promoting greed, violence, hate, and fear. This exciting, emotional, thoughtful, humorous, and even romantic sci-fi novel weaves progressivism, music, movies, and literature into a struggle spanning the globe. Vivid characters propel the action back up through an alternative history toward an uncertain destination. Experience the unique story and its novel telling.


 NOTE: The book is on sale for $0.99. 


  Excerpt: Waiting for breakfast, reading the Sunday paper at the table, I realize Mom’s not heading for the kitchen: Oh, oh! It’s church day. Mass. Fasting. Acolyting! What’m I going to do about that? “Mom, am I supposed to serve today?” “Of course!” “Well, I can’t. I have no idea how to do that anymore. I guess we need to call Padre and tell him I’m sick.” “No, David, we’re not playing that game today!” “Mom, I hate to say this now, but I have no choice. I don’t know how to serve, so I can’t do it, and, frankly, I’m not ever going to do it. I’m an agnostic, a Unitarian, actually.” She’s slamming the pots I washed and put in the drainer last night as she puts them into the cabinet under the counter. “That’s ridiculous. You don’t know enough to be an agnostic.” Fortunately, Dad has come in and heard this exchange. “Nev, whether his story is true or not, or he knows enough or not, he has a right not to go. He was old enough to be confirmed, so he’s old enough to choose. I’ll serve in his place.” “Lie about being sick, on Sunday?” “Mom, it’s a temporizer. I can’t reveal to him why I’m not going to today, much less why I’ll never again do it, and I know you wouldn’t want me to be open about it. I might not even be here next Sunday.” I chuckle. “Maybe I’ll have fallen back to age four, with Dad off in the Navy!” What a sharp look I get! “We need a few days to sort this out, Nev.”


From The Author:

When people with a sci-fi bent, interested in politics, religion and literature read my novel, they tend to love it, but it’s hard to convey what all it offers. I didn’t have a clue how much work would be involved in marketing it. I believe it’s good enough to be read by many people, and it’s gotten a lot of rave reviews from those who did, but I don’t suppose it ever will be widely read, because I write for a narrow group intelligent and socially-concerned people, and I write better than I market. That’s OK. I finished it, the biggest project I ever attempted, and I’m proud of it. Self-publishing, I wrote it just the way I wanted it.

AUTHOR Bio and Links: David McCracken was born in Louisville, KY, in 1940. Raised mostly in Winchester, KY, he now lives in Northern Virginia, with his third and final wife. He has three children, two stepchildren, and six grandchildren. After three years in the U.S. Navy following a lackluster academic start, he graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1963, in Diplomacy and International Commerce. He then worked as a Latin American country desk officer in the U.S. Department of Commerce until he returned to school to earn an M.A. in Elementary Education in 1970 from Murray State University, having always been intending to teach. Eventually realizing his children qualified for reduced-price lunches based on his own teaching salary, he studied computer programming at Northern Virginia Community College and worked as a programmer until shifting back into elementary teaching. He began working on what became Fly Twice Backward in 1983 and finally finished it in 2019! At 79, David strongly doubts he'll be doing another novel of such scope and complexity, but is preparing to work on a children's science fiction novel with a progressive bent, being a devout progressive in politics and religion, as well as a lover of learning. 

Buy Link:


David McCracken will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. RAFFLECOPTER:

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 28, 2020

Book Tour/Giveaway - The Strong Amongst Us by J. A. Boulet

The Strong Amongst Us by J. A. Boulet 


GENRE: Historical Fiction


BLURB: On a stormy day in October 1875, a boatload of Icelandic explorers crash land on a beach paradise called Willow Point on Lake Winnipeg. Except it proves to be anything but paradise. On that fateful day, young Nathan Olason steps afoot onto the soil of a foreign country, a place that he is determined to claim as his new home. Against a stunning backdrop of Lake Winnipeg, Nath and his relatives struggle to stay alive against all odds in this strange unforgiving new country called Canada. With natural sand beaches and breathtaking sunsets, the lake quickly changes to a menacing force, with massive storm surges and frigid temperatures, claiming lives like flies. Nath soon realizes that to claim this wilderness as New Iceland, he must persevere. Events soon blow wildly out of control as heavy snowfalls, emerging governments, racism and mass starvation tests Nathan’s limits. With the help of a beautiful local Cree woman named Anwa, they learn vital hunting and ice fishing skills, teaching themselves how to live off the land. Then just when they think they have prevailed, tragedy strikes an ominous blow, a smallpox epidemic that decimates villages, quarantines the town of Gimli, but most of all threatens to claim what he holds dear the most. With stirring realism, surprising bits of humour and steamy romance scenes, The Strong Amongst Us weaves a rich historical tale of immigration, manhood, immense love and resilience, leaving readers empowered by the sheer will of the human spirit. 


 NOTE: The book is on sale for $0.99 on Kobo during the tour.


EXCERPT: He stared at the beautiful sun, peering over the horizon of gentle waves. The coldness stung, but he embraced it. The lake was much calmer today. He loved it actually; luck was on his side. They would most likely be able to send the funds request of the remaining five-thousand-dollar loan to the Dominion today by boat. A movement caught his eye. Someone was pulling in a larger boat. He stood and used his hand to shelter from the sun. He squinted into the bright rays. It was just one person, pulling in the boat. He strapped his boots on and scurried over to the dock. “Hey, do you need a hand?” Nathanael shouted as he approached. A woman’s voice lilted into the air, gentle but full of strength. “No, I am okay.” “No, I must! Let me help you,” Nathan insisted. She looked at him stubbornly, shook her head and relented. “If you must.” Nath grabbed the rope and helped pull in the boat, anchoring it along the sand. “Is this the boat that will be taking the letter to the Dominion for us today?” “It is, yes,” she replied. “Sorry for my English. I am still learning.” “You are native to this land?” Nath asked. “How long have you lived here?” “Forever,” she laughed. “Ma and Pa were born here, so was I.” “Interesting,” Nath said. “It is a beautiful land. And a beautiful lake.” “Yes, Nath, it is,” she replied. “You remembered my name?” 


From the Author: 

The Strong Amongst Us J. A. Boulet


The writing space in my head  


Nath was confused. Why were the horses pulling back? He grabbed his horse’s reins and guided the animal to another tree. His horse was almost fighting him as he finally tied the animal’s reins.

That was when he sensed something might be wrong.

Horses don’t do that unless they are frightened, he thought. Nath looked at Anwa; he could tell that she was thinking the same thing. She dug in the sleigh bag and handed him the rifle.

My imagination is a place like none other. I live with my characters there. I rejoice when they're happy, cry when they're sad and am frightened when they are faced with life threatening events. It is a world that existed over 100 years ago but the emotions haven’t changed; the lessons remain the same as we would experience today. History repeats itself, they say. The lessons I personally have learned from writing this novel go beyond anything I thought would have happened.

The writing space in my head is a dimension like none other. It is my safe place, where I can be myself and allow my characters to teach me integrity and perseverance. But most of all, my characters teach me how to truly love; to love myself, to be vulnerable with a partner and to believe in something better again.

Welcome to my writing space, have a seat and enjoy the passion I have released. This is my special place; the only home where I can share the gift of imagination. The Strong Amongst Us (Book One of The Olason Chronicles) is a story that must be heard. I felt strongly from day one with this saga and still  get overwhelmed with emotion every time I read it. Hopefully it changes you as it has changed me. Thanks for reading and thanks to Gimme The Scoop for allowing me to share my story.

Enjoy a free excerpt on my website:

Chapter One Preview

Kobo (limited .99 sale during the Blog Tour)



J. A. Boulet was raised in Western Canada. Both her parents were landed immigrants from Hungary, a direct result of the mass emigration during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. J. A. Boulet was born many years later as a Generation Xer and a first-generation Canadian. She started writing poetry at the age of five and subsequently progressed to short stories and novels. Writing has always maintained a strong current of passion throughout her life. She recently left her career in finance to pursue her dreams of being an author. She currently lives in Canada with her two teenaged sons and a pet crested gecko name Mossio.


The Strong Amongst Us is available on Amazon, Kobo books and Chapters:



For US:











Chapters Indigo

                Kobo (.99 sale during the Blog Tour)

                My website

 AUTHOR Bio and Links: J. A. Boulet is the passionate author of The Olason Chronicles, a historical saga of immigration, love and perseverance. The Strong Amongst Us Book 1 was released on Amazon in April 2020. She was born and raised in Western Canada as a first generation Canadian from European descent. Her parents landed in St. John’s, NFLD as refugees in 1956, a direct result of the Hungarian Revolution. J. A. Boulet was born many years later, raised in a strong Hungarian culture and proudly calls Canada home to this day. She started writing poetry at the age of five and progressed to short stories and novels. She has a keen interest in history, healing, family bonds and embracing the unknown. J. A Boulet writes with a spine-tingling realism like none other, grabbing your emotions and refusing to let go. The Strong Within Us Book 2 is scheduled to be released on November 11, 2020. She currently lives in Canada with her two teenaged sons and a crested gecko named Mossio. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Reddit. 






Amazon link:

Twitter link:

Instagram link: 

YouTube link: 

Reddit link: 


 J. A. Boulet will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. RAFFLECOPTER: 

 a Rafflecopter giveaway