Friday, April 29, 2022

Book Review/Giveaway - Ella by Nancy Fraser

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Nancy Fraser will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

To get away from her late husband’s questionable deeds, Ella Winslow takes her three children and heads west to the unsettled Washington Territory to claim land she believes she’s inherited from her father.

Tucker McAlister was fired from his position as deputy marshal for arresting the mayor’s brother-in-law for spousal abuse. His mentor has found him another job, first escorting the wagon train going west, and then as the new marshal in the growing town of Tacoma, Washington Territory.

The trail is long and hard, yet Ella is more than up to the task. Still, Tuck feels the need to watch over her and her children, whether she wants him to or not. It isn’t until they arrive in Washington that he realizes his protection will now need to extend even further than the wagon train itself.

Will Ella’s faith allow her to trust again and make a safe home for her family, while welcoming Tuck into her heart?


My Thoughts: I loved being on the wagon trail with Ella, her three children and Tucker. At times I felt as though I were right there with them spying on their sneaked kisses and range meals. I admired Ella's strength and determination to build a new life for herself and her children and found after reading so many thrillers and mysteries it was just the sweet read I needed to refresh my brain.

Read an Excerpt

U.S. Marshal’s Office
St. Joseph, Missouri
April 20, 1870

Tucker McAlister settled against the wooden railing opposite Willard Davis’ desk. The older man leaned back in his chair and raised his head. His faded brown gaze, gray hair shot through with strands of white, and grizzled beard easily gave away his age. Not to mention the wear and tear thirty-odd years of being a lawman had put on his body.

Tuck held his breath. This was it. Davis was about to announce his retirement, leaving the job of marshal open for the taking. Given Tuck was the deputy with the most experience, he figured he was a shoe-in for the job.

Unfortunately, he’d figured wrong.

“The mayor wasn’t pleased with you arresting his brother-in-law,” Davis said, his narrowed stare aimed in Tuck’s direction. “No doubt with all the high-priced solicitors making their way into town, the whole fiasco is going to be thrown out of court like so much dirty bathwater.”

“He’s guilty as sin, and you know it.”

“I know it, you know it, and—no doubt—the mayor knows it. This isn’t the brother-in-law’s first brush with the law. However, the reprobate claims his wife provoked him.”

“There’s no cause for a man to strike a woman, especially one with child. It’s assault.”

“She’s his wife,” Davis pointed out.

Tuck could feel the flush of anger staining his throat, his face. “That still doesn't give him the right.”

“And the man’s lawyers are claiming you didn’t have the right to give him a black eye and broken wrist.”

“He charged at me when I put myself between him and his missus. I was defending myself when I punched him in the eye. As for his wrist, he did that himself when he swung and missed. I can’t help it if I was standing in front of a brick wall when I ducked.”

Davis snorted a laugh before continuing. “I agree with everything you’ve said, Tuck. You’re my best deputy—the one man I’d trust to take over for me when I retire—and I know you were only protecting the woman.” Heaving a sigh, he added, “However, the mayor’s demanding I fire you. Right here. Right now.”

“No, you can’t do that,” Tuck argued. “I’ll appeal to the state marshal’s office. Surely, they’ll have my back.”

“Their hands are tied. The governor supports the mayor’s request.”

“I was only doing my job, boss.”

“I know, and it’s not fair. I told ‘em so, too.”

“What am I supposed to do? Keeping the law is all I’ve known since I came here eight years ago.”

“You should’ve already been promoted and posted somewhere within the state, Tuck. Hanging around here out of loyalty to an old coot like me hasn’t done you any good.”

“It wasn’t as much loyalty as it was gratitude. You gave an inexperienced, bitter young man a job, a purpose. I owe you everything.”

“What you owe me is to accept the favor I’ve called in from an old friend.”

“A favor? What kind of favor?”

“I got you a job escorting a wagon train headed to Oregon and then on to the Washington Territory. You leave in two-day’s time. Once you get to Yakima, you’ll need to send a telegram to Marshal Burt Macklin in Olympia.”

“They’ve got a job for me in Olympia?”

“Not there, but the territory’s expanding rapidly. They need a marshal in Tacoma who can cover the town, and the surrounding county. Macklin will meet you in Tacoma to swear you in. Then, as soon as you’re settled, you’ll be able to hire yourself a deputy or two.”

“You told them about me?” Tuck asked.

“I told Burt you were the best deputy I’ve ever trained, and darned near the best shot I ever saw. That was all he needed to hear.”

“Does he know I’ve been fired?”

Willard Davis shrugged. “Probably not. I didn’t see any reason to bring it up.”

About the Author:
Nancy Fraser is a best-selling and award-winning author who happily jumps across multiple romance genres with gleeful abandon.

She's also the granddaughter of a Methodist minister known for his fire-and-brimstone approach to his faith. Nancy has brought some of his spirit into her Christian romances. And, her own off-beat sense of humor to her clean & wholesome books.

When not writing (which is almost never), Nancy dotes on her five wonderful grandchildren and looks forward to traveling and reading when time permits. Nancy lives in Atlantic Canada where she enjoys the relaxed pace and colorful people.

Amazon Author Page

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Book Excerpt/Giveaway - Preserving Wealth by Jack Lumsden


Preserving Wealth: The Next Generation

by Jack Lumsden, MBA, CFP®


GENRE: Non-fiction (Business and Finance)




"Toronto-based research firm Strategic Insight projects that approximately $1 trillion in personal wealth will be transferred from one generation to the next in Canada between 2016 and 2026, with roughly 70% of that in the form of financial assets." – Advisors Edge January 30, 2018


"70 % of Wealth Transfers fail." – The Future of Estate Planning. Trusts and Estates June 2010


"65% of Canadians say it's likely they will leave an inheritance to their heirs or estate but only 46% of Canadians have a will." – Sun Life Canadian UnretirementTM Index, 2015.


Experts estimate that $1 trillion of inheritances will pass from one generation to the next within a decade in Canada. In addition, many individuals are selling their businesses, resulting in substantial gains. Accordingly, the ability to effectively manage one's wealth and prepare and implement a proper estate plan is no longer just prudent. It's crucial.


Jack Lumsden is an experienced financial advisor who uses an easy-to-read narrative style to clarify financial planning concepts that everyone needs to know. Preserving Wealth explains:


•Investment strategies to provide for growth and protection of capital,

•How to develop an effective estate transfer plan to reduce estate costs and taxes,

•Strategies to preserve wealth and safeguard an inheritance or gift for the next generation,

•How to select an executor, and what to do if you are an executor,

•The critical discussions to have with your family, and

•How to assemble a financial team.





“Let me try to answer that,” Alice went on. “For short term goals, say when you will need the money in less than five years, you’ll want to use conservative or defensive investments like short term-bonds, GICs, or high interest savings accounts, so that the money is there when you need it.

“Longer term goals can be more difficult to plan for. For example, if you can attain your retirement income goals based on only investing in GICs and/or bonds, then the risk of your portfolio will be low, and it will not fluctuate much. Since your money growth is more consistent, you’re better able to sleep at night, because you really don’t need to worry too much about your portfolio declining in value.

“However, for many people, us included, to achieve our retirement income goals, we need higher returns than what bonds or GICs can provide … so we must invest in stocks. This is where the sleep at night factor comes in. The greater the allocation to stocks or equities, the greater the fluctuation—daily, monthly, and annually—of the portfolio returns and portfolio. This fluctuation of returns is called your risk level, or sleep at night factor. If you can’t sleep at night because your portfolio value changes too much, you may need more capital preservation type of investments in your portfolio; however, if you do this, you may not generate the returns required to achieve your goals. So how did I do, Uncle Wayne?”

“Awesome, Alice, I couldn’t have said it any better!”

“So how do you actually develop a diversified portfolio?” asked Sally. “I understand the basics between bonds and equities, and clearly I haven’t been doing as much research and reading as Alice. How do we put it all together?”

“From my experience,” Uncle Wayne continued, “there are six key factors to developing a globally diversified portfolio, and they are:


1.     strategic asset allocation


2.     tactical asset allocation


3.     specific investments and/or money managers


4.     risk management


5.     fees


6.     taxes



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


JACK LUMSDEN, MBA, CFP®, is a financial advisor with over twenty years of experience. He has enjoyed building a strong career and loyal client base. In addition to helping clients preserve and transfer their wealth, he focuses on those who are or will be making the transition from their working years to retirement with the need to develop a lifelong income and cash-flow strategy from the financial assets they have accumulated.

A lifelong resident of Burlington, Jack dedicates much of his spare time to staying active and coaching high school football. Spending time with family is another of his core values. He enjoys attending sports events with his son, Connor, and country music concerts with daughter, Paige, while he and his wife, Sandi, like to travel with friends and explore new destinations.

Jack's education includes a BBA from Wilfrid Laurier University (where he met Sandi), and an MBA from McMaster University. He is also a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® or CFP® professional.

The publisher is running a Goodreads giveaway in conjunction with the tour: 10 print-copies. Anyone in Canada on Goodreads can enter


Connect with Jack Lumsden


Financial Planning:

Author website:




Free download of Preserving Wealth


Get your copy of Preserving Wealth - The book is free from BookFunnel














Jack Lumsden, MBA, CFP® will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Thursday, April 28, 2022

Book Tour/Giveaway - Shelter from Our Secrets, Silence, and Shame by Rebecca L. Brown


Shelter from Our Secrets, Silence, and Shame: How Our Stories Can Keep Us Stuck or Set Us Free

by Rebecca L. Brown, MSW, RSW


GENRE: SELF-HELP / Personal Growth / Self-Esteem                 




As a mental health clinician, Rebecca Brown has been a safe place for many to seek shelter from their secrets, silence and shame. Inspired to finally slow down, stop running from herself and share her own story, she found ways to seek and savor her own shelter.


Rebecca's personal journey takes us through sadness, tragedy, self-sabotage, the impossible pursuit of perfection, distorted thinking and eating, engaging with her shadow self, divorce, and numbing with alcohol, all in an attempt to avoid the story needing to be shared.


Dispelling the limiting beliefs we hold about ourselves can unlock our limitless potential to reach goals we never dared to dream. From the Boston Marathon to working with horses, Rebecca sets out to prove to herself that anything is possible when you don't listen to the negative stories you tell yourself.


Everyone has a story. We become who we are because of what has happened to us, and because of the stories we tell ourselves. But do our stories continue to serve us well, or keep us stuck? Are our stories fact or fiction? Is it time to rewrite the versions we have been telling ourselves?


Shelter provides strategies to help reframe the thinking patterns we have developed, and offers tools to recognize when we are suffering from our own thoughts, feelings and actions. Resilience-building techniques are woven through the pages, and encouragement for the lifelong journey of collecting moments of awe and happiness.


Seeking and reading Shelter is a gift of self-compassion and self-discovery. Rebecca's hope is that it will be read with a highlighter in hand, pages folded down, re-read, recommended to a friend, and used as a guide to start sharing our own stories with those we love.


We may not have written our beginnings, but we have the ability to write every word from this point forward and just imagine where our stories can take us when we are free of secrets, silence and shame.




I give my talk.

The room erupts in applause.

A dozen people line up to thank me or say a few words at the end of my session.

One man in particular stands out.

He is well over six feet tall and wearing a full Texas sheriff uniform.

He has greying hair and is likely close to the end of his career.

He pumps my hand as he shakes it, almost leaving it numb.

He thanks me for my talk. “Great stuff,” he says.

And then he hands me his business card.

But it’s not quite a business card.

It’s a photo card, like a baseball card, or a kid’s hockey card, with the player’s name, position, and smiling face as they stand posed to take a shot in their team uniform.

Only this is of a man on a black horse.

More precisely, it’s this man, a Texas sheriff on his beautiful black police horse.

“I thought you’d like to have this,” he says. “My horse is Canadian, like you.” And then he says something that has stayed with me, because he couldn’t be more right: “Everyone in this business should have a good horse!”

He meant the business of trauma.

I couldn’t have agreed more.

I still have his “business card.”

Two years later, I went back to Texas to teach a three-day workshop on resilience to youth detention workers. I tried to look up my Texas sheriff, but he had retired. I hope he’s finding more time to enjoy his good horse. I’ve shared the story of our brief encounter and his photo card with many police officers over the years. And every one of them agrees: horses can heal humans. I’ve found shelter with horses. Sometimes in the saddle, but mostly not. My story will get there. Eventually.

I finished my keynote address and spent the rest of the day at the conference on Youth in the Justice System. People stopped me in the halls of the hotel, telling me how much they enjoyed my talk. Later that evening, I went for a run.

And then I drank a bottle of wine and went to bed.


From The Author:


the intentional journey of becoming unstuck


I love,

hate, and


to move.

In my life I have moved over twenty times:

across the ocean,

across the country,

across the province,

across the city,

and across the road.

Wherever I move,

there I am.

But where am I?

Who am I?

I love to move

fast and far.

I run,

Marathons …

many of them.

I love to be moving.

I am happiest when I am moving:

on land,

water, or


On skis,





or walking


with dogs,

with someone.

Wherever I go,

no matter how fast

or how far,

there I am.

Here I am.

I am here.

I must move.

To stop is not an option.

I’m terrified to stop.

If I stop,

I will catch up to myself.


20 April 2009


The sound is deafening

as the US Military F-15 fighter jets fly overhead

to salute us.

I can feel it in my body;

my chest rumbles with

the roar of their engines.

The energy on the ground is even greater.

There is a visceral energy.

It is palpable.

My heart is racing;

I am swept along the street.

I don’t think my feet are even touching the ground;

the crowd is a wave of bodies.

There is no going back.

Only forward for 26.2 miles.

I am shivering

from cold,

from excitement,

from terror.

The starting line of the Boston Marathon stretches before me.

How did I get here?

I glance behind me.

I’m sure that someone is going to tap me on the shoulder any minute and say,

“There’s been a mistake. You are not supposed to be here!”

Because this is THE Boston Marathon!


The most famous, prestigious, sought after and iconic marathon in the world.

So how did they let me in?

I became a runner quite by accident.

Because I never set out to be a runner.


I am not athletic.

Or, as my father would say, I was not the sporty type.

I didn’t play any sports as a child outside of physical education classes,

where we all had to learn the basics of soccer, floor hockey, and physical



I have no hand-eye coordination, and I can’t swing a bat, hockey stick, or

golf club with any success. I did take some individual lessons in skating,

swimming, and horseback riding, but I was never picked for team sports.

I didn’t make the cut for any teams I tried out for, like volleyball or soccer.

And at only five-foot-two-inches, basketball was out of the question! I

didn’t join the track and field teams, and my parents didn’t enroll us in

any team leagues when we were kids, like softball or soccer. When I was

a teenager, friends encouraged me to join the local broomball team. You

didn’t have to try out, just pay the sign-up fee and you were on the team.

So how did I get to the Boston Marathon, in 2009 and again in 2011?? 

Read my story to find out, and much more about the impact of believing the stories we have been told, and continue to tell ourselves which can keep us stuck.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:


REBECCA BROWN is a clinical social worker with over 35 years in practice ranging from medical social work, childhood trauma, vicarious trauma for first responders, international psychological first aid, and Equine Assisted Therapy. She is honoured to hold a faculty appointment with the Department of Family Medicine at Western University in London, Ontario. She teaches extensively on the topics of trauma and resilience and has delivered keynote presentations throughout North America. She shares her life and career with her husband, a family physician and trailblazer in the field of Lifestyle Medicine. Together they live and work on the shores of the Great Lake Huron, where they seek and share shelter with their six adult children, four grandchildren, extended family and friends, two dogs, two cats and one horse.


Connect with Rebecca L. Brown





Get your copy of Shelter                    








Rebecca L. Brown, MSW, RSW will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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