Friday, July 7, 2017

New Cover Release: Why Should I Believe?

Monday, June 12, 2017

Enter this Goodreads Giveaway | The Virtuous Husband (Book 1 - Cannon & Durnam Trilogy)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Virtuous Husband by Dawnette Blackwood-Rhoomes

The Virtuous Husband

by Dawnette Blackwood-Rhoomes

Giveaway ends June 30, 2017.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

New Cover Release and Preview - The Hopeful Promise!

We said it! Now it's here! The new cover release for The Hopeful Promise!
Here's a little preview of The Hopeful Promise to whet your appetite!


With her wedding dress fluffed up around her, Jessica watched in the mirror as the woman touched up the last of her makeup. She wondered if anyone could hear her heart hammering away in her rib cage.
She rubbed her sweaty palms together, trying hard to remember not to smooth them along the white silky folds of the dress that Kent had picked out for her. She was the unwilling bride who didn’t even get to choose her own dress!

The dress was beautiful, she had to admit. But it was definitely not something she would have chosen for herself. Being conservative and traditional, she certainly wouldn’t have chosen something that fitted her like a glove. The bouquet of flowers they placed in her trembling hands were roses and baby’s breath. Not the calla lilies she would have chosen to borrow their elegance to outfit the ambience she would have gone for.  

The reception hall sparkled, as if Kent hired a team of minions to shine everything even down to the floor. The floral arrangement and the sparkling chandeliers helped to cast a festive glow in the hall.

The guests came out in droves, none of whom she had personally invited. Jessica recognized many of them who were members of the small town.

Her heart plummeted.

Everyone had come out to see her marry Kent.

Everyone, except her father!

Everything about this wedding was all wrong!

The wretched feeling only got worse when Kent’s sisters filed into the small dressing room. Four women, whom she barely knew, introduced themselves as Tracy, Liz, Carly and Kim. She smiled tightly at them as they fussed over her dress.

“I didn’t know my brother had such good taste,” Carly said, her voice sickeningly nasal.

Jessica cringed. Did the whole world know that Kent chose the dress? Could this situation get any more humiliating?   

She felt wronged. Somewhere deep within a scream was forming but it couldn’t surface. Each time Jessica opened her mouth to protest amidst the oohs and the aahs over the dress and flowers, and how wonderful it was of Kent to take care of such things, the words evaded her lips and she clamped her mouth shut again.

There was a fire deep within her and she was burning to tell someone that she didn’t agree to this wedding, but instead she allowed herself to be led down the hall where her Dad’s longtime friend and the mill’s foreman, John Macpherson, waited to escort her down the aisle and into the waiting arms of Kent Holmes.

And even as she glanced at John, her heart wrenched painfully in her chest. The whole thing was terribly wrong! There was no way she’d ever get married while her Dad was laid up in a hospital bed and in a coma! But Kent had taken over everything and had bullied his way into her life. Never before had she felt so helpless and hopeless.

Jessica clasped John’s arm tightly as her knees threatened to give way under her. The huge doors of the worship sanctuary yawned open before her and she heard Bella, the church organist, belt out the first notes of “Here Comes the Bride” on the church’s big organ that had been there ever since Jessica could remember.

Everything in the church hall seemed to glimmer and shimmer in the bright garish sunlight that was streaming steadily through the church windows. A wedding should be a joyous occasion, and yet she felt it was the most wretched day of her life. She pasted on a smile; a faint tilt at the corners of her lips, and choked back the tears that were threatening to come.

I could run, she thought.

But then where would that get her? It would only prolong the inevitable until her father emerged from his coma.

Jessica’s legs were wooden and heavy, and she commanded them to move as John took one step forward, gently tugging her arm as he went. Reluctantly, Jessica put one foot in front of the other. It was as if she was being led as a lamb to the slaughterhouse, ‘minus the bleating and the wailing and the gnashing of teeth’, as her grandmother would say. She might as well have been wailing, if only her mouth would open and the words would come.

She glanced at the people standing in the pew; women craning their necks to get a better view of the bride, while some dabbed at their tears with their husbands’ handkerchiefs. Of course, their husbands stood aloof and straight-faced, waiting for the boring ceremony to end and for the festivities to begin. Jessica’s heart lurched inside her chest when she caught sight of Mark in the pew amongst a group of teetering old ladies, on the left side of the church; the bride’s side. That side of the church was scanty in comparison to the groom’s side.

Mark stood a full two feet above them, his sandy brown hair glimmered in the sunlight streaming from the skylight above their heads.

He smiled at her. It lit up his face, and she immediately became furious with him. What was he so happy about? She sent him a “Help me!” look but he smiled even more and even winked at her!

Jessica’s heart sank. Any hopes of rescue from her fate seemed dashed now as Mark was clearly no longer on her side. Furious, she looked straight ahead. Now it was up to her. Again the thought resurfaced, she could simply become the runaway bride and just break free and take a hike for it. But where would that leave her and her father’s mill? Then again, how was marrying Kent any good for her father’s mill? Didn’t it just mean that he would have access to her shares and more controlling power of the mill? But it also meant she would have access to his 30 percent. Maybe she could eventually buy him out and then she would have full control. She prayed silently for God's help because she had no idea what she should do.

She kept moving in the direction toward the smug groom waiting at the end of the aisle. Jessica squared her shoulders and placed one shaky, sweaty hand into Kent’s large one. Her heart constricted as she took note of Kent’s wolfish grin and how his hand clasped her fingers tightly.

They turned and faced the minister. Jessica didn’t hear much of the minister’s drone as he spoke about the sanctity of marriage and how it should not be entered into lightly. Her heart squeezed in her chest when she heard Kent say “I do”; and then it was her turn to answer.

She opened her mouth to say something…anything…but the words seemed to squeeze along her throat, cutting off her air supply. Gulping, she clutched at her heart; the sudden pain, unbearable. Beads of sweat dotted her brow.

If she didn’t turn and run now, she would never get another chance!

However, it seemed as if Kent had guessed her thoughts as his clutch on her hand became tighter, almost cutting off the blood flow to her fingers. She glanced up at him and saw that his wolfish grin had transformed into a fiendish sneer.

Dear God! She was marrying the devil!

- Excerpt from The Hopeful Promise (Book 3 - Cannon & Durnam Textile Legacy)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Book Review | Susan's Shadow by Dr. Julia E. Antoine


Drawing inspiration from the very illustrative poem My Shadow by Robert Louis Stevenson, author Julia E. Antoine writes the eleventh and final installment in the Too Clever series.

Twelve year old Susan, who is on the brink of adolescence, hates being called Peter’s shadow. At the rate at which Susan is growing, it seems as if she’ll never catch up in height to her brother Peter and his friends. However, when she looks at her shadow, it seems to be as tall as Peter’s! As a result of this, Susan wants to get to the bottom of the puzzling mystery of the height of the shadow.

The book highlights Susan’s desire which is to appear as a real adolescent in the eyes of her brother and his friends. In an underlying tone, the book further highlights the struggle pre-teens face as they are caught between two worlds – the world of childhood and the world of adolescence. We can see this in Susan’s refusal to play with her best friend Marcie and her dolls, and her need to fit in with Peter and his friends. Hence, the struggle Susan faces is fostered in her curiosity to understand how the shadow works. Believing that her shadow seems taller because she had miraculously grown an inch is a subconscious yearning to actually be as tall as her shadow portrays. Her shadow was doing for her what her body had failed to do.

The information she picked up from her research on shadows for her class project casts light on the subject, and she found that the position of the sun determines the length and the size of her shadow. Realizing that in fact the truth lies in the light source and not her body actually growing was a real eye-opening experience for Susan. What she couldn’t make up for in height, she made up for in knowledge. That evening at the dinner table when she spoke about her project, even Peter had to admit he didn’t know the sun’s position determines the height of the shadow. Susan felt taller then.

Susan’s Shadow by Dr. Julia E. Antoine is a fun and lively read, with subtle undertones about pre-teen struggles which can be seen in the constant tug-of-war between childhood innocence and puberty.

This final installment brings to a close the Too Clever series, and as usual, Antoine brings the plot to an end with the warmth of friendship, an underlying thread that runs throughout several stories in the series.

Collect all eleven installments! Visit the author’s website for more details at www.too-clever.com

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Author Interview with Christine Cruz

1. Congratulations on both your books, Can I Always Come Back Home? and ABC Questions! We've had the pleasure of reviewing Can I Always Come Back Home? and find the book quite charming. Tell us about the inspiration behind this book.
I wrote Can I Always Come Back Home? after speaking with my youngest. I have three children, all boys. By the age of five, they all seemed to ask the same question, just presented in different ways. They all wanted to know if they left home, could they come back? I thought how wonderful it would be to answer this question in the form of a book.


2. Will we be seeing the main character Tyler in any future series?
Can I Always Come Back Home? was created as a stand alone book. However, based on the reactions I have received, there's a possibility we will see Tyler again.

3. The book offers assurance to sensitive children experiencing anxiety. How is the feedback so far on this book? Do you think parents and teachers find the book helpful?
I have received wonderful reviews. Teachers have used Can I Always Come Back Home? at circle time to reassure new students. I had a Family Worker approach me at a school I was working at. He told me he bought Can I Always Come Back Home? for his Mother. He explained that he was moving out and it was hard on her. He bought her the book to reassure her he knew where his home is. She loves the message Can I Always Come Back Home? sends. The moment they both shared over my book is priceless.

4. Tell us a little about your recently released ABC Questions, and how is it different from other alphabet books?
ABC Questions is about a girl named Beverly, who is starting school for the first time. One of her first lessons is the Alphabet. Beverly is filled with amusing questions about her ABCs. Instead of a traditional A is for Apple book, I take the letters of the alphabet and make them a part of the story highlighting the alphabet in color and capitalization.

5. What do you want young readers to learn from this book?
I want them to learn that learning is fun. Their ability to imagine can take them through anything.

6. What's next for Christine Cruz? What are you working on now?
I am working on three bilingual books (English and Spanish) that celebrate Grandparents. I am hoping that all three will be out in 2017. I am currently researching book charities in Honduras, Ecuador and Puerto Rico. I will be donating books to each charity. If anyone knows of a charity, please take a moment and email me at c.cruzbooks@gmail.com

See our Book Review of Can I Always Come Back Home?, here.
Check out the author's website for upcoming new releases.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Author Interview | Diane Solomon - What to Expect When Adopting a Dog!


1. Congratulations Diane on your recent book release, What to Expect When Adopting a Dog! We've had the pleasure of reviewing two of your previous books, which were quite charming as we met JJ the American Street Dog. Tell us a little about this new book.

JJ was the inspiration for this new book too. When we accidentally adopted him 21 years ago, I learned all about animal rescue, which ultimately led me to writing the JJ series. I was speaking at schools and over time I became the “go to gal” for all things dog and rescue related in my community. I realized that if the people I knew had these questions, what about the thousands of people that I didn’t know? Surely they had the same and plenty of other questions. I had so much experience and access to other professionals, so I wrote What to Expect When Adopting a Dog to answer many of the questions that come up before, during and after adopting a new dog.

2. As a Certified Humane Specialist what do you wish for readers to take away from the information you've provided in this book?

There are so many loving people that can offer great homes to a currently homeless dog. If it’s not the right time then people need to be responsible and wait until their circumstances are more favorable. But the majority of people who are ready that don’t have experience can save themselves and the dogs a lot of angst by reading this book. And even experienced dog parents might learn something they didn’t know before. I’m constantly learning! Ultimately, Humane Education Specialists want people to know how to treat animals (and other people of course) with kindness. That means that not only are their basic needs met, but they live in a warm comfortable home with a loving family, quality food, regular veterinary care and a whole lot of love. This book offers tons of suggestions on how to achieve that. In 5 modules, I take you through the whole process from that first question “Am I ready?” all the way through advanced dog parenting even if you’ve already adopted a dog.

3. As a Specialist you've seen the growing number of stray and abandoned pets. Other than adopting (some children have allergies), how else can families offer their help?

The numbers of animals being euthanized in the shelters has gone down significantly over the last 20 years - in large part due to education, spay and neuter programs and adoption events. But there still are millions of animals that enter the shelters that never leave so there’s still more work to be done. Families can foster a dog in need - there are many breeds that are hypo allergenic too. You can volunteer or take up a collection of blankets, towels or food to donate to your local shelter. And you can donate money to rescue groups and shelters, which allows them to continue education and adoption efforts in every community.

4. Your books are quite informative. What has been the response of your readers so far in regard to pet adoption? Do you find children and parents find the books helpful?

People are so excited that a book like this finally exists. Professionals in the rescue arena want everyone who comes through their doors to have access to this book. The cool thing about this book is that if anyone is just considering a new dog, they need only check out the first part of the book to get started. And if they already have a dog, the latter part will be helpful. So it doesn’t need to be read all at one time. Busy families appreciate that! And parents love that there is information about safety for humans - especially children.

5. Will there be any future series on cats?

I love cats and used to have cats, but we haven’t had a cat in a while. I should probably stick to what I know best for the moment, but never say never!

6. What are you working on now?

I’m mostly blogging since this book is brand new to help get the word out. I do hope to get back to a human animal bond project I started last year but had to shelve while I finished up this book.

See JJ the American Street Dog book review here.