Guest Author: Carol Van Den Hende

GOODBYE, ORCHID is one of the most anticipated 2020 fall reads: Buzzfeed l Parade l Travel+Leisure. Winner: 2020 American Fiction Award l Pinnacle Achievement Award.

“Page-turner” “Breath of awe” “Tugs on your soul”

What happens when an entrepreneur suffers an accident that changes him forever and he has to decide: to love his woman, will he need to leave her?

One July morning in Manhattan, handsome athlete and entrepreneur Phoenix Walker accompanies his love, half-Asian beauty Orchid Paige, to the airport. Neither believes today is goodbye.

But soon after Orchid leaves, disaster strikes.

Phoenix wakes in the hospital, broken, forever changed.

Now, he’s faced with the hardest decision of his life. Does he burden the woman whose traumatic childhood makes him feel protective of her? Or does true love mean having to say Goodbye, Orchid?

Rising from ashes is hard. Leaving the one you love is harder.

“A tale of sacrifice and rebirth; heroism is in the details.”

—SSGT Aaron Michael Grant, author of TAKING BAGHDAD: Victory in Iraq With the US Marines

For fans of Me Before You and Fault in Our Stars, Goodbye, Orchid asks…

“What choice does a wounded hero have when loving his woman means breaking his own heart?”

Short BIO: CAROL VAN DEN HENDE is an award-winning author who pens stories of resilience and hope. She’s also a speaker, strategist, and serves on nonprofit boards. One secret to her good fortune? Her humorous husband, fun-loving twins, and rescue cat, who prove that love really does conquer all.

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New Review

So… how do you review a book that was well-written, but you will absolutely never read again? And in fact, was a bit hard to get through this time? I just finished reading “The City of the Plague God” by Sarwat Chadda. It’s a YA fantasy book in the Rick Riordan mythology genre of fiction. It’s got a lot of action, adventure, plays heavily on the story of Gilgamesh and Mesopotamian gods and takes place in New York City.

So what’s wrong? Well, for starters, I don’t recommend reading a story about a plague while in the throes of a pandemic. Secondly, it has a lot of disgusting aspects (plagues of boils, maggots, and more). It was really nasty. But would probably appeal to a younger audience with a strong stomach.

Anyway, I gave it 4 sparklers because it is well-written and interesting, but…ugh. Will definitely not ever read it again.

Guest Author: K Webster


Money can buy anything. And anyone. As the head of the Constantine family, I’m used to people bowing to my will. Cruel, rigid, unyielding—I’m all those things. When I discover the one woman who doesn’t wither under my gaze, but instead smiles right back at me, I’m intrigued. Ash Elliott needs cash, and I make her trade in crudeness and degradation for it. I crave her tears, her moans. I pay for each one. And every time, she comes back for more. When she challenges me with an offer of her own, I have to decide if I’m willing to give her far more than cold hard cash. But love can have deadly consequences when it comes from a Constantine. At the stroke of midnight, that choice may be lost for both of us.


I stare at the two thousand dollars we agreed upon. It doesn’t feel real. Since meeting Winston, I’ve made over four thousand dollars, kicking me up to eleven grand in my college fund. It’s annoying the relief I feel. It would have taken me months to make that much at FGM Services. I know Manda offered to pay, but I’d feel much better if I could somehow pay for it myself, even if it’s just books and supplies. I hate having to be indebted to her.

I go to reach for the money, but his hand covers mine, stopping me. My heart does a nervous skip in my chest.

“Want to earn more?” His eyes flare with challenge.

I can do this.

I can endure his weird-ass fantasies because he pays well.

“Yes,” I tell him with false bravado.

“Then wrap those lips around your breadstick. Lick it and suck it. Like you wish it were my dick.” He nods at the bread on my plate. “Five hundred dollars.”

God, he is so freaking bizarre.

I’m about to tell him where to shove his breadstick when I decide to negotiate for more. It’s just a breadstick, not his dick. I can do this. Easily. I’m practically salivating for it anyway. The bread, not his dick.

“Eight,” I counter.

“A grand if you moan my name while you do it and don’t stop when Francis brings our food.” He winks at me. “Easy money.”

“Fifteen hundred and I’ll gag on it.”

He fists his hand, his jaw clenching, the first sign of a normal human reaction. Heat burns down my spine, pooling in my pelvis. I’m not turned on by him. Not a bit.

“You have yourself a deal, little girl.”

Closing my eyes, I attempt to distance myself from him as I pick up my bread. He clears his throat, earning my stare, and shakes his head.

“Eyes on me,” he murmurs. “Everything you do, I want your eyes on me.”

Buy Links:


Barnes and Noble

K Webster is a USA Today Bestselling author. Her titles have claimed many bestseller tags in numerous categories, are translated in multiple languages, and have been adapted into audiobooks. She lives in “Tornado Alley” with her husband, two children, and her baby dog named Blue. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and researching aliens.

You can easily find K Webster on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads!

Can’t find a certain book? Maybe it’s too hot for Amazon! Don’t worry because titles like Bad Bad Bad, This is War, Baby, The Wild, and Hale can all be found for sale on K’s website in both ebook and paperback format.


Guest Author: Maggie Preston

For Riley Kenner, the small town of Belle Terre Louisiana is going to be her second chance at home and family. She’s ready to put down some roots after a life on the road and has found a house to call her own and one of her long-lost brothers. Then her brother disappears – along with her money – and disaster begins to follow Riley through the streets of town making her an outsider before she can even take off her toolbelt.

Jackson Guidry had everything anyone could ever want until his family was willing to walk him down the aisle and trade his future for their own. He’s been on his own since then until he discovers people who look to him for the answers and a community worth fighting for. 

 As her dreams of home and family go up in smoke (literally), Riley is ready to call it quits. Jackson may only be the stand-in sheriff, but he’s determined to help Riley uncover the truth behind her missing money and missing brother and find a place to call her own.

Can two people looking for a second chance find an opportunity for their happily ever after?

About the author

Maggie Preston is an award-winning author of contemporary romantic fiction. She fell in love with romance before she even knew what it was, stealing paper back novels from her grandmother’s closet when her mother wasn’t looking. Maggie loves to travel and tells people that anything and everything they do could end up in her next novel. So, if you’ve met Maggie and recognize yourself in her books, remember you were warned. Maggie currently balances life between her right brain and left brain: technical writer and quality management consultant by day, romance writer by night. 





Twitter:  @maggie_preston


Guest Author: Lori Matthews


Hudson Riggs has returned to his family’s ranch after years spent traveling the world. The former Navy SEAL accepted a position as a Personal Security Specialist, a job that didn’t leave much free time. He never expected his visit to his hometown to turn into another job. His former High School flame has been arrested for murder but Hudson’s gut instinct is she didn’t do it. All he has to do now is prove it.

For Sunny Travers, being back in Canyon Springs is bittersweet. She desperately misses her life in California but her grandmother needs her. Sunny’s world flips upside down when she’s arrested for killing the local hero. Now the citizens of Canyon Springs have turned against her and she’s forced to accept help from the man who broke her heart all those years ago.

Hudson knows Sunny hasn’t forgiven him. Hell, he hasn’t forgiven himself for how he left things but all his emotions take a back seat when someone tries to kill Sunny. Can Hudson protect Sunny long enough to apologize to her and right old wrongs or will the killer get to her first?


Lori Matthews gravitated toward reading because of her parents’ habit of leaving books all over the house. Her father loved thrillers and her mother loved romance. Lori combines the two and writes romantic suspense. Her work has won or been a finalist more than a dozen times and she was won three Daphne awards for her Callahan Security series, which includes the novels Break and EnterSmash and Grab, and Hit and Run.






Twitter: @_LoriMatthews_
Instagram: Lorimatthewsbooks

Guest Author: Amber Daulton

Injured Parole Officer Jeremiah “Jim” Borden never expected Calista Barlow, the sassy blonde waitress he’s craved for months, to ring his doorbell. She slips into his heart—and his bed—but he’s obsessed with a gangland investigation that threatens his career and maybe even his life. Calista doesn’t trust easily, not with a daughter to protect and the stalker who keeps calling her. After her violent ex-boyfriend returns, she finds solace in Jim’s arms. Jim may have to forego his need for answers to protect the ready-made family he adores, but how will he and Calista escape an unseen enemy that is always one step ahead of them?

Character Interview with Jim Borden from Arresting Jeremiah

  1. Do you have a pet? What kind? If you don’t what would you have if you could? I have a cat, Niko. He’s an orange tabby and spoiled rotten. He thinks he owns the house and I live there to serve him. Well, the second part is true. I love that damn cat, and he takes full advantage of me because he knows he can.
  2. Are you an only child? How many siblings do you have? Are you close or are you estranged? I have a younger sister, Mia. We’re fairly close but not as tight as I wish. My job as a parole officer is sometimes dangerous. I want to protect her from the crap I deal with, so I’ve erected a wall between us. The wall is even taller now since our parents have died. I can’t let it bother me. I’ll do whatever I can to keep Mia—and my new ladylove, Calista—out of the crossfire. And yeah, I’ve gotten in more than my fair share of fights with some out-of-control parolees over the years. I know I can be a hardass, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to shoot at me.
  3. Do you own your own home or rent? After my parents died, I inherited their house. Before that, I was paying an outrageous amount in rent, but I loved my old bachelor pad apartment.
  4. Do you exercise or are you a coach potato? I jog around the neighborhood as often as possible, but I’ve slacked off on exercising since I broke my arm. It’s just too difficult with the cast restricting my movement and with the broken bone shooting pain through my body. Of course, that doesn’t stop me from defending Calista against her ex and from getting into fights with drug dealers. I can barely remember what I look like without a bruise darkening my skin.
  5. Have you ever served in the military? No, but I was considering joining the police force. I trashed that idea after I broke the same arm twice. I never really wanted to join, anyway, and I was only going to do it to make Dad proud. Now with my arm not in the best of shape, I doubt I could pass basic training.
  6. What kind of clothes do you wear? I love blazers. Navy blue, pinstripe, solid colors, plaid…whatever. It’s my go-to article of clothing, no matter the weather, and it hides the gun I always wear at my side.
  7. What made you get into the situation you’re in now? Why? Someone in my parole office stole some private files from me and gave them to a few gangbangers, who then went after Mia, her boyfriend, Mason, and me. A lot of crap went down and that should’ve been the end of it, but nope, I couldn’t let bygones be bygones. I needed to know which coworker betrayed me. It was driving me nuts, so I did something very stupid and highly illegal. That mistake landed Calista and me in hot water. Boiling hot, I tell you. Things will get better, though. I have to believe that.

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Now Taking Sign Ups for my Newsletter, Amber Daulton Romance

About the Author

Amber Daulton is the author of the romantic-suspense series Arresting Onyx and several standalone novellas. Her books are published through The Wild Rose Press, Books to Go Now, and Daulton Publishing, and are available in ebook, print on demand, audio, and foreign language formats.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and demanding cats.

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New Reviews

I have three new reviews posted. Actually, that’s not true. Two are posted, one is not. It’s not posted because I gave it one star – something I hate to do and something I won’t post here. But this book was so bad that I just couldn’t recommend it at all. So… a word of advice to authors who go the self-publishing route: Please, please, please… hire a good editor and formatter. The book I read (and no, I will not say what it was. If you are really curious, check out my Goodreads page), was a blatant ripoff of Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None”. Yes, other authors have done this, but not in such an obvious manner as this one. The formatting was awful and the spelling/word misuse proof that it never went past a good editor/proofreader.

The other two books I read this weekend (and this seemed to be my weekend for magic related books):

“Crystal Magic” by Madeline Freeman: a 3 star review only because it ended in a cliffhanger ending (which I detest) and too many characters named “Crystal” (in various spellings). The twist at the end was intriguing but it forces you to buy more books in order to find out what happens and I hate that kind of marketing ploy. But, that being said, it is a decent YA paranormal read. You can find the full review under “YA Books”

“Candle Magic for Beginners” by Mystic Dylan – a 5 star review for this nonfiction book that is all about using candles in spell casting. A decent, easy-to-follow howto book. You can find the full review in “Nonfiction”.


An Anthology



A memoir is a journey through the writer’s past. It is not an autobiography – one’s entire life – but a slice of life.

The trying period since January 1, 2020 makes sense to each of us because we have lived through it. Our reader, on the other hand, needs to make sense of the changes during the period covered by our memoir. The task for us as writers is not only to tell the reader what happened during the Coronovirus period, but to bring them along on the journey so they can experience it for themselves.

The last six months is similar to a number of other critical times in our history — the Kennedy assassination, the landing on the moon, and the 911 attack. Everyone remembers where they were during those times and undoubtedly they will remember what they were doing during the Coronovirus Pandemic. Having written a memoir of your experience will help others understand what you did during this trying period. Creative nonfiction is useful in a memoir as it helps bring scenes alive with enhanced setting and dialogue. Many personal history memoirs succeed because the writer transforms real people into compelling, fleshed-out characters on the page.

During four weeks in May 2020, a number of people attended ZOOM workshops we provided on the story-telling techniques needed to help document a new normal memoir.

We have tried to capture voices from the Pandemic — healthcare workers, educators, people who have experienced loss, writers and entertainers without audiences, and a special group, sixth graders trying to understand why? None of these voices know what the future holds. We don’t either, but we have tried to document where we are now.

We hope you enjoy the stories in this anthology and perhaps better understand what this trying period has meant to many of us.

Don Helin, Editor

Cathy Teets, Publisher

During his time in the military, Don Helin served at a number of stateside posts as well as overseas in Vietnam and Germany. He is the author of six thrillers that draw from his military experience, including three tours in the Pentagon. He writes for “TheBurg”, a community magazine based in Harrisburg.

His novel, Secret Assault, was selected as the Best Suspense/Thriller at the 2015 Indie Book Awards. His novel, Long Walk Home, won a Five Star review at Readers Favorite Awards and his latest novel, Roof of the World, was just awarded a Finalist in the 2020 Indie Book Awards.

You can reach Don at:

New Reviews

Today, we have two new reviews – one on Teresa’s page and one under Mysteries.

Teresa has written an elegant review of The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir by André Leon Talley. This 4 1/2 Sparkler book is all about fashion.

Under Mysteries, I have a review of the book “An Extravagant Death” by Charles Finch. A historical mystery set in Newport, R.I. It’s coming out February, 2021 and is a decent read, especially if you like history mixed in with your mystery. 4 Sparklers