Giveaways, Meet The Author

Meet The Author: Interview with Stephanie Hazeltine

Stephanie Hazeltine is a contemporary fiction author who writes about fearless females as they fall in love, navigate motherhood or tackle mysteries. She lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, two kids and two cavoodles. Stephanie stopped by to chat about the inspiration behind her new book, upcoming projects and more.

Q & A with Stephanie Hazeltime

What inspired you to write this book?

My inspiration for this book came from my own mothers’ group. None of the characters are based on the women I met but I found the concept of a mothers’ group interesting. We live in the same area and had babies in the same month, so we’re put together and then become friends – it’s strange. The women I met are all so different and come from all over Australia and have different backgrounds and jobs, etc. I wanted to write unique female characters and give them each a distinct voice so I thought basing it around a mothers’ group would be a great way to do it.

What can we expect from you in the future?

There is a sequel to ‘While the Baby Sleeps’ coming in 2023.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in While the Baby Sleeps?

Amalia, Marnie, Peyton and Fleur are the four main characters from ‘While the Baby Sleeps’. They are all complete works of fiction.

Marnie is a first-time mum in a new town, paralysed by anxiety and pushing away her police-officer husband. She suffers from post-natal depression and is really struggling with her new identity as a mother.

Peyton is a teen mum, living with her parents and longing to behave like other teenagers her age. She has a constant internal battle because she loves her son so much but she also wants to go out drinking and meet people.

Fleur looks like the perfect picture of a mum who is coping and loving motherhood, but no one knows that under her beautiful dress, her body is covered in bruises caused by her husband. She puts so much effort into hiding her demons and comes across bubbly and happy to others.

Amalia, a single mum, lost her parents in tragic circumstances and will do anything to honour her mother’s dying wish and protect the family she has. She is recently single and has a hard time trusting others.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

I really enjoyed writing as different people. Getting myself totally into the mindset of a character and trying to speak and behave in the way they would so that it’d come across authentic. It was fun to write the different women.

How did you come up with the title of the book?

One of the most annoying sayings that new parents hear is ‘Sleep while the baby sleeps’ because it just rarely happens. This is a bit of a play on that because so much happens while the babies sleep in this story.

Who designed your book covers?

Elle Maxwell Design

Did you learn anything during the writing of your recent book?

I learnt so much about the writing process, character development, editing, the publishing process, marketing, everything! It’s been a whirlwind and I’ve gained so much from it.

What is your favorite part of this book and why?

Without giving anything away, I love the bond that develops between these mothers. They are there for one another during this new stage in their lives.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.

This book isn’t just a thriller with a murder mystery, it’s so much more. It gives a real insight into motherhood – the highs and lows, the joy and fear. It’s relatable and will make you laugh, leave you shocked, make you want to shake some sense into these characters and hopefully fall in love with the them too – well some of them, some are entirely unlovable.

Have you written any other books that are not published?

I have finished the first draft of the sequel to ‘While the Baby Sleeps’ and written an unrelated YA dystopian book.

Fun Facts/Behind the Scenes/Did You Know?’-type tidbits about the author, the book or the writing process of the book.

‘While the Baby Sleeps’ was mostly written while my babies were asleep.

There is a reference to Top Gun in my book because a friend dared me to include it when we were talking about the new Top Gun movie.

The café in the book is named after the Australian rules football team I follow.

While the Baby Sleeps

by Stephanie Hazeltine

Genre: Thriller

Four mothers.
One body.
Many secrets.


Marnie is a first-time mum in a new town, paralysed by anxiety and pushing away her police-officer husband.

Peyton is a teen mum, living with her parents and longing to behave like other teenagers her age.

Fleur looks like the perfect picture of a mum who is coping and loving motherhood, but no one knows that under her beautiful dress, her body is covered in bruises caused by her husband.

Amalia, a single mum, lost her parents in tragic circumstances and will do anything to honour her mother’s dying wish and protect the family she has.

When these women meet at mothers’ group, they bond over feeding schedules and baby products, but when a local is found murdered, they discover it’s not their babies who will tie them to one another forever.

Each woman has a motive to kill and secrets to hide, but do they know who the real enemy is?

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Book Features, Giveaways

Sneak Peek of Second Chance Christmas by Alison Packard

“The coast is clear,” he said, lowering his voice. “We can sneak in through the back entrance to the garden.”

Her eyes widened. “Isn’t that trespassing?”

“Not if we’re guests of the hotel or attending the dance.”

“We’re neither of those things.”

“No one will know we’re not attending the dance.” He nodded in the direction of the alley. “C’mon. You really should see it. We won’t stay long.”

After a few seconds, she nodded. “Okay. But if we get busted, you’re the one taking the fall. Not me.”

“Way to have my back,” he said, firing a sarcastic grin.

“Hey.” She lightly poked his upper arm. “I’m not built for prison. I’d be someone’s bitch two seconds after the cellblock door slammed behind me.”

He let out a snort of amusement and grabbed her hand. “You do have a flair for drama. Let’s go.”

After they rounded the corner, he walked beside her until they reached the alley behind the hotel. Once they were out of sight from the street, he guided her along the dimly lit alleyway past a large trash dumpster and what looked like an area for deliveries until they reached the white stucco wall that enclosed the terrace.

“You sure know how to show a girl a good time,” she whispered.

He chuckled under his breath as they approached the wrought iron door that would grant them entry. “Trust me. It’ll be worth it,” he said and reached for the handle on the door. “Damn it.” He let out a groan of frustration when the handle didn’t budge. “It’s locked.”

“A sure sign this is a bad idea.”

“No, it’s not.” Ben stepped back and surveyed the white stucco wall next to the gate. “We just need to be creative. Wait here.” He turned and jogged back to the dumpster.

“What are you doing?” she called after him in a loud whisper.

“Just wait there.” At the dumpster, he grabbed a wooden vegetable crate sitting next to it and hurried back to where Maddie stood, wearing a puzzled expression on her face. After a furtive glance over his shoulder, he set the crate at the base of the wall. “I’ll climb over and unlock the door.”

“Are you serious?” she said, keeping her voice low. “Why don’t we try to get inside the normal way?”

“Where’s the fun in that?” He stepped on the box, which gave him enough height to pull himself up, swing his leg over the wall, and easily straddle the top. He grinned at her as he balanced himself.

“Sergeant Ashford?”

He froze as one of the hotel’s security guards approached them. As the young man moved closer, Ben recognized him, and suddenly, his idea of harmless fun had turned into a colossal error in judgment. “Hey, Andre.” He looked down at Andre with a sheepish grin. Then he glanced at Maddie, who had covered her mouth with her hand. Probably to hide a gloating smile. “Long time, no see.”

Andre cocked his head and grinned. “It looks like the shoe’s on the other foot. When you were a patrol officer, you came upon me and my buddies trying to jump the fence over at the skate park.”

“Well, it was after hours. And the skate park was closed for the evening.”

“The garden door is locked for a reason,” Andre replied, using similar verbiage Ben used that night to Andre and his friends.

Under Andre’s amused gaze, a knot tightened in Ben’s stomach. He grimaced. Andre was enjoying this. And who could blame him?

“You’re right,” he acknowledged with an apologetic smile. “I shouldn’t be climbing the wall.”

“You don’t have to break in. I’d be happy to open the door for you.” Andre grinned. “You let me off with a warning at the skate park. So I guess I can return the favor and not call this in.”

“Thanks, Andre,” he said, exhaling in relief. He swung his leg back over the top of the wall and eased himself down onto the crate. “I appreciate that.”

“No problem.” Andre unhooked a key carabiner from his belt loop and unlocked the door with one of the keys. “But if I catch you doing this again, I’m not gonna go so easy on you.”

Ben cleared his throat and nodded. “I understand. It won’t happen again,” he said as Maddie stifled a laugh.

“Have a nice evening.” Andre opened the door and motioned for Ben and Maddie to proceed.

“You too, Andre.”

“Merry Christmas,” Maddie called out to Andre as they entered the garden. Then, as Ben closed the door behind them, she burst out laughing. “The look on your face when Andre showed up was priceless. You’re lucky it was him and not one of your officers.”

“Oh, don’t worry,” he said. “I’ll be hearing about this at the station. Andre is Carolyn’s nephew.”

She chuckled. “Small towns. You gotta love ’em.”

Second Chance Christmas

by Alison Packard

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Struggling actress Maddie Hart is home for the holidays in her small town and comes face-to-face with the last man she wants to see—the one she abandoned four years ago when she ran off to chase her dreams.

Police Sergeant Ben Ashford had an engagement ring in his pocket the night Maddie blindsided him. He doesn’t expect the gut punch of seeing her again or that she’d reignite feelings he’d thought long buried.

Ben’s not about to get tangled up with a woman who’ll just run again, but Maddie has never stopped thinking about him. Can she trade the bright lights of Hollywood for the twinkling Christmas lights of her hometown and a second chance at love?

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Alison’s love of the romance genre goes all the way back to her high school years when she gobbled up every Harlequin novel she could get her hands on. Back then, she never dreamed of writing her own stories. But years later, her inner writer emerged and she’s now a multi-published author of contemporary romance.

When she’s not plotting her next book, she hangs out with her adorable rescue dog, Bailey, consumes more chocolate than she should, and spends time with her friends and family.

Visit her website at www.alisonpackard.com to subscribe to her newsletter, get information about previous books, and updates about upcoming releases.

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Book Features, Giveaways

Spotlight: Curse of The Unnamed Series by Bruce Blake

The Book of Shadow

Curse of the Unnamed Book 1

by Bruce Blake

Genre: Epic Fantasy

Llyris Fildarae is an outcast tainted by a sliver of magic in a world terrified of the supernatural. Loathed and distrusted, she uses her ability to control a magical Unnamed to survive.

Caedric Carpera is desperate to save his son from a deadly illness. He enlists Llyris to locate a lost tome containing secrets capable of healing him, but its location is a mystery that’s already claimed lives. Thrust into a hostile world, Llyris and her companions risk everything to find the relic and return before the child’s sickness prevails.

But who is the enigmatic old man who appeared out of nowhere to set them on this dangerous expedition? And what does he really want?

Only a perilous mission to an untamed land can save the boy and reveal the truth.

Except some truths are too shocking to be exposed.

Get ready for an epic fantasy adventure full of twists and turns from the author of the Khirro’s Journey trilogy and The Books of the Small Gods. Scroll up to one-click purchase your copy and start reading right away!

Florida Authors and Publishers’ President’s Book Awards Gold Medal Winner!

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Shadow Scarred

Curse of the Unnamed Book 2

The Book of Shadow was found, but the quest continues…

Llyris Fildarae is still reeling with the news of her heritage imparted by an old man claiming to be the great mage Amnayel Prisma—doubtful, though he’s proven able to perform unusual wonders even a magik couldn’t. He cured a boy, yet now demands a stave to aid in healing a fallen knight.

The quest she and her companions embark on requires them to travel to the Obsidian Fields, a place no one has visited since time immemorial. Even Prisma himself—if that is who he is—cannot tell them what it may look like or what to expect once there.

What dangers will they face? Magic? Deadly curses? The undead again?

No one knows. Not even a Shadow Scarred.

Scroll up and one-click purchase to follow the exciting journey of Llyris and her companions as their adventure continues in Shadow Scarred.

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A Shadow Upon the Land

Curse of the Unnamed Book 3

A tome. A stave. The fate of the world.

When Llyris Fildarae packed up her Unnamed and took an unlikely group to locate the Book of Shadow and save a boy’s life, she had no idea the evil she’d encounter.

When she and her companions set out on a second expedition, this time to find the savior mage’s stave, they couldn’t have guessed the dangers awaiting them.

Separated, trapped, and navigating perilous lands, their only hope of survival is to find their way home.

But where is home if everything is left in ruins?

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Bruce Blake lives in a small town on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. When pressing issues like shovelling snow and building igloos don’t take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest cafe to work on his short stories and novels.Actually, Victoria, B.C. is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow. Bruce is the father of two amazing humans and does his very best to keep a bearded dragon alive and healthy, though he doesn’t have much success at doing the same with house plants. He spends too much time work a traditional job and not enough time writing but hopes to change all that soon.

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Book Features, Giveaways, Guest Posts

Guest Post: The Side Stories of My Characters by Katie Eagan Schenck

When I wrote the first draft of A Home for Christmas, I actually wrote several chapters from Lilly’s point of view. I loved delving deeper into her character, and it helped me to understand her so much more than if I hadn’t gotten in her head.

However, a developmental editor I’d hired didn’t think it worked for the book, as she’d never read a romance that wasn’t from a single or dual point of view. So, I went back and rewrote Lilly’s chapters to make them from Brad and/or Shelly’s viewpoint. But I still have Lilly’s chapters in earlier draft form, and I’ve considered turning them into a short story. She had her own romantic interest, after all, and it’d be fun to delve into that a bit more.

I’ve also considered expanding the world of the book to write about the other characters. Whether that would be in the form of more novels or short stories, I haven’t decided yet. But I could see a story for Beatrice and Wallace, giving them their own second chance in a “seasoned” romance. I’d also love to write about Susan and Annabelle, and their journey to being parents. And then there’s Kylie. She could use a love story all her own.

Unfortunately, between the fantasy series and the other two books, I don’t know when I’ll have the time to do these stories justice. But I’ll keep them in mind for the future!

Debut author, Katie Eagan Schenck, writes sweet romance that warms the heart and gives all the feels. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s either working on regulations for the federal government or binging Hallmark movies. She lives in Maryland with her husband, daughter, and their three cats.

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A Home For Christmas

by Katie Eagan Schenck

Genre: Contemporary Holiday Romance

Brad has just one wish this Christmas: to find a real home. Having lost his parents before joining the Marines, he misses that sense of belonging and family. When he meets an introverted flight attendant on his journey to start his civilian life, he wonders if this might be his chance.

After a messy divorce, Shelly has decided the only person allowed within the brittle walls of her broken heart is her daughter, Lilly. At least, until she meets a friendly man who hails from her hometown while working a routine flight. When she learns he needs a place to stay, she offers the apartment over her garage out of the kindness of her heart – and her desperate need for extra cash.

Even as Brad endears himself to Shelly by saving the town’s Christmas pageant, she attempts to keep her distance to protect the fragile stability she’s built since her divorce. But Brad’s willingness to walk the fine line between what Shelly’s heart wants and what her head allows slowly wears down her resolve. And when Brad receives a job offer near the only family he has left, Shelly must decide whether she’s willing to risk her heart again before he leaves her home, and her life, for good.

Book Links:

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