Book Features, Bookish News

Sneak Peek of Memories in December by Gina Ardito

Don’t get me wrong. I love my grandmother. But I swear she must have dropped the brown acid at Woodstock. She had no filter, no sense of decorum. I couldn’t imagine how my mom managed to grow up with Nana as her parental influence. Even Grandpa could never stifle her rowdy spirit.
Once, when I was about fourteen, I had a crush on this guy who lived across the street from us. Jimmy Vais was everything a teenage girl lusted after in those days. He was an older man, almost eighteen, and had long dark hair—even longer than mine!—and he played bass guitar in a band. He was tall and lanky and didn’t know I existed, much to my poor heart’s distress. That summer, I’d finally convinced my puritanical parents to buy me my first bikini, tame by today’s standards, by the way. One hot July day, I decided to wear my new bathing suit while washing Dad’s car. I know. Not a very original idea, but I was an MTV child, and all the sexiest videos had girls in bikinis or school girl uniforms, climbing on the hoods of sleek sports cars. So I’ve got the music blaring on some top forty radio station, and I’m soaking myself with the hose, practically kissing this enormous sponge, and here comes Nana Thea strolling up the walk.
“Well, look at you!” she exclaimed loud enough to drown out Britney Spears singing about getting hit one more time. “You’re gonna be a stunner when you’re finally able to fill out that bra cup.”
“Nana!” I screeched, but it was too late. The damage was done. I didn’t have to glance across the street to know Jimmy had heard her. His hoots of laughter rappelled down my spine and set my skin ablaze with embarrassment. It was the one and only time Jimmy paid the slightest attention to me. Of course, I did my own share of embarrassing things after that, which sent me on a tangent I’d rather never revisit. I’m sure Jimmy knew all about my stint at the clinic for eating disorders—the whole town did. To this day, whenever I hear people whisper around me, I wonder if they’re talking about me. Look. That’s her. They used to call her Barf Bag Bendlow…
Memories in December 
Calendar Girls Book 4
by Gina Ardito
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: November 7, 2019
Siobhan Bendlow is struggling with her recovery from an eating disorder and the financial downturn of her photography business. The last thing she needs is to become the sole caretaker of her wacky grandmother. Especially since the man of her teenaged dreams, Jimmy Vais, has moved back to town, newly single and available. So has his pesky younger brother, Justin. One Vais is fun, but juggling two is a problem.
Althea Bendlow may be in her seventies now, but she still craves all the things she wanted in youth: joy, comfort, laughter, and happiness for her loved ones. If gaining the latter means performing some matchmaking magic for her only granddaughter, she’s up to the task. As long as her own past doesn’t keep distracting her, in the form of Captain Lou Rugerman, a man who meant the world to her for one night only.
Welcome back to Snug Harbor, where the memories of a lifetime can become the dreams of tomorrow…
**easily read as a standalone!!**
I kill houseplants. There. Now you know one of my greatest shames. I’m not boasting. I just figure that if you’re reading this, you’re looking for more than how wonderful life is as a writer. You get enough of that elsewhere. Ditto for political rants, how to lose thirty pounds in a week, and creating gorgeous crafts with nothing more than twine and soup cans. My goal is to connect with you, dear reader, even if you’re not a writer, not a New Yorker, not a mother, not a female. We’re human (unless one of us is a spambot), and what we have in common is flaws. So here are a few more of mine:
I sing all the time. I sing songs most people don’t know–jingles from television, crazy stuff I used to listen to on Dr. Demento, Broadway and movie soundtracks, and I can even bum-bum-bum through instrumental music. I sing in the car. In the shower. While I’m grocery shopping. And I headbop while I sing. When I’m not singing, I talk to myself. Just ignore me and move on. You get used to it after a while.
I don’t eat my vegetables. Seriously. I only started eating salad about ten years ago, but I’d still rather have a cookie.
Given the option, I would live in a mall where I would never have to worry about freezing temperatures or too much sun. I’m extremely fair-skinned and could burn under a 60-watt light bulb.
I can’t sleep without background noise so the television’s on all night. If it’s too dark and too quiet, all I have are my thoughts. And even *I* don’t want to be alone with my thoughts.
Don’t ask me to Zumba, line dance, or march in the parade. I have absolutely no rhythm.
I color outside the lines. Not because I’m a rebel, but because I suck as an artist. My artistic ability is limited to being able to draw Snoopy sleeping on his doghouse. And I don’t even draw that well.
Regrets. I have more than a few.
My favorite activity is sleep, and I’m pretty good at it. I don’t clock a lot of hours, but I can powernap like a Persian cat and rejuvenate within ten minutes.
I consider shopping and dining out excellent therapy for anything wrong in my life.
My feet are always cold. Always. My husband of more than a quarter century claims it’s because I’m an alien sent to Earth to destroy him. (He might be right about that.)
Coming to my house for a visit? Unless you’ve given me plenty of advance notice, be prepared. My floor will not be vacuumed, there will be dishes in my sink, and I only make my bed when I change the sheets once a week (I’m climbing back into it ASAP. Why make it?) Housecleaning is not high on my priority list. Okay, to be totally honest, it’s not on the list at all.
I can resist anything…except ice cream.
Since this is our first date, I figure I’ve revealed enough secrets for now. But if you’ve read this bio and think I might be the author for you, pick up one of my books or stalk my website: www.ginaardito.com.
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Sneak Peek of Daeios: 140 Feet Down by Colleen Eccles Penor


I exhale a sigh of relief. I’ve been holding my breath, but oh, my God, we have to get out of here before someone comes and sees what Mother has done. Someone may have heard the shots. We’ll leave, and the rain will cover our tracks, but we have to hurry. I lay my gun on the table and step down from the RV to help.

Mother faces me, and she’s terrifying. She’s all sharp angles and shadows and smeared mascara. I expect a thunderbolt and lightning and a bloodcurdling scream, but there’s nothing but hammering rain. My mother is soaked, her skirt clinging to her slender legs, her white bra showing through her blouse, translucent with rain. Her wet hair looks black in the gloom. Loose tendrils hang from her previously tidy bun. If she’s concerned about having killed a man, she doesn’t show it. It makes me wonder if there’s something in her past I don’t know about.

I turn back inside to see Maya holding Jace. She’s rocking him as they weep quietly.

“Maya, come help with Dad. Hurry.” Jace lunges for Maya when she gets up, but she’s too quick for him to reach her. He continues to sob, his shoulders jerking. I doubt if he even knows what happened. I despise his weakness.

Maya’s still crying as we run toward Dad, and I want to cry, too, but I need to be strong for her if I can. We fight against the wind that pushes us toward Dad’s attacker. I don’t want to see him, but my eyes are fascinated by this abomination.

The man’s remaining eye, wide open and all black, stares at us as raindrops fall in the pool of blood collecting around what’s left of his head. I imagine evil spirits, their voices howling on the wind, are pulling us toward the man’s reach, and I panic, tugging too hard at Maya’s arm, but it breaks the spell, and we run to Dad.

Daeios: 140 Feet Down
by Colleen Eccles Penor
Genre: Dystopian Thriller

Print Length: 340 pages
Publication Date: November 9, 2019

They believed Daeios would be a safe haven.

They were wrong.

Fleeing apocalyptic weather, a young survivalist woman and her family seek safety deep underground. But a new danger awaits them.

When the leaders of the shelter announce their plans to repopulate the earth using all fertile females, Shea knows she will be forced to become a breeder. Horrified at her impending fate, Shea must make the gut-wrenching decision whether to breed with an elderly, sadistic man and bear his child, or to fight the breeding, knowing that defiance will endanger her life and that of those she loves most.

A dystopian thriller with overtones of The Handmaid’s Tale, Shea’s chilling story will appeal to readers with an interest in family and survival.

Contains mature situations and language.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48356000-daeios

Buy Links

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07YPMWVV1

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/books/daeios-by-colleen-eccles-penor

Colleen Eccles Penor wrote and illustrated her first children’s book, The Rubber Ducky, when she was seven, and sold it for 25 cents, keeping 100% of her royalties. She’s a United States Army veteran who served as a military police officer, where she learned survival skills and the use of multiple weapons, skills needed by the characters in DAEIOS: 140 FEET DOWN. This is her debut novel.

Author Links

Website: http://www.colleenecclespenor.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Colleen-Eccles-Penor-Author-110690670304554

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ecclespenor

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Colleen-Eccles-Penor/e/B07YQB6VGD

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19619140.Colleen_Eccles_Penor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ie/cecclespenor/

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Sneak Peek of Rogue’s Holiday by Regan Walker

Grillon’s Hotel, London, 1820

“I’ll return in a moment,” said Chastity as she rose from the table where she and Rose dined in their shared room.
Rose looked up, her fork paused in midair. “Are you going out…alone? You’re not dressed for town.”
Chastity considered her drab brown cotton gown that she had changed into thinking she would remain in their room. “No one will see me save the desk clerk to whom I will direct my inquiry.” The carriage ride to London had been plagued with muddy roads and much rain, and the drafty lobby had left her chilled. The fire kindled for them had begun to warm her but a glass of sherry would go far to completing the process.
“Do you wish me to accompany you?” Rose cast a look of longing at what remained of her braised veal.
“Nay finish your meal,” Chastity said, crossing the room to the door.
“Hurry back,” urged Rose. “I peeked under the silver dome that hides the sweetmeats. A most delectable selection.”
“They will go well with what I have in mind.” As she reached for the door handle, Crispin, who had been curled up before the fire, raised his head and opened his golden eyes briefly considering her before returning to his nap. The bumpy carriage ride to London had not been to his liking either.
Closing the door behind her, Chastity entered the corridor devoid of heat. She drew her shawl tightly around her and hurried downstairs to the lobby. She was dismayed to find no one at the front desk.
A single footman stood just inside the hotel’s entrance. She hastened toward him. As she did, she collided with a hard body, the impact forcing the air from her lungs. Stunned, she backed away, trying not to fall. With her eyes downcast, she placed her hand over her racing heart.
The first thing she noticed as she looked up from the tiled floor was a pair of black Hessian boots polished to a high gloss with a silver-white braid circling the top, ending in shimmering tassels. Boots that could only have been the creation of George Hoby, the first bootmaker in London, who had acquired a few of her father’s designs.
From the boots, her gaze traveled up long, muscular thighs encased in tight buckskin breeches. Hands fisted on narrow hips and an impatient sigh suggested he thought her in the wrong.
Impudent man! Oaf! He had run into her!
Her scrutiny continued up to the black claw-hammer coat he wore over a cinnamon suede waistcoat. His cravat was simply tied yet stylish.
“Well, Miss, have you had your fill of me?” he said in an amused tone.
Chastity met hazel eyes rimmed with green and pierced with shards of gold. A chiseled face with a strong jaw was framed by wavy dark brown hair and trim side-whiskers. Altogether an attractive man if she didn’t consider his smirk.
She could not abide men who thought themselves desired by all females, which he clearly did.
“What?” she said, her voice dripping sarcasm. “Is there to be no apology, no begging my forgiveness for nearly knocking a lady off her feet?”
“A lady?” His gaze boldly traveled the length of her. “If you be a lady, you are a very pretty lady, indeed.”
She glared at him, dismissing his compliment as insincere, one he likely gave to all women to whom he liberally doled out his charm. She would not be diverted by such undeserved flattery. “Pretty or plain makes no difference, sir. A gentleman who causes distress to a lady will make amends.”
“Not to put too fine a point on it, Miss, but whatever were you thinking darting across the lobby without a care of where you were going?”
So, there was to be no apology. Worse, a scold. “I knew very well where I was going, sir. It was you who apparently did not.”
“Very well,” he inclined his head, “if you insist. Allow me to make amends.”
Without warning, he took her by the waist and forcibly drew her to his chest, pressing his lips to hers in a burning, invasive kiss that left her breathless and her lips throbbing.
When he finally released her, she backed away, stunned, and covered her pulsing lips with her fingertips. Never had she been kissed in such a manner. And in front of a footman!
Before she could say a word, the arrogant rogue turned on his heels, crossed the lobby and disappeared through the door to the coffee house. The scent of cigar smoke wafted to her nostrils, making her grateful she had no business there.
Pressing her lips together, she fisted her hands and glared daggers at the door, imagining it was his back.
A moment passed as she made an effort to restore her calm demeanor. She ignored the footman, who stood like a statue next to the door.
At the front desk, she was pleased to see the clerk returning to his post.
She had meant to ask for two glasses of sherry but her encounter with the cad made her choice clear. “Sherry, if you please, a full bottle, delivered to my room.”
She would need more than one glass to forget the man’s arrogant kiss.

Agents of the Crown Book 5
by Regan Walker
Genre: Historical Romantic Adventure

Print Length: 265 pages
Publisher: Regan Walker Publishing
Publication Date: November 7, 2019

Robert Powell’s work as a spy saves the Cabinet ministers from a gruesome death and wins him accolades from George IV. As a reward, the king grants him a baronetcy and a much-deserved holiday at the Royal Pavilion in Brighton where he thinks to indulge in brandy, cards, good horseflesh and women.

But when Muriel, Dowager Countess of Claremont, learns of Sir Robert’s intended destination, she begs a favor…to watch over an “errant child” who is the grandniece of her good friend living in the resort town. Little does Robbie know that Miss Chastity Reynolds is no child but a beautiful hoyden who is seemingly immune to his charms.

Chastity lives in the shadow of her mother and sisters, dark-haired beauties men admire. Her first Season was a failure but, as she will soon come into a family legacy, she has no need to wed. When she first encounters Sir Robert, she dubs him The Rogue, certain he indulges in a profligate lifestyle she wants no part in.

In Brighton, Robbie discovers he is being followed by friends of the conspirators who had planned to murder the Cabinet. Worse, they know the location of Chastity’s residence.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48567929-rogue-s-holiday
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07YQ55RNQ

Regan Walker is an award-winning, #1 Amazon bestselling author of Regency, Georgian and Medieval romances. She writes historically authentic novels with real historical figures along with her fictional characters. Among the awards she has won are the International Book Award for Romance Fiction, the San Diego Book Award for Best Historical Romance, the RONE Award for her medievals and the Gold Medal Illumination Award.

Author Links

Website: http://www.reganwalkerauthor.com
Blog: http://reganromancereview.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReganWalkerAgentsoftheCrown
FB Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ReganWalkersReaders
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RegansReview
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/reganwalker123
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Regan-Walker/e/B008OUWC5Y
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6450403.Regan_Walker


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Sneak Peek of Sleepless Nights by Tobias Wade

While I was alive I wouldn’t experience death, so there is no reason to be afraid. When I was dead, I wouldn’t be capable of experiencing anything, so fear still has no cause. That thought brought me great comfort as I felt the last erratic struggle from my heart against the inevitable conclusion I approached. It wasn’t until I was finally drifting off to sleep that a final intrusive doubt bubbled in my brain:

What if it isn’t death which is to be feared? What if it is what lies beyond?

And so troubled did I slip beyond mortal understanding, stepping into a world as far forsaken by reason as I was now from life. I was still in the hospital room, but the bustle of nurses and the beeping machines lost their opacity as though I was mired in swiftly-descending dusk. It seemed as though every sound was an echo of what it once was; every sight a reflection. With each passing moment, the world was becoming less real.…

Sleepless Nights
168 Horror, Mystery, Thriller, and Suspense Short Stories
by Tobias Wade
Publisher: Haunted House Publishing LLC
Publication Date: February 1, 2019
The news said 33 miners were trapped when the mine collapsed.
And why wouldn’t they? 33 people were pulled out of the ground.
The men were buried 700 meters below the surface. There was no way in or out.
But the miners who were rescued all said the same thing:
They said there were only 32 miners during the cave in. That they counted and they counted—every day—every few hours to make sure everyone was taken care of.
Then one day they count again, and there were 33. A stranger was in their midst.
Something escaped from the earth during that rescue that never should have seen the light of day.
Demons, monsters, psychopaths, undead, mad-experiments, and terrifying paranormal encounters.
The last confession from a serial killer will take your breath away.

Why should you be afraid to leave an audio-recorder on overnight?

What could go wrong if you meet the Devil on Tinder?

Why does your reflection smile more than you do?

The Grim Reaper’s scythe isn’t to harvest you. He’s there to protect you from what’s waiting on the other side.

Early readers are saying:
“As a huge horror nut I love being freaked out of my mind, being taken for a dark spin, and then being left with goosebumps dotted on my skin.”
★★★★★ Review
“From the first story to the last, this book was enjoyable in that spine-tingling kind of way. It’s been a very long time since I’ve read anything that has wormed its way into my brain and had me thinking about it hours or days later.”
★★★★★ Review
“I swear there isn’t a clunker on here. You’d think even a solid compilation would have one or two lame ducks, but every last story in here is thrilling and terrifying and fantastic.”
★★★★★ Review
Fast, exciting, satisfying stories, filled with compelling mysteries and shocking twists.
Mega-collection with 168 chilling stories, over 700 pages include Amazon-Bestselling Collections 51, 52, and 53 Sleepless Nights, as well as 12 bonus tales from Brutal Bedtime Stories.
Easy to fit in a story during the day, or to keep you awake all night long.
Grab a copy now.
Former neuroscience researcher, born again horror writer. During my studies, it struck me as odd that I could learn so much about why humans behave without understanding the intricacies of human nature. It occurred to me that I learned more about the depths of human experience from reading Dostoyevsky than I ever had from my text books, and I was inspired to write.
Download my horror collection for free and see all my publications at:
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