Elli (Virtual Tour)



by Tina DeSalvo

Her life could have been over with her breast cancer diagnosis, but Elli had fought and won. Now she is ready to fight for other women facing the same nightmare, but to do so she is going to need money. And she is going to need it fast.

Fortunately, Elli finds herself with half ownership of a Louisiana plantation. A twisted inheritance has set her up with an interesting future. Unfortunately, Elli no longer believes in planning a future, she just wants to take the money and run.

Ben Bienvenu wants nothing to do with the woman from California who is certain to turn his world upside down. But the conditions of the will that left the property to both of them doesn’t give him much choice. Not if he wants to keep the property that’s been in his family for generations.

A snobby diva rental dog, an impossible will, a nosy Bienvenu family, a distracting Mardi Gras season and a man who thinks he is protecting his son by standing his ground against her… Elli knows that trying to find common ground with this man known as the Cajun Dog Whisperer is going to be an uphill battle.

Two broken people.

Both in need of a Second Chance….


An Excerpt from Elli

“Out!” Ben stormed into the guest room and closed Elli’s open suitcase, zipping it shut before speaking again. “You’ve got some nerve moving into my home, lady.” Two hours ago, he thought he’d made it clear to her that she was not welcome anywhere on his land. “Either go back to the bunkhouse for the night or find a hotel…preferably in Kansas!”

She lunged for the suitcase and sat on top of it before he could pick it up. “This is my house, too. I can stay here if I want. You can threaten me all you want, but I have rights. I asked my attorney, and she said I had the legal right to domicile on the plantation if I want…and I want.” She folded her arms across her chest as if that made it final. The hell it did.

He gripped the suitcase handle, looking at her a full three seconds to give her ample warning she had better move her West Coast derriere off the suitcase. When she just stared back with that stubborn look he’d seen much too often in the short time he’d known her, he figured they were at an impasse. Again. He shrugged his shoulders and yanked the suitcase off the bed, causing Elli to tumble to the floor. Her little prissy dog, resting on the bed pillow, raised her head and looked at her owner, sniffed, and put her head back down.

About Tina DeSalvo

Throughout her life, Tina DeSalvo has filled many roles – daughter, sister, student, wife, mother, journalist. Then one day she took on one she had not planned – breast cancer patient. In an instant her life changed. But as she had done everything else in her life, Tina threw herself into overcoming this role and becoming a survivor.

AuthorPhoto_ElliIt was during this time of fighting and healing that Elli was born. Tina took all that she learned, many of the people she met during the battle and poured it all into a book full of heart and humor. Elli is the story of getting a second chance at life after breast cancer. It’s not a book about cancer, it’s about a woman who’s had it. It’s a story that will make you laugh and could even bring tears to your eyes and it’s right from Tina’s heart. So much so that she is donating all proceeds from the sale of Elli to help meet the unmet needs of other women who are going through the same fight she did.

Since Elli, Tina has continued her Second Chance series with Jewell. We hope that you will check out Jewell as well and keep an eye out for Abby coming later in 2016.

Now, as we enter October and another Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Tina is reaching out to share her story and share Elli’s story again. There will be Facebook events (https://www.facebook.com/TinaDeSalvoAuthor) and news of other contests and appearances on her website (www.tinadesalvo.com ). And all month long she will be visiting blogs to share her heart and her message. She’s looking to give away Care Packages to ten Centers that work with Breast Cancer patients.  You can nominate a Center or Charity that has worked with you or a friend or family member as they went through treatment for Breast Cancer. From all nominated, ten will be randomly picked and Tina will give away a basket full of goodies in the name of you or your friend or family member. Let’s spread the love in October to those that might need it the most.

Buy the book

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Elli-Second-Chance-Novel-Book-ebook/dp/B00JWA30LK/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/elli-tina-desalvo/1119464794

Rafflecopter Giveaways

Tina will award a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter a $50 Amazon/BN GC.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

Donation for Cancer Center/Charity of your choice – a Rafflecopter giveaway

It’s World Teacher’s Day!

World Teacher Day

*This infographic and website content was prepared and distributed by Grammarly.com.

In Which I Lament My Toddler’s Sleep Patterns, Beg for Advice, & Giveaway a Kindle Book

I’m going to apologize ahead of time for the length of today’s post, but if you’re willing to listen to me whine a little, please read to the bottom. I have an incentive for anyone who’ll help me out and share any wisdom you have when it comes to tackling toddler sleep.

If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know that I’ve been a little obsessed with Babycakes’s sleep patterns.

Okay, a lot obsessed.


I’ve read many books and websites that all supposedly contain the key, the magic formula, to perfect night sleep (naps are a different beast which I admit I have passed on to her daycare teachers to battle – and luckily they have had surprising success). We have implemented many routines and tried many strategies to help her fall asleep on her own, stay asleep, and/or go back to sleep on her own if she wakes in the night.

Here’s my conclusion: It’s all bollocks.

There is no magic formula. There really isn’t even a consensus as to what a magic formula might look like because NOT ONE PERSON ON THE FACE OF THIS PLANET KNOWS HOW TO GET BABIES TO SLEEP CONSISTENTLY.

There, I said it.

Here’s the thing. The hubs and I worked for literally months to get Babycakes to fall asleep on her own at bedtime. We have had a solid bedtime routine in place since she was like three months old. I gradually shifted the final steps around so she went from nursing to comatose to nursing to really sleepy, to putting her down awake enough that she fussed a few minutes after I left the room. Then we did the big leap of putting nursing BEFORE books and the goodnight songs, and she got to the point in short order where I could lay her down while singing the final verse of her goodnight song, she’d look at me, roll on her side, and I’d walk out of the room. The first couple weeks, it took 5-10 minutes of fussing before she’d fall asleep (and on the occasional night when it took longer, the hubs went in and worked his Daddy magic to get her down). Every now and then, she’d have a crap nap day and would fall asleep while nursing, but it didn’t seem to do any damage to bedtime overall.

But beyond that, we could never get consistent with her nighttime sleep habits. Sometimes she’d go like a week or more when she’d sleep from bedtime (which has been between 7 and 7:30 for a long, long time) until 4 or 5am, at which point she’d nurse and go back to sleep for a couple hours. And then she all of a sudden would start a stretch of waking every two hours and sometimes having a cryfest in the middle of the night for two hours straight. We were sort of on survival mode for a while, but I wasn’t back to work so at least I wasn’t blerging my way through the day.

Aaaand then I went back to work and we started daycare and the onslaught of Constant Sickness.

Between the ridiculously slow and apparently painful teething, the separation anxiety (my mom’s theory) of going from “always home with Mommy” to “with Not-Mommy all day” in the span of a week, constant colds and post-nasal drip that have resulted in numerous puke-in-her-sleep episodes that we don’t discover until 3am when I go in and get hit with the smell of vomit, and last week’s double ear infection (from said constant congestion), survival mode hit Critical Mass.

It became a game of “Let’s just do anything to get her back to sleep.”

Sadly, many of the habits we’d broken (namely nursing to sleep) have become crutches to eek out just a couple more hours. Our lofty plans to night wean have been put on the back burner until such a time as we can get her healthy enough to not need the extra soothing and/or she sleeps a consistent enough stretch that we can rest up for the certain nightly battles of a strong-willed 13 month old who quite clearly indicated to me this morning, through baby sign language and baby babble, that she wanted “more nursing” when the hubs brought her to our room at 5:45.

(You can tell how wiped out I am because I just wrote, like, four paragraphs that are actually crazy long run-on sentences. And I kinda don’t care.)

In some respects, I think we’re content to function in survival mode for another month, at which point my mother will have retired and moved to Charlotte to live with us. We will then be able to pull Babycakes out of full-time daycare, which should do wonders for her overall health. I will probably relax, which should help Babycakes relax, and maybe we’ll all start sleeping better. But most of all, my mom is a veteran mom, and among other things, she is planning on making a solid, consistent, long afternoon nap that Babycakes falls asleep for on her own a reality. In turn, that should help night sleep.

Or so all those “experts” tell me.

But survival mode – which basically means we go to bed at 9:00 every night like we did when Babycakes was a newborn, we bargain with each other in the middle of the night over who gets to try and put her back down when she wakes at 2:00, and I guzzle Coke through the day like it’s my job – will only get us so far. Because a couple other weird problems have surfaced in the past few weeks.

We don’t know if it’s the fact that four or five teeth are imminently about to erupt, if it’s because of the double ear infection, one of the dreaded “sleep regressions” that you basically have to suffer through every other month, if she’s waking at the wrong point in a sleep cycle, or what. But two things are happening.

First, her morning wake time has gotten stupid early. Like “you should only be getting up this early for the day if you’re catching a flight to Disney World” early. Sometimes it’s before 5am. It’s ridiculous, especially since she doesn’t get a nap at daycare until after 11:00 (despite needing one at 8 or 9). What use to be her “snooze button feed” is now “I’m up for the day.”

Second, she’s not waking happy. For the most part since we moved her to her own room, she’d wake up happy and we’d hear her babbling to her loveys. She’d play for up to 45 minutes before starting to complain. Now, all of a sudden, she wakes up crying like she’s been abandoned. The hubs thinks she’s starting to be scared of the dark, but she’s always had a dim nightlight in her room, so she’s never even slept in a pitch-dark room.

We’re stumped. Nothing we’ve tried is getting her back to sleep at that point. All that helps anything is bringing her to our bed (which use to be a weekend morning treat to play after she woke at 7:30 or 8) and letting her nurse for 45 minutes or more.

I’m asking – no, BEGGING – for advice and help from the veteran moms out there. How do I get Babycakes to sleep longer in the morning again? How to we get her to wake up happy? And for the love of all that is holy, HOW do we even start planning to night wean?

Fair warning – we are not cry-it-out parents. Do not tell us to just turn off the monitor and let her cry herself back to sleep. We’ve tried that a few times and it does not work. She will cry at the top of her lungs for an hour or more until I go in and let her nurse. I can’t take it. I lie awake knowing she’s in there crying her eyes out, and I’m laying there crying MY eyes out in turn. Plus, given the post-nasal drip, her sensitive gag reflex, and the aforementioned puke parties, CIO is not a road I wish to trod.

CIO aside, I will open-mindedly listen to any and all advice anyone may have. In fact, I am so willing to take and try anything, and so desperate for more than 3 consecutive hours of sleep in a single night, that I will give one commenter the Kindle book of their choice.

That’s right.

Leave me a comment with your advice, and on Wednesday, September 30th (that’s one week from today), one commenter will be selected through a random integer generator, and I will giveaway to that person any Kindle book you want from Amazon.

And GO!

BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE Release Day Giveaway – Announcing the Winners

Okay, I’m a little late on the uptake with announcing the winners of the BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE Release Day Giveaway, but I wanted to wait until everyone had claimed their prizes.

Without further ado, congrats to:

Vania (Winner of the $25 Amazon Gift Card)

And congrats also to the five winners of their own copy of BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE!Three friends. A broken engagement. A surprise elopement. A big secret. A lot of chocolate.

  • greentopiaries

As always, don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter to stay up to date with announcements and future giveaway opportunities!

BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE is on sale now at Amazon. If you’ve read the book, I’d love to hear what you all think. Please leave me a review on Amazon or Goodreads if you have the opportunity!

I have some more fun stuff in store related to BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE. But I’ve also started working on Sweet Somethings #2! It’s a little early in the drafting game to share much about the next installment, but I know a lot of people have asked me when to expect Book 2. It’s coming! Promise!

A Reaper of Stone (Virtual Book Tour)

SBB_TourBanner_AReaperOfStone copy


by Mark Gelineau and Joe King

This book is FREE on Amazon for 5 days beginning September 18th.

A Lady is dead. Her noble line ended. And the King’s Reaper has come to reclaim her land and her home. In the marches of Aedaron, only one thing is for certain. All keeps of the old world must fall.

Elinor struggles to find her place in the new world. She once dreamed of great things. Of becoming a hero in the ways of the old world. But now she is a Reaper. And her duty is clear. Destroy the old. Herald the new.


An Excerpt from A Reaper of Stone

The girl stared directly into Elinor’s eyes. There was no hysteria, and no more tears. Just sadness matched with a hard, cold determination. “For the murder.”

At the word, Elinor felt a cold inside her that had nothing to do with the chilling rain. “They were attacked by bandits.”

“They were not killed by mere bandits,” she hissed. “My father was a tempered razor of the Aegis School. He was a match for a dozen armed men. Perhaps more. That is no exaggeration.” She stared into Elinor’s eyes with a fierce intensity. “The death of my father and Lady Lliane was no accident. It was an assassination.”

“Stop,” Elinor commanded. She looked around to be sure there were none of Piersym’s razors nearby. Two were outside, but on the far side of the tower. Elinor assumed that over the rain, they wouldn’t have heard what the girl said.

 “You don’t believe me?” Tae asked, the hurt clear in her eyes.

Elinor moved close, until they were almost nose to nose. Her voice was quiet, but carried a sharp edge of intensity. “It is not about belief,” Elinor said, holding the girl with her gaze. “You must be careful what you say. Some things once said, cannot be unsaid.”

Tae looked confused and Elinor continued on. “If you make an accusation, you turn your home into a den of wolves.” She shifted her eyes in the direction of the Hearthfire razors on the far end of the parapet. “And these wolves will not allow you to escape if they believe you threaten them.”

The girl frowned, but shook her head defiantly. “But you said it yourself. You fought every day for what you believed in. How is this any different than the rendworms?”

“Because this is not a fight you can win, Tae,” Elinor said.

About Mark Gelineau & Joe King

Mark and Joe have been writing and telling stories together for the last 25 years. They share a love for the classic fantasy tales of their childhood. Their Echoes of the Ascended series brings those old epic characters and worlds to new life.

Website: http://www.gelineauandking.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/gelineauandking

Twitter: @gelineauandking.

Buy link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0145JMBDA

For our latest releases, join our mailing list:  http://eepurl.com/bww_4j

Amazon author pages:

Mark – http://www.amazon.com/Mark-Gelineau/e/B00I6TQUCE

Joe – http://www.amazon.com/Joe-King/e/B01460OK50

Rafflecopter Contest Info

Mark and Joe are giving away a prize to go along with this tour.

Enter to win a $10 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter contest

Hellkat (Virtual Book Tour)

KDP_TourBanner_Hellkat copy


by Robyn Roze

Kat James likes her men in suits, not cowboy boots. Is it time for a different kind of man?


Saddle up for a story filled with passion, mystery, unrequited love, and family drama. Can Tucker Williams prove he’s the best man for Kat? Or will an old-flame win her back?


It won’t matter, if Kat doesn’t survive her family’s dangerous secret.

*Hellkat by Robyn Roze is on sale for $0.99 through today only!*


An Excerpt From Hellkat

“You don’t remember seein’ me that day before I talked to you at the bar, do you?” Kat thought about it and then shook her head. “I didn’t think so.” Tucker scratched along his jaw, and sighed.

“Well, I saw you. I saw you up the street, runnin’ and dodgin’ people.” He smiled at the memory. “I still don’t understand how you women run in heels.” He shook his head in disbelief, and maybe even a little awe. “Your legs, I noticed immediately. Your umbrella lifted up a few times and I saw your face, stopped my heart for a beat or two. Then I saw where you were headed, knew right then I had to get to the door before you did. Had to find a way to get your attention.” His eyes dropped. “But it didn’t work. You looked right past me, like I wasn’t even there. I heard your name when you checked in, and then I knew I had a decision to make.” He looked down at the coffee mug squeezed between his large hands.

“We can argue all night about me not comin’ clean on who I was. But the truth, for me, is once I knew you didn’t recognize my name, didn’t know I was the one you were waiting for, I decided then and there to be Tucker Williams—the man, not the pompous venture capitalist.” He paused, searched for recognition. She rewarded him with the hint of a grin at the echo of her own words. “I wanted a chance, Kat. I wanted you. I wanted you to flirt with me the way you did that pretty boy behind the bar.”

He chewed at the inside of his cheek and waited. Kat glanced down at her lap, attempted to hide her smile.

“I’m not the sorta guy you usually go for, am I?”

“Not even close.”

“So why did you, Kat?”

(HellKat by Robyn Roze, copyright 2015)

About Robyn Roze

Robyn Roze lives amongst the cornfields of the Midwest and telecommutes as an accountant. Writing was a childhood dream of Robyn’s. She won creative writing awards as a girl and teachers encouraged her to pursue a writing career. But pragmatism won out, and she boxed MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_Hellkatthe dream away on the maybe-someday shelf.

Maybe-someday came for Robyn in 2013 when she published the Keeper Series, a new adult romantic suspense story. Then she shifted gears and decided to pen a novel with a much more mature cast—Chain of Title was born, her bestselling title. Readers have been loud in their demand for a sequel, and Robyn is currently working on the next chapter of Shayna and Sean’s love story. And her latest book, HellKat, released in June 2015. All of Robyn’s stories contain one key element that her readers love: a strong, independent heroine.

When she’s not spending time with her fictional families, she loves to spend time with her real one: her high school sweetheart, their two moody teenagers, and a pampered rescue mutt.

HellKat Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/HellKat-Robyn-Roze-ebook/dp/B00ZB80IYE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439691942&sr=8-1&keywords=hellkat

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Robyn-Roze/e/B00AZXCT5G/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Website: http://www.robynroze.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/robynrozeauthor

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/robynroze

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobynRozeAuthor

Rafflecopter Giveaway

Robyn Roze will be awarding a $10 Amazon/Barnes&Noble gift card to one randomly drawn commenter.

Enter to win – a Rafflecopter giveaway

How Much Do You Know About Illiteracy?



I’m a little late on sharing this particular infographic from Grammarly.com, as September 8 was International Literacy Day. But better late than never, right?

As a teacher, I know how important it is to foster good literacy skills early on in a child’s educational journey, and as a writer and reader, it worries me now many people still struggle with literacy as adults.

We can do a lot to make a difference in the lives of those struggling to read. Being aware of the problem is the first step.

Literacy Day