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Starting a business from the ground up can be one of the most stressful, time-consuming and gut-wrenching challenges that one can endure. With 85% of business owners failing before year five, many entrepreneurs who chase their dreams end up emotionally and financially bankrupt in the process.

Jeff Hastings knows all about the good intentions that pave the road to success. He has been in your shoes and experienced great triumphs and tribulation and has lived to tell the tale. As a small business owner, he developed one of the largest and most productive sales teams in the Farmers Insurance Group of Companies. His team of over 60 insurance agents and 150 support staff generated an estimated $85 million in annualized premium. In one year, his district generated over $13 million in profit making him one of the most profitable district managers since the company’s inception in 1928. Often being recognized for his performance, the pinnacle of his insurance career came in 2005 when he received the CEO’s top award, District Manager of the Year.

However, once had reached the top he realized the sacrifice of health and family wasn’t worth the reward he’d been working towards for so many years. An already prolific author, motivational speaker and E-Myth coach, Jeff retired at just 47-years young to venture out on his own to develop a business coaching firm and publishing agency in 2014. Inspired by a dream one night, his new endeavor was designed using the principle of expressing your passion through your work while never losing sight of what is truly important. His publishing agency, Chart House Press, is one of the fast growing book publishing agencies in the country. The agency currently houses over 120 writers, editors, illustrators, cover designers and publicists working worldwide to help authors get their ideas in print.

In his latest book, The Most Successful Failure in the World, Jeff explores the personal sacrifices and trials of owning and operating a business. The key point is to make certain your business adds to your life, and not the other way around.

Jeff is the proud father of three children, Kristin, Avery and Logan and resides in Richmond, Texas.

The Most Successful Failure Front Cover (1) (1) Amazon

When a terminal diagnosis puts Alex’s non-stop working and partying life on a six-month deadline, things draw into tight perspective for the CEO and founder of Moss Global. He realizes that while he achieved everything he’d ever set out to do, the regret over what he’d sacrificed for success weighs heavily on his heart. He can’t go back in time, but can he change his daughter’s future? Or will the business he built tear her apart too?

Alex’s eldest daughter is following in his footsteps, right along with his best friend and Director of Customer Relations, Peter Walker. Through a series of tests and reformations, Alex works against time and the disease in his body to save his loved ones and his company from the life he modeled. Can the most successful failure in the world be redeemed?

Other books by the author: Recruit, Recruit, Recruit – Achieving Success One Agent at a Time

Website   Twitter   FB Author page   FB Book page

IN HIGH COTTON & GIVEAWAY

In High CottonIn High Cotton

Honey, these are not your momma’s grannies…

When a tree topples over onto Miss Lillian’s prized 1948 Tucker Torpedo, the grannies are once again scrambling for money and keeping Lil in the dark. Lucky for them, they have their choice of two cases, but which to take—a suspected art forgery or mysteriously disappearing trash from the county landfill?

As usual, things aren’t exactly as they first seem, and the grannies soon find themselves going undercover and dumpster diving to track down both bad guys. And now that Lil has scored an unexpected early release from prison, the grannies have more at stake than ever.

Will they find the culprits in time to repair the Tucker before Lil gets home, or will she arrive and unravel their lies?

 

From the beginning of IN HIGH COTTON:

Summer Haven’s front doorbell rang in rapid-fire succession, making Sera freeze mid-stretch into a janu sirsasana pose on the kitchen floor. She glanced over at Maggie and Abby Ruth sitting at the farm table with Sheriff Teague Castro. “Were we expecting anyone?”
“Not that I’m aware of.” Maggie straightened her dark ponytail and tucked her appliquéd shirt into her pants.
“So help me.” Abby Ruth’s tone was as sharp as the creases on her trademark slim jeans. “If it’s Angelina Broussard coming around to stir up more trouble, I’m gonna wring that woman’s neck.”
Teague’s voice dry, he said, “Aunt Bibi, it’s not smart to plan a murder right in front of the sheriff.”
“No offense,” she said. “But you’re like family, and you know what a pain that woman is. Don’t you think I could get off on an insanity charge?”
Teague shook his head, obviously not daring to step into that conversation, especially not with the mother of his dream girl.
Sera hopped to her feet. “I’ll get it.” To forestall violence against the woman who had final say over Summer Haven remaining on the historic register, Sera raced for the foyer, her bare feet slapping against the wooden floor. She flung open the door and there stood Hollis Dooley with that stinky hound dog of his.
The man was a hundred and sixteen if he was a day. Bundled up in a coat that made him look like a cross between a Ninja Turtle and the Michelin Man, Hollis leaned on his silver walker. Goodness, it wasn’t that cold outside. Here at the end of March, the shrubs had already taken the hint that spring was around the corner, displaying buds and tender greens so welcome after the cold of winter. Still, his false teeth were chattering.

Kelsey & Nancy are giving away an ecopy of IN HIGH COTTON to one (1) lucky commenter. Family can be something else. Does yours contain an eccentric? Share with us to be entered in Nancy & Kelsey’s giveaway.

Amazon   The Granny Srs.    Nancy on Twitter     Kelsey on Twitter     Nancy FB      Kelsey FB       Nancy’s author pg      Kelsey’s author pg

Kelsey Browning writes sass kickin’ stories of love, humor, and adventure. s. Originally from a Texas town smaller than the ones she writes about, Kelsey has also lived in the Middle East and Los Angeles, proving she’s either adventurous or downright nuts. These days, she hangs out in northeast Georgia with Tech Guy, Smarty Boy, Bad Dog and Pharaoh, a (fingers crossed) future therapy dog. For info on her upcoming single title releases, drop by www.KelseyBrowning.com.

Also by Kelsey Browning:
TEXAS NIGHTS Series
Book 1:: Personal Assets
Book 2:: Running the Red Light
Book 3:: Problems in Paradise
Book 4:: Designed For Love

BY INVITATION ONLY Series
Amazed by You – currently part of the Get Lucky box set

Nancy Naigle writes love stories from the crossroad of small town and suspense. Born and raised in Virginia Beach, Nancy now calls North Carolina home. She’s currently at work on the next book in The Granny Series, and a new women’s fiction novel. Stay in touch with Nancy on Facebook, twitter or subscribe to her newsletter on her website ~ http://www.NancyNaigle.com

Also by Nancy Naigle:
The Adams Grove Series
Book 1:: Sweet Tea and Secrets
Book 2:: Wedding Cake and Big Mistakes
Book 3:: Out of Focus
Book 4:: Pecan Pie and Deadly Lies
Book 5:: Mint Juleps and Justice
Book 6:: Barbecue and Bad News

Single Title
Life After Perfect

THE DREAM LOVER Review

3.5 stars

One of the pluses of historical fiction versus non-fiction is the ability to extrapolate. The contradictions in historical details and facts about Aurore Dupin aka George Sand allowed Ms. Berg plenty of wiggle room to do just that. Rather than chapters THE DREAM LOVER is divided into sections headed by date and location, alternating between past and present. Written in the first person THE DREAM LOVER gives the illusion of readers being granted access to George’s private thoughts and memories creating a feeling of intimacy.

While her books and other works are mentioned, some merely in passing such as the play she wrote for Marie Dorval, and quoted, they aren’t, the axis on which TDL spins.

George’s romantic personal life and artistic life style are the main focus. George’s work satisfies her creative urge, the consuming need to write, which she does almost nightly, all night. She’s prolific, almost mechanical, because it provides her income. George isn’t an author who agonizes over every word she writes. Her talent also allows her eccentricities to be tolerated, and to an extent, admired.

Unfortunately, what felt like an inordinate amount of time was spent on her affairs with Jules and Alfred de Musset with the bare minimum spent on Chopin. Jules and de Musset struck me as weak and manipulative. Chopin, while he may have been sickly, felt more equal to her mentally, creatively, and in strength of character. Her romantic relationships, with the exception of Chopin and Alexandre Manceau, came across as sad, hurtful, and ultimately unsatisfying. Classic examples of a strong woman entangled with weaker men who, perhaps jealous of her many strengths, use and manipulate her even if it’s unknowingly.

There were non-romantic relationships that dropped away or were ignored that I would have enjoyed seeing explored more, such as with her daughter Solange, particularly after Chopin’s death, her son Maurice, and her half-sister Caroline.

Personally speaking, a more balanced focus on her works, personal, familial, professional, and romantic relationships would have perhaps given a more rounded picture of the writer deemed the most brilliant of her era.

Overall THE DREAM LOVER is still an enjoyable read, especially for lovers of historical fiction.

Amazon   Visit Elizabeth

I DON’T HAVE A HAPPY PLACE Review

My thoughts….
Kim Korson looks back over her life from her childhood in Montreal, Canada on in I DON’T HAVE A HAPPY PLACE.
Hails to familiar childhood staples like BJ & the Bear, The Bionic Man, Fun Dip and the fruit shaped powder candy, the music, movies etc.; these cultural references brought back many memories, some that hadn’t crossed my mind in ages.  For a bit we were tripping along somewhat parallel memory lane paths.  As “past Kim” grew up we started to diverge and there were times her meandering reminiscences completely lost me while at other times her memory pit stops weren’t relatable at all. When the rambling
became too much or she roamed to places difficult for me to follow I found myself skimming that section.
Ms. Korson’s dry wit is entertaining but against the backdrop of apathy and glass half empty, hang make that pretty much drained, I DON’T HAVE A HAPPY PLACE goes down better in small doses; especially if you aren’t naturally inclined toward that outlook.
Overall Ms. Korson’s trip down memory lane was hit and miss for me.
3 stars
Amazon       Visit Kim   Twitter    FB

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My thoughts……4 stars

Eloise Blake isn’t who she appears to be. She’s actually Jenilee Gray, surviving daughter of a brilliant memory scientist murdered in her home when Jenilee was five. Eloise is Jenilee in a fugue state. Her skill sets are all intact but she has no personal memories of Jenilee. Her looks, personality, everything is different.

So, is someone actually trying to kill her or are they simply random accidents?

Jack Simonetti is a poor little rich boy. His father, Leon, is controlling, manipulative, and distant. His mother died in a car accident. Jack is a wastrel, no purpose or goal. After his last less than stellar episode involving a bar fight captured by paparazzi Leon gives him an ultimatum. Jack is sent to England to help Leon’s old friend, Daniel Barone, retired scientist, recover his missing ward.  That missing ward happens to be the fugue sufferer, Eloise.

DARK PRAYER is categorized under literature, mystery/thriller, and occult. All those tags apply but they don’t quite capture the allure of DARK PRAYER.  The wonderful writing helps ease the fact that the mystery is a no-brainer. Even someone who rarely reads mysteries would easily figure out who is behind the attempts on Eloise’s life and probably the why behind it. But that isn’t the whole answer. Combine the writing with what you think and feel while reading. That’s where the allure lies. Ms. Mostert introduces new ideas and/or views to the table. Memory isn’t something I’ve given a lot of thought so the various opinions on memory and its effects on a person were fascinating even before you consider the religious/mystical overtones.  In fact, DARK PRAYER raises thought provoking questions about memory and so much more.

As interesting as the present was, Eloise’s fugue state and Jack’s efforts to befriend and protect her, what intrigued me the most was Mnemosyne and its members.

All this brilliance focused on memory, the differences in the ways they approach it, see it, and their end goals. These five people, their actions, and their transgressions, the repercussions of which are being played out now, years later.

One of my favorite lines is when Eloise is told by a former member that her mother, Julianne, was corrupted by love. It was so utterly fitting, corrupted by love.

DARK PRAYER is thoughtful and thought provoking, making me consider things I’d never really paid much mind to. This puts Ms. Mostert at the top of my “new to me” authors list. Looking forward to seeing if her other works live up to DARK PRAYER.

Visit Natasha Mostert   Amazon

REMEMBER ME & Giveaway w/ Maggie Mae Gallagher

RememberMe300x450The Heart Never Forgets…

When world renowned psychic, Madelyn Rose, accepts a missing children’s case on the Navajo Reservation, she believes it is a case she is more than capable of solving. What she never expects is for Detective Bronx Daniels to dredge up images of their shared past life and challenge the foundation of her future. In the wide open spaces of the Arizona desert, Madelyn and Bronx are forced to rely upon each other for survival as they race to save the abducted boys from the will of a madman. But with her life on the line, will Madelyn risk it all for a love that crosses time?

 

Detective Daniels reached his desk before he turned his attention and face back to her.

Wowzers.

She bit her lip to keep her mouth from popping open. This was no pretty boy, like the ones dominating Hollywood these days, but a rugged man’s man. Taking in the lean, rangy build encased in a blue plaid dress shirt the top button undone, as he swiveled to meet her gaze head-on, the man wasted no movements. A brown leather belt was slung around his hips, holding his firearm and displaying his badge, accentuated his lean hips. Every step he took had a purpose behind it or he did not bother with the movement. The intensity in his gaze reminded Maddie of birds of prey. Even the straight raven hair grazing his shoulders moved in conjunction with the rest of him as if allowing a strand out of place would somehow cause too much disorder.

Maddie checked the long sturdy fingers on his left hand. No wedding band. Dark suntanned skin, rugged features from a lifetime spent in the sun with coldly assessing brown eyes. He wasn’t pure Navajo Indian, somewhere in his ancestry there was some Anglo.

The firm line of his mouth, surrounded by shadowed growth along his square jaw-line, and his stern expression told her in all of two seconds that he didn’t want her there. Absorbing the distrust stamped across his face, the man did not practice anything that was remotely off the reservation, so to speak.

He studied her with a stony glint in his eyes and firm set to his jaw that she steadfastly believed police forces around the world taught their officers. And this one sized her up, traced the outline of her loose auburn curls draped over her shoulders. His eyes missed nothing, not the dangly silver hoops decorating her ears to her brown high-heeled Steve Madden boots. Something told her he was displeased by her appearance.

“What? Were you expecting a crystal ball and broomstick?”

“No, not at all.” She could practically hear him grind his teeth.

Maddie called bullshit and from the looks of it, this case was going to bite the big one.

Maggie Mae’s giving away an ecopy of REMEMBER ME to one (l) lucky commenter who answers the following question.  How much romance do you prefer mixed in with your suspense?

Amazon    B&N   Kobo 

Bestselling Author Maggie Mae Gallagher doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. When she was a kid she acted out her favorite scenes, only better, with her brother and cousin. As a teenager, she wrote reams of poetry, but realized her true love lay with creating characters and stories. A former music and history major, Maggie is a total geek at her core. When she is not writing, she adores attending the latest comic con or spending time with her family. She lives in St. Louis, Missouri, with her two furry felines.

Website    FB   Twitter   Amazon author page    Goodreads

THE LADY MEETS HER MATCH Review

Finding her is only half the battle Cyrus Ryland didn’t become England’s wealthiest bachelor by being a pushover, but the mysterious beauty he discovers sneaking around his study during a grand ball enflames his curiosity. They share one dance, but when the clock chimes midnight, she’s nowhere to be found. So Cyrus vows to scour all of London to uncover who she is.
Claire Mayhew is risking it all by forging Ryland’s signature. But the maddening man won’t lease properties to an unmarried woman. He stands in the way of Claire’s dream: running her own business. The midtown property fits her plans perfectly—a place to live as an independent woman of commerce. When she sneaks into his study and forges his signature, she never expects to be attracted to the stodgy bachelor. But if he finds out who she is, all of her dreams could go
up in smoke…

 

4 Stars

 

THE LADY MEETS HER MATCH gives a passing nod at the Cinderella fairytale. Our Cinderella, Claire, neither wants her shoe returned nor does she require rescue from a life of drudgery and servitude to her step relations by the King, of Commerce that is.

Claire is an independent woman during a time when such behavior was frowned upon and every step taken to stop such actions in their tracks. Women needed the firm guiding hand of a man, period. They certainly weren’t capable of operating a business or making their own decisions….Gracious, no!

I enjoyed Claire Mayhew. She was bold and audacious without becoming a caricature. She handled events with style and grace.

Cyrus Ryland is a hero you can’t help but love. He’s willing to meet Claire more than halfway and re-examine his thinking and beliefs. But first he has to discover who the witty, elusive masked temptress is.

Claire and Cyrus lead each other on a merry chase that’s simply delightful. The give-take and by-play are charming and a reflection of the strength and nature of both characters.

Another enjoyable facet of THE LADY MEETS HER MATCH is it’s portrayal of the emerging middle and upper middle class. Men, and women, making fortunes based on their skills, talents, and abilities rather than birth. Meritocracy versus aristocracy, a version of survival of the fittest done with a light, not preachy or hamfisted, touch.  It was a pleasant change to see a historical that didn’t revolve around and hinge on the Ton and their acceptance.

I fancied THE LADY MEETS HER MATCH so much that I bought the first book in the series before I was even halfway through.

THE LADY MEETS HER MATCH is a read to get lost in.

 

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PAINTED BLACK Review

My thoughts….3.5 stars  Not what I was expecting.
Dustbin Bob is back in the sequel to Rubber Soul.  While The Beatles make an occasional drop in, especially John, PAINTED BLACK is all about Rock’s original bad boys, The Rolling Stones, particularly Brian Jones’ last year or so.
When first starting PAINTED BLACK, indeed right through to the end, I kept anticipating a mystery that never materialized. Speaking
strictly from a personal standpoint there is no mystery. PAINTED BLACK is a fictionalized account of the last year or so of Brian Jones’ life.  Billed as the second Dustbin Bob book, he, Cricket, Clovis, and Erlene aren’t as present as one might expect. Brian is the sun around which the story and characters revolve.
PAINTED BLACK is for fans of The Rolling Stones and the psychedelic era of the mid to late sixties. Name dropping abounds as Brian
makes his way through the upper stratosphere of Rock’s elite and up & coming musicians from Africa to the United
States. Brian’s trip to Baltimore and last excursion to Africa introduces an occult element to the story that, while many were into that at the time, only served tomuddy already murky waters. Regardless of this not being the mystery it was touted to be, it kept my interest because of the actual facts and true life events woven in. Lurid and akin to rubbernecking at an accident, you know it will end badly but can’t help but continue.
Despite a few mentions thrown in of a conspiracy revolving around the demise of rock stars, mystery lovers may want to give PAINTED BLACK a pass as there’s no real mystery involved. For fans of the Stones and the beginnings of the whole sex, drugs, and rock & roll culture there’s plenty here to thrill.
Overall, not what was expected but uniquely interesting in ways I hadn’t anticipated.

 

STRANGER OR FRIEND with Silvia Villalobos

stranger or friendSTRANGER OR FRIEND is a dark yet hopeful literary suspense novel about a woman’s hold on courage in the middle of murder, secrets, obsession, and distrust.

The book begins with Zoe Sinclair’s return to snowbound Wyoming after a long absence. She leaves her big-city career behind and aims only to care for her ailing mother, but is soon confronted with soul-shocking news: her lifelong friend was found strangled to death. Moreover, home no longer resembles the quiet town she’d left behind — mysterious cries come from the woods, new neighbors moved across the road.

Immediately, the cloistered townsfolk close ranks against outsiders — new arrivals and those passing through — because no local “could have killed one of their own.”

In the background of the main story is a chance at love for Zoe, when she meets Sebastian, the neighbor across the road. But can she trust him? He is one of the new arrivals. Can she trust anyone?

There are doubts and second thoughts. There are heavy psychological burdens being hefted by everyone. The pages seem weightless, however, as the story moves along to an unexpected end.

The pursuit of the truth in this tiny universe engages. Seduces. It’s an adrenaline high quite possibly addictive, because nothing will drive a human being more nuts than an answer that eludes him until The End.

Amazon

71TG5Znc8bL._UX250_Silvia Villalobos, a native of Romania who lives immersed in the laid-back vibe of Southern California, is a writer of mystery novels and short fiction. Her stories have appeared in The Riding Light Review, Pure Slush, and Red Fez, among other publications. She is constantly drawn to premises filled with questions which arouse feelings that are often beyond imagination yet seem real. Her upbringing in Romania, the land of Eminescu and Eliade, may have contributed to such complex imagination and stories filled with peril. When not taking long walks through the local paseos or hiking the Santa Clarita Woodland Park trails, she can be found writing, blogging, or preparing and giving speeches for Toastmasters International.

TEARDROPS KNOW MY NAME & GC Giveaway w/ Dalia Florea

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One winner will receive a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card.
Enter contest below
Book Title: Teardrops Know My Name
Author: Dalia Florea

Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Romance

Recommended age group? 18 and up

Publisher: Dalia Florea (March 27, 2015)

ASIN: B00TWQJGQC

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Dalia Florea is a novelist and native New Yorker. Her debut book “Mirrored” recently reached the top 100 Best Sellers list in Women’s Detective Fiction and rated favorably on both Amazon and Goodreads. When she isn’t crafting suspenseful romance, Dalia enjoys solving Sudoku and cryptogram quotes, attending jazz concerts and visiting wineries. Dalia currently lives in Northern Virginia and is hard at work on her next two novels.

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Someone is stalking, fashion photographer, Linda McNair and turning her world upside down. She has no idea who it could be. Is it an old boyfriend? Someone in the industry? A complete stranger? The only thing Linda knows for sure is her stalker has to be stopped. Her life may depend on it.
When Linda meets Detective Sean Gregory, one of New York’s finest in more ways than one, stories unravel, revealing secrets, lies and betrayal that nearly destroy her, breaking her heart into a million tiny pieces.
Linda tries to resist Sean’s affection, but she can’t help wondering if he’s the right man who can put the shattered pieces of her heart back to together.

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Contest: Author is giving away One $10.00 Amazon Gift Card

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Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author Dalia Florea and is hosted and managed by Paulette from Write Now Literary Book Tours. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send an email to Paulette @ pharperjohnson@gmail.com