January 2024 - A Life Through Books

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Virtual Book Tour: The Legend of Rachel Petersen by J.T. Baroni #blogtour #supernatural #giveaway #interview #rabtbooktours @RABTBookTours
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Date Published: 06-10-2023

Publisher: Sky Publishing


Outraged when The Post Gazette overlooks him for a promotion, 43-year-old Sportswriter Christian Kane quits the Paper and moves to the country to write fiction. Inspiration flows from a grave he stumbles upon in the woods. He pens The Legend of Rachel Petersen, a fascinating story revolving around the dead twelve-year-old girl who was laid to rest beneath the weathered tombstone in 1863. His book climbs the Best Seller lists; then Hollywood adapts it into a blockbuster movie. Kane becomes rich and famous; but then! Does an enraged Rachel become more than a figment of the writer’s imagination and rise from her grave, seeking revenge on him for slandering her name?



What is the hardest part of writing your books?

                        Staying focused and interested.


                  What are your most played songs?

                I like that old time rock and roll, like Bob Seeger!

Supertramp and Styx are my two favorite bands.             



Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

        My son, Skyler, is excellent at editing and offering advice.


What book are you reading now?

I don’t read much anymore.



How did you start your writing career?

I’ve always liked literature and word puzzles since I was young.

I was the weird kid in school who liked essay questions.



Tell us about your next release.

This story, Tell Me about Your Childhood, is totally different and unique. It is told through the eyes of a narrator who remains mysterious and anonymous till the final pages. The plot revolves around a very wealthy attorney and a manipulative psychologist; both men share a secret and join forces to rule the world, but one of them has a dark, hidden agenda.




(J.T. Baroni, pictured with the tombstone that inspired the story)

Living in Western Pennsylvania all my life, I’ve been an avid Whitetail hunter since old enough to tote a rifle, which is also about as long as I’ve had a fondness for word games and literature.

While hunting one year, I actually did stumble upon a weathered tombstone in the middle of the woods.

While waiting patiently for that big buck to cross my path, I had plenty of time to ponder the dead girl's fate, which I was then driven to write.

Eerily enough, this is the premise of The Legend of Rachel Petersen, my first novel published in 2012, which I recently revised.

A newly retired transformer repairman, I refer to Johnstown, Pennsylvania, a small town outside of Pittsburgh, as home.

My wife Becky and I share our abode with two retrievers - Piper, and Remmy.


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Audiobook available at Apple Books



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Tuesday, January 30, 2024

Release Blitz: The Body by Holly Anne Mitchell #releaseday #newbooks #giveaway #poetry #women #rabtbooktours @RABTBookTours
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Poems and Stories

Poetry, Women

Date Published: Jan 31, 2024

Publisher: Bookbaby


How do you stitch yourself back together after trauma, loss, grief, heartbreak? By inviting what is broken to become what is breathtaking. THE BODY is a collection of poems and short stories written in lyrical prose during the hardest moments of the author's life. This collection explores themes of love, loss, grief, seduction, creativity, consciousness, female empowerment, post- traumatic expansion, and the collective human experience. Because when words are not enough, art is the container that holds what the body cannot. And as the heart breaks open, the soul can be set free.

About the Author

Artist. Two-time TEDx talker. Singer-Songwriter. Entrepreneur. Novelist-Playwright. Ghostwriter. Mental Health Advocate. A no-holds barred journey of transformation and recovery from PTSD, Holly's story is a raw and honest testament to the power of creative resilience. Forged from the heartache of personal trauma, she's spun her pain into a wealth of creative prowess, shattering societal norms, and challenging the idea of 'spiritual bypassing.'

Holly's lyrical prose combines self-hypnosis with carefully crafted wordsmithing to ignite the senses and the soul through their musical cadence. Holly wrote, produced, and starred in her debut musical BLOOD SUPPLY: A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE LOVE STORY premiering in Los Angeles January 2023 to stellar reviews. She releases music under the artist name HOLLY HOLLOWS and resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Contact Links


Instagram: @hollyanne_mitchell

Youtube: @hollyannemitchell

Tiktok @hollyanne.mitchell


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Book Blitz: Love or Lies by Craig Hastings #christian #romance #newbooks #giveaway #rabtbooktours @@ch875299_craig @RABTBookTours
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Christian Romance

Date to be Published: 01-31-2024

Publisher: Pen It Publications


This touching Christian Romance follows Elizabeth’s journey to rediscover her connection with God and to unlock the true power of love

When El’s prestigious position in the company she helped to build is eliminated, she loses both her boyfriend and her place to live. Facing an uncertain future, she agrees to return home to settle her deceased aunt’s estate. But her trip down memory lane comes with a few surprises.

Her high school sweetheart turned pastor is officiating the funeral. Her antisocial aunt regularly hosted a rowdy church youth group. And mysteries hide not just in letters stashed away in a safe deposit box but also in the very pages of her aunt’s novels.

As the secrets and lies unravel, El must confront the ghosts of her past relationships, the distance between her and God, and the truth about real love. But will she give any type of love a chance?

In Love or Lies, El takes an emotional journey of self-discovery and faith to make sense of her past and look beyond the lies she’s been told. This touching Christian Romance explores what it means to rediscover a connection with God and to unlock the true power of love. 

Chapter One

With hands clenched so tight my fingers might break, I scowl at Josh as he holds up his hand, stopping me in mid-sentence … again. “El, stop. Don’t get all emotional about this. I’ve heard your opinion and have made my decision. It’s 2002, and the dot-com world is expanding quicker than anyone expected. We need to strike now or risk being passed by. Just because it’s not your idea doesn’t mean it’s not good for the company. You refuse to consider the full potential of this.” He sighs as he picks up a red folder with black trim from his desk. These are his ‘For his eyes only’ folders. “I need—” 

 There’s a knock at his open door, and Poppy, the young, perky intern, bounces into the office. All that’s missing is her cheerleader outfit, although her normal attire is far from suitable for any professional office. Why is she still here this late? 

 “Excuse me, J … uh, Mr. Baker, it’s the call you’ve been waiting for. Mr. Abernathy is on line one.” 

 Josh smiles at her. “Thank you, Poppy, and thanks for staying late. You’re free to leave and take care of that other task we discussed.” He drops the folder on his desk while picking up his phone. 

 Did his gaze linger as she pranced out? Her tight dress leaves little to the imagination. How can she even sit down in it? I shake my head and concentrate on Josh. The name of his caller is familiar from the many discussions we’ve had. “Is this about the IPO?” 

 “We’re done here. I’m not discussing this anymore.” He waves toward the door and pushes the phone button as he turns his back to me. “Jack, thanks for returning my call. How are you doing tonight?” Knowing he’s dismissed me outright, I storm out, with the clack of my Jimmy Choo high heels on the tile floor echoing along the hallway. I grab my bottle of Pellegrino off the desk and collapse into my desk chair, staring out at nothing. My cherished view of the San Francisco skyline doesn’t help calm me as I rehash this latest altercation with Josh. 

He’s my boss and has been my significant other for several years. I was here when he started this company, and we worked together over the years to make it the success it is. 

 Ever since he got this idea about an IPO, our work relationship has become rocky. The outside-of-work relationship is less ideal than I want, but what relationship is ever perfect? There’s never time for walks in the city, a night out on the town for dinner, or visiting a favorite nightspot. No more Sunday brunches, Saturday afternoon picnics, attending concerts in the park, or the other events I so enjoyed where we could relax and be a couple. 

 My office door opens, breaking my stupor, and Josh walks in. It’s later than normal, as tonight’s not the usual Friday evening for us. I’m Josh’s ride to the airport to catch the red-eye to DC. Is he here to apologize or just to get a ride? But something is off as he strides to the window without even making eye contact with me. He stares stone-faced out the window as he holds the same red and black folder out in my direction. These are for his private use. Why is he bringing it to me? 

 “What is it, Josh?” His hand seems to tremble while holding the folder out, but he still won’t glance in my direction. I take a sip of my Pellegrino while glancing at the old pendulum clock on my wall. I found it in a little secondhand shop right after I graduated. When I moved in with Josh, it didn’t fit the décor of his apartment, so I brought it here. The swinging pendulum and steady tick tick have always calmed me in the past, but they aren’t helping now. I stand and step toward him, forcing my fingers not to quiver as I take the folder. 

He’s still avoiding my gaze. “Is this about the IPO?” 

 He continues to peer out the window with only the sound of the clock reverberating through the room like it’s counting down to an inevitable tragedy. Josh’s heavy sigh interrupts this. “El, my team needs to support me and my ideas. It’s important for everyone to back the decisions I make with enthusiasm. We need to be a cohesive, solid group, putting the company’s needs first.” 

 That’s not the tone of voice I was expecting. He’s using one he reserves for delivering practiced speeches. I remove the sheets of paper from the folder. The subject line on the first page jumps out at me. 

 Termination of employment. 

 My knees go weak, and I struggle to keep my balance as I read the letter. This can’t be happening. When we first met, our visions were on parallel tracks—the same hopes, dreams, and ideas—but now we differ more than we agree. He’s always appreciated my input from a female viewpoint, knowing it’s based on solid business perspectives. But this … I finally find my voice. “You’re firing me? Are you serious?” 

 Still staring out the window, he shakes his head. “It’s not a firing. With the reorganization of the company, your position is no longer viable or sustainable. We can outsource the work for considerable savings. It’s nothing personal.” 

 “Nothing personal!” I slam the empty folder down on my desk. “Even with all your double-talk, it sounds like a firing to me, and how is it not personal?” No. I’m not losing it over this. I take a deep breath. “Is this because I don’t agree with the IPO?” 

 “Here you go again. You need to set your opinion aside and quit letting your emotions blind you to the logic of my decisions. You refuse to understand the big picture. This is the perfect time for an IPO. The expansion will put us in place with the big tech companies.” 

 I shake my head, glaring at him. “No, Josh. It’s not a mere opinion. I stand by my position. An IPO is too risky. You don’t have the financial backing you’ll need, and you could lose control of the company.” I hold out the letter, shaking it. “Is this why you’re firing me? You don’t like what I’m telling you because it doesn’t fit your grand vision?” 

 He moves from the window, now inspecting the items on my wall, still not facing me. “Again, it’s not a firing. You’ve done such a fantastic job setting up our financial foundation that everything is working great. Because of this, eliminating your position is one change we’re able to make.” 

 With one hand on my hip, I grimace while waving the letter in my other hand at him. “That’s absurd. You’re saying I no longer have a job because I was so good at my job? Even for you, that’s quite a stretch, Josh. If I’m so good, why won’t you listen to me? Let me make it clear. You don’t have the finances for an IPO.” I huff in disgust and toss the pages on my desk. 

 He moves to my credenza and picks up the framed picture of the two of us with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. He waves his other hand in my direction. “I’m giving you two weeks’ notice, but I’d like you to use this weekend to clear out your office. It will be less disruptive if you don’t return on Monday. You know, make a clean break. It’ll be best all the way around.” 

 I struggle to keep my dignity intact. He’d want nothing more than me throwing a fit. This would justify all his comments. I take several deep breaths as I frown at him with crossed arms. “Best for the company or for you?” 

 He sets the picture down and picks up the one of us at the bottom of Lombard Street. “For all. It will give you time to decide what you want for your future. You can make plans and research your options. You’ll get the two weeks’ pay and credit for any accrued vacation time as noted, plus the full severance package detailed in your contract. I’m not shorting you anything in this separation.” 

 Wait? What? He doesn’t mean more than the job? He can’t be. I take a step back with my head to one side and scrutinize him. “We’re still talking about the job, correct? How do I want to move forward regarding a job?” 

 He sets the picture down and gives a quick glance my way. “There’s also a letter of reference. You’re good at what you do, El. One of the best I know, but it’s no longer workable or conducive to this company.” 

 He’s still avoiding eye contact, a sure sign there’s something else going on. After all the meetings we’ve attended, I know him well. “You didn’t answer my question.” While staring daggers at him, I shift my stance. “Is this only concerning the job or something more?” 

 With another sigh, he steps away from the credenza and stops in front of my desk, straightening my nameplate. “Let’s be honest. Things outside of work aren’t going well for us either. It’s like we want different things. We’re no longer on the same track, and this decision will complicate things even more.” He glances at the Rolex I gave him on his last birthday. “This is the perfect time for us to make a clean break. The timing couldn’t be better. You can use the two weeks I’m in DC to pack and find your own place.” In disbelief, I slam my fists on the desk, bouncing my nameplate. With another deep breath to control my anger, I lean toward him. “You’re telling me this now? Right now? As we need to leave for the airport. You’re firing and dumping me?” 

 He takes a quick step back and shakes his head while holding his hands up. “I’m not dumping or firing you. It’s more us parting ways.” He gives another slight wave. “Plus, I’m taking my car to the airport, so you don’t need to bother.” Still, without ever making eye contact for long, he steps toward the door to leave. 

 “Josh, wait. That’s it? Thank you for your service, and it’s been fun, but time to move on. Are you kidding me?” 

 He stops and, with another heavy sigh, glances back my way. “Don’t get all emotional and make a big scene over this. This is nothing but a business decision. I’m sure you sensed it coming as much as I did. We’re not the same people we were when we met. I’ve grown, and so have my ideas and plans for this company. This is the time to expand. 

Two weeks should be enough time to pack your things and find another place. You can still use the car during this time and park it in the garage at the end.” 

 The end. Is this really happening? “You’re taking away my job, my car, and my home? All on a Friday night as you fly off for two weeks?” 

 His gaze lowers to the floor. “El, it’s not me. I’m not taking anything away. It’s for the corporation. The position is being cut, and the company leases the car. As for the other … I’m not sure you could call it a home, more like a place to live. Believe me, this is best for both of us. Once you get past your emotions, you’ll see that.” 

 His expression is as familiar as his tone of voice. He wants to appear reluctant and disappointed in the decision he’s forced to make, but in reality, he isn’t. How long has he been planning this? 

 “Best for the corporation, huh? Don’t try that on me. You’re getting ahead of yourself. There is no corporation or corporate board yet. I’m the one who helped set up this company. There’s only the company. Guess I should be glad you made the ultimate sacrifice and told me in person. Couldn’t bring yourself to do it in an email? ‘El, it’s over. Move out.’” My laser-focused eyes could cut him in half, but he never raises his gaze. “I appreciate the personal touch.” 

 “Like I said, I’m sorry it’s come to this. My decision to do an IPO makes sense, and I know you don’t agree. My team must be behind this one hundred percent, and you’ve made it clear you can’t support my decision. Division in the company is not helpful as we make the announcement. It’s a sign of weakness.” His phone beeps, and he checks it before putting it back in his coat pocket. “I’m sorry, I need to go. Leave the keys to the car and the apartment on the kitchen counter once you’ve finished moving.” He turns and opens the door to leave. 

 “Josh, wait. You’re walking out after telling me this like it’s nothing more than a minor disagreement?” 

 He stops in the doorway, finally glancing back at me. “No, I know it’s not a minor thing, but I’ve made my decision, and I don’t have time to discuss it further. By the time I return, I’m sure you’ll have thought it through and will agree. It’s for the best.” He gives me a slight smile. “You take care.” 

 The sound of the door closing underscores my feelings of anger and frustration. I’m in disbelief. Did this happen for real? My gaze finds the pages of the letter spread across my desk. It’s true. It happened. I should run after him and make him talk this through. But I can’t move. After seven years working with Josh to build this company and almost six years as a couple, the last three of which we lived together, I’m out. I’m thirty-two years old with no job, no car, no home, and I’m alone. Almost halfway through, and 2002 is not going how I thought it would. Where did things go off the rails?

About the Author

Born in Muncie, IN, Craig is as typical middle-America as they come. He was young when his parents divorced and his grandmother came to live with him, his mother, and two sisters. Seeing his grandmother’s faith in God on a regular basis led him to accept and know everything is okay, God’s in charge.

Craig served 20 years in the U.S. Air Force and followed this as a DoD contractor where he had multiple tours overseas and around the U.S. While there were events in his life that tested his faith in God, nothing compared to when his first son was born with major medical issues. As a twenty-one-year-old father with a young devastated wife, his faith had never been tested more. After enduring several surgeries, some considered experimental, his son passed away at six months and two weeks. But even in his brief life, he had a tremendous impact on Craig and others.

Since then, God has blessed Craig with two more sons and has been a constant guidance in his life. Craig’s time in the military and as a contractor afterward included over 20 years overseas, where he was part of local mission churches. On their last return to the states, God led him and his wife to Oklahoma, where he teaches Bible studies and serves in a local church.

The memory of what God did to help him through his parent’s divorce, his son’s illness and death, and many other events in his life, has led him to want to share what impact God had and has with him.

Nowhere are we promised a life without tragedies, setbacks, problems, or devastating events we have no control over, but God’s word does promise, ‘It’s okay, God’s in charge.’


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Twitter: @ch875299_craig




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Virtual Book Tour: Becoming Invaluable by Steven J. Bowen & Dr. Terry Lyles #blogtour #nonfiction #selfhelp #rabtbooktours @RABTBookTours
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Develop the Willitude to Navigotiate Success


Nonfiction / Self-Help

Date Published: November 7, 2023



The stories you will find laced throughout this book are from many different individuals and perspectives. These stories of our interviewees are from their real-life experiences including both failures and successes.

Our desire for this book is to inspire, motivate, educate, and support anyone in whatever your walk of life. Regardless of your vocation, career, or path in life, you can enhance your outcomes and the experiences along the way through the application of the methods you will find throughout this book.



We have a simple question to ask. Here it is:

“What do you think is the highest calling in life you can have?”

One answer could be to become a successful CEO of a big, influential company.

That’s a good response.

Or you may aspire to be an esteemed doctor and save countless lives.

That would be admirable.

How about a famous actor or musician, and entertain millions of people?

Not bad at all!

One more choice …. What if you made the life of just one other person brighter and more beautiful?

Wait—really? Just one other person?

Yes. If you believe that human life is priceless, then wouldn’t impacting one other person be meaningful? That person could be a child, or a sick neighbor, or someone facing difficult circumstances.

Yes, that would be a high calling in life.

Assuming your intent is positive, all of these choices, and many more, have one thing in common.

This one commonality is that you have made yourself invaluable to the people or person you serve. You provide a service or support that no one else could. Without you and your direct involvement, the people you serve would not be the same. They would be relatively impoverished—physically, emotionally, spiritually. Because you are invaluable to them, their lives are better, and they can reach their human potential.

To become invaluable to a person, a family, a community, or even a nation is one of the most satisfying things you can do in life. It’s true that you do it for yourself, but you cannot do it without serving other people and making their lives better. In that regard, it’s a win-win situation. You win because they win.

But there’s one catch.

Being invaluable and making a positive difference to one person or an entire community, requires certain personal attributes. Unless you have those attributes, you may not be able to make your goal a reality. You may have the best of intentions, but good intentions must be translated into action. Being invaluable takes work—it may be pleasant and rewarding work, but the effort must be expended, usually every day.

To do the work and become invaluable requires five personal attributes. They are knowledge, skills, attitude, health, and strength.

This book will show you how to develop those five key personal attributes so that you can become invaluable. The development of those attributes takes commitment and effort, but the good news is the payback: You’ll feel better and better every day. Your sense of self-worth and well-being will increase. You’ll be more engaged with life and derive more enjoyment from everything you do.

In addition to the five key personal attributes, to become truly invaluable you’ll also need four others: a set of values to guide you in the right direction, a purpose in life, a sense of willitude, and the ability to navigotiate.

You may not recognize those last two words—willitude and navigotiate. That’s okay because they’re new words created just for this book. Basically, willitude is a combination of willpower and fortitude. And navigotiate is a combination of navigate and negotiate. We’ve put them together to form new words that relate directly to your ability to become invaluable.

Throughout the book you’ll find plenty of inspiring real-life stories (as well as a few cautionary tales!), including some from our own lives. In addition, the Invaluable Spotlight Profiles you will find laced throughout are from many different individuals and perspectives. These stories of our interviewees are from their real-life experiences including both failures and successes, and they have one thing in common: they trace the individual’s personal journey to becoming invaluable in the way that fit their personal goals. Perhaps in a future edition of Becoming Invaluable we’ll be able to include your story as well!

In addition, after each chapter you’ll find a set of Action Steps. These are handy reminders of the highlights of the chapter and the positive actions you can take to support your journey to becoming invaluable.

Our desire for this book is to inspire, motivate, educate, and support you in whatever your walk of life. Regardless of your vocation, career, or path in life, you can enhance your outcomes and the experiences along the way through the application of the methods you will find throughout this book. You can find through our web site and social media pages a variety of tools and ways to enhance your learning and journey (put in web site address)

Ready? Let’s get started!




About the Authors

Steven J Bowen

Steve is a decisive executive leader with over 30 years’ P&L experience delivering turnarounds and high-growth results for businesses, both public and private equity owned, in multiple industries across the world. Success has been achieved through bold, collaborative leadership to quickly transform organization vision and mission into exceptional team and delivery performance.

In 2017 Steve published his first Book, “Total Value Optimization: Transforming Your Global Supply Chain into a Competitive Weapon”. The book describes the pressure today’s corporate leaders are under to deliver differentiated, lasting performance – fast. “Total Value Optimization” and the TVO Framework, resting on a foundation of data analytics, was recognized by the Global Supply Chain Institute as the best methodology they have seen to achieve integrated supply chain excellence in logistics, operations, and procurement. Since the sale of Maine Pointe, LLC., he is actively serving on the Board of Directors for two companies and another advisory board. He is actively involved in several seed investments as well as co-authoring a second book to be published in 2023. Steve currently resides in Duxbury, Massachusetts where he and his wife of thirty-seven years, Deb, raised their family. Their son Grant is a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, married with two children, and lives in Norwell, MA. Their daughter Natalie, who founded, with her husband, a real estate development firm, lives in Duxbury and they are expecting their first child in May 2023. In his personal time, Steve enjoys golfing, boating and loves to spend quality time with his family and friends. Steve is active in numerous community endeavors.


Dr. Terry Lyles

Dr. Terry Lyles holds a Ph.D. in psychology and is recognized as a national/international educator, author and speaker to universities, schools, Fortune 500 Companies, world-class athletes, and public audiences. He teaches groups of all ages how to Navigate Life Storms through life balance training. Dr. Lyles has trained hundreds of individuals including Fire Rescue workers in and around Ground Zero, International Forensic Medical teams in the Asian torn Tsunami area and the United States Air Force Space Command, sharing his time-tested, scientifically measured approach to stress utilization.

Major corporations have also benefited from this training technology such as DaimlerChrysler, Banana Republic, Macy’s West, Pfizer, Universal Studios and Tommy Hilfiger, Maine Pointe, to name just a few. Dr. Lyles has appeared on NBC, ABC, USA Today, CNN, Headlines News, The Big Idea with Donny Deutsch and FOX NEWS, and in U.S. News & World Report as a Corporate Performance Enhancement and Life-Balance Specialist, and hosted a premiere talk show sponsored by Success Magazine, and was heard as the “Stress Doctor” while living with his family Marsha and Brayden in South Florida.


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Teaser Tuesday: Ornery's Gambit by Cara Hartley #promo #teaser #excerpt #giveaway #poetry #comingsoon #rabtbooktours @RABTBookTours @ReadersRoost
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Ornery Owl's Poetry Collection


Date Published: 02-15-2024

Publisher: Naughty Netherworld Press


The poems, story, and thoughts included in this brief volume were inspired by the independently produced album Wayward and Upward by Spinoza Gambit. The story Prodigal Moon and the poem 401 Rush were included in the Wayward and Upward anthology published by Off Topic Press.

I opted to publish this book on my 59th birthday. It would be a wonderful gift to learn that my work inspired you or led you to learn more about the Wayward and Upward album and anthology.


With love,

Ornery Owl 


About Prodigal Moon

I was inspired by the idea of something that disappears and returns on a predictable schedule (the visible moon) and something that cannot return (a lost love.)

Prodigal Moon

Prodigal moon

You can spin me a silent tune

But you can’t return my love to me

I dare you to try

Catch him on the fly

Before he escapes ‘cross the sea 

Prodigal Moon

A short story about a long-lasting friendship.

Deborah Virgo and Valentins Hines met on the first day of summer 2017. The youngsters lived at the wrong end of Fox Avenue. The electricity had been turned off in Valentins’s house, but he didn’t mind sitting on the covered porch painting figurines. His mother, Doriend Hines, was gone most of the time, working at the Daily Grind Bistro or The Zealous Whistle Tavern or staying overnight with old folks who paid her under the table for her caregiving services. Doriend was a workaholic who would have been thriving monetarily if not for being a functional alcoholic and opioid addict with a love of gambling. 

Valentins was sitting on the porch at dusk, painting a vampire figurine for his haunted house, when a wraithlike girl with an alabaster complexion and waves of xanthic hair flowing to her mid-back entered the gate. She was wearing a knee-length olive-green gown that looked like it might have been all the rage in the 1920s and a pair of shiny, malachite-green shoes. 

 “Hello,” the girl greeted.

 “Hi yourself,” Valentins returned. 

“I’m Deborah Virgo. My family just moved into the house across the road from you.” 

“Valentins Hines.” 

“Could I see what you’re working on?” 

“Sure. Come on up.” 

The girl appeared to float just above the ground as she crossed the lawn. Her rose-colored lips bowed in a reserved smile. As she drew closer, Valentins noticed her unusual eyes. At first, he supposed that the rufous shade was a trick of the light, but the color remained constant when the battery-operated lantern shone directly on the girl’s face.

About the Author

Ornery Owl is a wise old bird who seeks the truth behind the lies. She uses her observations to heal the wounded soul. In essence, she is the spirit of an odd little bird whose wings were clipped at a young age. She is at once a whimsical manifestation of poetic expression and a fierce protector of those targeted for derision by an angry and unsympathetic world. Depending on how you perceive her, she can be either a goddamned delight or your worst nightmare.


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How To Start And Grow A Successful Ushering Business


Date Published: 09-06-2022

Publisher: MagicWand Publishing


Profitable Usherpreneur: How To Start And Grow A Successful Ushering Business is a book for anyone who wants to build a successful and profitable ushering service business. The book aims to promote ushering service as a business.

In this book, Clementina explains the concept of Usherpreneurship, misconceptions about the ushering business, pricing, and more. PUBook provides practical insights on team building, pricing, and client attraction strategies.

The book offers a way for new and existing agency founders to build a profitable ushering business.




Chapter 1

Green Grass


The grass is greener where you water it

-Coming Up Roses Blog


Being a sales representative with one of the fastest-growing food and beverage companies. I learned from my boss what it's like to treat both clients and employees with excellence.

The company invested its time into getting potential clients to taste their products for free to get leads for sales.

My Boss did not just focus on the big events, he further extended the allocated free sample product to lots of social events by individuals.

In case he learns that someone is getting married, he approaches the individual saying, "Congratulations, our company will like to provide free sample drinks at your event".

For the times I served with him I haven't heard anyone turn down his offer.

Then he proceeds to say we have table water, and we could provide them to you at a discount if you buy more than twenty packs.

He still doesn't stop there, he further goes on to say, "we can also customize the table water to bear your names and pictures or any details you like".

What I found is that, so many customers follow through with all the offers he provides, others may not but no one has ever denied him access to their events.

He then approaches the sales representatives and says we are attending this event and we will have not just our free samples displayed but our products.

Also, we will tell people that visit our product stand what other products they can buy.

So when an attendee visits our stand to get a cup of cold or hot drink. We tell him that if he buys three canned drinks, he gets one free. Plus, we have table water for purchase.

Furthermore, each sales representative gets a commission payment based on the number of purchases he or she closes out aside from the basic pay for showing up to the event.

Many times, at the end of these events we end up not only raising awareness for our products or telling people to invite us for their next events.

We also sell out our products and have people who were only attendees at those events call or refer us for other jobs.

The above principle can work for any Ushering business when service is treated as a two-way street.

I will be back with the story of where I got my ushering business idea from.

Remember: Service is both, how you treat your clients and how you treat your team.

About the Author

Clementina Busayo is an Author, Usherpreneur, & Project Manager.

She is the Founder of Gloriouswills Ushering Services GWUS an ushering agency that teaches the business of ushering, trains ushers to be professionals, and provide ushering service for corporate and social events.

When she is not teaching about the business of ushering via Clementina Busayo's YouTube channel, She loves to moderate events and learn the French language. Clementina believes in

"Service A Tangible Experience" she co-founded Professional GroomsMen - a place for grooms to choose their wedding groomsmen. Through these businesses she is addressing the

sustainable development goal 8 of providing decent Jobs and economic growth. She is the convener of Usherpreneur Summit and she is open to cross-country collaboration.


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Teaser Tuesday: Grimdarke by AK Nevermore #shifter #romance #comingsoon #excerpt #rabtbooktours @AkNevermore @Changelingpress @RABTBookTours
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Maw of Mayhem MC, Book 1


Shifter Romance

Date to be Published: February 2, 2024

Publisher: Changeling Press


Out of options and on the run after her psychotic father’s released from prison, Kit Parson heads to the only place she might be safe from him, the Maw of Mayhem MC. The unexpected move buys her time, but also puts her at risk. Surrounded by shifters, her inner cat begs to be released, and after witnessing a brutal attack on her mother as a child, she refuses to let the monster out. Totally doable, provided no bodily fluids are ever exchanged.

That takes the MC’s hot-as-hell VP, Grimdarke James, officially off the table. Mourning the recent murder of the club’s alpha and struggling to control his inner cat, the tattooed Viking god is on thin ice. If he goes feral again, he’ll be put down. Which makes his cat’s insistence that Kit belongs to him problematic, upsetting the delicate balance of the MC’s internal politics, and the woman blackmailing Grim.

But when Kit’s father catches up with her, Grim has no choice but to trust his cat, and Kit can’t deny their chemistry. Can they hold on to each other when everything is trying to tear them apart? After a gruesome triple murder propels them deeper into the paranormal world, they find themselves with unlikely allies, even as their enemies threaten to destroy everything they hold dear.


Copyright ©2024 AK Nevermore


Upstate New York in the fall was beautiful, and it made Kit want to puke.

She gripped the steering wheel tighter, her sweaty palms slicking the leather, and glanced in her rearview, then at her phone’s GPS. No service -- again. Damn it. This was not where she wanted to be…

Wait. Signs for a trailhead were coming up. Thank you, sweet baby Jesus. She pulled onto the shoulder, staring blankly at the plexi-covered map tacked onto the tiny shelter in front of the car. Woodbine Swamp Trail. Shit. She’d missed the turn-off for the house. Ugh! How could everything in this shit town look the same and so frickin’ different all at once?!

Fifteen years will do that, genius.

Her forehead dropped to the steering wheel, bumping it thrice. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. She couldn’t do this. She couldn’t --

Goddamnit, girl, grow a pair!

Enough. Wasn’t like she had a choice. She pushed back in her seat and slapped the car in reverse, hoping like hell there wasn’t anything behind her. Frickin’ hatchback was stuffed to the gills with the sad remains of her life, and she wasn’t up for losing any more of it.

Kit dashed away a tear. And whose fault was that?

She just had to blow shit up. Couldn’t duck her head and keep punching numbers, because lay low was too big of a fucking ask. Nope, fuck overtime at the accounting firm, had to go out there and twerk her ass at the club, knowing full well that milkshake wasn’t gonna bring anything but trouble to her yard.

Her mind leapt to that tall drink of golden Viking god pissing in a sink, covered in tattoos and oozing temptation. Yup. Case in point, and as much as it shocked the shit out of her, she’d been into him.

So fucking into him, like, wanted him into her.

Not happening.

She bit at a cuticle, trying to ignore the very real possibility she was about to deliver herself to his doorstep, and the fact that her panties had just soaked clean through.

Son of a -- Chanté would quip something about chickens coming home to roost, but they weren’t even Kit’s damned chickens. And why the fuck chickens? Woman was NYC born and raised, you’d think she’d have useless witticisms about pigeons.

Damn, though. He was fiiine…

Stop it.

You’d think she’d be more concerned about the shifter shadowing her for the past two weeks… the one whose face starred in her nightmares. Reaper hadn’t approached her, but his message was clear, and like a fucking cat, he’d been playing with her.

… Run, little mouse…

Kit’s teeth clenched at the memory of her father’s gravelly twang. She put the car in gear and kept driving in the wrong direction. Away from the house, toward the last damned place she wanted to go, and the only place she had left. Two weeks of couch surfing and shitty motels had made that abundantly clear, and her flat fucking broke.

Back to the scene of the crime, the one place she hoped like hell he didn’t have the balls to go back to.

Motorcycles rumbled in the distance and her gut threatened to rebel, cold sweat pebbling her skin. She licked the anxiety from her lips.

The rumble grew, and a moment later a stream of leather and exhaust whipped by her as a convoy of bikes sped past, heading back toward civilization. A manic giggle burbled from her throat, and she took a slow --

Shit! Gas pedal, girl, you gotta keep your shit together…

Focus. Drive to the damned compound. One more mile.

… And keep it together. Hah! Fat fucking chance. She blew out a breath, her temples thudding with the beginnings of a migraine. Goddamn. After all those years of praying to be out from under Claymore James’s thumb… this had not been part of the fantasy.

Getting shit-faced, twerking on his grave, and then setting the MC’s compound on fire, yes. Pulling up to the chain-link gate and asking to see Mud Knuckle?

Nope. Can’t say that’d made the list, but here she was.

I mean really, Mud Knuckle? Kit sighed, rubbing a temple. If she needed any further confirmation her life had officially gone to shit: Ta-frickin’-da.

One of the dopey-looking prospects manning the gate eyed her, pursing his lips. The scraggly little pornstache he was rocking made his mouth look like a porcupine’s asshole.

Moron leaned in her window. “Ain’t no muddy knuckles here.” He snickered, shooting his zit-infested buddy a look.

Kit sighed. Great, they were gonna fuck with he

“Nah,” Zits said, ambling closer to leer. “But I ain’t opposed to rectifyin’ that situation.” He grinned, making a lewd gesture.

Whoo. Ten points for originality there, son. She rolled her eyes and unbuckled her seatbelt. It was showtime. The two high school rejects scrambled back, wide-eyed when she threw open the door and got out, leaving the hoodie she’d permanently borrowed from Chanté on the seat. Fuck, it was hypothermia cold.

“What? I thought we was ‘wreck-t-fyin’ that sits-e-ate-shon,’” she finger quoted, mimicking his dipshit twang and cocking a hip.

Pornstache’s throat bobbed, taking in her tight tee and yoga pants. God, men were pigs. Pathetic, predictable pigs. Flash them braless DDs, and their brains shorted out faster than a hairdryer in a bathtub. Add the fact that her nipples were hard enough to cut glass, and the poor boys didn’t stand a chance.

“Uh, yeah.” Pornstache tugged on his cut and cleared the squeak from his throat. Slack-jawed, Zits smacked his shoulder, earning himself a glare. “I mean, hell yeah. We’re down, baby.”

Kit arched her back, stretching. Damn, that felt good after five hours behind the wheel. Pornstache groaned like he was about to wreck-t-fy in his pants. She sauntered over and ran a finger down his sternum.

“Then how ‘bout you boys open the gate so I can move my car out of the way and get down to business.”

Zits moved so fast he just about face-planted rushing to unlatch the big chain-link section on wheels blocking the compound’s access road. He’d pulled it halfway across the pavement by the time Kit got back into her car. Pornstache shook his head like a dog, blinking as the door clunked shut, and he stumbled over to help his buddy.


Kit almost felt bad as she drove past, waggling her fingers.

Okay, no, she didn’t. She wriggled back into the hoodie, one hand on the wheel and shivering. Her stomach churned as she drove around the last bend to the chapter house, half expecting the entire club to be out there waiting for her. The woods opened up --

And the lot was empty.

Of frickin’ course it was empty. The funeral was today. Now. She could still make it. Wasn’t that why she’d blown out of the city so fast? To spit on Claymore’s grave like she’d told Chanté she was going to? Get some kind of fucked-up closure?

Yeah, has nothing to do with the fact you’re being stalked by a psycho.

Kit bit back a sob, coasting the last few hundred feet to a stop in front of the long, two-storied building. It was ugly. A dark, cinderblock gray, squatting against a barren hillside. She bit her lip, eyes flicking to the last window on the left, waiting for the shitty mini blinds to part.

They didn’t. Wouldn’t.

Dead. Everything looked fucking dead. Probably because it was.

Fuck this shit. She jerked up the emergency brake and killed the engine. Slammed the door open, then shut. Stomped across the half-frozen muddy lot, odd bits of gravel and glass crunching beneath her boots. Eyes fixed on the burnt-out jaws scored into the surface of the MC’s chapter house door, she approached the belly of the beast -- and stepped into the Maw of Mayhem.


About the Author

AK Nevermore enjoys operating heavy machinery, freebases coffee, and gives up sarcasm for Lent every year. A Jane-of-all-trades, she’s a certified chef, restores antiques, and dabbles in beekeeping when she’s not reading voraciously or running down the dream in her beat-up camo Chucks.

Unable to ignore the voices in her head, and unwilling to become medicated, she writes Science Fiction and Fantasy full time.

She pays the bills editing, wielding a wicked hot pink pen and writing a column on SFF. She also belongs to the Authors Guild, is a chapter treasurer for the RWA, teaches creative writing, and on the rare occasion, sleeps.


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