• Virtual Book Tour

    No Innocent Affair by Edward F. Mrkvicka Jr.

  • Science Fiction

    Renegades by Sara Mason

  • Inner City Strength by Dwight Slaughter

    Sometimes the game is all you have to save your life.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Review - The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

The Unwritten RuleThe Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


This is one book that had me thinking long after I was finished reading it. It is so true, and I wished more people could live and understand this unwritten rule, it would truly make life so much easier.



Sarah has always liked Ryan, though she'd never admit it to her best friend Brianna. Brianna is the popular girl that gets all the boys' attention. When that attention comes from Ryan, Sarah uses all of her strength to be happy for her. Now that's a true best friend.



As the story moves on we find that it wasn't Brianna that Ryan was truly after. In Sarah's shyness and awkwardness with boys, she missed her chance. Can that one moment be regained?



Risking losing her best friend, Sarah can't deny her feelings towards Ryan any longer. The problem here is that Ryan was never really Brianna's to begin with. If one best friend can't tell that the other likes a boy, then I think that is just plain self absorption. She never really was a friend to begin.



Scott did an amazing job with this title. I read it in one sitting, anxious to find out what happened next. It so took me back in the day, though I understood this unwritten rule from kindergarten lol. It was a great read, and I'm glad I had the chance to read it. You will be too and I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys YA with a touch of romance.





View all my reviews

Review - Divergent by Veronica Roth

Divergent (Divergent, #1)Divergent by Veronica Roth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Divergent was definitely a wonderful and exciting dystopian with so much originality that I am so anxious to read the next book, which I pre-ordered :).



Beatrice lives in a society where factions rule. You live in one of four ways and that is it. When it comes time for you to cross into adulthood, it is up to you which faction you will choose to be in for the rest of your life.



She lives with her mother, father and brother. Her father is certain both children will choose the faction they grew up in. When both choose completely different factions, ones that none of them dreamed of, both children are only scratching the surface.



A war is brewing. An overturn of government is on the horizon. The question is, will Beatrice, now Tris, be able to get to the bottom of who's behind all the chaos before she ends up...dead?



Tris learns how to be a part of her faction, becoming fond of her leader and trainer, Four. As the relationship grows, so does the suspense. With surprising twists and turns, this title literally had me on the edge of my seat. This is one book that will have you thinking months after you've finished reading it. Roth did a phenomenal job, I just can't get enough. Highly recommended!



View all my reviews

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

GFP Tour Stop - Behind The Wings by Dana Littlejohn



Dana Littlejohn was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, but has called Indianapolis, In. her home for over ten years. She has always wanted to write since early childhood, but put that wish on hold to raise her growing family and have a career. With the encouragement of her husband, Dana picked up her pen again in 2003 and has no intention on putting it down. With 3 novels, 8 novellas, 4 stories in anthologies, 42 short stories published to date and a long list of wip (works in progress) she is literally living her dream. Join her on the wild journey through her imagination. It’s a ride you’ll never forget!
Website: www.danalittlejohn.net 
Blog: www.authordanalittlejohn.blogspot.com
Facebook: search authordanalittlejohn
Twitter: follow authordanalittlejohn


Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. Dana! So happy to have you join me today.


BK: Please tell us a little about yourself... 
My name id Dana Littlejohn. Many people ask if that is a pseudo, but no, it’s my real name. I write sensual and erotic romance. I work a nine to five, Monday - Friday and mostly write the rest of the time that I am awake. 


BK: Please tell us a little about your book....
Jade Dupree is beautiful, smart and the only daughter of a well known and liked general. Many young airmen would like the chance to be with her; not only for her own accomplishments, but the connection it would give them to the general would be invaluable. Jade’s mother is all for her being with an airman and spends most of her time matchmaking. When she finally introduces Jade to an airman she might be compatible with, Jade met Mike Davis, a young entrepreneur. Jade dates them both trying to get to know the men and learns a great deal more then she bargained for.   

BK: What inspired you to pen this particular novel?
Behind the Wings came about after a conversation my son and I had when he came home from the air force. I asked him how life was in the air force and he laughed. He said you don’t have a life when your soldier, you just do as you’re told. Only officers have a real life. I thought about and wondered what life would be like. So I made up what I thought life was like and Behind the Wings was born.


BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer? 
I have always considered myself a writer. I wrote my first complete short story when I was 12, but I became an author when I sold my first story. That was an amazing feeling I will never forget.


BK: How do you keep your story flowing? 
I don’t actually. I can only write when the characters speak to me. I know the beginning, the middle and the end, but they tell me how I get from one point to the other. I f they don’t tell me where to go I can go.


BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it? 
Oh yes. When they stop talking to me it’s frustrating, but there’s nothing I can do. I usually watch movies to take my mind off the story or play Mahjong to give my brain something else to do.


BK: What is your writing process like? 
Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write? Yeah, I do. I always have a bag of sunflower seeds nearby and my music is playing too. Most of the time it’s guys singing love songs. It gives me the feeling that I’m being serenaded. 


Jade Dupree had always been a hot commodity among the young airman. She tried not to date them, but having an old school mother and a worldly father gave her a challenging social life. Her mother’s only goal in life seemed to be to get her to settle her down with the next available airman and birth as many babies as possible.

Her father’s outlook for his children’s future was much less intense. Jade let her mother set her up with an extremely handsome tech sergeant, just as she met the very interesting Mike Davis.

Having spent time with both men Jade can’t help but wonder if her mother finally got lucky in choosing Steven Jones for her…or was Mike Davis a better match for her after all?



Purchase HERE

BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future? 
I’m aware that I’m small player in the big leagues. I’m grateful that is enough love to go around, I’d like to write that one novel that takes me to the next level. When you ask people who writes horror the first name that comes to mind is Steven King even if you don’t read horror you know that. I think that would be amazingly cool if the question was asked about erotic romance and people said Dana Littlejohn.


BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books? 
Satisfaction. When they read the last lines of one of my books I’d like a smile to appear on their face and have them sigh with pleasure saying, ‘that was cool. I really liked that one’.


BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing? 
Before I start another book I read a few in that genre to see what has worked and what is acceptable. Having said that, I constantly remind myself just because that style or idea worked for them doesn’t mean it will work for me to keep myself true to my own style and voice when I write.


BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?
As a writer the first thing you want to do is know how to write. No matter how good your story is it will get dropped into the trash with the quickness if it is riddled with writing errors. Improve on your craft consistently. As an author find your voice and stay true to it.


BK: Are you currently working on any new projects? 
What can we expect from you in the future? Oh yes. My WIP list is an arm long. LOL I am usually working or 2 or 3 stories at once because the characters stop talking and then pick back up often. I just sent out a 2 book series on the African goddess of the sun and her sister the goddess of the moon, Conquering the Sun and A Warrior for the Moon The next story that is almost ready to be subbed is Ming’s Mojo. It’s about a wife who thinks her husband has become complacent with their marriage. She uses unconventional means to spark his interests in her again.


BK: Where can readers find you? 
Readers can always get updated info on me on my website, www.danalittlejohn.net or my blog, www.authordanalittlejohn.blogspot.com They can also follow me on FB and Twitter by searching author Dana Littlejohn



Excerpt One


Jade walked by the dance floor, bobbing her head to the music. Just as she put her glass on a passing waiter’s tray, someone grabbed her hand and yanked her to the dance floor.
 “Hey! What the—”
 “Shh! Here, turn your back this way. You gotta dance with me. Can you step?”
 “What? Excuse you, but—”
 “Shh! Please, help me out. I’m trying to hide over here.”
 “Hide?” She looked around quickly, letting him pull her around the dance floor. “Hide from what?”
 “Not a what, a who. I don’t know who she is, but she’s been following me around since I got here.” He ducked behind her and twirled her around.
 She moved stiffly in his arms and spoke crisply. “Look, I didn’t come to this party to do protection work.”
“Okay, then why did you come to this party?” He lowered himself again, his body folded almost in half in an attempt to hide himself behind Jade’s smaller frame. “Shit, don’t move. There she is,” he whispered urgently.
 He retreated, pulling Jade with him, closer to the center of the dance floor. Somehow he managed to keep the beat with the fast paced music as he slipped by the dancers He kept his face down and her back turned to the woman, using her as a shield, but Jade’s curiosity was peaked. She peeked over her left shoulder, trying to spy who the man was hiding from.

Excerpt Two


 He laughed again. “Yeah, okay. You know, you dance good for someone who got dragged out to the dance floor.”
 “It’s well.”
 “What’s well?” he asked, sending a quick look over his shoulder.
 “It’s, ‘you dance ‘well’ for someone who got dragged to the dance floor.’”
 Mike’s brows scrunched as he twirled her again. “That’s what I said.”
 Jade shook her head negatively, careful not to miss the beat. “No, that’s not what you said. You said good.”
 “Good is bad?” the man asked with a raised brow.
 Jade continued to stare at his feet to stay in step with him. “No, good isn’t bad, it’s just not right.”
 “So, good is wrong, but not bad?” he asked in a teasing tone.
 “No, good isn’t—” Suddenly she stopped moving and looked up at him. “Are you doing that on purpose?”
 “Doing what? I’m learning,” he assured her with a laughing grin.
 Jade stood on the dance floor staring into his smiling eyes as the people continued to dance around them. Then she rolled her own.
 “Whatever.”


Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future. 
Thanks for having me. I had a great time. J


Giveaway: 


I have promotional ink pens and key chains I can give away. I will give one 2 readers. (meaning 1 person gets a pen and the other gets a key chain) You can follow Dana's tour HERE to learn more about her and her books and earn more chances to win prizes.










Goddess Fish Partner

Friday, January 20, 2012

VBT Pit Stop & Guest Post with Cesar - Book of Prophecies



Prophecies are something I've never really thought about until Cesar came along and introduced me to his book. We've all so much to learn and think about and Cesar gives us a great thought provoking book to help us. Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. Cesar, such a pleasure to have you with us.

Cesar has a very experienced background in the spiritual world. He was brought up in a Christian family, but branched out from that base as he got older, seeking answers about the world around him, and the spiritual world around him.  In his mid-twenties dramatic events occurred in his life which challenged his very existence, but he learned from these experienced and most of learned that how that life is not just in our own hands.  Now Cesar is a firm believer that everyone has their own path to walk in life, and part of that walk is all about the choices that you make. Some people choose a good life and some a wicked life, but most of us live the life in the middle, influenced by the world around us and our own upbringing, Cesar understands that life is simply not black and white.





My Inspiration for Book of Prophecies

There is a lot of talk about whether 2012 might end up being the end of the world, people have pointed to the Mayans and the Hopi and the Egyptians who are all supposedly linked to prophecies about the end of the world. Like many others I have been listening to all the hype with a lot of doubt, but there is an underlying feeling that all of us have; that the world cannot continue as it is. Yes, most of us go around with our head in the sand, but the simple fact is that we are slowly but surely killing our own planet. But why? What is it about our society that makes it impossible to change how we treat our planet?

Well there is a very simple answer to why we cannot change. Greed. You see our society is built upon a system of money and loans and finance, they say that 'money makes the world go round' but you see the world belongs to all of us! I take out a loan to buy a piece of land; land which rightly belongs to all of us. I take my car to fill up on petrol;petrol which rightly belongs to all of us. I could go on, but my point is that in a world where there is no ownership, there is no sense of responsibility. We feel that our responsibility stops at the point where we hand over money.

But this is not the way that life was intended for us all, and change will happen one way or the other. Either we, as a society take responsibility and make the changes, or the changes will be forced upon us by things beyond our control. These ideals were inspiration, but more-so the rollercoaster of ups and downs that my life has become, but I feel now more than ever that my purpose in life was to stand and say to God that I am here and willing to speak for Him. And that simple choice has led me on a long journey to this point, it has opened my eyes to knowledge and things that were maybe forgotten hundreds of years, but I remain a humble man, just existing to pass on a simple message; now is the time for change.

A collection of brand new Prophecies about the world, about the world's economy, about disasters and wars, about terrorist attacks and about survival itself

 In this book Cesar takes prophecies to the next level.  In the year where everyone will be hearing once again all about Nostradamus, a year in which the Galactic alignment will occur on the 21st of December, comes a Fantastic book which is sure to broaden the imagination of those who believe in prophecies





Thank you so much for chatting with us Cesar. I wish you much success in the future. Cesar is currently on tour with the Virtual Book Tour Cafe' and you can view his schedule HERE. Follow along to learn more about Cesar and the prophecies.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

GFP Tour Stop & Interview with Lisa Scott



Lisa Scott is a former TV news anchor who now enjoys making up stories instead of sticking to the facts. The first book in her Willowdale Romance series will be released by Belle Bridge books in November 2012. In the meantime, she'll be releasing short stories linked to the Willowdale series, in addition to her Flirts! collections.

When not begging her husband and two kids for a few minutes of peace to write her stories, she works as a voice actor and putters around in her koi pond and garden in upstate NY.

Blurb: Every volume of the Flirts! Collection features five sweet, funny romantic short stories, linked by a loose thread. It all ties up in a fab, fun ending, bringing together characters from all the stories in that collection. Each short story is 8,000-12,000 words long--the perfect length to squeeze in during your lunch break or kids' practices. Sometimes you need a little love!



Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. I'm so happy you could join me to kickoff your tour today from your well-worn recliner with the dog’s chin resting on your laptop. For those of you joining us today, you will also have a chance to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card which Lisa will randomly draw from those that leave a comment during her tour. The more you comment, the greater your chances are of winning!

BK: Please tell us a little about yourself...
I work from home as a voice artist and writer.  I’m a former TV news anchor and it’s great fun not to be constrained by the facts anymore when telling a story. I’m married with two kids, two cats, a dog, and a pond full of koi fish.  

BK: Please tell us a little about your book.... 
My latest release is Fairy Tale Flirts!  It’s volume number four of my Flirts! Collection.  Each volume has five linked short stories that tie up together in a fabulous happy ending. My readers love how characters appear in other stories and usually make an appearance at the end.

BK: What inspired you to pen this particular novel?
I thought it would be fun to write modern love stories inspired by fairy tales—without any magic. So, I put together Fairy Tale Flirts!  Hopefully, they’re infused with a bit of real-life magic.

BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
Probably the first time I sold something for publication. I’ve sold a few essays and even greeting card verses.  When my children were little, I wrote a humorous parenting column online. I didn’t start writing novel length fiction until 2007.

BK: How do you keep your story flowing?
I just push through that first horrible draft, no matter how bad it is.  I love the revising process, polishing it up with humor and description.

BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it?
Oh yes, writer’s block is a beast.  But usually if I take a walk, things work themselves out in my head and I’m ready to get back to the keyboard.

BK: What is your writing process like? 
Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write?  I usually have to have the main characters’ back stories all worked out before I can sit down and do serious writing.  Once I have that in place, it flows nicely.  Then I need to perfect the first few pages so when I’m in the middle of the project, convinced it’s horrible, I can go back to those first few pages and remember why I love it.

BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future?
I hope more people discover and enjoy short stories.  I’d love to keep writing these collections.  It’s great for someone like me who comes up with loads of ideas for stories.

BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?
I had a reader write in a review that they were in such a good mood after finishing one of my books.  I’d love my books to be the bright spot in someone’s day.

BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing?
Write what you love to write.  While erotica is a hot seller, it’s just not me.  But I do love sweet, funny romances, and while my audience might be smaller than that for erotica, this is where I feel comfortable writing, and have a lot of fun with it.  I wouldn’t start writing something just to chase a trend.

BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?
Not everyone is going to love what you write.  Don’t be discouraged by that.  It’s just not possible to please everyone, so please the audience you’re targeting.

BK: Are you currently working on any new projects?
What can we expect from you in the future?  I’m always working on several projects. I signed a two-book deal with Belle Bridge Books for my Willowdale Romance series.  Think fun, contemporary romance with a southern twist. No Foolin’ will be published in November 2012.  A small town girl poses as a movie star’s girlfriend so no one will know why he’s really in town. Tricking the press they’re in love is one thing; fooling themselves they’re not is getting harder each day.   I’ll be preceding that book with a few Willowdale short stories, and of course, more Flirts! Collections. Wedding Flirts! And Reunion Flirts! are coming soon.

BK: Where can readers find you?
www.Readlisascott.com Read Lisa Scott on Facebook and on Twitter.

Flirts! 5 Romantic Short Stories to squeeze into your busy life. Fun, flirty, sweet, and sassy—always with the perfect happy ending. Discover the link that ties the stories together.

Each story is 8,000 to 11,000 words in length (approximately 32-44 typical book pages in length. 53,000 words total, or 210 typical book pages.)

The stories include:

“The Hot Girl’s Friend” 
How can a plain Jane find love when her best friend is a curvy blond man magnet? 

Jane usually busies herself during a night on the town, fending off the men lusting after her gorgeous friend Miranda. When Brady the bartender overhears her inspired, ludicrous excuses, he resolves to hook up Jane with his friends. But Jane would be quite happy with him. Pine along as Jane tries to find her own happily ever after.

“Wrong Place, Right Guy”
She’s in the wrong place at the wrong time. Can the guy who saves her be Mr. Right? Or will his past keep them apart?

When Kristen is jumped in a parking lot, Tony jumps in to save the day. While she thinks her hero could also be her heartthrob, Tony’s worried his past is reason to stay apart. Will the good guy get the girl in the end?

“Not You” 
One night with a stranger…gets even stranger the next day.

Single, lonely Carly thinks the best way to handle her mother’s third wedding is by throwing her own bachelorette-party-for-one the night before. What’s the harm in her first one-night stand ever? She’ll find out the next day.

“Desperately Seeking Cupid” 
Does she finally have the key for finding love?

Brianna has tried everything to find love—with no luck. So she’s turning to feng shui to bring romance to her world. Too bad the guy she’s after thinks its bunk. Will her formula for love work—or blow up in her face?

“Never Been Dumped”
It’s a relationship with an expiration date and it’s going to go bad.

Rachel hates breaking hearts. She’s never been dumped, and she’s tired of being the one to walk away. But a handsome stranger in town for the summer promises he’ll dump her after their summer fling. Will they be able to say goodbye?

Flirts! Five Romantic Short Stories to make you smile and swoon—buy the collection now for 2.99 or buy single stories for .99 each. Look for Beach Flirts! 5 Romantic Short Stories due out in late summer 2011 and Holiday Flirts! in early November 2011.



excerpt: from "Washed Up" story #4 in the Beach Flirts! collection

He woke to darkness and pain, with a pounding head and churning stomach; but soft lips crushed against his, so the night couldn’t have been that bad. His mouth moved in response, and he reached to find the body attached to those remarkable lips. He wrapped one hand around the back of her neck, while the other trailed further south over her collarbone, cupping a round, firm…

Slap! His eyes opened to an explosion of light. Then he sat up and puked. Seawater spewed from his mouth and someone rolled him onto his side.

“He’s okay, but get the lifeguard!” a woman shouted. She rubbed his arm. “You’re fine. Everything’s fine.”

This wasn’t exactly his definition of fine. He blinked away salty brine and fell back on the sand. “What the hell happened?” He looked up at the woman—petite, with dark eyes, and long hair that glowed in the sun.

“I’m not sure. I found you washed up here.”

He winced at the familiar phrase. Just ask his agent, who hadn’t been able to land him so much as a mall opening in the past three years.

“And then you kissed me?” he asked. Crazy fans had tried worse. At least duct tape and handcuffs hadn’t been involved this time; an actor without his sense of humor might have pressed charges.

“Kiss you?” She rolled her eyes. “Ever heard of CPR? I was a lifeguard in high school. You kissed me, and then you tried…” she winced.

excerpt #2 from "The Hot Girl's Friend" story #! from the Flirts! Collection

We boogied to the hip song of the moment and soon enough, a few gutsy gals left the security of the scattered tables and joined us. Then the drunker of the men crowded the floor, probably wondering if they should shoot for the top and approach Miranda or pick one of us “lesser” girls—like they could flatter us into bed by flirting with us first. For the most part, men at bars are idiots. Newsflash, I know.

“You with the hot chick?” a short, curly-haired guy asked, bumping his hip into mine in some pretense of a dance move.

I bumped back hard enough that he had to catch his balance. “If you mean the tall blonde, yes, I am.”

Out came another bad dance move, with him jiggling his hands like he was shaking a Martini. “She available?”

I shook my head and gave him the bad news. “Not exactly. She starts her prison sentence tomorrow. This is kind of a last hurrah.”

His bushy eyebrows scrunched as he recalculated his plan of attack, not quite ready to give up the chase. Perhaps prison stripes are a turn-on for some guys.

I shrugged. “I suppose she could use a pen pal. Although her ex might be writing to her, too. He seems to have gotten over the whole stabbing thing. You really only need one testicle, right?” I boogied away from him and started getting my excuses ready for the string of men who would soon be lining up to meet the second most appealing woman in the bar—the hot chick’s best friend. Always a good girl to know when trying to make your move. At least, that’s what the men seemed to think.

excerpt #3 from "Spooked by Love" story #1 from Holiday Flirts!


“So, I’m invited to a grownup Halloween party next weekend. Would you like to come? We’ve already got fabulous costumes.” He waggled his eyebrows.

I blew out a long breath. My heart was shouting ‘yes,’ but my brain stamped its foot ‘no’—kind of like Chelsea often did. “I don’t think so.”

Jeff snapped his fingers. “Wait, just a minute. I know what the problem is. I’ll be right back.” He dashed over to the big cauldron of candy and goodies set up on a banquet table, dug through the treats inside, and hurried back. He sat down and stared at me, all serious. Then he smiled, showing off neon-green vampire teeth. “Do you ‘vant to go out ‘vith me now?” he said, with a deep, sultry, Dracula accent.

I laughed so hard I thought I might hiccup. “Because you’re wearing fake teeth?”

Frowning, he lost the accent. “I heard women are really into vampires these days.” He shrugged. “Did my sister lie to me about that?”

My lips twitched into a smile. This guy could’ve been a new hot member of the Cullen family from Twilight, but I still wouldn’t go out with him. “I’m sorry, not even the sexiest, pointiest, vampire teeth could tempt me.”

He leaned across the table towards me, lowering his voice. “I’m a police officer. Are women into police officers these days? I’ve got the uniform and everything.”

I giggled—and I am so not a giggler. “I’m sure plenty of women have a thing for police officers.”

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.





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Goddess Fish Partner

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

VBT Pit Stop Review & Interview with Armin Feldman and Dorene Sager - Our Mother's Recipes



Dorene Sager and Armin Feldman are sister and brother. the idea for the cookbook sprang from the discovery of a treasure trove of their mother’s recipes after she passed away. Now Our Mother’s Recipes, Carrying On a Jewish Tradition is a Web site, a cookbook, a TV show and a place to learn about what the best Jewish cuisine has to offer.





Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. Armin and Dorene. It's such a pleasure having you here (Scottsdale). I'm very excited about your cookbook, and after reading it I've found some great recipes I'm going to try myself.


BK: Please tell us a bit about youself...
Dorene represents the best of so many different things. Dorene is a cookbook author, a wife and mother, a commercial real estate broker, a devoted family member, a true friend and so much more. Dorene says “I had so much fun working with my brother putting together all of the different ways to showcase our mother’s recipes.
Armin wears a number of hats too. Armin is a cookbook author, husband, dog lover, supporter of friends and family, medical doctor and a lot more. Armin says “What a treat to work with the best sister ever in creating all of these venues to showcase our mother’s remarkable culinary skills.”


BK: What inspired you two to work together to create a cookbook such as this one?
After our mother passed away (our father had passed away 5 years before) we found hundreds of our mother’s handwritten and typed recipes on 3x5 cards, scraps of paper and in notebooks. We wanted to share these great recipes.

BK: What was it like going through all your mother's recipes, deciding which ones to include in the book?
It was a near impossible task because there were so many great ones to choose from. We picked recipes we enjoyed while growing up.

BK: Was there a lot of reminiscing during this process?
Yes. Most social and family occasions involved meals. We shared lots of good memories.

BK: Which is your favorite recipe?
Armin: I absolutely love mom’s beet borscht. You don’t need to even like beets to love this soup.
Dorene: It’s impossible to say, however, you can’t beat our mother’s brisket. It is to die for. I always want to make enough for leftovers the next day.

BK: I hear you two will be doing cooking videos online, tell us a bit about this?
We hope we are not doing cooking videos online. We would like to have a show on the Food Network. Visit our website at ourmothersrecipesonline.com, take a look at our TV pilot and if you like it click on the link to let the Food Network know we should have a show.

BK: Where do you hope your book will be in the future?
The first book in a series. Our next book will be a holiday cookbook.

BK: Where can readers find you?
Our website is www.OurMothersRecipesOnline.com. Please visit and tell your friends. There is tons of information, recipes and tips. Join our Recipe of the Week Club, it’s free.

BK: What can we expect from you two in the future?
Cookbooks, TV shows and cooking demos.

BK: Anything else you'd like to share with us today?
Check in with our website for new developments, locations of our personal appearances, recipes and more.

Add a wonderful cuisine to your everyday meals and special gatherings. Traditional Jewish cooking is flavorful, fun and hearty particularly with Our Mother's Recipes, Carrying on a Jewish Tradition. These recipes have been handed down through many generations influenced by Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Spanish, German and Eastern European styles of cooking. In our family all of these cultural influences were combined, synthesized and affected by local ingredients through the years resulting in sumptuous, rich and wonderfully fulfilling traditional Jewish dishes.


My Thoughts: I loved this cookbook and have found some amazing recipes that I will be cooking for my own family. They are all easy to understand, and though this may be a Jewish Cookbook, you're going to love it! There is something for everyone. Be sure to visit them online too where you can signup for their Recipe of the Week, watch videos of them actually cooking and more.







Thank you for taking time to chat with me Armin and Dorene. I loved the book, love the site and wish you much success in the future.

Armin and Dorene are on virtual book tour and you can view their schedule HERE.

Monday, January 16, 2012

VBT Pit Stop Giveaway & Guest Post with Kat Jorgensen - Your Eight O'Clock is Dead


Today we welcome guest author Kat Jorgensen. She will be discussing the road to publishing. Welcome Kat!


A notorious daydreamer, Kat knew it was only a matter of time before she became a writer. She learned to read by age four and had her first library card before her fifth birthday. To this day, she can lose herself for hours among the books at her local library or neighborhood bookstore. Ebooks and online ordering have made it really easy for her to keep her To Be Read pile from ever going down. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Kat is married with children and has a cranky tuxedo cat named Ben.


http://katjorgensen.com






The Road to Publishing

For as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a writer. Essays were my favorite part of school. Only a page! You’ve got to be kidding. While classmates breathed a sigh of relief, I was thinking of ways to write smaller so I could crowd more words on that one page. My world history report in high school was a meaty 100 pages. Others turned in a wimpy 25, the required minimum. I had an absolute blast researching and then compiling my notes into a cohesive document. And the A+ wasn’t too bad for my GPA either.

Over the years, I wrote for school newspapers and company magazines, and I enjoyed every minute of it. But somehow I was hesitant to commit to a full-length novel while working full-time and raising a family. Instead, I entertained friends and family with satires on various subjects, short stories and just plain old story ideas. When my audience would laugh, cry or applaud, it was just the best feeling.

My mother always encouraged me to pursue my writing. She always nurtured and supported me in whatever I undertook. Her belief in me was astounding.

So when she passed away in 2000 and I found myself with an empty nest, I decided to write that novel. I figured if she believed in me so wholeheartedly, I should believe in myself.

But where to start? The blank screen stared at me. I switched to paper. The yellow legal sheet mocked me. I read books on writing. I took online classes. I joined online groups. I took writing classes at one of our local universities. I joined local writers’ groups. I wrote a novel. It was the greatest feeling. It ended up being 991 pages!

I was so proud when I went into my monthly writers’ meeting and announced it was done. Much applause. I gave the page count. Total silence. Then someone spoke up and asked if I knew it was too long to be marketable. Yes, I was aware of that. It needed editing. So I went home and thought that one over. The next month I came back and let them know that I knew what my book needed. My college writing teacher wanted to know if it was an eleven page prologue. I had to smile. By now they all realized I like to write and write long. But no, it wasn’t a prologue this book needed. It was severe editing.

I proceeded to phase two - learning how to edit what is written. I trimmed the book by more than half. And in the process learned a great deal about the whole writing process and added even more tools to my novelist toolkit.

Then came phase three - sending it out. More research followed on how to do that. And then the rejections poured in. I was not happy. How could they not love my plot or my characters? How could they reject ME? Yes, I was that new.

I went to writers’ conferences, seminars, took more classes, networked with more writers. Joined a critique group. Went on writing retreats. Volunteered for positions within my local group. Sought out mentors. Gave back where I could as I learned. Immersed myself in my craft. And learned so much.

I continued to write novels. Continued to pitch. Continued to get rejections. But the rejections were better, the feedback more positive. My writing tighter.

As co-program chair for the local writers’ group, I worked on programs with an amazing New York Times best-selling author, Cathy Maxwell. We brought in top writers from all over the country for programs. And we brought in agents and editors. I got to meet with them and I learned from all of them. It was a fabulous experience. And I continued to write and take classes and attend writing events.

In 2008, I had a non-fiction story about how our cat responded to my husband’s 2006 cancer surgeries and recovery published in A Cup of Comfort for Cat Lovers. Man’s Best Friend was my first paying writing experience. I got to do local book-signings and met with readers.

Surely, my next novel would sell. Success was right around the corner for my fiction, right? Well, not exactly.
I did continue to write. But I also wasn’t feeling so great. I grew more and more fatigued, but I chalked it all up to the horrors of what my husband and I had been through in the past couple of years.

Cancer hit me, too. Twice. In 2008 and again in 2009. I went through surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation. My brain was fogged and my body was weak. My characters and stories were silent. It was a dark time. One where I didn’t write. I wasn’t physically able. I was fighting for my life and I was determined to win.

As I regained my strength, the notion came to me that I should write something funny. Laugh out loud funny. My previous books had been dark and serious. After so many serious issues in my personal life, I didn’t want to go back to that in my writing life. I wanted to kick back and kick up my heels and play. The River City Mystery Series was born. I wrote Your Eight O’Clock Is Dead and amused myself. I amused the people that read it and knew that I’d finally hit my niche.

And I sent it out to the traditional publishers and to New York agents that I had met previously. Which one was going to pick it up? The rejections started. Very positive, almost apologetic rejections. They loved it. YAY, me! They couldn’t represent or buy it due to the fact that I was an unknown quantity and the economic times were so tight in publishing that they were unwilling to take a chance on me. OUCH.

At that point, I had two choices. Write another book and try submitting to traditional publishers or go the indie route. I believed in myself, this book, these characters and this series. So I took the plunge. And I haven’t regretted it for one minute.

People are buying the book, they’re writing to me to tell me how much they enjoy it. I love these letters and emails. To know that my writing is helping people take their minds off of their problems and allowing them to laugh is everything I dreamed it would be. My sole goal in writing is to entertain people. To give them a diversion. To amuse them. If I can do this, then I consider myself successful.

It’s been a long and winding road toward publication for me with plenty of straight stretches, some hills and valleys and lots of curves. But I’m here now at my chosen destination and having a grand time.

Becca Reynolds is having a bad day. Her grandfather’s lecture (#405: Eat a Healthy Diet or Die Not Trying) makes her late for her job at Daley and Palmer, the psychiatrists' office where she works as the office manager—her title, not theirs. Then her sausage and egg breakfast biscuit creates an oil slick that takes out half her desk, along with that day’s patient files. But she knows the day has taken a really bad turn when she discovers the firm’s eight o’clock patient dead with Dr. Dick Daley’s letter opener opening the patient instead of the mail.

With the fledgling firm in danger of an early demise, Becca appoints herself the unofficial investigator since the police seem to be looking in all the wrong places and doing a half-assed job of solving the crime. She begins a journey to find the killer, keep the practice afloat and with it, her job. In the course of her interfere—er, investigation—she finds a virtual cast of characters who could have done it, including the fancy side piece of the murder victim, his wife, his business partner, and even his psychiatrist.

The case takes Becca from the sordid depths of the Russian mob, to the upscale West End of Richmond, Virginia (known locally as River City), and even to her own backyard. In the course of the story she finds herself in hot water, hot danger, and with dreams of hot men.
 


Thank you for stopping in Kat. It's been a pleasure having you. Kat is also offering one lucky commenter a chance to win an e-copy of Your Eight O'Clock is Dead. Just leave Kat a comment with your email address for a chance to win. Winner will be drawn using Random.org and announced next Monday.

You can get even more chances to win a copy of this title by following Kat's tour, which you can view HERE.













Monday, January 9, 2012

VBT Pit Stop - Guest Blog & Giveaway with Kiki Howell, What Are You Afraid Of?


Welcome Kiki Howell back to BK Walker Books Etc. Kiki is on tour with her new children's book, What Are You Afraid Of? This little picture book has been getting some awesome reviews and is not just for Halloween. So follow along for a chance to win her grand prize at the end of her tour and to learn more about Kiki and this wonderful new picture book.

Welcome Kiki!


Ever since she was young, Kiki Howell has loved to listen to a well-woven tale with real characters, inspired plots, and delightful resolutions. Kiki could spend hours lost in a book, and soon she knew that creating lives, loves, and losses with just words had to be the greatest thing that she could do. To that end, she pursued her study of literature and writing, earning a bachelor’s degree in English. She then followed in a Master’s program in Creative Writing.




“After a long break having my boys, I finally just had to write again. And, as soon as I gave the stories the space, they entered it. It’s both awesome and humbling to find the words in my mind become characters on a page and create their lives.”

She has now had over twenty stories published between seven different small presses.  She could not be more thrilled or grateful to see her creations polished and out in the real world. Please look around. Although, a bit of caution, most of her stories tend to hang out on the graphically sexy side of town.

In May, 2011, Kiki was chosen as an Ohioana Book Festival author for her novel,Torn Asunder. 

Kiki resides in the Midwest with her incredibly handsome and talented, singer/songwriter husband and two children. When she is not writing, she is spending time with her family, reading, baking or knitting.

Her biggest dream is to have a novel she writes be made into a movie that her husband creates the soundtrack for, and then cruise to Alaska with her family on the money they make.


Guest Blog – Transitioning From Paranormal to Children’s Stories

I’ve been called a diverse writer, and maybe I am writing all over the place with a published children’s picture book as well as published adult, paranormal romance novel and a many more genres and lengths in between. But, I’m not sure I transition as much as hop *giggles* I’ve never been one to ease into anything, more a stay up all night learning all I can so I can jump in with both feet type of gal. Yes, I should come with a warning sign! LOL But, I write what I’m inspired to - sometimes a subject laying heavy on my heart and sometimes a type of character I want to experiment with, and sometimes a plotline I’ve been handed, etc. But, a good four years into my writing career, I think I am still in that experimental phase, just having fun with whatever inspiration comes my way.

I think I’m more trying my hand, finding my place. I thought when I was younger and dreamed of writing that I would write children’s books, picture books to be exact. But then I grew up with after-school specials and soon my stories turned to be like those. I know when I was first in college that I wrote a few stories, one about a runaway, another about a woman with an eating disorder, and so on – still haven’t been brave enough to go back and read those yet though. LOL Someday. But then life happened, and I didn’t get to write for a good decade. Come the year 2007, I wrote two stories for a writing exercise that were supposed to be in a genre I was not comfortable with, I took as not familiar with. Having just read my first erotic romance, I tried that that genre, and to my surprise, having submitted them on the encouragement of my ever-supportive husband, they were accepted. This of course took me down a road of writing I had never dreamed of. Never even imagined in my wildest dreams! And, these events had all who knew me saying, “It’s always the quiet ones!” Of course one reader early on also said that I could describe anything, sex included. LOL

During this time though, what I noticed I had this constant need to try something new with my writing. I went from contemporary to historical, from paranormal to magic realism, etc. Even in the paranormal realm I moved from different types of creatures, witches to vampires to shapeshifters to incorporating them all in one story. I got good and bad reviews, noticing a consistent theme that the way I liked to describe things often was not right for the adult genre reader that I was writing for. Reviews proved a love or hate my writing kind of thing. But, without description, well I might as well not write, I figured. Because plying with words is what I love about writing, as much as weaving a good tale. What was missing, but crept in from time to time still in various ways, was the messages. I still had this need to tell a story that not only evoked emotions but made people think about important issues in life. I have this constant need to help, to do something worthwhile with my life which translates into assisting others in their lives. So, when I got that first email where a couple who had lost their daughter three years ago and had grown apart had come together again for the first time after reading one of my stories, and was now ready to work on their marriage, well that was an indescribable feeling.

So, when the idea of helping kids overcome their fears, having been a fearful child myself, popped into my head, I did the research and just had to write a story. To help kids overcome such a big issue in a way that didn’t stifle their big creative minds, well I felt on a mission really. It did cross my mind many times to question if I should write a children’s story having established myself as an adult writer. But the story would not be kept silent. And even with many obstacles in my way as the story progressed, I kept with it feeling the message just too important. It was the lesson I wanted out there that kept me going. So one day I was writing a story about a witch using a sex magic spell and the next I was writing a rhyming story based on a dog who was afraid of kids in a Halloween costumes. A jump? Yes. Of course. But one I made happily, not slowly, but jumping in with both feet, writing furiously and snapping pictures of my dogs to illustrate it to boot. And, I did dress my poor dog in a witch costume. I think he has forgiven me?

Now that I have such a diverse line of stories out, I don’t seem to be stopping. Again, no smooth transitions, but absolute leaps and bounds from genre to genre. You should see my line up of stories to edit and write in 2012! I have a sexy trilogy involving vampires, witches and werewolves at war in a resort town; I have my first steampunk story with a Valentine’s Day theme; I have a more reality based mainstream novel about a gifted woman coming to accept who she is and what she can do in the city of Salem, MA; and I have a story taking shape, a contemporary, feel-good type story about a veteran forty years after the Vietnam war as told through his forty year old daughters eyes. All I have left is to try YA! LOL No ideas yet though unless I brave those old manuscripts from college. But I shall keep hoping until I find where my writing voice shines best, or maybe I shall just keep jumping around. Who knows?  

What Are You Afraid Of? - A Children's Picture Book

While this book is set during Halloween, it's really a book which addresses the issue of dealing with a child's fears and is meant to be read during any season by any child dealing with any fear. The setting came about because the author's dog is actually afraid of children in costumes on Halloween, and the idea seemed just funny enough an approach to work with this very important subject. Please read the Note from the Author to find out more about why this book was written. “Why does the night have to be so dark?” the big dog named Drake gave a low bark. 

Everyone has fears, even a big dog like Drake. In fact, the big dog named Drake is afraid of the children in costumes on Halloween. He really only likes the candy his boy drops.

Lucky for Drake, the old dog named Zoe is there to help him forget his fears with a fun game.
Drake and Zoe can’t wait for you to play along. 



Giveaway:


Kiki is offering one lucky commenter from her entire tour a chance to win a tote bag with a picture of Zoe and Drake on it that will be filled with dog stuff - plush dogs, dog coloring book, etc.

Schedule:

December 22 - Kick Off at VBT Cafe' Blog
December 27 - Review at Loves To Read
December 29 - Guest Blogging at AZ Publishing Services
December 29 - Interviewed at KWOD Radio 7:30pm ESTJanuary 2 - Review & Interviewed at Rhodes Review
January 4 - Reviewed at Sacred Legacy Reviews
January 7 - Reviewed at From The TBR Pile
January 9 - Guest Blogging at BK Walker Books Etc
January 11 - Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews
January 17 - Interviewed at BK Media Entertainment
January 19 - Interviewed at Writing Innovations
January 24 - Guest Blogging with Louise James
January 26 - Review & Guest Blogging at Mad Moose Mama