Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Goddess Fish Promotions Virtual Book Tour: Jeannette Watts - Brains & Beauty

Brains and Beauty
by Jeanette Watts


GENRE: Historic Fiction



Regina Waring seems to have it all.  A loving husband, a successful business, and the most expensive wardrobe in town.  But nothing is what it appears to be.  Her  husband is critical and demanding, the business teeters on ruin, even the opulent wardrobe is a clever illusion.  

Regina’s life is one long tiptoe through a minefield; one wrong step and her entire life is going to blow up and destroy her.  Attempting to hold it all together, she appeases the husband, dresses the part, and never, never says what she is really thinking. That would get in the way of getting things done.  And, if there’s one thing Regina did really well, it was getting things done.

Enter Thomas Baldwin.  Young and handsome and completely off limits, Regina is smitten at first sight.  Then, to her great astonishment, he slowly becomes her best friend.  He’s the one person in her life who never lets her down.  Torn between her fascination with him and her desire not to ruin a marvelous friendship, she tries to enjoy each moment with him as it comes.

If only that were enough.



Regina pounded the pavement from bank to bank, begging, taking out loans, laying awake night after night trying to figure out how she was going to keep everything afloat. As Tom had said, times were hard, businesses were failing daily.

Regina’s businesses would not have been among the ones in danger – if only Henry had seen fit to give her the benefit of the doubt. But eight years of marriage and one successful business arrangement after another meant less to him than the chemistry of male bonding.

As with every crisis she had faced thus far in her life, Regina gritted her teeth, and looked for the lesson to be learned. This time, she concluded that no one really listens to what you have to say. Telling people not to do something is pointless. They will do what they want. The people you trust most will let you down. Her parents had. Her husband had.

When Lucy returned from the ladies’ cloakroom, Regina excused herself and went in. After she’d deposited her cloak and retrieved her fan, she stared blankly at her reflection in the long mirror.

Her youngest sister Abigail was the cleverest seamstress in the States. Having a good dressmaker was a special sort of secret weapon. The more prosperous she looked, the less anyone would suspect how desperately close to ruin the Waring empire was.

She forced herself to smile and lifted her chin a little. “Attitude is everything, my girl,” she told herself. “Go in like a queen, not a pauper. Men will do favors for queens much more eagerly than they will for beggar girls. Abi can make you look like a queen; your job is to act the part.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Jeanette Watts only lived in Pittsburgh for four years, but in her heart, she will always be a Pittsburgher.  She missed the city so much after her move to Ohio, she had to write a love story about it.

She has written television commercials, marketing newspapers, stage melodramas, four screenplays, three novels, and a textbook on waltzing.  When she isn’t writing, she teaches social ballroom dances, refinishes various parts of her house, and sews historical costumes and dance costumes for her Cancan troupe.






The most interesting things she learned while researching her book

Some of my favorite research, and the most interesting history I delved into, got left “on the cutting room floor!”

In my original draft of Brains and Beauty, when Regina’s best friend dies in childbirth, she embarks on a mission to bring information about birth control to the women of Johnstown. It turns out there was a fair amount of information on the subject. A book by Charles Knowlton called The Fruits of Philosophy; or The Private Companion of Young Married People was published in 1832. It was republished in England by Charles Bradlaugh and Annie Besant in 1876. They were tried in court for obscenity in 1877; of course the ensuing scandal made the book popularly in demand.

Getting your hands on the book was tricky, however, because the Comstock Laws, enacted in 1873, made it a crime to use the post office to send “obscene materials” through the mail. That included erotica, sex toys, contraceptives, or abortifacients – or any information pertaining to any of the above. A medical textbook containing a chapter about the female reproductive system was considered obscene. In Washington DC, it was a misdemeanor to sell, give away, or possess an “obscene” publication. Half the states in the union had similar laws, some including the possession of obscene materials like contraceptives, as well as information.

All these laws were in response to the Voluntary Motherhood movement. Yes, it means pretty much what it sounds like. The idea was motherhood could be voluntary, not involuntary. Women wanted to space out their children, to have 6 or 8 children instead of 10 or 12. Women wanted to survive to see their children grow up, instead of dying in childbirth.

Sound familiar?

The rhetoric on both sides is all too familiar today. Instead of Anthony Comstock, we have the “Center for Medical Progress.” It’s Planned Parenthood these days, instead of voluntary motherhood. They didn’t call it the war on women in those days – they called it “a woman’s sphere.” Women were supposed to stay at home with the children and leave the outside world to their menfolk.

It breaks my heart – all of it is so obviously relevant to us today. BUT – who is going to buy a 638 page book from a currently unknown author? My first book, Wealth and Privilege, was 400 pages, and agents all told me it was too long. Having a 638 page sequel is just too long. So I had to start cutting. There are still hints of my heroine’s activism, but just hints. Sadly, there just wasn’t room for her disastrous tea party in Johnstown where my heroine tried to get the matrons of Johnstown society to help her, or her meeting with Samuel J. Tilden (reformist governor of New York, the man who got elected president in 1877, but didn’t end up president, because of some shady dealings in Florida…) to lobby for the repeal of the Comstock Laws.

Next time, I’ll pay more attention to the word count while I’m happily typing away.

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION Jeanette Watts will be awarding a Victorian cameo necklace to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Let It Snow

Thankfully there wasn't as much snow in my part of PA as there was in say Washington DC. Digging out is not going to be fun.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Goddess Fish Promotions Book Blast : The Measure of Love

The Measure of Love
by Saundra MacKay


GENRE: Contemporary Romance



The Measure of Love is unique in that it is an authentic modern-day love story that captures the mystique and splendor of large size women of today.  It will captivate the hearts of the readers as they walks through Vanessa’s everyday life as she confronts the realistic obstacles from being a woman of size.  The story addresses size in a kinder, gentler way about full figured women beyond the realm of society’s idea of what is physically beautiful



Good fortune spared her from becoming further unnerved by allowing her to get to the airport without much delay, and to find a parking spot, with a few minutes left before his flight was to arrive. Vanessa felt as if she couldn’t make time move fast enough. With each passing minute, she couldn’t deny her mounting eagerness to see his handsome face come through the exit doorway. While the passengers were disembarking, Vanessa positioned herself in a place where she could easily see him come through the door, yet far enough away from the crowd of onlookers waiting for the same reason. As the doors opened and each unfamiliar face passed through the doorway, she felt as if her inflated heart was going to burst onto the carpet. She felt sure she would stop breathing if she didn’t see his face in the next few seconds.

Vanessa stood very still, watching the stream of emerging passengers. And then, suddenly, there he was, looking like the million dollars he was worth in her shining eyes. Unbeknownst to her, Jon had been anticipating seeing her just as much once the plane had landed, and the need had only increased as the plane, much too slowly, had taxied up the runway. His feet had wanted to run down the long walkway, making him impatient with the necessary procedures and the lingering passengers who, to his increasing anxiety, were taking their time walking down it. He didn’t know why, but he was nervous and very anxious, even though he’d been looking forward to this day since it had been arranged.

By the time Jon reached the exit, he was so wired it took everything he had not to push the people ahead of him out of his way to run the extra steps. Then, at the exact same moment, their eyes locked. Vanessa stood there, so statuesque, and wearing the biggest smile. It took all the remaining restraint he had not to drop his bag where he stood, run to her, and grab her up in his hungry arms to consume every inch of her big, beautiful body. She was one fine female, and he could see she had no idea of the enormous impression she made as she stood looking like a vision to all who had an eye for real beauty.

Never taking his eyes off hers, Jon walked toward her, lowered his bag, and forced himself to slowly pull her into his impatient arms. The feel of her softness revived the many feelings that had possessed him since he last left her, and gave him a new wish to hold on to her for a lifetime, just as he was at that very moment. For someone of such a large frame, she was so small in so

He had missed her. For someone of such a large frame, she was so small in so many ways not obvious to those who couldn’t see past the image taken in by the discriminating eye. Jon just wanted to hold her and protect her forever from all the ugliness around her and within her own insecure reflection. Vanessa wrapped her large arms around his neck, nestled her face deep into his shoulder beneath his scented square chin, and whispered, “I’ve missed you so much. Welcome, my love.”


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

I was a large-sized child shaped by the view of those expecting me to act a certain way because of my size and their narrow views. As a “fat” child I was treated just how they thought I would act, as if I was so sensitive I were incapable of doing most things thin children could do. It was around the age of twelve I started to gain weight, changing my physical image of my body. It was a slow, steady process, but the ramifications were not.

As I grew older and the pounds followed, the images changed dramatically and I wasn’t capable of fighting the effects from it. As a young girl of size, trying to keep some semblance of positive image was an uphill battle. It was the start of feeling isolated and unsure as an introverted child growing up and into most of my teen years. I didn’t feel I could trust anyone enough to talk to about personal issues, especially anything to do with my weight.

As a teen and into adulthood the meaning of unrequited love was lost to me. As I explored the world around me, I unknowingly learned how to trust many of the voices of the people I was blessed to have had walk through my life. In time, it showed me my innate trust in something bigger than society’s issues and helped me to listen to my own voice to hear the messages I tell myself.

Now, the image of my body is one of kindness, caring, and love. In light of realizing its society’s image of body that is distorted and do not accept the difference in every individual, I have come a long way to appreciate the uniqueness of my body. Today love means so many things to me, and is felt in defining ways that have helped shape me into the person I am today. I believe I have always reflexively felt a connection to my innate love for myself and on so many amazing levels love have helped me to understand and value the real me.

As a young adult, I started to read every opportunity I had. Then my love of words was found, allowing me to create a world in which I could express myself comfortably. I now have the pleasure of embracing the feelings of joy and excitement that come with being a writer of truth and a romance novelist. It’s possible because I evaluate myself and my growth with honesty in hopes of being capable of writing true-to-life love stories. Love stories about large-size women who are seen for more than their innate beauty and are worthy to be the heroine who gets the man


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Goddess Fish Promotions Book Blast: The X Factor

The X Factor: Confession of a Naïve Fashion Model
by Ivan Sivec


GENRE: Young Adult



It takes three mistakes to be swallowed up and spat out by the fashion industry.
You trust the wrong people.
You think you know everything there is to know about life.
You abuse drugs.

The almost 18-year-old Maja is a regular high-school kid, who at the threshold of adulthood thinks she knows everything there is to know about life. As she enters the world of fashion modelling she gets completely enchanted.

However, the more her career thrives she’s less able to see the danger lurking around fashion industry.  Maja starts falling in a downward spiral of drug addiction and is torn between the tempting dream of becoming a world famous model and the horrendous thought of destroying her body beyond the point of no salvation.

At a yacht party Maja gets drugged, assaulted and tossed overboard. She’s found the next day. Barely alive. Only a shade of her former self, in a gray space between life and death, she realises the fashion industry sucked everything out of her – except one thing – the will to live. Maja wants to be her old self again.

Ironically, it means losing the only thing that made her special. She has to give up on her hidden X Factor.

The X Factor:
Confession of a Naïve Fashion Model
is a psychological YA novel showing the glamorous fashion world behind its less glamorous scenes.


Excerpt :

On the evening of the third day the agent Maurizio paid them a visit. They didn’t have any money or food, so they begged him to lend them a couple of euros to buy lunch at McDonald’s. He didn’t want to hear anything about that.

“I came to make sure you’re successfully losing weight. In Milan there’s currently somewhere between two hundred and three hundred too many models, and the ones that don’t respect the rules will be fired without compensation of any sort.”

They curled up and managed to convince themselves they didn’t even need yoghurt. They stayed determined even after Maurizio had left.

Later Maja and Svetlana found out that Maurizio had locked them in the apartment, so they weren’t able to leave, even if they had somehow been able to beg for some food money.

They managed it until midnight.

But at 00.30am Svetlana suddenly jumped up from her sleep.

“Maja, are you asleep? I can’t sleep. I’m going crazy from hunger.”

“Don’t even start on food,” Maja grumbled. “My vision is blurred. I’ll probably die tonight. I’ll die of hunger.”

“I’ll die, too. We’ll both die of starvation.”

At 1am they started banging on the door: “Open, please! We’re dying of starvation. Help!”

There wasn’t a living soul to be found anywhere. It seemed like there was nobody in the neighbouring apartments and the shops downstairs were already closed. Maja started looking for the business card. She would call that famous director. She’d ask him to bring them half a loaf of bread. She’d do whatever he wanted as long as he saved their lives.

“No, don’t do it! You know Monica will be mad. For now we belong to Milleuno. We cannot make contact with anyone outside the agency. We cannot go out. We cannot meet anyone. We have to take care of everything by ourselves or with the help of the agency.”

At 2am they were in such crisis they were rolling around with cramps. Maja had never experienced something like this before. She felt like she was about to die any moment now.

“I don’t want to die!” Svetlana made one last effort to get up and swayed to the window.

“Quickly, pass me the bed sheet!”

It was like in a film.

An entertaining film for the good children.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Ivan Sivec is a writer, poet and publicist from Slovenia, Europe. People say he is ‘a man with a hundred stories’ and he has been sharing them with his audience, both young and mature, for over four decades now. He is listed under the top five Slovenian bestselling authors.

In his rich and thriving career he has written in many genres. As a poet he has written more than 2,500 lyrics for ethnic and entertaining music for which he received several awards. His broad prosaic ‘repertoire’ includes biographies, historical, psychological and adventure novels, travelogues, youth book series, picture books as well as humorous stories. To this date he published over 130 books and is considered to be one of the most popular Slovenian authors.

His particular interest goes to psychological novels on issues teenagers face today, especially topics like suicide, drug addiction, adoption, AIDS...  He shares true stories to let the young reader know they’re not alone.

Sivec devotes his free time to his wife of 44 years, their two children and three grandchildren. Since his retirement a decade ago he enjoys his days hiking the Alpine peaks (he is especially proud to have conquered the tallest mountain in Europe, the French Mont Blanc (4,810 m/ 15,771 ft), together with his daughter-in-law Tina). When he is not gathering inspiration from the mountains he is soaking in the tranquility of the Mediterranean Sea with his wife.  Nature is his source of creativity. It allows Ivan to gather his thoughts and pour them onto paper. 

Official Webpage: http://ivan.sivec.net/en/

Amazon:http://amzn.to/1RJz7d9   Free Jan 13 and 14!!


http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/28e4345f1508/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="28e4345f1508" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_16a07rnw">a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, January 11, 2016

Reflections On David Bowie

There are some people that you can't even fathom not being in the world until they are gone. Your family members are always part of that group, but then there are celebrities that you feel the same way for, David Bowie was one of those people

His music spanned decades and he was one of an elite group of people that could still be relevant at 69.

His music was brilliant, quirky, sometimes cheesy, but always listenable and always noteworthy. He was someone you not only listened to, you watched.

His movies weren't always good, but they were memorable and something to talk about. No one will ever forget him or his tights in Labyrinth. He was The Goblin King!

Its hard to put into words what the music this man means to the world, even when it was a simple Christmas duet done with Bing Crosby or another duet done with Mick Jagger. You have to be deaf to be unaware of his contribution to music.

I was lucky to have seen him in concert in Pittsburgh in 2004 at the Benedum Center. It wasn't my favorite show, but it had nothing to do with his performance which was stellar. I saw him in his tour for The Outside as well with NIN opening for him. That was an even less stellar show as the NIN fans were so disrespectful of his genius and because Bowie wasn't playing his classic songs much on that tour. It didn't help much that his new album was just out so the audience wasn't familiar with the material.

But that was Bowie, he was a chameleon and he did whatever he wanted to do.

He will be missed