Book Review – Women’s Fiction

Love this review for “In the Best Interest of the Child! 😉😊

Just 4 My Books

In the Best Interest of the Child
by Felicia Denise

Severely injured in an accident that forever changed her life, 10-year-old Olivia becomes another faceless, under-served child in foster care. With no time to mourn or grieve, the young girl is easy prey for uncaring social workers and ambivalent foster families.

Olivia quickly learns to hold her tongue and mask her emotions. Even when exposed to neglect, bullying, and assault, no one seems to care. Holding fast to the teachings of her late father, Olivia ages out of the system broken, but no longer a victim.

Now a successful child advocate attorney, Olivia is a passionate voice for children. However, a routine case assignment by the court plunges Olivia back into the trauma of her childhood. If she doesn’t face her demons, a child will be sent into foster care, and Olivia will lose the only chance at love she’s…

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Why You Should Write a Character Based on Yourself

Never thought about this – great idea! 😉

The Jittery Junebug

Please feel free to share any additional tips or your personal experiences with writing/blogging in the comments, and stay tuned for more prompts every Thursday!

Long answer: Writing a character based on yourself with perhaps a different name, different occupation, or some other changed aspect can lend a wonderful hand to both your writing and your personal growth as a writer.

Short answer: It’s incredibly cathartic.

But in all honesty, I started a book with a main character modeled after the way I perceived myself. I gave her flaws similar to mine, and I gave her some of my aspirations. I let her loose in her own world to live the dreams I have for mine, and the results were amazing.

The character I had created turned into one of my absolute favorites to write, and by falling in love with her, I started to fall back in love with…

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“Winner Take All” by Mary B. Rodgers #Excerpt #Giveaway

Winner Take All cover

Winner Take All coverTitle: Winner Take All

Author: Mary B. Rodgers

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Hotshot skier and unrepentant party girl Carly Carrington is on top of the world until a disastrous crash destroys her championship dreams. Can she lower her guard long enough to trust the one man who might be able to heal her body…and her heart?

When it comes to sports doctors, buttoned-up Paul Blackburn is the best of the best. But when Carly upends his carefully ordered little world, will Paul fight his one chance at true love, or go for the gold in… WINNER TAKE ALL.



I handed the judge the file he’d requested.

A silent Carly perched on the arm of a chair that was as far away from Judge Whiting as she could get without being in the next room, rubbing her thumb into her palm over and over as she studied her shoes.

Pale and tear-streaked–why had she been crying?–she was still lovely, her sun-bleached hair curling up around her face in messy layers, her green blouse setting off her hazel eyes above her Cupid’s bow of a mouth that looked too perfect to be real.

Although it had certainly felt real several weeks ago, when Carly had made one of my fantasies come true. Well, almost. My forbidden daydreams about kissing that luscious mouth involved both of us being willing and sober. God knows I’d been willing. But she hadn’t been sober.

And that, for me, was an absolute deal-breaker. My jaw tightened as I thought about my broken mess of a brother. On every possible level.

I’d been pretty cold to her afterward. But that was because I was furious with myself, not her. Getting suckered in by her bad girl appeal–ridiculous. I knew better. Shouldn’t have allowed it to happen. Shouldn’t have wanted it to happen. Headstrong, reckless, unpredictable Carly was the opposite of what I needed to have around.

Well-practiced routines made my life run just the way I liked it. Classic clothing that functioned as both uniform and armor. Pleasant women whose appearance in my life was welcomed, but whose disappearance made scarcely a ripple.

Not jacked-up, cocky skiers whose kisses left me rock hard and dangerously close to losing control.



Door hinges squeaked, and a barefoot Paul clad only in pajama bottoms padded inside. “Carly? Why are you up? Are you okay?”

I swallowed hard as he approached. “I’m kind of freaked out. Put my boots back on for the first time since…since I fell…” My trembling increased. I slammed one of my shaking hands against the walkway. “This is stupid, this is so stupid, they’re just the damn boots for God’s sake. We aren’t even near a mountain, what is wrong with me?”

Paul knelt beside me and gathered my unresisting body into his arms. “It’s trauma. It’d be a miracle if you didn’t suffer from some kind of PTSD after that crash.”

“I’ve been dreaming about it again. I think that’s what triggered this. Shit. I need to find a way to handle it, I need…” I decided that dignity was overrated and curled up against Paul, pressing my cheek against his chest. His sleep-warmed skin smelled of soap and a faint note of pine-scented cologne.

“It’s okay. It’ll be okay, I promise.” Paul reached down and tugged off my boots. “We’ll try again with these later. But right now you need to relax. Jesus, Carly, it’s the middle of the damn night. Stop pushing yourself so hard.” He picked me up and stepped off the walkway into a grassy swath of the garden.

My laugh was tinged with more than a little hysteria, even to my ears. “Stop pushing myself? Have you met me?”

He chuckled and set me down. With deft hands, he pulled the blanket from around my shoulders, spread it out on the ground and repositioned me on top.

I nestled closer to him, drawing real comfort from his proximity.

“We’ll just sit here for a bit, all right? There’s no rush. Can you match my breathing pattern? Nice and deep, okay? Try it with me.” He inhaled slowly, controlling his breath on the exhale. “Like that.” He pitched his voice at a level someone might use on a skittish horse.

Ordinarily I would have bristled at the notion of being handled. But he sounded so soothing, and made me feel safe in ways I hadn’t experienced in ages. It couldn’t hurt to try. After a few false starts, I managed to coordinate my breath in time to his.

“Good. You’re doing great. Keep going.” He stroked my back and whispered encouragement, the steady rhythm of his movements lulling me into a relaxed, meditative state. My rigid muscles softened as the adrenaline gradually receded from my body. The fear faded away as well, replaced by a growing awareness of Paul’s body wrapped around mine.

I couldn’t have said when the mood changed, the shift was so subtle. But little by little, I raised my head, gazing at Paul through wondering eyes, my mouth only a few inches from his. I didn’t move any closer at first, drinking in his half-sleepy, half-sultry expression, reveling in the power of our attraction that clearly held him as captive as it did me. A dreamy tension built up between the two of us, and when I finally leaned in to close the distance, Paul met me halfway.

So soft, so sweet. We kissed as if it were the first time, a tentative exploration that turned heated in a matter of moments.

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~ Giveaway ~

Two lucky winners will win a Kindle Fire loaded with “Winner Take All” and “Project Catchstar”.


Author Bio

Mary B. RodgersA career performer and storyteller, Mary was the keyboardist and lead vocalist in an all-female rock band for a number of years and has acted in leading roles in plays and musicals across the globe.

Her first screenplay, Common Ground, was a finalist in the Moondance International Film Festival competition, and she is a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild/AFTRA and the New York chapter of Women in Film and Television.

An avid gamer and unrepentant nerd, Mary’s been a fan of romance, science fiction and fantasy novels since she was old enough to hide them between the pages of her textbooks during geometry class in high school. She is delighted to introduce the first book in her new contemporary romance series, Winner Take All.


Twitter – @mb_rodgers

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“Mama Graciela’s Secret” by Mayra Calvani

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Mama Graciela's Secret cover

Mamá Graciela’s Secret

Publication date: October 10, 2017

Written by Mayra Calvani

Illustrated by Sheila Fein

MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing

36 pages, 3-7 year olds

Reading guide at:

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Mamá Graciela’s TENDER, CRUNCHY, SPICY bacalaítos fritos are the best in town…

Local customers (including stray cats!) come from all over the island to enjoy her secret recipe. But when the Inspector discovers that Mamá secretly caters to so many cats and he threatens to close her tiny restaurant, Mamá must come up with a plan to save it—and all of the animals she loves.

Mayra CalvaniAuthor Bio

Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her children’s picture book, Frederico the Mouse Violinist was a finalist in the 2011 International Book Awards; her anthology Latina Authors and Their Muses was a First Place winner at the 2016 International Latino Book Awards; her nonfiction book, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, was a Foreword Best Book of the Year winner. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications like The Writer, Writer’s Journal, Multicultural Review, Bloomsbury Review, and others.

She lives in Belgium with her husband of 30+ years, two wonderful kids, and her three beloved pets. When she’s not writing, editing, reading or reviewing, she enjoys walking with her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family.

Connect with the author:

Illustrator Bio Sheila Fein

Born in Queens, New York and living in Los Angeles since 1987, Sheila Fein has always been inspired by the changing world around her. Earning her BA in Design from Buffalo State College of New York, her concentration was on drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography. Sheila’s education as an artist has taken her everywhere from Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia to Bath University in England. Today, Sheila Fein runs two figurative workshops, Imaginings Sketch in LA and People Sketchers in Thousand Oaks. She has been featured in numerous collections, magazines, books, solo and group exhibitions. Her paintings and drawings reside in public and private collections. Sheila loves to make the imagination of others a reality and has done so through her commissioned Fein Fantasy Portraits and Interactive Paintings. In addition to being a fine artist Sheila works as an illustrator. She just completed the book “Mama Graciela’s Secret” for MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing.

Book info:

HC 978-1-365-86153-6

SC 978-1-365-86155-0

ISBN Dyslexic Font Version:

DY HC 978-1-365-86154-3 DY SC 978-1-365-86156-7

**This book also has version printed in the Dyslexic font, the typeface for people with dyslexia. Go to to find out more about the typeface.

Suggested Retail Price – 17.99 Hardcover & 13.99 Softcover 40 % Discounted Price – 10.80 Hardcover & 8.40 Softcover

Available through – Ingram – Discount 40% Returnable – Yes

MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing – Discount 40% – Returnable – Yes

Publishing company Contact Info: MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing 1024 Iron Point Rd 100-1478 Folsom CA 95630


MacLaren-Cochrane Publishing 620 Buchanan Way, Folsom, CA 95630 916-897-1670

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~ Wacky Wednesday ~

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Interesting Geography! 😉

More than half of the coastline of the entire United States is in Alaska.

The Amazon rain-forest produces more than 20% the world’s oxygen supply. The Amazon River pushes so much water into the Atlantic Ocean that more than one hundred miles at sea off the mouth of the river, one can dip fresh water out of the ocean. The volume of water in the Amazon river is greater than the next eight largest rivers in the world combined and three times the flow of all rivers in the United States.

Sunset over the Amazon River
The Amazon River at sunset.

Antarctica is the only land on our planet that is not owned by any country.  Ninety percent of the world’s ice covers Antarctica. This ice also represents seventy percent of all the fresh water in the world. As strange as it sounds, however, Antarctica is essentially a desert. The average yearly total precipitation is about two inches Although covered with ice (all but 0.4% of it, i.e.), Antarctica is the driest place on the planet, with an absolute humidity lower than the Gobi Desert.

Brazil got its name from the nut, not the other way around.

Canada has more lakes than the rest of the world combined. Canada is an Indian word meaning ” Big Village .”

Next to Warsaw, Chicago has the largest Polish population in the world.

Woodward Avenue in Detroit, Michigan, carries the designation M-1, so named because it was the first paved road anywhere.

Damascus, Syria
Damascus, Syria, was flourishing a couple of thousand years before Rome was founded in 753 BC, making it the oldest continuously inhabited city in existence.

Damascus, Syria
Damascus, Syria

Istanbul, Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey, is the only city in the world located on two continents.

Los Angeles
Los Angeles’s full name is El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula –and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size: L.A.

New York City
The term “The Big Apple” was coined by touring jazz musicians of the 1930’s who used the slang expression “apple” for any town or city. Therefore, to play New York City is to play the big time – The Big Apple. There are more Irish in New York City than in Dublin, Ireland; more Italians in New York City than in Rome, Italy; and more Jews in New York City than in Tel Aviv, Israel.

There are no natural lakes in the state of Ohio, every one is man-made.

Pitcairn Island
The smallest island with country status is Pitcairn in Polynesia, at just 1.75 sq. miles/4,53 sq. km.

Pitcairn Flag
Flag of Pitcairn Island

The first city to reach a population of 1 million people was Rome, Italy in 133 B.C. There is a city called Rome on every continent.

Siberia contains more than 25% of the world’s forests.

The actual smallest sovereign entity in the world is the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (S.M.O.M.). It is in the city of Rome, Italy and has an area the size of two tennis courts. While it’s population is less than the reported 100 residents in Vatican City, legally, only three men–the grand master, the lieutenant grand master, and the chancellor – can be citizens there. It is a sovereign entity under international law, just as the Vatican is.

Sahara Desert
In the Sahara Desert, there is a town named Tidikelt, which did not receive a drop of rain for ten years. Technically though, the driest place on Earth is in the valleys of the Antarctic near Ross Island. There has been no rainfall there for two million years.

Sahara (Algeria)
Sahara Desert

Spain literally means ‘the land of rabbits.’

St. Paul, Minnesota
St. Paul, Minnesota, was originally called Pig’s Eye after a man named Pierre “Pig’s Eye” Parrant who set up the first business there.

St. Paul
St. Paul/Minneapolis, Minnesota

Chances that a road is unpaved in the U.S.A.: 1%, in Canada: 75%

The deepest hole ever made in the world is in Texas.  It is as deep as 20 empire state buildings but only 3 inches wide. [Blogger’s Note: After 24 years of digging, and several branches in the hole, the deepest branch of the Kola Superdeep Borehole stopped in 1994 at 12,262 meters (about 7.5 miles). It’s only nine inches in diameter at the bottom. It is still the deepest hole in the world, and the process of drilling was incredibly difficult. Apr 16, 2017]

Superdeep Borehole
Superdeep Borehole cap

United States
The Eisenhower interstate system requires that one-mile in every five must be straight. These straight sections are usable as airstrips in times of war or other emergencies.

The water of Angel Falls (the World’s highest) in Venezuela drops 3,212 feet (979 meters). They are 15 times higher than Niagara Falls.

Angel Falls

I have always said you should learn something new every day. Unfortunately, many of us are at that age where what we learn today, we forget tomorrow.  But, give it a shot anyway.



All images from Pixabay except Superdeep Borehole from Atlas Obscura