#AudioTour “The Corridor” by Vic Neal

Audiobook Blog Tour: The Corridor by Vic Neal

Author: Vic Neal

Narrator: Jack Hardman

Length: 8 hours 32 minutes

Series: Oxford Uni Corridor Series, Book 1

Publisher: Nice Cake Publishing Ltd

Released: Feb. 14, 2020

Genre: Humor


The Corridor is a documentary-style comedy which follows the lives of a group of Oxford students through their conversations, tweets, emails, video diaries, and text messages. Rather than attending lectures and writing essays, the students are more interested in their bizarre clubs, secret dining societies, and organizing rebellions.

Based loosely on the experiences of an Oxford student, The Corridor exposes the famous seat of learning which has continued to excrete our most reprehensible leaders for hundreds of years.

A must-listen book for anyone thinking of becoming a prime minister/anarchist.

Vic studied at Oxford for four years, and now lives and works in the West Midlands in the United Kingdom. The Corridor is her debut novel, which she boldly claims is “a bit funny in parts”. Vic has just published the sequel to The Corridor and is now working on a number of new titles – including a historical fiction based on a chance encounter between Lord Byron, King George III and Frankenstein (working title: “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to Sew”). Her aim is to become somebody somewhere’s favourite author.


Narrator Bio

Jack is an actor from the East Midlands. He trained at Millennium Performing Arts college and has been acting most of his life.




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Meet Jules Hayes, author of “The Walls We Build”

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Thank you for stopping by Nesie’s Place today, Jules!

Let’s talk about your new book, The Walls We Build, which has Winston Churchill’s estate, Chartwell, as the backdrop. It centers around three friends and has a dual timeline. Wow! What’s your inspiration for the story?

Lovely starting question, and thank you so much for having me here.
I’ve always been intrigued with the life of Winston Churchill and so when I came across a photo of him addressing his troops in 1943 Tripoli, North Africa, I had that ‘what if’ moment. What if a soldier amongst the crowd was Churchill’s old employee from Chartwell? Perhaps his bricklayer, as I was intrigued with Churchill’s passion for bricklaying in his spare time! Perhaps they had a unique relationship – I liked the idea of juxtaposing the ordinary and the extraordinary man. How will their paths cross again? And in what capacity will Florence, my other main protagonist, and Frank’s friend but true love, fit in to the story? I knew then that at the heart of the novel would be an unconventional love story, as well as a mystery, and all set against the rich backdrop of war and its aftermath. But I also knew too that I needed a present day protagonist, Richard, Frank’s grandson, to untangle the intrigue of the past.

Research books
A pile of books I used for researching The Walls We Build

 Please share an excerpt with us.

This section is told from Florence’s viewpoint in October 1940, the setting is Blitz London. At her lodgings she’s getting ready to attend a fundraiser at the Savoy hotel, invited by Mary Churchill, the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill’s, youngest daughter.

Florence was late getting home from Kings Cross where she’d bought her ticket to go up to Yorkshire to visit Anna; tomorrow’s train, 3 o’clock. First though, was the Savoy bash. Tonight. It was time to wear her dress, and try to be someone she wasn’t. Her mum had told her not to worry, born in the wrong household you were, my girl. You’ll fit into the Savoy as easily and snug as ol’ Cinder’s foot slipped into that slipper. She missed her mum.

Florence surveyed her tiny bedroom but the mirror on the wall was huge and she could see herself in full, nearly. Her feet were missing in her reflection. She didn’t mind this though, because she hadn’t been able to afford new shoes. But as she looked down at her suede turquoise slip-ons that she’d buffed up with an implement Elizabeth had lent her, she was pleased at the match with the emerald green dress.

She’d straightened her hair with irons and put on the reddest lipstick she’d ever worn. She fiddled with her hat. She loved it but was unused to such frivolity in her headwear. It sat precariously on the front of her head, just as the shop assistant had shown her. The ruffles of red fabric seemed to her to be asymmetrical. She pushed and pulled them but finally, after hearing the church clock outside strike six, gave in. She scrutinised her reflection. Not bad. Not bad at all. Momentarily she thought about Frank, guessing the shine in the eyes staring back at her was due to the afternoon in his hotel.

She picked up the red gloves, checked her hat one more time, and left her room.

Florence was ready.

‘You could have come with me, you know, Elizabeth.’ Florence went to sit at the kitchen table, but not before shoving a paper handkerchief under one of the legs of the uneven surface.

‘Not my thing, Florence. I want ol’ Churchill to win the war for us. He is the right man for the job. I mean, he likes a good war doesn’t he? But I hate all that upper-class stuff.’

Elizabeth was at heart a staunch labour supporter, not a commie though, she was always keen to emphasise. Left in her politics, although it didn’t stop her from sleeping with a wealthy man who lived in Knightsbridge. Elizabeth’s socialism was a bit like Churchill’s domestic communism. When it suited. Wednesdays were Elizabeth’s nights with her lover. Florence’s room was the one below where Elizabeth slept. Every Wednesday Florence had to sleep with cotton wool stuffed in her ears, and every Thursday morning there was always a late breakfast. The gentleman politely doffed his cap to her on leaving, a huge smile in place. He reminded her a bit of Mr Churchill, the way he was able to appear quite ordinary and at home with the lower class, in a way peculiar to the confident and rich.

‘It’ll probably be deathly boring,’ Florence said.

Elizabeth grinned. ‘Probably. Lots of lovely food, though, I’m guessing.’

‘I hope so.’

Elizabeth laughed. ‘Never known a girl with an appetite like you.’

An image from inside an asylum, which I used to create the asylum in The Walls We Build, where my character Anna is a patient.

Do you have a favorite character in the story?

I have three point-of-view characters in The Walls We Build, and I do like all three, but I love Florence the most. She’s ahead of her time, liberated and mischievous, but ultimately she is driven by love, honour and duty. She is the character who has a fair amount of page time in both the past and present sections, and it’s Florence who links the two timeframes.

What’s your favorite genre to read?

I love reading modern historical fiction, anything from the beginning of the 20th century onwards. I do have a degree in modern history. But I like a modern day thread too, which is why I suppose I tend to often write in this structure. I like a good thriller/mystery and love it when a story set in the past incorporates these elements too.

What are you reading now?

I’m reading a biography on Gladstone, a Kate Morton novel and CJ Tudor’s new book!

Where are you from?

I was born in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire but went to uni in London at 18, where I completed a history degree. I’ve lived in the south east for a long time now, although I’m still a ‘northerner’ at heart. “You can take the girl out of the town but not the town out of the girl” sort of thing!

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

With the publication of The Walls We Build I’m joining the ranks of the Hybrid Author Club, using my pseudonym, Jules Hayes. My debut psychological thriller, Falling Suns by JA Corrigan was published in 2016 (Headline Accent.)

Do you write full time, or do you also work outside the home?

For the past 3 years I write pretty much full-time.

Where do you get the most writing done?

I’m lucky as I have a study and its there where I do most of my writing, although in the summer I take my laptop and sit on the patio; sometimes in the summer I also write in our summerhouse at the bottom of the garden. It’s perfect as it has no internet! I have a treadmill in there too, so that comes in handy!

Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you?

We have a very cute cockapoo, champagne-coloured – Harley. He follows me everywhere, although that does change when my daughter comes home from university, when he follows her everywhere and I lose my shadow for a few weeks!

Our dawg, Harley, with his winter coat on!

Totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?

I don’t think I’m addicted but that’s what all addicts say! I wish I could sign-out to be honest, but I do find out so much in there and have made a lot of friends on social media. I’m a big Facebook user (that’s my generation my daughter tells me!), not so into Twitter, although I loved it 8 years ago when I first started out writing, but it’s a much more hostile and commercial selling place these days. I’m just getting into Instagram, it’s a forum I like, even if my photography skills aren’t up to much.

What’s your next project?

I’m working on my next Jules Hayes novel – another dual timeline historical, although simultaneously, I’ve also begun work on another JA Corrigan novel, which is a speculative thriller – although still in its early stages.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Success in the literary world is all about stamina, passion and having an extraordinarily thick skin. It’s also about being able to sift through good and bad advice. Interact with other writers, find your tribe, it’s the only way to survive in such a brutal, transitory, mercurial and ultimately, supremely competitive environment.

**Many thanks to Jules Hayes for spending a few minutes with us today! Scroll down to get your copy of The Walls We Build–which is also in the Kindle Unlimited program–and don’t forget to enter her international giveaway. You could be the lucky winner of a signed copy of The Walls We Build!**



Three friends … 

Growing up together around Winston Churchill’s estate in Westerham, Kent, Frank, Florence and Hilda are inseparable. But as WW2 casts its menacing shadow, friendships between the three grow complex, and Frank – now employed as Churchill’s bricklayer – makes choices that will haunt him beyond the grave, impacting his grandson’s life too.

Two Secrets …

Shortly after Frank’s death in 2002 Florence writes to Richard, Frank’s grandson, hinting at the darkness hidden within his family. On investigation, disturbing secrets come to light, including a pivotal encounter between Frank and Churchill during the war and the existence of a mysterious relative in a psychiatric hospital.

One Hidden Life … 

How much more does Florence dare reveal about Frank – and herself – and is Richard ready to hear?

Set against the stunning backdrop of Chartwell, Churchill’s country home, comes a tragic story of misguided honour, thwarted love and redemption, reverberating through three generations and nine decades.

For readers of Kate Morton, Rachel Hore, Katherine Webb, Lucinda Riley and Juliet West.

“Passion, intrigue and family secrets drive this complex wartime relationship drama. A page turner. I loved it.”  #1 bestselling author, Nicola May


Amazon UK

Amazon US

Amazon CA

Amazon AU


Author BioJules Hayes

 Jules Hayes lives in Berkshire with her husband, daughter and a dog. She has a degree in modern history and holds a particular interest in events and characters from the early 20th century. As a former physiotherapist and trainer – old habits die hard – when not writing Jules likes to run. She also loves to watch films, read good novels and is a voracious consumer of non-fiction too, particularly biographies.

Jules is currently working on her second historical novel, another dual timeline story.

Jules also writes contemporary thriller and speculative fiction as JA Corrigan.

Jules Hayes can be found at:


Twitter @JulesHayes6

Facebook Author Page: JulesHayesAuthor

Instagram: JulesHayes6

Writing as JA Corrigan, Jules can be found at: Website

Twitter: @juliannwriter

Facebook Author Page: JA Corrigan
Instagram: corriganjulieann



Win a Signed copy of The Walls We Build


 E N T E R

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the link above  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days, then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will be passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfillment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for dispatch or delivery of the prize.


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Song Lyric Sunday | “Kiss Me in the Rain” – Barbra Streisand

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time and author Jim Adams from A Unique Title For Me is our current host. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is  “Touch/Feel.


While we’re much maligned these days by younger generations, I love being a boomer. We’ve seen and experienced more than any generation in modern times, and no other generation will probably ever get the opportunities we’ve had.

Technically, baby boomers were born from 1946 through 1964 and came of age from 1964 through 1982. We can remember when there were no microwaves, cellphones, or Internet.  Our first televisions were boxy with a picture tube and broadcast in black white.  Seat belts weren’t standard in automobiles… but ashtrays in the back seat were.

In my opinion, we also had the best music. From post-war quartets to high energy disco, some of the best songs and biggest artists happened during the boomer’s heydays.

And we listened to our music in more ways than any other generation. We had vinyl in 78, 33, or 45 speeds, reel-to-reel tape, 8-track tape, AM radio, cassette tape, CD, MP3, and now we stream from our phones and tablets. I haven’t met a boomer yet who hasn’t mentioned their favorite songs from back-in-the-day AND how they listened to it. A former coworker could never mention her beloved Beach Boys without including a mention for the stacks of 45s and her pink record player. An old neighbor loved Saturday nights in the park… with Motown hits on 8-track.

I was a typical preteen/teen girl, accumulating 45s as fast as I could. Somewhere in my mid teens, I switched to buying albums only, regardless of song or artist and amassed quite a collection. However, with going away to school and moving around the country, moving my albums with me was becoming work. I switched to audio cassettes, but can still remember the last three vinyl albums I bought; Funkadelic’s One Nation Under a Groove, Heatwave’s Central Heating, and Barbra Streisand’s Wet.

I can’t remember the song that hooked me on Barbra Streisand, but I do know I was in grade school. I was mesmerized by her big voice and ability to hold a note!

Wet was her twenty-first studio album, and probably best remembered for the #1 duet with disco queen, Donna Summer, No More Tears (Enough Is Enough). I loved that song but my favorite cut on the album has always been Kiss Me in the Rain.

In the song, the singer has reached a point in life where because of disappointment or simple ennui, they long for the innocence and feelings of their youth. It’s a really beautiful song I fell in love with while still in my teens and all these years later, it still feels timeless.


  • While it didn’t receive a wide release, Wet was an Adult Contemporary Top Ten hit.
  • Wet is a concept album of sorts with all the songs referring to, or expressing different interpretations of, water. Wet is also the first and the last word sung on the album.
  • The studio musicians on Wet was a melting pot of amazing talent like  Steve Lukather and Jeff Porcaro from the rock band, Toto, Grammy winner Larry Carlton, super music producer and composer David Foster, composer Lalo Schifrin, best known for the original theme from Mission Impossible, and composer Marvin Hamlisch, one of only fifteen people to win Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. This collection of all four is referred to as an “EGOT”. He is one of only two people (along with composer Richard Rodgers) to have won those four prizes and a Pulitzer Prize (“PEGOT”).


See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for FeliciaDenise.com.


Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.


Kiss Me in the Rain

I remember sitting on the front steps
Feeling the softness of a warm summer rain
I see the reflections of my mind
All the sadness all the pain
Visions of yesterday,
How fast they slip away
And though my dreams have come and gone
With one wish I can say,
Kiss me in the rain, and make me feel like a child again
Bring back all those memories
Kiss me in the rain, and make me feel like a child again
With the feeling that I get,
I don’t even mind if we get wet
And if I drift outside myself
Please don’t turn away
I’m searching for the innocence
I’ve lost along the way
Come join me in my fantasy
Step out of space and time
There’s only one thing left to do
So if you wouldn’t mind,
Kiss me in the rain, and make me feel like a child again
Bring back all those memories
Kiss me in the rain, and make me feel like a child again
With the feeling that I get,
I don’t even mind if I get wet
Kiss me in the rain, and make me feel like a child again
Bring back all those memories
Kiss me in the rain, and make me feel like a child again
With the feeling that I get,
I don’t even mind if I get wet
Come on kiss me in the rain
Oh, won’t you kiss me in the rain
With the feeling that I get
I don’t even mind if I get wet
Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, Songfacts.com, Lyric Find, and YouTube.

#BookBlitz “Eating the Forbidden Fruit” by Roland Sato Page


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coverCrime Fiction / Family Drama / Women’s Fiction
Date Published: March 30, 2020
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Eating the Forbidden Fruit is a gritty fiction novel loosely based on true events in author Roland Sato Page’s life. The newcomer author delivers a personal journey into his rise and demise as a St. Louis City Police Officer. He takes the readers on a roller coaster ride of good ole family memories to the nightmarish reality of being a police officer indicted on federal drug charges. During his trial, he wrote memoirs as a testimonial of redemption. Roland’s case stems from the conflict of his childhood affiliation and his oath to uphold the law. What is certain is one can’t run from sin for karma is much faster.

Purchase Link



About the Author

Roland Sato Page was born in Brooklyn New York in a military household with a mother from Osaka Japan and a combat trainer father with three war tours under his belt. He grew up in a well-disciplined home with five other siblings. As he got older his family relocated to St. Louis where the author planted his roots and also pursued a military life in the Army Reserves.

Roland married his high school sweetheart and started a family of four. Roland joined the St. Louis police department where his career was cut short when he was convicted of federal crimes due to his childhood affiliation.
After enduring his career’s demise, he rebounded, becoming a famed a tattoo artist opening Pearl Gallery Tattoos in downtown St. Louis Mo. The company grew into a family business, yet another unfortunate incident tested his fate. He was diagnosed with Lupus which halted his body art career. However, with tragedy comes blessings. Roland’s sons took over the business and propelled the shop to a higher level. Roland consumed with depression began writing to occupy the time. With a newfound passion, he traded visual art for literary art. 
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#ReleaseBlitz “Daring to Love (Written in the Stars Book 3: Aries)” by Karen Ferry

Daring to Love

by Karen Ferry

Written in the Stars Book 3: Aries

12 Zodiac Signs. 12 Authors.
12 sexy, deeply romantic Novellas

Celebrate with a new novella each month, as you binge read your way through the horoscopes and decide for yourself: “Does your horoscope decide your fate in love?”

Trope: Opposites Attract Novella

Amazon US –> http://bit.ly/DTLAmazonUS 
Amazon UK –> http://bit.ly/DTLAmazonUK

She’s searching for her knight in shining armour.
I’m convinced the stars don’t have a say in matters of the heart.
Finlay Jensen
My reputation as a ladies man has worked well for me, both personally and professionally, until I’m punished with an entertainment piece. After almost getting arrested while working on my last story, my editor is forcing me to write up a piece on the biggest talent in modern dance, Amelie Winters.
Watching her twirl around the studio is enchanting. This gorgeous, tiny creature captures my attention without even trying. I quickly realise she’s my complete opposite, yet it only makes me want her more. She’s shy, inexperienced, a hopeless romantic…so wrong for a man like me.
But there’s a fire in her eyes when she looks at me that I can’t ignore.
Can her obsession with the stars have any truth to it? Is it fate that has me fascinated by someone so wrong for me?
Perhaps your horoscope does decide your fate in love.

Meet the Author

Anglophile and bookaholic Karen Ferry is a native of Denmark who loves Italian food, travelling, and spending time with her laidback husband and active children. When she’s not busy working in the shipping industry, she dives into New Adult, Contemporary Romance, and Romantic Suspense – the same genres she loves to write. 

She can never get enough of romance or collect too many book boyfriends, either.

To keep up with Karen’s work, sign up to her monthly newsletter here: https://goo.gl/9Dswpb
Karen’s Café – Readers Group: https://goo.gl/jpGTVh
Goodreads Author Profile: https://goo.gl/LW4tmj

#BookBlitz “Chloe Counting Jamaica by 3s” by Suzan Johnson

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coverChildren’s Fiction
Date Published: February 2020
Publisher: sHjStories
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Chloe is back, and this time she’s counting the wonders of the beautiful island of Jamaica.
Follow along as Chloe and her family vacation and experience much of what the country has to offer. Not only will the reader learn about Jamaica, but they will do it while skip counting by 3s! Skip counting has many benefits to learners, such as number learning, addition, subtraction, and faster multiplication. This type of counting offers a better understanding of number concepts. So, get ready to count your way around Jamaica, and find out where Chloe is heading next!

Purchase Links


Free with Kindle Unlimited




About the Author

Suzan Johnson has been the Media Specialist at an elementary school for the past nine years. She is a voracious reader of books of all genres. Growing up, she loved and enjoyed participating in sporting activities such as cheerleading and softball. As a teacher she encourages her students to read a variety of books and participate in sports. Suzan is a member of Florida Reading Association and Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. Johnson currently lives in the South Florida area.

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RABT Book Tours & PR


#ReleaseBlitz “Dagger (Vegas MMA #1)” by S.L. Sterling

Title: Dagger
Series: Vegas MMA #1
Author: S.L. Sterling
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Contemporary Romance
Release Date: March 27, 2020


I’d been fighting all my life.

Making it my career choice seemed…logical.

Sticking to what I was good at seemed…illogical as often as I ended up in the ER.

Then my occupational hazard began to feel like more of a perk when I met, Katy. She was a night nurse at the ER I frequented. She could barely hide her contempt for me, which naturally made the curvy brunette with long wavy hair all the more irresistible.

𝙉𝙤𝙬 𝙄 𝙟𝙪𝙨𝙩 𝙣𝙚𝙚𝙙𝙚𝙙 𝙩𝙤 𝙘𝙤𝙣𝙫𝙞𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙝𝙚𝙧 𝙄 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙖 𝙗𝙚𝙩𝙩𝙚𝙧 𝙡𝙤𝙫𝙚𝙧 𝙩𝙝𝙖𝙣 𝙖 𝙛𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩𝙚𝙧.


They called him Dagger, for the looks he gave.

He knew I hated him on sight, but still, he teased me and tried to sway me.

There’s no way it would work. I was on the run and still healing from a relationship with a ‘roid-raging powerlifter. No way was I going to give it a go with someone trained to cause pain for a living.

Then my ex tracked me down. And suddenly, having a fighter in my corner didn’t seem like such a bad idea.
I am super excited that Dagger is finally LIVE! 

To celebrate I want to gift one lucky person my entire backlist! Yes, you read that right! 

Books will be sent directly to Kindle (Dagger excluded). For your chance to win all you need to do is sign up for my Newsletter, easy peasy!
List of Titles

It Was Always You
Bad Company
On A Silent Night
Back to You this Christmas
A Kiss Beneath the Stars
In Your Arms
His to Hold

Chapter 1


I sat and looked up at the clock that hung on the pale-yellow cement wall. My head was pounding, and a pool of blood was building on the floor in between my feet. The wait times here were getting ridiculous. It was a good thing it wasn’t a matter of life or death, I thought to myself. I had been waiting for over two hours before they had finally acknowledged I was even in the waiting room.

It was busy tonight; not as busy as some of the other nights I had been here, but that’s what I get for having to come into the emergency room on a Friday night. At least I made it through registration where they had taken my blood pressure and other vitals, and listened to my heart, then the blond behind the desk sent me here, into this hellhole of a waiting room. Across the way a child cried out and I glanced around at the other patients who sat there waiting, just like me, to be seen by the next available doctor.

While I waited, I thought back to the first time I had come walking in here and chuckled to myself. It had been a bad fight that night and I was a fucking mess. At that time, I was still an amateur in the ring and hadn’t quite learned the concept of blocking.

The nurses who were on that night had taken one look at me as I walked through the door and had rushed me in to see a doctor. There was no messing around, none of the now usual “go sit in a corner and wait.” Both of my eyes were swollen shut, my nose was bloodied and broken, I had a mouth full of blood from a cut on my inner cheek, and a large gash on my head, and I was clutching my side as if I had been shot. I was sure they thought so too, due to the blood-soaked shirt I had been wearing. They had cleaned me up a little, and within minutes, I was on my way down for a CT scan and X-rays to make sure I didn’t have any type of brain trauma or broken bones.

Once all the results were in and I had been stitched up and put back together, they had released me. Shortly after that visit I had become a regular and normally came in with the same type of injuries on a monthly basis. Apparently, you become less of an emergency once they find out that you are doing this to yourself, and now they make you wait. 

“Hey, Dagger. Another fight I see. Tell me you at least look better than the other guy?” one of the regular night nurses said as she walked by, handing me a clean towel to hold to the cut above my eye. “Make sure you’re keep pressure on it. That will help stop the bleeding.”

“I know, I know. This isn’t the first time this has happened you know.” I grumbled nodding and held the clean towel she had given me up to my eye. I took the other blood-soaked towel and dropped it into the bin labeled bio-hazard. I sat back against the chair, ignoring the sharp, agonizing pain that shot down my back. There were times lately I felt as if I were being punished for the choices I had made in life. It wasn’t my fault I had grown up fighting in the streets. Besides, having a drunk of a father at home, I’d had no choice but to learn how to defend myself at a young age, first from him, and then from the others who picked on me and stole what little lunch money I had. However, if I hadn’t learned then, I probably wouldn’t be sitting here now. Instead I would have become some nameless victim and my body would have been found facedown in a ditch or back alley somewhere.

Regardless, fighting was now in my blood, so it was no surprise I had made a career out of it. Becoming an MMA fighter was probably the best thing I could have done. I was good at what I did, one of the best in the area, as a matter of fact, and it paid the bills. However, it just so happened that this career choice also came with a lot of injuries. Good thing I was a tough son of a bitch.

“Still kicking ass and takin’ numbers, huh, Dagg?” Bree, one of the nurses, said as she entered the room carrying a clipboard. Bree had looked after me the last few times I came in. “Come with me. I had a feeling you might stop in tonight. We haven’t seen you in a while, I was getting a little worried,” she said as she pulled open a curtain to one of the little exam rooms and patted the paper-covered bed.

I listened to the familiar sound of paper crinkling beneath me as I took a seat and groaned from the pain shooting up my back again.

“I’m just going to take your temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and oxygen saturation, but you probably know the drill by now.” She smiled.

“Yep, sure, use and abuse me, just like all the pretty girls.” I chuckled and extended my free arm so she could put the cuff on while continuing to hold the towel up to my head. One thing about head wounds: they bleed like a bitch.

I let her do her thing, watching the monitors on the machines. “Why are you here, Dagger? Everything is normal, same as it always is.”

“I missed you ladies here at the good ole’ emergency room. You guys always take such good care of me, and being a single man, a lady’s touch is always nice. Plus, my coach dropped me off here and made me come in.” I winked at her as she tore the cuff from my arm and smirked.

She pulled the towel away from my head and checked out my face. Taking her gloved hand, she gently touched the cut above my eyebrow, causing me to jump. She pushed my hand back up, so the towel rested against the cut again, and went to a drawer and pulled out a couple of bandages.

“For the time being I will butterfly suture this until you see the doctor. It should help stop the bleeding a bit. You’ll probably need stitches again.”

“Yeah, as you can see, that is the same as always too,” I said, looking her in the eyes as she looked over my face again. I flinched this time as she touched another spot under my left eye. I had taken a left hook to that cheek; hadn’t even seen it coming until I felt the hit.

“That is probably going to be a lovely shade of green and purple in the coming hours.”

She pulled the towel down away from my face and examined the gash closer this time. “Yep, you are going to need stitches. Hold still, this might sting.” She smiled at me, while placing the bandages across the gash. I shrugged it off as if I didn’t care that I needed to be sewn back up, but, honestly, I hated stitches, and Bree knew it.

Bree was always good to me, and she gently fastened the gash closed with the bandages. “However, this time you should probably come in and have us remove the stitches, instead of doing it yourself.” She tsked. “It says here that you left with twelve last time, but you never came back for your follow-up.” 

“Yeah, yeah. I know, I was short on time.” I said, standing up. It was the same lecture as the last time and the time before that. I had become good at removing stitches on my own.

“Every time you remove them on your own, you risk the fact that the wound may not be closed properly and subjecting yourself to infection,” she scolded.

“Well, what can I say, I’m a glutton for punishment.” I shrugged, smiling.

“Don’t flash me that sexy smile of yours. It’s serious.” She frowned at me and muttered something under her breath as she marked something down on my chart. “All right, you know how it goes now. Take a seat out there.” She pulled the curtain open, signaling for me to go and sit down. 

“Yep, I know how it goes, go wait and you’ll call me as soon as there is a room ready.” I grabbed my sweatshirt and walked out into the waiting room. I suddenly realized I spent entirely too much time here. I practically could have done the full check-in myself.

I was just about to head over to where I had been sitting but noticed my seat had now been taken by an older man, and the room was twice as full than it was when I had left. I walked across the room and grabbed a different seat over in the corner, off by myself. This time when I sat down, the pain in my kidney area was bad enough that it ensured me I would probably be peeing nothing but blood in a few hours. Sadly, I knew that feeling too. Guess I probably should have told Bree about the multiple kicks and punches I had endured to that area tonight as well, and perhaps she might have sped things along.

I shrugged off that thought and threw my sweatshirt on, pulling the hood up over my head to cover my eyes. The least Bree could have done was pass me a couple of pain pills on the sly, and she might have if I had told her I had a headache. I felt like shit, and the last thing I wanted was to have a bunch of people sitting and staring at me as if I were some monster out of a movie. Few people in the area new who I was, and I didn’t want them to think I was just some looser who had lost in a street fight. I had too much pride to allow them to think that. I would never waste money on a stupid street fight.

The longer I sat there leaning up against the wall using my hood as a pillow the more comfortable I became. Finally, the pain in my back settled and I was just about to fall asleep when I heard another familiar voice call my name.

“Mollie, is that you?” I asked as I pulled the hood off my head and carefully rubbed my half-swollen shut eyes.

“Yeah, Dag, it’s me. Come on, handsome, let’s get you looked after, shall we?”

I stood up, blinking hard trying to see where I was going. I walked toward the door to the exam rooms, right where Mollie stood. I smiled as I approached her. I had seen her plenty of times here before as well. “Hey, Mollie, are you finally showing your old pal to a room?”

“Yeah, come on, you poor thing,” she said, her voice full of pity, grabbing my arm and walking beside me to keep me from banging into things. “Just a warning, I’m not your nurse tonight. You’ve got the new girl, so make sure you’re on your best behavior and that you treat her nicely, okay, Dagger?”

“I’m insulted! When have I ever been mean?” I asked innocently enough to make her laugh.

Even though I couldn’t see it, I could imagine her rolling her eyes at me. “When aren’t you? You’re always impatient, snappish, and the looks you give are enough to knock people to their knees,” she said as she pulled the curtain back for me to enter the little cubicle of a room.

“The look you’re referring to is part of my charm,” I answered, sitting down on the table. “Really, though, the attitude is just because of the pain, Mollie. You guys poke and prod around; it hurts more than the actual fight,” I argued, defending my behavior.

She placed my chart in the holder on the wall and went to pull the curtain across. “Well then stop the fighting and be nice, Dagger. The girl looking after you tonight is new here and she isn’t used to you yet. She’s a sweet girl, so don’t give her a hard time. Her and the doctor should be in very soon,” she said as she pulled the curtain back across the doorway and left the room.

I sat there for a few moments until the pain got so bad I had to lay back. I pulled my sweatshirt over my head and kicked my feet up on the gurney, resting my arm across my abs, and closed my eyes. Seconds later, I balled my sweatshirt up and shoved it under my head to use as a little pillow and laid there staring up at the ceiling. I could barely wait to see what little mouse of a girl they sent in to take care of me. If Mollie had warned me to be on my best behavior, this girl must be weak.

Within minutes, a woman walked into the room wearing cute purple scrubs and carrying a clipboard. She didn’t greet me or look at me; she just walked over to the wall and removed my chart, setting it on the counter. I couldn’t help but check her out; she had an ass that any man would be foolish to forget. When she looked at me, I felt my pulse start to rise. She had gorgeous glass-blue eyes and long, dark eyelashes, perfect lips, and the cutest nose. Her hair was pulled back in a messy ponytail. She sat down and slipped on a pair of frameless glasses and started going over my chart.

“Could you please remove your T-shirt so I can hook you up to the monitors. If we must shave you, we will,” she said, showing me a razor blade.

“No need,” I answered as I pulled my shirt over my head. I watched her eyes dance over my chest. I wanted to see if there was any reaction from her, but she just went about her business placing the electrodes on my chest, then she pressed a few buttons and the monitors started to beep. As her fingers grazed over my bare chest, lead to lead, the steady beeping from the machines started to get faster, the numbers climbing.

“Are you feeling okay?” she questioned as she continued to attach the pads and fiddle with the wires. I had been through this a thousand times—it was all just part of the protocol—but this time it was my attraction to her that was causing the machines to go haywire.

“Yeah,” I said, swallowing hard.

“Whoa!” she exclaimed as the numbers continued to climb. “Something here has got to be defective.” She rested her hand against my chest. “You’re sure you feel okay?” she asked as she fiddled with the leads for another few moments before taking her hand off me and searching through the drawers for something.

I watched as the numbers on the machine instantly started to fall. She turned back to me and placed her hand on my chest, prepared to replace one of the leads, and the numbers started to climb again. She removed her hand again from my chest and watched as the numbers fell. A soft smirk floated across her lips, and that was when she realized that it was her that was making my heart rate go crazy. Her cheeks flushed and her eyes met mine as she rested her palm against my chest again. 

“Perhaps you should stop touching me,” I teased, grabbing her hand that was still resting against my chest as she watched the monitor.

She smirked at my comment and rolled her eyes. “Did you at least win your fight?” she asked, studying the injuries on my face. Then she looked at my back and ran her fingers over the bruising that I was sure was already starting to show in my kidney area. The machines started beeping wildly again, and without even waiting for my response, she started writing her notes.

“Why is there is no mention of trauma to the kidney area on the forms?” she asked impatiently.

“There is no mention because I didn’t say anything,” I grunted as she lightly pressed in the area. “Oh and I won. The other guy looks way worse.”

“Well, then I’m glad I’m dealing with you and not him then.” She kept her head down and continued making notes, studying the monitor. “Any other areas of injury you’re not telling us about?” she questioned, those glass-blue eyes glaring at me.

I was going to say something smart, but when I saw the fire in her eyes, I decided to shut up and just shake my head. I didn’t need another fight on my hands tonight.
S.L. Sterling was born and raised in southern Ontario. She now lives in Northern Ontario Canada and is married to her best friend and soul mate and their two dogs. 

An avid reader all her life, S.L. Sterling dreamt of becoming an author. She decided to give writing a try after one of her favorite authors launched a course on how to write your novel. This course gave her the push she needed to put pen to paper and her debut novel “It Was Always You” was born. 

When S.L. Sterling isn’t writing or plotting her next novel she can be found curled up with a cup of coffee, blanket and the newest romance novel from one of her favorite authors on her e-reader. Her favorite authors include Kendall Ryan, Vi Keeland, Penelope Ward, Lauren Blakely, Alessandra Torre and Willow Winters. 

In her spare time, she enjoys camping, hiking, sunny destinations, spending quality time with family and friends and of course reading.


#BookBlitz “Please Return To: Toby Solano” by Frank Morelli

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Toby coverPLEASE RETURN TO: Book #2
Middle Grade Fiction; Humor; Action; Adventure; Epistolary; Middle Grade
Publisher: INtense Publications LLC
Published Date: March 27, 2020
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Toby Solano is the new kid in town. No one in Mapleton knows he exists, which is tough to swallow for a boy who descends from Lucha Libre wrestling royalty. Back in El Paso, Toby could snap his fingers and the seas would part as he walked the hallways at his old school.
But when his dad gets body slammed into submission and his career goes into a tailspin, Toby decides to take his anger out on his classmates, which gets him kicked out of school and shipped off to Mapleton with his mom.
Toby hates his new town, he hates his classmates and, most of all, he hates Mr. Finkelstein. But when he finds his teacher’s missing journal under the tires of a moving truck, the drama of the famed Mapleton Wrestling Federation opens wide for him. Armed with a journal’s-worth of wrestling lore, will Toby be able to build friendships and help the Mort-tician regain his title? Or, will he fall back on his old ways and bully himself right out of Mapleton Middle School? Find out on the slightly-wrinkled pages of Please Return To: Toby Solano.

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About the Author

Frank Morelli is the author of No Sad Songs, a 2019 YALSA Quick Picks nominee and winner of an American Fiction Award for best coming of age story. The first book in his debut middle grade series, Please Return To: Norbert M. Finkelstein, was released in September 2019. His fiction and essays have appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Cobalt Review, Philadelphia Stories, and Jersey Devil Press. A Philadelphia native, Morelli now lives in High Point, NC where he has been a classroom teacher for almost twenty years. He holds an MFA in Fiction from National University and thinks dogs are the most respectable beings on the planet. Connect with him on Twitter @frankmoewriter or on his website frankmorelliwrites.com.

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#Spotlight “I Love My Hair!” by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley



I Love My Hair!

by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley

E. B. Lewis (Illustrator)

A modern classic, this whimsical story has been celebrating the beauty of African-American hair for 20 years!

In this imaginative, evocative story, a girl named Keyana discovers the beauty and magic of her special hair, encouraging black children to be proud of their heritage and enhancing self-confidence.

I Love My Hair! has been a staple in African-American picture books for 20 years, and now has a fresh, updated cover that shines on the shelves!



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