Monthly Archives: October 2020

The Best Doctor in Town Tour

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A Tall Tales from the Hills Novel: Book 1


Date Published: November 7, 2019

Publisher: Jan-Carol Publishing, Inc.


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Set in Southwest Virginia and inspired by actual events and the story of
the small town’s most revered doctor, who may just be a serial killer. A
local police officer with a tarnished reputation, a reporter who manipulated
facts, and the doctor’s chief intern, who may be a thief, have pieces of the
puzzle. Yet no one in authority believes the great doctor could be
responsible. All the while, patients are dying.


The Best Doctor in Town tablet



Patient Love

Lying among the crumpled sheets on a hospital bed, the dying man gasped for air. Stretching a trembling hand into the air above him, Joe Blevins struggled to focus his clouded eyes on the familiar face of the smiling, be-speckled doctor peering down toward him. The words came hard, pushing through gasps of air. 

“Please. Doc Briggs. Help. Me. I. Have. Never. Been. Sick. I am only 63 years old.” His chest heaved, and with each exhale, the haggard face deflated. 

With a consoling pat on Joe’s shoulder, Dr. Nicholas “Briggs” 

Oxenbriggs slowly increased the drip on the IV that traced down to the man’s withered arm. 

“Joe, I love you. You are my favorite patient. I will take good care of you, my friend, good care.” 

Dr. Oxenbriggs pulled a slender syringe from the breast pocket of his crisp, white hospital jacket, and in one calming move, he pushed the clear contents of the cylinder into a port on the IV line. He carefully lowered Joe’s extended arm to his side. “It’s okay, Joe. This will help. I assure you. I love you.” 

Briggs stepped back, cocked his head from side to side, watching like a cat waiting for a trapped mouse to move. 

Joe struggled, gasped, shuddered, then finally convulsed and fell backward. Silent. Dr. Oxenbriggs leaned over his now dead patient, raised Joe’s left hand, and removed the diamond-studded ring from his limp pinky finger. Studying it for a moment, Dr. Oxenbriggs dropped the glittering hoop into the breast pocket on his lab coat. For a moment, the tall, muscular doctor with greying salt and pepper hair rubbed his patient’s placid face, and then with a sigh, he said, “I loved you, Joe, and you are much better off now.” 

Dr. Oxenbriggs patted the ring resting in his jacket pocket. “I will always have you with me,” he whispered. 

Leisurely, he pulled the emergency call button, then yelled urgently into the speaker. 

“Code Black. Code Black. This is Dr. Oxenbriggs. Code Black. STAT!” 

Almost instantaneously, the emergency team of nurses, assistants, and medical residents shoved into the room at the Lone Mountain Medical Center in Big Stone Gap, Virginia. They found Dr. Briggs frantically pressing his hands into the dead man’s chest, performing CPR on the lifeless body of Joe Blevins. 

“Hurry! I’m losing him. Joe! Joe! Stay with me!” Dr. Oxenbriggs ordered the bevy of nurses, medical residents, and assistants who quickly moved into action. No seemed to notice that the heart monitors had long-since stopped beeping. 

After a while, Briggs said softly, “Call it.” Another voice responded, “Time of death, o-eight-hundred.” 

Briggs stood, staring at the body of the man who had been very much alive just a few moments before. He rushed forward and gathered Joe’s body into his strong arms. He wept. “Joe, you cannot be gone.” 

Several members of the team tried to pull the doctor back, but he jerked away. Soon, he reluctantly and gently laid the body onto the bed. Briggs shook his head, wiped his face, straightened his lab coat, and wiped a single tear from his cheek. 

“I’ve done all I could, all I could. He was my favorite patient. Can someone call the family, please?” …

About the Author

Shadowed and protected by the mountains of her native southwest Virginia,
Amelia Townsend has lived hither, thither, and yon – mostly between
Virginia and North Carolina. She has worked as a newspaper and TV reporter,
freelance producer and director, writer, and now PR hack.  She is a
proud graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

She has no claim to fame. Further, she is most often bewildered when people
say they are impressed by her work. Her first novel, Keepsakes for the
Heart, was nominated by the N.C. Historical Association for the prestigious
Ragan Old North State Award for non-fiction.

Her favorite avocation is listening to and writing down other
people’s stories, for truth surely is stranger and more beautiful than
fiction. This is where Townsend has found fodder for the stories of the
hills that she wrote with her late writing buddy. Several have come to life
in the form of a novel and a couple of plays in production. The names have
been changed to protect the guilty.

Townsend’s most impressive accomplishments are her children – a
son and daughter – who managed to turn in to fine young adults,
despite her attempts to raise them.

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Twitter: @townsendart


Instagram: @ameliatownsendauthor


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Swipe to the Altar Tour

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Swipe to The Altar: Your 10-Step Roadmap to Finding True Love Online

Non-fiction/self help

Date Published: 8/3/2020


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It’s so easy to fall in love, but hard to find someone who will catch you.
Let me guess – you’re a beautiful and intelligent girl, but so far, you
haven’t got much luck finding true love. This book will show you how to find
your true love from online dating. You will no longer be the Instant Noodle
and your love life will be transformed forever.


Swipe to the Altar tablet




Where did all the single, straight, and emotionally available guys go? In 2019, 45 percent of the US population, or around 148 million people, were single. We don’t know exactly what the percentage is for single and emotionally available men, but it isn’t zero. Why does it seem unfeasible to have one of them as your boyfriend?


Dating seems to be a Mission Impossible for women nowadays. Online dating is supposed to make it easier, but in reality, you either don’t meet up after chatting all week or it turns out later that he isn’t interested in anything more than one night. Dating experts have written countless books and made numerous videos on the topic, but either the advice is too hard to apply in real life, or it’s not specific enough and not broad enough to cover all aspects of online dating.


The good news is that this book can take you by the hand and teach you how to walk every single step in online dating; from downloading the correct app to making him eager to be your boyfriend when you are ready. You will learn how to create a magnetic online profile and spot the right guy to go out with. You will discover the foolproof way to get him hooked past the third date, and I promise you it’s not what you have in mind. You will develop the powerful mindset that guys find absolutely irresistible and know what to say word for word in undesirable circumstances. When you are ready for marriage, this book will reveal the unspoken truth of how to get the proposal you always wanted, and how to really become the bride, rather than stuck as an eternal fiancée.


I had always been the most single girl I know and never thought I would get married one day to an amazing guy. Guys I liked were either gay, had girlfriends, or they were not interested in me. The few guys that did approach me to ask me out were either ugly, boring, or players. I went to a speed dating event in summer of 2014 and encountered more awkward and weird men than ever before. They just weren’t what I was looking for. I ended up talking to other female participants about how terrible the event was and turned it into a career informational interview in the end. My friend introduced me to online dating, so I gave it a try five years ago at the end of 2014.


I went on more dates than I can remember. After seeing enough players, casual daters, and people that were nothing like what they claimed to be, eventually I met this guy that I thought was finally going somewhere. He ended up breaking up my heart. Now that I look back, he was full of red flags screaming at me, trying to show me that he wasn’t remotely the guy I thought he was. I simply couldn’t or wouldn’t see those red flags.


After 41 first dates, I finally met the guy that later became my husband. I am so glad he was the 42nd, because if he showed up before I found the correct way to go about online dating, I would have missed him. I went on those 42 first dates during more than two years’ time and learned the keys to online dating the hard way.


I learned all of these lessons and wrote this book so you don’t have to learn the hard way. If you want to get married one day, but find it nearly impossible to find a boyfriend in real life, this book is for you. If you have thought about trying online dating but don’t know where to start, this book is for you. If you are back in the dating field after a divorce or have already tried online dating, but aren’t getting the desired results you deserve, this book is for you. This book is the last one you need to read before you say, “I guess online dating just isn’t for me.”


I am going to tell you the brutal truth. Does your online profile need an update? Are you not attracting high-quality matches? I can help you navigate the world of online dating, translate the language of communicating with someone online, and help you realize your worth. There are a lot of pitfalls in trying to get to know a person online or long distance. This book will help you recognize mixed signals, understand the best methods for meeting in person, and give you the tools to approach online dating with confidence and boldness.


If online dating is completely new to you, I assure you that if you follow each step and approach it exactly the way I have outlined, you will be going out with guys that you find attractive. If you have already tried online dating and they seemed to only be interested in texting you, I promise that they will ask you out if you follow my methods. If you stopped using online dating because you always end up with the guy that is emotionally unavailable, I assure you that you will find it substantially easier to spot “players.”


However, if you are completely reluctant to meet with strangers at all, this book is not for you. If you are curious what online dating is about but you’re not looking for anything serious here, this book isn’t for you. If you are not resilient enough to be OK with encountering failure and keep going, this book isn’t for you. If you are not a go-getter and hope you can do nothing and your future husband will find you, this book isn’t for you. If you expect online dating to be easy and aren’t willing to put in the extra effort to follow my guidelines, this book isn’t for you.


In fact, don’t read this book unless you are interested in having an amazing boyfriend and ultimately get married to the love of your life. Following the steps and using the text message suggestions in the book will make guys fall for you, so please only use them if you are ready to start a serious relationship.


Don’t be the girl that dreams about meeting the love of her life but doesn’t do anything about it. Be the girl that grabs this book now, downloads the right app tonight, and goes on the first date by this Friday. Be the girl that has friends who tell you “Your boyfriend is so sweet! I can’t believe you met him online.” Be the girl that walks down the aisle toward the love of her life in front of family and friends.


Are you ready to start now and find your new love as soon as possible, or are you going to let uncertainty and fear hold you back? Are you going to show up to holiday parties with your new boyfriend by the end of the year, or are you going to regret not taking action earlier? Are you going to be happily married in five years to someone you meet online after reading this book, or are you going to lie on the bed, waking up in the middle of the night, wishing you did something different years from now? It is your choice.

Overview: Myths About Online Dating

Who Is Online Dating For?

You’ve probably seen her. She is one of those women who always look fabulous and are effortlessly surrounded by good quality guys. They barely remain single for long, if at all. Are you one of them?


I’m not. I always felt shy around guys, especially handsome ones. If I saw anyone in my everyday life that I would love to go on a date with, it was always a fierce battle in my mind to get the nerve to go up and talk to him. These brief encounters usually ended the moment his girlfriend came back from the bathroom or he left before I had the courage to go up to him. Even when I finally got the balls to approach and talk to a guy, I got all nervous. Before I knew it, I was once again awkwardly mumbling nonsense so cringeworthy that if I thought about it later, I would want to dig a hole and bury my head in it. My only option of dating was with guys that approached me first, and most of the time, I wasn’t attracted to them. When I started a new job and really got to meet many new guys, nothing happened between us more than saying “Hi” to each other in the hallway.


All of my friends either had a boyfriend or were taking a break from dating. I was always the most single person. I just wanted to date someone I liked! Of course, I wanted a boyfriend and eventually a husband, but I couldn’t even date attractive guys. In my daily life, I didn’t know if guys were into me or if they were even looking for a relationship at all. I spent so many nights googling “where to meet single guys.” I went to happy hours and meetup groups. Wherever I went, I always found myself surrounded by girls. I made a lot of girlfriends but wasn’t going anywhere in terms of dating. I was only 23 years old and my parents were already setting me up with guys! I was stuck in a harsh and embarrassing dilemma: I wasn’t attracted to most guys that approached me or asked me out, while guys that I found attractive were either gay, had girlfriends, or they were never approachable. I tried all the pick-up lines and nothing worked.


If you were nodding along while reading and can relate to my experiences, online dating is for you. It’s so much easier to meet new guys online that are available and attractive. Not all of them are really single, like they claim to be, but online dating opens up a bigger selection of potential boyfriends that are only a swipe away. Also, in the world of online dating, most guys approach girls first once they are matched. Responding to a potential suitor’s message online is much easier than approaching them face-to-face in real life.

Isn’t Online Dating Only for Hookups?

Maybe online dating wasn’t the right place to look for something serious twenty years ago, however, an increasing number of people are looking for love online. According to a 2016 research study done by Pew Research, “41 percent of Americans know someone who uses online dating and 29 percent know someone who has met a spouse or long-term partner via online dating.” It is especially true if you live in a big city. Admittedly, a good number of online daters look for nothing more than a night, but it is up to you to screen them out. With my techniques, you can avoid dealing with people looking only for hookups.

Is There a Stigma with Online Dating?

Who cares? If that’s a concern, you can stay away from one of the best tools in the current dating world because of other peoples’ opinions and remain single as a result. Or, you get over it and find your true love online. Your goal is to increase your chances of finding love, and online dating is a powerful tool to make it happen faster. If you really want a relationship, you are going to find it. All the couples I know that met through online dating are proud that it is different from the old boring “we met in a bar” or “we went to college together.” Have some fun with the fact that you are adventurous and that you are unique!

Is Online Dating Safe?

The world of online dating is just a small part of the whole world that we live in. There are safe aspects and shady alleys that can be dangerous to the untrained. Watch out for yourself, use my guidelines, and keep in mind that scammers take advantage of people online, just like in other places in our real life. Be smart and you will be fine.


What Is the Magic Number?

How many first dates do you need to go on before meeting the love of your life? Really, finding “the one” doesn’t mean there is only one person that can eventually be your husband. Although you will only have one husband, that doesn’t mean only one person has the potential to be marriage material. You are looking for someone that you love and loves you, someone that meets your requirements as your future husband, and someone that is in the phase of his life where he is ready for a committed relationship that ultimately leads to marriage. Far more than one person can be “the one,” and online dating is going to substantially accelerate the process of meeting your potential future husband.


It took me 42 first dates to meet my husband. I wanted to quit after I went on three first dates because I thought that third guy “broke my heart.” Now that I think about it, he was just a normal guy loaded with obvious red flags and I was attaching too much emotional investment to first dates. Unfortunately, I simply couldn’t read the warning signs. I wanted to quit again after I went on seven first dates. This time because all the guys I ended up matching with were not really attractive to me and I couldn’t get any good-looking guy to swipe right on me. After changing my picture and self-introduction on dating platforms with my friends’ help, I started getting matched with guys I was attracted to and really began to enjoy the process. However, happy days didn’t last long.


I met the ninth person, we hit it off, and he actually did break my heart tremendously. It took me a month to start going on dates again, and it took me a year to get over him. I stopped doing everything I enjoyed and spent as much time as possible trying to meet guys and go on dates. All I wanted was to find someone like him. The next six first dates I went on were all disappointing. It seemed impossible to meet any guy who was decent both online and in real life. I wanted someone who was attractive both physically and personality-wise, and who also wanted a real relationship. Was that too much to ask?


During that time, I went to Philadelphia with my friend and stayed in an Airbnb. The host couple were in their 40s and they met online. I blurted out, “No way! You are so lucky! I’ve already gone on enough dates and it’s not going anywhere. Clearly online dating isn’t for me.” Only then did she tell me that he was her 45th first date. After learning that I had only been on ten or so first dates, she told me to keep going. To this day, I am super thankful for her because I knew I would definitely have given up without hearing her story.


I decided to keep going. I made a deal with myself to go on 45 first dates before stopping. I knew I wanted a boyfriend. In fact, I wanted to get married one day. I knew I deserved it. However, things went contrary to my wishes and my dating situation got worse and worse. One day I realized that my life was miserable, and I was depressed. I asked myself: If it took me ten years to find a boyfriend, would I be willing to spend ten years of my life being miserable? 


That moment was a game changer. I started prioritizing my happiness over the anxiety to find a boyfriend ASAP. I started doing things that I put off when I was too busy going on dates. I picked up my hobbies and focused on self-improvement. I spent at least an hour working out every day, six days a week. I picked up Erhu, also called Chinese Violin, which was the instrument I grew up playing. This even led to me being invited to perform on various occasions. I also continued making videos for my YouTube channel.


Instead of spending so much time on dating apps, I only swiped and responded to messages and texts with the fragmented time I had. When I went on first dates, I focused on just staying positive and having a good time, instead of constantly wondering whether this person could be a possible boyfriend. Interestingly enough, more guys than ever were suddenly waiting to go out with me, partly because of how interesting I sounded, how full my personal life was, and how hard it was to secure a date with me. I was finally getting the hang of how online dating should be done! Almost magically, I was also meeting more high-quality guys in real life who asked me out after a casual conversation, which had never happened before.


Eventually I met my husband on the 42nd first date. So, was 42 the magic number? Not really. It wasn’t the number that made a difference. It was because I had transformed into the charming version of myself that was happily busy with my single life and knew how to interact with guys the right way from the beginning. He happened to have appeared at the perfect time. There is no fixed number of first dates guaranteed to meet someone special. The number is going to be different for everyone and it is meaningless to give yourself a limit or wait for a certain number to hit. You should pay attention to every single detail in the roadmap I’m about to unveil and follow every single step. Forget the number.


  • Online dating is for you if it’s hard for you to find guys to date from real life.
  • 29 percent of Americans know someone who has met a spouse or long-term partner via online dating.
  • Online dating doesn’t need to be stigmatized. It is a powerful tool to expand your chances of finding love faster.
  • Online dating is a part of our world that has both safe and dangerous aspects.
  • The magic number is different for everyone and it is meaningless waiting for the number to hit.

About the Author

 Mrs. Q. Warnock, the former Miss Qianlei Li, started her online dating
journey in 2014 and found the love of her life at the end of 2016. She has
gone on 42 first dates and has got her heart broken multiple times before
realizing the right way to go about online dating. She now lives happily
with her husband in Northern Virginia.


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Hollywood Enigma Blitz

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Hollywood Name Game, Book 5


Contemporary Romance

Release Date: October 29, 2020


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From internationally bestselling romance author Alexa Aston – the final book in the exciting Hollywood Name Game – a stunning new contemporary romance series. Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!


She’s a legal shark—sleek and deadly—but doesn’t trust anyone beyond her small circle of family and friends.

He’s internationally famous—and yet a mystery to the world as he cloaks himself in privacy.

Can they shed their fears and open their hearts to one another?

Actor Wynn Gallagher is at the peak of his fame, playing superhero Carbon Man in the Alpha Tharra Universe film franchise. While the role has made him wealthy, he’s ready to move on to newer challenges—but his ironclad contract will keep him tied to the role for years to come. Seeking legal advice, he approaches Scarlett Corrigan, one of the top entertainment attorneys in Los Angeles.

Scarlett is the younger sister of Hollywood’s highest paid actor, Rhett Corrigan, but she’s made a name for herself in entertainment law. She thrives on challenges and readily accepts Wynn as a client, but she puts the brakes on the strong attraction between them, not wanting to mix business with pleasure.

Eventually, Wynn and Scarlett become involved but tragedy strikes not once, but twice, threatening to end their relationship before it has a chance to grow and flourish.

Can Wynn and Scarlett overcome overwhelming odds and find lasting love?


Hollywood Enigma is the fifth and final book in the Hollywood Name Game series. Each book in the series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.


Other Books in the Hollywood Name Game Romance Series:


Hollywood Heartbreaker


Hollywood Heartbreaker

Hollywood Name Game, Book 1

Release Date: August 6, 2020


From internationally bestselling romance author Alexa Aston comes a stunning new Contemporary Romance series. Book One in the exciting Hollywood Name Game series has arrived. Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!


Being late to an interview lands her the biggest job opportunity of her life.

He may be rich and successful—but he’s just this side of miserable.

Can a wannabe be The One for the biggest star in Hollywood?

Cassie Carroll came to Hollywood with big dreams that never materialized. Acting isn’t even on the back burner anymore—it’s completely off the stove. Working for a third-rate agent, Cassie hopes to land a new job that will give her credibility, as well as help pay the rent. Late to her interview, she swerves to avoid hitting a dog—and totals the car of Hollywood’s leading action superstar. Surprisingly, she walks away from their encounter with a job—as the sexiest man alive’s personal assistant.

Rhett Corrigan is bored with the movies he makes and the drop-dead gorgeous model he’s dating. He’s afraid that Hollywood has typecast him—and that he’ll never be able to break out of his action mold and try new acting challenges. When Cassie Carroll literally slams into his life, she brings a breath of fresh air and common sense to his world. She pushes him to be a better actor and a better man.

Can these friends become lovers—and can their love survive—in a tabloid-happy town that thrives on rumors and backstabbing?



Hollywood Flirt


Hollywood Flirt

Hollywood Name Game. Book 2

Release Date: August 27, 2020


From internationally bestselling romance author Alexa Aston – Book Two in the exciting Hollywood Name Game – a stunning new contemporary romance series. Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited! 

She’s Hollywood royalty whose trail vanished a dozen years ago.

He doesn’t do relationships and thinks commitment is a four-letter word.

They Google each other . . . and sparks fly . . .

Sydney Revere, the daughter of a famous movie couple, left Hollywood behind over a decade ago. Christened The Wild Child by the media, she reinvents herself as a serious student who becomes an attorney and marries a safe, predictable man. When her husband cheats on her and the law loses its glitter, Sydney returns to Hollywood. Her father hires her to storyboard his upcoming movie, No Regrets—and then stuns Sydney when he offers her the job as his assistant director.

Dash DeLauria is a rising actor who hasn’t trusted a woman since his mother left. He’s now the guardian of his mentally-challenged brother. Dash is looking to grow professionally and after he wins the lead in No Regrets, he finds he’s lost his heart and soul to Sydney. With both their careers on the upswing, life is sweet.

But Sydney’s ex-husband isn’t finished with her yet. Discovering who she really is—and that she’s wealthy—he tracks her to California, ready to start over with her again.

No matter what it takes . . .





Hollywood Player


Hollywood Player

Hollywood Name Game, Book3

Release Date: September 17, 2020


She has zero friends . . . and is wary of men, living life as a recluse.

His only friend is 90 and when she dies, he’s adrift.

Can a dyslexic actor and a shy loner find happiness together?

Famous from the time she was fourteen, London Russell lands the cover of Sports Illustrated to cap off her modeling career. Leaving the fashion world behind, she follows her dream of becoming a singer-songwriter. Thanks to an ex-boyfriend’s vicious attack on her, London becomes a recluse who turns out hits but never tours—and can’t trust a man. Her life changes course when she encounters a Hollywood screenwriter and director and agrees to write the theme song for their next movie.

Knox Monroe grew up as America’s darling, a child actor featured on several popular television series. After his mother’s betrayal, Knox drops out of sight, returning years later to make the successful transition to adult roles. A known womanizer and loner, Knox meets London by chance. Through her connections, he winds up with the lead role in a new movie.

Will London be able to open her heart and move past Knox’s player reputation? And will Knox knock down the emotional fortress that he’s built around his heart?

In Hollywood, anything’s possible. . .




Hollywood Double

Hollywood Double
Hollywood Name Game, Book 4
Release Date: October 8, 2020

From internationally bestselling romance author Alexa Aston – Book Four in the exciting Hollywood Name Game – a stunning new contemporary romance series – has arrived. Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

She’s a Hollywood leading lady who’s never found love – except with Jax, her Basenji.

He’s divorced from a cheating wife and refuses to ever give his heart away again.

Together, their smoking-hot chemistry leads to movie magic . . . and murder . . .

Mac Randall’s life turns upside down when he walks in on his wife and her lover. He finishes his tour of duty overseas and leaves the army, becoming a popular stuntman in Hollywood. When the actor Mac doubles for is murdered, Mac is surprised to find himself cast as the film’s leading man—at the suggestion of the actress who will play opposite him.

Keely Kennedy has built a solid career in Hollywood, rising from supporting roles to leading lady, but she’s been unlucky in love. She becomes close friends with Mac Randall, her new co-star, while she helps him prepare for his first on-screen role. Friendship blossoms into love during their shoot and despite several mishaps on the set, she knows not only has she done the best work in her career on this film, but she believes Mac will become an instant star.

Before production is complete, though, the murderer surfaces—ready to kill the film—and its two stars.

Hollywood Double is the fourth book in the Hollywood Name Game series. Each book in the series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.



Hollywood Enigma tablet





Wynn had never experienced such a physical rush as he did sitting next to Scarlett. The tall beauty fascinated him. Over the years, he’d quietly seen a few women but as his success mounted, he’d almost lost interest in the opposite sex. Or rather, they’d lost interest in him. No one wanted to know Wynn as a person. Every woman seemed more interested in being seen with Wynn Gallagher, the superstar, and what that could do for them. He found himself shrinking inside until he’d almost disappeared.

Scarlett was different. A highly paid professional in a competitive field. Comfortable in her own skin. She came from a world where she mingled with the rich and famous on a regular basis. She didn’t seem impressed sitting next to Carbon Man. She treated him as Wynn, a guy—not Wynn, the megastar.

That was a huge turn-on.

He noticed people seated at tables around them began rising. Scarlett scooped up her casino money and he said, “You must’ve done Sarah a good favor to get double the money to play with.”

Those mesmerizing gray eyes looked at him with amusement. “I helped her work out a problem that arose at the last minute.”

With a straight face, he said, “It involved a demanding donor who wanted a front row seat to tonight’s action, I’d guess.”

The corners of her sensual mouth turned up. “I believe it did. Fortunately, this donor came alone. No plus-one. Since I ended a relationship this morning, it was easy to insert this fussy donor into my plus-one’s seat.” Her smile widened. “Problem solved.”

“Was this a longtime plus-one?” he asked.

She shrugged. “A couple of months. I had the feeling Chaz was more interested in the people he would see tonight and chat up than he was spending time with me.”

“Then Chaz is a fool,” Wynn said. “I’ve known you less than two hours and see you’re smart, capable, interesting, and incredibly beautiful. If I were your plus-one, it would be hard to get rid of me. I’d be stuck to you like glue.”

Her eyes lit with interest. “You would?”



About the Author


Award-winning and internationally bestselling author Alexa Aston lives with her husband in a Dallas suburb, where she eats her fair share of dark chocolate and plots out stories while she walks every morning. She’s a binge fiend (The Crown and Ozark are favorites) who enjoys travel, sports, and time with her family. 

Her historical romances bring to life loveable rogues and dashing knights, while her contemporary romances are light and flirty and sometimes contain a bit of suspense.


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Wasting Time Tour

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Book 2 in the Physics, Lust and Greed Series

Science Fiction

Date Published: October 1, 2020


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When time travelers fail test after test to significantly alter the past,
most financial backers abandon the Global Research Consortium leaving
veteran traveler Marta Hamilton to administer a vastly scaled-down project.
She must protect the past from a greedy future, fend off political meddling,
and foil a murder plot originating in a parallel universe. She presides over
a conspiracy to hide the truth of her best friend’s death while coping
with a confusing and discomforting romantic entanglement involving fellow
traveler Marshall Grissom.

Marta, who has by professional necessity always distanced herself from
emotional commitment, lapsed by allowing herself the luxury of friendship
with Sheila Schuler and a night of wild sex with Marshall. Now, Sheila is
probably dead, and—according to a genius physicists’
theory—Marshall soon will be. As she assumes her role as administrator
of the time travel program, Marta must choose between the risks of loving
someone, or the lonely safety of emotional solitude.


(No cats were harmed in the telling of this story.) 


Wasting Time tablet


“So, if someone is killed in the past of another universe,” Marta asked Elvin, “what does that portend for the future counterpart?”

“When left alone,” Elvin said, “quantum theory holds that the histories of parallel universes tend to be, well, parallel. Theoretically, the visit of a time traveler from the future skews that parallelism and the historical paths diverge. How much or how little is anybody’s guess. But I think there would have to be a helluva divergence for a major historical figure to escape his fate. I think once you’re toast in one universe, as soon as it can get around to it, history will catch up to you everywhere else, too.”

Like Marshall, Marta had clung to a skeptical hope that Elvin was wrong, until history caught up with Carla O’Neill. Carla fell off a stool while drinking at the Time Warp and hit her head on the bar.

In one of Marta’s first bureaucratic confrontations as program administrator, she had used Elvin’s theories to successfully argue that Carla’s death was work-related.

Secret or not, federally funded and supervised programs must meet federal guidelines, of which there are, Marta now realized, roughly about a gazillion. And someone must be sure all those guidelines were met. So while the number of people occupying the secret underground chambers of the Global Research Consortium had been drastically reduced as it evolved into the Historical Research Initiative, a healthy contingent of bureaucrats still scurried about in the big office building upstairs, auditing and accounting their little hearts out.

The bureaucrats wanted to write off Carla’s death as a fluke accident, having nothing whatsoever to do with time travel. As the new administrator, Marta knew she couldn’t display weakness. She wanted Carla’s death to be declared work-related so her family would be appropriately compensated.

Citing Elvin’s theories, she won that battle only to find she had waded into a quagmire when she received the auditor’s official findings. His report declared Marshall Grissom’s death to be work-related, as well.

Marta had taken the elevator to the surface, stomped into the chief auditor’s office and said, “You can’t do this. Marshall isn’t dead.”

“According to your Mr. Detwyler,” the auditor parried, “he surely will be, and sooner rather than later.”

“Don’t you think you should at least wait until . . . until it’s official?”

“We are thinking of the political ramifications,” the auditor said.

“The . . . what?”

The auditor leaned back in his chair and shook his head, as if he could not believe the poor naïve creature before him.

“We must file a report every quarter regarding workplace death and injury. The congressional oversight subcommittee tends to become alarmed at death and injury, as does OSHA. We had several mishaps during the construction and testing phase of the project. We expressed these events as the rate of person/days lost, divided by incidents of fatal accidents or maiming injuries on the GRC site. By doing it that way, because the GRC staff at that point was so large, we could present a number that appeared to be very low. And every day that passed without further casualties, the number got lower.”

The auditor stood and adjusted the window blinds to cut the glare of the sun streaming into his office. Since Marta’s office was underground and she didn’t have any sunshine, she thought the twit was just showing off.

“Now, however,” he continued with an elaborate stretch of his back, “there aren’t very many of you. So, the ratio will be much higher. With the death of Ms. Schuler and Ms. O’Neill within the same six-month period, well, that will draw a lot of attention. Thus, Mr. Grissom’s impending death is not a simple matter. The question was, should we just let it occur in its own good time and create the appearance of an ongoing problem, or should we arbitrarily include it with this quarters’ report, and argue that, while we had a bad few months, we’re doing better as the year progresses.”

He sat.

“We decided the latter would be the more politically defensible position.”

Marta’s first instinct was to return to her apartment, get her gun and add another work-related fatality to the report. She was an administrator now, though. She needed to refrain from shooting the auditors.

“Well . . .” she said after a long moment, “what if he doesn’t die?”

“I beg your pardon?”

“What if Marshall doesn’t die?”

“Ms. Hamilton, you can’t have it both ways, now can you? We can’t call Ms. O’Neill’s death a work-related incident and then treat Mr. Grissom differently.”

“That wasn’t my question. My question was, what if he doesn’t die?”

“Everybody dies.” The auditor smiled.

“I mean not any time soon!”

“Well,” he said, in a smug show of victory, “I would certainly advise him to retain an attorney when the time comes to apply for social security benefits. That will be an argument I would dearly love to hear, because as far as the federal government is concerned, Marshall Grissom is dead.”

About the Author

Mike Murphey is a native of New Mexico and spent almost thirty years as an
award-winning newspaper journalist in the Southwest and Pacific Northwest.
Following his retirement, he enjoyed a seventeen-year partnership with the
late Dave Henderson, all-star Major League outfielder. Their company
produced the Oakland A’s and Seattle Mariners adult baseball Fantasy
Camps. Wasting Time is his fourth novel. Mike loves fiction, cats, baseball
and sailing. He splits his time between Spokane, Washington, and Phoenix,


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The Last Rose of Summer Tour

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Medical Fiction

Date Published: June 25, 2020

Publisher: Archway Publishing


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While working independently as a pre-med student at Cleary University, the
soon-to-be physician, Mary Austin, discovers a remarkable, non-toxic drug
that could offer tremendous hope to cancer patients. Her work is headed for
publication in a top medical journal until a drug company begins
negotiations with her bosses from which she is mysteriously excluded.

Amid egregious sexual harassment, Mary’s materials are blatantly sabotaged.
As death threats follow and her work becomes impossible, she is accepted at
Whitehead College of Medicine despite evidence that her bosses tampered with
her application process. After becoming a pediatrics resident, she shares
her story with her beloved mentor, Dr. Daniel Taylor, who allows her to
temporarily leave her residency training to reproduce the work. Her joy
turns to sorrow and then determination when she learns that Dr. Taylor is
battling terminal pancreatic cancer. Even as a chain of events prompts the
sabotage of Mary’s drug stock and leaves her seemingly without any choice
but to permanently leave academic medicine, the story of her drug is not
over yet.

In this novel inspired by a true story, after a young cancer researcher
discovers a breakthrough drug that could change chemotherapy, the drug
industry suppresses the breakthrough and transforms her life and career


The Last Rose of Summer hardback


The Camera Aversion of Scientists


If you want to see a lab empty out like the place is on fire, get a camera. Almost everybody who works in labs is camera shy. This can be a problem if you’re in that large majority and land in a prominent lab where the university (or even local media crews) might be around on a regular basis depending on what’s been discovered. These poor guys, who are just trying to do their jobs, want to film scientists doing science, but the problem is that almost all of the scientists want to run away.


One postdoc I remember even hid in the lab’s “hot room” to avoid a news crew. That’s the term for the room where all the radioactive materials are stored— very safely, really; there’s little to no risk to going in that room despite its off-putting appearance. The university’s radiation safety staff inspects those rooms regularly, and nobody’s allowed in there without knowing what they’re doing.


But the door has those giant radiation warning signs on it, and my colleague correctly guessed that the camera people sure as hell wouldn’t follow him there.

…That guy in the hot room stood around for almost an hour with nothing to do, until he was sure the crew was gone. Having successfully avoided appearing in the video, he went back to work and faced nothing but a bit of ribbing from the rest of us.



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About the Author

Mary Austin is the pseudonym for a physician who, in order to publicize a
suppressed discovery in cancer research, had to sacrifice first her academic
career, then a career as a board-certified pediatrician, and then her
personal safety. She would do it again.


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