Monthly Archives: February 2021

Chokecherry Girl Tour

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Young Adult, Coming of Age, Multi-Cultural Fiction


Date Published: 2/16/21

Publisher Acorn Publishing

It’s 1958. Racial tension and class disparities have everyone on edge in a small Montana town. Despite their differences, three women of the community become the unlikeliest of friends.

BOBBI VERNON is a quirky teen, who will do whatever it takes to drive her teacher’s new Chevy convertible. Adding to the already volatile mix, she meets Pretty Weasel, an Indian basketball player, who calls her Chokecherry Girl. She dreams of dating him and wearing his class ring.

PATSY OLSON, after two failed marriages, is desperate to get her life back. After opening a beauty shop with a shaky bank loan, she watches Coach Vernon, Bobbi’s father, arriving for school each day. Attracted yet wary, she needs the business of the town ladies, including the Coach’s wife, Lois.

MARY AGNES LONE HILL, an alcoholic Crow Indian who was sent far away to a brutal Indian school as a child, now cleans houses for the town ladies and longs to end her estrangement with her son, Pretty Weasel.

These three women are drawn together through an illicit love affair, a stolen car, and a shooting that changes their lives forever.

Chokecherry Girl

Barbara Link


Chapter One – 1958

The worst thing about babysitting for the O’Malley’s was the dead baby. When the bell rang at their mortuary next door, Bobbi would leave the kids and unlock the door so family and friends could view the deceased. 

There she was, the silent baby tucked into a satin lined box like a doll under the Christmas tree. Her tiny hands remained fixed in place, pointing to nothing or maybe to heaven. 

For other baby-sitting dangers, Bobbi devised a strategy. After all, in 1958 she was a freshman in high school and knew a few things. So when the dads drove her home, she scooted to the far side of the front seat. If they grabbed her, she’d pull Grandma’s darning needle from her sleeve and jam it into their arm.

You’d be surprised how many husbands tried to feel her up. The men left home in ironed white shirts with clean-shaven cheeks smelling of Old Spice and talking in company voices. But during the evening, they grew stubble, breathed whiskey fumes and pawed at a flat-chested fourteen-year-old girl. 

  1. The year in which Bobbi tangled with the adults—Patsy, the beautician, Mary Agnes, the Crow Indian, and Miss Bauer, the new teacher. Bobbi knew she should have obeyed the law and her parents. She never thought it crucial until she stood before the judge.

 “Donna,” she’d said to her best friend, “honestly, I wanted to kneel with prayer hands like the picture of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, maybe with the Platters playing My Prayer in the background. Not because it was religious, but because it sounded sad and romantic. Dad said no! No kneeling and no music in Judge Henderson’s chambers.”

 “I love The Platters! That would have been so cool,” Donna said.

“No shit,” Bobbi replied. 

The trouble started the first week of March when she discovered the car parked behind the high school. A ‘58 black Chevy convertible with red leather seats, slick red steering wheel, acres of polished chrome, and white wall tires like frosted donuts.  A black and red shining jewel. 

Bobbi rode to school that day with her dad. From behind the school, they had a clear view of a new business—a beauty shop in an old house trailer. The blonde beautician stood in her doorway, smoking and staring at them like they were something to see. 

Dad glanced at the blonde, and then entered the school through the back door. Bobbi paused by the Black Beauty, smoothed her hand over the hood, inhaled the fragrance of the high gloss wax and felt the sun-soaked shiny metal.  

     A young woman stepped out of the school’s back door and lit a cig. Her eyes were deep set behind heavy-framed black glasses. Her brownish, unwashed hair curled like bacon over her forehead. She wore a rumpled tweed skirt, white Oxford shirt, and penny loafers. Altogether, she gave off a quality of raw, lean power.

Bobbi knew all of the instructors, so she assumed this must be the new English teacher. 

“My new rag top. Like it?” the woman asked. 

Bobbi sucked in a lungful of air. She’d never ridden in a convertible! “Very cool,” she stammered, hoping she wouldn’t pee her pants. 

The teacher displayed a faint expression of her lips, something stealthy, a smile that was not a smile. She tossed her cigarette and went back inside the school. 

About The Author

Barbara Meyer Link

Award-winning California author and poet, Barbara Meyer Link, has had three stories aired on KVPR, a National Public Radio Affiliate. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in numerous literary magazines and small presses. She also received the Sacramento State University Bazzanella Prize for fiction. Her memoir, Blue Shy, was published in 2010 and awarded first prize in the Sacramento Friends of the Library First Chapter contest. She co-authored Coffee and Ink, a handbook for writing groups and was a past editor of Sacramento’s Poetry Now. In addition, she was a poet/teacher for California Poets in the Schools for over fourteen years. Most recently, she was awarded second prize for poetry at the Mendocino Coast Writer’s contest.

Partial list of publications. American River Review, Poetry Now, Mindprint Review, Anima, Missouri Review, Women’s Compendium, Hardpan, Earth’s Daughter’s, (2014-2016) Whitefish Review, Dead Snakes, Noyo Review, Piker Press (on Dec 5, Dec 12)

Blue Moon Literary & Art Review (2019, 2020)

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The Princess Knight by G.A. Aiken

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USA Today Bestseller
An Amazon Best of the Month Selection

“Electrically fun…turns the usual fairy-tale class dynamics upside down…this is a book that encourages trust in people’s goodness, if not their patience or good sense. It’s light on the romance, but prodigiously good for the heart.”
—The New York Times 

In New York Times bestselling author G.A. Aiken’s gripping new fantasy romance series, the Blacksmith Queen must confront armies and pretenders desperate to take her new-won crown. But with the Princess Knight at her side and a centaur warrior clan at her back, she’ll risk everything for victory . . .
Gemma Smythe dedicated her life to the glory of battle. With her fellow War Monks, she worshipped the war gods, rained destruction on her enemies, and raised the dead when the fancy took her. Until her sister Keeley became the prophesied Blacksmith Queen, and Gemma broke faith with her order to journey to the Amichai Mountain and fight by Keeley’s side.

The Amichai warriors are an unruly, never-to-be-tamed lot, especially their leader-in-waiting, Quinn. But when the War Monks declare support for Gemma’s ruthless younger sister Beatrix, the immaturity of her key ally is the least of Gemma’s problems. She has to get to the grand masters, dispel their grudge against her, and persuade them to fight for Keeley and justice. If her conviction can’t sway them, perhaps Quinn’s irritating, irreverent, clearly unhinged, ferocity will win the day . . .


I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley for an honest review.

Gemma a Warmonk and now The Princess Knight, because her Sister Keeley who is now The Blacksmith Queen. Well,kind of, sort of the Queen. She is one of two that can be the new Queen. Her sister Beatrix is the other who can be Queen, one problem, she is soullessand therefore must be stopped at all cost. Even if they have to kill her. Beatrix is up to something  and they have no clue of what it is. Monks are coming up dead and thier whole orders decimated and any artifacts taken. Gemma is then paired up with the Amichais warriors, Quin of the Centaurs to be exact. Thier bannter between each other is laugh out loud funny sometimes. I could not get enough of them. At the end we get a little suprise when someone shows up. That is when shit is about to get real. I cannot wait until the next book in the series is released.

I give The Princess Knight 5/5 stars.



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Ways You Could Be Sabotaging Your Training Tour

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Date Published: Feb 19th, 2021

Are you struggling to train your dog? This book can help!

Written by a certified Dog Trainer this book is designed to offer general dog training troubleshooting. The intent is to identify and address things you might unknowingly be doing that can sabotage your best training efforts and hinder your beloved companion’s progress.

The author, Tammy L. Hein brings up the specific issues she’s found to be the most common over her decade of dog training experience.

Every point is explained to help you see the downfalls of your methods from your dog’s perspective. With this book, you’ll gain deeper understanding why your dog behaves the way he does, where you’re falling short as a trainer, and best practices that’ll get you on the right track in no time! Don’t give up—get this book and get started!


Back when Rosie was two years old we started training for an Excellent title in Canadian Rally Obedience. This meant that we got to work with jumps, tunnels, and weave poles. 

When I first started, I lured her to go through the weave poles. She caught on quickly, and we thought we were making progress. 

Then I removed the lure, and she got lost. This caused both Rosie and I to get frustrated. 

About The Author

Tammy L. Hein

Tammy L. Hein gained her certification through Animal Behavior College Dog as a trainer and has ten years of experience training dogs. Her goal is to help dog owners better understand their four-legged companions and in doing so, help them better co-exist. She’s a firm believer that no dog is untrainable and that with the right tools, any owner can remedy their pet’s issues.

When she’s not writing books that will help dog owners, she’s training dogs, reading, or spending quality time with the people near and dear her heart—family and friends. Tammy lives in Saskatchewan, Canada and she’s married to a patient, loving husband. Together, they have two kids that are wilder than the craziest dogs she’s met; but she loves every moment.

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Dogs of DevTown Reveal

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Cyberpunk Science Fiction


Date Published: April 16, 2021

Welcome to DevTown.

In this city, holo ads lumber like neon giants seeking advertising targets. Men and women pop Oracle tabs in search of relief or enlightenment or both. Creatures of unknown origin stalk the darkest alleys. In the center of it all, NexDev Tower looms over the city, home to hundreds of floors of top-secret research.

And in its shadow, Shan Hayes kills people for money.

Rejecting the mechanical enhancements so popular in DevTown, Shan needs only two things: The resynth serum that can reshape her body’s entire cellular structure, and her hand-cannon containing a sentient parasite capable of converting her blood into weaponized wasps.

As a hired gun for various crime syndicates, there’s little of the city’s underbelly Shan hasn’t encountered. But when a longtime business associate hires her to track down an underling who’s vanished into the neon night, Shan finds DevTown still holds secrets more deadly and terrifying than anything she could imagine.

About The Author

 Taylor Hohulin

Taylor Hohulin is a radio personality by morning, a science fiction author by afternoon, and asleep by 9:30. He is the author of The Marian Trilogy, Tar, Your Best Apocalypse Now, and other genre-bending stories. He lives in West Des Moines, Iowa with his wife, where they are owned by two cats and a dog.

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Embrace the Wild Blitz


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Inspired by Equestrian Explorer Isabella Bird


Historical Fiction

Published: February 2021

Publisher: Wind Dancer Press

Free spirit and fearless explorer Isabella Lucy Bird’s desire to travel and write about her adventures is not what her Evangelical parents had in mind for their daughter. A strong-willed woman with a keen intellect and curious mind drove her forward, but frail health prevented Isabella from leading the vibrant life she so desired. At the age of forty, she pushed all social convention aside, ignored failed remedies of the doctors and embarked on a world voyage in 1873 that changed her forever.

A six month detour in the lush Hawaiian Islands gave her new strength and stamina. A tenacious horsewoman she rode with Hawaiian natives up the flank of Kilauea to the fiery home of the Goddess Pele’s and into the depths of Waipio Valley where the gods come close. From there, she determined to explore the wonders of Colorado, where she rode 800 miles solo on her mare Birdie. In Estes Park she met an unlikely soulmate in the form of the mercurial character named Rocky Mountain Jim. She prevailed upon him to guide her up Longs Peak. Jim shared the majesty of his realm, allowed her to know the embrace of the wild and opened the floodgate to repressed sensuality.

Hers is a story of raw courage, tenacity and unflagging desire to be true to her destiny.

Excerpt from Embrace of the Wild

Hilo or Bust

The narrow track now slippery with red mud was treacherous. My mare struggled for traction with her legs sliding out from under her. Cascades streaking white down the cleft of the pali dislodged rocks that rattled down the mountain. At times the rain was so dense, I lost sight of Kilani who forged ahead undaunted. We crossed several smaller gulches with rushing water up to my horses belly without incident. But, when we arrived at the lip of Hakalau gulch lost my conviction. Foaming water broiling in a riotous rush to the sea had risen half way up the side of the water corridor. Limbs of trees and leaves swirled in a muddy chaos below. The thunderous sound of breakers crashing on the sea cliffs filled me with dread. If I didn’t drown in the river, I would surely be crushed on the rocks by the pounding sea. I decided I would prefer spending a night in the rain on the shore over attempting this crossing.

Two native men on the other side of the raging torrent had lassoed the horse of a woman trying to reach the other side. With ropes tied to trees they were pulling her to the shore. Her horse floundered falling backwards into the brew. The woman went into the drink. She clung to the horn of the saddle while her body was caught in the current. With a herculean effort the men pulled the flailing animal to the shore. The horse found purchase and the woman was rescued.

Kilani was not dissuaded by the perilous crossing we just witnessed. She stood on the edge of the gulch prepared to jump into a certain death. The men threw the lasso over her horses head and she pressed her horse forward. My heart was in my throat as I watched her being picked up by the roiling water and sent spinning downstream. I screamed over the wild chorus of the river for her to face the flow. She was attempting to cross sideways with her horse completely submerged up to its head. She managed to swing around to face the torrent and the men were able to pull the wretched animal towards the shore. The horse’s eyes rolled white with fear, snorting and puffing as it struggled with every ounce of it’s being to find footing on slippery rocks while the rain pounded even more intensely. Kilani managed to gather herself back onto the horse as it lurched up the far bank of the river. I could only hope for her that her husband’s affections would be rewarded in kind.

I made my decision not to follow her lead to a sudden death. But, as I was about to turn back a lasso was draped around my mare’s neck. Without so much as an “Are you ready?” I was pulled into the roiling drink. Instantly immersed up to my neck, I had no choice but to press forward. I spurred the hapless animal beneath me with all my might. She was swimming toward the far side, but we were drifting towards the sea. I yelled for help over the roar to no avail. My screams were swallowed in the roar of the ceaseless foaming rollers below. This looked to be a sad ending to my new found freedom.

From shore Kilani screamed “Spur. Spur. Spur.” Both men were on the rope they pulled taunt around my horse’s neck. They secured their feet on boulders and grunted with each pull giving a small release so they did not choke her to death. The animal was gasping, and gave out a sorrowful whinny that shook her entire body. I was lifted by the water out of the saddle. My arms were being pulled out of their sockets as I clung to the big horn of the Mexican saddle. The rain was blinding and I was about to let go and join the spirits in the underworld of Po. Suddenly, my mare found a reserve of strength and lurched forward. With the help of the men pulling her, she was able to swim close enough to the shore to scramble up the slick wall of mud and out of the torrent.

Upa finally arrived with a mule in tow. The men tossed him the rope that he put around the creatures neck. He deftly hopped rocks, dove into the muddy brew and navigated the charging river like an amphibious creature leading the mule behind him. He laughed loudly when he reached our party on the other side.

Lucky we get here today,” Upa said.

My horse stood trembling. My teeth chattered involuntarily. The tumult of blinding rain had not ceased. I didn’t feel lucky.

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About The Author

Linda Ballou

Linda Ballou has long admired Isabella Bird, the plucky Englishwoman who rode with abandon in the Hawaiian Islands and the Rocky Mountains in 1873-74. Her article Riding in the Hoof Prints of Isabella Bird won the Solas Award offered by Travel Tales publications. Embrace of the Wild is a tribute to a courageous woman who crashed through social barriers to become the best loved travel writer of her time. This historical novel also demonstrates Linda’s personal conviction that nature can be our salvation. A theme that runs through all of her work.

Nothing pleases adventure-travel writer Linda Ballou, more than seeing gorgeous country from the back of a good horse. She has had the pleasure of staying at guest ranches in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Arizona and California, along with horse treks in Ireland and Ecuador. Her articles have appeared in Equus, Horse Illustrated, California Riding Magazine and numerous travel publications. Her story Irish Mist recounting her cross-country jumping adventure in Ireland appeared in the anthology Why We Ride. Writing The Cowgirl Jumped Over Moon, a novel that takes you from the Grand Pix jumping circuit to the John Muir Wilderness, was her way of dealing with an injury that forced her to leave the jumping world behind. Cowgirl was a finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards, and was the Founder’s Choice at the 2017 Equus Film Fest in New York.

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