Monthly Archives: December 2021

Mom, I Want a Pony Blitz


Mom, I Want a Pony cover

Children’s Book


Publication Date: May 25, 2021

Publisher: MindStir Media

Mom I Want a Pony is the story of a young girl and her love for a pony. It was written with the hope that any child who has ever said those words – and any parent who has ever heard them – will read it and understand not only what is involved in this relationship, but also what is necessary to make it a safe and rewarding experience for all concerned.

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The Doll Virtual Book Tour

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The Doll cover

Sci-fi Urban Fantasy


Date Published: 09-28-2021

The sudden death of Jenna Hess provides an ideal setting for The Dollmaker. Jeremy Dillon is captivated by CR1XY, an elite model that he can’t resist. Is her creation exclusive to him, or are we merely learning about an elaborate plot? Nothing is certain in this high stakes game.

The Doll tablet


Chapter 1


After the last drop of tequila rolled off my tongue, the empty shot glass taunted me. I slammed it against the bar. “Hit me again.”

“Sorry, Jer, I’m cuttin’ you off.”

A sharp pang of sorrow cut off my oxygen and echoed in my throat as I growled, “Don’t call me that. Jenna called me that.”

Matt flung the bar towel over his shoulder and rolled his eyes. “Dude, I’ve been calling you Jer since junior high.”

Jenna’s angel-like voice flitted through my mind: Jer. My sweet Jer.  

I glanced at Matt, standing behind the bar, eyeing me with a narrowed gaze. Since we were teenagers, the scruffy blond-haired guy, littered with piercings and tattoos, had been my best friend. His twin sister, Missy, had brought Jenna to my eighteenth birthday bash.

The uninvited memory unfurled in my brain, with me helpless to stop it.

My parent’s living room, stripped of its furniture, had been transformed into a makeshift rave to house my crew. Missy—the grand entrance queen—made her appearance a half-hour late, with a dark-haired girl at her side. The girl’s big brown eyes found mine, turning my brain to mush. I just stood there, gawking like an idiot.

Missy tossed her long blonde mane over her shoulders, grabbed the girl’s hand, and led her through the crowd toward me. “Jenna, meet the birthday boy, Jeremy. Jer, this is my BFF, Jenna.”

“Nice to meet you, Jeremy. And happy birthday,” she said in a sweet, angel-like voice.

I offered her my most charming smile. “Thank you. And it’s great to meet you too.”

She looked at my hair. “I like the man bun. Very hipster.”

“Is that a good thing?

Missy groaned before she walked away and joined the others.

Jenna’s eyes seemed to smile at me; then, she’d giggled. “Yes, it’s a good thing.”

Realization punched me in the gut. She was flirting with me. Holy crap! 

Don’t be a creep. Relax. Take a breath, I thought to myself and casually asked her, “Can I get you something to drink?”

I shook my head, forcing my attention to the present and back to Matt. “It was the way she said my name. You know, with sheer devotion. She was…” My voice crackled with pain.

Reaching across the bar, Matt laid his hand on my shoulder and narrowed his jade-colored eyes. “I can’t even imagine the heartache you must feel, but Jenna wouldn’t want this. She’d want you to keep living.”

Hot tears stung my eyes as her face formed behind them. I soaked in every beautiful inch of her before blinking her away. Alcohol was the only thing that allowed me to forget, even if only temporarily. Jenna wasn’t coming back. “She didn’t just walk out of my life—that, I could’ve dealt with—but her death… it haunts me,” I said, wiping the tears from my face. “I should’ve told her not to drive, to wait until the morning, but I… I wanted to see her.”

“The accident wasn’t your fault. You can’t blame yourself.”

“She’d be alive if it weren’t for me!” I yelled, anger spewing from my lips. “She wouldn’t’ve fallen asleep at the wheel and crashed if I’d just told her to wait.” Taking a few deep breaths, I held up the shot glass and urged, “Please, Matt.”

A look of sympathy tugged at the corners of his mouth. 

“Just one more, I promise.”

He shook his head in a slow, sad manner. “I’m doing this for your own good.” He snatched my car keys off the counter and set them behind the bar. “Someone’s gotta look out for you.” He filled a mug with black coffee and set it in front of me. “You can hang out and wait for me to drive you home, or you can Uber it, but you’re not driving.”

I waved him away and grumbled, “Fine.” 

“You’ll thank me later.”


Matt walked away to tend to a couple at the other end of the bar. 

I took a swig of coffee, cringed, and scanned the bar for packets of sugar.

“Looking for this?” a male voice inquired from my right, sliding two packets of sweetener my way. 

“Thanks,” I said, eyeing the bald, wrinkly-faced man.

He moved to the barstool next to mine and remarked, “I couldn’t help but overhear. Was she your girlfriend?”


“Lost my wife years ago. Without The Dollmaker, I don’t think I could’ve overcome this.” The focus of his gaze slipped.

I jerked my head in his direction. “Dollmaker?”

He pulled a tattered business card from his worn denim jacket and laid it on the bar top. “This man saved my sanity. Might be able to help you too.” He offered a kind nod, got to his feet, and exited the bar without another word.

The name on the card read “The Dollmaker,” with a phone number printed underneath—no address or website on the front or the back. What the fuck? How could a dollmaker help me? I shrugged, then punched the number into my cell.

It rang twice before a recording clicked on, announcing, “You’ve reached The Dollmaker. We are closed at this time, but please leave your name, number, and a brief message, and we will return your call the next business day.”

Once the machine beeped, I sputtered, “Yeah, um… My name is Jeremy—Jeremy Dillon. Cell’s 310-555-9189. A prior customer gave me your card and said you could help.” I paused, debating if I should elaborate. Instead, I mumbled, “Thanks,” and ended the call. 


Chapter 2


I woke up, sprawled out on my bed in last night’s clothes, reeking of alcohol. I tried to sit up, but my pounding head knocked me flat on my back. What the hell day is it? The clock on the nightstand read 9 a.m. My brows pinched together as my brain struggled to remember the previous night, bringing up a hazy image of Matt’s bar. Had he driven my drunk ass home? 

Check your cell, ran through my head, and I grabbed it off the nightstand and scrolled through my calendar. My million-dollar listing with ocean views had a 2 p.m. showing, followed by another at 3 p.m. I could smell a bidding war, but my hangover was in full bloom. I needed to get rid of it before the open houses. 

My cell rang just as my eyes were about to close, the sound piercing my ears and aching head. Before it rang a second time, I quickly answered, “Hello?”

“May I speak to Jeremy Dillon?” a woman asked.

“This is Jeremy.”

“Hello, Jeremy. This is Alicia from The Dollmaker, returning your call.”

I bolted upright, and the room started to spin. Damn hangover. “Yes, thank you for getting back to me. I—I’m not really sure how to…”

“Let me help with that,” she gently cut in. “Have you experienced the passing of a loved one?”

“My… fiancée.” 

“I’m so sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you.”

“At The Dollmaker, we understand how devasting the loss of a loved one can be. Our creations have helped many clients live through the pain and recover.”

Creations? Does she mean a doll? I still don’t get it. How could a piece of plastic with a blank stare help anyone? “I’m a little unclear of what it is you do. Can you provide more details?” 

“We had a cancellation for ten this morning. I know it’s short notice, but would you like to come in for a consultation? See who we are and what we offer?” 

“That would be great. Where are you located?” 

I grabbed a pen from the nightstand and wrote the address on my hand. 

I hung up, flying into the bathroom and colliding with my reflection. I looked like shit, and I needed a shave. I reached for the razor and knocked Jenna’s dry shampoo into the sink. My gaze lingered on the bottle. “Why not?” I thought and sprayed the hell out of my hair, trying to rid the bar smell. Just before I needed to hit the road, I threw on faded jeans, a long-sleeved Henley shirt, vintage boots, slapped on deodorant, cologne, and twisted my hair into a man bun. I dashed out of the house, and I was on my way to White Rock. 

 “You’ve reached your destination,” my GPS announced after a short drive. I parked, wiped the address off my hand with a little spit and my shirt sleeve, and headed for the door of the large, two-story industrial building with frosted glass windows. Stenciled to the center window were full-scale Barbie and Ken lookalikes, with The Dollmaker in big black letters framed on the front door. This was no ordinary dollhouse. The structure was massive, completely modern and techy. What the hell is this place?

The door automatically swung, revealing a vacant lobby with a curvature marble front desk and a few leather chairs scattered about. The sound of high heels tapping against the polished floor came from the left. I turned, and my gaze fell upon a woman—forty-ish, blonde hair slicked into a ponytail, dressed in a dark pantsuit—approaching me. 


I offered my hand. “Yes. And you must be Alicia?”

Her laughter floated toward me. “That I am. Nice to meet you.” She shook my hand and waved me forward. “I’ve got a room ready for us. Follow me.”

She led me down a long, well-lit narrow hallway with images of mannequins displayed along the walls. The farther we went, they evolved, becoming more lifelike. Veering toward an open doorway, she announced, “Here we are. Please, come in and take a seat.”

A mahogany table sat in the center of the room with several high-back chairs tucked underneath. She claimed the seat in front of a laptop, and I took the opposite seat. 

Her red-painted lips spread into a smile. “I’ll give you a brief summary of the company before jumping into the interview questions. Then, I’ll take you on the grand tour.”


“Just some questions about you, your fiancée, and what you’re looking for. Shall we begin?”

My curiosity piqued, I nodded.

“In 1995, after the loss of his mother, Vsevolod Bykov created her likeness in a doll. The sole purpose of his creation was to cope with his grief; thereafter, he quickly became known as The Dollmaker. He worked in his father’s garage for nearly eight years, perfecting his dolls into lifelike designs. Ten years later, he founded The Dollmaker.” She paused and spread her arms out. “And here we are in 2024, an innovative, high-tech company, staying true to Vsevolod’s original mission of helping others cope with the loss of a loved one.” 

What a bizarre way to grieve. Hello, aren’t you doing the same thing? I shifted in my seat and shook off the thought.

“Some questions will be rather hard but necessary as they help us proceed.”

I’d been asked so many questions about Jenna and always avoided them. I was pretty sure, though, Alicia wasn’t going to let me off the hook, so I drew in a breath and prepared for the worst. “I’m ready.”

“Very well. Your name is Jeremy Dillon, correct?”


Her fingers flew across the keyboard. “Date of birth?”

“April fourteenth, 1997.”

“Family members?”

“Yes—mother and father, no siblings. Three aunts, two uncles, and four cousins.”


I laughed. “Plenty of those. Do you really need to know how many?”

She shook her head. “It’s not necessary. What do you do for fun?”

Fun? That word had disappeared from my vocabulary when Jenna died. “Um, kickboxing, snowboarding, rock climbing, concerts, hanging out with friends.” 

“Are you employed?”

“I have my own real estate business. I buy, flip, and sell houses.”

“How long have you been in real estate?”

“Six years. I’ve owned my own company for four.”

“You mentioned it was your fiancée who passed. What was her name?”

The room blurred as Jenna Hess whispered through my mind. A distant stare claimed me as I said her name out loud. “Jenna Hess.”

“How long were the two of you together?”

“Eight and half years.”

“How old was she when she passed?”


“Just a year younger than you?”


 “How long ago did she die?”

I blinked. “Does that matter?”

She pursed her lips. “You’re a nice-looking young man with blue eyes women swoon over. You’re accomplished with your own business, surrounded by family and friends. One might say you’re in the prime of your life, but you’ve come to us. My job is to find out why.”

I offered a feeble shrug. “Honestly, I’m not sure why I’m here.”

“We’ll find out together if you agree in proceeding with my questions.”


“How long ago did she die?” she repeated.

I looked down at my multifunction watch, then back at her. “Eight months, seven days, twelve hours, and thirty-seven minutes.”

Her expression softened. I’ve seen that look many times before, the “I’m so sorry for your loss” look. I’ve grown to despise it. What good does it do? Jenna was dead. Their sympathy doesn’t lessen my devastation. Yes, people mean well, but I don’t want empathy. I want Jenna.

“I can see in your expression, hear it in your voice, how hard this is for you.” And still, she fired off another grueling question without batting an eye. “Was her death sudden?”

 “Yes,” I managed to mumble.

“Have you sought counseling?”

“I went to a therapist for a few months.”

“What was the outcome?”

“It helped.” Had it? I’d poured my guts out and bawled like a baby every time I sat on his couch.

“Over time, do you see yourself finding lov—”

I cut her off. “No.”

She angled her head to the side. “Are you sure? Time can mend the heart if you give it a chance.”

“Not mine.” A cool touch of awareness prickled my skin. “I guess that’s why I’m here. I don’t want anyone else. I want… her.” 

About the Author


LAURA DALEO is the author of six books. She is best known for her storytelling of the vampiric persuasion. Her Immortal Kiss series is an interesting twist on the Egyptian pantheon being the original vampires. Her current project, Once We Were Witches, is a modern-day, dark fantasy where witchcraft is forbidden. She lives in sunny San Diego, California, with her four dogs, Stuart, Morgan, Dexter, and Rose.

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Mistress of Rye Blitz


Mistress of Rye cover

Regency Romance


Publication Date: July 21, 2021

Publisher: Palmetto Publishing

In this intriguing Regency romance, Lady Katherine’s stepbrother has tried to assault her in order to force a marriage and obtain her inheritance. She mistakenly believes she has killed him in self-defense, and so, she has to run away to escape the gallows. She must avoid scandal at all costs. She must protect the family name so her brother, who is missing in the Napoleonic wars, can return home to claim his rightful inheritance. Seeking shelter from the law, Lady Katherine offers herself as mistress to the enigmatic Duke of Rye, a national hero. She plans to leave the country the moment her brother is back on English soil. The duke, himself traumatized by the war, takes her as his mistress, thinking she is an imposter or an actress. But, as he comes to appreciate her noble qualities and her courage, he cannot help falling in love with her in spite of the difference in their station. Meanwhile, unbeknownst to her, both her brother and the duke belong to a secret group within the War Office. The group is currently focused on rescuing her brother, while also searching for his missing sister who has suddenly disappeared. No one in the group suspects that the missing sister is the duke’s new, mysterious mistress. But what will happen when they do? What will happen when the duke finds out he is harboring a murderess?

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The Sceptre Blitz


The Sceptre cover

A Jonster the Monster and the Bear Adventure

Young Adult


Date Published: March 22, 2021

Did you ever dream of traveling to an alternate universe? I actually did it. I am the Bear, high school kid.

My life-long wish has been to find my mother who disappeared when I was a baby. And Indian medicine man told me it was possible to find her, but I would have to look in the magical kingdom of his ancestors. My friends said they would go with me if I gave it a shot. So I did. Be careful what you wish for. We promptly found ourselves in a fantasy land where we met Uriah, a talking cocker spaniel. He told me my destiny was sealed by an ancient scroll that prophesied an unlikely hero who would come out of nowhere to save his homeland from destruction by an evil king. He said I was that hero. No pressure.

Life in Uriah’s world is one big twist. Nothing is what it seems. Both good and evil attempt to trick me at every turn, and I continually struggle to separate illusion from reality. My friends might not be who I think they are, and I am forced to trust my life to a lovable, but self-centered dog. I could use a little help. Join me. Together we can solve the secret of the Sceptre.

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Merry Christmas, Eve! Virtual Book Tour

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Merry Christmas, Eve! cover


Children’s Picture Book


Date Published: December 4, 2020

Publisher: Krueger Wallace Press & Riven Rock Projects

Christmas is coming and the Christmas spirit is nowhere to be found. There’s only one little elf with the get-up-and-go to find it. Meet Eve . . .

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Merry Christmas, Eve! excerpt

About the Author

Adam Wallace,

New York Times, Amazon and USA Today Bestselling author who loves writing stories that make children laugh and get excited about reading and drawing and writing . I also love taking naps and listening to music. Not at the same time.

I have over 80 books published and out in the world, and love each one as if it were my child … except if that child is like really naughty and always breaks my favourite things and writes bad words on the walls of our house.

None of my books are like that.

From How to Catch books to How to Draw books. From gross books to action and adventure books. From inspirational to just plain funny, there’s something here for kids of all reading abilities, and all ranges of interests.

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