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TourBanner_What a Godly Privilege

What a Godly Privilege to Be Born a Man
by Tabitha Biel Luak


GENRE: FICTION / African American / General



This book is inspired by true events.

Chosen from among the mob of her boyfriend’s girlfriends, married in the most secure, respectful, and honourable way known to the people, Nyayang Jock, a girl born without a brother, won the race, defeating her top co-girlfriend, Sarah, by being the youngest over Sarah born with brothers. At the least, unlike ninety-nine percent of the girls of her generation and how they were married, it is safe for Nyayang to say she was married for love to Chuol Malual, a businessman who was born into a big, rich family.

Nonetheless, unlike the expectation of her in-laws, the unattended attitude of the nature secretly stabbed Nyayang in the back, leaving her to fail and creating the family Chuol and his family fundamentally paid the forty cows for. After waiting for what seemed like a decade for her to get pregnant, she gave birth to a girl, a thing that only fueled the resultant ager. Taking a long time to get pregnant and only giving birth to a girl when she should have birthed a boy called for a quick search for another wife. For Chuol’s parents, this was a search for a working womb, but for Chuol it was just a search for wife number two, which he found hard now that he realized most girls showed many of the characteristics Nyayang had shown; however, eventually all displayed some problem.

But that all changed when he accidentally stumbled upon Sarah again, who instantly restored his manhood. Sarah not only filled Chuol’s life with the boys he had been looking for, but she had her chance one more time to not only show Nyayang that it is the woman born with brothers who wins, but that the woman who has the ability to birth boys is the ultimate winner. But values-setting, worth-determining, and love are all weaknesses in society. There is only one true winner, and that is the neighbor, the seasonal enemy, the chaff buyer, the Murlen man.

BookCover_What a Godly Privilege to Be Born a Man



NBTM: What a Godly Privilege to Be Born a Man by Tabitha Biel Luak

FICTION / African American / General

There is a famous saying among the Nuer people which goes a little like this: “Every family has its way of talking and eating.” I don’t know what thoughts may pop into your mind upon hearing this saying. Personally? I see it as a universal family description—or perhaps the nature of these two things, “talking and eating,” are indeed that which differentiate us, the human race, universally.

Of course, there are other differences amongst people. And although one of the obvious differences is the colour of skin, there are also things formed with conscious intentions for the purpose of them becoming our ways of life. In most cases, although this can’t really be said about skin colour, there are persuasive goals set prior to forming a way to live. For instance, we teach children how to do well behaviourally so tomorrow is a bit clearer for them. However, within a formation, a tendency is developed. Sometimes, these tendencies come in the form of beliefs, which influence what and how we teach them.

Take this belief from the place I call home. Where I come from, in South Sudan, it is overwhelmingly believed that there is a difference between a male child and a female child. Of course, there is a difference. And so this difference is often exhausted and exploited to identify potential inequalities between the two. Unfortunately, the further this persists, the more limits we place on what we consider males and females to be capable of.

Nevertheless, humans are known to loathe dwelling in a valley of non-competitive spirit. Therefore, the only way forward is still to lean iii strongly toward one side and confidently unwrap the other side as if someone was there when she was all assembled.

It has always been the belief here at home, exhaustedly theorized and relentlessly practised, that one thing must be different from another. Often, to roll out one thing is enough but the other is not. In a remote way, this perception unconsciously brings us to inherently believe one is the product while the other is the producer. In other families, this way of reasoning may look a bit different; nonetheless, the derivation of the tendentious tendency in this family walks its way persistently from a claimed, precise understanding of fullness that can only be explained in four ways.

These involve precise understanding of the structural beauty of appearance, the strength of the structural body, the enormity of the group to which one belongs, and the sophistication or smoothness of the tongue. As a result, every response, every act and every performance revolves around these four things. Therefore, how each family teaches the two is different, for each family believes the two exist for different, unbalanced reasons. And that, unlike other families, this family eats and talks differently.

The stories you are about to read, with the exception of names and certain places, are real people’s stories, which, to this day, are still happening. As you flip through the pages, I urge you to ask yourself the following questions: What, then, is human? Who is human? And what does it mean to be one?


Author photo

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Tabitha Biel Luak is a South Sudanese-Canadian author. Tabitha was born in South Sudan, Africa. She relocated to Edmonton, Canada in 2011. Tabitha is a mother of two beautiful girls. She is currently taking her bachelor degree in Psychology. She is very passionate about helping her community grow. She is involved with youth in helping them reconnect to their roots by learning about where they come from. Tabitha is a gospel singer who also writes and sings songs about social issues.















Tabitha Biel Luak will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway


Author Questions

Tell us about you as a person.

My name is Tabitha Biel Luak. I’m a South Sudanese-Canadian Author. I’m a student and a mother. I’m a gospel singer and a poet. I love reading. I also love helping my community. I’m current running a nonprofit organization that serves to bring back our youth to our roots.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

This famous person is no longer with us, but I would needfully hang out with Nelson Mandela. I don’t even know if one day would be enough. But since one may be all there would be, I would hang out with him and make use of that day. The former South Africa president, Nelson Mandela was a man of some mystery ability. He was prisoned needlessly under a case that involved racism for almost three decades. However, 27 years later, he came out and reached out to all who made his life difficult. I would hang out and ask him one important question. And that would be: how did you do it without the need to retaliate what was wrongfully done unto you?

What’s the story behind your latest book?

Really, the story behind this book is about the current mindset toward women in my belove nation as we are talking. Girls are for the following reason: to be married and thereafter, give birth and serve men. Like many male-dominated societies, girls are considered second citizens of these places and have no right to education, to choosing to love or to knowing who they will spend the rest of their lives with. They are to be commoditized and exchanged for things men rather value.

What is your writing process?

My writing process begins with a prewriting or an idea. I normally do not plan or outline how I’m going to write; however, I do consider whatever I write first as the first draft and keep redrafting and eventually revise it all together.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role(s) and why.

Thanks God this is going to come true one day. I would want both Eddie Murphy and Lupita Nyong’o to play the lead roles. I feel like they would bring out the emotions of the story.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their latest book?

The first thing you must know is that the first existing part of writing is accomplished already by you. And congratulations on that. First, let people know about it. Speaking to people who may have not known you have written a book is the first step in spreading the news. Word of mouth spreads very well. People love to help. Once you told others, they will tell other people they know and so on. Second, use social media. Many people are on social media. When you share the news about your project, people get it instantly. People, even the ones you don’t know have ways to see what is being shared and always desire to pass it on to those they know. Third, bring it to bloggers like CA Milson. This is one of the ways your work can get in the hands of professionals.

List 5 things on your bucket list.

My current bucket list consists of the following desires:

  • To finish my current project
  • To exercise regularly
  • To eat healthy
  • To read my current choice of books
  • To study hard for my studies

In what way do you think that this current pandemic has changed the book & publishing industry?

This current situation has sure changed the way the book and publishing industry works. I’m not exactly sure in what way it has changed as far as negative or positive since we are still in it. In general, however, this pandemic has taught people that, norms can be threaten at any given moment and that people must be opened to adapt to new ways. I believe, since it happened, companies have adapted new skills and technologies and book and publishing companies are no different.

Any final thoughts?

Thank you for asking these questions and thank you for giving me this chance to share my thoughts on your websites.


TourBanner_How To Control an Entire Planet

How to Control an Entire Planet
by C.D. Hill-Lavalle


GENRE: Religion / Christian Life / Spiritual Growth




Written under the guise of a Sci-Fi thriller, this little book ends up revealing more than just a riveting exposé. It soon reveals the very mysteries our civilization has been searching for, for centuries!

The “five steps” (narrated by an ancient and technologically superior race) tells how they easily set up their control and indoctrination of the planet’s populace to fulfill their sinister agenda. Initially seen as a detailed and prophetic set of instructions, the reader will soon suspect: this vague reference to another time and place, to an unknown and primitive world, is too familiar, too real and too foreboding.

All darkness will come to light as you journey down the “rabbit hole of the Matrix”, soon revealing the very “Who, What, How and Why” to every major event occurring globally today. More importantly, you’ll discover the “simplest” solutions to gain back and enhance your personal freedom, prosperity and future happiness!

It may just change your life and it may just change life as we know it on this planet!

“Fantastic…stimulating!” “One of the most interesting books I’ve ever read, second only to the Bible!”
— Ms. .J. G. Shuker
Great-grandmother & native elder to 14
children, and a retired pharmacist assistant.

“In her new book, Cheryl brings a unique and intriguing viewpoint on the world we live in today.” “Thought provoking!”
— Jessica Busch, Program Manager
Women’s Own Resource Centre

Cover_How To Control an Entire Planet



How you use the facts presented, I will let you decide, based on whatever stage of enlightenment you find yourself in. Whether you are an ambitious human wanting to conquer a less evolved race, a lover of mysteries, crimes and intriguing tales, or someone who is seeking answers to the meaning of life—this book will surely satisfy.

In this time and era of “No More Secrets”, where controversy and scandals are becoming the norm, I offer you a new exposé, a “Planetary Exposé”— one filled with mystery, corruption, intrigue and plenty of “food for thought”.

At the very least, I present these words to plant a seed in the minds of the inhabitants of this little blue planet, a planet that represents merely a tiny speck among the many universes that exist today. Our planet is the youngest, with a human population described by many other life-forms as: “uneducated bags of mostly water, primitive and savage in their current evolution.”

Under the guise of a science fiction, the first five chapters reveal an actual planetary takeover and the steps that were used to set up control of its populace, narrated (in italics) by one of the ancient and dark race of beings who had been involved with two, attesting to their proficiency in this process. One planet, after years of their control, exhausted its life—a physical legacy of a doomed culture. The second planet (a more successful takeover), this alien race will now refer to—one still under their control, and one that has been for thousands of years.

From the sixth chapter forward, I take the story in a new direction, revealing more important history, secrets, discovery and channel—offering powerful solutions to aid our own planet in its present day survival and ways to improve the health, safety and prosperity of all human beings. Note pages are added with the hope as you make your discoveries, it may inspire you to make a difference in your own life, or that of others. You may even discover more of your past within these pages—stifled memories of a distant yet forgotten ancestry.

Written to educate the inhabitants of our own planet, this five-step process is also a confessional of sorts, by a dissenter one could say, of this alien race. I’ve heard that he is one of many of his kind who is tiring of the control and deceit they have perpetuated. In its telling, there may be hope for our own understanding: that all souls, aliens and humans alike, can evolve, absolve their misgivings, and seek forgiveness. This is something we as humans would do well to master for our own peace and evolution.

This book, I’ve also found, has some divine “magic” within its pages. Every reader will discover a part of this story that is especially dedicated to them; and once read, then randomly opened with intent, each reader will find a valuable message for that day.

I hope that it will not only inform, but inspire, long after its completion— helping you gain the wisdom and power to not only enhance your own life, but all life on our planet.

Follow this journey and decide for yourself.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author photo - C.D. Hill-Lavalle

Born of humble beginnings, Cheryl could be seen as just an ordinary person; but she’s an “old soul” who has had some extra-ordinary experiences in her life. This, her first book (written in a love for humanity), is an accumulation of over fifty years of research and study, validated through personal experience and a host of miraculous events. Initially, this research was for her own personal healing and evolution – to “make a difference” in the world. It now facilitates her gifts as a quiet channel and intuitive healer (hoping to re-open a nature and healing retreat again).

Born with a passion for business, she became the sole income-earner during most of her twenty-seven years of marriage; however, through that experience and business success she also witnessed much injustice, abuse and discrimination, fueled by our current systems. Life eventually took her to see and experience the “other side of the tracks”, meeting thousands who were struggling with poverty, illness and addictions—all trying to cope with (or “escape” from) a system that has plagued mankind for centuries, and now, threatens the very planet we reside upon.

She is compelled to share her knowledge and discoveries with the world and “Right the Wrongs” done, so humanity can learn the truth of their existence and their potential for change. After six years of compiling information and unforeseen challenges, this writing has now emerged at what may be considered the perfect time – a time when the world is in massive fear and chaos, with people “questioning” more than ever before, realizing what’s really important in life and wanting solutions for their own peace, healing and prosperity. In this “Time of Awakening”, it is hoped that many will discover: that ALL life matters and everyone has the potential to heal, prosper and evolve
“naturally”, and with grace.

She is hoping, as this book is shared and distributed globally, that she can in some way make the difference she has sought for humanity and for life on our planet, and help others who wish the same.

CONNECT WITH C.D. Hill-Lavalle



PURCHASE LINKS for How to Control a Planet…in 5 Easy Steps: A Planetary Exposé to Empower Evolving Humans









C.D. Hill-Lavalle will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


Enter to win a $15 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway


Author Interview

Tell us about you as a person.

I am a youthful 70 year old woman (“going on 50”) who’s had a lifetime of experience, hardships and challenges—all in order to gain the mastery I sought and the wisdom I taught. I am in perfect health (in spite of my bad habits), because I know who I am and practice what I preach. However, I’m “far from perfect”, as I still fall into fear and worry for all the innocents and loved ones who are suffering needlessly today from all the hype and promotion our media and world leaders are propagating.

Even as a young child I was a “people-person”–highly curious, social and eager to learn the “Why” of things. As I aged I experienced abuse and ridicule that eroded my confidence; however, I was always driven to succeed in life, so I continuously read and learned all the self-development information I could and learned much through my many personal experiences. I’d always been a “worker”, taking the traditional “male role” of being the sole provider during much of my 27 year marriage (while my husband chose to be a “stay-at-home mom” to our beloved daughter).

I gained success in the business world; but only through hard work and a great deal of sacrifice, working 20 years with a very patriarchal international organization that offered the best products and service for families, but didn’t believe in hiring women in their sales division, let alone allowing one to gain a position in management (of which I accomplished “both”, but at an extreme cost).

I often saw how the quest for profit corrupted so many people, how many would sacrifice real “service” to gain it, abuse others to increase it and lose their morals and integrity to maintain it. I learned that it was a system that was cleverly conceived and slowly enhanced over the centuries to control humanity. All our
educational systems were designed to promote its continuance (while it hid the grandest potentials we all possess). I’ve also seen the consequences of this system of control–how much destruction and hardship it has created, not just for the millions suffering and living in poverty around the world, but the destruction it has caused to our wildlife and our environment—all to gain “maximum” profit. I saw how these systems create division among people, create conflict, prejudice and condemnation of others; and how these end up causing widespread illness and pain.

I love people, love nature and all wildlife and just “had” to write about it, in hopes people could realize the truth of who they really are and their potential to change their future, before it’s too late.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

Steven Spielberg. He could make a tremendously successful “Science-Fiction” movie from the first five chapters (even if he related this to Mars, where it all started). I could fill him in on all the historical details and the actual characters that were involved in this history (who I’d “purposely” left out of the book). I initially wanted to keep it a “mystery” and not risk increasing any racial prejudice, before the “real” culprits were revealed. The truth in my book echoes many philosophies expressed in the Star Wars movies and the Star Trek series and movies, channeled and created by Gene Roddenberry, (“as TRUTH, after all is UNIVERSAL”) so it could attract that following. And, he could easily call it: “The BEGINNING of The Matrix” (it actually could be, with what’s happening today!), capitalizing on that fan base as well.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

It starts out relaying what took place thousands of years ago (before Christ’s appearance), as told by one of the alien race who’d been involved in various planet takeovers in the past (eventually exhausting them of life and all their natural resources). It initially gives humanity “someone to blame” (other than another country or fellow human being)–something too many of us are violently condemning each other of today due to this created pandemic–causing an increase in needless suffering and destruction.

It then takes what may initially be seen as a hopeless situation and turns it into our eventual triumph, by discovering who we really are, our potential to easily change things and that it really is the “systems” we’ve accepted that are the problem. It then gives the simplest ways to bring healing, justice, freedom and prosperity to “EVERYONE” in the world (from God’s own words).

What is your writing process?

Not good, as I’m a slow one-to-two finger typist that has to constantly look at the keyboard to type, glancing up every so often to check my work. I am also a bit of a perfectionist and my worst critic—so careful that everything I write about is “factual and proven”, and worded in a conversational style so everyone can easily understand it and follow along. I do not use all the “flowery” descriptive language most fiction writers capitalize on, or the highly detailed and technical language some non-fiction writers use. I want to have it understood by regular people and those who seek truth and inspiration for their life. The first five chapters; however, were fast, just flowing out at lightning speed (why I knew it was “channeled”). The balance of the book took years to complete, as I had to provide the examples to prove it and the answers I’d personally experienced, validated and authenticated. I also had to have assurances from Spirit that it was a “safe” time for this truth to surface.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role(s) and why.

I would leave the characters up to the filmmaker, as it initially occurred back in biblical times and would depend on how they wished to portray it (or were “allowed” with big money censoring so much these days, wishing to keep people submissive and “in the dark”). However, it could be a blessing for people to see it (even as a “SCI-FI”) as it would spark an awareness in people (especially our gifted youngsters today that are concerned for their future and were fans of “The Matrix, Star Wars and Star Trek” movies). It could help activate their understanding and potential for needed and beneficial change in the world.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their latest book?

Unfortunately I have little advice at this time; because this is my “OWN” greatest challenge—especially for writing exposes or dangerous truths that big money wants hidden. I have found it takes a great deal of money, promotion and computer skills to get beyond today’s censorship (unless someone is well-known, famous or has amassed a large following—all of which I personally lack)–even having the support of a dedicated spouse or marketing team would help.
“Live” presentations and interactions (I’ve found) have always worked best for me, but now are impossible with all that is going on around the globe today.

List 5 things on your bucket list.

  • Connect with my “Other Half”–one who is evolved enough to understand what is going on in the world today, wants to help and support my cause and have some fun, joy and passion along the way.
  • Sell enough books to amass a large enough following of people to find those on an evolutionary path wishing to “Make a Difference in the World”–to create a team, to coach, counsel and heal thousands of people in need and grow a lucrative business.
  • Amass the funding or opportunity to start a home-based nature retreat again (like I’d had in the past, but lost in a costly divorce), where people could come for healing, rejuvenation and personal transformation.
  • Meet and help world leaders to bring peace to the world, by first creating a “New and Improved” United Nations.
  • Oversee the creation of a unique and impressive “International Center”, depicting a blend of Eastern and Western ancient philosophies and healing modalities for education, personal healing and enlightenment—to aid in mankind’s evolution and attract millions of visitors around the world.

In what way do you think that this current pandemic has changed the book & publishing industry?

It has certainly pushed “ALL” businesses “Online”, much to the disappointment and frustration of many seniors and those lacking computer savvy. Customer service has also hit an all-time low, blaming “everything” on this pandemic. This was done “purposely”–to get everything bought and sold through our computers and internet, where all customers can be monitored, controlled and exploited. It allows the largest profit-makers to gain a greater control and monitoring of all consumer activities—keep them spending more and saving less, and keep them distracted from personal growth and what’s really important in life.

Because more people were in isolation, more books have been written (saturating the market) and have increased competition where only well-known authors, celebrities and those constantly promoting their works are selling.Also, because of the pandemic and today’s move to tighten control on information, any book exposing or revealing too much truth (like my own) is subject to additional restrictions—like ad censoring and getting resellers to drive up prices and restrict sales (what I just discovered happened to me with my own book at Amazon—where it had been priced under $20.00 for a paperback, yet is now available only through resellers for over $50.00! Hardcovers are still reasonable there, but I’m hoping Barnes & Noble and the other legitimate booksellers are keeping their prices down, so more can be sold.

Any final thoughts?

When my book finally got published, the pandemic was just getting underway; unfortunately, killing all my plans for live presentations, trade shows, book-signings and group settings. The ONLY advantage was: I was able to discover how this started, who was involved and why. It was not until later that I learned about the simple “cures” being suppressed (that could have saved thousands from dying), the misinformation that was coming from our news media, our governments and our institutions, and how dangerous these experimental vaccines were.

My heart has gone out to hundreds of well-respected and well-known doctors, scientists, virologists and humanitarian leaders that I’ve heard from—ones who have been working on the front-lines, seeing the evidence, researching and documenting all their conclusions–trying to get their information out to government leaders and the public at large, trying to save lives and now being discredited, censored, ridiculed and having their sites closed down, many losing their funding and even their ability to continue. They are all wondering “WHY” and praying for a solution to end the deaths and suffering (my book covers it all, yet I’m unable to connect with them). These are not deaths from this created pandemic (as there has been few from this according to researched statistics), but deaths resulting from all the unnecessary restrictions, isolation of families, fear-mongering, lock-downs, and now the “MASS Vaccinations” that are creating “Variants” (proven by a virologist in 2020). All done for profit and control.

People need truth. It is the only way to regain our freedom and our health, and save our very planet. The way is clear, as we all have the potential to “awaken”, enhance our lives and the lives of others, by getting out of fear and showing compassion for one another.

Those who have read my book all agree: “Just ONE CHAPTER may be all you need to heal, be inspired and enhance your future.” The chapters are listed for all to view on page 2 of my book’s website at: “”.

Thank you for hosting me today and for all those visiting, reading and commenting. Namaste, Cheryl



Intentional: How to Live, Love, Work and Play Meaningfully
by David Amerland


GENRE: Non-fiction/smart book



Live your life the way you want to. Manage stress better. Be more resilient and enjoy meaningful relationships and better health. We all want that. Such life leads to better choices, better jobs, loving romantic partners, more rewarding careers and decisions that are fully aligned with our aims.

What stops us from getting all that is the complexity of our brain and the complicated way in which the external world comes together. The misalignment between the internal states we experience and the external circumstances we encounter often leads to confusion, a lack of clarity in our thinking and actions that are not consistent with our professed values.

Intentional is a gameplan. It helps us connect the pieces of our mind to the pieces of our life. It shows us how to map what we feel to what has caused those feelings, understand what affects us and what effects it has on us and determine what we want, why we want it and what we need to do to get it.

When we know what to do, we know how to behave. When we know how to behave we know how to act. When we know how to act, we know how to live. Our actions, each day, become our lives. Drawn from the latest research from the fields of neuroscience, behavioral and social psychology and evolutionary anthropology, Intentional shows you how to add meaning to your actions and lead a meaningful, happier, more fulfilling life on your terms.




Whether we realize it or not, we all feel the need for this kind of guidance that gives us a deep sense of purpose. Because we are born physically helpless we have evolved to latch onto and work hard to understand our immediate environment and the people around us. This makes us, as we grow older, intensely pro-social. At the same time it provides us with a ready-made set of expectations, rules and guidelines to guide our behavior that arise from the collective behavior of those around us.

That behavior is the culture we experience and the traditions we abide by. The problem with this is that rather than defining for ourselves what is important to us we accept that which is given to us. That which is given to us is rarely what we want, but it can very easily become what we settle for.

Settling is an evolutionary-programmed trait. Let me explain: Life is hard. It really is. Even if we happen to have the extraordinary luck to be born into a very rich family whose legacy gives us everything we need to live comfortably for the rest of our life, maintaining that fortune and navigating through life is going to be fraught with risks, traps and constant upheavals.

We need other people. Other people need us. That is a truth. But the reasons for this mutual need are usually contradictory or, at the very least, sufficiently at odds with each other to make trust an issue and turn cooperation into a risk-assessment exercise.


Author Picture

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

David Amerland is a Chemical Engineer with an MSc. in quantum dynamics in laminar flow processes. He converted his knowledge of science and understanding of mathematics into a business writing career that’s helped him demystify, for his readers, the complexity of subjects such as search engine optimization (SEO), search marketing, social media, decision-making, communication and personal development. The diversity of the subjects is held together by the underlying fundamental of human behavior and the way this is expressed online and offline. Intentional: How to Live, Love, Work and Play Meaningfully is the latest addition to a thread that explores what to do in order to thrive. A lifelong martial arts practitioner, David Amerland is found punching and kicking sparring dummies and punch bags when he’s not behind his keyboard.

Email & Social Media Accounts
Reach David via email:

Represented by The Knight Agency

For Goodreads Reviews and where to buy the book follow this link:


David Amerland will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway


Interview With …..

Tell us about you as a person.

I’m an oddity, even to myself. I am a hard-sciences student (I studied Chemical Engineering and did my MSc on Quantum Mechanical Perturbations In Laminar Flow Processes) who loves to write. I’m an academically inclined writer who loves to popularize and demystify complex subjects. And I am the arch-outsider who found himself working with some of the world’s biggest corporate entities. To be OK with myself I had to learn to be comfortable with discomfort, although at the time for me this was simply a personal survival strategy. By the time I was 40 I’d lived in five countries on three continents and each time I had to re-learn how to fit-in, socialize and function in a manner that added value to who I was and what I was doing. The insights I gleamed along the way inadvertently influenced the choices I made, as a writer, in Intentional: How to Live, Love, Work and Play Meaningfully.

These days, I am a lot less sensitive about being wrong which means that I have, hopefully, matured enough to not need the constant, external validation of always being right. This makes me more adventurous in my speaking, writing and public commenting. It also allows me to listen a lot more carefully to comments and responses and learn from them.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

In my career I’ve had my share of positions of power and I have been closely associated with people who were either famous or had some sort of position where others looked up to them to know that we are all fundamentally flawed and truly capable only within the narrow context of our unique skillset.

Hanging out with someone famous used to be a 20th century fantasy because we fetishized celebrity and social status and wanted to feel, even briefly, what it’s like. We also, secretly, hoped that spending a day with the would give us a glimpse of some secret recipe they used to gain their success.

We know a lot better these days. We understand that hard work is not enough if you don’t also have access to opportunities and possess some talent. We know that success is something you engineer when you plan your steps from the present to the future you want to attain. Still, it’s fascinating to hang out with someone famous just to see if they can maintain all day the perfect public façade they usually project and to determine if they are truly as likeable as we think, in our imagination, they are.

With that in mind I’d love to spend a day with stand-up comedian and television host Seth Meyers. I find his particular brand of humor really connects with me and getting to know him as a person, even for a day, would be rewarding.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

How do you know how to behave? Like, truly? How did you learn? How do you know it’s the correct way to behave? And, does it change from one moment to the next depending on context? And if it does, then are morality, ethics, beliefs and values equally fluid and relative? These are the questions that became the prompt for Intentional: How to Live, Love, Work and Play Meaningfully.

Of course, this is a glib answer that’s obvious only in retrospect. The seeds for Intentional were sown while I was writing my last book: The Sniper Mind which is a guide to making better business decisions under pressure. During many interviews I had with military and ex-military personnel and research neuroscientists it became apparent that some things which we take for granted, like the ability to behave in specific circumstances and engage in actions that lead to specific outcomes is not as easy as we think it is. Those who have been trained to do it better or have learnt to behave better by observing people who are exceptionally good at it, have a distinct competitive advantage when it comes to succeeding in life. Intentional then became an effort to level the playing field.

What is your writing process?

This is the most common question I am asked by writers and aspiring writers. I suppose the reason most people ask is to get a hint of something that will help them also in their writing, be it on an aspiring professional basis or something that is occasional. I plan my books but I let the research I do create the plan.

So, basically, I come up with an idea, usually a question like “How do we behave in every different situation we encounter so that we can succeed in life?” which is the basis of Intentional, I research to see what else is out there that might be covering the same topic. If there are competing books the deciding question is what’s the unique angle I bring to it? The publishing world is too competitive to adequately support purely derivative writing, no matter how good the writing might be. Once I have a skeleton outline in my mind, I carry out the preliminary research that shows me just where the science that supports what I want to write is at. I have a scientific background so I find my way around most research studies published. When I am in doubt or have follow-up questions I reach out to the researchers.

This is a process that can take anywhere from a few months to a year. I then check with my agent to see if she feels she can sell the idea and the manuscript that’ll follow it. She gets back to me quickly at this stage. If the answer is no it’s fine. Although I might have spent up to a year on it I have always learnt new things and have fresh ideas as a result, plus, these days I’m wise enough to never work on just one idea at a time. So, I will shelve that idea and send her the next one.

If the answer is yes then I write up a sales document that fleshes out each chapter and its contents, do several drafts and send it off for my agent to shop around. I make it sound easy but this also may take up to six-eight months and a few drafts will go back and forth. By the time the manuscript treatment is finished I will have written probably more words than the book itself. Once an editor says yes I get down and start to write.
That’s the easy bit. I start each day with an hour’s exercise and then I write for three hours straight, take a break to play some video games or watch a film and then write for two more hours. During the writing process I find gaps in my knowledge or understanding of something and that necessitates more research and more interviews.

I edit what I have written once I have finished everything and that makes the editing process for my editor a little easier too. Start to finish a book takes me up to three years to complete.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role(s) and why.

Hah! Well, it’s non-fiction so with some notable exceptions like “the best little whorehouse in Texas” which started life as an article published in Playboy magazine, and “The Perfect Storm” that has passed its title into mainstream language now, non-fiction books translate into film adaptations with difficulty, especially when the subject matter is self-development and, as in the case of Intentional, modular in presentation, which means you can read the book from any chapter you want.

Nevertheless, if I was allowed to dream I think Ryan Reynolds would be perfect because he is just incredibly versatile and manages to combine both comedic and dramatic roles in the same persona and still have you believe in the role he presents. How to be more intentional in life is not without its risks and it requires a growing-up of sorts in the maturity of the person.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their latest book?

A book, once picked up, will stand or fall on the quality of its writing but until the moment it gets picked up it needs to be seen. Getting that visibility today is really, really hard. A publisher does do a lot but despite that, unless they’ve paid a six figure sum for the advance the marketing budget will be small and the marketing team will be shared with a great many other titles that come out at the time. So, it is up to the writer to do all the heavy lifting.

You need to leverage what you know, what you’re passionate about that reflects the title of the book you’ve written and work to promote it. Use every platform available to you and be prepared to spend up to eighteen months marketing your book.

List 5 things on your bucket list.

These days, my bucket list tends to be both personal and modest.

To get to sprint 100m again in under 12 seconds
• To meditate every day for a year
• To spend more time helping friends with their problems
• To improve my Greek which I struggle with still
• To start writing fiction before I am too old to do so

In what way do you think that this current pandemic has changed the book & publishing industry?

This pandemic has done what every major, global stressor does: it stripped us of our pretenses (because they’re truly superficial and valueless) and it has focused our mind on things we truly value which also tend to have lasting value. So, relationships and authenticity, honesty and transparency have come to be more than words we pay lip service to. They now represent attributes and concepts we actively hunger after because we truly value them.

This has changed the books that are popular right now and the way the publishing industry works. It’s not just fresh voices that are needed, for instance, when writing a book. You also need to resonate with the reader at more than just an intellectual level. This is making writers focus on more than just the craft of writing. We need to also focus on the truth of our words.

I can’t stress this enough. Whether writing fiction or non-fiction we must now absolutely abide by Hemingway’s golden rule of writing: “write one true sentence”. It is no accident that Hemingway was himself writing in a post-global stressor period, after WWII.

Any final thoughts?

I wrote Intentional: How to Live, Love, Work and Play Meaningfully to help my readers change their lives. The lives we live are made up of moments. If those moments are full of meaning then our lives become meaningful. On our own, none of us amounts to much no matter how brilliant we may be or how talented. It is in our connection with others that we begin to thrive, to acquire value, to matter. That connection however has to be intentional, guided by our own beliefs and values. Then it too acquires meaning. Meaningful connections with others change our behavior. It is our behavior that makes the world what it is.

VBT – The Romance Novel Formula

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Is there a secret formula for writing a successful romance novel? Backed by research and professional expertise, The Romance Novel Formula provides everything you need to take you from idea to first draft of your breakout romance novel.

Join best-selling romance author and academic researcher, Alicia Leigh, as you discover:

*How to take your love interests on the “lovers’ journey” – inclusive of ALL types of romantic relationships: ménage, alien, LGBTQI, polyamory, etc.
*A unique five-act structure to make your story easy to write and manage.
*The specific story “beats” exclusive to the romance genre (and which other books on writing typically exclude).
*The story and character arcs necessary to classify your book as romance.
*How to avoid stereotypes by focusing on archetypes.
*Popular romance tropes.
*Essential writing techniques.
*Advice on dialogue.
*The most common writing mistakes . . . and how to avoid them.
*Goal, motivation, and conflict.
*Fear, need, and flaw (what are they, and do you need them?).
*Much more!

Complete with checklists and over 30 writing exercises, The Romance Novel Formula is the new essential romance writing guide for aspiring and experienced writers, plotters and pantsers, and professional researchers.

Read an Excerpt


“Romance novels are written to a specific formula.” The number of times I’ve heard this insulting and patronizing phrase throughout my career as a romance writer would fill its own book! Yet, regardless of urban legends and popular culture tales, the simple fact is this: There is no romance novel formula. Let me repeat that with emphasis: There is no romance novel formula.

Now, it may seem I have contradicted the title of this book by saying that. However, there is more than one way to write a romance novel. This book is intended as a guide to assist you while giving you the freedom to find your own version of a formula. While there is no set formula per se, there is a structure you can follow that will aid you in writing your breakout romance novel. This structure isn’t used solely by romance writers. Different forms are used by all novelists (see, for instance, books such as Story, Save The Cat! Writes a Novel, The Plot Whisperer, and Story Engineering, which have a variety of formulas, guides and suggestions). In that regard, writing a romance novel is almost the same as writing any other novel. I say almost because the romance genre has necessary inclusions that are applicable to it alone.

This applies to every genre. These are called genre conventions. Whether you are a novice or a seasoned writer, this book can lead you through the quagmire of structure and help you find the unique path for your characters to follow on what I call the lovers’ journey.

About the Author:

Alicia Leigh is a bestselling non-fiction author, international-selling romance author, identical triplet, writing coach, and hot chocolate addict.

She uses her postgraduate degrees in counseling from the Australian College of Applied Psychology and editing from Macquarie University to create believable, three-dimensional characters. Her certificates in forensic science and forensic anthropology from the University of Strathclyde add layers to the realistic crime elements in her stories. She has completed her master’s degree in writing at Swinburne University and is currently embarking upon her PhD in Creative Arts (writing) at Central Queensland University.

When not writing, reading, coaching, studying, or enjoying nature, she can be found having fun with her three gorgeous children (plus one laid-back dog and one hypersensitive guinea pig).

She is active on social media and encourages readers and writers to interact with her there. She writes romantic fiction novels under the pseudonyms A.K. Leigh and Leigh Hatchmann.


*Fall in love … with Leigh*

Amazon Author Page

Buy links

Amazon Au
Amazon UK
Amazon CA

Alicia Leigh will be awarding a paperback copy of The Romance Novel Formula to 3 randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Tour banner Just a Girl in the Whirl

Just a Girl in the Whirl
by Annie Wood


GENRE: Young Adult


Screen Shot 2021-11-19 at 8.57.08 AM


A 17 year old girl is overwhelmed with responsibilities trying to keep her messy family together. Everything spins out of control when her addict actor dad who bailed on the family three years ago leaving her with her lovable but bi-polar mom and her two little sisters, comes back into town and wants to reconnect.

Writing poems is her only escape. Just a girl in the is about family, forgiveness, and having enough courage to live your own life, your own way.


BookCover_ Just a Girl in the Whirl


In the past 747 days I’ve made 747th breakfasts for my family. I barely have to think about what I’m doing anymore, the eggs just poach themselves. Doing the same thing, day in and day out, gives my life the feeling of being stuck in slo-mo. In fact, I’m moving so freakin’ slowly I may as well be standing still. It’s like I managed to step into a vat of cement while everyone around me is coasting along on one of those people movers they have at the airports. Also, my particular vat of cement happens to be on a carousel, going around and around and around. So, sure, there’s movement, only I’m not getting anywhere.

“Damn it.” I bend down to pick up yet another broken glass. My bad. As usual. When my mind wanders, it takes my coordination with it.

“Lauren. Don’t say damn.” my kid sis reprimands.

“You’re right, Sara. Sorry. Finish your scrambled eggs, okay?”


“Ouch.” I cut my pinkie on a sliver of broken glass.

“We’re out of Band-Aids,” Matty informs. “You should get more.”

“Gee, thanks, sis. Don’t bother getting up.”

“I won’t,” she tells me as she continues scarfing down the food I made her.

Yep, this is my brood. Not on purpose, though. I mean, I didn’t plan this brood or birth this brood, it just sort of turned out that they’re now, mostly mine.

My eighteenth birthday is in 99.3105497 days away and then I’ll be free.


Author Image

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Annie Wood is an Israeli-American, Hollywood native, and a lifelong actress and writer. The web series she created, wrote and stars in, Karma’s a Bitch, was Best of the Web on Virgin America (
Wood was part of the NBC DIVERSITY SHOWCASE with her comedic scene, That’s How They Get You.  She’s written 100s of scenes for actors that have been used by Emmy Award-winning TV director, Mary Lou Belli in her UCLA course and casting director, Jeremey Gordon in workshops all around town.

As an author, she has three books out: Dandy Day, Just a Theory: a quantum love adventure and her first YA novel, Just a Girl in the Whirl (Speaking Volumes Publishing)

Annie’s also an Internationally exhibited mixed-media artist, a produced playwright, and was the third female solo dating game show host in the history of television with the nationally syndicated show, BZZZ! that she also co-produced. (Which just re-ran in 2020 on BUZZRTV!)

Annie writes and creates art daily.


She also runs the Twitter account for the Women of the Writers Guild West Follow us here —> @WoWGAW
She is part of the Middle Eastern Committee at WGA
and a Dramatist Guild Member and an Authors Guild Member

Get the book!
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Soul Touching Work Of Art!
“This book made me tear up multiple times, as I felt a real connection with the characters and their struggles. I recommend it for all ages.”



Annie Wood will be awarding a $40 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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Interview With …..

Hi Annie. Tell us about you as a person.

I’ve always had a lot of energy and passion for all things creative. I grew up in Los Angeles and I’ve been acting and writing since I can remember. I’m a mixed media artists too so I spend my days, after yoga and meditation, creating! I recently found out that I have ADHD. I know I’ve had it since I was a kid and I’m learning about what it all means now. It makes a lot of sense to me as I’ve always felt like I thought differently than a lot of folx. Not better or worse, just different. I’m married to an awesome Italian man and we have a cute little dog named Shanti. We visit his family every year in Rimini, Italy and I love it there.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

Leonard Cohen. He’s no longer with us so we’d have to go back in time or his ghost can visit me. I’m fine with that. I’d like to write poems with him all day long and have him sing some of my poems. If you don’t know who he is, please YouTube him. He’s my favorite singer/songwriter/poet of all time.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

I overheard someone talking once about how he has a standing date with his daughter in a restaurant so they can have dinner together one on one. I liked that idea but then my mind took off and thought – but what if it was a standing date the father makes AFTER he disappears for three years? And what if it’s three daughters and they are not happy with him? That’s how a lot of my writing starts. With questions. Then I write in order to find answers.

What is your writing process?

I write a screenplay first. Dialogue is my favorite part of writing. Usually my characters keep me up at night and I have to get out of bed to write down what they’re saying. After the screenplay, I convert it into a novel. I usually write in 2 hour bolts.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role(s) and why.

I like Chloe Grace Moretz. She has a sweet, smart, grounded vibe about her.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their latest book?

To start a blog! To write stories that have to do with their book, or maybe include excerpts or a poem, or art. I like to write on the platform Medium. I recommend it for writers. If anyone wants to join, here’s my referral link:

List 5 things on your bucket list.

I never really think about bucket lists to tell you the truth. I just think of things I want to do as they come up and then I just do them. But I guess a few big things I haven’t done yet that I’d like to do are…

  1. Perform in a musical on stage. (I did play Frenchy in Grease in Jr. High but I’d like to do it again as an adult.)
  2. Be a series regular animated voice in a funny adult animation TV show.
  3. Be a New York Times best selling author.
  4. Have my art in museums.
  5. Create something that helps kids and teens learn how to love themselves.

In what way do you think that this current pandemic has changed the book & publishing industry?
I don’t know much about the publishing industry but I do think that maybe people read more books since they were home a lot.

Any final thoughts?
Yes, please keep in touch with me by signing up for my newsletter
And by following me on my socials!

And lastly…here are my 3 Keeps:

Keep Creating.
Keep Positive.
Keep Showing Up.

Love and Good Vibes, Annie


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

He came to her in a dream, but he’s more like a nightmare in tight jeans, and she wants a taste.

Rachael isn’t good at magic, and she’s not versed in life, but this witch wants to lay her hands on the sexy vampire who’s come to her in her dreams. Can she have her Christmas wish — the vampire?

Gavin wants the witch, but he doesn’t believe he’s worthy of her. Part of him wants to devour her magic and save himself, but what if being saved doesn’t involve dying?

Anything is possible with a little Christmas magic.

Read an Excerpt

©Megan Slayer, 2021, All Rights Reserved

Rachael admired the twinkle lights she’d strung around the kitchen. Somewhere people were enjoying themselves. They might even be making love under the Christmas tree. She’d like to try that — sex in front of the tree.

Instead, she’d pulled the chore of kitchen clean-up. She always pulled that chore and the rest, too.

She draped the washcloth over the faucet and surveyed the room. Everything appeared to be back in place.

When she peeked into the living room, Serena and Millie were deep in another round of cards. The last Rachael knew, they were playing hearts. Rachael tiptoed out to the back porch to admire the snow. The cauldron bubbled with some batch of potions. She had no idea what her sisters made, only that she had to clean out the pot when they finished. The tangy smell filled the enclosed space and made her dizzy.

She crinkled her nose. If she knew how, she’d change the scent to something nutmeg-y or pine — anything but the overwhelming aroma.

Something flashed among the white snow. She folded her arms and stepped up to the screened-in windows. Maybe the flash was the play of firelight on the snow.

The snow glittered and mesmerized her as it fell — that had to be it. The flash was falling snow.

She hummed the tune of a Christmas carol and fought back tears. Christmas shouldn’t be this depressing, but she couldn’t help herself. She tried to make the day bright, but Christmas Eve would forever be the day her parents died and her world turned upside down. The loss turned her sisters bitter, too. The official account said nothing about her being at fault, but her sisters swore she’d created the fog, which caused the collision.

She wished she knew the truth.

One day, she wanted to know, but she also wanted to replace the sad memories with good ones. She’d never forget her parents, but she needed to move forward with her life.


The flash returned, but this time, a man appeared among the snow.

Her blood sizzled, and she gasped. She knew this man.

Her vampire.

“Gavin,” she whispered. “You’re here.”

“You did ask for me for Christmas.” He moved across the snow and stood in the doorway to the porch. “Said you wanted a vampire for Christmas.”

She longed to touch him, but feared she’d draw her sisters’ attention.

“You did request me, didn’t you?”

About The Author:

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.





Author Amazon Page

Book Bub Author Page




Buy Links:

Changeling Press
Barnes and Noble

Megan Slayer will be awarding a prize pack featuring a necklace made by the author to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

A bible mysteriously disappears from a Russian businessman’s home and it is said to have a secret hidden inside that would cause embarrassment to the Russian Orthodox Church. The Polish Dragon P. I. is called in, along with his new partner, to help find the bible. The problem is the bible is not supposed to exist and there is a secret organization, sworn to protect the church, also looking for the bible. They will stop at nothing to locate it and destroy it.


Read an Excerpt

“I found out that before Father Zelenko was in charge of the church, there was another priest there who was excommunicated from the church.”

“Really? How did you find that out?”

“I managed to talk to some of the older parishioners, who told me they were surprised when he was given the boot, so to speak.”

“Did you find out why he was excommunicated?”

“Yes, it appears he began to question some of the things going on with the church and some outside group called…”

“The International Bureau of Archangels.” Tom blurted into the phone.

“How did you know that?”

“I have had two calls from some mystery person who wanted me to check out Father Zelenko and who just last night left me a message to check out this group.”

“Well, I’m not having much luck finding anything about the Bureau, but most of the local churches and any others I’ve contacted claim to not know anything about this group. They say they never heard of them.”

About the Author: Steve Zimcosky is a multi-award winning and international selling author. He is the creator of the Polish Dragon P. I. series and was born in the Slavic Village area of Cleveland, Ohio where many of his stories take place. He has wanted to be an author since elementary school while reading books like White Fang and Call of the Wild by Jack London. He spends his retirement time writing short stories on a variety of subjects he hopes his readers will enjoy. Some of his favorite authors include Stephen King, James Clavell, Thomas B. Dewey and Vivien Chien.

Amazon Author Page





Steve Zimcosky will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

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TourBanner_Betrayal at the Border copy

Betrayal at the Border
by Mark M. Bello


GENRE: Legal/Political Thriller



In Betrayal at the Border, attorney Zachary Blake returns to tackle two cases that strike at the heart of our nation’s contentious immigration debate.

In Riverview, Michigan, undocumented immigrants Miguel and Mary Carmen Gonzalez are determined to realize the American dream. They find jobs at a local filler plant, have children, and lead an all-American life, that is until ICE raids their plant . . .

Canan and Karim Izady are naturalized citizens of the United States. They have immigrated legally from Kurdistan and have an American born daughter, Hana. Unable to persuade her mother to follow the young family to America, Canan and Hana travel to an ISIS hotbed so the child may meet her grandmother for the first time. With the war over, what could possibly go wrong?

Two unique immigrant families, two uniquely dangerous consequences of America’s dysfunctional immigration system. Enter Zachary Blake, superstar lawyer.

But, for the first time in a long time, Blake is out of his element—immigration law calls for the expertise of his specialist/partner, Marshall Mann. Together, two extraordinary lawyers take on a terrorist network and a broken immigration system. And master investigator Micah Love returns, racing against the clock to prevent tragic circumstances. In our politically charged, anti-immigrant international climate, will a Hail Mary be their only move?

Award-winning legal thriller author, Mark M. Bello, pits our nation’s broken immigration system against important human and social justice rights issues, spinning a tale that shines a bright light on the everyday fears of immigrants all over these United States. Can Blake, Mann, and Love prevent a Betrayal at the Border?




The Gonzalez children were both born in Lincoln Park. The city was a part of the Downriver Community, southwest of Detroit. Their little three-bedroom bungalow was the only home they had ever known. In a city of approximately 37,000, only 20% were of Latino descent, nearly a 50% increase since 2010.

Emma and Emilio’s parents, Mary Carmen and Miguel Gonzalez, immigrated to Lincoln Park in 2011 when Mary Carmen was pregnant with Emma. Papa found a job, mixing compounds at an adhesive and filler plant in nearby Riverview. Emma was born soon after her parents moved into the house. Two years later, her little brother was born.

When they were old enough to be placed in daycare, Mama secured a job at the same filler plant as her father. The two siblings depended on each other. They were attached at the hip until Emma was old enough to go to Kindergarten. It was a very traumatic time for Emilio. He started behaving as if his sister died.

Emma promised to play with him after school, but Emilio carried on to the point where Emma pushed back and refused to go to school. Promises of candy and ice cream after Mama got home from work finally persuaded both children to go separate ways. As time went on, they adapted to the new routine.

Two years later, Emilio started Kindergarten, and all was forgotten—the siblings were reunited at Raupp Elementary School. Both children spoke fluent Spanish and English and did well in school. The children were now entering fourth and second grade, respectively, and thriving.

The Gonzalez children made friends easily and were well-liked in the school. Emma and Emilio were Americans. Although Mama taught them Venezuelan games and customs and tried to convey a sense of their Latino heritage, the kids had experienced life in no other country but America. They spoke fluent English, celebrated the Fourth of July and Thanksgiving, and proudly recited the Pledge of Allegiance. Emma collected dolls while Emilio collected baseball cards—he worshipped Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers and treasured his 2012 Cabrera Triple Crown card. Emma and Emilio did everything other American children did.

Their parents were determined to raise them in America, with American values and an American education. They dreamt of a better life, with higher education and, perhaps, affluence for their children. But these dreams were clouded by a secret reality—the Gonzalez family, as ‘American’ as they appeared, protected an important family secret, far more important than the Frozen game. This one could derail all of their dreams.

Emma and Emilio were taught to be careful and quiet, even though they didn’t understand why this was a big deal. But they knew Mama and Papa feared their secret would one day be discovered. Their parents’ fear was so intense; Emma and Emilio were frightened too.

Emma was conflicted. Mama once taught her that telling and keeping secrets was bad. She shouldn’t tease her little brother by telling him she knew something he didn’t know. She shouldn’t keep things from her friends, and, most of all, she shouldn’t keep any secrets from Mama and Papa. So, why was this secret okay?

Mama carefully explained the delicate situation to her children: She and Miguel came into the country legally but stayed longer than they were welcome. As a result, Mama and Papa were not citizens and did not have the protection some of their friends’ parents had. They could be picked up by the police at any time, put in jail, and even sent back to Venezuela, where conditions were terrible, especially for people who ran away and were later returned by government mandate. It didn’t matter if their minor children were citizens. If the family secret were discovered, her mother decried, it could mean hasta la vista, forever.

The threat of permanent separation from her parents terrified Emma. A secret preventing her from losing them, perhaps forever, was one worth keeping. Emilio was too young to understand, but Emma made him pinky swear to silence.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:

As an attorney and civil justice advocate, author Mark M. Bello draws upon over 40 years of courtroom experience in his Zachary Blake Legal Thriller Series.
A Michigan native, Mark received his B.A. in English Literature from Oakland University and his law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. After working extremely high-profile legal cases, Mark wanted to give the public a front-row glimpse of what victims face when standing up for justice.

Combining his legal experience and passion for justice with a creative writing style, Mark not only brings high-quality legal services to his clients but captivating novels to his readers.

When Mark’s not writing legal and political novels, he writes and posts about fairness and justice in the civil justice system on his website, Legal Examiner and NotFakeNews. In his spare time, Mark enjoys traveling and spending time with his family. Mark and his wife, Tobye, have four children and 8 grandchildren.

For more information about Mark, please click here:

Mark loves hearing from his readers! Drop him a line on the Contact page or follow him on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or Bookbub.




Mark M. Bello will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway


Author Interview

Tell us about you as a person.

I’m Attorney/Author/Podcaster Mark M. Bello. I started writing as a senior citizen, toward the end of a 45-year legal career. I write social justice legal thrillers about real-life topics in America, featuring real-life American injustice. I have four adult children, 9 grandchildren, 4 grand-dogs, and a grand-lizard. I like to read, write, watch baseball, football, and basketball. I play senior league baseball, swim, walk, ride, play pickleball, golf, and tennis. My biggest joy is playing sports or swimming with my grandchildren.

If you could hang out with one famous person for one day, who would it be and why?

Barak Obama. I’d like to discuss social justice with our 44th President and get the real story of how dangerous it must have been (and still is) to be the first Black president in a divided, still sadly racist, America.

What’s the story behind your latest book?

Betrayal at the Border tell the tale of two immigrant families wrapped up in two cases that strike at the heart of our nation’s contentious immigration debate. One family, undocumented from Venezuela, lives In Lincoln Park, Michigan. They live and work in peace until ICE raids their plant and separates parents from children. The other family lives West Bloomfield, an affluent Michigan suburb, naturalized citizens of the United States who return ‘home’ to Syria for a visit and are captured and held for ransom by ISIS.

Two unique immigrant families, two uniquely dangerous consequences of America’s dysfunctional immigration system—super-lawyer Zachary Blake to the rescue. He and his professional team must race against time to reunite the Lincoln Park family and rescue the captured West Bloomfield mother and child. 

The novel pits our nation’s broken immigration system against important human and social justice rights issues, spinning a tale that shines a bright light on the everyday fears of immigrants all over these United States. Can Zachary Blake and team prevent a Betrayal at the Border?

What is your writing process?

Except for my first novel, which was written from personal experience and a case I actually handled in my law practice, I choose my topics from actual social justice events happening in real life and real time. Once the theme of the novel is chosen, I outline the character and plot (either on the computer or in my head) and begin writing, typically in fits and spurts.

If your book was to be turned into a movie, who would play the lead role(s) and why.

Zachary Blake would be played by someone like Justin Bartha, a nice Jewish boy from my neck of the woods. Other possible are Patrick Dempsey, Ryan Reynolds, or Ben Affleck, who fit the age and character profile. Bartha would be the logical choice.

What advice do you have for other writers who want to get the word out about their latest book?

That is the multi-million-dollar question. I have tried a lot of different things, without huge success. I guess I would say “perseverance” and a willingness to spend money. When I discover the secret sauce, I will be sure to let everyone know. Maybe it’s these questions and answers!

List 5 things on your bucket list.

  • Become a best-selling author
  • See a world where people of all races, creeds, colors, and religions, live in peace and harmony
  • Travel to multiple places I’ve never been
  • Greet my first paternal grandson (he hasn’t been conceived yet, as far as I know)
  • See our society get a handle on climate change.

In what way do you think that this current pandemic has changed the book & publishing industry?

I’m not sure. I suspect more people are shopping for books online, but I think that was already happening. In the Detroit area, where I live, multiple small and large book sellers went under and closed their doors. I think this is cyclical, though—we will one day see the rebirth of the corner bookstore.

Any final thoughts?

Thanks for the opportunity. I will keep on writing and encouraging readers to try my work. Reach out to let me know what you think. I am constantly seeing famous people on television hawking books, good and bad. I’d like to see television and radio shows devote some time to independent authors, from time to time. Otherwise, I plan to keep plugging away. I have just written, of all things, a Jewish recipe cookbook, featuring Zachary Blake’s fictional Jewish family. I have written (currently being illustrated for release in the winter) 4 children’s safety/social justice picture books, and I am currently working on my 8th Zachary Blake legal thriller. I am enjoying my golden years!

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