Monday, November 28, 2022

Higher Connections Review #rabtbooktours

Humor and Inspiration from a Certified Public Pothead


Self-help, Spirituality, Humor, Relationships, Auto-biography

Date Published: July 27, 2022

Publisher: OJDM, LLC

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Most people go through life worrying about silly things: careers, mortgages, family strife, the size of their biceps, how many Instagram followers they have, and most importantly, fantasy football. What if there was a way to get more out of life through deeper and more meaningful connections with those you care the most about? Some people turn to religion or meditation for these connections; I turned to my one true friend, cannabis.

The book summarizes my experiences with cannabis, the interesting connections I have made, the benefits to me from making these connections, what I think is happening that allows me to make these connections, and some other random and (hopefully) funny observations I have written down while high.

I hope you enjoy the trip as much as I did.

Ornery Owl's Review
Rating: Five out of Five Stars
I got a kick out of this book. The author's mission isn't to encourage anyone to start using marijuana, it is simply to explain why he feels using marijuana has helped him. He describes how marijuana helps him deal with anxiety, as compared to alcohol which may numb negative feelings temporarily but in the long run, makes them worse.
The author states in the book's introduction that "I do sincerely believe that the benefits of marijuana need to be explored and researched further, as there has been a lack of significant research due to the federal illegality of cannabis." I agree with him. There is a lot of misinformation about marijuana. It is useful for a myriad of therapeutic applications and the idea that it is a "gateway drug" for harder substances is erroneous. 
The history chapter detailing the thinking behind the criminalizing of cannabis use in the United States is both fascinating and enraging. There was a great deal of racism and xenophobia inherent in arguments for making marijuana illegal. For instance, insanity. The head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, Harry Anslinger noted that “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men,” and asserted that smoking the plant "would result in white women having sex with black men."
I am a long-time proponent of the legalization of marijuana although I don't use it often myself. I find that smoking marijuana tends to make me paranoid. I sometimes use products such as teas or edibles that have a high concentration of CBD and a low concentration of THC. These products help with pain and insomnia. 
I enjoyed the author's sense of humor and found myself nodding in agreement with many of his thoughts. If you enjoy autobiographies, feel passionate about the legalization of marijuana, or simply enjoy learning how other people think and feel about life, the Universe, and everything, you may enjoy this book as much as I did.

About the Author

The author, known by the penname Eric Right, is not an author by the standard definition of one. He has been writing a variety of things in his mind for close to 30 years, starting with love letters to girls in elementary school that he never had the guts to deliver to and eventually evolving to commentary and thoughts on a wide range of social issues like the environment, religion, abortion and the state of the world. Fortunately, due to his career and other demands, none of these thoughts made it to paper……until now when he decided to write about his journey with marijuana over the past several years.

Eric’s journey with marijuana began in early 2020 as a way to cope with the stress of family, work and relationships. Eventually, his journey evolved into unexplainable connections with those close to him to the point where he decided it was worth writing these down into a book, which he cleverly titled: Higher Connections: Humor and Observations of a Certified Public Pothead.

While Eric does not expect more than 10 people to actually buy the book, writing these thoughts down onto paper was healing and freeing and he hopes others will hopefully benefit from one or two of the things detailed in the book.

Eric has no awards, no honorary doctorates and no other contributions as a knight of the pen.  He is just a “normal” middle aged dude with the normal stressors of everyday life who tried marijuana one day and hasn’t looked back since. He does not claim to know the answers to mysteries of life but he is sure as hell trying to figure them out.

Eric grew up in the suburbs and has three kids, a dog, guinea pigs, koi fish and thousands of flies in the house he shares with Alexandra. Eric loves working out, going to concerts, watching hockey, and playing Playstation with his kids.

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Sunday, November 27, 2022

Ornery Review: Trunks Maloo #rabtbooktours

Illustrated By: Anastasiya Halionka

Children's Book

Date Published: March 1, 2022

Publisher: MindStir Media

Trunks Maloo is a mighty elephant that roams the savannah thinking that because he is so big and strong he can do as he pleases. He soon gets himself into a bit of trouble, and quickly discovers that everyone needs help from time to time. It takes one of Africa's smallest animals to help him realize that we are all connected and that we all need to be kind to each other. 

Look out for more adventures from Trunks Maloo!

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This book is Ornery Owl Approved
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Trunks Maloo is a big, strong elephant, but he doesn't use his strength in helpful ways. He uses it to push other animals around. When a bushbuck asks Trunks to help him reach a leaf, Trunks eats the leaf himself. Trunks then makes fun of Dung Beetle, who tells him off.

While Trunks is thinking about what Dung Beetle said, he sucks up a marula into his trunk intending to shoot it into his mouth for a snack. However, the marula gets stuck in his trunk.

The other animals decide to help Trunks even though he has been unkind to them in the past. With Dung Beetle's innovative solution, Trunks is rescued from his predicament.

This is a beautiful story. While it was written with children in mind, it has a positive message for readers of all ages. The illustrations are colorful and charming. The characters are fun and engaging. The story has several positive messages that all readers can benefit from. 

When we are willing to help others, life is better for everyone. 

Nobody's job is beneath contempt. Dung Beetle does dirty work, but the work he does benefits everyone. 

Being big and strong does not make one creature superior to another. Even the smallest and lowliest creatures are worthwhile. The lowly dung beetle is the biggest hero in the story. Although he is small, he believes in himself and in doing what is right. He provides an excellent example of ingenuity and courage to inspire the other animals.

This book would make a wonderful gift for a child or for anyone who enjoys children's books.


- Kurt Jay Bertels, Author -


With a deep love for nature and wildlife, Kurt came up with the idea of Trunks Maloo and his friends to help introduce his two sons to the wonderful characters that coexist in our world. The stories came about when Kurt was waiting in the dark for his boys to fall asleep, and were completed while on safari as a way to keep in touch with his family.

Having worked on safari for many years, Kurt is a new author and The story of Trunks Maloo is his first book in a series of four.


- Anastasiya Halionka, Illustrator -


Originally from Belarus, and now living in the quaint and cozy town of Wroclaw, Poland, Anastasiya is a self-taught artist with immense talent. She has, to date, worked on several children’s books, and has helped Trunks Maloo and his friends come to life in spectacular fashion.

She says, ‘When I was a child, like all children, I loved to draw and create different images and characters - it was a place my imagination could run free! I was not sure though if I could turn my passion into a profession, so when I finished school I first studied law. It didn’t take long for me to realise that I had to follow my dreams, and at 27, I went back to my first love: drawing. This is what excites me; makes my heart beat faster!’

Anastasiya now gets to create characters and stories that make people happy, and leaves a lasting mark on their hearts. Her positivity in life shows in her work, and we are very happy to have her on the Trunks Maloo team.

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Friday, November 25, 2022

Book Spotlight: Bod Behavior #rabtbooktours

Personal Transformation, Self Help, Body Image

Date Published: 06-21-2022


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A book where readers delight in both an “infectious storyline” and simultaneously a unique venture into their own personal development… including handfuls of interviews and excerpts featuring significantly impactful teachers, mentors and healing, therapeutic guides.


Chocolate, I know you sound clichéd. For years you’ve been associated with making up for love lost, poetically punctuating rom-com breakup scenes or presented as a prop in illicit affairs: a declarative symbol of substitution. Forgive me, my beloved, where words might fail me; I’ve picked up a drugstore satiny-red box of liquor-filled chocolate for you. Chocolate has a history through the ages, long before Hershey’s confectionary affair gained speed at the end of the 1800s.

Anthropologists deem we’ve associated the chocolate bean with love for more than five thousand years, which means that chocolate might be, to speak in broad sweeps, our longest romanticized relationship.

Our chocolate devotion, however, is definitely not just fluff; it certainly stands scientifically solid, whether in the formation of a solid dark or a solid milk flavor. Ancient cultures prescribed raw chocolate medicinally as a means to activate powerful heart-opening energy, and today, the latest laboratory research reveals that the ingredients in chocolate possess properties that support heart health.

Of course, I would never dismiss any elements considered divine in sacred ceremonies, and I will absolutely agree that chocolate, in its purest form, is a potent substance. But what I’m investigating here when it comes to craving is surely not about gorging on bags of raw, unsweetened, hard, whole cacao beans from the Theobroma tree of the flowering Malvaceae plant family. I’m talking about teeth-sinkable, caramel-centered, sugar-laden, chewy, melt-in-your-mouth, candy-corporate chocolate—the kind that is first and foremostly a globbity-glunk of vegetable fat and high-fructose corn syrup, factory designed to dissolve within two to five seconds of making contact with your tongue. I’m talking about the kind of chocolate you can rake up in your top teeth, scraping the northmost side of a covered brick of vanilla wafer, which dissolves just moments after the chocolate-like topping evaporates into that savory-sweet pocket of the mouth just near the back molars. What I’m describing is the type of chocolate bar you can accidentally pack into your oversized purse, wrapped in bright packaging, which comes conveniently in countable squares; one square, two, five, ten—all fractional justifications of one wholly complete serving. Finger-licking chocolate, shirt-collar, car-seat, luggage-staining chocolate; the kind of chocolate that, just like it fills every commercial, can fill in all the gaps in our regularly programmed schedules.

Wake up, get to work, chocolate, meeting, chocolate, drive home, chocolate, dinner, After Eight chocolate. And, most of all, my favorite kind of chocolate: chocolate that makes us forget what we might have started to long for. Nostalgic peanut-butter cups, fudge- flavored toffee, the sticky sweetness of candies kept from my sticky fingers with just one thin wax paper: oh, how I’ve known you. Mint- thin chocolate layers to support my own tendency to hide out in layers, in a cool refuge away from the hot, grilling mess of intensity that is the rest of the racket-filled world: how you momentarily silence mayhem.

And while I, too, have romanticized you, chocolate, leaving scandalous trails of wrappers from freezer to carpet-covered basement staircase, I have no clue why the heck I’ve gone through such war fighting against you while simultaneously keeping the intensity of your ammunition alive. Twinkle, twinkle little bar (of chocolate), how I wonder what you are (or what you stand for). Up above my fridge, so high, (to ignore that cupboard how I’ll try—yet, next at market, again I buy). Yes, it’s a nursery rhyme for the girl who’s lived a life lassoed again and again by foods that trap her in a self-deserting scene, forever deploying dessert as distraction from despair. Oh, chocolate, what do you mean to me?

Here’s the truth: while I’d explored a multitude of modalities in the past to heal my affliction—my damaged relationship to my body and self-nourishment—when it came to developing a healthier relationship to eating, I’d actually never sought the most obvious type of specialist: a certified and registered dietician. I wasn’t sure exactly why I’d avoided someone who might make me stare in a cognizant fashion right down at the nose of my fork. Why would I be turned off by someone like a dietician, who might expect that I actually put in the time, make the conscious effort during my living daylight hours to positively review and shift my eating habits—to be truly self- accountable?

When it came to dietary choices, I’d lived under a spell that supposed I was a victim of compulsive eating, like an innocent Giana character going about my day when I was suddenly seized by a tumultuous weather pattern, teleported to the eye of a tornado, for example. I felt that this storm pattern rendered me incapable of any option other than heading, frayed and frenzied, into a food-consumptive hell that, really, I had nothing to do with. I believed I was bullied by an energy, and I’d share this condition with any genre of specialist except those who would mandate that I take the role as my own healer. I chose to go through hypnotisms, rebirths, clearings, cleansings, ceremonies, and cosmic voyages, rather than decide I had the power to sort my patterns out. I’d prefer to have crystals, energetic hands or tarot cards read my energy, but that was my history—and I didn’t have to repeat it. I could believe in myself to liberate my fortune and fate.

I’d been ready for the last months, and was even more ready now, to look at my relationship to nourishment head-on. I wasn’t just craving chocolate, in fact, when I reached for something that felt opulent and alluring; I was reaching to recognize qualities about myself that possessed such prowess.

Perhaps I was ready to seek a well-schooled yet holistically informed nutritionist specializing in complex, disorganized or disordered eating styles. After all, these were the experts specifically geared up to help people gain clarity about nourishment itself. I’d seek the wisdom to help me reach within to access inner wealth, rather than reach deeper into a decadent box of Pepperidge Farm chocolate-chunk cookies.

I determined that, to get to the crux of how behaviors are changed around something as substantial, universal, and essential as eating, I’d go into hard-core research mode. I’d put on more than a thinking cap, darn it—I’d put on a hard hat, because I had to be willing to go deep underground to find how behavioral transformation can successfully take place. I hoped I’d discover some epiphanies in my research, not only for myself but for all the people I encounter who, like me, have struggled with the behavioral ABCs of eating.

I’d read the stats: the US diet and weight-loss industry was worth 71 billion dollars, with the alternative-therapies industry coming in at around the same and the addiction-behavior therapy industry raking in 40 billion. Obviously, I wasn’t alone: all this rigmarole constituted a whole culture crying out for ways to get a grip on its food behaviors. I wanted to understand, from the leaders who’d been able to impactfully support healing in this area, what the process of remediating self- sabotaging behaviors might look like, and what someone who is truly ready for transformation in this capacity can expect.


About the Author

Isabel Chiara, creator of “The Life Actualization Process,” has been a guide, mentor, and leader throughout her entire life. Over the last thirty years, she has honed her expertise in extensive studies and practices of transformational energy modalities. As a professional intuitive guide, Isabel activates unlimited potential for her clients, helping them to ignite their most liberated, passionate and empowered life path, full of prosperity, miracles, and magic. For more information about Isabel’s “Life Actualization” processes, as well as her previous top-selling book, Eat Your Words, visit her website below!

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Saturday, November 19, 2022

Open Book Blog Hop - 14th November

Open Book Blog Hop - 14th November

An excellent post about offering feedback and reviewing.

"For authors I don’t know I will suggest ways in which they can improve instead of trashing their hard work, but some of the replies I’ve had when I’ve done this suggest they only want to read glowing reports as of course their story is up there with the bestsellers."

Agreed. As a reviewer, I've encountered the sort of author who is very gracious even when my rating of the book was not spectacular. I gave the book two stars because the story was convoluted by time jumping, perspective jumping, and multiple subplots all without a clear division. I suggested to the author that while the idea and characters were interesting, the story was confusing in its current state and she should seek the assistance of an editor.

On the other hand, I've had authors whose work I've given a decent to excellent rating jump down my throat for pointing out minor issues. I encountered many of these types when I used to do reviews for the Online Book Club. I don't recommend doing reviews for them, by the way. If I'm expected to put up with emotional abuse, I expect far better compensation than they provide.

Mastering the Basics of Bitcoin and Crypto #rabtbooktours



Nonfiction / Business

Date Published: June 19, 2022


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Whether you are brand spanking new to bitcoin and crypto or already understand the basics and want to expand your knowledge, this is the book for you! “Mastering the Basics” is a one-stop guide to help you immediately go from “crypto curious” to “crypto competent.”

We know how confusing bitcoin and crypto looks to the uninitiated. The potential is massive and world-changing, but it's intimidating and you don't know where to start.

That’s why we wrote this step-by-step guide in simple, plain-English terms that anyone can grasp. After completing this book, you will have a comprehensive working knowledge of the concepts and technologies that make digital assets possible.

We’ll take away the mystery and empower you with the knowledge and ability to understand bitcoin and profitably buy, sell, secure, and trade cryptos with ease.

This is incredibly valuable knowledge taught by two of the most respected experts in the space with over a decade long track record of success. With one book you can equip yourself with the expertise that only a tiny fraction of people alive today possess.

There’s no time like the present to get started and get savvy about the greatest opportunity in history for financial success and personal freedom. It starts here. It starts today. What are you waiting for?

Charlie Shrem

Michael Kimelman

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Friday, November 18, 2022

Izzy Cover Reveal #rabtbooktours

Book Four of the Maison de Danse Quartet


Date Published: 12-01-2022

Publisher: Épouvantail Books

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What do you do when the legal system refuses to deliver justice?

Izzy knows.

Conducting her own investigations and trials, she’s out on the hunt, righting wrongs in honor of the victims and their surviving families.

Outlaw revenge has its perils and she’s soon in the fight of her life.

Sometimes a killer’s own survivors also go on the hunt.

Having kicked their hornet’s nest, Izzy is desperate to take them out.

Does she have what it takes to battle off her own demons?

Can she stop those who want her dead? 

About the Author

Greg Jolley earned a Master of Arts in Writing from the University of San Francisco and lives in the very small town of Ormond Beach, Florida. When not writing, he researches historical crime, primarily those of the 1800s. Or goes surfing.

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Raul of Bagni di Lucca Book Blitz #rabtbooktours


Historical Biography

Date Published: April 14, 2022

Publisher: Palmetto Publishing

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Abandoned in a foreign country at age thirteen, a gigolo before he was sixteen, a freedom fighter against the Nazis in the Italian underground at age twenty, and later a prisoner of war in Nazi Germany, Raul survived, inspired by the memory of a young girl who was waiting for him in a new and promising land that offered him love and endless opportunity. He survived when many did not, and rose from nothing to a level of greatness most will never achieve.

America is a land that was built by men like Raul. He stands as a shining example of what one man can accomplish in a time of extreme difficulty and against the odds, using his talents and his experience to overcome it all. The power of love, determination, and intellect combined in a man like Raul can bring success beyond what most of us ever see.

This is the inspirational true story of the life of Raul, based on Charles LeRoy Hall's long friendship with him before his passing. Most of the details of his life came straight from Raul and his son, Gary, allowing the author to fill in the blanks in some areas, as well as to change the locations of some events to protect his legacy and his family. It is history, romance, and biography in a powerful combination. Its universal theme of love, success, and overcoming the odds to win will appeal to readers who still believe in the power of a dream, as well as to students of history, those old enough to remember the challenges of war and hard times, and those who simply like a good story.

About the Author

Charles LeRoy Hall is a graduate of Concord University where he also received an honorary Doctorate in 2017. Founder and CEO of a group of seven financial service entities operating nationally, author and motivational speaker, founder of several nonprofit organizations funding scholarships to assist students of need in Appalachia, and along with his wife, founder of Friends of Lucky Chucky Valentine, a nonprofit advocating animal rights.


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Thursday, November 17, 2022

Earn a Blackbelt In Book Blitz #rabtbooktours


An Average Guy's Guide to Life


Nonficiton / Business

Date Published: Apr 27, 2022

Publisher: Elite Publications


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First and foremost, I am not an expert on any of the topics discussed in this book. Hell, this is my first book so I don’t know if I’m much of a writer either. I’m an average everyday person like most. Second, this isn't a book about martial arts. Sorry if it comes as a surprise given the title, and a surprise because, yes, that is what I do for a living. I am a martial arts instructor. I've been training for more than 30 years and running a school for more than 20. I have black belts, accolades, hall of fame inductions, trophies, and all of that. But, to be honest, so do a lot of instructors. So you're probably thinking "what is this book about?"

Well, I will completely admit, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and screwed up a lot of things. But I think one thing that I’ve been fortunate with is that I’m pretty good about learning from those mistakes. So I guess that’s kind of the point of this book; from an average guy's point of view. Yes, I've spent years teaching martial arts, and that comes with the responsibility of motivating others. In this book, I'll be telling stories that inspire others to strive harder and achieve more. That's what a  good instructor does, in my opinion. We must be willing to admit that we don't know everything and that there is still a lot to learn, especially when we might fail. I'm not necessarily referring to punching and kicking. I'm referring to your efforts to better yourself as a person; learning about how to educate, lead, read people, and motivate others.

So relax and get ready to have a one-on-one conversation with me. Yes, this is a conversation between two people rather than a book. This is not me telling you how to live your life as you read these pages. Rather, as you hear about my life, you can be reflective and have ideas about your own. Order your copy of Earn A Blackbelt In...An Average Guy's Guide to Life today.

About the Author

I'm New Jersey born and raised. I've been studying martial arts for over 30 years and have been running my martial arts school, Union UTA Martial Arts for over 20 years. One thing you should know about me is that I'm just an average guy...and I'm more passionate about learning and teaching now than I've ever been.

I'm a multiple time inductee of the United States Martial Arts Hall of Fame. I'm so thankful for the many opportunities I've had. In 2017 I partnered with SAMI Combat Systems international to have the 1st SAMICS school in the Western Hemisphere.

I'm an avid motorcycle rider and I love to travel. I live with my wife and teenage daughter in western NJ, I'm an active member in the community, plus I believe deeply in the value of martial arts training as a vehicle for self-improvement.

See. I'm just an average, everyday guy and I wrote this book Earn A Blackbelt In...An Average Guy's Guide to Life because I truly believe that my stories of failing, winning, failing and winning over and over again will inspire you on your journey.

As such, I'm excited to meet you and motivate you with this book on not necessarily how you earn that black belt, but why you should earn that black belt. Who knows, maybe after this book some might consider me an expert, but I certainly don’t.

I hope you get as much out of my book as I did writing it!

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Knight of Destiny Release Blitz #rabtbooktours


Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Clean & Wholesome

Date Published: November 17, 2022

Publisher: Wolf Publishing

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In this sweet enemies-to-lovers Regency romance by Jennifer Monroe, a strongheaded woman meets her match when an arrogant knight vows to take over the very theater she cherishes.

A Knight with a destiny. A secret that can unravel it.

Sir Aaron Kirkwood knows no woman can resist his good looks or charms. With no time for romance, his focus is on the local theater, which he hopes to turn into a gentlemen’s club. His first point of resistance, however, comes from a wild and undisciplined beauty from the local school for young women. Miss Dunston is flirty, and her pouty lips are tempting, but Aaron knows what it will take to tame her.

Her beauty is her strength, and she’ll use it to guarantee the arrogant knight’s failure.

A secret past has ensured that no man will ever be able to love Miss Louisa Dunston, thus forever sealing her destiny. Living part of her life as a lie, she uses her looks to hide the pain she carries inside. When a handsome yet arrogant knight attempts to purchase the local theater, Louisa knows she must do whatever it takes to stop him. Even if it means lowering herself to his standards and playing a dangerous and flirtatious game.

Two secrets, one destiny.

Sir Aaron finds that with each talk of compromise, the passion and kisses he shares with Louisa are becoming too much to resist. As his feelings change, he fears she may learn the secret behind his newly bestowed title. And for Louisa, what begins as a way to save the theater turns into something far more pleasurable. In their quest for love, can they accept one another’s pasts and change their destinies forever?

Sisterhood of Secrets Series

#1 Duke of Madness

#2 Baron of Rake Street

#3 Marquess of Magic

#4 Earl of Deception

#5 Knight of Destiny

#6 Captain of Second Chances

About the Author

Jennifer Monroe writes Regency romances you can’t resist. Her stories are filled with first loves and second chances, dashing dukes, and strong heroines. Each turn of the page promises an adventure in love and many late nights of reading.

With over twenty books published, her nine-part series, The Secrets of Scarlett Hall, which tells the stories of the Lambert Children, remain a favorite with her readers.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Rocky Mountain Yoga Release Blitz #rabtbooktours

(Rocky Mountain Romances, Book 1)



Date Published: 11.15.2022

Publisher: Dragonbooks Publishing House

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A little romance, a dab of suspense, and a whole lot of fun await you in the first book of the genre-skipping Rocky Mountain Romances series.


What’s a big-city girl to do when she finds out her boyfriend is dealing shady business out of the apartment they share in Seattle? She grabs her big standard poodle named Rambo and runs to granny in small-town Colorado, that’s what!

The dog fits in just fine, but Jasmine’s ways of vegetarian eating and yoga are a bit different for this little mountain place. Meanwhile, the hunky sheriff—single, with a reputation as a player—won’t stop poking his nose into Jasmine’s past. Plus, he’s a bit too fond of the way she looks in yoga pants. Her boyfriend isn’t ready to let go, or forget that she knows about his illegal activities. Grandma, the colorful townsfolk, and the pets who populate the town are in for some thrills, chills and romantic double plays until Jasmine sorts her life out. Grab the popcorn!

This is the first book in the romantic, Rocky Mountain Romances series. Set in an idyllic Colorado landscape with a cast of characters who feel like instant friends, the author captures the essence of a life that with stories that mix romance, suspense, some mystery, a whole lotta fun, and lots of pets.

Virginia Fox dazzles with a writing style that brought her thousands of 5-star reviews and bestselling status in the European market. Now it’s your turn to revel in it. So pour yourself a cuppa and settle for a real treat.

Will you fall in love with this Rocky Mountain town like Jasmine and Rambo?

About the Author

Virginia Fox, born in 1978, was already infected at the age of four with her two main passions: the love for books and texts in all forms and the love for horses.

After reading numerous books and writing various short stories and essays, she started her biggest project to date: The Dragon Sisters trilogy. After completing the trilogy, she realized that the writing virus could not be shaken off.


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Stripes Teaser Tuesday #rabtbooktours

Devil’s Boneyard MC, Book 12

Motorcycle Club Romance, Age Gap, Action & Adventure

Date Published: 11/18/2022


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Melina -- Men have never given me a reason to trust them. The Bratva taught me men are brutal. Selfish. And take what they want. Death would be better than tying myself to one ever again. Then a Russian biker swoops in to save me. As much as I want to believe everything he says, how can I? I’ve only known pain at the hands of men. I want him to be different… but any hope I had died long ago.

Stripes -- She thinks she’s broken. I see a survivor. A strong woman who’s still standing despite what’s been done to her. It will take time, but I’ll help her heal. Prove not all men are evil. I’ll give her a reason to keep living. Never again will someone cause her pain. If they do, they’ll answer to me. My hands are already stained with blood. What’s a little more?

WARNING: Recommended for readers 18+ due to language, violence, and adult situations. Stripes is part of the Devil’s Boneyard MC series and contains darker content some readers may find objectionable. Stripes can be read as a stand-alone story, even though it’s part of a series


All rights reserved.

Copyright ©2022 Harley Wylde

“What intel did Wire send us?” I asked.

Gator shrugged, which meant he’d been as pissed as I was and hadn’t paid close attention. We’d parked about a block away and observed the place from a distance. I leaned against a building, smoking a cigarette, in the hopes people wouldn’t be suspicious. So far, we’d seen a few customers go in and come out not too long afterward. I highly doubted they were getting their money’s worth.

“I wish Specter would show the fuck up,” I grumbled.

“We’ll be lucky if he does.” Gator scanned the area. “Can I ask you something?”

“If I say no, will it stop you?”

He snorted and shook his head. As I figured. I motioned for him to go ahead.

“Why did you agree to this? Breaking the woman out of there, I understand. But letting them marry the two of you? Why the fuck would you take a whore as your wife?”

I fought for control, knowing he was genuinely curious and didn’t mean it the way it sounded. Otherwise, I’d have already put my fist through his face. I took my time, trying to figure out how I could word it.

“The woman in there didn’t agree to become a whore. They beat her. Raped her. Forced her into that way of life. If we don’t get her out, she’ll only suffer more. Grimm and the Dixie Reapers are concerned the Bratva will try to take her back. Marriage is the only way to protect her.”

Gator stared a moment before giving a slight nod. “Fine. As long as they didn’t coerce you into this shit. I know how big your heart is, Stripes, even if others don’t always realize it.”

I grinned and put out my cigarette. “Let’s get this out of the way. If Specter shows, great. If not, we’ll handle it.”

Breaking into a brothel wasn’t exactly difficult. I’d expected security, but I hadn’t seen a single man watching over the place. If they’d had electronic surveillance, I knew one of the hackers would have disabled it by now. We walked through the front doors and a woman, most likely the madam, smiled at us broadly.

“Gentlemen, what’s your pleasure today? We can cater to any and all of your needs.”

I curled my fingers into a fist, fighting to maintain control. I wanted to rip this place to pieces with my bare hands. Instead, I took in my surroundings. At a quick glance, I saw the frightened women nearby. A few of them looked completely destroyed. They no longer cared what happened to them, and the woman in front of me was the deadest of them all. Despite her smile, her eyes were vacant. She was little more than a puppet. I doubted she had any real control. The Bratva owned her, same as the other women here. Her greeting us only meant she’d been here the longest. They’d broken her long ago and had no reason to doubt she’d do exactly as they commanded.

I didn’t think any of these women came here voluntarily. Someone had possibly trafficked them. At the very least, they were being disciplined like Melina. I didn’t want them to get hurt, which meant I needed to be careful. And yet, I’d have to get my point across. The thought of scaring them soured my stomach. But fear and pain would be the only way to get their attention. At first, anyway.

“Do you want easy way or hard way?” I folded my arms. I didn’t need them to know I was a pushover when it came to a damsel in distress. With my accent, they might even think I had Bratva ties. And I knew it was thicker than usual right now. Even I could hear the difference. “I want Melina Romanov.”

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