Sunday, December 27, 2020

🏰 Book Tour & Interview Featuring *LAST GIRLS ALIVE* by Jennifer Chase @jchasenovelist #puyb #interview #blogtour


Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning and USA Today BestSelling crime fiction author, as well as a consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master’s degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent psychopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists, and member of the International Thriller Writers.





Q: What’s inside the mind of someone who writes crime thrillers?

 There's just too much going on in the mind of a crime thriller author! At least for me, most of my days I'm devising ways of killing characters, unusual crime scenes, and how my detective will ultimately find the killer.

Q: What (or who) inspires you to write crime thrillers?

 Everything going on around me I find inspirational. We seem to live in a fast paced world with so much to draw from for a writer. Much of my stories are my imagination, but sometimes, the inspiration comes from headlines or cold cases.

Q: What makes a good crime thriller?

Sometimes the term "thriller" seems to morph into other genres, such as crime, suspense, mystery, and just a pinch of romance. I like the combination of all those genres with a fast paced story, cat and mouse, hold your breath, and to be always rooting for the detective. That to me makes a great crime thriller.

Q: Tell us why readers should buy LAST GIRLS ALIVE?

If you love thrillers with a strong police procedural, you will love Last Girls Alive. And for an added bonus the heroine, Detective Katie Scott, ex-army veteran, fighting PTSD, has her trusty K9 with her. Detective Scott heads the cold case unit and her cases seem to stoke up the stakes and land her in some very precarious predicaments. She had a great partner, Deputy Sean McGaven, who always has her back.

When Detective Katie Scott is called to the discovery of a young girl buried on the grounds of a former children’s home in Pine Valley, California, Katie assumes the victim is Candace Harlan, who ran away from Elm Hill Manor five years ago. It would be a devastating end to the cold case Katie’s been working on. But the girl in the ground is not Candace.

 Katie must dig deep to confront her own fears and protect the vulnerable – but as the body count rises further, will there be anyone left to save?

 Q: Where can readers find out more about you and your work?

 I love to connect with readers! You can find out more about my books and me at:





Half-buried in the muddy earth and surrounded by puddles of water lies the naked body of a beautiful young girl. Her pale skin looks like porcelain in the early morning light. Her fragile arms bent and crooked like a broken doll.

When Detective Katie Scott is called to the discovery of a young girl buried on the grounds of a former children’s home in Pine Valley, California, she’s hopeful it’s the end to a devastating cold case she’s been working on. No one has seen Candace Harlan since she ran away from Elm Hill Manor five years ago. Her death will be a tragedy, but it will also bring peace to those who miss her most. But the girl in the ground is not Candace.

The victim is almost identical to Candace in every way, but fear grips Katie as she takes in the black ink that decorates the girl’s back—a terrifying message tattooed on her skin after she drew her last breath.

Forcing down traumatic memories of losing her own parents, Katie is certain someone mistook this poor soul for Candace, and that this crumbling home for lost girls is at the heart of this terrible crime. She sets to work digging into the tragic history of the owners who lost so many children of their own and tracking down the last six residents and the staff who cared for them—but no one wants to talk, let alone remember.

The next day, as second girl’s body is found down by the creek at high water, the same words etched into her skin. Katie’s worst fear is confirmed: someone is picking off the last of the Elm Hill girls one by one. But what does the tattoo mean? And what monster would target these innocent girls who have already been through so much?

Katie must dig deep to confront her own fears and protect the vulnerable—but as the body count rises further, will there be anyone left to save?

An absolutely gripping, dark, and totally unputdownable serial killer thriller that will keep you racing through the pages all night long. Fans of Lisa Regan, Rachel Caine and Melinda Leigh will read in one sitting!


This novel is about Detective Kati Scott, Kati is a detective for the Pine Valley department. Her and partner work on solving cold cases together.  Kati hasn’t had an easy life but things will be getting worst for her before getting any better.  Kati has a lot of anxiety but she makes it work.  She and her partner are put on a case where a girl from the past is found on the property of a former children’s home in Pine Valley. and it’s up to her and her partner to figure out who the killer is.  This novel was so good. I was hooked from the start, I couldn’t stop reading I just need to find out what happens next with Katie and the case. Katie is a total badass. She is one strong lady. She is a very good female lead.  I loved the story soo much it was full of suspense and mystery.  I loved how it wasn’t very predictable. Things could change at any time and the ending was perfectly full of action. I really enjoyed this book. The writing was perfect and it flowed very well. This is my first Jennifer Chase book, I will definitely be looking for more. This book had everything I like action/mystery/romance/ suspense.

– 5 Star Review NetGalley

“A nail biting, suspense packed action crammed thriller that keeps you on edge…”

– 5 Star Review Amazon


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All Titles In The Series

Monday, December 21, 2020

🏰 Book Blast Featuring *Love and Other Moods* by Crystal Z. Lee #bookblast #puyb


Love and Other Moods follows complexities of adulting, of parenting, of the urban quest for love and finding one's place in the world…

Love and Other Moods

By Crystal Z. Lee

Love and Other Moods is a coming-of-age story set in contemporary China, about falling in love, learning to adult, finding strength, and discovering one’s place in the world.

Naomi Kita-Fan uproots her life from New York to China when her fiancé’s company transfers him to Shanghai. After a disastrous turn of events, Naomi finds herself with no job, no boyfriend, and nowhere to live in a foreign country.

Amidst the backdrop of Shanghai welcoming millions of workers and visitors to the 2010 World Expo, we meet a tapestry of characters through Naomi: Joss Kong, a Shanghai socialite who leads an enviable life, but must harbor the secrets of her husband, Tay Kai Tang. Logan Hayden, a womanizing restaurateur looking for love in all the wrong places. Pan Jinsung and Ouyang Zhangjie, a silver-aged couple struggling with adapting to the ever-changing faces of their city. Dante Ouyang, who had just returned to China after spending years overseas, must choose between being filial and being in love. All their dreams and aspirations interweave within the sprawling web of Shanghai.

This multilayered novel explores a kaleidoscope of shifting relationships—familial friction, amorous entanglements, volatile friendships—in one of the most dynamic metropolises of the twenty-first century.

“This heartfelt, transporting story sparkles with a constellation of characters who call this city home while pursuing their China dream. As multifaceted as Shanghai itself, this novel follows overlapping narratives about the complexities of adulting, of parenting, of the urban quest for love and finding one’s place in the world.”

— EMILY TING, film director of Go Back to China and Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong

“Awash with cosmopolitan expats and jet-setting locals, Love and Other Moods shimmers like the diamonds adorning China’s glitterati, while exposing haunting personal histories and intergenerational strife. With dazzling twirls around Shanghai’s World Expo, glitzy fashion shows, art deco architecture, jazz clubs, gourmet restaurants, and disappearing food stalls, this novel compellingly pulls the reader into the pleasures and pains of becoming an adult in a city soaring to global status.”

— JENNY LIN, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Southern California and author of Above sea: Contemporary art, urban culture, and the fashioning of global Shanghai

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Naomi had packed four suitcases from New York, and right now they were stacked unevenly on top of one another in the hallway, forcing the front door to open only halfway, just tight enough for her to slide in sideways. She couldn’t remember the last time she had lived by herself. The lonely apartment was mildly depressing.

She felt like walking aimlessly. She passed by wrinkled men playing a game of Chinese chess, teenage girls in designer sunglasses taking photographs of each other, a woman gesticulating wildly as she yelled into her cell phone, tourists examining a guide book, a cloud of second-hand smoke drifting from outside a cafe, Uighur men selling kebabs, well-heeled shoppers clinging to their purchases, two men in yarmulkes talking heatedly, shrieking children competing with the racket from honking vehicles, and the sea of commuters gushing out of the Huangpi Nan Lu metro stop. Naomi let herself be swept up into the human river, bodies crushing against each other, arms brushing and shoving, no apologies no offense taken. Being in this city meant your senses were constantly accosted.

A man approached her with a flier featuring images of iPhones, Rolexes, LV handbags, and said that their shop was just ahead in an alley. She declined and quickened her pace. She spotted an empty bench by a bus stop and flopped down. Barely noticing as the traffic whizzed by, the racy selfie on Seth’s phone resurfaced in her head. A steady stream of downpour coaxed pedestrians to open a colorful array of umbrellas, or duck into convenience stores, boutique shops, malls entrances. Naomi felt wholly unequipped and unprepared, again, by this city.

Her hair was stuck to her face and her forehead was damp. She was relieved that the inclement weather matched her mood, for tears had started forming and slithering beneath her eyes, blending with the droplets of rain running down her face. She wiped it away with her sleeve. She just wanted to throw up all the fury and regrets that were lodged in her stomach, she wished it could all be flushed out of her head.

It was starting to hit her, the reality of having no boyfriend, no job, and nowhere to live.

She wondered if the sprawling metropolis of Shanghai was too small to co-exist with her ex-fiancé


Crystal Z. Lee is a Taiwanese American bilingual writer. She has called many places home, including Taipei, New York, Shanghai, and the San Francisco Bay Area. She was formerly a public relations executive who had worked with brands in the fashion, beauty, technology, and automotive industries. Love and Other Moods is her debut novel. She’s already hard at work on her next novel and a children’s book.

Follow the author on Instagram @ Crystal.Z.Lee

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Book Review: The Color of Together: Mixed Metaphors of Connectedness by Milton Brasher-Cunningham #bookreview @miltybc @pumpupyourbook

The Color of Together begins with the primary colors of life–grief, grace, and gratitude–and enlarges the palette to talk about the work of art that is our life together in these days. The idea for the book began with understanding that grief is not something we get over or work through, but something we learn to move around in–something that colors our lives. Grace is the other given. Gratitude is the response to both that offers the possibility of both healing and hope.


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"The author is very genuine and very insightful."

I have to say this was the most interesting book I have read lately. I haven't written reviews for awhile so I thought I'd jump back in with Milton Brasher-Cunningham's The Color of Together: Mixed Metaphors of Connectedness. I have to admit I didn't know what the title meant. I was thinking it was more of a self-help book which in a way it is but it goes deeper than that. It's a life meaning book. The author is very genuine and very insightful. I want to copy something he wrote at the beginning of the book. It goes "I was going to live the rest of my life without my dad. I was going to live the rest of my life moving around in grief. Whatever else happened, that circumstance would not change. What could change was my perspective." It was at the point that I got it. It was like a lightbulb moment. This book was going to show me how not to run from unpleasant experiences but to live fully by working my way around them...learning to live with them so to speak.

My goodness this book was an eye-opener. My mind is refreshed and I am on my first cup of coffee. Reading through this book this almost winter morning, I come upon real meanings of life - one after the other. Here's one..."We are all born in the middle of the story, and we will all exit before the story is finished." We are all born in the middle of the story. Changes your perspective, doesn't it?

Another quote that I loved - "When we allow ourselves to presume our privilege is deserved, we diminish our capacity for gratitude."  This book is full of eye openers. I have someone in my family who believes the world owes him a living and no he is not grateful for anything. So sad. 

This book is jam packed with these. I wish everyone would give it a chance.

I am so glad I read this book. Awesome, awesome, awesome. 

Milton Brasher-Cunningham was born in Texas, grew up in Africa, and has spent the last thirty years in New England and North Carolina. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, and has worked as a high school English teacher, a professional chef, a trainer for Apple, and is now an editor. He is the author of three books, 
Keeping the Feast: Metaphors for the MealThis Must Be the Place: Reflections on Home, and his latest, The Color of Together.

He loves the Boston Red Sox, his mini schnauzers, handmade music, and feeding people. He lives in Guilford, Connecticut, with Ginger, his wife, and their three Schnauzers. He writes regularly at







Historical fiction review: 'River Aria' by Joan Schweighardt

From the pen of talented historical novelist Joan Schweighardt comes another well-crafted, meticulously researched story about family, community, immigration, oppression, the environment, and having to face the consequences of one’s actions.

It’s 1928 and the Great Depression is looming around the corner when two impoverish but talented mixed-raced—Amerindian and European—Brazilian immigrant cousins travel to NYC to find a better life and fulfill their dreams. Estela, a singer of arias and a product of the Teatro Amazonas during the time of the rubber boom, has a beautiful voice and dreams of becoming a famous opera singer; Jojo is a fisherman and a gifted artist. As a start, Estela is offered a seamstress position at the Metropolitan Opera House while Jojo is offered a scholarship at an art school. Will they achieve their dreams against all obstacles? If yes, at what price?

River Aria is the third installment in this author’s series and is focused on the next generation of the family featured in the first book. There is so much I enjoyed about this novel! The worlds of art and music in 1920s NYC come together engrossingly. The multifaceted, original characters—you don’t often read stories about indigenous people from Brazil—and their struggles to find purpose and meaning in a complex, ruthless city that is a character all on its own, kept me riveted. Parentage and identity are big themes with both Estela and Jojo as they struggle with their origins and how it affects their lives. Having read other books by Schweighardt, I’ve become familiar with her literary prose. She always strives for depth, and she pays great attention to detail.

The author visited the rainforest, as well as Manaus, the Amazon, and Rio Negro as part of her research, and considering the authentic feel of the plot and characters, I’m not surprised. In spite of this, however, the writing doesn’t get too heavy-handed, which is sometimes a problem in this type of book. I particularly recommend River Aria to historical fiction fans who have a special interest in the rubber boom that took place in Brazil in the early 1900s and how it affected the fishing villages and the indigenous people living there.

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Monday, December 7, 2020

🏰 Book Tour & Interview Featuring *The Kiss That Saved Christmas* by Elysia Strife @elysialstrife #puyb #interview #blogtour


An optimist and opportunist, Strife is a self-made author, cover designer, and editor. Best known as Elysia Strife, who writes primarily sweet holiday romance, she most loves writing dystopian science fiction fantasy novels under the pseudonym variation E. L. Strife. She is an upcoming author of young adult fantasy as Elysia Lumen and looks forward to diving deeper into the world of magic.

Strife has toured castles, haunted houses, frozen caves, lava tubes, and concentration camps. She’s a hopeless empath who needs the quiescence of hiking in the Cascades, camping, and snowboarding to recharge. She also enjoys reading on rainy and snowy mornings with a fire going, even if it’s just the fake one in her RV. She craves learning new things, like how to work on her 1981 Corvette, her jeep, and the four-wheeler that just won’t budge.

Strife lives with an amazing man who can build anything he puts his mind to and a rescued dog that steals socks and chases the vacuum. Together, they travel the country—from the golden plains of North Dakota to the warm ocean of the southern Texas coast and back to the green valleys and vineyards of Oregon. Anywhere is home as long as they’re together.

If you’d like to know when Strife’s next books will be out, and to ensure you hear about her giveaways, visit her website: and subscribe via the links on her homepage.






As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  Can you tell us how you got the idea to write your book?

It actually started out as a rough sketch of a story set in the Montana mountains. I came up with Claire’s character first. I think it was a Veterans’ widow support group ad that made me begin. This book has been in the works for a couple years but didn’t really fall into place until this year.

I meet a lot of interesting people in the RV parks we stay at. Their stories are diverse and often inspiring. So many have struggled to make ends meet this year with the pandemic that I finally found ideas for Zach’s character and really dialed him in.

Can you tell us a little about the main characters of your book?

Claire is an Army widow, fighting to save the log mansion her husband built for them. She hosts weddings, birthdays, and New Years parties. She’s also a former journalist, but quit her job to start a family with her late husband. Claire and Stanly moved to Montana to get away from the rush of the city life they were used to but tired of. Now Claire’s alone and hanging onto her home by a thread. She never ventured out much to make friends as she lives outside of town. But she makes the weekly trek in for church because church was Stanly’s thing. She’ll do anything to hang on to his memory.

Zach is the oldest of three boys with an older half-brother. He’s a former Marine, tough and relentless when it comes to work, but as tender-hearted as they get. Zach grew up poor and got into some trouble in his youth that their small town can’t let go of. He knows what it feels like to be constantly judged, but he doesn’t complain.

Zach is Claire’s new hired help, and jumps at the second chance. The longer he works on the venue, the more he uncovers about its shaky future. Claire won’t ask for help. Finally finding someone who can understand his battles, a woman who also bakes delicious cookies and always puts him first, Zach realizes he’s got himself into quite a predicament. Falling for her means breaking the contract and losing his job. Neither one of them can afford that. But Zach can’t fight his feelings forever.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?

It’s not impossible. Start writing now. You’ve been making up stories since you were little. Stop caring what everyone will think of you and spend that energy taking writing classes and joining critique groups. Everyone has a story to tell.

What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?

I love fragmented sentences. I imagine it’s hard for some people to get used to. I believe, when done to reflect the character’s emotional status or mood of the scene, it can be effective.

Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?

On occasion, I’ll get an email from someone who has reviewed my book somewhere and they wanted me to know, which is really kind of them and always makes my day!

I recently did a paperback drawing for The Kiss that Saved Christmas. I always do one for my subscribers with each new publication. The winner this time was a woman who’d been reading since she was a young child, now 76 (I won’t mention her name), and she’d never had a signed copy of a book before! I feel so honored to be the one who gets to send her, her first signed copy. What an amazing feeling!

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

Ah yes, the “ouch” button…

There’s a post on Amazon from a customer that haunts my reviews. It’s on my first holiday romance novel, A Christmas in Montana. She’s upset because I left so many loose ends that she’d have to buy the next book to see what happened next. It’s a book series with book 3 publishing May, 2021. I’m certain this is how a series works, a few little threads and questions left to encourage the reader on into the story…but my integrity won’t let me say anything. As an author, I can’t rightly contest what she believes is “too many.” I really leave one loose end in regard to the character, Boone, who stashes a bullet in the main character, Orion’s, pocket. But that book isn’t about him, it’s about Orion and Matt falling in love. Book 2 is more about Boone. Book 3, well, I’m not going to spoil it for anyone, but I prefer happily-ever-after endings.

This same novel received criticism from a contest I applied to. I was told all of my characters had Multiple Personality Disorder and I needed to invest in some psychology classes. Trouble is, both of my Bachelor’s Degrees are in Public Health and Human sciences. I’ve had psychology, physiology, interpersonal communication, housing studies, sociology… you name it. The critique attacked me more as a person (apparently I’m uneducated) and not the work as much itself. I took it hard, but A Christmas in Montana has many 4 and 5 star reviews.

I try to let these things go now. We’re always going to get a few readers who don’t click with every book we write. I’ve had bad reviews from reviewers whose average is a one or two star review on everything. What does that tell me? That they don’t get enough hugs in their lives. It doesn’t necessarily mean the writing or the story is bad, just that maybe the audience needs to be refined. Bad reviews always catch in my throat a little bit. But I take a breath, learn what I can, and focus on improving the next publication.

What has been your best accomplishment?

With each book, I set out to make one person’s life better. Just one. If I can inspire one person, take them away for a short vacation, and make them happy for a few hours, my goal is complete. Any time I get feedback from readers, I consider that my greatest accomplishment. It means my writing has stuck with them enough that they felt compelled to share their thoughts with me and/or others. Making my readers happy is everything.

Do you Google yourself?

I do not. I suppose if I ever get around to studying SEO and implementing it on my website I might just to research if the tactics are working. But my goal isn’t to be number one or even number 1000. I just want to write stories with meaning that my readers enjoy.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Pfah… oh I’ve got just under 100 lined out, some half-written. But they’re a mix of holiday romance, dark romance, children’s books, science fiction, and fantasy. Oh and I’ve got a five-book mystery collection I’m working on too. We’ll see how many I get done! I should’ve started writing much earlier, but I was more concerned with making other people happy and paying rent than chasing my dreams when I was younger. Silly me. What was I thinking?

My husband is the reason I can do this now. I hope someday to return his favor with what I make writing. I can just hear his ratchets and pneumatic tools thundering and whirring in the garage as future-me writes for a living! (Fingers crossed.)

Fun question – if you were princess or prince, what’s one thing you would do to make your kingdom a better place?

Ooh, tough question. I have too many ideas!

I think I’d skip the fancy garb, train as a warrior/knight, and then patrol the streets as I gather the children for story time. I would read books to them, bring snacks, teach them self-defense, and talk about emotions. I think the best way to ensure a better future for a kingdom is to teach children understanding, acceptance of others, emotional intelligence, and how to protect themselves and their neighbors. They need to know they’re important, their decisions matter, and that we can only build a strong kingdom if we do it together.

Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?

Thank you so much for your support. You make continuing this journey possible. As much as I love writing and publishing, it isn’t feasible or worthwhile without you.

I appreciate this opportunity to share with you bits about The Kiss that Saved Christmas and my writing in general. I hope you have a wonderful day!



Author: Elysia Strife
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 310
Genre: Holiday Romance

Claire’s husband passed away two years ago this Christmas, leaving her alone and in charge of a beautiful and overwhelming cabin venue in the Montana mountains. She’s low on cash, the truck won’t start, and fewer people are calling in event requests.

Every past assistant has been problematic and disappointing. With one final wedding scheduled for the year, Claire is desperate to make a good impression and needs the property in top shape. Only one candidate remains: Zach.

Zach is prior service, down on his luck, and shamed by the town for the actions of his youth. Even after a decade of service, he can’t escape the gossip.
Claire has no option but to entrust him with the future of Briar Ridge—her future. She just wished he didn’t have to remind her so much of her late husband. Yet Zach is different, bringing with his burdens an unexpectedly sweet side.
Zach is full of surprises.

She doesn’t want to fall for him.

He can’t help but fall for her.

A sweet holiday romance with a few curses and some violence.


“A beautiful, gentle story with believable characters that have heart, feelings & Christian values.” – Danica McMahon (Goodreads Review) 5 Stars


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Thursday, December 3, 2020

🏰 THE SHADE UNDER THE MANGO TREE by Evy Journey #BlogTour #BookSpotlight @eholychair #SojojournerBooks #PUYB

Evy Journey
Sojourner Books
Contemporary Fiction

After two heartbreaking losses, Luna wants adventure. Something and somewhere very different from the affluent, sheltered home in California and Hawaii where she grew up. An adventure in which she can also make some difference. She ends up in place where she gets more than she bargained for.

Lucien, a worldly, well-traveled young architect, finds a stranger’s journal at a café. He has qualms and pangs of guilt about reading it. But they don’t stop him. His decision to go on reading changes his life.

Months later, they meet at a bookstore where Luna works and which Lucien frequents. Fascinated by his stories and his adventurous spirit, Luna volunteers for the Peace Corps. Assigned to Cambodia, she lives with a family whose parents are survivors of the Khmer Rouge genocide forty years earlier. What she goes through in a rural rice-growing village defies anything she could have imagined. Will she leave this world unscathed?

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Evy Journey, SPR (Self Publishing Review) Independent Woman Author awardee, is a writer, a wannabe artist, and a flâneuse who, wishes she lives in Paris where people have perfected the art of aimless roaming. Armed with a Ph.D., she used to research and help develop mental health programs.

She’s a writer because beautiful prose seduces her and existential angst continues to plague her despite such preoccupations having gone out of fashion. She takes occasional refuge by invoking the spirit of Jane Austen to spin tales of love, loss, and finding one’s way—stories into which she weaves mystery or intrigue.