Showing posts with label guest post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guest post. Show all posts

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Guest Post & Giveaway: The Songs That Brought Me Back by Mylissa Demeyere  

The Songs That Brought Me Back 

Have you ever made a mistake? One so monumental you lost everything? I did, and I hate myself for it! All I want to do is close my eyes, and let the darkness consume me. Make it all go away. The end. 

Ainsley is drowning in the depth of her despair. One wrong decision left her alone, with only regret as her constant companion. To escape it all, she makes another choice. One she hopes will end everything. Instead, she’s thrown into a whole new world filled with opportunities she doesn’t believe she deserves. Ethan gives the appearance of breezing through life. But underneath his bright facade, he’s scarred by loss. When fate leads him into Ainsley’s world at the exact moment she needs someone the most, he can’t ignore the chance to right the wrongs of his past. Ainsley and Ethan will struggle to help each other heal and start anew. They’ll learn that the secret to conquering their pain lies within their power, if only they can do it together. Always together.  

Sometimes the ending is really the beginning.


Why I wrote Ainsley's story (from Mylissa Demeyere)

Did you know that every forty seconds 1 person dies due to suicide? That’s close to 800,000 worldwide, each year. There are indications that for each adult who dies of suicide there may have been more than 20 others attempting suicide. That’s an estimate of 16,000,000 attempted suicides worldwide amongst adults. (Source: The World Health Organization).

Five days shy of my sixteenth birthday, my father’s body was found after he had killed himself. Needless to say, it wasn’t the sweet sixteen it could have been.

That event had quite an impact on my life and how I decided to face the challenges I meet.

When I wrote The Songs of You and Me, I delved into Jackson’s past. He got to tell his side of how Ainsley’s choices affected him. I never felt I could leave her tale untold. Each story always has at least two sides to it.

Why does a person make such horrible choices as Ainsley did? What drives them to such selfishness? And does a person like Ainsley have it in her to redeem herself?

My dad made the choice not to fight and right the wrongs in his life. It not only ended his life; it impacted many other lives.

Ainsley’s story is my way of showing you what can happen when people who make mistakes decide to try and do better. Because everyone deserves a second chance to right the wrong and start over again.

This is Ainsley’s story of what happens when you choose to not give up.

I hope that whomever reads this, will realize that we all, at one point in our life need and deserve second chances. When we take those chances, and turn our lives around, miracles can happen. I have seen it firsthand and the stories that follow are beautiful. Not perfect, but definitely worth living.
Even when life seems dark, lost, and like there is no other way than ending it, there is ALWAYS another option.

To everyone who has ever felt like there was never another way, this story is for you. My dad didn’t take the other way, but I hope you will find help. Life isn’t always perfect, but it is a wonderful gift. Definitely worth fighting for.


Author Mylissa Demeyere 

Mylissa Demeyere was born in Belgium, and resides in the beautiful city of Ghent. She lives in a somewhat organized home with her four beautiful children and the love of her life. If she isn’t working, she’s writing, running, reading, or enjoying time with her kids, who are growing up way too fast. The Songs That Brought Me Back is her second novel in The Songs Series, with a third book releasing in the middle of 2019. 


$25 Tour Giveaway Ends 12/30/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. This giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Guest Post and Giveaway: Author Cindy Vincent

Cindy’s Christmas Party Tips

Post #3:

Okay . . . you’ve got the house decorated for Christmas (part 1 at Seasons of Humility) and you’ve got the food prepared, including your wonderfully decorated sugar cookies (part 2 at My Favorite Pastime).  The lights are dimmed, and the Christmas lights are all plugged in.  The place looks and smells festive.  At long last, your guests begin to arrive.  

Now what?

If you’re hosting a party where everyone knows each other or everyone is part of an already established group, you can probably just serve the drinks, point people to the food, and let nature take its course.  But if you’ve got people who have never met, or several “guests” or spouses who don’t know the rest of the group, it might be a good idea to provide a little more “structure” for your party.  After all, as a host or hostess, it’s your job to create an environment where your guests feel comfortable and have fun.  And without a little intervention, your guests might feel forced to spend the evening making small talk with a group of strangers.  For many people, this is right up there with having a root canal. 

That’s when you, as the hostess, step in and save the day.

How?  First, never underestimate the importance of name tags.  This takes away the stress of having to remember someone’s name all evening long, especially when you may have just been introduced to a whole bunch of other people.  You can provide those simple stick-on name tags, or you might even create some Christmassy name tags yourself. 

Then, as they say, it’s time to break the ice.  Below, you’ll find my favorite, simple game for doing just that.  It will require a little bit of work on your part in the days before the party starts.  But it’s well worth it.  Here’s what you do: 

1.  Ask for RSVPs and emails.

2.  Send out a mass email asking everyone to send you just a couple of interesting tidbits about themselves, something that most people might not know about them.  To give you a better idea, here’s a copy of the email that I sent out the last time I hosted this game at a party:

“Hello, everyone!  I’m in the process of writing up an entertaining little icebreaker game for my Christmas party.  But to do so, I need some information from everyone.  And by information, I mean that I need some cute, unique and little-known tidbits about each of you.  Things like, I was the queen of the Fall Festival at my high school.  Or, I won the Spelling Bee in the 5th grade, or I was on Jeopardy.  Or, I got rescued off a mountain in Wyoming by Harrison Ford in his helicopter.  You know, fun facts about you that very few people know about.  Please send me two items each.  And please remember, this is not your great moment to confess all.  Meaning, the information you give me will become known to the group, so please, don’t send me anything you don’t want someone else to know.  No “most embarrassing moments,” thank you. Then once you send your information, mum’s the word.  Don’t tell a soul what you sent.  Please send your info ASAP, to: (Insert your email address here).”

3.  Comprise your game.  List the items one-by-one, mixed up so that each person’s items are not listed together, and leave a blank at the end of each one.  You should come up with enough things to fill the front and back of one page.  Here’s a sample of a few items from a game I hosted at one of my recent parties.  (In fact, to create your own game, you can simply replace the items that I’ve written down with items that are provided by your own guests.): 

1.  Find someone who once ate 12 pizzas at one setting just to win a bet. __________
2.  Find someone who is a U.S. Patent Holder.  ___________
3.  Find someone who loves roller coasters and Elvis. ______________
4.  Find someone who was born outside the US. _________
5.  Find someone who kept their high school mascot, “Sam the Ram,” at their house. _______
6. Find someone who was the Valedictorian of their high school class.  __________
7. Find someone who saw the movie Patton with a French waiter who could not speak English. __________
And on and on.

4.   Once everyone has arrived, pass out your icebreaker game, along with pens or pencils.  Okay, yes, honestly, you will have a few people who moan and groan.  But don’t let them deter you!  Simply plaster a smile on your face and tell them to do it anyway!  Rules of the house.

Here’s the write-up that I always use at the top on the first page of my icebreaker:

“Find the answers to the following by asking the people around you if they happen to meet the criteria for each item below.  Then write that person's name in the blank for that particular item.  You need only find one person for each item, and you must actually ask the person the question, even if you already know someone who meets the criteria on certain items.  Also, you can only ask one person one question at a time, and if they don’t happen to meet the criteria of the question you asked them, you must move on to question another person, either with the same question or a different question. You do not need to ask the questions in order.  You can use your own name to fill in a blank if you fit the criteria.  The first person to complete the form will win a prize.  You may not work in teams or get your answers from anyone else’s sheet.  Have fun!”

Here’s the beauty of the game—everyone gets to talk to everyone else at the party.  And since you’re given a specific “task” as well as the exact questions to ask, even the shyest person can be made to feel comfortable.  The game is over when someone fills out the form with the right names.  (Yes, you should check it against an answer sheet that you’ve kept hidden in a drawer nearby.)  And of course, you as the hostess should then read through the entire list of items, announcing the person’s name at the end of each one.  It’s a chance to let your guests “shine” for a moment, thus making the party even more fun for them.  It’s also a good idea to award some kind of really goofy prize to the winner.  After that, you can let the conversation just flow, since you’ve already given everyone plenty of conversation starters!

Another good game to play is the White Elephant gift exchange.  Prior to the party, ask everyone to bring a Christmas ornament in the $12-$18 range.  And here are the instructions to play this fun, holiday favorite. 

Keep in mind, these games work well for small to mid-sized groups.  They’re probably not a good option if you’re hosting a gigantic party.  But either way, they’re a great way to get a party rolling, help people meet each other, and have a lot of fun.  I hope you get a chance to try out both of these.  Happy entertaining, and a very Merry Christmas to you!


As the top salesperson for Pfunn Party Supplies, Carol Frost doesn’t exactly know how to have fun herself these days. Though she wasn’t always such a humbug. Once upon a time, she was famous for hosting Christmas parties that were filled with everything from laughing guests and luscious hors d’oeuvres, to artfully iced sugar cookies and creatively decorated Christmas trees. To top it off, she even wrote a bestselling book that became the authoritative tome on Christmas party entertaining at the time—The Complete, Total, Ultimate, Everything-You-Might-Possibly-Want-to-Know Guide to Hosting the Best Christmas Parties Ever.

Yet that was long ago, before her life changed and she stashed her tinsel and twinkle lights away once and for all. And while Carol soon learned to settle for her boring but comfortable existence, an old friend knows that Carol isn’t really living up to her potential. An old friend who . . . well . . . now enjoys her eggnog in the afterlife, you might say. To goad Carol into going back to her former party-hosting ways, said friend sends three of her specter pals to pester Carol. Then, much to Carol’s annoyance, she is visited by the Ghost Hosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future on a plane filled with plenty of holiday revelers. And though Carol only wants to be left alone, the Ghost Hosts have other plans. Instead, they take her on an adventure that wasn’t exactly on her itinerary . . . or printed on her ticket stub. From that moment on, Carol’s life will never be the same. Provided, of course, she survives the jingle-bell rollercoaster of a ride and makes it home in time for Christmas . . .

About the Author

CINDY VINCENT, M.A. Ed., was born in Calgary, Alberta, and has lived all around the US and Canada. She is the creator of the Mysteries by Vincent murder mystery party games and the Daisy Diamond Detective Series games for girls. She is also the award-winning author of the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Caper novels and the Daisy Diamond Detective series. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and an assortment of fantastic felines.

Website | Amazon | Goodreads


Put together your own best-ever Christmas party with this fun “party in a box” giveaway! Enter for a chance to win a package with the following prizes: a signed copy of Yes, Carol…It’s Christmas! by Cindy Vincent, two Betty Crocker sugar cookie mixes, two cookie cutters, a four-pack of sprinkles, a strand of Christmas lights, and two glass ornaments. Due to shipping costs and varying international laws, this giveaway is open to US residents (age 18 or older) only. Void where prohibited. Good luck!

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

Guest Post, Freebie & Giveaway: Swell Time for a Swing Dance by Cindy Vincent


December 31, 1941. Young Houston socialite Tracy Truworth, Apprentice P.I., can’t imagine a better way to send off the old year and ring in the new than by dancing through the night with her fella, Pete Stalwart. But a swell evening soon takes a terrible turn when a fellow dancer with moves like Fred Astaire ends up dead on the dance floor. And before the hands on the clock can point to midnight, a finger is pointed at Pete, accusing him of murdering the young man.

Then after Pete is hauled away in handcuffs, the night goes from bad to worse . . . and Tracy’s sweet grandmother is accused of stealing an ancient artifact from the museum. Now Tracy must team up with her boss and mentor, Sammy Falcone, in order to find the stolen statuette, unmask the real murderer, and restore the reputations of those she loves the most.

Yet as America becomes embroiled in another world war, the risks and sacrifices intensify—even on the homefront. And Tracy soon finds her own home invaded by a near parade of questionable characters, while unsavory suspects lurk in the shadows, and a ruthless reporter makes her life miserable. With time ticking against her, Tracy must be willing to swing past the setbacks and hop through the hazards if she hopes to solve a mystery that involves a lot of dancing . . . and a lot more danger.

Guest Post

Why I Love the 1940s
Cindy Vincent

People often tease me that I don't belong in this day and age, and that I seem to be a throwback to the 1940s.  And in all fairness, they may have a point.  Not only do I have a vintage clothing collection with lots of fabulous dresses and gowns from the forties, but I also collect the hats and gloves and jewelry that would have accessorized those dresses, too.  Plus, I write mysteries set during WWII.  Add all this up and it sounds like I have an obsession.  But let me tell you why this era fascinates me so.  Here are my top five reasons:


Tom Brokaw dubbed this group “The Greatest Generation.”  And with good reason.  The WWII generation grew up during the Great Depression and had been raised with little or nothing.  They knew a type of poverty that most of us could barely imagine. Through my research, I heard stories of people who literally had holes in the bottom of their only pair of shoes, and people who only ate one meal a day, since that was all they could afford.  Yet instead of thinking about what they didn’t have, many of this generation grew up happy and full of optimism.  As a general rule, they tried to look on the “Sunny Side,” using humor to deal with their troubles.  They found ways to entertain themselves on a shoestring—they attended movies and dances and sang songs in groups.  Generally speaking, people looked out for each other, and being selfish was considered immature and unacceptable. They came of age just as the world was exploding into war.  And then this generation, the ones who’d been raised with next to nothing, were willing to give their very lives to stop the horrors of the Nazis and Imperial Japan as they tried to invade the world.


Wow, is there anything else that’ll get your toes tapping and your fingers snapping like Big Band music and swing music?  It’s upbeat and happy, and yes, it’s great to dance to.  But the music went farther than simply something a person listened to on the radio or from a live band at a dance.  During that time, lots of people knew how to play the piano or another instrument, and they would happily do so on the spur-of-the-moment.  Just to entertain others.  They did it on buses or trains or just about anywhere in public.  Remember, they didn’t have TV, Internet, or cell phones back then.  And people also sang along, since most people knew the songs and the words, and singing with a group of strangers in public was somewhat common, depending, of course, on where you lived.  Can you just imagine being on a train trip and having the whole group break out in song?  But people also whistled, and not in a way just to get someone’s attention.  Instead, someone might whistle an entire song as they walked along.  In fact, “whistling in the dark” was considered a way to deal with a scary situation.  When was the last time you heard someone whistle a full song?


Back then, dancing went hand-in-hand with socializing, and going out to dances was very popular.  While plenty of people swing danced, others did the Foxtrot, or the Waltz, or just generally swayed back and forth with their partner.  If you attended a dance in those days, people often danced with different partners, as it was considered polite to dance with someone who asked.  (Unless that person was drunk or just generally being obnoxious.)  Everyone was expected to have good manners and good hygiene.  And, it wasn’t uncommon for people to “dance the night away,” meaning, people might dance to nearly every song the band played.  Sound like fun?

This brings me to another reason why I have such an appreciation for this generation.  Even with all the turmoil of the era, and all the horrors that were happening in the world, this generation didn’t hold back from having fun.  They put a smile on their faces, danced when they could, and sang when they could, too.  And since singing and dancing are known to be great stress relievers, my guess is that these activities really helped them keep up their morale.  Of course, we know that good morale is so important and played a role in winning the war. 


Shortly after WWII started, Life Magazine ran an article titled “Six Ways to Raid the U.S.,” and it did, in fact, show different scenarios on how Germany and Japan might try to invade and take over the United States.  So people feared for our country and our freedom.  After all, we’d already seen the horrors of a Nazi and Japanese takeover of Europe and much of Asia.  And, we’d already seen the horrors of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.  As a result, nearly everyone wanted to pitch in and do their part to help the war effort.  From the frontlines to the homefront.  Soon our military became comprised of mostly “citizen soldiers,” people who left all walks of life—including those in good-paying professions—to go off and fight. 

On the homefront, people endured government rationing with little complaint, since they knew their sacrifice helped those serving in the military.  Citizens who stayed stateside signed up to be air raid wardens, plane spotters, and more.  Nearly everyone grew a Victory Garden, so they could supply their own food, rather than take food supplies needed for soldiers.  Hollywood even released movies to encourage people to do their part, and to boost morale.  All in all, our country stepped up to answer the call, like never before. 


When it came to fighting WWII, it took the help of everyone to win it.  And I do mean everyone!  So strangely enough, the war proved to be a great melting pot for our nation, since we needed the contribution of the talents and abilities of all.  Because of that, we saw the rise of the Tuskegee Airmen (the first African-American fighter pilots), the Navaho Code Talkers, the WASPs (Women Air Service Pilots), and more.  Women entered the work force—many for the very first time—since the roles once filled by men were now vacant.  It was essential that women step in and take their place, especially as the war industry worked overtime to supply the military with airplanes, tanks, and more. And while that melting pot certainly wasn’t perfect, it was a very good start.

And all that, folks, is why I have such a fascination with the 1940s.  I hope all this information encourages you to take a closer look at the era, too!

Free E-book

Beginning Tuesday, October 16th, Swell Time For a Swing Dance will be FREE until the end of the blog tour!


Time to get “in the mood” with a fun 1940s-themed giveaway! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter for a chance to win a pewter ornament from The National WWII Museum, a Glenn Miller CD, and paperback copies of the first two books in the Tracy Truworth series: Bad Day for a Bombshell and Swell Time for a Swing Dance. Due to shipping costs and varying international laws, this giveaway is open to US residents (age 18 or older) only. Good luck!

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