Target by Tina Donahue

Target

The Valesky Crime Family Book 1

by Tina Donahue

Genre: Dark Mafia Romance

A Russian kingpin wants her dead… the only one who can stop it is the man sent to murder her.

Toni Flores loved her dream job working for a respected US senator until he raped her. She’s determined to bring him to justice, no matter the cost.

For years, Dimitri Valesky, head of a Russian crime family in America, has bought off those in government. Just like the senator responsible for Toni’s assault. When she won’t keep quiet about it and risks Dimitri’s business, he orders his stepson Michael to kill her.

Michael’s a lobbyist not a mafia enforcer. He refuses the insane demand, but Dimitri insists. The power he holds over Michael and his brothers is absolute… or so he believes.

Rather than murder Toni, Michael intends to romance her. Once he convinces her to keep quiet about the Senator, she won’t be a target any longer and Dimitri will back off on the hit. The plan falls apart and now they are dodging mafia enforcers, bullets, and Dimitri’s outrage.

Michael and Toni fight to stay alive and save those dearest to them as they also fall hopelessly in love.

This is book one in the Valesky Crime Family series and has an HEA.

Publisher’s Note: This contemporary dark mafia romance contains elements of mystery, suspense, action, adventure, adult themes, and possible triggers for some readers.

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Tina’s an Amazon and international bestselling novelist who writes passionate romance for every taste – ‘heat with heart’ – for traditional publishers and indie. Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised her work. She’s won Readers’ Choice Awards, was named a finalist in the EPIC competition, received a Book of the Year award, The Golden Nib Award, awards of merit in the RWA Holt Medallion competitions, and second place in the NEC RWA contests. She’s featured in the Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Before penning romances, she worked at a major Hollywood production company in Story Direction.

On a less serious note: she’s an admitted and unrepentant chocoholic, brakes for Mexican restaurants, and has been known to moan like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally while wolfing down tostadas. She’s flown a single-engine airplane (freaking scary), rewired an old house using an ‘electricity for dummies’ book, and is horribly shy despite the hot romances she writes.

Website * MeWe * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

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How to Be A Necromancer:The Complete Series by D.D. Miers and Graceley Knox

The How to Be A Necromancer series by D.D. Miers and Graceley Knox contains five novels: Grave Promise, Grave Debt, Grave Mistake, Grave Magic and Grave Chance. Vexa Tzarnavaras’s life changes drastically at her great-uncle Ptolemy’s funeral. An enchanted candle activates her long-buried necromancer powers and she accidently raises all the dead bodies in the funeral home, including her great-uncle. An immortal ancestor tracks her down and the quest begins.

Vexa’s efforts to stay alive while defeating the undead take her to the fae world, the dwarven underworld, and the world in between. She’s joined by a self-cursed werewolf, a derelict demon dabbling necromancer vagabond, a resurrected mutt in need of regular taxidermy services, an exiled fairie, and her great-aunt Persephona. 

The steamy romance that blossoms between more than one of the team adds a nice touch to a paranormal adventure series. The only issue I really had was that Vexa is described as having long, curly black hair in the book, but the cover shows a blonde bombshell. 

How to Be A Necromancer:The Complete Series by D.D. Miers and Graceley Knox is a fun read with lively escapades and a likeable bad-ass necromancer heroine. 

How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos: how to successful publish a book by Judith Briles

When I picked up How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos: how to successful publish a book by Judith Briles, I decided to ignore the blooper in the title (successfully) in the hopes of some useful tidbits. I did indeed get some useful tidbits, however not 101, which was disappointing.

Some sections were geared towards authors who have managed to snag a traditional book publishing deal. Since I have not, although I haven’t given up hope of someday, the information about reading the fine print, making sure you keep your rights to republication, and getting the best deal of the book publishing company, didn’t apply to me. 

I did learn about the Amazon Advantage program. However, when I did more research, I discovered that this publishing platform is closed to new publishers (such as myself). Amazon has given no date for reopening, unfortunately. Since I can’t access the Amazon Advantage program, the chapters on finding a decent printer weren’t useful either. To publish on Amazon, currently I need to use Amazon’s print on demand service. 

Another Amazon program that has expired but is included in the blooper book is the Matchbook program, where you could offer a digital copy of your print book for a reduced price or free. This nifty feature was taken out of circulation in October of 2019. Phooey. 

Not everything presented was obsolete or irreverent though. I really liked the idea of creating a tag line that expresses what my books (or me) do to benefit the reader. I also appreciated the suggestion to add a copyright watermark to images that I have created and share on social media. 

Overall, I was disappointed with the amount of useful information I found in this book that had such high ratings on Amazon. Some chapters seemed redundant, others weren’t useful since the feature wasn’t available anymore, and others were irrelevant to my particular writing situation. If you are a first-time author looking for the tricks of the trade, I can’t say that I recommend How to Avoid 101 Book Publishing Blunders, Bloopers & Boo-Boos: how to successful publish a book by Judith Briles.

The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2021 Flash Sale

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Ultimate Bundles is filling October with one flash sale after another. This will be your LAST chance to get these bundles before they disappear into the nether. Let’s go through them one by one.

The first flash sale is on October 4-5, The Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle 2021 Flash Sale. The bundle is awesome. This set includes 20 eBooks, 18 eCourses & Summits, 5 Printables & Workbooks for $37. But the fun doesn’t end there. You will ALSO get the chance to purchase the Herbs + Essential Oils Super Bundle with my book, Traditional Mexican Herbal Remedies, included!  

It includes 20 herbs, or rather 19, and miel sagrado (sacred Melipona honey) and their medicinal use by Mexican healers as well as scientific research on their effectiveness in treating a variety of ailments. This little book is ONLY available through Ultimate Bundles and after this flash sale, it will no longer be available. With the Herbs + Essential Oils Super Bundle, you’ll get 18 ebooks (including mine), 11 courses, 6 printables, and workbooks, worth a total of worth $684.36 for $37.

Also available as a purchase option with the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle is the Gardening & Sustainable Living Bundle, back for one more hurrah.

Then on October 11-12, it’s The Ultimate Homeschooling Bundle Flash Sale. This bundle has 2 eBooks, 17 eCourses, 29 Workbooks, and Printables & 2 Membership Sites, 50 products worth $1875.22 for $37. 

The third flash sale is for the Ultimate Productivity Bundle on October 18-19. It has 29 products worth $1291.98 for $37 including 16 eCourses, 10 Planners, 3 Printables & Workbooks.

The Ultimate Homemaking Bundle Flash sale is October 25-26. It has 48 products worth $2377.81 consisting of 8 eBooks, 25 eCourses, 15 Printables & Workbooks. The free webinar will be Productive Homemaking: 5 Steps to a Chaos Free Home with Susan Cramer of Motivated Moms on October 25 at 11 am EST.

Staying Healthy Living Longer! 7 Powerful Principles for a Healthier You! by Mary DiCaro

I chose this book because I am interested in living as young as possible, as long as possible. Although I’m what you might classify as middle-aged, I understand that my long-term life satisfaction is dependent on what I do now. Staying Healthy Living Longer! 7 Powerful Principles for a Healthier You! by Mary DiCaro promised me some helpful insight on health, activity, and well-being.

The book was choked full of pertinent information. Since I have read several similar books and taken some healthful living courses, most facts were not mind-boggling but familiar. The author went into detail about our bodies’ systems and how much control we have over our welfare. She emphasized the mind-body connection and the often ignored component of diet as the cause of illness. She talked about what we shouldn’t continue to do and provided examples of what a successful aging lifestyle looks like.

As much as I felt this was a high-value book, I had some issues with the organization. The first section seemed to be an overview of what would be discussed in the book. The second section concentrated on scientific studies proving or disproving the benefits of certain behaviors. The third section finally got around to explaining the seven powerful strategies of aging gracefully. All of this information was informative. However, the presentation made some parts redundant and added to the book’s length (a whopping 385 pages). In theory, restructuring the text would reduce its length by about a third.

There were also some editing errors. The two most common grammar issues I saw were punctuation outside the quotation marks, commas and periods, and random capitalization of words. While they didn’t directly detract from the information, the English teacher in me cringed each time I came across an instance.

Anyone looking for good advice on successful aging would enjoy Staying Healthy Living Longer! 7 Powerful Principles for a Healthier You! by Mary DiCaro. However, it did have a decided Christian slant, which may be off-putting for some readers.

I received an ARC from Reedsy Discovery. You can read my review here.

Black Thumb Greenhouse: How to Take Your Self-Sufficient Homestead from Dream to Reality: An Introduction to Greenhouse Gardening even Cactus-Killers can Master by J.D. Isaly

J.D. Isaly has done a magnificent job of describing greenhouse options, detailing necessary components to successful greenhouse gardening, and discussing plants that do well in greenhouse conditions. The information about the history of the greenhouse and the benefits of utilizing a greenhouse were well-researched and clearly presented. 

The author shared his extensive knowledge about greenhouse construction and its upkeep. Since I have been dithering back and forth about whether I wanted to invest in a greenhouse to extend my growing season, I read this book eagerly. After I finished, I decided that a greenhouse is not in the near future because of the growing conditions in my area based on the information Isaly provided. Thus, you can see that the thorough treatment of the topic would be extremely beneficial to anyone considering or ready to take the leap into greenhouse gardening.

I especially liked how the author talked about how gardening can provide physical and mental benefits to the gardener. Anyone who putters around in the soil can attest to the contentment felt out digging in the dirt. Of course, the physical activity involved in gardening is beneficial to staying in shape as is the option of eating non-GMO, organic produce. Interspersed between the chapters were short, fascinating trivia tidbits about plants under the heading “Did you know?”

The only thing I felt would have added to this informative text were drawings. For instance, when the author was explaining the relative merit of different types of greenhouses, I would have liked to have had a picture to help me understand the descriptions better. Or when describing the drainage system, I didn’t really have a clear idea of what the v-shaped flood floor consisted of. An illustration would have been helpful here too.

So if you are considering setting a greenhouse to augment your food production, then Black Thumb Greenhouse: How to Take Your Self-Sufficient Homestead from Dream to Reality: An Introduction to Greenhouse Gardening even Cactus-Killers can Master by J.D. Isaly is the perfect book to help you begin.

I received an ARC from Reedsy Discovery. You can read my review here.

Book Giveaway–La Yacata Revolution

If you’ve ever wondered how feasible it is to find a little place in Mexico to settle down, then  La Yacata Revolution: How NOT to Buy a Piece of Heaven in Mexico is the perfect book for you. This short, strange tale of one woman’s quest to not only find and buy, but connect to basic ultilties in rural Mexico is FREE for the next few days. Get your FREE copy today at Amazon!

Herbal Academy’s Back To School Sale

Herbal Academy is having its Back to School Sale with sales up to 30% off site-wide. WHOOP! Learn to create your own perfume blends, forage for mushrooms and other wild edibles, try your hand at herbal fermentation, or rebuild your strength in the holistic cancer care course, all from the comfort of your own home.

Plus, the brand new Business Herbal Course has a pre-registration discount of $50 off tuition and an exclusive-access Business Bonus Portal featuring dozens of inspiring entrepreneurial resources and services, valued at $1500, until September 19. If you’ve ever toyed with the idea of turning your herbal passion into a business, then this is the course for you!

Probably Dead by Ed Church

Probably Dead by Ed Church is part of the Detective Brook Deelman Mystery series. However, I didn’t feel as if I needed to read the other books in the series in order to follow the storyline. I enjoy a good investigative drama and this book fits the bill to a T. 

Beginning in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, Detective Brook Deelman stops a bar robbery and is handed the case files for a thirty year old unsolved disappearance. His investigation takes him back to London and his own precinct. The mystery resolves itself unexpectedly, going full circle in returning to South Africa.

I’m especially fond of mysteries that I haven’t solved from my armchair half-way through. Then when I found out I could read more of Detective Deelman’s crime-stopping crusades, color me delighted! If you are a mystery fan and admire rugged and efficient detectives too, you’ll love Probably Dead by Ed Church.