In the Spotlight: Big & Fabulous: The Life and Times of Brenda Cankle by Randi Sherman

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Title: BIG & FABULOUS, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF BRENDA CANKLES
Author: Randi Sherman
Publisher: Friesen Press
Pages: 282
Genre: Humor Fiction

The time for BIG & Fabulous, The Life and Times of Brenda Cankles is now! The emphasis is on positive body image, Big & Fabulous is a truly entertaining story that’s strongly written, funny, insightful and bitingly smart. Inside it’s covers, readers will find no shortage of acidly hilarious accounts of the highs and lows of living life inside a big and fabulous body.

Imperfect, impervious and improving Brenda Cankles is an unlikely heroine. Unfazed by the enduring censure of society, she is determined to realize the fabulous life that she has always believed is her destiny.

Brenda’s story – written in unflinching first person – is utterly unvarnished. Here, find a fantastically real person, sometimes struggling to fit in, but mostly giving the rest of the world the mother-lovin’ bird. From her clunky childhood, through her stumbling yet optimistic adolescence to her full figured and unapologetic emergence into adulthood. Brenda is a special brand of warrior. She is big, bold and beautiful. While the quirky cast of characters who surround her is eternally insistent that Brenda live her life in the background and fit into society’s mold, she will have none of it.

Author, Randi Sherman’s experience as a stand-up comedienne is evident as she delivers, BIG & Fabulous, The Life and Times of Brenda Cankles, the hilarious, often laugh-out-loud novel about the inner most thoughts Brenda Cankles, a very real character who is confident and brave enough to expect the world to accept her on her terms.

BIG & Fabulous, The Life and Times of Brenda Cankles is Sherman’s fifth novel, her fourth THE LOBBY has won 17 Awards for Humor and General Fiction.

Watch the book trailer at YouTube.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

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Book Excerpt:

DEAR SOCIETY,
We have a big job ahead of us. In elementary school, I will be "the fat kid" with a wild imagination. In high school, I'll try to fit in but won't. I will be an outcast, considered lumbering and awkward. No one, including my family, will expect much from me because I won't be like the other girls. Being a big and a bold  and a brash  girl, I will be  the focus   of your attention as you advise me to stifle myself, adjust my enthusiasm, and be grateful for any attention I  receive.
To  the bullies and doubters, let me be the  first to  thank  you in advance for continually reminding me that I have the potential to end up as someone's dusty spinster aunt who shares a can of bargain tuna with seventeen cats, or that weird neighbor you see but try desperately to  avoid.
Although it's hard to believe, I will cherish our relation­ship because you, Society, will never ignore me. I don't know what I will do or have done to garner so much of your atten­tion and devotion. I'm sure you have other and more impor­tant things to do, like creating jobs, housing the homeless, raising money to cure cancer, and feeding the hungry. But, no, you will dedicate television shows and magazine articles to me, and spend your valuable time and energy compar­ing what it is that you consider "perfect" to my reality and encourage me to change into someone "typical." I know it will be exhausting for you.
I have to admit that there will be times when my self-­esteem will be tested. Other times, I'll be a non-believer, and want to give up, possibly disappointing you.
Because of your often obsessive yet unwavering attention and dedication to making me aware of my shortcomings­ or, worse, your condescending and hollow and self-serving attempts to encourage me to accept my "inadequacies" and situation - you will present me with a challenge. It will take all of my strength and determination, but I will dig deep within myself to realize I have the potential to be fabulous.
Like fine wine, opera, and stinky cheese, I am valuable, an acquired taste, and, like all treasures, I should be appreciated and celebrated.
Like it or not, whether you intend it or not, I just might turn out to be a wise, compassionate, creative, funny, gener­ous, and a kind person. You see, I have the ability to learn and grow.
Yes, I am big and I am bold, and I accept your challenge. Be forewarned. I will be a force to be reckoned with because   I am special. I am beautiful and I am a superhero. Now, get the fuck off my cape. I have things to do.
Sincerely,
Brenda  Merle  Cankles, "The Big One"


About the Author

Randi M Sherman is the award winning author of humorous fiction books.
With an eye for detail, an ear for well-tuned dialogue and an incredible grasp of the obvious, all honed while performing stand-up comedy in Los Angeles and improvisational theater in San Francisco, Sherman adds just enough bawdiness to deliver character-driven contemporary novels that will have the reader laughing, thinking and connecting with the characters in her books.

A native Californian, Randi makes her home in California's wine country. Trying her hand at country living Randi describes herself the Eva Gabor of the Sonoma/Napa area.

Randi earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Chapman University.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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5 BOOKS TO WATCH FOR IN MARCH

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Oh the winds of March are blowing. While you're tucked comfy inside, here are five books I recommend while you're waiting for warm weather to come your way!

Starting Over on Blackberry Lane: A Romance Novel (Life in Icicle Falls)

 
Time for a Change—or Three! 

Stefanie Stahl has a husband with renovation ADD. He can't seem to finish anything he starts and her house is littered with his "projects." If he doesn't smarten up, she swears she's going to murder him and bury him under the pile of scrounged lumber in the backyard.

Her friend Griffin James is suddenly single and thinking maybe she needs to sell her fixer-upper and follow her career bliss up the ladder of success, even if that scary ladder is clear across the country. Getting her place ready to sell proves harder than she originally thought. She needs help.
She's not the only one. Cass Wilkes, their neighbor, has an empty nest—with a leaking roof. When her ceiling crashes in, she knows it's time to do something. When Grant Masters offers his handyman services at a fund-raiser auction, the three women go in together to outbid the competition and win their man. (Cass's friends think she should win Grant in a different way, too!) Now it's time to make some improvements…in their houses and their lives.

The Ashes (The Rebecca Underhill Trilogy Book 2)


"Don't go down into the cellar, Mommy..."

From Thriller Award winner and New York Times and USA Today bestselling author comes the long awaited sequel to the No. 1 Overall Amazon Bestselling suspense thriller, THE REMAINS.

"Sensational...Masterful...Brilliant." --New York Post

"Gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting." --Harlan Coben, New York Times bestselling author of Six Years

"Tough, stylish, heartbreaking." –Don Winslow, New York Times bestselling author of Savages

HORROR IN THE DARK WOODS
It’s been eight years since artist and single mom, Rebecca Underhill, was abducted and left to die in an old broken down house located in the middle of the dark woods. But even if her abductor, Joseph William Whalen, has since been killed, another, more insidious evil is once more out to get her in the form of the Skinner. The son of an abusive butcher, Skinner intends on finishing the job Whalen started but failed at.

How is he going to get to Rebecca?

He’s going to do it through her children, by luring them into the cornfield behind the old farmhouse they live in.

HORROR IN THE DEPTHS
Now, armed with the knowledge that the Skinner has escaped incarceration at a downstate facility for the criminally insane, Rebecca must face the most horrifying challenge of her adult life: Rescuing the children not from a house in the woods, but from the abandoned tunnels that run underneath her property.

But the Skinner is watching Rebecca’s every move.

Horrifying question is, will she live long enough to save the children?

Little Girl Lost: A gripping thriller that will have you hooked (Detective Robyn Carter crime thriller series Book 1)

by Carol Wyer

 Her breath rose and fell in fearful gasps but it was too late. She could already see what she dreaded most. The back seat was empty.

Her little girl was gone.

Abigail lives the perfect life with her doting husband and adorable baby Izzy. But someone knows a secret about Abigail and they want the truth to be told.

When Izzy is snatched from a carpark, it becomes a case for Detective Robyn Carter. Someone has been sending threatening messages to Abigail from an anonymous number. What is Abigail hiding?

Robyn’s instincts tell her there’s a connection between Izzy’s abduction and two murders she is investigating. But the last time she acted on impulse her fianc√© was killed. To break this case and earn her place back on the force, she must learn to trust herself again – and fast. Robyn is on the hunt for a ruthless serial killer. And unless she gets to the twisted individual in time a little girl will die …

Gripping, fast-paced and nail-bitingly tense, this serial killer thriller will chill you to the bone. Perfect for fans of Angela Marsons, Rachel Abbott and Karin Slaughter.

Alaska Home: A Romance Novel Falling for Him\Ending in Marriage\Midnight Sons and Daughters

 
LONELY MEN IN HARD LUCK, ALASKA, LOOKING FOR WOMEN. 

OUR TOWN MIGHT BE COLD, BUT OUR HEARTS ARE WARM! 

Location: north of the Arctic Circle. Population: 150 (mostly men!) 

But the three O'Halloran brothers, who run a bush-plane charter service called Midnight Sons, are heading a campaign to bring women to town. 

Falling for Him 

Christian, the youngest O'Halloran brother, has a problem, and her name is Mariah Douglas. The Midnight Sons secretary is always losing his messages, misplacing his files and generally creating chaos. Despite that, he can't get her out of his mind…

Ending in Marriage 

The clashes between pilot Duke Porter and Seattle attorney Tracy Santiago are legendary. Duke's a tough, rugged individualist who delights in expressing outrageous opinions, particularly when Tracy's around. But she gives as good as she gets…and not just when they're arguing!

A Dog's Journey: A Novel (A Dog's Purpose series Book 2)

 
The direct sequel to the New York Times and USA Today bestselling A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron, which is now a major motion picture from Amblin Entertainment in association with Walden Media and distributed by Universal Pictures!

Buddy is a good dog.

After searching for his purpose through several eventful lives, Buddy is sure that he has found and fulfilled it. Yet as he watches curious baby Clarity get into dangerous mischief, he is certain that this little girl is very much in need of a dog of her own.

When Buddy is reborn, he realizes that he has a new destiny. He's overjoyed when he is adopted by Clarity, now a vibrant but troubled teenager. When they are suddenly separated, Buddy despairs—who will take care of his girl?

A charming and heartwarming story of hope, love, and unending devotion, A Dog's Journey asks the question: Do we really take care of our pets, or do they take care of us? More than just another endearing dog tale, A Dog's Journey is the moving story of unwavering loyalty and a love that crosses all barriers.
 
 

 

FREE BOOK: One White Lie by Jeannette Winters

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One White Lie
By Jeannette Winters

 
Single mother Lena Razzi is determined to forget billionaire Brice Henderson, but it won’t be easy — because her first love is her new boss! Old passions reignite, but Lena has a secret: How can she tell Brice that he’s the father of her child?

Free! $2.99
  

New Release! Starlight Bridge by Debbie Mason

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  • Series: Harmony Harbor (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (February 28, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455537225
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455537228
A second chance for romance...

Hidden in Graystone Manor is a book containing all the dark secrets of Harmony Harbor, and Ava DiRossi is determined to find it. No one-especially not her ex-husband, Griffin Gallagher-can ever discover what really tore her life apart all those years ago. With Griffin back in town, it's more important than ever that she find the book before someone else does. Because her ex is still angry with her for leaving him. And he still has no idea Ava never stopped loving him...

Ava is no longer the vibrant, happy woman Griffin had once loved and married, and he would do anything to bring back the sparkle to her brilliant green eyes. But what's never changed are the sexy sparks of attraction between Ava and Griffin, and he won't give her up again without a fight. He knows there's the real possibility of a future together... if the truth doesn't burn the bridge between them forever.
 


 

A Darker Shore by Malia Laidi

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Title: A Darker Shore
Author: Malia Zaldi
Publisher: Bookbaby
Pages: 400
Genre: Historical Mystery
1926: A year has passed since the events of "A Poisonous Journey" and Lady Evelyn has made a home for herself in Greece, living with her cousin, Briony, her husband, Jeffrey and Daniel Harper. Disturbing this island idyll is a letter, which arrives from France with troubling information about the Daniel’s long-believed-dead brother, Henry. A new journey awaits! With the shadows of the Great War reaching out, Lady Evelyn and Daniel voyage to Amiens in Northern France with the aim of discovering the truth behind the ominous letter. Upon their arrival, they are met not with clarity but rather with crime. Murder, to be precise. Is it linked to their presence in France, or even worse, to Henry himself?  Evelyn and Daniel must confront their history as they try to make sense of the present before the killer can strike again, and the secrets of the past are lost forever.

PURCHASE AT:

Amazon

Book Excerpt:

Prologue
Near Pozières, France 1917
            We came here to die.
            My heart beats the rhythm of the shell blast. Boom. Boom. Boom. Ready to burst, ready to break. Boom. Boom. Boom.
            "Get down!"
            An explosion of earth, light, and fire twenty feet beyond our trench.
            "Close one that?" McCragh bellows into my ear.
            I only manage a nod. Too many sounds echoing through my body, the steady pulsing of my heart, the tinny ringing in my ears. But silence can be just as bad I have learned. Silence can be death. My discovery weighs heavy on my mind. What will I do? Do I have a choice?
            "What are the orders?" asks a young man, whose name I cannot remember, standing at my other side, leaning heavily against the dirt wall of our trench, his feet squelching thickly in the mud underfoot.
            "Awaiting orders," says McCragh with a sneer. "Won't do us much good, waiting 'ere much longer, better get out, better to be moving."
            The nameless young man shies away from us, from the bitter words of the burly Scot
            Before I can respond, another man, the Runner, comes catapulting into the ditch. I help him right himself. His face is smeared with dirt and dust, but this mask cannot conceal his tender age. I shudder. We will all die here today.
            "Orders are to stay. Enemy" he gasps for air, "enemy is showing signs of retreat."
            "Retreat?" McCragh frowns. "Bleedin' cowards!"
            "Are you certain?" I ask, feeling the quiver in my voice.
            "Yessir, orders from above. Told us to wait it out."
            "Right, well done, son," I say, though the boy could be my brother. "Go on, then. Best make the rounds." I try to sound calm, reassuring, to keep my voice steady, while I know I fail and only hope my fear is disguised by the screams and blasts from above.
            "Yessir." He takes a breath and sets off at a brisk trot, as fast as the bodies crowded into this tight space will allow.
            "Another day to live in hell, then. Lovely." Lewis, a Cornish fellow with a missing left ear comments wryly as he materializes at our side.
            "Sounds about right." McCragh rolls his eyes, but makes an involuntary sign of the cross nonetheless.
            "Four months they told us," Rawlins, another man with a raspy voice adds, sticking a cigarette between his thin, flaking lips. "'Four months, lads, serve King and Country', eh? Bleedin' liars."
            "Watch what you're saying, or I'll 'ave you for treason!" McCragh winks and rubs his beard.
           
Time passes slowly. The sky goes from gray to purple to black tinged orange, and still the thrumming of the guns, the intermittent blasts, grow only slightly fainter, move only slightly farther away. We crouch together in the black, damp, misery of our trench, our only light is the flicker of orange at the end of a cigarette.
            "What will you do when this is all over?" comes the whispered voice of a young nameless soldier, who has drifted to my side.
            "If I'm not—" I start.
            "If yer not dead," chimes in McCragh. "If we get out of this pile o' shite in one bit, you mean, laddie?"
"Stop pissing about, McCragh," Rawlins says sharply. It is an unspoken rule not to mention the very real likelihood of us never seeing the end of this war.
            "Oh, right," comes McCragh's chastised reply. "I fer one will be gettin' back me ol' missus. Seein' the kids."
            "How many have you got, then?" Lewis asks, keen for any distraction from the agony of numb legs, and the even worse terror raging above us.
            "Two. Two little girls. Bessie and Mary. And I thank the Lord fer that. I'll never be sendin' them off to be blown to bits. I won't let them out of my sight again. Future husbands beware."
            We chuckle, though I do not doubt the sincerity of his statement. Future husbands beware indeed!
            "And you? How about you, son?" Lewis asks.
            "Just go home," I say. "See my mother, father. See my brothers."
            "How many?"
            "Two. One" I swallow, a sudden tightness in my throat, "one is here, somewhere . . ." I let the word float into the night, knowing the others understand. Silence descends upon our group, and soon I hear the faint sound of snoring. Can it be? Is one of them actually sleeping while the sky is falling down on us?
After some moments, I sense a sudden motion to my right. I turn my head, though I cannot see my hand before my eyes.
            "Hello?" I whisper, but before I can hear an answer, a sharp stab of pain swells in my chest. I gasp, my hand flying up, meeting . . . meeting wetness. Wetness? Sticky . . .
            I can't breathe; I grapple around, touching the soft, earthen wall, the rough fabric of a uniform.
            "I-I . . ." I swallow hard, pain explodes inside me, louder, more forceful than the shells above. My mouth feels dry, I try retching, but nothing comes. I am on the ground. "Help." I croak.
            I feel a hand on my shoulder. Hear voices, raised in concern. All I see is blackness and stars.
            We came here to die. 

Book Spotlight: Say Goodbye For Now by Catherine Ryan Hyde

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  • Paperback: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (December 13, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1503939448
  • ISBN-13: 978-1503939448
  • Amazon Buying Page
On an isolated Texas ranch, Dr. Lucy cares for abandoned animals. The solitude allows her to avoid the people and places that remind her of the past. Not that any of the townsfolk care. In 1959, no one is interested in a woman doctor. Nor are they welcoming Calvin and Justin Bell, a newly arrived African American father and son.

When Pete Solomon, a neglected twelve-year-old boy, and Justin bring a wounded wolf-dog hybrid to Dr. Lucy, the outcasts soon find refuge in one another. Lucy never thought she’d make connections again, never mind fall in love. Pete never imagined he’d find friends as loyal as Justin and the dog. But these four people aren’t allowed to be friends, much less a family, when the whole town turns violently against them.

With heavy hearts, Dr. Lucy and Pete say goodbye to Calvin and Justin. But through the years they keep hope alive…waiting for the world to catch up with them.

About the Author

Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of thirty published and forthcoming books. Her bestselling 1999 novel Pay It Forward, adapted into a major Warner Bros. motion picture starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt, made the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults list and was translated into more than two dozen languages for distribution in more than thirty countries. Her novels Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List; Jumpstart the World was also a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards and won Rainbow Awards in two categories. More than fifty of her short stories have been published in many journals, including the Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and the Sun, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her short fiction received honorable mention in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, a second-place win for the Tobias Wolff Award, and nominations for Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have also been cited in Best American Short Stories.

Ryan Hyde is also founder and former president of the Pay It Forward Foundation. As a professional public speaker, she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with AmeriCorps members at the White House, and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.

New Release! Starting Over on Blackberry Lane by Sheila Roberts

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  • Series: Life in Icicle Falls (Book 10)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: MIRA (February 28, 2017)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0778330036
  • ISBN-13: 978-0778330035
  • Amazon Purchasing Link
Time for a Change—or Three! 

Stefanie Stahl has a husband with renovation ADD. He can't seem to finish anything he starts and her house is littered with his "projects." If he doesn't smarten up, she swears she's going to murder him and bury him under the pile of scrounged lumber in the backyard.
Her friend Griffin James is suddenly single and thinking maybe she needs to sell her fixer-upper and follow her career bliss up the ladder of success, even if that scary ladder is clear across the country. Getting her place ready to sell proves harder than she originally thought. She needs help.

She's not the only one. Cass Wilkes, their neighbor, has an empty nest—with a leaking roof. When her ceiling crashes in, she knows it's time to do something. When Grant Masters offers his handyman services at a fund-raiser auction, the three women go in together to outbid the competition and win their man. (Cass's friends think she should win Grant in a different way, too!) Now it's time to make some improvements…in their houses and their lives.