Melting in the Middle Blog Tour

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Melting in the Middle

Long-listed for the Exeter Novel Prize, Melting in the Middle is a literary comedy about redemption and second chances, played out amid the madness of modern life.

For Stephen Carreras, life is in turmoil. His career with Britain’s worst chocolate company is heading for the rocks when it’s taken over by US confectionery giant Schmaltz. He’s just turned forty, he’s messed up on marriage and is struggling to keep a toehold in the lives of his monosyllabic teenage children.

Then he meets Rachel, who dances to a very different beat. She challenges him to do good among the carnage that surrounds him. But to do so, he must confront his past and work out all over again what really matters…

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Author Bio –

Born in Yorkshire, Andy Howden read English at Sheffield University before a career in marketing, including working for a multi-national company in London and Paris. This novel was long-listed for the Exeter Novel Prize as ‘funny,poignant and uplifting’ and sprang out of a MA in Creative Writing at St Mary’s University in Twickenham. Andy lives in South West London with is wife and has two grown up children who have left home but fortunately keep popping back to see him.

Social Media Links –

Twitter: @andy_howden

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Eleven Days in June Blog Tour

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Eleven Days in June (The Little Leaf Series, 1).

Devon, 1985. Dan is 20, lives in a sleepy village and works in a small DIY shop. He likes numbers and hero worships Lord Nelson. But he finds ordinary people difficult to understand and he’s certainly never kissed a girl. His mother mocks him, and he misses his father and he pines for Ollie, his only childhood friend who truly understood him.

But, despite it all, Dan thinks he’s happy enough. Until one June day, the beautiful and mysterious Libby walks into his shop – and into Dan’s life.

Libby’s sudden appearance turns Dan’s ordered existence upside down. But Dan soon realises that Libby isn’t who she seems. Who exactly is she? What is she hiding, and, more importantly, who’s that threatening man always looking for her?

In trying to help Libby, Dan comes to realise what’s missing in his own life, and, in turn, appreciates what’s really important…

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Author Bio – I was born one Christmas Day, which means, as a child, I lost out on presents. Nonetheless, looking back on it, I lived a childhood with a “silver spoon in my mouth” – brought up in a rambling manor house in the beautiful Devon countryside. It’s been downhill ever since.

I was a librarian for a long time, a noble profession. Then I started a series called History In An Hour, “history for busy people”, which I sold to HarperCollins UK.

I now live in London with my wife, two children and dog (a fluffy cockapoo) and write historical fiction, mainly 20th-century war and misery, and humorous books set in 1980s England.

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The Art of Hybrid Timber Framing Release Blitz and Giveaway

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Architecture & Design

Date Published: 2/23/2021

Publisher: Frank Amato Publications

Hybrid Timber Framing has experienced a massive resurgence in modern architecture. The potential for gorgeous personalized design is unmatched. Hybrid Timber Framing done wrong, however, can create ugly imbalance and detract from the overall look and feel. Done right, it goes so far beyond the initial investment, the value is hard to overstate.

The Art of Hybrid Timber Framing explores the link between traditional craftsmanship, with current building styles such as “Craftsman”, “Rustic”, “Modern” and beyond. It is a must-read for Owners, Designers, and Builders who want to influence the look and feel of their project using exposed beam construction. It is rich with ideas, imagery, and instruction to jump start your inspiration and planning.

Naturally, timbers and exposed beams have outsized impact on the aesthetics of building projects. Adding timbers without weighing the structural and aesthetic impacts can magnify any awkward imbalances; proceeding without addressing these important considerations is very risky.

While this is not a technical manual, you will learn how to avoid expensive pitfalls and understand the diverse timber styles showcased in this book. This will help you better communicate your ideas, achieve an enjoyable building process, and maximize your probabilities of getting the right look using hybrid timber framing. This guide will help you plan and build it right the first time!

You will Discover:

How to achieve optimized beauty by first defining ugly

Where to draw the line with hybrid timber framing

Seven chapters portraying diverse and unique timber styles

How to avoid the over simplified “Hail Mary” approach

How to accurately predict the cost of hybrid timber framing

Learn from a Master of Hybrid Timber Framing. There is absolutely no need to repeat needless mistakes. Bert Sarkkinen, the author, has explored timber framing from the perspective as a builder, a designer and a researcher. His specialty has been in matching clients’ personalities and tastes, to the ideal timber frame designs to accentuate what is unique about the clients project or theme. The book delves into these relationships between design preferences, and actual Hybrid Timber Frame applications. Structural aspects, timber sizing, the golden ratio, and design/build processes are necessary for a successful the outcome. This book is highly informative, with beautiful photography, and is like a coach in your pocket a with personal touch!

About The Author

When Bert Sarkkinen was 16, he quit his job as a farm hand and went to work for his father as a framing apprentice. This golden opportunity gave him the foundation to become a trailblazer in the hybrid timber framing industry.

Fascinated with the way people tick, Sarkkinen discovered that he could match people to the right timber framing options by understanding their personalities. Ultimately, when their wants and needs are properly analyzed, it results in a personalized Timber Framing experience that exceeds expectations.

He understands nuances in personality types, such as thinkers tend to go for function before form. The way people talk, the vernacular they use, can say a lot about their real tastes.

Through a “Trial By Fire” Bert Sarkkinen built his team and dialed in the best people to take the vision of his company to the next level. As the company gained more traction, and employees took more ownership, Bert became a visionary and a leader, teaching the craft of timber framing to others as well as instilling in them years of expertise as an ally to help them succeed.

Today, Bert Sarkkinen is not only the founder of Arrow Timber, he is also the author of The Art of Hybrid Timber Framing, releasing as a second edition, January, 2021. The book is a guide for people who want to explore Timber Framing, and for those who enjoy the unique aesthetics it offers architecture and homebuilding. It is a look into the amazing world of Timber Framing and it makes for a beautiful coffee table book.

Bert can discuss:

· How Timber Framing can be personalized art

· How one can discover unknown aspects of their personality by their preferences in style and design – the quiz he created for potential clients

· What is personalized art? What happens when it is done right? When it is done wrong?

· What do you mean when you suggest people should focus on outward things and not on inward things?

· Why is it important for people to value their gifts? What words of wisdom can you share about not “downplaying” ones’ self?

· Why do you recommend people to always break a sweat before taking a shower?

· What are daddy long legs?

· Advice to future business leaders about tenacity and perseverance.

· What are the four levels of “ugly” and how does this tie into being happy?

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The Breakthrough in Two Acts Audiobook Blog Tour

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Author: Fredric C. Hartman PhD

Narrator: Stefan Rudnicki, Gabrielle de Cuir, & Justine Eyre

Length: 6 hours 34 minutes

Publisher: Skyboat Media

Released: Dec. 15, 2020

Genre: Self-Development

In The Breakthrough in Two Acts, Dr. Fredric C. Hartman paints a vivid picture of emotional pain and its context within the human mind and brain. Set in the dramatic backdrop of a therapy session as a stage play, featuring Dr. Hartman as the psychologist and Human Consciousness itself as “the patient”, this is a practical guide for anyone who struggles with negative or painful emotions.In his play, Dr. Hartman tells the story about our vulnerability to painful emotions, which flare up from the depths of our brains, casting distressing and destructive spells over us. As the play unfolds, he develops two new experiences to help strengthen our consciousness: one, by actively breaking the spell of the two thoughts that lie at the heart – and generate the distress – in each of our negative emotions, and two, by embracing the strange, fleeting collection of conditions that come along with the present moments of our lives as they each flash by.The Breakthrough in Two Acts is an appeal to humanity and a plan for how to use one “part” of our brain – consciousness – to quiet down another chronically overheated “part” – the limbic system – that has ravaged our species with troubles ranging from emotional illness to war. Here is a way of thinking for hard times to help overcome emotional distress and embrace a calmer and more fulfilling way to experience life.

Dr. Fredric C. Hartman has been a clinical psychologist in private practice for over 30 years. In addition to general practice, he has specialized experience in treating losses and post-traumatic stress disorder. He was a consultant for ten years to Hospice Care Network in New York where he ran bereavement groups with widows and widowers and support groups with the nurses who went into the homes of the dying. He was mentored there closely by Cathy Fanslow Brunjes who was trained by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. He has also worked extensively with the first responders to the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001.


STEFAN RUDNICKI is a Grammy-winning audiobook producer and an award-winning narrator who has won several Audie Awards, as well as more than twenty-five Earphones Awards, and been named one of AudioFile’s Golden Voices.


GABRIELLE DE CUIR, an Audie and Earphones Award–winning narrator, has narrated over two hundred titles and specializes in fantasy, humor, and titles requiring extensive foreign language and accent skills. Her “velvet touch” as an actor’s director has earned her a special place in the audiobook world as the foremost producer for bestselling authors and celebrities.


JUSTINE EYRE is a classically trained actress who has narrated many audiobooks, earning the prestigious Audie Award for best narration and numerous Earphones Awards. She has appeared on stage and has had starring roles in four films on the indie circuit. Her television credits include Two and a Half Men and Mad Men.


Author Interview for Fredric C. Hartman, Ph.D., 

author of The Breakthrough in Two Acts

1—There’s an interesting history to your book and your difficulties reading and writing that writers might find intriguing and inspiring:

  So it was the second after midnight as 1999 was turning into 2000 when I began to write the book. I had just turned 46. Seemed like an interesting moment to begin. My wife and two young daughters were asleep. Thereafter I wrote from 5-6 am every morning, 7 days a week, for 7 years (with more towards the end) when the book was originally published. I read somewhere that it will take two full years of daily, focused writing to find my voice, which I did at precisely the two year mark. Then every year after I revised it thoroughly (the new self-published world allowed this) beginning in August until the first of the next year when I would get a new copyright date to keep current. I did this over and over because I actually had such serious difficulties reading and writing (and still do). I love reading but I read very slowly. So I got into revising the book to clean and tighten the grammar, update the scientific facts and adjusting the vision of it to how I was changing along with mood of the culture as I saw it. I always kept the outer structure of the book the same and only polished and revised the prose within it, just like a hard chrysalis with the butterfly forming and transforming inside. And so the book has been revised thoroughly over 13 times with 13 editions being produced, a copy of each of which is in my cabinet.

But now we are in a very dramatic moment in history with the pandemic, civil unrest and economic and political chaos and the book speaks directly to it like never before. The book now feels complete and finished. It addresses this huge moment of turmoil in the world and in people’s lives with an explanation—a theory—to explain our history of emotional problems as a species, and it offers a remedy, the ingredients of a new outlook, for all the anguish of our times. 

2—Why did you choose a stage play as a format for your self-help book?

I wanted the effect of the book on a reader’s mind to be one in which there was a feeling of being among others. A play can have that effect. There can be a very heightened, communal focus in a theater where a play is performed. And when people hear of a play about something serious they tend to think of Shakespeare and a sense that something profound is being communicated. Really, my book has a lot of these modifications to a usual kind of self-help book (the stage play with stage directions, the changing, font sizes for emphasis, etc.) because I wanted it to have a striking effect. I want it to be dramatic. There’s a sentence in the book that goes like this which sums it all up nicely: “There are props I use in this performance, seemingly ridiculous at times, but playfully designed to amplify it’s deadly serious message.”

3—What would you say is your target audience:

I would say any late teen or adult who could read. The book offers a theory based on science and history about why humans have emotional problems, why there’s greed, crime, corruption, oppression, genocide and war. It’s a hopeful book about what I’d like to think is the next stage in our evolution as a species which every individual can and needs to play a role in. The book is for everyone; it’s written in the simplest English I know. But I have a strong feeling that, because of its unusual design, it may appeal more to young people, late teens and 20s, young adults. The book has a soaring feeling in it in many places. It seeks to generate awe and wonder and touches on mysteries in the way it uses the universe and scientific facts as metaphors. There’s also enough in the book to keep going back to it for more. And it doesn’t want to be pigeonholed or forced into any category. These things I associate with young people. And after all, the book is 20 years old now; it’s on the brink of adulthood itself, ready for the world.

4—Were there any real life inspirations behind your writing of this book?

Yes, I believe, apart from it being an attempt to overcome the painful time I’ve had with reading and writing, my brother, Doug, was an inspiration. He took his life at 24 (severe bipolar disorder) precisely when I was finishing my doctorate in clinical psychology in 1986. We were the best of friends and loved being together. I miss him. The feeling in this book, the aim in it for a total view of everything, the fun, the playfulness, the ridiculousness, hearkens me back to the way he and I would carry on. And of course inspiring this book is also an urge to heal—one and all.

5—How do you manage to avoid burn-out? What do you do to maintain your enthusiasm for writing?

Writing, revising are encounters with your deepest nature that you translate into words. You translate this vast wordless universe inside into a vivid strand of words that will somehow evoke what’s important. It’s all quite impossible and humbling. So I take a lot of breaks to stay refreshed. I get away from language except for the little bit of reading I’m able to do each day. I have left this book aside from January until August. I was renewed by the time I went back to it, excited to reshape it with who I and my world became in the interim.

6—What bits of advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Know yourself as deeply as you can. Be in psychotherapy for a while with a good therapist. Write about what pains you and what inspires. Go all the way to the most disturbing and wonderful things. Let yourself feel lost. Don’t stop wondering. Try to feel as much awe as you can because it’s the doorway to a paradigm shift. Learn about nature. Learn words. Be your feral self and stop using words for stretches of time. Read. Read the greatest writing you can find.

7—How did you celebrate after finishing this book?

Well, I approved of my revisions just a week ago. So I just finished. I’m celebrating by letting the book just reverberate in my mind, feeling free of the exhausting labor of revising, preparing corrections for the publisher, reading proofs over and over. I’m celebrating by taking long walks, socializing, find new sources of inspiration for myself as COVID-19 rages, civil unrest breaks out and this whole strange world is transforming before our eyes. 

8—What would you say are the most significant cultural influences of your life?

I grew up in the 60s, another time of crisis and transformation like the one we’re in now. I would say that the space program had a very powerful effect on me. Young people now probably don’t know that just about every 3-4 months throughout the 1960s there was the launch of a major mission into space toward the goal of going the Moon. Every 3-4 months for the boy I was to watch a liftoff and a journey

into space and the astounding progress of each mission! The Beatles and the general explosion of new music were also quite captivating to me. 

9—What’s next for you?

Because my book feels like it has reached its final form and is looking now like such a strangely direct response to our times, I feel a call to try to get the book out there and get as many people to read it as I can. The ideas in it about our human nature and the calamity at our doorsteps, about what explains our troubles as a species based on what happened 14,000 years ago that we haven’t dealt with yet, what needs to happen now and what each individual can do with his or her own mind to help make it happen—these ideas are compelling me in an urgent way to get it out there now. I’m involved with my private practice, but I’ll see where this goes.

Dr. Fredric C. Hartman’s Most Beloved Authors

Well, until I went to college I was only interested in reading Superman comics and that was a short stint. I never read what was assigned in high school. In college I took all science courses so I only had to read the same textbook over and over. It was after college when the gene turned on and I fell in love with reading. Since I couldn’t read a lot I had to select the reading I would get the most out of. So I went to the very greatest writers because their writing was the best and the easiest on my system.

  1. Frank Kafka (The Metamorphosis, The Trial)
  2. Ernest Hemingway (his short stories)
  3. Scott Fitzgerald (The Great Gatsby)
  4. Ralph Waldo Emerson (essays)
  5. Henry David Thoreau (Walden)
  6. Charlotte Brontë (Jane Eyre)
  7. Virginia Woolf (essays are amazing)
  8. Lauren Eiseley (essays)
  9. H. Lawrence (novels, short stories)
  10. James Joyce (The Dubliners, A Portrait…)

So much great writing out there.

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His To Keep Reviewer Tour

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His To Keep by Sherrinda Ketchersid

Genre: Medieval Romance, Christian Historical Fiction

Purchase Links: Amazon Indie Bound

My Review

Ian McGowan is the youngest brother in his family. His older siblings have passed on the chance for the inheritance of Whitfield Castle. It’s in need of great repair, but he is excited about claiming this inheritance. The only catch is that the inheritance comes with a bride.

The young lady who is living in and managing the castle will be his bride. When he arrives with his faithful friend to enter the castle he is unable to get in. Claire refuses him at the castle gate, because she hates all Scots. Scottish men killed the feisty red-haired maiden’s parents and left her for dead.

So Ian and Phillip break into the castle wall through a disgusting shoot. Even after they get into the castle, Claire fights with all her might (and her loyal castle staff). But, Ian will not surrender and eventually makes a type of peace with her.

The inheritance has been arranged by the king, so over time Claire realizes that she has no choice but to marry him. She gradually sees that Ian is a very honorable man. He immediately begins restoring the castle and spending money to make the castle into a profitable estate. He treats Claire as a very special prize to be won. He is gracious, kind, and gentle. He begins to gain her trust and love.

But, he won’t have an easy time with any of this. Ian and Claire are later in danger and there are surprises on every page. It seems that everything is against them. What will happen? Will they actually get married and will Ian claim the inheritance?

Christian faith is included in the book and God’s sovereignty is beautifully displayed. There is so much great action and adventure in the book. I love the humor and romance throughout.

I loved the story and recommend the book to readers in their older teens and adults. It’s a good living book for those (like me) who love English history. The medieval time of knights and fair ladies comes alive within the pages of His To Keep.

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The Retirement Mirage Book Tour & Giveaway

Time to Think Differently

Nonfiction / Retirement Planning

Date Published: February 16, 2021

Publisher: The Strategic Wealth Advisor

Don’t be fooled by the retirement mirage.

Are you still buying into the retirement mirage, hoping that, once you stop working, your life will be a perpetual enjoyment, exploration, and pleasant experience? It’s time to think differently.

Your ideas about retirement are dissipating before your eyes. People are living longer, and the world is changing faster because of advancing technology. Twenty-first century notions about retirement are antiquated.

Nancy Hite has a fiduciary duty when guiding her clients’ financial process throughout their lives. If you’re like them, then you are so busy in your day-to-day life that you don’t have time to think farther ahead than next week’s paycheck. Nancy helps you: See ahead when you’re too busy to look up®.

In The Retirement Mirage, Nancy dissects the key points to help you think differently about your financial future.

· People are living longer today than at any time in history — be prepared so you don’t run out of money before you run out of time

· The world is evolving with climate change, disease, unsteady markets — learn how to adapt to constant change

· Technology is changing the world — find out how science positively impacts your financial future

· Education and our children — let’s give them a process that establishes a strong financial foundation for financial stability

· Spend it now, spend it later, or spend it never® — find out why this is Nancy’s motto and why it should be yours, too

The Retirement Mirage combines Nancy’s years of financial expertise with real-life examples to show you a variety of perspectives. The Retirement Mirage will inspire you to honestly assess your financial situation and offers the tools you need to prepare for the realities of your financial future.

The Retirement Mirage includes advice for all ages on what experts don’t tell you.

About the Author

Nancy Hite is the founder of The Strategic Wealth Advisor® LLC, located in Boca Raton, Florida.

She offers forthright advice and has a fiduciary duty to provide meaningful and workable options to help her clients prepare for and enjoy the current and future chapters of their lives by focusing on their personal goals.

Her first book, “The Retirement Mirage,” offers a fresh perspective to your future financial stability.

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