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Thursday, April 1, 2021

5 Star Book Review for "When Never Comes" by Barbara Davis


An Amazon Charts most-read and most-sold book.

Author Barbara Davis deftly explores an emotionally charged landscape of pain, loss, and despair—and the risk one woman will take in the hope of loving again.

As a teenage runaway and child of an addict, Christy-Lynn learned the hard way that no address was permanent, and no promise sacred. For a while, she found a safe haven in her marriage to bestselling crime novelist Stephen Ludlow—until his car skidded into Echo Bay. But Stephen’s wasn’t the only body pulled from the icy waters that night. When details about a mysterious violet-eyed blonde become public, a media circus ensues, and Christy-Lynn runs again.

Desperate for answers, she’s shattered to learn that Stephen and his mistress had a child—a little girl named Iris, who now lives in poverty with her ailing great-grandmother. The thought of Iris abandoned to the foster care system—as Christy-Lynn once was—is unbearable. But she’s spent her whole life running—determined never to be hurt again. Will she finally stand still long enough to open herself up to forgiveness and love?

Editorial Reviews


When Never Comes is the story of a woman trapped in her own past, limited in all the ways she’s been hurt by others. But when love presents itself in new and unexpected ways, she has to face all the doors she’s closed…all the nevers she’s clung to. This is a story of love, hope, redemption, and rediscovering who you were meant to be, and it will resonate with readers who love a tale full of heart and soul.” —Camille Di Maio, bestselling author of The Memory of Us and Before the Rain Falls

When Never Comes is another winner from Barbara Davis: a contemporary mystery that connects a husband’s betrayal to childhood trauma and broken promises. Christy-Lynn’s story is about resilience and vulnerability; about the ways we hurt and the ways we heal; about huddling in self-protection but opening up to the possibilities of love.” —Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son and The Promise Between Us

“Brimming with compassion and a refreshingly grown-up romance, Barbara Davis’s story of a woman who has left herself behind in more ways than one is imbued with grace, patience, and hope. Second chances abound in this uplifting tale about starting over and how letting go of our nevers just might be the only thing that lets us move forward.” —Emily Carpenter, author of Burying the Honeysuckle Girls and The Weight of Lies

“Infused with honesty, friendship, and a touch of romance. Davis creates nuanced and well-developed characters who are faced with situations to which there are no easy answers. Told through alternating narrators and shifting between the present and Christy-Lynn’s difficult childhood with an addicted mother, When Never Comes is a carefully woven tale that the reader won’t soon forget.” —Emily Cavanagh, author of The Bloom Girls and This Bright Beauty

About the Author

After spending more than a decade as an executive in the jewelry business, Barbara decided to leave the corporate world to pursue her lifelong passion for writing. The author of The Secrets She CarriedThe Wishing TideSummer at Hideaway Key, and Love, Alice, this is her fifth novel. She lives in Rochester, New Hampshire, with her husband, Tom, and their beloved ginger cat, Simon, and is currently working on her next book. Visit her at or find her on Facebook at

Product details

  • Publisher : Lake Union Publishing (May 1, 2018)
  • Publication date : May 1, 2018
  • Language : English
  • File size : 4236 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Enabled
  • Screen Reader : Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
  • X-Ray : Enabled
  • Word Wise : Enabled
  • Print length : 363 pages
  • Lending : Not Enabled

5 Star Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto

This was the first book I read by author Barbara Davis and before I finished When Never Comes, I had already ordered her latest novel The Last of the Moon Girls. This is an incredibly talented author and I can't wait to get my hands on each and every one of her published works! 

To say I enjoyed When Never Comes would be quite the understatement. I began reading just after lunch on Sunday and read clear through supper. I believe my children made themselves sandwiches for supper, but quite frankly I didn't care - I was absolutely engrossed in this book and invested in finding out how everything turned out. Finally at well past midnight, my husband chased me off to bed reminding me the book would still be there in the morning. Of course, Christy-Lynn had become so dear to my heart that she's all could think of all night long. I woke up before my alarm and poured a cup of coffee and sat right back down in my chair and devoured the rest of the book. 

By the time my family was awaken on Monday morning, I was ready to tell them how wonderful When Never Comes was - my 14 year old daughter scooped up my copy and threw it in her backpack to read during study hall. She's enjoying it just as much as I did! We are both eager to discuss the questions at the end of the book and we look forward to reading The Last of the Moon Girls too! 

Barbara Davis developed her main character, Christy-Lynn so expertly. I felt as if I had known this woman and I was kindred to her as the story unfolded. A beautifully touching story written so eloquently. Absolutely 5 stars!

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Now Booking a WOW! Women on Writing Book Blog Tour for Allen Long's "Praying for Restraint"


Spring has sprung and the temperatures here in Wisconsin are creeping up - now, before we get busy plowing and planting fields let's take some time to delve into a fabulous new book! WOW! Women on Writing is helping promote more wonderful books and up and coming authors and we would love to include YOU in these tours! One in particular I'd like to share with you is Praying for Restraint by Allen Long!  I have the PDF version available TODAY and can provide them right away if you'd like to get reading - you won't want to wait! (Physical copies will be mailed by the author in late April after the April 27th publication date)

Please contact me today to reserve your copy  and participate in what is sure to be a fabulous tour. If you've never participated in a tour, feel free to inquire and I'll be happy to explain how it works - you don't even have to have your own blog!

Send an email today to participate - email address: or

Be sure to include the following:

* The email address you'd like your ebook sent to - and/or mailing address for your physical copy. 

*The name and url for your blog, or a note letting me know you do not have a blog

*A date you would prefer as your first choice, as well as a 2nd choice - this will be the date your review will be posted to your blog/this blog and social media. (the tours run as follows: author interview on May 17th on the WOW! blog, and reviews will post the 18th through the 27th) 

Including posting to a blog, it would be fabulous if you could post your review on Amazon/Goodreads as well as your own social media. This is greatly appreciated although not mandatory to participate in a book blog tour.

As soon as all the dates have been filled for the tours, and a calendar has been put together, I'll email a media kit to everyone involved. This kit will include the author pictures and bios as well the book cover and official summary and buy links for Praying for Restraint. This email will also include the calendar for the tour and should be able to answer most (if not all) the questions you may have concerning tour participation.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration in this and all matters.


Praying for Restraint
By, Allen Long

Tour Begins May 17th 2021

About Praying for Restraint:
Allen Long works as a CNA-certified nursing assistant-at that supposed sanctuary of caring, an inner-city general hospital. What an unforgettable parade of bizarre, needy, abusive, menacing, endearing, and poignant humanity passes through its doors. And those are just the staff and administrators! Meanwhile, the patient population spans the affluent and sophisticated to the homeless, the mentally ill, addicts, gang members, and criminals in custody. Praying for Restraint takes the reader on a journey into the absurd and surreal that is ultimately uplifting and harrowing, both funny and heartbreaking. Long's struggle to survive a relentlessly toxic work environment with body, soul, and marriage intact is as gripping as the battle against childhood abuse in his previous memoir, Less than Human. Reviewers found that book "inspiring, honest, and beautifully written, engaging, and thought-provoking." Praying for Restraint earns that praise and more.

About Allen Long:

Here’s how I became a writer. When I was a child in Arlington, Virginia, as soon as I understood what stories were, I began telling them to anyone who would listen. As a fifth-grader, I was recruited by the Storytellers, a small group of supervised fifth- and sixth-graders who told stories once a month to kids in the first, second, and third grades.

When I reached sixth grade, my teacher allowed me to skip all of my English assignments in exchange for me writing her a short story each week. In seventh grade, one of my stories placed second in an English class competition.

DNA strands
Storytelling seems to have been hardwired into my DNA.

One of my favorite memories from childhood is telling my younger brother, David, a made-up story every night during the summers we slept in twin beds in our cool basement.

I earned a BA in Communications/Journalism from Virginia Tech. While I was there, I took every creative writing class offered and wrote a story that placed second at a regional literary festival sponsored by nearby Hollins University. During my student days, I also worked half-time for two years as a reporter for The Roanoke Times.

After I graduated, I accepted a scholarship to earn an MA in English/fiction writing from Hollins University, where I wrote the first half of a novel. I then received a second scholarship and a teaching assistant position to pursue an MFA in fiction writing at the University of Arizona.

Shortly after I graduated, I published a story called “Second Honeymoon” in Concho River Review. After that, I decided to continue my writing education by working with master editor Tom Jenks. When Tom was a senior editor at Scribner’s, he completed Ernest Hemingway’s unfinished novel, The Garden of Eden, which became a bestseller.

I published two more stories, and then I decided to change gears and write a memoir called “Soul Breach” about the high level of illegal and unethical behavior I’d witnessed while working in the management consulting field. The story was published, and my good friend and editor, Kit McIlroy, told me it was the best piece I’d ever written, and he encouraged me to write more nonfiction.

I followed his advice and wrote and published magazine-length memoirs about the happiest, most intriguing, and worst moments in my life. These combined pieces became my first book, Less than Human: A Memoir (Black Rose Writing, 2016).

After that, I published memoirs on a wide variety of subjects, including two about my work as an assistant nurse in a poorly managed inner-city hospital populated by challenging patients, including violent mentally ill ones who often were not sedated or restrained.

“Keep writing about that hospital, and you’ve got your next book,” Kit said. I followed his advice, eventually producing my second book, Praying for Restraint: Frequent Flying with an Inner-City Hospital CNA (Legacy Book Press, 2021).

dolphinOne final comment—I’ve loved visiting zoos and aquariums my whole life, and I’ve raised box turtles, swum with sea turtles, and gone on multiple dolphin- and whale-watching expeditions. Therefore, you may notice that quite a bit of wildlife has crept into my writing. At last count, I spied lions, tigers, giraffes, eland, monkeys, chimps, elephants, alligators, caimans, box turtles, sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, and humpback whales. Have I missed any?

Find out more about Allen at his great website: h

And now for Allen's List of Accomplishments:




  • Common GroundAmarillo Bay
  • The Poincare Conjecture—49opus
  • Second Honeymoon—Concho River Review


Thursday, March 18, 2021

Pre-Publication Review of Neill McKee's Latest Work: "KID ON THE GO! Memoir of my life before Borneo


 I had the distinct pleasure of reading Kid on The Go! before it was published. I can't wait until I can order my official copy and hold this little gem in my hands. It's a remarkable read by a truly talented author. I've also had an opportunity to read Finding Myself in Borneo as well as Guns and Gods in My Genes by this same author. The reason I mention this is because Kid on the Go! would be the prequel to Finding Myself in Borneo although each one stands just beautifully on their own. I read McKee's books in the following order: Finding Myself in Borneo, Guns and Gods in My Genes, and finally Kid on the Go! They tie in nicely together and I don't think you need to read them in any particular order - though I DO recommend reading all of them (simply because they're fabulous!)

Now - let's look at a little more about each book and then I'll get down to the nitty gritty of my 5 Star review. 

Guns and Gods in My Genes -   is a poignant, intense exploration of research into the author’s ancestry where he begins in the modern day, talking to relatives and descendants in both the US and Canada, and gradually takes the reader back through 400 years to his first ancestors who arrived on the Mayflower. 

352 pages / 116 photos & illustrations / 6.0 x 9.0 

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-7329457-3-9. $22.95

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-7329457-4-7. $10.95

Subjects: Travel Memoir / Family Genealogy / US and Canadian History / Firearms and Warfare / Religion / Social Life and Customs / Puritans and Pilgrims / Mayflower Descendants

Finding Myself in Borneochronicles, with good humor, a young man’s adventures while teaching secondary school as a Canadian CUSO volunteer in Sabah, Malaysia (North Borneo), 1968–70.

260 pages / 60 photos / 5.5 x 8.5 

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-7329457-0-8.  $19.95 

Ebook (in color) ISBN: 978-1-7329457-2-2   $9.99

Audiobook ISBN: 978-1-7329457-1-5  $9.95–$19.95

Subjects: Travel Memoir / Southeast Asia / History/ Personal Growth / Language Learning and Teaching / Environment / International Relations / Social Service Organizations

And here we are - time for that 5 Star Review of KID ON THE GO!

Kid on the Go! is an honest and sometimes humorous story to be enjoyed by readers of all ages. The story is engaging and contains just the right amount of detail. This is a thought-provoking coming of age story that drew me right in. McKee is an expert story-teller with a great sense of humor. 


Friday, February 19, 2021

Crystal Casavant Otto Gives a 5 Star Book Review for Guns and Gods in My Genes by Neill McKee

Thank you to WOW! Women on Writing for allowing us the opportunity to participate in the book blog tour for Neill McKee's Guns and Gods in My Genes! 


Guns and Gods in My Genes




Book Summary


Neill McKee, author of the award-winning travel memoir Finding Myself in Borneo, takes the reader through 400 years and 15,000 miles of an on-the-road adventure, discovering stories of his Scots-Irish ancestors in Canada, while uncovering their attitudes towards religion and guns. 

His adventure turns south and west as he follows the trail of his maternal grandfather, a Canadian preacher who married an American woman in Wisconsin, and braved the American Wild West from 1904 to 1907, finding a two-story brothel across from one of his churches and a sheriff who owned a saloon and dance hall, while carrying a gun with 20 notches, one for each man he had killed. 

Much to his surprise, McKee finds his American ancestors were involved in every major conflict on North American soil: the Civil War, the American Revolution, and the French and Indian War. In the last chapters, McKee discovers and documents his Pilgrim ancestors who arrived on the Mayflower, landing at Plymouth in 1620, and their Puritan descendants who fought in the early Indian Wars of New England. 

With the help of professional genealogical research, he tracks down and tells the stories of the heroes, villains, rascals, as well as, the godly and ordinary folk in his genes, discovering many facts and exposing myths. He also lets readers in on a personal struggle: whether to apply for Canadian-United States dual citizenship or remain only a Canadian.


Print Length: 352 Pages

Genre: Historical Travel Memoir

ISBN-13: 9781732945739


Guns and Gods in My Genes is available to purchase now on


About the Author, Neill McKee


Neill McKee is a creative nonfiction writer based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His first travel memoir, Finding Myself in Borneo, won a bronze medal in the Independent Publishers Book Awards, 2020, as well as other awards. McKee holds a Bachelor's Degree, from the University of Calgary and a Master's Degree in Communication from Florida State University. He worked internationally for 45 years, becoming an expert in the field of communication for social change. He directed and produced a number of award-winning documentary films/videos and multimedia initiatives, and has written numerous articles and books in the field of development communication. During his international career, McKee worked for Canadian University Service Overseas (CUSO); Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC); UNICEF; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland; Academy for Educational Development and FHI 360, Washington, DC. He worked and lived in Malaysia, Bangladesh, Kenya, Uganda, and Russia for a total of 18 years and traveled to over 80 countries on short-term assignments. In 2015, he settled in New Mexico, using his varied experiences, memories, and imagination in creative writing.


Find him online at:


Author’s website:





5 Star Review by Crystal J. Casavant-Otto


Guns and Gods in My Genes: A 15,000 - mile North American Search Through Four Centuries, to the Mayflower is a unique book written by talented author Neill McKee. I use the word unique because it's not simply an author explaining how they delved into their heritage. This book is more than that. It's a magical journey I as a reader was pulled into and beyond that, it's the type of book with the ability to change your life. Each step of the way there is lesson you can apply to your own life. This book left me changed. McKee's ability to draw the reader into his thoughts and share intimate emotions feels intimate and incredibly personal. 

This is a book you'll want to savor. I'd be lying if I said I read it quickly and it's not because it did not keep my interest. Like a delicious dessert or bottle of the finest wine, I wanted it to last as long as possible; savoring each morsel/sip/page. I  read a chapter and then got lost in my own thoughts and pondered what I had read while also considering my own life for a bit. I enjoyed each chapter slowly and intentionally. When I finished Guns and Gods in My Genes, I carefully placed it on my bookshelf knowing it's the type of book you look forward to enjoying again and again. I definitely recommend this book to others, though I'm unwilling to part with my copy. Like a fine wine, I guarantee this will get better over time and I'm looking forward to reading it again. 

Find more reviews:



-  Future Blog Tour Dates


February 22nd @ CloudsGirls27 Reads Books

Join Melissa as she reads Neill McKee's memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

February 24th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog

Come by Anthony's blog today where he interviews author Neill McKee about his memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes

February 25th @ What is That Book About

Michelle spotlights Neill McKee's book Guns and Gods in My Genes.

February 26th @ Lisa Haselton's Book Reviews & Interviews

Visit Lisa's blog today where she interviews author Neill McKee about his book Guns and Gods in My Genes.

February 27th @ Boots, Shoes, and Fashion

Join Linda as she treats us to an interview with author Neill McKee and chats with him about his memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes. She also shares some insights about the book!

February 28th @ Lilly's Book Wonderland

Join Lilly as she shares her insights into Neill McKee's fascinating travel memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

March 1st @ World of My Imagination

Light up your imagination when you visit Nicole's blog today! She shares her insights into Neill McKee's memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

March 3rd @ Joy Neal Kidney's Blog

Make sure you stop by Joy's blog today and read her review of Neill McKee's memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

March 3rd @ Memoir Memoir

Visit John's blog today and you can read his review of Nell McKee's memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

March 5th @ A Storybook World

Deirdra spotlights Neill McKee's profound memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

March 8th @ Memoir Writer's Journey

Join Kathy as she reviews Neill McKee's memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

March 11th @ The Frugalista Mom

Join Rozelyn as she reviews Neill McKee's fascinating memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes. You can also win a copy of the book too!

March 12th @ Memoir Revolution

March 14th @ Author Anthony Avina's Blog

Join Anthony again when he reviews Neill McKee's memorable memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

March 15th @ My Writer Blog

Join Carole as she reviews Neill McKee's memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes.

March 16th @ Writer, Writer, Pants on Fire

Set your reading list on fire with Mindy McGinnis as she spotlights Neil McKee's memoir Guns and Gods in My Genes. You also have the chance to win a copy of this fascinating book!