07 May, 2021

Ghost and His Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle About A Ghost And His Gold Book Tour!

A Ghost and His Gold by Roberta Eaton Cheadle

About A Ghost And His Gold


A Ghost and His Gold 

Supernatural Historical Stand-Alone Novel Publisher TSL Publications (1/27/2021) Number of Pages 264 pages 

ISBN 9781914245039

After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summonses a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.


Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle?


After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behaviour towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.


About Robbie Eaton Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle has published nine books for children and one poetry book. She has branched into writing for adults and young adults and, in order to clearly separate her children's books from her adult books, is writing for older readers under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle.

Robbie Cheadle's Sir Chocolate children's picture books are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions that children can make under adult supervision. Her books for older children also incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines. Roberta Eaton Cheadle's supernatural stories combine fabulous paranormal elements with fascinating historical facts. 

Children's picture books - available as a square book and an A5 book (co-authored with Michael Cheadle): Sir Chocolate and the strawberry cream story and cookbook Sir Chocolate and the baby cookie monster story and cookbook Sir Chocolate and the sugar dough bees story and cookbook Sir Chocolate and the Condensed Milk River story and cookbook Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Caves story and cookbook Sir Chocolate and the Fondant Five story and cookbook Sir Chocolate and the Ice Cream Rainbow Fairies story and cookbook 

Middle school books: Silly Willy Goes to Cape Town (includes five fun party cake ideas) While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with Elsie Hancy Eaton) 

Poetry book: Open a new door (co-authored with Kim Blades)

Supernatural fantasy YA novel: Through the Nethergate 

Supernatural historical adult novel: A Ghost and His Gold 

Horror Anthologies (edited by Dan Alatorre): Spellbound Nightmareland Dark Visions Wings & Fire 

Paranormal Anthologies (edited by Kaye Lynne Booth): Spirits of the West Whispers of the Past 

Murder mystery Anthology (edited by Stephen Bentley) Death Among Us

Follow Roberta Eaton Cheadle at:

Website https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/ 

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May 12 – Thoughts in Progress – SPOTLIGHT WITH RECIPE
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The Queen's Rival by Anne O'Brien Blog Tour! #HistoricalFiction #Medieval #BlogTour #CoffeePotBookClub @anne_obrien @maryanneyarde @coffeepotbookclub

The Queen's Rival

Anne O'Brien

England, 1459. 

One family united by blood. Torn apart by war…

The Wars of the Roses storm through the country, and Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, plots to topple the weak-minded King Henry VI from the throne.

But when the Yorkists are defeated at the battle of Ludford Bridge, Cecily’s family flee and abandon her to face a marauding Lancastrian army on her own.

Stripped of her lands and imprisoned in Tonbridge Castle, the Duchess begins to spin a web of deceit. One that will eventually lead to treason, to the fall of King Henry VI, and to her eldest son being crowned King Edward IV.

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225532

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225532

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225532

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/Queens-Rival-Anne-OBrien/dp/0008225508

Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-queens-rival-anne-obrien/1137842630

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-queens-rival/anne-obrien/9780008225544

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-queen-s-rival-the-sunday-times-bestselling-author-returns-with-a-gripping-historical-romance

Audio: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Queens-Rival-Audiobook/0008225524

Blackwells: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/The-Queens-Rival-by-Anne-OBrien-author/9780008225544

WHSmith: https://www.whsmith.co.uk/products/the-queens-rival/anne-obrien/hardback/9780008225544.html

Anne O’Brien


Sunday Times Bestselling author Anne O’Brien was born in West Yorkshire. After gaining a BA Honours degree in History at Manchester University and a Master’s in Education at Hull, she lived in East Yorkshire for many years as a teacher of history.

Today she has sold over 700,000 copies of her books medieval history novels in the UK and internationally. She lives with her husband in an eighteenth-century timber-framed cottage in the depths of the Welsh Marches in Herefordshire. The area provides endless inspiration for her novels which breathe life into the forgotten women of medieval history.

Website: https://www.anneobrienbooks.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anne_obrien

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/anneobrienbooks/?ref=bookmarks

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anne-o-brien-89668a45/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.co.uk/thisisanneobrie/_saved/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Anne-OBrien/e/B001HD1NHI

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/51111864-the-queen-s-rival?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=MIYPBpVMFH&rank=1

News Letter sign up: https://www.anneobrienbooks.com/

06 May, 2021

Off to the Races by Elsie Silver Release Tour!

I’m the new racehorse trainer at Gold Rush Ranch and I’ve got three months to turn a problem stallion into a winner. Working with horses is easy, but contending with Vaughn Harding, my moody new boss, is a whole other story. He can’t decide if he hates me or wants me—not that it matters, I swore off men like him years ago. Readers who enjoy Melanie Harlow and Kelly Elliott will love this slow burn, enemies to lovers, contemporary romance.

Read Now! 

He can’t decide if he hates me or wants me.

Vaughn Harding is my new boss. Getting close to him would be career suicide for a female racehorse trainer, and plain old gossip fuel in this small town. I get a kick out of our verbal sparring, but I swore off his type years ago.

And I’ve got plans.

I’m the new trainer at Gold Rush Ranch and I’ve just been handed a problem horse that I promised to make a winner. I want to put down roots, and I’m not about to let a man distract me. No matter how electric it feels when we lock eyes, or how my body ignites when we touch.

Vaughn’s a vivid reminder of every guy I grew up around. Handsome, rich, entitled--a total media darling. But there’s a sadness in him that I can’t seem to turn my back on. A sensitive side hidden beneath brooding good looks.

The last thing I need is a broken man to put back together, and the last thing he needs is more scandal.

Teasing him for kicks is one thing, but handing over my heart?

I should have known better.

Add to Goodreads!

Goodreads https://bit.ly/3cmeyGx


Copyright @ Elsie Silver

“No, Billie,” his voice is dangerously low as he angles his head so close to my ear that I can feel his breath fan across my throat, “women usually go out of their way to endear themselves to me. Not piss me off.”

Time to teach this prick a lesson.

His words set me off and without thinking I reach out towards him and hook my index finger into his crisp white dress shirt, right between the buttons. I can feel the muscles in his abdomen clench under my touch as I gently trace the tip of my finger across his hot skin, feeling the firm ridges I knew would be there. 

To anyone loitering at the stables, our silhouettes would almost look like he was a vampire going in for a quick taste with the way he towers over me. I send up a silent prayer that no one can see us and close my finger around the fabric that’s brushing against my hand, pulling his torso closer to mine so that I straddle his thigh. 

I hear his sharp intake of air and feel a familiar ache just below my hip bones. This is such a bad idea.

I look up, taking in the dark shadows falling across his brow and his almost pained facial expression. We hold each other in this limbo, facing off for a few seconds before I move so close I can feel the scruff on his jaw lightly scratch my cheek. His hands squeeze my ribs, trying to hold me in place.

At the increase in pressure, my nipples harden and goosebumps bloom across my arms unbidden. This is fine. A totally typical reaction to absolutely anyone touching me like this. 

Disturbed by the way my body responds to his, I opt to up the stakes, fingering the collar of his shirt with my opposite hand and gently running my teeth along the lobe of his ear. I’m pressed so close to him I can feel more than hear the grunt that breaks loose from his chest. 

For a moment I let myself imagine us together under different circumstances, all the delicious noises he would make as he moved above me, pressing into me so hard that our bodies would sink right into the mattress beneath us. Coming completely undone just for me. 

It’s with that image in my mind that I slide my fingers up his neck and through his hair before grabbing a handful firmly. He stands stock still. Frozen.“Well then, let me be the one to deflower you on this one, Boss Man,” I whisper against his ear. “You are absolutely insufferable.” I bite down onto his earlobe again, a little harder this time, which causes the air to leave his lungs in a loud hiss. “Now get your hands off of me, I’m not one of your playthings,” I finish, essentially dousing us both with a bucket of cold water and firmly pushing him away.

About Elsie Silver 

Canadian author who loves book boyfriends and the sassy heroines who bring them to their knees. Connoisseur of charged looks and lingering touches. Fan of witty banter. Horse girl through and through. Fully convinced that it’s always wine o’clock somewhere.

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05 May, 2021

Death Gone A-Rye (A Bread Shop Mystery) by Winnie Archer Book Tour and Giveaway!

Death Gone A-Rye (A Bread Shop Mystery) by Winnie Archer

About Death Gone A-Rye


Death Gone A-Rye (A Bread Shop Mystery) 

Cozy Mystery 6th in Series 

Publisher: Kensington (April 27, 2021)

Mass Market Paperback: 272 pages

ISBN-10: 1496733541

ISBN-13: 978-1496733542 

Digital ASIN : B08F2XT38C

In the Northern California seaside town of Santa Sofia, a killer is trying to get a rise out of baker’s apprentice Ivy Culpepper . . .


Vincent van Dough focaccia is being touted on Instagram as the best thing since sliced bread. By strategically placing chives, olives, and yellow peppers to look like poppies and sunflowers, bakers create a mouthwatering masterpiece in the style of the great postimpressionist painter. At Yeast of Eden, where bread making has always been an art, they’re baking their own version for the school district’s Spring Fling.


But one person won’t be tasting the Mexican bakery’s latest specialty. Ambitious school board president Nessa Renchrik has been murdered. Like the rest of this close-knit community, Ivy is shocked. But she’s just as surprised to discover her beau—restaurateur Miguel Baptista—had his own fling with Nessa back in the day and now the police have this half-baked notion he might have killed her. It’s up to Ivy, her boss Olaya Solis, and eighty-six-years-young Penelope Branford to separate the wheat from the chaff to determine who the real culprit is . . .



“Ivy, this is Captain Craig York. Craig, my best friend, Ivy Culpepper.”

She didn’t wait for either of us to acknowledge the introduction, instead rolling one hand in the air, telling him to keep going.

“It’s a local school board member,” he said.

Her breath hitched. I don’t think the captain noticed, but I’d known Emmaline Davis for nearly my whole life, and I knew what that response was about. The Santa Sofia school board was made up of five people. One of them, Candace Coffey, had been in high school with us.

Now she was a mother of three and served as vice president of the board. “Dead?” Em asked, and I knew she was hoping against hope, just like I was, that it wasn’t Candy.

York cupped one hand against the back of his neck before saying, “Murder.”

“Who?” Em asked.

“Nessa Renchrik. School board president.”

Em and I both sighed in relief, although only mine was audible. Not Candy, thank God.

“I’ll handle it,” York said. “I’ll keep you updated.”

I could see the internal battle Em was going through.

How could she leave town when a murder had just happened? But it was her honeymoon. She proceeded to give him precise instructions on how often he was to be in touch with her, and emphasized the high priority of the case. A school board member was a political figure in a community. The people of Santa Sofia would demand answers and justice.

“Will do,” York said. He gave one succinct nod to both of us before walking away.

The second we were alone, I took Emmaline’s hand.

“It’s going to be okay. He seems on top of things.”

She grimaced. Not the most desirable expression for a bride. “He’s new.”

“You wouldn’t have hired him if he wasn’t qualified. He can handle it.”

“It’s not Candy,” she said, hands on her hips again.

“Thank God.”

“Do you know this woman, Nessa?” I asked.

“No. But school board president. That’s not good.”

Billy sidled up behind her and snaked his arms around her waist. “What’s going on, Mrs. Culpepper?”

“Murder,” she said.

His face fell. “Uh-oh.”

She put her hands on top of his. “And it’s a high-profile one.”

His hold on her tightened. “You have people to handle it, though. We have a flight to catch in the morning, and, you know, a wedding reception with all our friends and family.”

She turned to face him, tilting her head to look up at him. “And we’re going to enjoy every second of it. Captain York is handling the investigation. He’ll update me, but he’s in charge.”

Billy nodded. “Good to hear. Now, let’s round these folks up and head inside for the food.”

Craig York’s words came back to me then. I’d made contributions to the department with my sleuthing skills. There was no reason I couldn’t help out again. Miguel had told me to stay out of it, but I just couldn’t. And since I had an in with Candy, maybe I’d be able to get information York couldn’t.

The next few hours would be filled with food and dancing, but in my mind, I’d be formulating a plan on how to solve a murder.



 About Winnie Archer

The indefatigable Winnie Archer is a middle school teacher by day and a writer by night. Born in a beach town in California, she now lives in Colorado. She fantasizes about spending summers writing in quaint, cozy locales, has a love/hate relationship with both yoga and chocolate, adores pumpkin spice lattes, is devoted to her five kids and husband, and can’t believe she’s lucky enough to be living the life of her dreams. Visit her online at WinnieArcher.com.

Author Links Kensington: https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/9781496724410/dough-or-die/ 
Amazon B&NKobo 

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Crash: How I Became A Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg Book Tour and Giveaway!

Crash: Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg

Crash: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg 
 Publisher:  She Writes Press, (April 27, 2021) 
Category: Memoir, Divorce, Parenting, Moral Conflict, Caring for Disabled, Caregiver 
Tour dates: April-May, 2021 
ISBN: 978-1647420321 
Available in Print and ebook, 224 pages

Description Crash: Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg

Rachel likes to think of herself as a nice Jewish girl, dedicated to doing what’s honorable, just as her parents raised her to do. But when her husband, David, survives a plane crash and is left with severe brain damage, she faces a choice: will she dedicate her life to caring for a man she no longer loves, or walk away?

 Their marriage had been rocky at the time of the accident, and though she wants to do the right thing, Rachel doesn’t know how she is supposed to care for two kids in addition to a now irrational, incontinent, and seizure-prone grown man. And how will she manage to see her lover? 

But then again, what kind of selfish monster would refuse to care for her disabled husband, no matter how unhappy her marriage had been? Rachel wants to believe that she can dedicate her life to David’s needs, but knows in her heart it is impossible. Crash tackles a pervasive dilemma in our culture: the moral conflicts individuals face when caregiving for a disabled or cognitively impaired family member. 

  Excerpt Crash: Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg 

 I grow to love the nurses who patiently answer my barrage of questions. How long will David be here? Where will he go after this? Will he remember us? Will he be able to dress and feed himself? The all-consuming question: If he doesn’t return to normal, what will he be like? The answer is always the same. We just don’t know.

 “Did you ever see Regarding Henry? With Harrison Ford?” one of my favorite nurses asks, re-hanging multiple IV drug bags, simultaneously checking and adjusting monitors. I’m sitting on a chair at the foot of the bed, reading email.

 “No, but I heard about it.” She wipes some drool from David’s chin. 
“Came out about ten years ago? So Harrison Ford is a real jerk, a lawyer I think. Super selfish and arrogant. Having an affair.” 

 I look down at the screen. Ouch. “Then he’s involved in this robbery and gets shot in the head. He becomes a different person—compassionate and loving. All of his relationships get better.”

 Who is Harrison Ford kidding? Hollywood, please. I’m not that naïve. I study David’s face and sigh. The swelling has gone down a little, the contours of his nose and cheeks emerge as if he’s fighting to dig himself out of a hole, to clear away the muck that’s buried him. Suddenly I feel a rush of tenderness. I remember how David’s pale grey-blue eyes grew moist as he looked down at me nursing Hannah for the first time. 

Running alongside Joshie’s wobbly attempt at riding without training wheels. Making love after a day of skiing in Sun Valley, then giggling as we ran across the snow in our bare feet to sink into the steamy outdoor hot tub, grinning at each other as if we had a secret. 

Who are you now, David? Who will you be? Will we ever share that secret grin again? Will I be able to love you again? Whoosh whoosh, beep beep. ****** When the cranial swelling goes down there will be a final surgery to close David’s skull before they take him off of the respirator, possibly early next week. David’s brother and sister urge me to go home for a night or two to see the children. I miss them. Some clean underwear and fresh clothes would be nice, too. 

My sister Lisa brings the kids home to meet me when I arrive late that Saturday afternoon. Hugging their little bodies close, I think about how drastically their young lives will be altered. Essentially fatherless. Or worse: a shell as a father. Joshie runs off to his room—video games await (I have no bandwidth to care about excessive screen time)—but Hannah fixes her wide brown eyes on me. 

“Is Daddy OK?” Lisa and I had agreed that she would tell the kids that it was David who had been in an accident, not “a friend.” But she was not to tell them just how serious it really is. That discussion will happen the next afternoon at Lisa’s house. Rabbi Dana has offered to facilitate.

The kids have a good relationship with him—Passover at his house, running around the sanctuary with Dana’s son Raya during services. But tomorrow is light years away. I pull Hannah onto my lap and bury my face in her sweet- smelling hair, inhale deeply.

“Oh honey, he’s very sick. But the doctors are taking really good care of him.” I’m not exactly lying. Practicing the first of many gentle deceptions. 

 “Can you take me to see him?” 

She frowns, as if knowing the answer already. 

 “I’m afraid not. Children aren’t allowed in that special area of the hospital.”
 “That’s not fair!” 

She hops off my lap and glares at me accusingly. 

“Why not?” 

“Because the people in that place are very, very sick. They need to stay quiet.”

 She wasn’t convinced. I searched for another reason. 

“Also, kids have germs they might give to the sick people and make them worse.” 

 “Adults have germs, too.”

 “I know.” 

I sighed. 

“It’s not fair. I’ll tell Daddy you said hi and that you hope he feels better soon.” I push away the memory of feeling ridiculous trying to talk to David in a coma. I don’t really believe he hears anything. But if it helps Hannah to think David is getting the message— no brainer. Hmmm. No brainer. Time to reconsider that phrase. 

“OK. Tell him he has to get better so he can come see my gymnastics show.”

 My God, I love this little girl. Her daddy won’t make it to her show. 

 Copyright © 2021, Rachel Michelberg

  Guest Review Crash: Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg 

Guest Review by Laura Lee 

'Crash: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver,' by Rachel Michelberg is a tale about endurance, grief and acceptance. Rachel Michelberg was on the verge of asking her husband, David for a divorce when he was involved in a plane crash that left him with both brain and spinal damage. Now in need of 24-hour care, David had mentally regressed back to the state of a seven-year-old child. Michelberg was faced with the decision to either take on the care of her husband herself, or divorce him so that his care would be transferred to his family. Even if she had not been considering divorcing her husband, his at home care would have been a huge undertaking that created a mountain of emotional and physical stress. The couple also had two young children to consider and Rachel would still need to work. But, of course, this is the type of question that countless people are faced with everyday. Part of what makes this book so impactful is the light that it sheds on one of America's most under represented groups: at home caregivers. Reading this memoir, where Michelberg details the stress and routines for taking care of her husband after his accident really makes you understand just how taxing such a task would be. Michelberg explains what she and her family went through during this time in such heartbreaking detail and while holding absolutely nothing back. This book changed the way that I think about caregiving and the way that I think about illness in general. Of course, we all hope never to have a family member go through an accident like this, but Michelberg handled every awful decision that was handed to her in the best way that she could. I enjoyed both her candidness and her writing ability. I'd recommend this book to caregivers everywhere, as well as anyone who wants to know what it is like to be in a similar situation. This is definitely a powerful read and one that is worth picking up! 

  About Rachel Michelberg 

]Crash: Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg 
Rachel Michelberg grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and still enjoys living there with her husband, Richard, and their two dogs, Nala and Beenie. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in vocal performance from San Jose State University and has performed leading roles in musicals and opera from Carmen to My Fair Lady as well as the part of the Mother Abbess (three times!) in The Sound of Music. When Rachel isn’t working with one of her twenty voice and piano students, she loves gardening, hiking, and making her own bone broth. 
CRASH: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver is her first book. 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rachelmichelbergauthor/

Pre-Order Crash: Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg

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Givaway Crash: Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg

This giveaway is open to the U.S. only for the choice of print or eBook for each winner. It ends on May 18, 2021,midnight pacific time. Entries are accepted via Rafflecopter only.

Follow Crash: Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg

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  Crash: How I Became a Reluctant Caregiver by Rachel Michelberg

04 May, 2021

Rabbit in the Moon By Heather Diamond Tour and Interview!

Rabbit in the Moon

By Heather Diamond

Genre: Memoir


Brief description:

         Blame it on Hawaii’s rainbows, sparkling beaches, fruity cocktails, and sensuous breezes. For Heather Diamond, there for a summer course on China, a sea change began when romance bloomed with Fred, an ethnomusicologist from Hong Kong.

         Returning to her teaching job in Texas, Heather wonders if the whirlwind affair was a moment of madness. She is, after all, forty-five years old, married, a mother and grandmother.

         Rabbit in the Moon  follows Heather and Fred’s relationship as well as Heather’s challenges with multiple mid-life reinventions. When Fred goes on sabbatical, Heather finds herself on the Hong Kong island of Cheung Chau with his large, boisterous family. For an independent, reserved American, adjusting to his extended family isn’t easy.

         Life on Cheung Chau is overwhelming but also wondrous. Heather chronicles family celebrations, ancestor rituals, and a rich cycle of festivals like the Hungry Ghosts Festival, Chinese New Year, and the Bun Festival. Her descriptions of daily life and traditions are exquisite, seamlessly combining the insights of an ethnographer with the fascination of a curious newcomer who gradually transitions to part of the family.

         Moving between Hawaii, Hong Kong, and the continental US, Rabbit in the Moon is an honest, finely crafted meditation on intercultural marriage, the importance of family, and finding the courage to follow your dreams.


Author Bio:

Heather Diamond is an American writer in Hong Kong. She has a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Hawaii and has worked as a bookseller, university lecturer, and museum curator. She is the author of American Aloha: Cultural Tourism and the Negotiation of Tradition. Her essays have appeared in Memoir Magazine, Sky Island Journal, (Her)oics: Women’s Lived Experiences of the Pandemic, Rappahannock Review, Waterwheel Review, Hong Kong Review, and New South Journal.



Website landing page: https://heatherdiamondwiter.com/rabbit-in-the-moon/


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/57164283-rabbit-in-the-moon


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HeatherDiamondWriter


Twitter: http://twitter.com/heatheradiamond


Barnes & Noble https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rabbit-in-the-moon-heather-diamond/1139095555;jsessionid=1EBDCB36C00AA0EDBED04F31F2CED634.prodny_store01-atgap15?ean=9781788692342


Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Rabbit-Moon-Heather-Diamond-ebook/dp/B08VNSB71D/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=


Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781788692342


Brief Excerpt from book:

                  Our gourmet eating tour includes visiting a series of tourist centers devoted to Chinese specialty foods. Our stops include a pork floss factory, a tea farm, and an eel farm where I refuse to get out of the bus. I’ll eat eels cooked and on rice, but I have no desire to discover how they’re raised, skinned, and smoked. In the bus, Amah passes around a package of sweet, dried, and shredded pork she bought to share along with all the snacks she purchased as gifts for friends. Americans give chocolates; Chinese give pork floss. I have to admit that it’s good. I gave up eating vegetarian somewhere between the last trip and this one, partly because of my desire to be a good traveler who can fit easily into a new culture and partly because I tired of being told that there was only a little pork or chicken in Chinese dishes “for flavor.” On the last trip, my special vegetarian soup was garnished with a chicken foot, which Fred quickly snatched from my bowl. Being too much trouble is an issue I’m working on.

         Because there are so many of us, meals require two large round tables. I have always had a weak stomach when it comes to cleanliness in restaurants. My father liked to tease me about going to his favorite hamburger joint, Mel’s Diner, where I once found a crispy fly in my French fries. This trip poses challenges that go beyond my issues with Chinese table etiquette.

         In a Teochew restaurant in Shantou, we’re squeezed into a tiny upstairs room that holds only four tables. We’re seated on stools like the ones at Number 10, and I’m sitting near the wall when I spot a good-sized cockroach lazily ascending. Not wanting to make a scene, I nudge Fred and tip my head toward the roach. Fred calls the waitress and points. She pulls the wet towel out of her apron pocket, smacks it against the wall and the roach, and tucks the rag back into her apron. She then calmly goes back to taking orders from the next table. I tamp down my gag reflex just in time to see a winking chicken head arriving on the next platter.

         I have never seen a naked, boiled chicken head, and I do not understand how anyone could think it attractive as a culinary garnish. Yet there it sits, propped up in the middle of its own chopped, steamed, and sauced flesh, one eye closed and its comb flopping left. Fred turns to me with an exaggerated wink, his fingers crooked over his head like the chicken’s comb. Stifling a giggle, I nearly choke on my tea. Mimi sees him and says she heard that if you go out with your boss and the chicken head points to you, you’ll know you’re about to be fired. This strikes me as hilarious, and as Fred plops steamed chicken into my rice bowl, I’m shaking with the effort to contain my laughter.

         Back in our hotel room, I put a shower cap on my head and prance around singing a made-up chicken head song in my beginner Mandarin to the tune of “Fish Heads,” by Dr. Demento: “Ji tou, Ji tou, heng pang ji tou.” We roll on the bed, whooping and wiping our eyes. Humor, it occurs to me, might be my secret weapon for surviving Lau family travel. I already adore this man for making me laugh, for the way he laughs with his entire body — shoulders shaking, head thrown back, snorting and gasping for air. For his playfulness, his silliness, his willingness to be the epicenter of a joke by laughing at his own mistakes and foibles. The first man in my life who makes me laugh out loud and thinks my jokes are as good as his own. Serious people like me are pressure cookers with stuck safety valves. Left to ourselves, we can ferment or implode. Levity lifts the lid, lets out the steam, and connects us to the world.

Interview with author!

1. What do you find most challenging about the writing process, and how do you deal with it? 

In my writing, I struggle with being both a perfectionist and impatient. On the front end of the writing process, that means I’ve had to learn to not expect my writing to be pretty when I start. Instead, I have to let my ideas be their messy selves for however long it takes to shape them into something coherent. When I start a project, I make a lot of lists, and sometimes I write in disconnected fragments. With shorter essays, I often use a collage-like process until I find a structure that fits. With a book-length project, I create scaffolds. They help with mapping, but are more organic and flexible than outlines. I’m working on a second memoir right now that is still in the early stages, and although I am using a scaffold to set the parameters, I am also waiting for the writing itself to tell me what shape the book will finally take. 

On the the revising end of my writing process, I’ve learned to temper my impatience and not assume I know when a piece of writing is ready to go out. All of my published writing has benefited from honest critique partners and hair-splitting editors. I was fortunate to have two wonderful editors at Camphor Press who are expats in Taiwan and Chinese speakers. They asked me hard questions and caught minor details I had missed. Writing is often solitary, but I now I know that creating a book requires a team!

2. When and where do you do your writing? 

. I’m a binge-writer rather than a disciplined, daily writer. When I am rolling with an idea, I can write for hours. When an idea is percolating, I’m scrubbing grout with a toothbrush instead of writing. As for where I write, I wish I could say I retreat to a cabin in the woods or a lovely sound-proofed study with a view of a garden, but mostly I’ve been writing wherever I can. A year ago, I was writing on a card table in my mother’s messy guestroom full of stuffed animals. Parts of my memoir were written in the corner of a loft bedroom in a Hawaii condo inundated with construction noise. Some chapters were written in a Honolulu coffee shop. Most of the revision was done in a study (finally, a room of my own!) in our Hong Kong flat where construction noise often includes concrete drills directly overhead and the upstairs neighbor playing piano. Now that I think of it, I wrote my dissertation in a shared study in Hawaii with kids playing outside and someone practicing piano across the way. Noise blocking headphones are way up there on my list of sanity-saving modern inventions, and I’m most focused when there is a cat snoozing on my desk.

3. What have you learned about promoting your books? 

Book promotion might be the ultimate irony for an introverted memoirist. I spent four years writing and revising a book about being an shy introvert plunged into an extroverted culture and noisy Cantonese family. When I was living that, books were my escape, but to promote my book I have had to get out of that comfort zone and make some noise myself. That doesn’t come naturally, but through my connections on social media and elsewhere, I’ve discovered that this part of the process is a lot like teaching, which I did for many years. The only reason I could get up in front of a class full of college students was because the books and ideas I was teaching were bigger than me. I was just a conduit, the messenger. The same goes for promoting my writing. I wrote Rabbit in the Moon because I wanted to pass on what I had learned about Chinese culture, about families, and about reinvention and acceptance of others and myself. 

One of the most heart-warming rewards an author can receive is hearing that something one wrote resonates or opened a door for a reader. So far, I’ve heard from advance readers in cross-cultural marriages, expats remembering their acculturation process, women who’ve upended their lives midstream, and Chinese Americans who’ve lost touch with traditions. That kind of connection reminds me that writing has a life of its own once we launch it into the world and makes the efforts to get my book out there worthwhile.  

4. What are you most proud of as a writer?

I’m a late bloomer, and I’m most proud of myself for finally giving myself permission to write and for persisting once I started. I wrote poetry in my teens and studied art in my twenties, but I abandoned both to trying to survive as a single parent. I had a bookstore in my thirties, taught college composition and literature for decades, and became a museum curator on the cusp of sixty. In each of those jobs, I spent my creativity in the service of others. It wasn’t until I was sixty-five that I took an online writing class and realized that I had things I wanted to say and that creative non-fiction writing was something I could master if I was willing to be a beginner. Coming to writing so late has also lent it an air of urgency. I quit everything else to do this, so I can’t give up even though I considered quitting a few times along the way. Another factor is that I have no idea how long I have to write the books and essays I want, so I can't let life disruptions stop me.

5. If you could have dinner with any writer, living or dead, who would it be and what would you talk about?

 I’d love to have a long dinner with Pearl Buck, but we’d need more than an evening to cover all the topics I’d want to hear about. She was a remarkable woman who was ahead of her time in many ways. She was a child of progressive American missionaries who raised her in pre-re revolutionary China. She learned to speak, read, and write Chinese and became bicultural in ways many people in the missionary community did not. She witnessed the Boxer Rebellion, survived the Nanking Incident, and was denounced by Maoists as a cultural imperialist for championing the cause of peasants in Anhui Province. She became an advocate for adoption of mixed race children and against racism. She was a feminist and a human rights champion who was brave enough to speak out against western cultural imperialism in China. 

Once I stopped asking what it was like to be in China back then, I’d want to know what it  was like to always be going against the grain of your own country’s arrogance and ignorance? I’d want to hear what she thought would solve the impasses in American race relations today, especially the current wave of anti-Asian racism. What would help Americans better understand Asia and Asians? I’d be curious about her views on how Chinese society has evolved since Mao. And how on earth did she balance writing with motherhood and all the turmoil in her life? How might her life have been different if she had been raised in the West? We might never get to dessert. 



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