Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Spotlight of The Man Who Screams At Nightfall...and other stories by Rush Leaming and a $25 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway

The Man Who Screams At Nightfall…and other stories

by Rush Leaming

January 16 - February 10, 2023 Virtual Book Tour

The Man Who Screams At Nightfall… and other stories by Rush Leaming Banner


The Man Who Screams At Nightfall… and other stories by Rush Leaming
Thailand. The Congo. Greece. Spain. America…

Four continents and 40+ years in the making.

The Man Who Screams At Nightfall is a landmark collection of short stories depicting a young man on a classic voyage of self-discovery, scouring the earth in search of some purpose in life.

From childhood to parenthood and everything in between—these tales are at times raw and unflinching, at other times poignant and moving.

Get ready for a literary journey unlike any you’ve experienced before.

WARNING: Some of these stories contain strong language, depictions of graphic violence, and sexual situations.

Praise for The Man Who Screams At Nightfall...and other stories:

"A powerful, gritty, and exquisitely written anthology —not to be missed."

J. Miller, Reader's Favorite

"A short story collection that excels in its sense of literary psychological growth and discovery. Libraries looking for interconnected short stories that represent life journeys and revelations will find The Man Who Screams At Nightfall...and other stories an appealing acquisition that promises much fodder for discussion to book club readers interested in fictional blends of psychological and social revelation."

Midwest Book Review, D. Donovan

"Sharply observed, nuanced, precise, and morally challenging..."

"Leaming's light hand with dialogue and keen sense of human psychology create a book that highlights weighty issues by putting a compassionate human face on human struggles. Sharp, inventive, and deeply moving: a fine literary collection."

Book View

"Without a lengthy description of the characters, just enough to provide the imagery necessary to identify them, he catches and holds the reader's attention like no other I've experienced in the hundreds of books and stories I've read over the years."

Reader's Favorite, L. Allen


Genre: Literary Fiction
Published by: Bridgewood Publishing
Publication Date: November 2022
Number of Pages: 150
ISBN: 0999745670 (ISBN-13: 9780999745670)
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads


…I could see the glow of a fire up ahead of us, and as we reached the mango tree, Pumbu motioned for me to stay low and follow him along a small wall of honeysuckle bushes. We crouched down, and from our hiding place, I saw Kachamba furiously pacing back and forth in his yard in front of a small bonfire. He swung his arms wildly in the air as if he was fighting off something that was falling on him. He dropped to his knees and then suddenly sprang three feet off the ground. Then he began to dance, swaying and spinning his body so close to the fire that I was certain he was going to fall in. All the while he screamed and shouted deep into the empty black night.

He spoke in a dialect that I couldn’t understand, so I had to ask Pumbu to tell me what he was saying. I asked him many questions: Why was he doing this? Who was he speaking to? Was he drunk? What was going on? Pumbu patiently explained to me that no, he was not drunk, and that he really didn’t know who he was speaking to, but that Kachamba’s wife had left him a few years ago, run off with another man and taken their children, and that ever since, he had not been right in the head. He was not from this village and had been kicked out of all the other places he had lived. He came here only because Kachamba’s father, the chief of Kitengo’s uncle, had once saved the life of the chief’s father (Kachamba’s uncle) and so the chief had to let him stay to repay that old favor. It was all very complicated, Pumbu said, and he didn’t fully understand it himself.

I was hardly listening, instead transfixed and horrified by what I saw. Spinning, swirling, shouting, and screaming—Kachamba’s face, so calm and happy as I had seen it earlier that day, was now knotted and twisted like a grotesque carnival mask, like some gargoyle sprung from the lowest depths of hell. The glow of the fire cut fierce shadows and gorges in his face, adding to the haunting vision that I saw.

For a long while, Pumbu and I hid behind the honeysuckle bushes and watched Kachamba shriek and wail and try to push back the night, until suddenly, all at once, he just stopped. Suddenly, he just stood still and quiet and stared at the sky. I followed his gaze and saw another shooting star. When I looked back, Kachamba had disappeared.

“Is that it?” I asked.

“That’s it,” said Pumbu. “He usually only does this for an hour or so.”

“And he does this every night?”

“Almost,” said Pumbu and yawned. “Mmm. I’m tired. I think I am going to go home.”

We left the bushes, went past the mango tree, and said good night. I walked home alone, both exhilarated and troubled by what I had seen.

I entered my room and prepared for bed, but long after I had extinguished my petrol lantern, I lay there staring into the darkness. I couldn’t sleep. I tossed and turned. It wasn’t that unusual—I noticed that it had been happening a lot lately, that I couldn’t sleep. I got up and found the bottle of Johnnie Walker and knocked back a tall glass until at last I was floating, and at last, my eyes did shut…


Excerpt from The Man Who Screams At Nightfall... and other stories by Rush Leaming. Copyright 2022 by Rush Leaming. Reproduced with permission from Rush Leaming. All rights reserved.


RUSH LEAMING has done many things including spending 15+ years in film/video production working on such projects as The Lord of the Rings films. His first novel, Don't Go, Ramanya, a political thriller set in Thailand, was published in the fall of 2016. His second novel followed suit in the summer of 2018, entitled The Whole of the Moon, set in the Congo at the end of the Cold War. 2021 saw the 5-star reception of his crime thriller Dead Tree Tales. His short stories have appeared in Notations, 67 Press, Lightwave, 5k Fiction, and The Electric Eclectic.

He has lived in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Zaire, Thailand, Spain, Greece, South Carolina, England, and Kenya.

Rush Leaming
BookBub - @RushLeaming
Instagram - @RushLeaming
Twitter - @LeamingRush
Facebook - @RushLeamingStories


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Monday, January 30, 2023

Spotlight of Midnight Duet by Jen Comfort


From The Astronaut and the Star author Jen Comfort comes a wildly electric retelling of The Phantom of the Opera set in a Nevada Opera House.
  • Unlikeable Heroines: The heroine of Midnight Duet is a flawed anti-heroine on a path to redemption. Why is this type of heroine so polarizing in the romance genre and why it’s more important than ever to write stories celebrating complicated, feminist, unapologetically sexual women.
  • Rewriting the "Alpha"/"Rockstar" Hero: Through the lens of 80’s-era glam rock gender fluidity coming back into fashion (think Harry Styles in a feather boa), Jen explores moving away from gender-specific expectations about what it means to be a strong, confident, “dominant,” romance hero.
  • Retellings: Midnight Duet a loose retelling of The Phantom of the Opera. Retellings of Phantom and similar stories have always been a popular trope in romance, but are now seeing even more of a resurgence with adaptations that subvert problematic themes of the past (like being captured and falling in love with a ‘villain’).
January 10


“Charmingly bonkers.” Kirkus Reviews

“Comfort delivers a high-heat, high-volume contemporary romance…The spicy sex scenes titillate, and the plot is leavened with humor and unabashed silliness.”
Publishers Weekly

“Scorchingly hot, delightfully snarky, surprisingly sweet…this fun, bonkers, genderbent modern take on
Phantom of the Opera is everything I didn’t know I wanted.” ―Cathy Yardley, author of Role Playing

Midnight Duet delivers on its delightfully bonkers premise! Funny, sexy, and heartfelt, it takes the archetypes we think we know―the Broadway diva and the arrogant rock star―and reveals humans who learn, grow, and love.” ―Eden Appiah-Kubi, author of The Bennet Women

“The steamy romance novel pipe organists have been craving.”
―Jennifer Bardsley, author of Talk of the Town

Midnight Duet is the steamy romance musical theater geeks have been waiting for. Leads Erika and Christof have sizzling chemistry, and a cast of outrageous side characters kept me laughing until the last page. So much fun!” ―Addie Woolridge, author of The Bounce Back

“Jen Comfort takes two larger-than-life leads, incendiary sexual tension, and a hilarious scene-stealing supporting cast and dials the amp all the way up to eleven in
Midnight Duet―a romance that’s dramatic, campy catnip for theater lovers and angst lovers alike. It’s a horny romp that also accomplishes a heartfelt exploration of loneliness, growth, and belonging―ultimately unbreaking two broken people who realize the power of letting go and letting others in.” ―Jen Devon, author of Bend Toward the Sun



Self-professed diva Erika Greene has it all: a starring role on Broadway, legions of fans, spectacular natural talent. 

In Jen Comfort’s MIDNIGHT DUET, an accident on stage leaves Erika’s face scarred and her career in shambles, so she retreats to Paris, Nevada, where she’s inherited a ramshackle opera house in desperate need of some TLC.

Erika pours her savings into the building, but it’s not enough to stave off the greedy gaze of local casino developer Raoul Decomte. With foreclosure imminent, she makes a fast cash grab and leases the space to some unexpected tenants: a German hair metal band, fronted by glam rock god Christof Daae.

Erika is tempted by Christof’s low-slung leather pants―and even more by his ambitions for international superstardom―but he’s off-limits. The rest of his band thinks he’s still dating their beloved keyboardist, who is conveniently not present on this jaunt to the American Southwest. When Erika discovers Christof’s been unceremoniously dumped and is trying to keep it under wraps, she makes a deal to keep his secret…for a price, of course.

Christof is desperate to hold the rest of the band together after his keyboardist’s departure, but he can’t maintain the charade forever. Nor can he resist the opera house’s mysterious proprietor, who tempts him with midnight singing lessons. It isn’t long before sensuous nighttime interludes turn into smoldering backstage encounters.

But can their newly ignited passion survive the searing light of day? Or will their beautiful duet turn into a brokenhearted power ballad for one?



Jen Comfort is originally from Portland, Oregon, and dabbled in astrophysics before spending a decade working in restaurants in New York City and Portland. 
Now, she writes romantic comedies about hot nerds with very cool jobs. 
She spends her free time growing plants destined to die before their time, playing video games, and encouraging her two cats and malamute-husky dog to become internet famous with zero success. 

It's Monday!! What Are YOU Reading? - 1/30/2023

I hope you had a great reading week.
This is a weekly meme hosted by Kathryn at BOOK DATE!

Post the books completed, the books you are currently reading, and the books you hope to finish at some point.
Books Completed:
ONLY THE BEAUTIFUL by Susan Meissner - review will be on April 19, 2023.
Oh my...this book is FABULOUS!!
Do not miss it if you are a fan....you won't be able to put it down....I didn't want to.  ❤️
 WHERE COYOTES HOWL by Sandra Dallas - review will be on April 18, 2023.
WHERE COYOTES HOWL was a sweet but tragic, sad read.
If you need something different with genuine characters and would like to learn of the difficult life on the prairies of Wyoming, give WHERE THE COYOTES HOWL a try. 
 THE CUBAN HEIRESS by Chanel Cleeton - review will be on April 11.
LOVED it!!  
Great characters and story line, and I learned about the SS Morro Castle - a ship that caught on fire at sea.  
I had never heard of that ship.
THE POLISH GIRL by Gosia Nealon - review will be on February 26.
Historical fiction fans won't want to miss this book.  

THE GOOD LUCK CAFE by Annie Rains - review will be on March 16.
A very sweet read with an adorable main character.   
You won’t want to stop reading or want the book to end.
JUNIPER ISLE by Ava Roberts - review will be on March 4.
A great debut - it is out NOW!! If you are a mystery fan, check it out.
 THE SOULMATE by Sally Hepworth - review will be on April 4, 2023.
WOW!!  This is a good one....hope you get to read it!!
THE ECHO OF OLD BOOKS by Barbara Davis - review will be on March 29.
FABULOUS READ!!  Do NOT miss this one!!  Her BEST one yet!!
 HANG THE MOON BY JEANNETTE WALLS - review will be on March 28, 2023.
Pretty good!!
THE LONDON SEANCE SOCIETY by Sarah Penner - review will be on March 21, 2023.
Very disappointed in this book.  
IT'S ONE OF US by J. T. Ellison - review will be on February 25, 2023.
Fans will be glued to the pages.  

THE LOST ENGLISH GIRL by Julia Kelly - review will be on March 9, 2023.
LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book...I hope you get to read it.
THE LAST CAROLINA GIRL by Meagan Church - review will be on February 28, 2023.
LOVED it - well researched, but it is heartbreaking.
WHAT HAVE WE DONE by Alex Finlay - review will be on March 7, 2023.
Disappointed because I really enjoyed his other two books.  This was very dark and difficult to follow.
WHEN THE MOON TURNS BLUE by Pamela Terry - review will be on February 21, 2023.
Disappointed...loved her book, THE SWEET TASTE OF MUSCADINES.
This book was VERY confusing and all over the place with too many characters.
CODE NAME SAPPHIRE by Pam Jenoff - review will be on February 7, 2023.
Another Pam Jenoff masterpiece....do not miss it!!
A MATTER OF HAPPINESS by Tori Whitaker - review is in the book's title.
Another lovely read that historical fiction fans, women's fiction fans, and vintage car fans will adore.
THE GIRLS WHO DISAPPEARED by Claire Douglas - review is in the book's title.
Another good one by Claire Douglas.
ONCE WE WERE HOME by Jennifer Rosner - review will be on March 14, 2023.
Another beautiful, but heartbreaking read by Jennifer Rosner.  Don't miss it!!
Book Currently Reading: 
THE DUTCH ORPHAN by Ellen Keith - review will be on April 20, 2023.
Books Up Next:

FIFTH AVENUE GLAMOUR GIRL by Renee Rosen - review will be on April 25, 2023.
THE COLLECTED REGRETS OF CLOVER by Mikki Brammer - review will be on May 9, 2023.
ADRIFT by Lisa Brideau - review will be on May 10, 2023.
NO LIFE FOR A LADY Hannah Dolby - review will be on May 11.
THE SENATOR'S WIFE by Liv Constantine - review will be on May 23.
THE REVENGE LIST by Hannah Mary McKinnon - review will be on May 24. 
THE WISHING GAME by Meg Shaffer - review will be on May 30, 2023.
THE PARIS DAUGHTER by Kristin Harmel - review will be on June 6, 2023.
THE BOOKSHOP BY THE BAY by Pamela Kelley - review will be on June 7, 2023.

WHAT REMAINS by Wendy Walker - review will be on June 13, 2023.
THE LAST LIFE BOAT by Hazel Gaynor - review will be on June 14.
A MOST AGREEABLE MURDER by Julia Seales - review will be on June 27, 2023.

THE BLOCK PARTY by Jamie Day - review will be on July 18.
GONE TONIGHT by Sarah Pekkanen - review will be on August 1.
DARK CORNERS by Megan Goldin - review will be on August 8, 2023.
THESE STILL BLACK WATERS by Christina McDonald - review will be on August 9.