Welcome to the new home of Author & Professional Speaker, L. Diane Wolfe (AKA "Spunk on a Stick") and The Circle of Friends!

The Circle of Friends series follows a group of young adults as they face different challenges and learn to overcome. The emotionally gripping stories focus on love, friendships and the pursuit of dreams. Aimed at adults/young adults, these books defy the growing trend of salacious titles, especially for teenagers. Positive and uplifting, this series will leave readers determined to overcome their obstacles and achieve their goals.

This blog is now the home of the original The Circle of Friends website.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Rocking the Cradle with Tara Tyler


Gabe the goblin just saved his town Broken Branch Falls from splitting apart. He also revealed that humans--horrible creatures of myth and legend--may actually be part of their history! But seriously? Nah!

Now Ona, Gabe’s girlfriend, is headed thousands of miles away to Camp Cradle Rock for Spring Break seeking evidence of humans. Gabe knows better than to tell a stubborn ogress she’s crazy, so he’s letting her go and spending the break at the beach like a normal teenage beast. And he’s determined to have a good time without her, whether he likes it or not.

But when Gabe hears Ona went missing, he and his friends set out for the wilds of the west to find her, no matter what dangerous creatures get in his way. Not even humans.

Check out the Book Trailer!

(insert your comments here)

Here is the list of wonderful CRADLE ROCK RELEASE PARTY POST HOSTS:

12/5 Patricia Lynne Nerds Rule
12/5 Heather R. Holden Vampires
12/7 Juneta Key author spotlight interview
12/9 Julie Flanders Teenagers Now vs 80s
12/9 Elizabeth Seckman Beast-themed Recipe
12/12 Lori L. MacLaughlin Merfolk
12/14 Sharon Bayliss Ogres
12/14 Tyrean Martinson 5 Reasons to use Chapter Titles
12/16 Michael Di Gesu Craziest Spring Break Trip
12/17 Cathrina Constantine Teen Dating
12/19 Christine Rains Hiking Faux Pas
12/19 Alex J. Cavanaugh Beast vs Monster - terminology
12/21 Ann Noser CR Quotes
12/21 Heather M. Gardner Discrimination - joking vs hurting
1/4 Ken Rahmoeller Dragons
1/4 L. Diane Wolfe Marketing Tips - Live & Online
1/9 C Lee McKenzie Grownup Stereotypes
1/11 M. J. Fifield Crazy Road Trip
1/25 Crystal Collier Poetry & Songs in Stories - Writerly Wed

Tara is also giving away signed copies of Broken Branch Falls and Cradle Rock, some Beast World swag, and a $20 GC!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, November 7, 2016

How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically

I’ve had the pleasure to meet author Carolyn Johnson Howard in person. She is a dynamo when it comes to book promotion and I got a sneak peek at her latest book!

The Web—more explicitly Amazon and other online bookstores—have changed the face and nature of reviews in the last couple of decades. Carolyn Howard-Johnson, known for her author advocacy and how-to books for writers—has released a new book (the 3rd) in her multi award-winning and bestselling (at many different levels) HowToDoItFrugally series of books for writers.

With the release of Howard-Johnson’s How To Get Great Book Reviews Frugally and Ethically: The ins and outs of using free reviews to build and sustain a writing career authors—both traditionally published and self-published—can now approach the daunting task of the whole spectrum of reviews from getting and using reviews online and in prestigious review journals efficiently. She also shows in the 340 page book, how to writing reviews as part of an author’s overall campaign and authors can use review of their own books and the ones they write toward building both a market for their book and building their own writing career.

This new how-to book is third in Howard-Johnson’s multi award-winning How To Do It Frugally Series. The first book in the series, The Frugal Book Promoter: How to Do What Your Publisher Won’t, was named USA Book News “Best Professional Book 2004," and Book Publicists of Southern California honored it with their Irwin Award. Now in its second edition, Bookbaby.com calls it a “classic” and it has helped more than 40,000 authors since its release. The second in the series, The Frugal Editor, is her most award-winning of the series including honors from Day Poynter’s Global E-Book Award, USA Book News, Reader Views Literary Award, Next Generation Indie Book Award, and won a special Marketing Award from New Millennium Book Awards. It is now available at Amazon.

In the works are books like The Frugal Self-Publisher: The Quick, Down and Dirty Guide for Publishing Anything for Any Reason—Personal Professional or Poetic.

The author says, "This series is the result of a combination of experience gained through trial and error in promoting my own literary works and my professional experience in marketing, PR, journalism, editing and publishing in general."

Howard-Johnson was an instructor for UCLA Extension's Writers' Program for nearly a decade, was named Woman of the Year in Arts and Entertainment by members of the California legislature, and was given her community’s Diamond Award and honored for her work with tolerance by her city's Ethics Committee. In addition to dozens of literary awards and honors, she was also featured by Pasadena Weekly in their “Pasadena Women Who Make Life Happen” for her advocacy in the publishing industry. Learn more about Carolyn at her website.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Follow-up to an IPPY Silver Medalist - Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries! Plus Crystal Collier's Timeless

Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries

The follow-up to Broken But Not Dead, an IPPY Award Silver Medalist

A murder enveloped in pain and mystery...

When Canada's retired Minister of National Defense, Leland Warner, is murdered in his home, the case is handed to Corporal Danny Killian, an aboriginal man tortured by his wife's unsolved murder.

The suspect, 60-year-old Sally Warner, still grieves for the loss of her two sons, dead in a suicide/murder eighteen months earlier. Confused and damaged, she sees in Corporal Killian a friend sympathetic to her grief and suffering and wants more than anything to trust him.

Danny finds himself with a difficult choice—indict his prime suspect, the dead minister's horribly abused wife or find a way to protect her and risk demotion. Or worse, transfer away from the scene of his wife’s murder and the guilt that haunts him...

“From its gripping beginning to its thrilling end, Matowak: Woman Who Cries delivers a fast-paced ride in this skillfully-written mystery from Joylene Nowell Butler.” - Mystery writer Elizabeth S. Craig

“A psychological puzzle unfolding from two very different points of view...an excellent whodunnit for the thinking reader.” - Patricia Stoltey, author

“…as complex in its plot as it is in its character development.” – Stuart Aken, author

Release date - November 1, 2016
$18.95 USA, 6x9 trade paperback, 312 pages
Thriller/Psychological (FIC031080) and Mystery (FIC022020)
Print ISBN 9781939844231, eBook ISBN 9781939844248
$4.99 eBook available in all formats

Joylene, Métis, is the author of Dead Witness, Broken But Not Dead, and Break Time. She and her husband and their two cats reside in Canada for the summers and Nayarit for the winters. They believe life should be an adventure.

Follow her blog tour for reviews, excerpts, interviews, guest posts, and your chance to win a copy of Mâtowak: Woman Who Cries.

* * * * * * * * *

Timeless by Crystal Collier

Visit her site to enter the giveaway!

Time is the enemy.

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil, and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Just Released - Cling to God

I am delighted to announce the release of this moving devotional that will guide you daily in your walk with God!

Cling to God
A Daily Devotional

Cling to God in the chaos of life...
Cling to God is a book of devotionals for every day of the year. The aim is to encourage Christians in their faith, to help them think about their beliefs and learn more about God. The devotions are short and inspirational so that people with busy lifestyles will still able to spend time with the Lord each day. It’s designed for a wide Christian audience–those new in their faith as well as those matured beyond milk and honey.

“In the press of daily living, now more than ever we need to draw strength from God. Lynda Young has nailed it! The truths found in Cling to God will resonate in the hearts of men & women everywhere.” - Beverly Weeks, author of Get A G.R.I.P.

“An excellent, valuable resource for those seeking to hold onto God each day and to grow in their Christian faith.” - Jo-Anne Berthelsen, author

Freedom Fox Press - Dancing Lemur Press, L.L.C.
$17.95 Print ISBN 9781939844279, $3.99 eBook ISBN 9781939844286

Lynda R. Young, a Christian first, writes devotionals, articles, and speculative short stories. In her spare time she is also an editor, game developer, artist, and dabbles in photography and all things creative. She lives in Australia with her sweetheart of a husband.

Find Cling to God: Amazon / Kindle / Barnes & Noble / Nook / ITunes / Kobo / Goodreads

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Bloodwalkers, Celibacy, and Bad Boy Rockers

Amazing new releases:

By L.X. Cain

Lightning flashes. Another child disappears...

Zorka Circus’s big top roars with laughter and cheers, but when it moves on, children vanish.

Circus Security Chief Rurik suspects a killer hides among the performers, but they close ranks—they’ve always viewed lightning-scarred Rurik as the monster. He must find the culprit before anyone else disappears and his home is destroyed by the murders.

Into Zorka Circus comes the Skomori clan, despised as gravedigging ghouls. A one-day truce allows bloodwalker Sylvie to marry. Instead, she finds a body. Alerting others will defy her clan’s strict code, break the truce, and leave her an outcast.

When more bodies turn up, the killer's trail becomes impossible to ignore. Rurik and Sylvie must follow the clues—even if they lead to something unimaginable…

“...captivating shocker... Cain immerses the reader in the working life of a struggling circus and in the daily chores of a fascinating, albeit fictional, Slavic folkway.” - Publishers Weekly

“Fresh, original, and a frightening fun read.” - Brian Moreland, author of Blood Sacrifices and Dead of Winter

“Absolutely unique, unusual and brilliant!” - Maxine, Booklover Catlady reviews

$18.95 USA, 6x9 trade paperback, 284 pages, Freedom Fox Press
Fantasy/Paranormal (FIC009050) and Horror (FIC015000)
Print ISBN 9781939844255, eBook ISBN 9781939844262
$4.99 eBook available in all formats

L.X. Cain was born in the U.S. but now lives on the Red Sea and busily taps away at a laptop, coming up with stories to thrill and entertain readers.

Purchase the print version at Barne & Noble / Amazon /BAM / Powell’s / Dancing Lemur Press LLC
Purchase the eBook version at Nook / Kindle /iTunes / Kobo / Dancing Lemur Press LLC - Mobi & ePub

Celibacy and Suburbia by Robyn Alana Engel

This hilariously quirky threesome contains 250 unforgettable dating ads with biting commentary; parody celebrity interviews; and one-of-a-kind, holiday-themed poetic erotica. Editor and Writer Janie Goltz describes it as "the G-spot of hilarity." Warning: Not for the tightly wrapped (e.g., Martha Stewart) or those lacking a sense of humor (e.g., Martha Stewart). Were he available for comment, Donald Trump would have said that Author Engel represents everything that's wrong with America. And "I'm so good looking."

Buy it on Amazon

My Song For You by Stina Lindenblatt

At twenty-one, Jared Leigh had been prepared to give up the life of a touring musician to be a father after getting his girlfriend pregnant. When she told him that she’d gotten an abortion, Jared was devastated. Now at least he has the groupies to keep him company—until a blast from the past rocks his world.

Callie Talbert hasn’t seen her sister’s ex since high school. But after Callie bumps into Jared while she’s grocery shopping with four-year-old Logan, there’s a spark that wasn’t there before. Jared quickly realizes that her deaf “son” is the same age his own child would have been. When Jared demands to know more about Logan, Callie panics. There are thing she just can’t tell him. Besides, Jared’s a bad-boy rocker, not a dependable father figure. He’ll move on to his next gig soon enough . . . right?

Trouble is, Jared refuses to be pushed away, and the more quality time he spends with Logan, the more he’s captivated by the woman Callie has become. When the truth is revealed, Jared only hopes that the three of them have what it takes to become a real family.

Buy it on Barnes & Noble / Amazon

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

New Releases in Crime Fiction, Fantasy, and Middle Grade

Some great new releases came out recently!

Seismic Crimes by Chrys Fey

An Internal Affairs Investigator was murdered and his brother, Donovan Goldwyn, was framed. Now Donovan is desperate to prove his innocence. And the one person who can do that is the woman who saved him from a deadly hurricane—Beth Kennedy. From the moment their fates intertwined, passion consumed him. He wants her in his arms. More, he wants her by his side in his darkest moments.

Beth Kennedy may not know everything about Donovan, but she can’t deny what she feels for him. It’s her love for him that pushes her to do whatever she has to do to help him get justice, including putting herself in a criminal’s crosshairs.

When a tip reveals the killer's location, they travel to California, but then an earthquake of catastrophic proportions separates them. As aftershocks roll the land, Beth and Donovan have to endure dangerous conditions while trying to find their way back to one another. Will they reunite and find the killer, or will they lose everything?

Buy it at: Amazon US / Amazon UK / Amazon CA / Barnes & Noble / All Romance / The Wild Rose Press

The Haunted Stepsister by Medeia Sharif

Kammy and Jess, two preteen stepsisters, use an allegedly haunted school restroom where the toilet is shuddering and overflowing. Lights flicker. At home, things are flying. Jess is convinced that Kammy is possessed by a demon that originated from the school toilet. Jess wants to acquire the help of an exorcist, although it’s hard getting the attention of a religious authority figure. She also has to keep this secret from her parents and the school, despite all the strangeness going on when Kammy is present.

Most importantly, Jess will have to fess up about “the incident” that happened weeks ago. Kammy and her demon are angry about that, because Jess almost destroyed the family and her stepsister’s life by pulling a stupid stunt. And this demon seems to be prodding the truth to come to light.

Buy it at: Amazon / Smashwords / Barnes & Noble

Endless by Misha Gerrick

“First, do no harm.” Blake Ryan swore that oath to become a doctor. Ironic, given that he spent most of his thousand year life sucking souls out of other immortals.

Things are different now. Using regular shots of morphine to keep his inner monster at bay, Ryan has led a quiet life since the Second World War. His thrills now come from saving lives, not taking them.

Until a plane crash brings Aleria into his hospital. Her life is vibrant. Crack to predators like him. She’s the exact sort of person they would hunt, and thanks to a severe case of amnesia, she’s all but defenseless.

Leaving Aleria vulnerable isn’t an option, but protecting her means unleashing his own inner monster. Which is a problem, because his inner monster wants her dead most of all.

Amazon / Apple / Barnes & Noble

Monday, March 28, 2016

New Releases in YA and Mystery, IWSG Newsletter for Writers

Under a Purple Moon by Beverly Stowe McClure
Available at:
Print - Amazon / Barnes & Noble / BAM
Ebook - Nook / Kobo / Kindle / ITunes / Amazon UK

No Love in the Garden of Eden...

Eden Rose has learned to deal with her mother’s criticism that she can do nothing right. What she can’t deal with are the arguments between her parents. To escape their angry words, she finds refuge in an old abandoned house. She always returns home, hoping her mother will love her one day, even though Eden’s not sure what the word love means.

Three other teens with problems also hang out at the Old House. Meeting Murphy, Toby, and Josh changes Eden’s world, and she begins to have faith in herself. Perhaps she can do something right, after all.

Thanks to the boys, she begins to understand the meaning of love. But will it be enough to save her broken home life?

Murder & Obsession by Yolanda Renee
Book three in the Detective Quaid series
Available at Amazon

Detective Steven Quaid is ready for the new challenges as Anchorage’s top detective, but not until he marries the woman of his dreams on New Year’s Eve. Determined to give Sarah the wilderness honeymoon she desires, he turns his grandfather’s cabin into the perfect honeymoon retreat. After the final details are complete, Steven treks into the mountains to hunt.
On his return to the cottage, instead of Sarah, he is greeted by several police officers and a bloody crime scene. Accusations fly, and Stephen flees into the wilderness, his heart racing and thoughts etching into his soul.

The wilderness is unforgiving, but Steven faces it head on: Caught between a massive grizzly and a black bear in a deadly tug of war, he is barely saved from death’s door by the fortuitous appearance of his uncle. Despite surviving multiple injuries, Steven continues his investigation as he recovers, but answers don’t come quick or easy.

Having enlisted the aid of his number one suspect, Steven faces a struggle that has become more than personal…This one just may cost him his heart.

To sign up for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group newsletter, click HERE.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Upcoming and New Releases - Parallels, Galactic Outlaws, and Zombies

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group anthology, due out this spring.

Parallels: Felix Was Here
Print ISBN 9781939844200
eBook ISBN 9781939844118
Science Fiction/Alternate History

Enter the realm of parallel universes!

What if the government tried to create the perfect utopia? Could a society linked to a supercomputer survive on its own? Do our reflections control secret lives on the other side of the mirror? Can one moment split a person’s world forever?

Exploring the fantastic, ten authors offer incredible visions and captivating tales of diverse reality. Featuring the talents of L. G. Keltner, Crystal Collier, Hart Johnson, Cherie Reich, Sandra Cox, Yolanda Renee, Melanie Schulz, Sylvia Ney, Michael Abayomi, and Tamara Narayan.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these ten tales will expand your imagination and twist the tropes of science fiction. Step through the portal and enter another dimension!

The Galactic Outlaws Book One: The Outlaw's Prize by Susan (Gourley) Kelley 
 Buy it at New Concepts Publishing

She didn’t believe in heroes until he kidnapped her.

Infamous smuggler Quin kidnaps Dr. Bess Smith with the best intentions. But a few days in the feisty physician’s presence turns his thoughts in a less honorable direction. Soon he’s figuring out ways to keep her.

Bess isn’t impressed with Quin’s good looks and easy charm until she starts to believe he is sincere in his flirtation. Despite the grim medical emergency they battle together, for the first time in her life, she experiences the thrill of adventure with the handsome smuggler.

Then a terrible betrayal exposes the secrets they’ve kept from one another. Secrets that may cost Quin his life and send Bess back into the isolation of her research laboratory. Can she trust a man she believes only used her own ends? Or is he really the self-sacrificing hero she hopes he is?

The Undead Road: My Zombie Summer: Part One by David Powers King
Buy it at Amazon

Nothing brings the family together like a zombie apocalypse … Fifteen-year-old Jeremy Barnes would rather watch a zombie movie than shoot a real one, but he has no choice if his family wants to survive the end of the world. Their plan? Drive across the infected United States to a cabin in the Colorado Rockies without a scratch, but their trip takes a complicated detour in the middle of Nebraska when they find Kaylynn, a girl who can handle a baseball bat better than Jeremy can hold a .45 Beretta. And when they stumble into a sanctuary, Jeremy soon learns that Kaylynn is stronger than she looks—a deadly secret lies inside her. After the radio picks up a distress call from Kansas City about a possible cure, Jeremy’s parents go with a team to investigate. They never return. The only way to find their parents is for Jeremy and his sister Jewel to rely on a dangerous girl who might just turn on them at any moment.