Spotlight & Author Interview: Be Careful What You Wish For + Giveaway


Join us for this tour from July 18 to August 12, 2022!


 ​Book Title: The Way Out
(Book 1: Be Careful What You Wish for Series)
by Gordon Jensen with Cara Highsmith and Gordon Thomas
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+),  240 pages
Genre: Sci-Fi
Publisher:  Highsmith Creative Services
Release date:  September 2020
Content Rating:  PG-13 +M. The language is pretty tame, but there are a few swear words. The bigger issue is some of the topics addressed in it. ​

Book Description:

When the Alpha Centauri crew returns to earth after a failed mission to explore a distant planet, they quickly learn the world is not how they left it.

Under new global leadership, the planet has managed to go decades without conflict, except for one major problem. Thanks to a pandemic caused by a mutation in a new strain of GMO corn, the world’s population plummeted to 2.6 billion, wiping out a disproportionate amount of men and leaving the globe run almost entirely by women. The mutation altered the human DNA, making it impossible to produce male babies and increasing Y-chromosome related diseases.

Because of their lack of exposure, the Alpha Centauri crew, especially the men on board, now find themselves in high demand. The Powers that Be think they are the solution, but with that solution comes the inevitable hunger for power and control. As greed, self-interest, and corruption rear their ugly heads, a planet that had found its way to peace is thrust into turmoil once again.

So, the question becomes: Are they really the answer to a seemingly unsolvable problem? The world may soon come to understand that sometimes getting what you wish for isn’t the gift you think it will be.

The Way Out is at once a brilliant and relatable work of post-apocalyptic fiction. Think The Handmaid’s Tale mixed with Netflix’s The Wilds, and a touch of Interstellar, the movie. It’s a uniquely told story that will have you waiting as impatiently as the crew to understand the New World Order of the near future.

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Also Available for Review:

​Book Title: Two Roads to Paradise
(Book 2: Be Careful What You Wish for Series) 
by Gordon Jensen with Cara Highsmith and Gordon Thomas
Category:  Adult Fiction (18+),  324 pages
Genre: Sci-Fi
Publisher:  Highsmith Creative Services
Release date:  May 2022
Content Rating:  PG-13 +M. The language is pretty tame, but there are a few swear words. The bigger issue is some of the topics addressed in it. 

Book Description:

​Although the reappearance of the Alpha Centauri I crew was miraculous, it was not the celebratory homecoming they expected. Their return to a world reeling from a pandemic that wiped out more than half the population thrust them right into the center of controversy and conflict. Now, three years later, though the tide has turned and the survival of the human race seems to be secure, the survival of human relations is far less certain. The cure should have been the injection of hope the world needed to restore balance and end the chaos of the last four decades. Instead, the complex implications for personal rights and freedom have fractured the North American territory in such a way that the division may never be repaired. As the crew dispersed to find their place in this new landscape, Hunter Young found himself embedded in the Marshall administration as an agent for the mysterious K Group. What had been a relatively uneventful assignment suddenly becomes a whirlwind of adventure as he is called to a rendezvous that requires a long and circuitous journey.

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Author Interview:

Do you ever get writer’s block? What helps you overcome it?
Yes. It depends on what type of block I’m experiencing. In my writing seminar I explain the difference between a functional block and a creative block. Sometimes you can’t figure out how to tell a certain part of a story. When we were working on Two Roads to Paradise, I was having trouble deciding how to get in all of the things we needed to cover about the division in the country and still make it an enjoyable read. I brainstormed with someone and came up with Hunter’s road trip by boat. It made it possible to introduce various aspects of the different zones in a way that made sense, and it solved some other logistical issues as well.

Where do you write?
Cara: Anywhere that feels comfortable for the headspace I’m in. Sometimes it’s at my desk. Sometimes it’s in a big comfy chair or on my bed. Occasionally, it’s outside in nature.

Gordy: Although the Be Careful What You Wish For series was mostly written in Florida when I wintered there, I now write at my lake cabin in northern Minnesota. I drove a lot and I think about my stories when I drove alone on long trips.

Do you write every day?
No, I write when I feel inspiration flowing. There are times that I will sit down and give myself a little nudge to get going, but if I feel blocked, I don’t force it. That works against me. I go do something else and let the energy clear.

What is your writing schedule?
Some people find a schedule helpful. In fact, each writer should find what works for them. For me, I lay out a rough idea of what I’d like to accomplish in a given week. I set goals rather than schedules. That allows more flexibility for the creative process.

In today’s tech savvy world, most writers use a computer or laptop. Have you ever written parts of your book on paper?
Cara: I make all of my notes on paper and then do the actual writing on my laptop.

Gordy: I don’t have a computer. Everything I wrote I did longhand on paper. Some of it was in outline form.

What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?
Cara: Pursue a life in creative arts. There are no guarantees, except that you will be criticized. But, if you are willing to lean into it and take the risk anyway, the reward is an incredible feeling of fulfillment.

Any hobbies?
Cara: I love to hike, camp, and climb mountains.
Gordy: I don’t do it anymore, But I restored many 1960s Lincoln Continentals. I took them all over the lower 48 states. I’m sure I have personally driven over 1,000,000 miles.

What is your next project?
We are working on the release of a Prequel called A Crash Course with Destiny on the Kindle Vella platform, Book 3 – Next Stop: Utopia is underway, and we will be recording the audiobook for Two Roads to Paradise and A Crash Course with Destiny in July.

Meet the Authors:

Gordon Jensen holds an MBA from University of Rochester, New York, Simon School of
Business and a bachelor’s degree from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. After working in finance In New York for several years, Jensen went back to Minnesota to run the family business. He retired after selling the the business and is now fulfilling a number of life-long dreams, including writing a novel series.

Cara Highsmith has always been drawn to the world of books and has found herself working in this industry in one capacity or another for the majority of her adult life. She holds a Master of Arts in English from Belmont University and did work toward a PhD at Middle Tennessee State University. Cara was on the editorial team at Hachette Book Group USA, working with several New York Times bestselling authors, for nearly four years. After leaving Hachette in 2008, she began freelancing, developing proposals and manuscripts for agents, editing and ghostwriting for authors, and assisting clients in preparing projects for self-publishing. Cara is a master of being a jack of all trades, but currently spends her free time working on several personal writing projects and enjoying life on a beautiful northern California mountain.

connect with authors: website ~ twitter ~ facebook ~ instagram ~ goodreads

Tour Schedule:

July 18 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of THE WAY OUT / guest post / giveaway
July 19 – Rockin’ Book Reviews – book review of TWO ROADS TO PARADISE / giveaway
July 19 – Literary Flits – book review of THE WAY OUT / guest post / giveaway
July 20 – Literary Flits – book review of TWO ROAD TO PARADISE / author interview / giveaway
July 21 – Sadie’s Spotlight – book series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 21 – The Momma Spot – book review of THE WAY OUT / giveaway
July 22 – A Crane Between The Pages – book review of THE WAY OUT
July 22 – @acourtofbookishreviews (TIK TOC) – book review of THE WAY OUT
July 25 – Mostly Mystery Reviews – book review of THE WAY OUT / guest post / giveaway
July 26 – SpareTimer866 – book series spotlight / author interview / giveaway
July 26 – She Just Loves Books – book review of THE WAY OUT / giveaway
July 27 – She Just Loves Books – book review of TWO ROADS TO PARADISE / giveaway
July 27 – The Momma Spot – book review of TWO ROADS TO PARADISE / giveaway
July 28 – Splashes of Joy – book review of THE WAY OUT / giveaway
July 28 – Kam’s Place – book review of THE WAY OUT
July 29 – Splashes of Joy – book review of TWO ROADS TO PARADISE / giveaway
July 30 – @pen.books.and.scalpel – book review of THE WAY OUT
Aug 1 – Mostly Mystery Reviews – book review of TWO ROADS TO PARADISE / author interview / giveaway
Aug 1 – Kam’s Place – book review of TWO ROADS TO PARADISE
Aug 1 – @acourtofbookishreviews (TIC TOK) – book review of TWO ROADS TO PARADISE
Aug 2 – Jazzy Book Reviews – book series spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Aug 2 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review of THE WAY OUT
Aug 3 – @Mel.literate – book review of THE WAY OUT
Aug 4 – Cheryl’s Book Nook – book review of TWO ROADS TO PARADISE
Aug 4 
– Stephanie Jane – book review of THE WAY OUT / giveaway

Aug 5 – A Crane Between The Pages – book review of TWO ROADS TO PARADISE
Aug 8 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of THE WAY OUT / giveaway
Aug 9 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of THE WAY OUT / giveaway
Aug 9 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book review of TWO ROADS TO PARADISE / giveaway
Aug 10 – Books are a Blessing – book review of THE WAY OUT / giveaway
Aug 10 –
 Stephanie Jane – book review of TWO ROADS TO PARADISE / giveaway

Aug 11 – fundinmental – book series spotlight / giveaway
Aug 11 – Books are a Blessing – book review of TWO ROADS TO PARADISE / giveaway
Aug 11 – @pen.books.and.scalpel – book review of TWO ROADS TO PARADISE
Aug 12 – Locks, Hooks and Books – book review of TWO ROADS TO PARADISE / giveaway
Aug 12 – Books for Books – book series spotlight

Enter the Giveaway:


Spotlight, Excerpt & Author Interview: The Starfolk Trilogy + Giveaway


the starfolk arcana

The Starfolk Trilogy
by Martha Dunlop
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Destiny calls. Soulmates draw closer. One woman stands in the way.

Beth trusts her psychic senses. So when her birthday visit to a daytime TV talk show takes a weird turn, she knows something is wrong. Amelia, the celebrity on stage, is oddly fixated on Beth and the man with the microphone is hauntingly familiar. Things become even stranger when she buys a tarot deck, and they are all pictured in the cards.  

Jonan has waited an eternity to be with the woman who haunts his dreams. When he finally sees her at the TV studio, he hopes life with his soulmate is within reach. But as Amelia refuses to let go of their past together, his hopes fade.

Amelia stands between Beth and Jonan. Spinning tales of supernatural threats to her adoring fan base, she builds a personality cult through fear of the paranormal. As her power grows, she does her best to scare Beth away from Jonan and plans to reclaim him for herself.

United by a destiny that spans lifetimes, Beth and Jonan are determined to stop Amelia’s fear-mongering. But Amelia has more than one card to play. Even though they are fated to be together, Amelia’s destructive nature may once again tear them apart.

The book will be $0.99 during the tour.


He heard Doriel walk down the narrow, wonky staircase that divided the storeroom from the shop’s reading and treatment room. The tiny bells stitched into the hem of her skirt tinkled as she swung her hips.

Jonan shook his head. He had no idea why she bothered with all this theatre. She was the real deal. She could have run a fabulous business in joggers and a T-shirt, but she insisted on playing to the audience. She wore flowing skirts, bells and long earrings. Her hennaed hair was braided into a loose French plait that reached her waist, sparkling with tiny crystals. She mimicked smoke and mirrors and delivered magic. She was a goddess hiding in plain sight as a walking cliché. The irony never failed to make her hoot with laughter.

The distant voice made Jonan freeze. ‘I’m looking for a reading. I was told you were good.’

He dropped back from his crouch to sit on the floor, heart pounding in his chest.

She had come.

He had told her to come to Doriel, but he had never expected it to be this easy. This was the woman he had incarnated for, the one he was here to wake up. He knew his goal, but somehow it didn’t feel anywhere near as important as just being in the same room as her. He had no idea how she would react to his world. She had been brought up with Earth amnesia and would probably think he was crazy. Everything he was, everything he said, was strange. Would she listen, or would she run? He had no way of knowing until he tried it.

A shiver ran down his spine.


Starfolk Falling
by Martha Dunlop
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

A woman destined to change the world. A timeless adversary determined to stop her. Only one will win.

Humiliated after the disastrous launch event for her protection racket, Amelia Faustus is furious and determined to punish those responsible. But her own support system is cracking and something new is haunting her home.

Beth and Jonan – finally together after lifetimes of searching for one another – have to stop Amelia’s attempts to prevent them fulfilling their destiny. But they find themselves under attack from all directions. Trolled by Amelia online, and targeted by her angry followers in real life, they fight to keep innocent people out of Amelia’s clutches. But Amelia has already started to hurt those closest to them to get what she wants.

As Amelia continues to terrorise their loved ones, Beth and Jonan are once again put on the defensive. They need to convince people to stand up to Amelia’s manipulations, but can they succeed when The Fear is already taking root?

An urban fantasy novel about destiny, reincarnation, tarot, and living with the paranormal.

Author Interview:

1. Tell us a little about how this story first came to be.
It started with an image of Jonan, my main character. He had an angular face, shoulder length blond hair, and when I saw him unguarded, his ears were pointed. I spent a lot of time believing he was some kind of elf because of the ears, but it slowly became clear that the ears, and the violet eyes, were a part of his energetic body and a symbol of where he incarnated from. They showed his diffentness, which only people like him could see. So most of the time he looks normal, but occasionally Beth sees those points, or the purple eyes, and she knows his emotions are strong and his guard is down.

My stories always start with a character. I watch them for quite a long time before things start filling in, with new characters entering, and details becoming clear. The plot is often the last thing to slot into place. In my Starfolk books it was Beth and Jonan who came to me first.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
I went on a ghost walk around St Albans and learned about the history of the City I grew up in. It was fascinating to hear about things like the debtors prison in the centre of town, and spooky stories about the Cathedral and many of the shops, restaurants and houses around the old part of St Albans. Some of those stories served as inspiration for the book.

3. What surprised you the most in writing it?
I started writing it in 2016, and much of the book was inspired by the rise of personality cults. But as time went on, the way life increasingly reflected the books gave me shivers more than once.

4. What does the title mean?
Great question! The main characters in the Starfolk books are all pictured in a Tarot deck, the Starfolk Tarot. They each have their own card which personifies their path or mission. For some characters, the card changes over the course of the books and their path goes in a new direction. The word Arcana means mystery, but it is a word particularly associated with Tarot, since the deck is divided into the Major and Minor Arcana. The Major Arcana are cards that address the big things in your life, your purpose, important changes that move you forwards. The Minor Arcana addresses the details. Out of 78 cards, only 21 are Major Arcana.

The key characters in the books remember their destiny, and the time before birth. They are fully human, but they remember when their souls were in the stars, and they bring those memories to Earth in an attempt to usher in change. This is where the word Starfolk comes from.

So the title can mean the Starfolk Mysteries, but it also relates to the Tarot deck that leads them forwards on their path.

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?
No. I guess many of them were inspired by experiences, and by types of people, but I was very careful not to base any of them on real people.

6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
I think the message is to think for yourself and not hand your moral compass to anyone else.

In the book, Amelia, the antagonist and the Starfolk character that lost her way, is a celebrity who aims to control people by scaring them into following her. She tells stories of supernatural attack, and presents herself as the solution in order to attract a cult following. Her followers believe the most incredible things and turn against the people around them, just because Amelia tells them to.

As much as I’d like to believe this is fantastical, it was inspired by the rise of personality cults that I saw when I started writing the books in 2016, and this certainly isn’t something that’s gone away.

7. What is your favorite part of the book?
Hmm, well, without giving away any secrets from deeper into the book, I can say that I love the opening, when Beth first sees both Jonan, the love interest, and Amelia, the antagonist. She can’t believe anyone will take Amelia seriously and is very dismissive. But Amelia calls on her on national TV, in front of her own fans. She challenges Beth in front of an audience that quickly becomes hostile. I love all the disconnects in this chapter, as Beth tries to make sense of Amelia’s ridiculous claims, and the audience’s very serious reaction to them. I also love the hints of mystery that Beth sees in Jonan, not least when she catches glimpses of him out of the corner of her eye, and sees his pointed ears.

8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?
I have a character who remains nameless for most of the story. Jonan, Beth and their friends call him The Brute because to them he is an aggressor. Amelia calls him The Sheep, because he follows her blindly. It was much harder to write a character with no name, but that was the point. He has entirely lost himself in Amelia and her demands. And so he has become defined by the tasks she gives him and the way people see him.

9. What are your immediate future plans?
At the moment I am working on Starfolk Rising, book 3 of the Starfolk Trilogy. After that, I have a standalone book to write and a brand new Trilogy where you might meet some familiar characters!

About the Author:

Head shot by Gene Genie Photography, www.genegenie.photographyMartha is a dreamer and lover of stories who likes nothing better than spending her days getting to know the characters in her head.

She is a tarot card reader and reiki master, and loves to chat reading, writing and all things mystical on social media, as well as posting pictures of her fellow pack-member, Bertie the Cavalier.

A fiddle player, Martha fell in love with traditional music, particularly Irish, and is also teaching herself to play the Irish Bouzouki. She played her way through her English degree at York and remembers that time as much for the music as the books.

Martha is the author of three books: The Starfolk Arcana, Starfolk Falling, and standalone Wild Shadow. She is currently working on Book 3 of The Starfolk Trilogy, Starfolk Rising.

You can keep up with Martha’s news, book releases and extra content at, or on her Amazon page.

You can also find her on social media at:


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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Devil’s Mark + Giveaway


Devil's Mark Cover

The Reckless Damned, Book 1

Cal and his brothers turned their backs on the family business over a hundred years ago – but Hell is tired of waiting for them to return.


I’ve never wanted a relationship – especially not with a human. With my father demanding my return to Hell and a demon leaving dead bodies in my bookshop, now is not the time to be losing my heart. But one look in Oscar’s broken eyes and I know I’m in trouble. Oscar’s been hurt before and everything in me is screaming to keep him safe. How can I do that when I know being with me will only put him in more danger?

More importantly though, am I strong enough to walk away from him?


After escaping my last relationship with broken bones and an anxiety disorder, I’m tired of living half a life. My world revolves around my classroom, flat, and best friend. When fate throws Cal in my path, he seems too good to be true. Not only does he look like he’s been pulled from my fantasies, but my baggage doesn’t scare him. Ok, so there’s the tiny issue of him being a demon, but I’ve dealt with far scarier.

I’ve been broken once before, and I don’t think I’d survive it again. Can I pull down my barriers enough to let Cal in?

Devil’s Mark is a thrilling high heat, hurt/comfort, M/M contemporary paranormal romance with a HEA and no cliff-hanger. It features a possessive demon and the broken teacher who captures his heart. ‘Devil’s Mark is the first in The Reckless Damned series but can be read as a standalone. Each book focuses on a different couple and will have a HEA.

Trigger warning for emotional abuse and domestic violence in a previous relationship, anxiety attacks, and descriptions of violence.

Universal Link


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There was a dead body in my bookshop.


Tossed on the floor in front of the romance section, the crumpled corpse was ruining my new Venetian rug. I suppressed a sigh. I’d only replaced the sodding thing yesterday after the last unwanted delivery.

And why always in front of the romances? If I were to dump a body in a bookshop, I’d try to be more poetic. True crime, war, even biographies would provide a delicious touch of irony. But no, these morons always chose the romance section.

Perhaps I wasn’t giving them enough credit. Maybe they believed romance was dead and thought this was a nice nod to that idea? It was a philosophy I wholeheartedly believed in…but I doubted whoever was sending me these messages was that intelligent.

They wouldn’t have decided to play with me in the first place if they were. My brothers and I had spent the last week trying to track down the culprit, but whoever it was had covered their tracks too well. I wasn’t concerned though. They would slip up sooner or later.

Dealing with these little gifts first thing in the morning was becoming irksome. Toeing the corpse with the tip of my dress shoe, I wrinkled my nose. As with the others, there was nothing to distinguish who they were. All I could tell was that he was human and male.

Oh, and headless.

The gaping wound at the neck was still leaking, ensuring my rug was well and truly ruined. Satan forbid whoever dumped them in my shop could wait until they finished bleeding out first.

Rubbing a hand over my tired eyes, I decided my guest could wait until I had been sufficiently caffeinated. I trudged to the coffee machine behind the counter and began to whip up a latte, my hands moving through the actions automatically. I’d initially scoffed when my brother, Harlow, had it delivered. After all, I’d survived a millennia without succumbing to such mundane stimulants as coffee to get through my day. I’d left the gargantuan chrome-and-steel beast to collect dust on the shelf.

And that’s exactly what it did—until I brought home two very enthusiastic twinks from The Closet, the club owned by my brother, Mori. Faced with choosing between another round in the sheets or grabbing a few hours’ kip, I made the only sane choice for a demon.

As I’d ushered the boys out my door at sunrise, honeyed lies pouring from my lips—Yes, my darlings. I promise I will call you—I received a message from Mori about a coven of vamps making threats. Suddenly regretting my choices, I turned to Harlow’s gift with a scowl. After watching several YouTube videos, I wrestled the monster into submission and taught myself how to make a semi-palatable coffee. It took several burns to get there, but I was raised on flames hotter than anything that blasted machine could throw at me.

That had been five years ago, and now I was hooked. I couldn’t even fathom starting my day without stopping for a coffee first—dead bodies or not.

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Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate Lark’s debut, we’re giving away a $10 Amazon Voucher & an e-copy of Devil’s Mark!
Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

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About the Author

Lark lives with her family in southern England. An obsessive romance fan, she loves nothing more than a Happily Ever After – especially if there’s a good plot and a hefty amount of spice along the way. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found hiding from adult life in escape rooms, travel, and the MCU. As a Bi woman with OCD, Lark is a fervent supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community and an advocate for mental health awareness and support.

Connect with Lark:
@larktaylorauthor (Instagram)


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