Readers Grab Prizes and Giveaways on Book Blog Tours

By Denise Turney

Book blog tours are becoming increasingly popular. Not only are they effective at building traffic for blog owners, they are effective at introducing readers to new authors. In fact, book blog tours are known for introducing avid book readers to writers who have been writing intriguing stories for decades but who, until now, they had gone unaware of.

Book Blogs Surface Bestsellers

And if you absolutely love to read, you probably want to get your hands on the best books. You might even want to be amongst the first people to read new books that go on to become bestsellers worldwide. Book blog tours can help you to do this.

A good way to find book blogs is to check out directories like the Book Blog Directory at [As a tip, if you own a book blog you can also submit your blog to the directory to gain additional exposure.]

Look for blogs that offer prizes and giveaways. For example, you might be able to win a free ebook reader, discount coupons to retail websites like Barnes & Noble or or you might win a gift card to an offline retailer. While on a blog tour I gave away two free copies of my new book, Love Pour Over Me, at each tour stop.

When you participate in book blog tours as a reader, you also might win a free autographed print copy of an author’s latest novel or you could win a mug, tote bag or umbrella that has a cool writing quote printed on it. Yes!  You absolutely can grab these rewards by simply visiting and participating in book blog tours.

Book Blog Author Questions and Answers

While on the tours, post questions to authors. It’s a great way to learn more about what inspires writers to create stories in certain genres, towns, time periods, etc. At the end of blog tours, visit the authors’ official websites to find out more about them and their books. Also, participate in contests and submit your name for book giveaways. Who knows? As previously noted, you might grab the chance to win the next bestseller first.

Should you attend online radio book tours, remember to ask authors questions when the hosts open the telephone lines. If you connect to online radio book tours via a chat room, post your questions to authors in the chat room. As the author of six published books, I gotta tell you – authors love hearing from readers, so post and ask questions!

By attending book blog tours you can save time, gas money and energy. If you attend two or more blog tours in a month, you can connect with several writers a year. You can also win free books, prizes and giveaways!

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You! Even if you choose not to purchase your copy of Love Pour Over Me today, I encourage you to “consider Love.”

Loving the Smooth Sounds of Jazz Music

By Denise Turney

Jazz is a music form that stirs the soul and invigorates the mind without the need of words. Listen to one smooth jazz cut and you’ll see why jazz stays in style. The music has a language all its own.

For the Love of Traditional and Smooth Jazz

It doesn’t matter if you’re listening to Miles Davis getting low and funky on his trumpet or to Gerald Albright making a saxophone do what only he can, jazz will shake and soothe you both at the same time. Andy Snitzer ripping notes with his saxophone on “Taking Off” or add in Ella Fitzgerald dipping and riffing so effortlessly it seems as if she’s merely walking through the park signing along with birds that – it’s all glorious jazz.

No wonder Raymond Clarke, the main character in Love Pour Over Me, seeks out jazz the morning after he arrives to campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He’s seeking solace in the music. He also longs to feel some connection with his father back home. They both love jazz . . . Raymond and his father, Malcolm . . . one of their favorite musicians being the one and only Miles Davis.

If you’re a jazz lover like Raymond and Malcolm (or me) and you want to enjoy live jazz, check out some of the local, regional and international jazz festivals. For example, there’s the annual Monterey Jazz Festival in Monterey, California (the festival celebrated its 55th year in 2012), the Newport Jazz Festival, the Atlanta Jazz Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival in Canada or the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival. These are just a few of the many jazz festivals that take place in the United States and around the world.

You can also enjoy live jazz at local parks, sometimes the admission is free. I’m willing to guess that if you love jazz as much as Love Pour Over Me’s Raymond Clarke does, you go out of your way to listen to jazz whenever you can. The music probably inspires and motivates you, sending good vibes all through you. Oh . . . the sweet sounds of jazz!

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!


Love Pour Over Me

How Long Should You Wait For Love

By Denise Turney

1 Corinthians 13:7 says love “endureth all things.” In other words, love never gives up. It never quits as is evidenced in 1 Corinthians 13:13 where it states, “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

Love is Why We’re Here

Love is what we were created to do. However, this world’s thought system seems to taint love, taking away its shine, even causing it to appear weak, as something to avoid. We think we’re in love with someone only to discover subconscious (our hidden motives, hidden thoughts and hidden beliefs) that are rooted in the past are what caused us to feel a strong attraction to a person we claim to be in love with.

Years may pass before we realize that our relationship with a person, our attraction to someone, has very little, if anything to do with the actual person. Instead, if we still our mind until awareness arises, pushing away subconscious clouds, we may be surprised to find that we were attracted to a figure, experience or situation from the past. We may find that the people who remind us the most of emotionally charged experiences from the past grab our attention, demanding it.

“I’m in love! I’m in love!” we declare to family and friends. But are we? Or is our subconscious mind attempting to right a past wrong and seeking to use certain people (who again evoke strong memories from the past in us) to do so?

Love’s Eternal Attraction

If you don’t think this is possible, consider taking a few moments to create an honest portrait of the people you have felt most strongly attracted to. Don’t be surprised if you find two or more similar qualities in each of these people. You might even discover that the people you feel the strongest attraction to have personality traits (e.g. extraversion, courage, risk taking, social skills, leadership) you wish you had. In this case, you might pull toward people you believe will fill up perceived gaps in you.

The trouble is that we can’t fill up gaps in each other. Sure, we can love, support and encourage each other. We can laugh together. We can feel joy and celebrate successes together, but we can’t fill up gaps in each other. The reason we can’t fill up gaps in each other is simple; in truth, in reality (not in illusion) there are no gaps, there is no incompletion in any of us. Those of us who are like Raymond, the main character in Love Pour Over Me find this nearly impossible to believe.

In Raymond’s case, an abusive childhood has set the stage, created years of programming that may take a lifetime to decode. Fortunately, for Raymond there is Brenda. Without fully knowing why she can’t just walk away, Brenda works to understand Raymond, a hurting yet courageous and gentle man.

But, how long should you (or Brenda) wait for love? How long should you wait for someone to stop being afraid of love so that they can receive the love you are trying to give them? How long should someone what for you to lower your fear of love so that you can receive their love in return? Is it possible that some people (like you, like me . . . like Raymond) may not progress beyond old perceived hurts to accept love in all its beauty, all its glory?

I’m referring to true and real love, not an illusion of love that’s rooted in the past. Do you believe that love truly endures all things (e.g. wars, heartache, disappointment)? Do you truly believe that love is the greatest of all? If you do believe this, how is love changing your relationships? How is love causing you to see and communicate differently with the people in your life?

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!

Middle Distance Olympic Track and Field Runners

By Denise Turney

Admittedly, it’s sprints like the 100 meter and 200 meter races that track and field spectators get the most excited to watch. Sprinters, including Olympic gladiators, put in grueling workouts under the watchful eye of an experienced coach. Although the races they run are short, over in a matter of seconds, they are explosive, demanding, exhilarating. Clearly, they deserve the hoopla and the celebrating they receive.

Middle Distance Olympic Track and Field Heroes

From Jesse Owens who sprinted at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin to Carl Lewis (both born in Alabama) who dominated sprints and the long jump during the 1980s to Jamaica’s Usain Bolt, shorter distances have long been amongst the most anticipated and talked about events in track and field. Yet, it’s middle distances that try women and men in ways sprints do not.

Middle distance races require strength, stamina, perfect pacing and a mental agility few practice. Start a quarter mile or half mile run too fast and you’re out of the winnings. Fail to run the backstretch with precision, your graceful form causing spectators to wonder if they’re watching a gazelle make its way across the ground, and there’s a strong chance that the other runners will catch you coming around the final turn.

In that regard middle distance races are akin to boxing matches. A second produces the same results that an hour does off the track. One mistake, however slight, can spell the end of a race a runner has prepared and trained for over the course of a year or longer. Too many mistakes and a middle distance runner may find herself labeled a “has been” and it all can happen in a matter of seconds.

Raymond Clarke Running for the Gold

No one knows this better than Raymond Clarke (the main character in my new novel Love Pour Over Me). Coach Carter, a seasoned track and field coach who works at a famous Pennsylvania university, is well aware of the impact time has on middle distance races. He also knows how to spot an Olympic champion and world class runner when he sees one, and it’s this he recognizes at once in Raymond.

It’s during the summer when Coach Carter tells Raymond about the upcoming track meet in Oregon. If Raymond wins he’ll make the Olympic team, a rare fete for a full-time college student. The Oregon invitational is the type of event Raymond has been striving to excel at for much of his young physical experience.

He knows crossing the finish line first will put him on par with great Olympic middle distance runners like Britain’s Sebastian Cole, Steve Ovett and New Zealand’s Peter Snell. It’s a mammoth challenge; Raymond is ready. Thanks to Coach Carter he’s learned how to seize the moment. He’s ready for the Olympics.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!

Sources: (London 2012 Olympics)

Young Men and Women Coming of Age at College

By Denise Turney

Remember when we graduated from middle school? Didn’t we feel apprehensive and nervous about transferring into high school, wondering if older students would immediately accept and take us into their inner circles?

Growing Up on College Campuses

We may have lost our focus as to why we were in high school which, more than likely, was to learn facts, figures and information we were previously unaware of. But, it’s tough to not want to be popular, to have everyone support and be drawn to you when you’re in high school. Truth be told, even after we become an adult it can be tough to avoid focusing more on being popular or liked than to focus on fulfilling short and long-term goals.

It’s a reason we appreciate our friends, hanging out with them and sharing challenges and triumphs with them. In fact, although it might be rare, some of us maintain relationships with high school classmates throughout our lives. We mean it when we write things like “I’ll always keep in touch” or “Friends forever” in our closest friends’ high school annuals.

Then some of us, like Love Pour Over Me’s main character, Raymond Clarke, don’t meet our best friends until we step on a college campus. Like Raymond we may not go to college seeking out friends, but we bump into people like Anthony Thompson (an elite college football player), Patrick (a proud Mexican who’s majoring in criminal justice, a man who shares a similar childhood root with Raymond) and Doug (an international student from Italy) . . . and our lives change  . . . forever.

Before we know it we’re coming of age, growing up, all at college. We may feel in love with another person for the first time. We may even marry while we’re in college or soon after we graduate with college degrees. Or, like Raymond and his friends in Love Pour Over Me, more unexpected and harrowing events may shake up our lives, forcing us to look back at our former, younger selves as if the people we once were are mere strangers we passed in a hallway.

Either way, we can’t go back. We’re not at home anymore. We’re not in high school anymore. We’re growing up . . . hopefully in ways that won’t come back to haunt us years later. . . .

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!

Alcoholism in America: Growing up the Child of an Alcoholic Parent

By Denise Turney

Unfortunately, alcoholism in America is not a fantasy. It’s left many a child in the clutches of fear and uncertainty.

To be sure, no child should grow up afraid, especially of his parents. Yet, this is the scene that alcoholism has painted for far too many children in the United States. It’s enough that parents with untreated alcoholism cause themselves and their children to feel embarrassment to the point where hiding from the larger society appears to be the only way out of the darkness.

Losing the Right to be a Child

If neighbors, school teachers and other family members don’t intervene, situations children and their alcoholic parents find themselves buried within generally worsen. It’s as though sudden or instant miracles of healing do not come around these families.

When teachers, school administrators, relatives, clergy members and friends approach a child’s alcoholic parents, they should do so in such a way that the child will not be placed in danger as some alcoholic parents may become outraged at being approached, at having their illness revealed. After all, when many of us become ill we often scramble to pretend as if nothing is wrong in effort to hide the illness. But hiding fixes absolutely nothing. Revealing challenges, talking openly about them and facing facts is where progress begins.

It is this goal to hide the festering problems of alcoholism that can keep the illness brewing, ready to erupt and explode . . . perhaps on innocent children. So it is with Raymond Clarke and his father, Malcolm, in Love Pour Over Me.  You see, this father and son pair love each other deeply, but Malcolm’s sickness has run its course, done its damage.

It’s gotten to the point where Raymond cringes when he sees loving parents doting over their infant and toddler aged children. In these loving interactions he sees what he longed for as a kid but did not receive. It makes him hard, careful, protective of his heart . . . his emotions. What Raymond experiences may be familiar to children of alcoholics and to children of parents battling beneath the throes of  mental illness.

Finding Ways to Fit In

Yet, Raymond finds a way to keep moving forward (and it is, in part, for this very reason that I wrote Love Pour Over Me). If asked, Raymond wouldn’t be able to tell you just how he pulls this off. He’s just glad that he does. As with some children of alcoholic parents Raymond’s talents push through. Perhaps it’s in the expression, the unleashing of his talents, that some of his help rest.

His talents earn him a scholarship to a prestigious university in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While at university, Raymond meets a motley sort of friends, chief of them being Anthony, an elite running back. Only one of Raymond’s friends is the child of an alcoholic. This friend hails from Mexico. Despite their shared past, Raymond and he couldn’t be more different which may point to the fact that shared experiences do not shape people in the same ways.

Trustfully, children of alcoholic parents (as well as children of parents suffering from other forms of mental illness) will tap into the courage to fully express their inborn talents as Raymond does. This way they can continue to move forward, giving themselves new chances to be loved, more opportunities to both give and receive authentic love. They deserve it.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!