Sharing Reads and Authors From Literature Approved. Author, Valerie Cotnoir and “EVERLASTING.”

One of my favorite things to do is to visit many other book blogs and meet new book marketers and book businesses who promote authors like I enjoy doing. Please visit my new friend Rayleigh’s amazing website for awesome reads on Literature Approved
~Cat Lyon


“Behind all the Books We Love From Author Valerie Cotnoir”

Books are often so much more than just a way to pass the extra minutes or hours of the day. Books are both a way to escape reality, as well as to reshape our reality with the values we take from stories or testimonies. Any dedicated reader likely has a favorite book that changed the way they looked at life or a situation, and that’s because authors–often intentionally–write their books from personal passions or experiences.

In our new blog series, we are sharing the purposes and inspirations of these books. Behind the Books We Love From the Authors We Love will be an ongoing series for the next few months and will feature authors of all genres to all ages of readers. You may recognize some of their books as being featured on Literature Approved before, and others are entirely new. But these posts are sure to give you a fresh look at a book that you loved, or may even motivate you to pick up one you’ve never read. We invite you to join us by checking back with us every couple of weeks, or ensure that you’re following us so that you get the articles in your email–who knows, maybe your favorite author will be featured?!

Catch all the Behind the Books posts

Behind “Everlasting” from Valerie Cotnoir

I don’t remember how old I was exactly, but I was young. Maybe eleven or twelve. But I have this vivid memory of following Mom through the aisles at an arts and crafts store and this question sort of popping in my head:

What if a girl of sixteen was cursed so that she grew really old—to the age of ninety!—within a few weeks or months? 

This was quickly followed by another question:

What if a boy was in love with her and would stop at nothing to prevent her death?

As we continued roaming the store and reached the toy aisle, I saw this row of figurines: wizards, fairies, kings, elves, and so on. They were very colorful and their facial expressions varied, sparking my imagination. My sisters and I, while Mom shopped, liked to play with these figurines whenever we went to this store. Eventually, a new thought occurred to me: what if this girl and boy lived in a fantasy world? Better yet, what if the girl was actually a fairy?

Before I give too much away, let’s just say I went home and wrote what I imagined to be the prologue of this story. Later on, I wrote the first two or three chapters. This story, or the start of one, sat in my documents for a long time before I looked at it again, as more ideas came to me and I got distracted. When I was in tenth grade, I joined a writer’s club with other homeschoolers and, having finished writing another book, I considered which novel to write next. I came across Everlasting—as its title has been since the beginning—in my documents and decided it was time to finish writing it. I was sixteen when in January of 2014—soon after self-publishing my first novel—I finished writing the first draft of Everlasting.

Almost three years of editing later, I self-published Azalea’s and Malachi’s story in December of 2016.

There are many elements and themes in this story. Yet, so much of it has always been, since the conception of it in those store aisles, that it can be difficult for me to separate what messages I tried to incorporate versus what parts of the story just are. After pondering these thoughts, however, I think I can articulate a few.

A huge element of Everlasting is the motley crew of characters that join Azalea and Malachi on their journey to defeat Sebastian, Azalea’s cruel, power-hungry uncle. While the concept of a bunch of eccentric characters forming a team isn’t altogether original, one of the elements about it I stressed was the idea that when it came to stand up and fight—and fight for something worth fighting for—the individuals who signed up—the only ones willing to risk their lives—were the smallest, weakest and most insecure persons of each tribe. They were forced to overcome their fears and doubts in order to truly contribute to the team. In other words, sometimes big, heroic deeds come from small people.

Because sometimes it’s the little people who have the biggest hearts.

Another aspect of Everlasting is the many groups of creatures, the “others” you could say, that don’t fall under the category of human or fairy. In this heated rivalry between humans and fairies, the other creatures (elves, dryads, mermaids, etc.) get neglected and forgotten. Their significance is basically nonexistent. But as Azalea and her friends travel throughout Orutia (uh roo shuh) and seek help from these groups, Azalea especially realizes the need for the throne to recognize these creatures and their needs and desires. A lot could be accomplished if the clusters of creatures worked together rather than lived their separate lives.

Finally, and most importantly, there’s the meaning behind the title of Everlasting itself.

This is another case of “has just always been”. Shortly after writing the prologue, I saved the document and was forced to come up with a title. It didn’t have to be permanent necessarily, but I had to write something down in the meantime. I thought for about a minute and then typed what made the most sense: Everlasting. After all, the last sentence in the prologue I’d just written was: King Zechariah and his daughter would soon learn that, although death can take away someone you love, love itself is never conquered by anything, but is everlasting.

And here lies the very point of this story: Malachi’s love for Azalea is so determined and selfless, never once willing to give up, that it became everlasting. It was, it is and always will be—until the end of time. It’s as simple as that. Just as simple as it was for me to come up with the title.

Honestly, this novel was one of the easiest for me to write. Ha, I wish all my novels came to me as easily as this one did. Sure, there were hiccups along the way—mostly to do with world building. But the actual characters themselves came easily to me. It’s like the story itself came from some deep, hidden part of me and was finally released when I laid my fingers on the keyboard. Honestly, that’s how all my best stories seem to come. From deep, deep within.

Have you picked up Everlasting? Do you enjoy fantasy adventures? Drop a comment and let us know what you’re thinking and we’ll make sure Valerie sees it!

Read Our Review of Everlasting

Purchase Everlasting

Visit Valerie’s Website

Author Bio:




Valerie Cotnoir is a Homeschool graduate currently pursuing a Bachelors in History through Lumerit Education. She was born in Montreal, Canada, but lived for fourteen years in Plano, Texas before moving with her family to the Raleigh area in North Carolina. She is the oldest of four and has two sisters and one brother.

She has been writing since she could hold a pencil and reading books just as long. Her favorite pastimes (besides reading and writing, of course!) include working with preschoolers, watching movies and spending time with her family and friends. Her first published novel is “Bridget’s Journey” (2013) and she has also published a fantasy novel, “Everlasting”, in December 2015.



Big Jim Downs Visits Austin, Texas State Capitol Today and The News Is AMAZING.

As many know the “Literary Side” of Cat, here is what I do to share HOPE to those suffering from the addiction crisis in America as I am and have maintained recovery for 12+yrs from gambling and alcohol addictions. I am now a loud and proud advocate along with “being of Recovery Services to Others” like my buddy Big Jim Downs. Come learn how he is Raising Awareness with a Big Event almost all this 2019! I am donating my social media and media experience to help more people kow of this Livf Saving Recovery Event! Xoxo


Gambling Recovery Can Start Here. Recovery Works and Raising Awareness All March Long.

Welcome Recovery Friends!

It is no secret that I am “being of recovery service” as media manager to a couple who is fighting this Addictions Crisis in Americawith all that they have! Literally. We have been friends, Big Jim and Marisol Downs for almost three 1/2 years.  I met Jim while he was accomplishing his first event of “Walking Across America 4 Addiction Awareness.” He had just finished his own 16-month treatment and recovery program while living in a faith-based rescue mission. He had finally had enough of drugging and drinking after 34 years of it! He was at the bottom after an anger rage he couldn’t remember after it happened.

He decided it was time for him to get help, for him and GOD to have a long conversation about his life and what was it he was missing? It was FAITH. He walked to be able to…

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Kim Carter Mystery Reviewed on Popular Website of ‘Literature Approved’ Part of International Women’s Day Celebration.
New Literature Approved and Listy Book Review for “Murder Among The Tombstones” by Kim Carter.


Valerie Cotnoir    FictionMysterySuspense


Clara and Iris, two sweet elderly ladies in their seventies, have been best friends almost their entire lives. Both widowed, they try retirement and decide there’s too much time in a day to waste on knitting and watching television. So, naturally, they start their own private investigation. Then there’s Detective Pitts and his best bud, Detective Nettles, who actually solve crimes—to be specific, murders. When a horrific murder case forces these two unlikely pairs to cross paths, the detectives may find the old ladies have more help to offer than they would have thought.

I received this book from the author for the purpose of this review. All comments and opinions are entirely my own.


From the beginning, I loved the idea of two old ladies starting their own detective agency. So you could say I was hooked before I even opened the novel. And, for the most part, it was everything I’d hoped it would be. I loved all the main characters: polite and reserved Clara, spicy and naïve Iris, responsible Quita, hot-tempered Detective Nettles and dedicated Detective Pitts. Even the side characters (and there were many of them) each had distinct traits so that I was almost immediately intrigued after each introduction.

One element about Murder Among the Tombstones I loved was Carter’s writing style. I learned several new words thanks to her unique vocabulary. And there’s something about the setting and flow of the story that feels so warm and inviting and hard to put down. The dialogue felt very realistic and I found myself laughing out loud several times over Iris’s antics.

As for the mystery, I was immediately pulled in. The main murder case was horrifying and it soon became clear it was a serial killer. About halfway through the book, we entered the heads of the murderer and his latest victim. I was disgusted by the murderer’s thoughts and dying to know who he was. It was clear to me that he was a psychopath based on the way he handled his victims. And, of course, I’m hoping beyond hope that his latest victim will escape unscathed.

But this wasn’t the only mystery we were trying to solve. There was also another involving a drug gang, a crazy pregnant lady, several shootings and more that Detectives Pitts and Nettles got deeply involved in. So between that and the murder case, I was itching to find out how these two cases related and how they were going to be resolved.

Honestly, I was racing toward the finish line. I had a few guesses as to who our murderers could be and I was more than ready for the big reveal.

And that’s when the excitement ended for me. Detective Pitts, while thinking about the drug gang case, suddenly somehow put two and two together and “figured out” who the murderer was in the other case. He did some research to confirm his suspicions and approached the criminal before having him arrested. Boom. Done.



First of all, I was a bit confused how he connected the dots. What about the murderer was suspicious to him to start researching his background? As for the actual murderer…I feel completely betrayed. For starters, what about his latest victim? Why wasn’t he searching frantically for her? But most disappointing of all, he ended up being just some random dude introduced a couple chapters before. How on earth was I supposed to figure that out? Which I guess is just it: there was no way. So not only was the actual arrest anti-climatic and not only was he someone I’d just met, but when he explained why he’d killed the young girls, he just sounded like a guy with a hot temper rather than a cool, calculating psychopath. Which leaves me feeling even more confused about his motives.

As for Clara and Iris’ investigation, it ended in a similar way. They caught two characters red-handed (characters we’d just met a few chapters before!) and while they were involved in the crime, it was in an aspect I wasn’t even aware I should be curious about. Then, come to find out they did it because of some sad backstory. It was an interesting move, but I felt completely detached because again, I’d just met them. I think it was supposed to be a plot twist, but I was not even aware these characters existed, let alone that there was more than one aspect to the murders to consider.

And then it ended. Just like that. Clara and Iris didn’t discuss the results with the victim’s surviving sister. And the other drug gang case just sort of flopped and there was no discussion over that either. After laughing and gasping with these characters and flipping pages fiercely to the conclusion, I was left feeling completely jipped.


In conclusion, it’s hard for me to say how I really feel about this book. Because I loved it up until the last two chapters. But when I reflect on it as a whole, I feel disappointed and confused. After some consideration, though, I decided to give Murder Among the Tombstones 4 out of 5 stars. I would say the story and characters up until the ending is worth a 5 and the conclusion worth a 4, so I think 4 is the happy medium. One thing to keep in mind is that there is a lot of harsh language and some mature content.

Surprisingly, it didn’t bother me as much as it normally would because the cursing fit the characters who used it and sometimes added some humor to the dialogue. That being said, I would recommend this book to high schoolers and up. Real page-turner!

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International Women’s Day All Week! New Interview of Brazil’s Hottest Author, Adriana Gavazzoni…

Ep126 Adriana Gavazzoni – Multiple Award Winning Romance and Erotica Writer –   




MEET AUTHOR: A. Gavazzoni

A. Gavazzoni is a Brazilian author and has been a lawyer for twenty-seven years. She won for her first book Behind The Door: The Golden Book Award 2017- Readers Choice; Book Excellence Award 2017; Bronze Medal on Independence Publisher Books Award 2018; Honorable mention at Paris Book Festival 2017; Honorable Mention at Reader’s Favorite Award 2017 and was a finalist to the Independent author.

Adriana is a lawyer, a former professor of law and a writer of novels and legal books, but she is also a voracious reader.

She speaks four languages: English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. When she is not practicing law or writing, she enjoys many interests and is a very active person. She loves to dance (Tango) and workout.

She loves to travel, loves good wine, and has been studying astrology for fifteen years. She paints and loves to cook.

She has two poodles -Juno and Charlotte-and love’s all animals. She is an aunt of four nieces who enjoy to paint and cook alongside their aunt. She lives in Brazil and is in the process of writing her next novel. She invites readers to visit her website/blog anytime for updates of upcoming books and events. and check my blog my twitter account for news @a_gavazzoni


Lara’s Journal: A Sizzling, Psychological Suspense

Behind the Door: A Sizzling, Psychological Suspense (Hidden Motives)

The Brilliant Game (Hidden Motives) (Volume 3)



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CAT’S REVIEW: The Perils of Autumn’ By Author, Rusty Blackwood. Beautifully Written and Enjoyable Romance Drama.

READERS? If you enjoy a great Romantic Drama and Suspense? Grab a copy TODAY! By Canadian Author, Rusty Blackwood ~


From the author of the riveting romantic fiction drama, Passions in Paris: Revelations of a Lost Diary, and the celebrated, 5-star award-winning romantic fiction drama, Willow’s Walk, comes the intense romantic drama, The Perils of Autumn.

This page-turner, set primarily in the early 1970s, centers on a young Kentucky woman, Autumn Leeves, born in 1946 to Abigail Leeves, an unwed mother who struggles to make ends meet. By 1970, Autumn graduates nursing school and is sent on assignment by the local hospital to care for the terminally-ill wife of middle-aged English equestrian master, Cyril Landon, owner of Landon Lawns Stables, a most successful thoroughbred racing stable located just outside Lexington, Kentucky in a posh community known as The Meadows.

Duff Taylor, world renown jockey who is tops in his field, lives full-time above the tack room at Landon Lawns and enjoys the many benefits it brings, but he also has a dark secret surrounding an unsolved racing incident from his past that he will go to any length to protect.

Autumn arrives at Landon Manor in time to be thrown into the fray and finds herself caught in the ongoing disruption that ensues.


Rusty Blackwood  The Perils of Autumn

CAT’S REVIEW of The Perils of Autumn: 5-STARS!

LOVE …Be careful what you wish for.

Be ready to delve into a beautiful world of horse country and Famous State that holds the yearly Kentucky Derby in this exceptionally written romance suspense drama. Rusty pulled out all the stops for this fantastic story, and I can easily see it played out on The Big Screen!

Rusty writes in a way that connects you to her vibrant characters of Autumn, Duff an amazing horse jockey, and many others that make up the cast of characters to bring the story to life. With just the right amount of intensity and dynamics of how love and relations unfold and play out between people when there are dark secrets and deceptions past and present when after Autumn graduates from nursing school and is sent to her employment as she arrives at the beautiful estate of Landon Lawn Stables and The Meadows.

Then pandora’s box opens as the drama and story take off. What a ride! You won’t believe the twists and turns or how it all ends, but I can tell readers this new romance suspense by Rusty is well worth the read! It truly deserves the 5-stars I am happy to give it! It is one of those reads you’ll want to read more than once!

CAT “Highly Suggest this one”!


MAKE SURE You connect with Rusty and Please Visit For More Amazing Author Interviews and Books!
Twitter – @rusty_blackwood


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News & Experts Are Back and Marsha Shares WHY a Media Pitch Needs To Be Well Planned To Be Successful …

4 Tips For Creating Successful
Media Pitches
 by | Feb 19, 2019


Anyone who’s tried their hand at promoting a brand through PR can tell you that grabbing the media’s attention isn’t always easy.

Each day, newspaper journalists, as well as hosts and producers of TV and radio talk shows, scroll through a never-ending barrage of email messages, many of which they no doubt delete without reading.

Let’s face it, they couldn’t write about or report on all those topics even if they wanted to. Time just doesn’t allow it. So, with competition for the media’s attention so fierce, is it even possible to separate yourself from the pack and land an interview that will help build your credibility as a go-to expert in your field?

I’m here to tell you that, yes, it is possible, though a challenge if you have no experience playing the media’s game, which is why so many people turn to professionals. Still, if you’re determined to do it on your own, let me share a few things you need to keep in mind that can help you achieve success.

First, remember that while your goal is to promote your personal or company brands, that’s not the media’s goal. If your pitch sounds like a commercial, the media will suggest you contact their advertising departments.

As I point out in my upcoming bookGaining the Publicity Edge: An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Growing Your Brand Through National Media Coverage, what the media actually do want is useful and interesting information they can share with their readers, viewers, and listeners.

So, with that in mind, here are four tips to help make your pitches more successful:

  • Keep it short. You no doubt have a lot to say about your topic, but don’t say it all in your pitch. Print journalists and TV and radio show hosts don’t have time to read a thesis, no matter how remarkable your insights are, so keep it succinct. Think of those pitches as more like a movie preview, not the feature presentation. Certainly, include enough information for them to get the gist of what you can talk about, but leave all those extraordinary details you are tempted to cram into the pitch for the actual interview.
  • Solve a problem. The best ideas for articles and talk show interviews are those that help solve a problem the readers or audiences face. People perk up when your message means something to them personally, such as providing them tips on how to stick with a diet or save more for retirement. Ask yourself this: What are some of the problems my clients or customers are trying to solve? Those problems—and the solutions you can offer—can be the inspiration for a pitch.
  • Playoff what’s happening in the news. You increase your chances of engaging the media’s interest if your pitch aligns with something they are already writing and talking about. What’s going on that fits into your area of expertise? Are you a surgeon who can explain a new breakthrough involving your specialty, and what it will mean to patients? Are you a divorce lawyer who can comment on the latest celebrity split? One of our clients was a scientist who could talk about an eclipse that was in the news. We kept him busy with radio interviews leading up to that astronomical event!
  • Highlight your credentials. Why should the media—and the media’s audience—listen to you? Don’t dump your entire resume in the media’s laps, but you do want to include a short summary of relevant information about your background and expertise. For example, if you are a financial professional, let them know what licenses and certifications you have, and that you’ve been a partner in your firm for 10 years.

Finally, understand that pitching the media can take patience. Your first pitch might not get any takers. Your second and third might not either.

Don’t despair. At the end of your pitches, let the media know that if they have no interest in this particular idea, you’re available to talk about other topics related to your expertise as well.

“In the publicity game, persistence pays off.”

Diligently yours!

Marsha Friedman,  PR Expert