Wooper and Bull-Knox First to Bloom

Sunflowers, Wooper and Bull-Knox, have bloomed in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2020.

Bull-Knox was the first to show its pretty face and was shortly followed by Wooper.

Bull-Knox
Wooper

As pretty as these leaders are, they may have blown their chance at winning the contest. Early bloomers often stop growing, and their looks may have faded before the contest judging day where the tallest and the prettiest sunflowers are crowned.

Still, they look great now and it’s the taking part that counts.

Wooper, Naughty, Sprilbey, Shmelling, and Gramps.

Shmelling is the tallest so far! Will she be caught?

Naughty sunflower still leading the way

Four sunflowers are peeking over the side fence. Naughty, who was first to sprout, was also the first to reach fence height in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2020. She was shortly followed by neighbouring competitors,  Shmelling, Sprilbey and Wooper.

Positions to the right of the side fence seem to be the place to be with all flowers growing well. Helomi is still struggling height wise in the middle of the fence, although she appears to be healthy.

Sunflowers along the side fence
Team side fence

Four of the sunflowers along the front fence were late to the party  and have some catching up to do.

sunflowers along a blue fence
Front fence squad

All competitors are enjoying the sunshine and will be hoping for more in their quest to advance skywards.

New arrivals take their places

Steclaire, Buddha, Carmma and Holts finally made it to Fort Bull-Knox on Sunday. They had initially been too weak or hadn’t sprouted and organisers feared they would all make an early exit from the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2020. The troubled plants were given extra time under the special care of Moomin Papa and have all made fantastic recoveries.

Two spares had been planted at the outset and, as all the original competitors have made it into the Fort Bull-Knox garden, the spares were adopted by two keen sunflower contest fans. Welcome to the contest and good luck to Dennis and Fozzy.

All of the arrivals were planted in random order along the front fence.

Meanwhile, the plants along the side fence have been growing well, with the exception of Helomi. There’s always one!

The flowers were measured on 17th May 2020 and here are the standings.

Team USA 40
Shmelling 39.5
Knoxley 39
Bull-Knox 38
Flower 38
Wooper 38
Baby G 37
Gramps 36
Naughty 36
Moomins 32
Sprilbey 28
Steclaire 26
Bears 22
Helomi 19
Dennis 19
Carmma 9
Holts 9
Fozzy 8
Buddha 5

 Team USA is leading the way.

Sunflower plant Tallest

Buddha needs some encouragement.

Tiny sunflower Smallest

The 2020 competitors reach Fort Bull-Knox…mostly

Most of the sunflowers have been transferred to the hallowed soil of Fort Bull-Knox and were planted in random order along the fence.

Side fence (left to right): Baby G, Bull-Knox, Flower, Knoxley, Moomins, Helomi, Gramps, Shmelling, Sprilbey , Naughty, Wooper
Front fence (left to right): Team USA, Bears

Baby sunflowers along the fence
Take your places.

The remaining four flowers, Buddha, Carmma, Holts and Steclaire, took self isolation too far and failed to show up for the contest. In the spirit of lockdown love, they have been given a second chance and will remain under the care of Moomin Papa until they decide to join the fun. They will then be planted along the front fence if or when they are ready.

So, who’s looking good so far? I hear you cry from afar.

Gramps is looking strong.

Gramps, a competitor in the 2020 contest
Gramps 

Flower and Knoxley are in good shape.

Flower and Knoxley, two competitors in the contest
Flower and Knoxley

Sprilbey and Wooper are doing well.

Sprilbey and Wooper
Sprilbey and Wooper

Bears is probably the smallest of the bunch so far but baby bears often grow into big bears!

Bears, a competitor in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2020
Baby Bear

The tallest flower on judging day will be crowned the winner of the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2020. Those that can’t be big can still be beautiful and will be in with a chance of winning the Indie award for the prettiest sunflower.

Exclusive Excerpt: The Haunting Near Battlefield Ridge by Rita Monette

Welcome to the 1-week book tour for The Haunting Near Battlefield Ridge!!
“I never believed in ghosts… until I met Oggie.”
Exclusive Excerpt:

“Hi, Nikki.” A strange, hollow-sounding voice came from somewhere behind me.

I turned and saw a young boy dressed in a blue uniform standing at the foot of my bed. I dropped the ball and fell against my dresser, knocking my kerosene lamp over. I quickly picked it up before the oil spilled out onto everything.

“W-who are you?”

He fit the description of the ghost we were looking for. Only now, I wasn’t too excited to see him. My knees were shaking.

“My name is Oggie.”

“Oggie? Jesse’s friend?”

I couldn’t think of anything real smart to say. In fact, my mouth didn’t want to work real good at all. I wanted to run away, but I stood frozen.

“I just want to talk to you.” He sat down on the edge of my bed as if to make himself at home.

“Are you a g-ghost?” I asked in a shaky voice.

“No, silly. I’m just a soldier. Don’t let this jacket fool you. I ain’t no Yankee.”

“So you’re the ghost from Battlefield Ridge?”

“I told you, I ain’t no ghost.”

“Then how’d you get in my room without anyone seeing you?”

He looked around. “I don’t know. Do you know where my regiment is?”

“No, I don’t know nothing about no regiment. I just know I’m here in my room talking to a ghost.”

“Why do you keep calling me that?” He glanced around again. “My name is Ogden Watkins, and I’d appreciate it if you’d just take me back to my regiment. I have to find where I buried that tin box.”

“What box?” I asked.

“The box I put my mother’s Bible in.”

“Whoa. You need to start from the beginning.”

“The beginning of what?” He looked confused.

“Okay, I know your name, but what happened to you? Why are you lost?”

He scratched his rough and dirty mess of brown curls. Then he stood up and inched closer to me. “I can’t remember.”

I backed toward the door. “How do you know my name?”

“I followed you from the graveyard,” he said. “I heard the other kids call you Nikki. For some reason I know you can help me, but I don’t know why or how.”

Looking at this young boy’s confused face, I was no longer afraid. His name was Ogden…Oggie for short. Even if he was a ghost, which it was apparent that he was, he was more lost than he was scary. 

About the Book:

Nikki Landry and her friends discover strange white smudges in photos Patti’s grandmother had snapped at an old gravesite. No one can explain what they are.
Did Nikki’s little brother mark them up with a piece of chalk? Did a low-lying fog move in just as she snapped the photos? Could it be just a smear on the camera lens?
Spikes insists it’s a ghost.
Then Mrs. LeBlanc remembers a legend her grandfather told her of a spirit that haunts the small family cemetery located near an old Civil War battle site.
Will Nikki and her legend busting gang discover it’s just an old tale, or does the ghost really exist? If so, why is he there? What does he want?
Join Nikki and her friends as they go searching for the answers…and the truth behind the Haunting near Battlefield Ridge.

Make sure to visit all of the tour hosts and leave comments about the book, read the guest posts, and enter the giveaway!!



Book Details:
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing; 1 edition
Publisher Website: Mirror World Publishing
Publication Date: April 17, 2020
ASIN: B085MMZLFF
Purchase Your Copy:
 
Mirror World Publishing eBook
Mirror World Publishing Paperback
Meet the Author:
Behind Every Legend Lies the Truth!
 
Rita Monette was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. After retiring from her “real” job as an administrative assistant for the State of Michigan, Rita began doing what she always wanted to do…write and draw. Her stories are set in the beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state. The Haunting Near Battlefield Ridge is the fifth book in her Nikki Landry Swamp Legend series. Rita now lives with her husband, four lap dogs, and one lap cat, in the mountains of Tennessee.Social Media Links:

Website

Facebook

Amazon

Goodreads

Blog

Enter the Giveaway:

Winner’s choice of a Kindle copy of one of the books in Rita Monette’s Nikki Landry Swamp Legends series. Go to Amazon to learn more about the books in the series

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Naughty Sunflower Leads Others Astray

Naughty was the first flower to sprout in the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2020.

Naughty’s appearance into the open air of Moomin Papa’s greenhouse was shortly followed by other competitors:

Baby G
Bull-Knox
Flower (nee Daisy)
Knoxley
Gramps
Shmelling
Sprilbey
Wooper (nee Pears)

Sprouters!

Now we hold our breath in suspense (and to keep out the germs) to see if the remaining flowers join the fun.

Coronavirus Can’t Stop the Sunflower Contest

Glastonbury, Euro 2020, Wimbledon and the Olympics may be cancelled but the Bull-Knox Sunflower Contest 2020 is on!

The aim of the game is simple: Be tall, and if you can’t be tall be pretty!

Previous contests have seen sunflowers destroyed by snails, rabbits, and strong winds. Threats of sabotage have been made. Plastic flowers have been planted in an attempt to trick the judges. And a tomato plant even joined the line up in 2019!

2020 brings an additional challenge. Will the sunflowers survive the coronavirus pandemic?

The Moomins took on the duty of planting the seeds from the safety of their garden while in self isolation.

Moomin Papa with the 2020 competitors
Competitors ready!

The competitors, in alphabetical order, are listed below:

  • Baby G
  • Bears
  • Buddha
  • Bull-Knox
  • Carmma
  • Flower
  • Gramps
  • Helomi
  • Holts
  • Knoxley
  • Moomins
  • Naughty
  • Pears
  • Shmelling
  • Sprilby
  • Steclaire
  • Team USA

Good luck to all the competitors and keep safe all. May the odds be ever in your favour.

Book Tour: The Demons of Wall Street by Laurence Raphael Brothers

Welcome to the 1-Week Virtual Book Tour for The Demons of Wall Street (Nora Simeon Investigations #1), an Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Novella by Laurence Raphael Brothers.
About the Book:

Nora Simeon hates demons.

But as an investigator for the secretive Commission, the organization that regulates financial sorcery in New York City, she deals with the creatures a lot more than she’d like. Her latest case has her on the track of a rogue demon, escaped from magical bondage as an analyst for a leading investment bank.
On the demon’s trail, Nora crosses paths with a beautiful young man named Eyre. He’s too pretty and complaisant to be human, and too kind to be a demon in human form, but what else could he be? Together they become embroiled in the secret corruption at the heart of the financial industry. But before Nora can untangle a twisted skein of sorcerous murder and intrigue, she has to untangle her feelings for Eyre. And before she can do that, she has to find out who and what he really is.
Publisher Website:  
Purchase Links:
Amazon e-book
Amazon paperback
Please visit the tour hosts and share their post and/or leave a comment!

Meet the Author:

Laurence Raphael Brothers is a writer and a technologist. He has published over 25 short stories in such magazines as Nature, the New Haven Review, PodCastle, and Galaxy’s Edge. His WWI-era historical fantasy novel Twilight Patrol was just released by Alban Lake. For more of his stories, visit https://laurencebrothers.com/bibliography, or follow him on twitter: @lbrothers.

Enter the Giveaway:

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Cover Reveal: The Haunting Near Battlefield Ridge by Rita Monette

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for The Haunting Near Battlefield Ridge!!
About the Book:
“I never believed in ghosts… until I met Oggie.”
Nikki Landry and her friends discover strange white smudges in photos Patti’s grandmother had snapped at an old gravesite. No one can explain what they are.
Did Nikki’s little brother mark them up with a piece of chalk? Did a low-lying fog move in just as she snapped the photos? Could it be just a smear on the camera lens?
Spikes insists it’s a ghost.
Then Mrs. LeBlanc remembers a legend her grandfather told her of a spirit that haunts the small family cemetery located near an old Civil War battle site.
Will Nikki and her legend busting gang discover it’s just an old tale, or does the ghost really exist? If so, why is he there? What does he want?
Join Nikki and her friends as they go searching for the answers…and the truth behind the Haunting near Battlefield Ridge.
Book Information:
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing; 1 edition
Publisher Website: Mirror World Publishing
Publication Date: April 17, 2020
ASIN: B085MMZLFF
The Cover:
Pre-Order Your Copy:
Meet the Author:
Behind Every Legend Lies the Truth!
 
Rita Monette was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. After retiring from her “real” job as an administrative assistant for the State of Michigan, Rita began doing what she always wanted to do…write and draw. Her stories are set in the beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state. The Haunting Near Battlefield Ridge is the fifth book in her Nikki Landry Swamp Legend series. Rita now lives with her husband, four lap dogs, and one lap cat, in the mountains of Tennessee.
Social Media Links:

Website

Facebook

Amazon

Goodreads

Blog

Coffee Monster and the Land of Coffee: Book Tour

About Coffee Monster and the Land of Coffee:
The Coffee Monster’s family has a secret. 
The Coffee Monster has been a part of a great family for as long as he can remember. There’s mom and dad, Jenna and James. Everything in the Coffee Monster’s life is perfect until he learns of the place he came from, The Land of Coffee, and is given the chance to visit. There, he’ll learn all about his heritage and the extended family he never knew he had. 
In this sequel to Nate Friedman’s debut children’s book, our lovable Coffee Monster is confronted with the truth of his past where he learns the true meaning of family through a journey to the land of his birth.
Book Details:
Series: The Coffee Monster (Book 2)
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing 
Publish Date: February 17, 2020
ISBN-10: 1987976606
ISBN-13: 978-1987976601
Purchase Links:
Re-launch of The Coffee Monster, Book 1
About the Book:

There’s a little ‘Coffee Monster’ in all of us…
In a pleasant little town lives a normal family with a mom, a dad and two beautiful children. There is just one thing that makes this family different from most other families; they don’t have a dog, a cat, or pets of any kind. Instead, they have a Coffee Monster! Follow Jenna and James as they try to deal with the Coffee Monster’s antics and help him overcome a personal struggle. Through this simple, but comedic tale, learn about the value of telling the truth, taking care of oneself and each other, and how to work-through everyday issues. Most of all, you just might learn that there’s a little ‘Coffee Monster’ in all of us…
Book Details:
Series: The Coffee Monster (Book 1)
Paperback: 36 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing 
Publish Date: July 1, 2015
ISBN-10: 0994749015
ISBN-13: 978-0994749017
Purchase Links:
Follow the Book Tour:

Meet the Author:
I want to change the world, one smile at a time!

A writer from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Nate graduated from the Kinesiology program at the University of Windsor. His education has fuelled a keen interest in how people think and what drives them to be their best. Comedy is his first love and his desire to be creative has directed him towards writing children’s literature. He enjoys reading to his nephews, two of his biggest fans.

Connect with Nate:
Facebook

Publisher Website:

Mirror World Publishing


Just saying…