Book Feature: By The Stars by Jessica Marie Baumgartner

Genre: Science Fiction/Space opera

Synopsis: Allie is faced with her worst nightmare as she boards a space ship that will transport her and her children from their home forever. The human population has dwindled to around 15,000 as the Earth’s become hostile. If they stay they will die.
The alien race who’s come to their rescue seem to have no concept of selfishness, but Allie has her doubts. She’s separated from her husband and left to fend for her family on her own. It’s up to her to make sure that they survive the trip across the stars.excerpt1

Author bio:

Jessica is a member of The St. Louis Writer’s Guild. Her stories have been featured by Bewildering Stories, Fiction on the Web, Beyond Imagination Literary Magazine, Hellfire Crossroads, and others. She has a Paranormal Romance novelette titled Tale of Two Bookends through Cobblestone Press LLC, and a children’s book about religious diversity and acceptance titled, My Family Is Different. You check her out at

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Book Excerpt:

I used to have nightmares about this. I would wake up scream¬ing as they forced me to leave. People giving up; abandoning Mother Earth. The thought alone caused my heart to race, my under arms to sweat.

Here I stand clutching my children, one on each side, as we pre¬pare to be torn away from everything that’s tangible. Before me, a gargantuan structure glares from above. This beast, this ship is supposed to save humanity, or at least what’s left of it.

I’ve lived through mass devastation. It’s hardened me enough.Jessica Marie Baumgartner

But leaving? It still scares me.

We have no idea what’s out there for us.

My husband has faith in the alien colony that is aiding us. They made contact just in time. Said they had revolutionized their space program and stumbled upon our signal.

I don’t know what I believe.
As the line moves forward, I pull my girls along. They stumble ahead with fright, carrying their backpacks strapped to their bodies. Our packs are the only human luggage allowed on the crowded craft. But that’s not what they’re worried about.

It’s not the new race they fear. Or even the new world. It is the missing presence of their father.

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The Art of the Perfect (Cheap) Homemade Whiskey Sour

Homemade mixed drinks are great. You get to put as much alcohol in as you’d like without having to worry about how it’ll affect your ability to pay your bills. In many bars, the price of two mixed drinks can get you a big bottle of the same alcohol they use and all the other fixings needed to make plenty of drinks of your own. url-1

While homemade drinks are often quite larger than their barroom counterparts, this gets a little complicated in the case of the whiskey sour. Unlike say, a gin and tonic, alcohol accounts for a large percentage of the drink. It doesn’t exactly take a rocket scientist to tell you that a big drink is going to get you pretty drunk, but a huge whiskey sour is going to get you a lot more mangled than a g&t would.

There’s a second problem when it comes to the whiskey sour. Big whiskey sours are far less economical than big gin & tonics or other drinks with water or soda mixers. This may not matter to everyone, but I do like to maximize my bang for my buck whenever possible.

Beyond that, I’ve found that cheap whiskey actually makes for a better whiskey sour. I’ve made my own whiskey sours using Jim Bean before and have found that they lack a certain sourness to them. The natural answer to that is to add more lemon juice and sugar, but it seems almost sacrilegious. Aside from gin based drinks, I don’t like to use alcohol that I enjoy straight in mixed drinks.

Which brought me to a little experiment a couple months ago. I bought a plastic bottle of fifteen dollar whiskey called Clan MacGregor. Many people couldn’t understand why I’d want to drink bottom shelf swill like that out of college. The answer was simple. 03177_hr

I was looking for sour.

It turned out the rank stuff worked perfectly. The sugar and lemon juice combined with rancid whiskey was delectable. I’ve even convinced a few of my friends to try it and they’ve all been pleasantly surprised by the beverage.

The art of the discount whiskey sour lies in the fact that you can overindulge on the whiskey, knowing that adding more ice, lemon juice, and sugar to the drink gives it the sour that the drink’s name suggests. You won’t get that with a smooth bourbon or whiskey.

You don’t see many whiskey sour aficionados these days, likely because it’s not a particularly economical drink and it’s kind of a pain to make at home if you don’t know what you’re doing. The key is to get a bunch of crappy ingredients together to make a great drink. Save the good stuff for an old fashioned or straight, possibly with a splash of water! Cheers.

Cover Reveal: Touch Me by Apryl Baker

TOUCH ME NOT, a New Adult Romance by USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR, Apryl Baker, releases this September through Limitless Publishing!



 ✰ ✰ SYNOPSIS ✰ 

A past tragedy has left Lily James burdened with a devastating secret…

Since the death of her twin sister, Lily can’t bear to be touched. Not accidentally, not casually…and certainly not intimately. This makes it impossible for her to confess to her best friend Adam Roberts that she’s in love with him. She can’t give him the sort of relationship he needs, so she watches in silence while he plans his wedding with someone else.

Enter Nikoli Kinkaid, the campus manwhore…

Nikoli is a self-proclaimed connoisseur of women, and he wants to add Lily to his list of conquests, but she wants nothing to do with him—until he makes her an offer she can’t refuse. He’ll teach her to enjoy human contact again, giving her a chance to win over Adam, while Nikoli uses all his considerable charm to seduce her.

But Lily raises the stakes…

Lily loves cars. Her late father was a racer, and she grew up under the hood of a car and on the racetrack. Nikoli has a limited edition 1970 Plymouth Barracuda she covets, so she informs him the terms of their deal also require he not sleep with anyone for six months. If he does, she’ll win the car. If she surrenders and ends up in his bed, his beloved ’Cuda is his to keep.

In an intricate dance of control and surrender, a reluctant friendship becomes something more. Lily begins to crave things she never believed she could, and Nikoli realizes there is more at stake than his reputation.

If Lily overcomes her phobia, will she crave Adam’s touch as she’s starting to crave Nikoli’s? 

Or will she only find pleasure from the touch of a semi-reformed manwhore?



So who am I? Well, I’m the crazy girl with an imagination that never shuts up. I LOVE scary movies. My friends laugh at me when I scare myself watching them and tell me to stop watching them, but who doesn’t love to get scared? I grew up in a small town nestled in the southern mountains of West Virginia where I spent days roaming around in the woods, climbing trees, and causing general mayhem. Nights I would stay up reading Nancy Drew by flashlight under the covers until my parents yelled at me to go to sleep.Growing up in a small town, I learned a lot of values and morals, I also learned parents have spies everywhere and there’s always someone to tell your mama you were seen kissing a particular boy on a particular day just a little too long. So when you get grounded, what is there left to do? Read! My Aunt Jo gave me my first real romance novel. It was a romance titled “Lord Margrave’s Deception.” I remember it fondly. But I also learned I had a deep and abiding love of mysteries and anything paranormal. As I grew up, I started to write just that and would entertain my friends with stories featuring them as main characters.

Now, I live Huntersville, NC where I entertain my niece and nephew and watch the cats get teased by the birds and laugh myself silly when they swoop down and then dive back up just out of reach. The cats start yelling something fierce…lol.

I love books, I love writing books, and I love entertaining people with my silly stories.

Why I decided to Storm the Publishing World…

Ever since I was a little girl, I can remember being pulled in by the words weaved in pages of the books I read. Whether it was The Chronicles of Narnia drawing me into a spectacular fantasy world, or The Silver Kiss introducing me to the darker side of fiction… I was always wrapped in a story.

As I grew up, I found many other passions – music, theater, writing, and art. I dove into everything, devouring the artistic world as I tried to find my way in life. I moved into the corporate world as I aged, managing bigger and bigger stores – learning the behind the scenes of the businesses I worked in.

I have always been drawn to the literary world, as both a reader and a writer. My family has deep roots in the written word… One of my cousins has had several works published and was an editor for one of the Big 5 for many, many years; another is a successful screenwriter and author. They have been my idols of sort, people deeply involved in a business that I had always wanted to focus on.

After 11 years of managing highly successful businesses for others, I finally decided to take a step back. I had had enough of seeing other’s businesses grow, and wanted to do something for myself. I started out slowly, a freelance editor and reviewer for many international companies – as well as the occasional self published author here and there.

Then it hit me.

I have spent the last decade managing high volume businesses.

My husband has two bachelor’s degrees in finance & accounting and international business.

With my background working in both the corporate and art world joined with my husband’s business ability – I knew I was in the perfect place to launch a brand new company.

So I did… I took what had begun as a hobby book blog (European Geeks in Rural America) and spun it into a brand new small publishing company: European Geeks Publishing.

EG Statement

As someone who has been on both sides of the bar – both in the business world and the art world – I have a leg up on those who are solely from the business side of it. I understand what it’s like to be the creator of work as well as the producer and manager. This allows us to sympathize with our authors. We support our authors. And we work as partners with our authors, to make sure they are happy from the start all the way up to the release of their work, and beyond.

One of the biggest reasons I decided to start European Geeks Publishing was to help authors. There are so many fantastic novels that have been sitting on someone’s desk, or in a slush pile, completely ignored and unattended. I wanted to help get more of these out to the public. I wanted to help support the authors who felt ignored or bullied by their current publishers, or lost in the world of Self-Publishing.

I wanted European Geeks to become THE author friendly place to go… to be home to those who live for their art, who take pride in their words, and enjoy being involved in every step of the process.

To do this, we focus on a smaller catalogue than most publishers, allowing us to really focus on our authors throughout the entire process. We can provide everything from start to finish – and we keep our authors in the loop, allowing them to have approval and input every step of the way.

This has gotten our name out fairly quickly – and we’ve been seeing some great results.

Within a matter of three months, we had submissions pouring in. We’ve released a children’s book, a science fiction novella, and a Young Adult Time Travel novel within that three month period and have another dark fantasy novel in the editing stage at the moment – due out at the end of this fall.

We’ve had a very busy three months… and we’re only going to get busier from here.


Sorry. I couldn’t think of a better title for this introductory post.

Welcome to A Song of Books and Whiskey, my self described “cute little book blog.” You might be wondering why I wanted a “cute little book blog,” when I already have a website and about a hundred social media accounts. I suppose I should answer.11701102_1641265436094269_4268162325929856995_n

You might have already noticed that this style of writing is a bit more “bloggish” than what I normally put on, which is exactly why I created another site. I wanted a place for books, booze, and other thoughts. Also, I get asked to host cover reveals a lot and I’ve never really wanted to take my author site in that direction.

So here we are. Originally, this idea was going to include stuffed animals as well and maybe it will, but now there’s also Stuffed Animals of New Amsterdam. So we’ll keep to the paper and the bottle for now.

Introductory posts are tricky because they serve their purpose pretty much straight from the get go. You’ve been welcomed. What now?

I am looking for help running this place. No, it’s not a paid position. It’s not even hosted externally, though that might change in the future. These are deep waters….

Why books AND alcohol? Why not? Truthfully, I thought it gave things a bit of character. There are a lot of book blogs out there and many of them look alike. Also, I like booze, if it’s okay to admit that.

Thanks for checking the site out. Also, big thanks to Meg Montgomery, who designed the logo. It’s pretty incredible.