The Heart Collector Book Tour, Guest Post, and Giveaway

The Heart Collector Auckland Steampunk Book 1 by Barbara Russell Genre: Steampunk, Romantic Suspense

Auckland, 1884 The Supernaturals are frightened. Despite being able to do extraordinary things like teleporting or lighting a fire with a stare, a serial killer, the Heart Collector, is slaughtering them. He rips their chests open and removes their hearts. While other aristocratic, nineteen-year- old girls spend time dancing, Isabel trains hard to become an MI7 agent—Military Intelligence Seventh Division, a crime squad run by Supernaturals. The Heart Collector murdered her best friend, and enrolling at MI7 is the best way to help catch the killer. Isabel senses other people’s feelings as if they were her owns. But MI7’s leader is too worried about Isabel’s safety to let her join the team. Eager to prove that her power is valuable, Isabel volunteers to meet Murk, a dangerous Supernatural man who can turn himself invisible. MI7 desperately tried to recruit him and failed. She believes that her power is enough to convince Murk to become an MI7’s agent and help apprehend the Heart Collector. If he wants to attack her, his feelings will broadcast his intention, and she’ll be ready. What Isabel isn’t ready for is to fall in love with the man who will collect her heart. Goodreads * Amazon

I’m an entomologist and a soil biologist, which is a fancy way to say that I dig in the dirt, looking for bugs. Nature and books have always been my passion. I was a kid when I read The Lord Of The Ring and fell in love with fantasy novels. When I discovered cosy mystery and crime novel, I fell in love with Hercules Poirot and Sherlock Holmes. Then I grew up and . . . Nah, I’m joking. I didn’t grow up. Don’t grow up, folks! It’s a trap. PS I hate gardening. There, I said it. Sorry fellow Kiwis. Website * Facebook * Twitter * Amazon * Goodreads

Chapter 1
Auckland, 1884

One of the perks of being a duchess and the lady of Hastings Manor was that I could make my
own decisions.
Most of the time.
I bunched a corner of my long brocade skirt and climbed the sweeping stairs toward Victor’s
office. The bustle, heavy with satin ribbons, bounced lightly, tapping on the small of my back.
On the landing, one of the little cleaning machines that roamed the house trotted around, buzzing
as its brushes dusted the white marble floor. A puff of steam trailed behind it while its wheels and pistons
whirred. I strode on, the star-bright tiles sparkling under my velvet slippers.
The butler bowed stiffly, carrying a tray with tea and cakes that smelled of cinnamon. “Your
Grace.” He stepped aside to let me pass.
“Hollom.” My heels’ click-clacking noise died down on the blue rug covering the entrance in front
of Victor’s office.
I raised my fist to knock but stopped inches away from the gleaming, polished oak wood, needing
a moment to collect myself. Victor had to see reason. Convincing him that my role in the investigation
was vital wouldn’t be easy, but I was nineteen and properly trained in combat. More or less. The point
was, I could face danger.
My resolve wavered, and I bit the inside of my cheek. On light feet, I turned and slid inside my
late father’s personal library. Victor’s supernatural hearing wouldn’t catch me in the room protected by
thick walls, and the old leather-bound volumes calmed my nerves.
I cleared my throat before rehashing my speech. “Victor, you’re the leader of Military Intelligence
Seven, but as Duchess of Sussex, I have the right to . . .” I shook my head. This sounded patronizing. I
took a deep breath to slow my pounding heart, glad that I wasn’t wearing a corset. Another perk of being
a duchess.
I squared my shoulders. A wrong word and Victor would dismiss me. “Victor, I kindly request…
would you… I would appreciate if you assign me to the ongoing investigation on the Heart Collector,
since I believe my skills can be an asset.” There. Simple, polite, and to the point.
I jutted out my chin and smoothed my bodice. I should’ve worn my dark green dress. It made me
look taller and older. This blue gown gave me a childish air with its velvet ribbons and budding roses.

Too late.
After another deep inhalation, I marched toward Victor’s office again and knocked on the door.
“Come in.” The thick door muffled his deep voice.
I wiped my sweaty hand on my skirt before turning the handle and stepping into the office that had
once belonged to my father. Victor and his younger brother Jamie stood up from their stuffed chairs and
“Good morning, Victor, Jamie.”
After the dimly lit corridor, the sunlight streaming from the floor-to-ceiling window blinded me,
and I squinted, closing the door behind me.
I walked to the desk that occupied almost half of the room, keeping my eyes on Victor’s frowning
face. “I need to talk to you.”
Victor stretched out an arm, indicating the empty chairs. His serious expression added wisdom to
his five and twenty years. “Of course, Isabel. Please, sit.”
I perched on the very edge of the chair and set my back straight to not crush my bustle. Victor sat
at his desk while Jamie settled himself next to the fireplace.
“Is something the matter?” Jamie leaned forward, his blond hair swishing about his cheeks. “You
are pale.”
I faced him. “Well, I—” A dark blue bruise marked his chin, his bottom lip was split, and a fresh
cut marred his forehead. “What happened to you?”
Jamie clenched and unclenched his fists. “My encounter with one of the Supernaturals we’re
trying to recruit didn’t end well.”
I focused on Jamie, unleashed my power, and reached out for his feelings. A rush of energy
flooded me, and heat warmed my chest. His anger, annoyance, and humiliation washed over me. Physical
pain stabbed him as well. I gently prodded his body with my mental strength. His ribs hurt, and a cut on
his back throbbed. His feelings left the sour taste of unripe grapes in my mouth.
I swallowed. “This Supernatural must be particularly strong to hurt you.”
Jamie stroked his bruised skin. A new wave of mortification surged from him. “He is moderately
Moderately strong? Jamie could bend iron bars with two fingers and lift twenty times his weight.
How strong was this Supernatural?
Victor shifted his gaze to me. “What did you want to talk to me about?”
“Exactly about this.” I nodded toward Jamie. “This Supernatural you want to recruit for the

investigation on the Heart Collector.”
Victor knitted his blond eyebrows in the same way Jamie would. “You don’t have to concern
yourself with that. Jamie will soon make another attempt to meet this Supernatural.”
“But.” I paused to read Victor’s feelings. His determination and mild exasperation reached me. It
wasn’t a good start, but maybe my speech would convince him. “I would like you to allow me . . . I mean,
to assign me to this mission since I request, kindly, I request kindly, that it would be me, myself, to do it.”
Damn. So much for rehashing. I clasped my hands in my lap not to show how much they trembled. “I’d
like it to be me.” I swallowed. If I weren’t so eager to get the job, I’d laugh at Victor’s scrunched face.
I searched his feelings again. Even without my supernatural empathetic power, the hard set of his
jaw and his narrowed icy blue eyes told me he wasn’t pleased. I cleared my throat. “I want to meet this
“You want what?” Jamie asked, propping an elbow on the mantelpiece.
I ignored him. “What did you say his name was?”
“I didn’t.” Victor straightened the pile of documents on his desk, arranged quills and inkbottles,
and loosened his bow tie.

Fun facts about me:
My toes are prehensile. I can pick everything up with them.
I’m dyslexic. I thought that ‘Breaking Bad’ was ‘Baking Bad,’ a reality show on cooking-impaired
I believe that artichokes are weapons.
I believe in Santa Claus. Sue me.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!a Rafflecopter giveaway

Augur of Shadows Book Tour, Guest Post, and Giveaway

Augur of Shadows
The Destined Book 1
by Jacob Rundle
Genre: Dark Urban Fantasy
The story has always been told that the end of the world is the end of everything.
In AUGUR OF SHADOWS: BOOK 1 OF THE DESTINED SERIES, Seventeen year-old Henri and his two friends, Etlina and Siméon, are burdened with the responsibility to bring about a cataclysmic event in order to save the entirety of existence from the primordial evil.
Through the guidance of otherworldly beings, Henri and his friends venture on
their paths to fulfill what is needed to ensure the survival of the universe.
With their intertwining endeavors, Henri and the others venture on exploits through
lands of myth and mystery. In the process of fulfilling their obligations, they begin to form a much-needed bond, which helps propel them forward to do what is needed to guarantee existence in the future.
Jacob John Rundle was born on September 27, 1985, in Galesburg, IL. He attended Knox College, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Russian Language and Literature. He served eight years in the United States Navy as a Nuclear Mechanic.
After finishing his time with the Navy, he moved to New Orleans,
and it is where he resides, pursuing his dream of being a writer.

“Henri,” a mysterious voiced whispered in his mind. Henri stopped walking to see who
was whispering in his ear. He turned around, but he saw nothing, which caused a chill
down his spine.
“What’s that?” Henri didn’t like the chilly feeling in the air, and he didn’t
appreciate the feeling like someone was watching him. He picked up his pace on the
sidewalk, avoiding any tiny obstacles in his way. His mind had one mission, and the
mission was to get home safely. At the present moment, Henri wished that someone were
with him in case something happened.
“Who’s there?” Henri waited for any sign of a response. He walked towards his
house, ignoring the increasing creepy vibe he felt. A sharp pain stabbed Henri’s stomach,
forcing him to run to his house. The pain became more intense as the seconds passed.
When he made it up his front stairs, he spun around to confront whoever was stalking
him. Henri saw nothing but his front tree, and the trashcans that he didn’t retrieve the
other day.
Henri panicked for that he didn’t know what to do. The area went silent, and he
heard nothing, but the breathing of an invisible force. He felt as though an unseen bubble
had formed around him and his front porch. His heart increased its output, and Henri’s
breathing became erratic.
The wind picked up loosened materials off the ground, and a sharp unexpected
breeze passed through his proximity. The wind flew through the open crevices of the
trees, creating an eerie howling. Henri quickly scanned the area again, yet he still didn’t
see anything. He tried to channel his frustration instead of terror.
“What is going on?” Henri mumbled under his breath. He glanced up into the
early evening sky, and he saw dark clouds were rolling towards his house as a tide during
a full moon. The branches and bushes’ tall blades bent over by an unseen terror. He
backed up against his door, trying to open his front door only realizing that he had left his
house key elsewhere.

The Characters of Augur of Shadows

Augur of Shadows is a story that involves a main character (MC) Henri, and his two friends, Etlina and
Siméon. The three have intertwining destinies that require them to make difficult decisions, and they will
be forced to push passed their physical, emotional and mental limitations in order to complete their task of
bringing forth a cataclysmic event, which will aide in the fight against the Primordial Evil.
Henri is a seventeen year-old boy who recently lost his father. He and his mother moved to New
York City to start a new life. In the process, Henri starts having prophetic dreams of a future evil. He is
set on a course of self-discovery and destiny by the guidance of many other spirits, gods and angels. He
will have to make difficult decisions on his path, and he will have to decide to either place the entire
universe above his own needs, or he continue on his mundane life.
Etlina is a strong, young, Latina who was abandoned by her family because of her unique talents,
and her persistent attitude to delve in her ancestral heritage. She is connected to the forces of nature and
mystery. She is a major powerhouse, and she isn’t afraid to protect whom she sees as family.
Siméon is a teenager, foreign exchange student from Port-au-Prince, Haiti. He is a wise,
powerful priest from Haiti, and he plays an important role in Henri’s life. Siméon’s experience in the
supernatural will aid Henri and Etlina on their journey into the lands of the spiritual and magical, so the
three of them may fulfill their destinies, and they may save the universe.

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

Alex Conner Chronicles Book Tour, Guest Post, and Giveaway

The Alex Conner Chronicles Book 1
by Parker Sinclair
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Alex Conner’s memories of the vile man she exiled using supernatural powers inherited from her mother are all but breaking into her living hours, and nothing is working to keep her nightmares at bay.
Can Alex solve this mystery before it’s too late or will she be the one responsible for bringing this horror back into her life?
Who can Alex trust and how is she to deal with the draw she has towards a new man in her life – a man who is definitely more than meets the eye?
Alex Conner: Witch? Healer? Both? Joining this powerful female character and a scooby-like cast including a seer, sexy book boyfriends, devoted best friends, heros, villans and monsters, and magical creatures. Enjoy the first book in this ongoing paranormal and fantasy series overflowing with suspense, steamy and romantic scenes, kick ass action, intrigue, adventure, mind-bending plotlines, and laugh out loud humor. Trust is a coming of age story about a young women who had to figure out her powers all on her own. The new adult tale will get you laughing, crying, while also being a nailbiter as supernatural powers and beings make this a page turner for paranormal, mystery, suspense, and fantasy fans.
Trust is a unique twist on paranormal romance, contemporary & urban fantasy for fans of The Hollows by Kim Harrison’s, with the humor, heart, and horror of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the magic of The Weird Girls Series by Cecy Robson, & the science and world building of The King Killer Chronicles.
The Alex Conner Chronicles Reading order: Trust, Truth, Forbidden, & Only with more to come! Contains explicit adult language and scenes.
The storyline was brilliant.” ★★★★★
“I ran the gambit of emotions with this book.” ★★★★★
“Original and Captivating.” ★★★★★
**Only 99 cents!!**
The Alex Conner Chronicles Book 2
Party time’s over; now it’s time to kick some ass.
Now that I can no longer deny my heritage as a powerful magic-wielding Earthen Protector and healer, everything comes crashing down around me. My estranged mother has enlisted my help in finding my Healer father; a man who was presumed dead since before I was born.
While I wait and train with Dana, the Mistress of Weaponry and Potions, innocent people, some who I dearly love, face unspeakable horrors. My small, yet powerful, group of companions confront danger head-on while we hunt down those responsible.
Is my father really alive and will the training prove to be enough for me take on new ruthless enemies?
As if the threats in my life weren’t enough for me to handle, my feelings for two men have me torn and tempted.
“A suspenseful storyline.” ★★★★★
“Original and entertaining fantasy.” ★★★★★
“An urban fantasy with a nice punch.” ★★★★★
The Alex Conner Chronicles Book 2.5
To be honest, my true power lies within my skills as a Seer. Alex says that my vixen skills are just “icing on the cake.”
Sandra is a bombshell. She also happens to be a Seer, and Earthen Protector Alex Conner’s best friend. When Alex goes missing, Sandra seeks help from the one person she is forbidden to contact.
Can Sandra, and those she used to be closest to, finally move past all the fear and mistrust?
Discover Sandra’s dark and hidden past, one that even Alex doesn’t know about, in this intense novella, and get a peek at what is in the cards for their future.
This story has action, excitement and suspense. It is about forgiveness
and the past colliding with the present.” ~ Amazon Reviewer
The Alex Conner Chronicles reading order: Trust, Truth, Forbidden, & Only. Contains adult language and situations.
Forbidden is a unique twist on new adult paranormal romance and supernatural suspense for fans of The Hollows by Kim Harrison; with the humor, heart, and horror of Buffy the Vampire Slayer; and the magic of The Weird Girls Series by Cecy Robson.
“Full of magic, demons, and mystery.” ★★★★★
“This book blends reality and fantasy perfectly.” ★★★★★
“Gripping story full of jammed packed action.” ★★★★★
The Alex Conner Chronicles Book 3
Sometimes you just have to keep your mouth shut and play along; the quiet is best for plotting, and I am getting out of here.
“This is a great high fantasy, sexy romantic read.” ★★★★★
“Full of adventure, love, betrayal, and magic.” ★★★★★
One would think the sassy, sexy hybrid Earthen Protector and Healer Alex Conner deserves some downtime after all she’s been through. But no. Instead, she finds herself trapped by the king of the Fae, and he’s not letting her go until he gets what he wants.
As alternate realities tangle her in confusion and bring her close to forgetting who she is and everyone she loves, will she unwittingly give the king what he craves?
If she does escape, will she ever pick up where she left off with her sexy Adonis Ryan?
And can she control the new power she never knew she could wield— one over life and death itself—or will she be entangled in a realm whose ruler is hell-bent on entrapping her and someone she holds dear, forever?
Only is a unique paranormal/supernatural romance & contemporary fantasy novel for lovers of the metaphysical, romantic fantasy, & elementals with romantic and dark fantasy elements. Only is enjoyed by fans of The King Killer Chronicles, Sunshine, The Hollows, The Weird Girls, and The Shannara Series & Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Ms. Sinclair is an Amazon best-selling fantasy author with books crossing into YA epic fantasy, NA Urban fantasy, paranormal romance, mystery, suspense, and Sci-fi genres. Visit for FREE books and samples.
Parker gives credit to the development of her imagination and passion for writing to multiple childhood destinations lacking indoor plumbing. She would never trade the childhood her parents gave her, and she thanks them for raising her to have her own thoughts, dreams, and bountiful imagination. Oh and she wishes to thank them for teaching her that one should never leave their jeans on the floor of an everglades campground shower–lest she do the dance of the scorpions in the pants again!

There’s only one option I can think of and it’s one I was forbidden to use. He told me never to
contact him, to stay away from him, but how can I? Alex’s life is at stake, so to hell with his
Dana’s pinching grip on my arm breaks me away from my thoughts. She knows my plan,
though she still insists on trying things her way again. I swear warm blood is dripping down the
length of my arm, and I tense when a drop pulls away to fall upon the cold tile. I couldn’t have
some decent clothes, could I? Well, it doesn’t help that she practically grabbed me out of bed and
led me back to the guest room where Alex had been staying in my damn pajama shorts and tank.
“Ease up a bit, will ya?” We’ve been trying to take Dana’s Dreamwalk back to when
Alex was taken on and off for hours now, yet we still can’t break into the memory, despite
exhausting brain squeezing attempt, after attempt. The room, which harbored cool tones and an
empty bed flickers to show the scene from hours passed. Alex is sitting up talking to me as I sit
next to her on the bed and I brace myself for what happens next. Darkness engulfs the room,
along with a trembling roar that seems to rattle the cracks of the tile in its grouted spaces.
“What in the hell is that mojo keeping us out? What did you do blondie?” Her voice
whispers into my ear, angry though laced with a rare dose of fear from the Mistress of Potions
and Weaponry. “There’s something sick and twisted stuck all over this putrid muck, like a
vamp’s mouth sucking on a prostitute’s neck. Some crazy Seer blockage is what this is.” Her
grip grows even tighter and I try to pull away.
“Look, Potions Priestess,” I growl. I’ve grown tired of being beaten down each time we
trek into the past. “This is not working, and it is not because of me.” I gulp silently hoping this
isn’t from me, or from those hidden parts of me that have been cemented over with double walls
of brick, mortar, and secrets. Dana releases her fingers from where they’ve burrowed into my
“You asked for it gypsy queen.” At the end of her promise, a fury of feathery smacks and
barbed scrapes unleashes, as if I’ve walked through a forest of thorns with a background noise of
an unwavering screeching inside my brain. I drop to my knees gasping and rubbing the length of
my neck willing it to open so I can breathe. I take in a thankful inhale at a slight reprieve only to
choke on feathers lodging themselves in, attempting to force me to swallow them down. I shut
my mouth and fold into myself onto the ground, my hands over my head like I’m reenacting a
tornado drill from school.
“Fight it, Sandra! You have to tear this thing down. We are in your memory, so you can
control it.” What she truly means is that I better get control over it if we’re going to find Alex,
but nothing I try works. I am entirely blocked out, and whatever the cause is has some serious
badass power backing it up.
“I can’t,” I whimper, doubting she can even hear me over both the raucous and the fact
that my lips are pressed against the hard floor. A tugging sensation yanks my mind with a pop,
followed by silence and only the fan’s hush of cool air flowing along my skin.

“You can get up now, we’re done. I don’t know what else to do besides back your plan.”
I swear she wants to spit on the floor after her sardonic statement. It’s hardly my plan.

What inspired you to write this book?
I have been writing for most of my life. In a plastic bin, I still have stories, journals, and even
backs of napkins that hold words and stories back as far as elementary school. I think my love
for writing came from a passion for reading and for the arts. My grandmother and father love to
read, and I remember sitting with them in a sunroom in Biloxi, or on our porch in Kentucky
reading alongside them in the silence. When I was writing, I don’t think I saw ahead to be an
author until much later in life. I had submitted a poem or two to contests in college, but it wasn’t
until my mid-20’s that I thought maybe I could tackle a book. I mean I had done a thesis, and
two poem books, so why not go for gold and create an entire story—hell an entire world. I think
the thing that held me back, the thing that closed the doors deep in my psyche, was that most of
the fantasy and sci-fi books I had read were male authors. It wasn’t until my 30’s that the idea
for writing a book with a strong, compelling, messy, and inappropriate protagonist really came
to life. I thank those women I found in the paranormal and urban fantasy genre for leading me
towards life as an author. When I began to read Jeaniene Frost, Kelley Armstrong, Cecy Robson,
I realized my type of humor, action, romance, and magic all worked. They had proved it.
But it wasn’t until four years after my mom passed, something that has impacted me on a level I
am not sure I have really tapped into let alone recovered from, that the well of creativity brewing
since I was a child filled up and overflowed. I was in the Arizona desert with one of my best
friends when I had a vision of my mom. When I tell you I saw and spoke to her, there is no way I
doubt what happened. I felt her hands in mine, a glowing light warming me throughout my body
and the sensation that she was happy, safe, and would never leave me. There is something about
the desert, it was her favorite place after all, and that experience was the most magical thing that
has ever happened in my life. When I came home from that trip, my first book, Trust, poured
out of me. I was working as a high school guidance counselor and would still write until one or
two in the morning before getting up at 5:30 a.m. for work. I drove myself to that final page, and
now, here I am, six books later and finding a foothold in the indie community. I will never stop
writing and will continue to seek to create new worlds and new stories for Alex. She saved me in
a way, keeps saving me, by allowing me to escape into her world, one that my mother helped

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

7 Black Friday Pitfalls To Avoid With Andrea Woroch

With over 150 million consumers shopping over Black Friday weekend last year, it’s clear the love-to-hate event remains a pinnacle of the holiday shopping season. Whether you plan to boycott Thanksgiving retail openings or line up with other eager shoppers before your turkey has digested, there are several pitfalls you should be aware of before blowing your budget. black-friday-image-andrea

Follow these tips to keep your spending in check and learn how to spot deceptive retail practices.

1. Shopping without a strategy.
Heading to the mall on Black Friday without a list or strategy often results in a devastating blow to your budget. That’s because it’s easy to lose track of your spending as you wander from store to store to check out their sales. Shopping with a list keeps you focused on your gift list and keeps you from making impulse purchases. If you don’t have a large purchase on your list, consider leaving your credit cards at home and only bring cash so you can’t spend a cent more.

2. Allowing big discount claims to influence spending.
Store ads will have you believe that nearly everything will be 50% off or more on Black Friday. Make sure you read the fine print and compare prices, keeping in mind that some retailers will inflate the original price to make that doorbuster sale appear to be a better value than it is. Research prices on popular items ahead of the event and don’t allow big discount claims to influence your spending.

3. Falling for derivative products.
Some products are manufactured specifically for Black Friday and may be missing certain features or key components so the brand can sell it for less. This means you could get stuck with an item that isn’t really what you wanted! Last year’s Roku SE is a great example of a derivative product which was released in mid-November and discounted to $25 to Black Friday shoppers, despite barely being on the shelves for $49.99 prior to the holiday weekend. Research model numbers and compare features to ensure the product isn’t missing key components.

4. Battling crowds on Friday.
Most retailers will be starting Black Friday early and opening their doors on Thanksgiving. JCPenney, for example, is opening at 3pm on Thanksgiving, while Macy’s will welcome customers starting at 5pm that day. However, many Black Friday deals will be available online prior to doors opening, with Kohl’s offering online shoppers access to Black Friday doorbusters as early as Monday, Nov. 21. Consult for scans of Black Friday ads from popular retailers to determine what you can buy online, what you must buy in store, and exactly where you need to be and when so you can schedule your Thanksgiving dinner accordingly.

5. Assuming the sale price is the best price.
With prices advertised at all-time lows, consumers are easily convinced that coupons and other discounts don’t apply. However, it’s important to read the fine print and use a deals’ site like to seek out extra savings. For example, a Bon-Ton coupon will be available for an extra $10 off any item of $10 or more (sale or regular price) for purchases made between 5pm on Thursday and 3pm on Friday, according to Bon-Ton’s Black Friday circular. Same goes for online shoppers, who can score an extra 30% off sale or regular-price items at Michaels during certain periods on Thursday and Friday with promo codes.

6. Failing to mail a rebate.
The sale price of select Black Friday doorbusters can be misleading, since some require mail-in rebates to reach the low price. The $10 price tag on JCPenney’s deal for a Pyrex 8-piece bowl set, for instance, requires a $15 mail-in rebate. That means you’ll pay $25 at the register! With over $500 million in rebates going unclaimed every year, this sales tactic gets shoppers through the door and results in huge profits for stores. Make sure to keep your receipt and the packaging for products that require rebates, and complete and mail the rebate immediately.

7. Blowing your entire budget on Black Friday.
While there are plenty of good deals on Black Friday, there are plenty of bad ones, too. Some items are better to buy on Cyber Monday like clothing and beauty products, and you may find bigger savings closer to Christmas as retailers cut prices further to move merchandise before the holiday passes. Wait for sales later in the season and take advantage of Free Shipping Day on December 16, when up to 2,000 retailers will offer free shipping with no minimum order requirements and other discounts, plus delivery by Christmas Eve.



Andrea Woroch is a money-saving expert who transforms everyday consumers into savvy shoppers by sharing smart spending tips and personal finance advice. As a sought-after media source, she has been featured among such top news outlets as Good Morning America, Today, CNN, Dr. OZ, New York Times, MONEY Magazine, Consumer Reports, Forbes and many more. In addition, Andrea’s stories have been published among leading publications and sites such as Yahoo!, AOL Daily Finance, CNN Money, Huffington Post, LearnVest and New York Daily News. Check out Andrea’s demo reel or visit her website at for more information about booking an interview or requesting an original written article. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook for daily money tips.

For all media inquiries, please contact Andrea Woroch at 970-672-6085 or email

How to Find the Best Auto Insurance Quote with a Spotty Record

car accident cartoon

If you’ve recently been in a situation that calls your driving record into question – from a car

crash to a speeding ticket, or even something as severe as a DUI – then aside from the financial

and social implications, another serious burden you will have to bear is an increased insurance

premium. Insurance policies are built and priced based on a wide range of factors. Although

each company approaches pricing from a different angle, keep in mind some of these six basic

insurance-rating features.


Age: Drivers in their teens and early twenties pay the highest rates, due to increased

road aggression and a lack of experience.

Gender: Although CBS points out that women may experience road rage more

frequently than men, The Guardian asserts that women do much less damage when

behind the wheel – and thus pay less in insurance premiums than their male


Location: Some states call for higher premiums than others – New Jersey is one of the

most expensive states to insure your vehicle.

Car Model: New and foreign cars cost more in the insurance business, because their

repairs are harder to finance.

Car Usage: If you only drive on the weekends, then your insurance rates will go down –

and the opposite is true if you use your car on a daily basis.

Driving Record: Finally, your driving record can help a company determine what kind of

risk you are on the road – and the riskier it is to cover you for damages, the more an

insurance provider will bill you to stay financially liable.


The spottier your driving record, the higher your insurance rates – that’s the rule. However,

while you might not be able to get the same rates as someone with a spotless driving record,

you do have a plethora of options to try and pay as little as possible.

There are many factors to consider with your driving record – aside from DUIs and speeding

tickets, not having prior insurance while driving also nets you higher rates. Accidents also cause

rates to go up – but only if they are severe. If a scratch, bump or minor fender-bender is the

issue at hand, then your insurance cost won’t see a major hike, that is, if you even want to put a

claim in.

Contest Your Record

Just because you get a ticket for speeding or drunk driving doesn’t mean you were actually

speeding, or driving under the influence. If you were unfairly charged with a ticket, an attorney

can help you contest your ticket.

There are several ways to combat a ticket, depending on the situation. Being charged with a

ticket outside of a checkpoint is one, as is being given a ticket without sufficient evidence, or

due to misleading evidence. Breathalyzers can be fooled by a strong mouth rinse, for example,

and cognition tests can be failed due to medical anomalies rather than alcohol.

In the world of rate hike prevention, getting a ticket for something like a broken tail light can

also quickly be fixed. And it really should be. If you get your car back in shape immediately after

being issued a ticket, then chances are that you could avoid the associated rate hike and let the

incident fly under your insurance company’s notice.

Shop Around

The most important part to getting a good insurance quote – even with a spotty record – is in

shopping around. Compare rates, and compare hikes – some insurance rates barely rise after a

minor accident, while others might punish you by as much as a 30 percent for a single speeding

ticket. Using comparison sites like CoverHound allow you to explore the best car insurance

quotes so you can determine what the best plan for you is. Keep on the lookout for a provider

with attractive discount options, fair rates and customer loyalty programs – and then negotiate,

working with them to build the kind of policy that works best for everyone involved.

Make Efforts to Lower Your Risk Factor

A great and simple way to get yourself labeled as less of a risk is by taking a driving course. A

cheap and quick course can go a long way in showing an insurance company that you’re serious

about improving your driving skills.

Consider All Possible Discounts

Contact your insurance provider and go over all the different discounts you may be eligible for.

If you’re a student, having great grades can in some cases lead to lower rates – alternatively, if

you’re a government worker or in the military, most insurance providers have special discounts

for you as well.


Guest post from writer Jenna Carter.