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The Ballad of Mrs. Molony

6 Oct

Hi, everyone! Today’s guest is no stranger to this blog. I’ve featured C. S. Boyack and his work several times. Craig is a prolific speculative fiction author, and I enjoy his writing style and quirky characters. I’ve read his book ‘The Hat’ and enjoyed it very much. You can read my review here. His personal assistant, robot girl and spokes model, Lisa will introduce us to his latest work. Without further ado here’s Lisa Burton.

Gosh, thanks, for the invitation Vashti. It’s been so hard getting out with all the troubles going on lately. I’m here to promote Craig’s new book, The Ballad of Mrs. Molony. This is the third one in The Hat series, but don’t let that scare you off. He worked pretty hard so readers wouldn’t absolutely have to read them in order. People can start right here and have a good time.

You asked for something about Craig’s characters, and I could tell you all kinds of stories. He has a definite style. He likes to use more stoic main characters, then add color with his supporting characters. The Hat Series is a little different, because it’s a buddy series. There’s still a bit of that framework.

Lizzie St. Laurent is a struggling twenty-something working multiple jobs to keep the wolf away. She’s the more stoic one in these adventures.

The hat is a being from another dimension. He was brought here years ago by witchcraft. He’s magically bound to Lizzie’s bloodline and must always take the form of a hat. The form varies, but there are limitations. He has a few magical skills, but no form he can use to accomplish anything. He’s a little more colorful than Lizzie is, to say the least.

Together, they team up to improve their lot in life, but also to fight against monsters.

Character is a big part of these stories. Because there is a huge generation gap, and maybe some differing values, they’re at each others’ throats all the time. Craig plays this for comedy, because that’s a big part of this series. Imagine a social justice warrior trying to deal with her own grandfather and you get the idea. This geezer doesn’t really understand cell phones, the Internet or anything very high tech. It’s enough to drive a robot girl crazy, so I kind of side with Lizzie.

Craig adds some colorful characters everywhere else, too. In this book you’ll meet Kevin, who’s probably the worst vampire of all time. Can you imagine a vampire with gnarly teeth and a speech impediment? Not quite the romantic image Dracula left us with.

Craig’s known for some pretty outlandish characters. Present company excluded. This series has some of the craziest ones he’s ever come up with. That’s saying something if you consider he came up with a talking yak and the root monsters in other tales. I hope your fans will give it a chance.

Oh, I’m also supposed to tell you they’re designed to be short reads. They come in at about half the length of a novel. Makes them easy to read on a Saturday afternoon.

Now let’s get to the fun part. Part of my job is to pose for promotional posters, and I have one for you and your fans. Remember, this series is supposed to be kind of corny, so the scene I’m representing has a little humorous nod to the Spaghetti Westerns of years gone by. It occurs toward the end of the book.

It was so nice visiting with you. Now I want to check out your area. Maybe get my nails touched up. Robot girls don’t actually breathe, but I have a cute mask with bunnies on it to make others feel comfortable. Do you think one of the salons might be open?

There are plenty of beauty salons around here, Lisa, but I haven’t been to one since the pandemic began. I have no idea if they’re open. Maybe we can do each other’s nails? When you wear your mask you’re giving others a good example. Thanks!

Blurb:

Lizzie and the hat are back, and this time they’re chasing vampires across a subculture of America. A pair of rodeo cowboys are holding a woman captive to use like a milk cow since they joined the undead.

The person who put them onto the trail is also a vampire, but he has to be the worst vampire in history. Is he really that pitiful, or is he setting a trap for our heroes? Does the woman even exists? Can Lizzie and the hat find her before she also takes up blood sucking?

Follow Lizzie and the hat as they use their cover band to stalk vamps across the country music scene.

Purchase your copy hereThe Ballad of Mrs. Molony

Other stories in the series:

THE HAT

VIRAL BLUES

You can contact Craig at the following locations:

BlogMy Novels|  TwitterGoodreads |FacebookPinterestBookBub

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to leave Lisa some love in the comment section below. Even robot girls need love. 😉

New Book Launch: Eternal Road – The Final Stop

29 Sep

Hi, everyone! I’m delighted to feature author John W. Howell on my blog today. He launched a new book titled Eternal Road – The Final Stop. John is a favorite author of mine, and I’m excited to read his new book. I’ll let him tell you all about it.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Vashti, and for helping me launch Eternal Road – The final stop. I know you are busy with your next manuscript so I’m happy you could take time to help with the launch. Let me describe the kind of book it is. Eternal Road is the story of two people finding their way through the selection process leading to the place where one will spend eternity. Yes, it is true. They both have passed away. James Wainwright just died in an auto accident. Samantha Tourneau died seventeen years before. Sam is James’s guide to help him decide where to spend eternity. This is not your usual thriller or paranormal romance. It is a piece of fiction that is a combination of inspiration, adventure, time travel, sci-fi, a touch of erotica, and a dash of spiritual. In short, it is a lot of things, but hopefully, a story that will make you happy to have read it.

BLURB:

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer, who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save humankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

It is now available on Amazon in paperback and eBookThe Kindle edition is introductory priced at 99¢ until October 15th.

Here are the universal links

Kindle Universal link:  mybook.to/EternalRoad

Paper universal link:  mybook.to/Eternalroadpaper

Excerpt:

James steers Sam to a café that has seating on the sidewalk. They order coffees, and James then leans closer to Sam so that nobody will overhear and whispers, “Have you ever been to the Bellagio?”

She whispers, “No.”

No one pays them any attention, so James raises his voice to a normal level, “Neither have I. It will be hard to visualize a place that we’ve never visited.”

“How about going to a travel agent and getting a brochure? Would that work?”

James smiles. “It’s worth a try. I mean, how bad could it be?”

Sam shakes her head. “Don’t say that. The desert seemed pretty bad.”

James looks down. “Some parts were nice.”

Sam half-smiles. “My butt, right?”

James winks. “You said it, not me. Here’s our coffee.”

The server places the drinks on the table. James gives her twenty dollars. “Keep the change.”

Surprised but gratified, she leaves them to it.

James pulls out his phone while Sam enjoys her brew.

He sips while he concentrates on searching for a travel agent. “Looks like a travel place operates across the street.”

Sam nods. “Oh, yes. I can see the office from here.”

“So, after we finish our coffee, we’ll go over there.”

Sam nods at James’s cup. “How does it taste?”

“The coffee? Every bit as nice as when I was alive.”

“Good.”

When they’ve finished their drinks, they cross 79th street. The travel agent offers several brochures, so he and Sam select two that contain photos of the front of the Bellagio. They thank the agent and promise to come back as soon as plans get finalized.

The pair leave the agent’s office and head down 79th and toward Central Park. James says, “The park will give us the space we need from other people so that we can vanish from there.” They laugh out loud, trying to imagine the faces of those who might see them one second and then not the next. Still chuckling, they locate a spot that seems remote enough.

James says, “Hold my hand.” Sam takes his in a soft grip. “I’ll look at this Bellagio photo until it burns into my subconscious.”

“Just make sure you don’t have any other thoughts when you start the process.”

James stares at the brochure. “Don’t worry. The only thing on my mind is the Bellagio.”

Sam squeezes his hand. “You sure?”

“Yes. Well, confession time.” James grins at her.

Sam looks into his eyes. “My breasts, right?”

“Just for a moment.” James closes his eyes. “Okay, you ready?”

John’s bio:

John W. Howell is an award-winning author who, after an extensive business career, began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written five other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. The paperback versions are also available in the Indie Lector store

John lives in Lakeway, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Contact John:

Blog Fiction Favorites:  http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page: https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

John’s other books:

My GRL,

His Revenge

Our Justice

Circumstances of Childhood

The Contract: between heaven and earth 

Thank you for stopping by and visiting today. Please show this brilliant writer some love.

Poetry Friday ~ Whatever It Takes

18 Sep

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog. I hope all is well with you and your loved ones.

Today I am featuring the book Whatever It Takes by S. Burke. Suzanne Burke is a talented author of fascinating and thrilling books with a dark edge. I’m a big fan. Visit her awesome blog, Welcome to the World of Suzanne Burke. Check out all her books here.

Blurb:

James Kincaid had it all.
He’d made it to the ‘A’ list in Hollywood, a town that prized and idolized winners above all else. Three golden statuettes currently graced the mantle of his Los Angeles mansion. Next year’s Oscars held the sweet promise of more.
Then life began exacting a price that no man could be expected to pay as the people he cared about began dying and dying badly. 
He couldn’t move on with his life or the dream without knowing why.
Andi O’Connor is the woman he’d hired to do ‘whatever it takes’ to find him the answers.
Could this disenchanted, street-hardened, ex-homicide cop uncover the truth without adding to the growing list of those already sacrificed on the altar of one besotted human’s insanity?
From Hollywood to New York, the body count continues to rise. Time is not on their side.

Click image to purchase on Amazon

My Review:

Whatever It Takes by S. Burke is an intricate, gripping, and entertaining crime thriller. It’s a smart and thoughtful page-turner that checks off all the boxes for me.

James Kincaid is a Hollywood A-list actor. His wife, Nicole’s sudden death left him unsettled with a plethora of unanswered questions.

He hires ex-NYPD cop Andi O’Connor to look into his wife’s death in order to get the answers he seeks. Soon afterward, a remarkable young actor playing the lead in James’ movie, “No Letters From Home” is found dead. Now he wants Andi to investigate whether the death of his wife is connected to the deaths of two others who died during the filming of this movie.

Andi begins to dig into what should be a routine case but finds far more than she had anticipated. As the horrifying truths uncoil, dark secrets are revealed, a string of murders are uncovered, and all the dots connected to a sadistic serial killer on the loose.

Whatever It Takes (Shadorma poem)

When you love

your love is so wrong

Possessive

Obsessive

You avoid reality

until it’s too late

“Be careful who you trust. Salt and sugar look the same.”

I hope you enjoyed the post. Thanks for the visit!

Poetry Friday ~ Book Reviews

11 Sep

Hi, everyone!

I love to read. It’s one of my favorite pastimes. I enjoy fiction most of all, especially the fantasy genre. There’s enough reality around me (24/7), sometimes it’s marvelous to take a breakation from real life and escape to another country, world, dimension. . . . Some people think that a person can’t learn anything from reading fiction but nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve been reading since I was a small child, and I’ve learned so much from fictional stories about life, love, friendship, duty, different cultures, animals, science, politics, religions, human nature. . . . I could go on and on. There’s a lot of truth in fiction.

I’d like to share a few of my most recent reads with you. Chronicles of the Diasodz is a young adult fantasy series by author, Yvette M. Calleiro. I’ve read the first three books and I look forward to reading the last two books in the series soon.

I wrote a poem (Nonet) for the first book in the series, The One Discovered. I had already posted a review for this book which you can read here.

Between the covers of my new book

a fearless girl takes a journey

what awaits she has no clue

leaving loved ones behind

to become who she

was born to be

the savior

of her

kind

You can read my review for The One Discovered here.

Blurb:

Sofia has lost everything that was important to her: her mother, her boyfriend, and her best friend. Even the belief that humans are the only beings in the world has been stripped away, but she has no time to dwell on her losses because she’s been transported to a new world to become the savior of the Diasodz. Sofia trusted Ar’ch and Angel to be there for her and to guide and protect her, but only Angel has held true to his word. Ar’ch has abandoned her, leaving her to feel tricked and betrayed.

Ar’ch brought Sofia home, fulfilling his mission to bring their savior safely to their world, but it didn’t come without a cost. Rafe, Sofia’s boyfriend, was killed, and Ar’ch believes Sofia blames him for it. Ar’ch’s sole focus becomes doing what is best for Sofia, and in his mind, that does not include him.

As Sofia deals with Ar’ch’s absence, she throws herself into learning about the Diasodz’s history. She grows stronger both emotionally and physically, and begins to accept her role in their world, but not everyone is convinced that she is the one whom the prophecy states will save them.

Beliefs will be challenged. Secrets will be revealed. Relationships will be shattered. And in the aftermath, evil will see its opportunity and strike. Will Sofia be able to handle it all? Or will the savior of the Diasodz lose her will to continue?

My Review:

The One Enlightened is the second book in the Chronicles of the Diasodz series. It picks up where book one left off as Sofia, Ar’ch, and Angel leave Rafe behind to travel via a portal to the world of the Diasodz.

Sofia had a hard time getting over the tragedy of losing a loved one as they escaped into the portal. She also misses her mom, and a few quarrels kept her and Ar’ch apart. However, she and her newly found brother, Angel, created a bond.

She trained with her brother as a Diasodz, and they learned about the history of her people with Nolan who had taken on the role of her father.

Sofia and Ar’ch cleared up their misunderstandings, and a secret romance progressed. Sofia embraced her new life, and she slowly accepted her role as savior of the Diasodz. She grew more confident and stronger both physically and mentally every day. As her relationship with Ar’ch became impassioned, and she rejoiced in their love for one another, an unexpected twist threatened to tear them apart forever.

I liked observing Sofia’s transformation from an innocent teen to a strong, confident young woman. I also enjoyed learning about the culture, faith, and history of the Diasodz. The vivid descriptions and beautiful world building were delightful. The characters continued to grow and develop, which was a lot of fun to witness.

I will be reading the third installment of the Chronicles of the Diasodz series, The One Betrayed. I recommend this series to readers who enjoy young adult fantasy sprinkled with romance and the supernatural.

Blurb:

When Sofia chose to leave Rafe to live with Ar’ch in another world, Rafe’s system shut down and sent him to an early death. But Rafe didn’t die, at least not permanently. Rafe is a Diasodz, and his death simply freed him from his human shell so that he could become the powerful Diasodz that he was meant to be.

He awakened to a completely new reality, a reality in which he was the prince to a kingdom of powerful beings. His parents, Drake and Damiana, were the rulers of the Raizyns, a group of Diasodz who were determined to take their rightful place in the world. And Rafe would be the savior who would lead them on their quest.

Rafe wanted to please his father, especially since he had just met him. To do that, he needed to learn how to fight like a Raizyn and how to master his newfound skill. He needed to become stronger, faster, and more powerful. Rafe needed to become the savior they all expected him to be. That was what was required of him.

But there was one thing that was more important than everything else. One person. Sofia. Rafe was going to find a way to get her back, even if it cost him his life. Again.

My Review:

The One Betrayed is the third installment of the Chronicles of the Diasodz series. It does not pick up where the last one left off, like the previous one. Instead, this book takes us back to the ending of book one and revisits the events of the first two books as told by the enemy, the Raizyns. At first, this was a little jarring because I was so involved in Sofia’s story in books one and two. It didn’t take long for me to get into this story, though. I was excited to see how the events unfolded from the point of view of the “other side.”

The author introduced new characters and gave us more insight into the older ones. I enjoyed the in-depth look into the “enemy” and their world. Rafe, Drake, and Mel were my favorites, but all the characters were well developed, interesting, and relatable in some way.

The world building was impeccable, and I enjoyed escaping into this realm. I also enjoyed the sci-fi elements the author sprinkled throughout the story with teleportation, force fields, hologram technology. . . .

The pacing was a bit slow at times but not enough to take away my enjoyment. Although I missed reading about Sofia, it was fun reading the other side’s point of view and getting to know these characters better. And as each book sets up the next one, I look forward to reading book four.

This week, Annette Rochelle Aben selected the words for Colleen’s 2020 Weekly Poetry (syllables only) Challenge. This week’s words are: HINT & BOLD. I used the synonyms Clue and Fearless in my Nonet.

I hope you liked today’s post. Enjoy the rest of your day! Happy reading!

New Book Reviews: The One Discovered by Yvette Calleiro, Journey to the Rainbow’s End by Forrest Stepnowski, and The Ex Chronicles by Maura Beth Brennan

30 Mar

Hello, everyone! I hope you are all safe and healthy.

“There is no place like home.”

~L. Frank Baum

The best thing we could do right now to slow the spread of the coronavirus is to stay home. Of course, that’s not possible for everyone, but if you can work from home you should. Self isolation has worked well for other countries and in past pandemics. Practice social distancing even if you’re young and healthy because although your chances of dying from COVID– 19 is low you could still spread the disease to people that are vulnerable and could die from it.

I’d like to thank all the people in the medical field, including my brother Ralph, who’s at the front lines every day, and my cousins Lissette, Ray, Miguel, Leo, and Sonya. You’re putting yourselves at risk on a daily basis to help those in need. Thank you.

Changing the subject, I’ve been doing a lot of reading since I sent my manuscript to my editor. Today, I’d like to share three of the books I’ve read so far and my reviews. I posted the reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, and although they are already showing on Goodreads, Amazon has yet to make all three reviews available.

Book Reviews:

Click on image to purchase on Amazon

The One Discovered by Yvette Calleiro

I don’t read a lot of young-adult fantasy novels, but this one came highly recommended, and the book cover enticed me. This is the first book in the Chronicles Of The Diasodz series.

Sofia is a seventeen-year-old girl in her last year of high school. Up until this point, she’s lived an ordinary life as the daughter of Liana, a single mom and girlfriend to lifelong friend Rafe. One night, she has an extraordinary dream in which she meets a handsome boy named Ar’ch. Her life takes a bizarre turn when she goes to work and comes across Ar’ch in real life.

Sofia learns that she is far more than she ever thought she could be, and that an entire world’s existence depends on her. She has a decision to make, but how can she leave her home and everyone she loves behind?

How does a teenage girl choose between her boyfriend, who’s been her best friend since childhood, and a handsome boy who makes her feel things she’s never felt before?

The story was slow-paced at first, but soon picked up. Overall, it had a good flow and kept me engaged. The characters were well developed and relatable, especially Sofia, Angel, and Rafe. The final chapters are captivating and full of action until the end.

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy a young-adult fantasy with a love triangle, excellent characters, world building, action, and drama. I look forward to reading the second book in the series, The One Enlightened. 

***

Click on image to purchase on Amazon.

The Ex Chronicles by Maura Beth Brennan

“The Ex Chronicles” is a humorous short story about a couple named Angie and Bryce.

When Angie met Bryce, she thought she had found Mr. Right. She fell madly in love with him, only to find out he was cheating on her.

Believing their relationship was worth fighting for, Angie designs a plan to confront her boyfriend and the other woman. All the while, old black-and-white movies played in her head, and she imagined herself as one of the heroines starring in the movies, so she figured everything would turn out as she planned.

Unfortunately, things did not play out as Angie had hoped, and her antics will have you rolling with laughter.

I enjoyed author Maura Beth Brennan’s sense of humor and writing style. I recommend this quick and fun read to anyone who’s been in a bad relationship and only has a moment to spare.

***

Click on image to purchase on Amazon.

Journey to the Rainbow’s End by Forrest Stepnowski

Journey to the Rainbow’s End begins with a varied collection of freestyle poems, which are both beautiful and heartfelt. About halfway through the book, author Forrest Stepnowski gives us a short, insightful account (fictionalized memoir) of his journey from self-loathing to self-acceptance.

Robert grew up in a religious home where being gay was not an option. He was taught that homosexuality was a sin and punishable by God. From an early age, he struggled with whom he was and hungered for love, acceptance, and compassion—mostly from himself.

In his early teens, Robert felt an attraction to other boys, but he was conflicted and confused due to his homophobic religious teachings. He suffered many terrible experiences in his developmental years, including a suicide attempt and the death of a close friend.

Robert experienced sex, and like a bird released from its cage, he began a reckless way of life with multiple lovers. When he learned that a good friend was diagnosed with AIDS and committed suicide, Robert was forced to change his ways. 

I enjoyed how the author combined his poetry with the narrating of his story because it gave me a better perspective. In the end, despite the difficulties endured by Robert, he managed to find his way to self-acceptance. 

Overall, this book is about learning to accept who you are and adds another dimension to the LGBT story, which is a human story. I was touched by this book because the author bravely bared his soul to inspire others who may be walking the same path.

The story and poems were fabulous, but there were a few poems that stood out for me and moved me in some way.

“I Am Not The One” – I loved this line: “I am worth more than my weight in diamonds and gold.”

“Freeze” – I got goose bumps reading this one, and I loved the ending.

“That’s Gay” – Powerful and relatable, even to straight people.

“The Touch of Your Skin” – HOT

“The Song of Ever Changing Fairytales” – Who wouldn’t relate?

If you enjoy beautiful poetry from the heart and riveting short stories, this book is for you.

reading, book reviews, Vashti Quiroz Vega, Vashti Q, author, books, stay at home, read more

“The ultimate luxury is being able to relax and enjoy your home.”

~Jeff Lincoln

I hope you enjoyed the post. Thanks for the visit, and feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below.

Poetry Friday ~ The Love of Books

6 Dec
Colleen's Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge

The first of the month is ‘Poet’s Choice‘ at Colleen’s Weekly Poetry Prompt Challenge. I chose to share a poem by Julia Donaldson, that’s sure to make you fall in love with books.

I Opened a Book
By Julia Donaldson
I opened a book and in I strode.
Now nobody can find me.
I’ve left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.
I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,
I’ve swallowed the magic potion.
I’ve fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.
I opened a book and made some friends.
I shared their tears and laughter
And followed their road with its bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.
I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me.

I hope you enjoyed the poem. It’s one of my favorite poems about books and reading. I also wanted to share my reviews for a book and two short stories I read recently.

Click on image to buy on Amazon

The Altar Boy is a true to life coming-of-age story. Carl Sanders grew up in the 1960s in a Catholic household. The Catholic Church was revered in those days, and so were its clergymen, but for Carl and his family, a priest brought nothing but pain.

I didn’t like Carl’s mother; she was selfish and hypocritical. His father was not perfect either, but he did try his best to keep the family together and didn’t deserve what happened to him.

Looking at the life of this Catholic family in the 60s through Carl’s eyes as a young boy was both hilarious and heart wrenching. Carl’s mischievous antics made me laugh while his fear, confusion, and unconditional love for his mother chipped away at my heart. Prepare yourself for a rollercoaster of emotions.

If you enjoy stories with well-developed characters that make you feel an array of emotions, this book is for you.

Click on image to get your .99¢ eBook on Amazon!

The Author, Rhani D’Chae in Zombie Dawn, brilliantly chronicles the dawn of the zombie apocalypse. The author wasted no time building tension and providing an overall sense of horror from the beginning. I sat at the edge of my seat until the end of the story and then wanted more.

This is the story of a small neighborhood where everyone knows each other. The kind of neighborhood where you can leave your doors and windows open and youngsters can walk the streets at night without fear. That is until an elderly man named Elmer Duncan dies of seemingly natural causes only to open his eerie milky eyes as he was reanimated as a zombie. From this point, the story escalates into a chaotic set of events that’ll have you quaking in your chair. I enjoyed the author’s writing style and read it in one sitting. The story is well written, fascinating, and descriptive. If you’re a fan of zombies or horror, you will enjoy this short story.

This short story is FREE on Amazon Kindle! Click to get your copy.

This short story is a metaphoric expression of the author’s life growing up in an abusive household.

Her mother was a narcissist, and the author did a great job of relating the frustration she underwent dealing with a person who lacked the ability to love and feel empathy for others, including herself. Others were blind to her mother’s abuse because, as a narcissist, she knew how to cover her tracks well. The author’s father and other family members and friends unknowingly defended and enabled her mother, adding to the detriment of the child.

This is an inspiring, powerful, and compelling read that many readers will relate to whether they have suffered abuse at the hands of a narcissist or not. In the end, the daughter escapes her abusive prison.

Connect with these authors on social media!

@psteph55 on Twitter
@ChristinaWinds on Twitter
@rhanidchae on Twitter

Just a quick reminder that all my eBooks are on sale for .99¢ through Sunday! Get your eBooks!

Click on image to go to Amazon and get your .99¢ eBooks!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post! Let me know what you think in the comment section below. Thank you for a visit, and have a Happy Friday and weekend!

Poetry Friday ~ Books & A Poem

6 Sep

Hi, Everyone!

 

Today I’d like to share my most recent reads along with my poem. This is an Etheree poem written by me for Colleen Chesebro’s Weekly Poetry Challenge.

 

There

are worlds

between the

covers of books

Why fly, ride or walk?

To take us lands away

there is nothing like a book

So spread out your wings untiring

get to a book store or library

good books are fun and thrilling things to own.

 

The first book I’m sharing is called Strange HWY by Beem Weeks.

Beem Weeks-Poetry_Friday-vashti quiroz vega-short stories-anthology-Vashti Q-the writer next door-book reviews

BLURB:

f you ever find yourself on the Strange Hwy—don’t turn around. Don’t panic. Just. Keep. Going. You never know what you’ll find.
You’ll see magic at the fingertips of an autistic young man,
•A teen girl’s afternoon, a lifetime of loss.
•A winged man, an angel? Demon—?
•Mother’s recognition, peace to daughter.
•Danny’s death – stifled secrets.
•Black man’s music, guitar transforms boy.
•Dead brother, an open confession.
•First love, supernatural?—family becomes whole!
You can exit the Strange Hwy, and come back any time you want.
See, now you know the way in, don’t be a stranger.

 

MY REVIEW:

Strange HWY brings together 18 of Author, Beem Weeks’ strange and wonderful coming of age stories about the madness and sadness, courage and vulnerability of youth.

This collection of eclectic short stories explores a vast range of topics including, suicide, cancer, prostitution, mental illness and even the paranormal. My favorite stories are Alterations, Constant of the Day, Demons, Songs of the Lost, and Looking for Lucy but to be honest, I was captivated by each well-written story in this book.

Author, Beem Weeks is a talented writer that’s very attuned to detail. His writing style is unique but also fun and easy. He seems to see the world as a reason to create with his straightforward, unusual, traditional stories.

The stories in this book are meant to be read slowly and savored and are filled with lovely and disturbing moments that will stay with you for some time to come. I highly recommend it.

Connect with Author, Beem Weeks on Social Media!

Instagram

Twitter

The Indie Spot! (Blog)

Amazon Author Page

 


The next book I’m sharing is a short story called Open, Shut by Nonnie Jules.

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BLURB:

Darcy Lynn has a few problems: her sister, Lola, killed by a drunk driver, leaves her with an eerie message right before her death; her parents are atheists; her father drinks a little too much, and her brother, Bud, is just annoying. But, her most pressing issue is that things are mysteriously opening and closing around her and she hasn’t a clue as to why…or how.

In this short “sad but uplifting story with a wonderful message,” as one reader tags it, Author, Nonnie Jules flexes her writing chops once again, by introducing her readers to a normal, everyday family, whose lives are altered, not once, but twice by unexpected and unusual circumstances.

If you came into this story only believing in things seen with your own two eyes, and things heard with your own two ears, you walk away with a new and refreshing added sense…the ability and the courage to change, based on where your heart leads you.

 

MY REVIEW:

Open, Shut by Nonnie Jules is a poignant short story about a seemingly happy and normal family who experience the death of a loved one.

Darcy Lynn’s parents were atheists and prayer and reading the Bible were strictly prohibited in their household.

However, Darcy’s older sister, Lola was curious about Christianity and began secretly studying the Bible. She was caught once by her mother, who had a fit but that didn’t deter her from continuing her secret Bible studies and prayers. Lola also received visits from an angel who seemed to be preparing her for something.

Later, Lola became ill. During the course of her illness, she continued to pray and read her Bible, even in the presence of her mother who no longer made a fuss about it.

On one of Lola’s better days, she walked to school with Darcy and their younger brother Bobby. When she stepped off the sidewalk to cross the street she was struck by a car.

After her sister’s death, Darcy began to feel a presence in her room and strange things began to happen. She would come home to find her bedroom door and windows, closet door and dresser drawers opened when she knew she had shut them prior to leaving for school.

One day Darcy walks into her sister’s bedroom which her mother kept intact and finds Lola’s diary. While reading Lola’s diary, she learns a lot about her sister. Her sister’s words opened her eyes to many things hidden from her and changed her life.

What I enjoyed most about this short story was the author’s writing style which was believable, easy, and captivating.

Overall, Open, Shut is a worthwhile, easy short read and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading Christian stories.

Author, Nonnie Jules is president of the Rave Reviews Book Club of which I’m a proud member.

Rave Reviews Book Club is a friendly and helpful community of talented writers and avid readers.

Learn more about the club here.

Connect with Author, Nonnie Jules on Social Media!

Instagram

Twitter

Watch Nonnie Write! (Blog)

Amazon Author Page

In the spirit of sharing, I’d like to share a poem by the late Julia Donaldson called

I Opened a Book

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Photo by Fabiola Peñalba on Unsplash

 

 

I Opened a Book
By Julia Donaldson

I opened a book and in I strode.
Now nobody can find me.
I’ve left my chair, my house, my road,
My town and my world behind me.

I’m wearing the cloak, I’ve slipped on the ring,
I’ve swallowed the magic potion.
I’ve fought with a dragon, dined with a king
And dived in a bottomless ocean.

I opened a book and made some friends.
I shared their tears and laughter
And followed their road with its bumps and bends
To the happily ever after.

I finished my book and out I came.
The cloak can no longer hide me.
My chair and my house are just the same,
But I have a book inside me.

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Photograph by David Lezcano

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Celebrating Short Stories!

5 Aug

Hello! I hope everyone’s had a great start to the new week. I’m always grateful for your visit.

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Today I will share two short stories I read recently. The first, Voodoo or Destiny: You Decide was written by Jan Sikes. The second, Red Eyes in the Darkness was written by D. L. Finn. Both of these authors are extremely talented storytellers, skilled writers, as well as great supporters of the indie community and overall wonderful people. I truly enjoy their work.

 

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Author Jan Sikes

Bio:

Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, weaves stories in a creative and entertaining way. She has been called a magician and wordsmith extraordinaire by her readers and peers.
Jan self-published a series of four Biographical Fiction books with a musical twist. They chronicle the life of Texas musician, Rick Sikes, a pioneer in the Outlaw Music movement before it ever had a name. She also released a music CD of original songs which match the time period of each story.
Her newest self-pub is a unique book of poetry and art, which combines heartfelt poetry with pen-and-ink drawings.
Jan has written songs, poetry, short stories, screenplays, and novels.
She is passionate about her writing projects and is driven to tell a story with the hope that it might touch someone’s heart or life in a positive way. 

 

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Only 99¢! Click to purchase on Amazon.

My Review of Voodoo or Destiny: You Decide:

Claire’s husband asked for a divorce after confessing he was in love with another woman. Devastated she turned to her friend Jade who remained by her side to console her.

After polishing off two bottles of red wine, Jade, whose grandmother was one of New Orleans Voodoo Queens, convinces Claire to perform a mock Voodoo ritual ceremony. They dressed the part, lit red candles, and Claire even made a Voodoo doll from yarn, fabric from one of her husband’s shirts, spare buttons, and her husband’s blond hair, retrieved from his comb. Then, she stabbed two pushpins right through the doll’s heart.

The next morning Claire received an alarming phone call which made her and her friend rush out of the house. What happens next will surprise you and you’ll have to decide, was it Voodoo or destiny?

I’d recommend this story to anyone who enjoys fun, quick reads.

 

Connect with Jan Sikes on Social Media:

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

BLOG

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE


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Author D. L. Finn

Bio:

D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include children’s books, adult fiction, a unique autobiography, and poetry. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.

 

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Click on image to get your 99¢ copy on Amazon.

My Review of Red Eyes in the Darkness:

This well-written short story hooked me from the beginning and kept me at the edge of my seat with its perfect amount of delectable tension in every page.

Cass and her husband, Will were wrongfully accused and arrested for the murder of her sister. In time, they were released for lack of evidence but the damage had already been done. Family and friends no longer wanted anything to do with them and kept away.

During a visit to Cass and Will’s home, Ronald, Cass’s brother-in-law confessed to having killed her sister and threatened to do the same to them.

Cass and Will immediately called the police and informed them of everything Ronald told them but the police didn’t believe them. Ronald was a well-liked and respected individual and he had already gone to the police to tell them awful lies about the older couple. He was the one who framed them and spread rumors about them to family and friends.

Cass and Will were in a terrible predicament but they were not alone. Someone was helping them and it wasn’t the police.

I recommend this riveting short story to lovers of the supernatural.

Connect with D.L. Finn on Social Media:

TWITTER

BLOG

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

**For more information on the authors click on their pictures or social media site. For more information on their books click on the book image or Amazon Author Page.

 

Enjoy the week, my friends!

Poetry Friday ~ Clear & Nature

2 Aug

Hi, everyone! Welcome.

 

August sort of crept up on me this year. My AC is working doubly hard since it’s sweltering hot outside. Thank God for afternoon showers to cool things off. August is a big month in my family because my sisters and I all have birthdays this month. We even have a couple of cousins born in August too.

Anyway, today I wanted to talk a little about book covers and the genre of your book. Do you think book covers are important? What should book covers actually do? I believe that book covers are important because they’re the first impression your book makes on the reader. I know there’s a saying, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ but many people do. I’ve actually heard people say that they can tell the difference between a traditionally published author and an indie author by the book cover. :/

Of course, what’s most important to me is the content inside but first, you have to attract the reader to your book. An intriguing cover will tempt the reader to pick up your book and once the book is in his or her hand the next natural thing to do is to turn it around and read the blurb and that’s when you hook them with your fabulous writing. A good cover needs to grab attention immediately, be striking, beautiful, clean and professionally made, but also let readers know instantly the basic genre.

The reader should know whether your book is a fantasy, horror, romance, sci-fi . . . by looking at your book cover. The cover also often convey the geographical locations and the main character’s age and sex which is also important.

I can’t stand it when a book misrepresents itself. Call me crazy. Also, and this may seem random, let me mention that the categories on Amazon are getting more and more ambiguous every day. It’s getting hard to figure out a book’s genre. I understand that putting general categories like Fantasy, Romance or Horror alone is not good for the Amazon algorithms but some people get so creative with these categories that they’re confusing the heck out of some people (including me).

If you wrote a horror book and there are ghosts and witches in your story then Kindle store>Horror>Witches>Ghosts are great categories, but I’ve seen some weird combinations that don’t make sense and it’s obvious that the author did it to climb up the ranks. And I’m telling you, your book may come up in the ranks at first, but readers are not going to be happy when they think they’re getting a romance novel and instead are getting hardcore erotica.

I found a great article that can help you make the most of the Amazon Categories while still representing your book accurately. Read this and you’ll thank me later. How To (Ethically) Hack Amazon Categories | David Gaughran

Okay, the bottomline is to be honest about the genre of your work and make sure your book cover, blurb and Amazon Categories clearly represent that genre.

**Check out the book covers below. I’m sure you can’t mistake their genres. If you’re interested in more info. about a book click on its image.

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Your book’s genre should

be expressed plainly or

readers won’t like it

 

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In honor of my birthday, both books in my Fantasy Angels Series are on sale, through the weekend, for 99¢! Please take advantage of my birthday special and spread the word. Thank you!

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Clear and Nature are this week’s prompt words chosen by Colleen Chesebro ~ The Fairy Whisperer.

*The catch is that we can only use the synonyms to these words in our poems.

Colleen hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called, Colleen’s Weekly Tanka Tuesday Poetry Challenge every Tuesday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your Haiku, Tanka, Haibun, Etheree or Cinquain poem. She is an author and poet, and also does book reviews and so much more on her blog. Be sure to check it out.

Happy Friday and thanks for the visit! 

Shadow of the Drill by Rhani D’Chae

29 Jul

Hello, everyone! Welcome!

 

Today, I’m happy to feature on my blog the wonderful and extremely talented author, Rhani D’Chae. Rhani is a fellow member of Rave Reviews Book Club and I recently read her book, Shadow of the Drill: Born of Circumstance, Bred for Revenge and really enjoyed it. I’m sharing my review of it as well as a little information about Rhani D’Chae.

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A little about Rhani:

Rhani D’Chae is a visually disabled writer who was born and raised in Tacoma, WA. Because of her failing eyesight, she no longer reads as much as she used to, but she does enjoy falling into the worlds created by other Indie authors as often as her vision will allow. Shadow of the Drill is her first published novel and is the first in a series that revolves around an unrepentant enforcer and the violent life that he leads.

She enjoys chatting with readers and fellow writers via Social Media sites and loves getting comments and other input from those who have read her work. She is on Facebook and Twitter. Also, if you have the time, please stop by her blog: rhanidchae.wordpress.com.

Ms. D’Chae is currently working on Winter of the Drill and hopes to have it completed soon.

Check out Rhani’s blog to see what she’s up to. She shares a bit about her upcoming novel Winter of the Drill here.

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Blurb:

A Gritty and Violent Thriller.

A brutal experience transforms an unproven young tough into a ruthless killing machine.
For fifteen years he waited, building his body into an unstoppable weapon so that vengeance would be had through the strength of his will and the power of his hands.

On the bloodstained streets of a northwestern city, the enforcer known as the Drill stalks his prey. Judge, Jury, and Executioner; he seeks out those who target the weak, condemning them to the kind of justice that has made him a legend.

Here’s my review (Goodreads & Amazon):

Shadow of the Drill by Rhani D’Chae is a suspense/thriller aimed at an adult audience. This kind of thriller is different from what I’m used to reading, but I found it just as enjoyable.

The characters are well developed and I enjoyed the friendship between Decker and Rudy. Although it was difficult for me to relate to their lifestyle I could relate to their love for one another and their need for revenge. A couple of scenes dragged a bit, one character’s function in the story was not clear to me, and I caught a few typos, but these issues did not interfere with my enjoyment of the story. For the most part, it is a well-written, thrilling, and entertaining book.

As a teen, Decker witnesses the brutal rape of a girl named Maria, the person he loves above all else. He tries to save her while risking his own life, but the three men assaulting her are out of his league and overpower him easily.

Although Maria survives, the violent attack leaves her in a comatose state and unable to function normally. Decker visits her regularly at the hospital, but he is guilt-ridden and seething and swears to take revenge on the men who did this to her.

This experience triggers a change in Decker. He builds his body, gains muscle mass, and learns to fight, ensuring that he will never be helpless again. He becomes the Drill, a fearsome and vicious enforcer who will stop at nothing to get vengeance on the men who ruined Maria’s life—and his. Will Decker get his revenge? Or will this maddening thirst for retaliation consume him and ruin his chances of a happy life with a good woman?

This gritty story is about love, friendship, and revenge. I recommend this book to fans of revenge thrillers, crime drama, and violent/dark fiction.

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Visit Rhani D’Chae’s Amazon Author Page and check out all her books.

 

 

Thank you for stopping by today. Have a great week!