Archive | Rave Reviews Book Club RSS feed for this section

Poetry Friday ~ Little Black Kitty

19 Jun

It’s the third week of the month! Time for a Photo Prompt! Colleen Chesebro’s 2020 Weekly Poetry Challenge

 

Image by Huda Nur from Pixabay


Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog. I want to start by saying that I’m almost done going through my editor’s edits and the book is coming along great. I’m also working on the book cover for The Rise of Gadreel. I wanted to share an image of her with you today.

GADREEL

** I’m also a featured guest of Colleen M. Story at her Writing and Wellness Blog. I would appreciate it so much if you would visit her blog, read my author interview and comment and share. Thank you! ❤

I decided to share a lovely poem by one of my favorite poets, Emily Dickinson. In the poem, She Sights a Bird she perfectly evokes the tension of a cat about to pounce.

She sights a Bird—she chuckles—
She flattens—then she crawls—
She runs without the look of feet—
Her eyes increase to Balls—

Her Jaws stir—twitching—hungry—
Her Teeth can hardly stand—
She leaps, but Robin leaped the first—
Ah, Pussy, of the Sand,

The Hopes so juicy ripening—
You almost bathed your Tongue—
When Bliss disclosed a hundred Toes—
And fled with every one—

Thank you for stopping by my blog. Wishing all of you a peaceful, happy, and safe Friday and weekend.

“The Reckoning Squad” Cover Reveal

27 Jan

Hi, everyone! I’m excited to have Suzanne Burke as a guest on my blog today. I’m also ecstatic to be hosting the cover reveal for her new book, The Reckoning Squad. I’m a fan of Suzanne’s work, and I’ve already pre-ordered my copy. Enjoy the post!

The Reckoning Squad

By

S. Burke

Available to Pre-Order NOW.
Release Date:  Monday FEBRUARY 24th, 2020.
Mystery>Psychological Thriller & Suspense >

It is such an exciting time for an author when releasing a new book! I would be remiss in not sharing my heartfelt thanks to the marvelous people who gave of their time so readily to beta read my latest book. Their valuable insights helped me enormously when crafting “The Reckoning Squad”

At long last, I’m able to share the cover and blurb for “The Reckoning Squad” my latest Psychological Thriller.

“The Reckoning Squad ” is due for release on Monday, February 24th, 2020.

It is NOW available for Pre-Order.

I have many good friends sharing this cover across the blogosphere today and tomorrow, so you’re likely to see it pop up in various places. Thank you to everyone participating in my cover reveal splash, and to everyone dropping by to share in my excitement.   Here’s my new baby . . .

With much gratitude to Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khaleesi for the cover creation.

Cover Created by Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khaleesi

Presenting “The Reckoning Squad” A Psychological thriller.

BLURB:

The Reckoning Squad was the new name being whispered in the darkened corridors of the powerful in Washington. The name was whispered with awe, and the whispers grew louder.

Twenty people had been carefully vetted and recruited to undergo specialized training. Training engineered to break them utterly, intended to shatter everything they once believed themselves capable of surviving. Only the best of them made it through the twelve weeks of hell. They now formed a cohesive black-ops unit, known as The Reckoning Squad.

Their facility is breached, and the team’s numbers are decimated. The survivors know that they’re in a fight for their lives. They have been betrayed from within. Trust has now become a rare commodity. They want answers.

The betrayers don’t understand just what they’ve unleashed.

But they are about to find out.

The Reckoning Squad are coming, and they have just rewritten the rules.

#

Here’s an extract from the Prologue.

Prologue.

New York: November 8th, 2003.

Chastity Adams checked the time, ran a brush through her long blonde curls and hurriedly grabbed her school books. She shoved them into her backpack and slipped on her gloves. One quick look from her bedroom window was enough to tell her just how windy it was outside. The last of the fall leaves still clung bravely to the branches all the while knowing it was futile. The others swirled in small angry spirals across her backyard. She grabbed her coat, pulled on a beanie, and loosely draped a scarf across her shoulders. Chastity was unaware of how pretty she looked with her long curls falling in a soft curtain around her. Her mind was too busy to cloud it with vanity.

She suddenly recalled a decision she’d made yesterday.

Chastity hurried down the hallway to her brother Nathan’s room and knocked on the door.

Nathan stood looking down at her from his 6ft 3ins, rubbing his eyes and leaning on the wall. “What’s up, squirt?”

Chastity ignored the nickname, she’d be thirteen in a couple of days then she’d ask her big brother to quit using it, “I was just wondering if you had some gloves and maybe a beanie or scarf you don’t ever wear.”

“Why would you need them?”

Chastity flushed a deep shade of pink, “There’s this boy at school, he kinda always looks cold. He’s still wearing the same stuff he was wearing back in June. It’s way too cold now for shorts and a tee-shirt. So, I figured maybe his folks just didn’t have enough money to buy him some warmer stuff, you know? I mean he could have one of mine, but he already gets picked on enough and adding bright girl colored stuff would just make it worse.”

“You off on another one of your missions to save the world, squirt?”

“I’m not! But it just doesn’t seem right that some folks have too much and some folks never have enough. That’s all.”

Her brother looked at her closely and nodded. “Okay. I guess I have some stuff I don’t really need.”

His sister flung her arms around him. “You are the best brother ever! You wouldn’t maybe have an old hoodie as well?”

Nathan knew he’d lose an argument with his kid sister. He had never been able to deny her anything. And the little minx knew it.

His eyes followed her as she left the room with her donated bootie. He tried to shrug off the thought that his friends may start looking at his kid sister a little differently, and soon.

Then he grinned and was comforted by the knowledge that the squirt was capable of laying them out flat on the ground, courtesy of the karate lessons she’d undertaken since the age of five. If she didn’t dissuade them they’d have to come through him. That wasn’t about to happen. This whole big brother thing had suddenly altered in a way he hadn’t anticipated happening quite so soon.

***

Travis Wilson shivered as he stepped outside and hurriedly locked the front door behind him. The baggy shorts and tee-shirt he was wearing gave him no armor to fight off the cold November wind. He steeled himself to brace it, picked up his violin case and hurried to catch the school bus.

He climbed on and made his way quickly down to the back corner and grabbed the window seat. He spoke to no one and kept his eyes averted, but he couldn’t shut his ears off from hearing the nasty comments from the other kids that sat nearest to him. “You going away to a beach somewhere, freak? Don’t much like your choice of swimwear.”

The guy had secured himself a good laugh with that one.

Then the other comments started. Kids seemed to grow braver when they formed a pack. Travis knew they weren’t allcruel, not normally, but the need they had to belongtrashed all over their distaste at what they were doing. Driven by the desire to be considered popular inspired them to be as cruel as they could be. Their words lacerated his already damaged soul and Travis felt his face darken with the shame of it. He didn’t respond either by word or action, knowing they’d soon become bored with their bullying of him and move their spiteful tongues on to some other kid they deemed to be weak and an easy target.

He looked out the window and sighed with relief when he spotted Chastity Adams and her best friends readying to climb onboard at the bus stop. Chastity was different from the rest of them. He always felt a little better about his day when she’d seek him out and give him a smile. He looked across at her then, just as she turned. He knew she had caught the wistful look on his face. She simply smiled across at him and turned back to her chattering best friends.

He caught the smile and burned it into his memory. He would remember it when the darkness descended again. It would help keep him warm.

***

Purchase The Reckoning Squad on Amazon.com

Again, my grateful thanks to the generous folks sharing my Cover reveal with you today.

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Suzanne Burke Amazon Author Page

On TWITTER.

My Blog

Welcome to “The Merest Loss” Blog Tour!

6 Oct

I’m honored to welcome a fellow RRBC member and author Steven Neil to my blog. Read all about him and get a taste of his work with the excerpt he’s provided from his novel The Merest Loss. Enjoy!

Bio

Steven has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. He has been a bookmaker’s clerk, bloodstock agent, racehorse breeder and management consultant amongst other professions in his varied career. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire, England. The Merest Loss is his debut novel.

Twitter

@stevenneil12

IAN author page

https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/steven-neil.html

Buy links

Giveaways

Steven is giving away (3) Signed Paperback copies of “THE MEREST LOSS.”  For your chance to win, be sure to leave him a comment below.

From Steven Neil, the author of THE MEREST LOSS 

A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris. 

Critical plot turn and a character emerges

In chapter seven of The Merest Loss a critical plot turn occurs, when Nicholas Sly enters the narrative and changes the direction of travel of the novel. Not only does the personality of Sly show itself, but the way Harriet responds shows how her own character has developed.

Chapter Seven

The Proposition

London, England

 1841

     In Nicholas Sly’s wood-panelled office, two people sit across from each other at a large, plain desk. There is a fire laid in the fire grate, but it has not been lit. The room is chill. There has been a brief exchange of words. Sly looks at Harriet Howard over his half-moon glasses. He is a big man, thick-set and heavy-jowled. He is dressed all in black. His stomach protrudes and the thin, stockinged legs, sticking out from his frock coat, give him the appearance of a plump, black cockerel.

     ‘You’re asking me to be a courtesan,’ she says.

     ‘I am asking you to be a patriot,’ he says. 

     ‘You’re asking me to spy for a secret government service?’

     ‘Oh Miss Howard, don’t be so melodramatic. Her Majesty’s Government does not have a secret service and it does not employ spies. We are asking you to place yourself in our care and to be available to entertain the company of certain, distinguished gentlemenwhen we require it. Otherwise, you are free to proceed as you wish … but with certain restrictions of course.’

     ‘And what would these restrictions be?’

     ‘So you are accepting our proposition and we are now discussing the arrangements. Is that correct, Harriet?’

     ‘No sir, I am not. You’ve apprehended me without warning and brought me here against my wishes. My answer is no. I would be grateful if you would allow me to leave. And you may not call me Harriet.’

     ‘Ah, Miss Howard,’ he says. He lets out a long sigh.

     Minutes pass. He looks at her more closely. She is young, slim and elegantly dressed. He is struck by her red hair, which hangs in ringlets and frames a pale face, with piercing, brown eyes and high cheekbones. He notices that her features are not augmented with the powder and rouge that are the order of the day. He considers that she is not quite what he expected.

     ‘I rather hoped all this would be unnecessary,’ he says. ‘It is most irregular that you need persuasion.’

     ‘I have nothing further to say.’

     He sits forward at his desk and rests his chin on his hands, which he has clasped together, as if in prayer. She looks towards the window and sits upright. There is a slight pout ather lips.

     ‘I want you to think about this carefully,’ he begins again. ‘We have taken an interest in you for some time now. We know a great deal about your situation. You have received an excellent education, you are an accomplished horsewoman, you speak French tolerably well and I am told that men of a certain type find you attractive. The Duke of Grafton and Lord Normanby speak very highly of you. I rather hoped that you would wish to use your talents in the service of Queen and country. It is an honour to be asked.’

     ‘I will not be at anyone’s beck and call. I will not be bullied.’

     ‘You will have a great deal of freedom. Rather more than might be imagined. We can arrange somewhere superior to live. There will be a dress allowance. You will be able to attend all the balls one could wish for. Lady Blessington will look after you and introduce you properly into London society. It is a wonderful opportunity for a young lady in your position.’

     ‘You know nothing about my “position” as you call it. I have a career as an actress. I am making my own way in life. I wish to make my own choices.’

     ‘An actress, Miss Howard. Are we talking in euphemisms now?’

     ‘Do not patronise me, sir. I have made my reputation through hard work.’

     ‘Oh,my word. Reputation isit? Hard work? I have no doubt your efforts are appreciated.’

     ‘My answer has not changed.’

     ‘You drive a hard bargain, Miss Howard. Time was when a young lady like you would be happy to join us. I always find it quite distasteful to talk about money, but you are rather forcing my hand on the matter. You will receive a generous allowance, on top of the arrangements I have already explained. I cannot name a figure, but it will not be unacceptable, I believe.’

     ‘I am not interested. I have nothing more to say.’

     ‘Come, come. It is not as if I am asking you to do something you have not done before. We are simply improving the terms, so to speak.’

     ‘Do not press me. You have my answer.’

     ‘You are beginning to test my patience. We can perhaps see our way to the provision of a personal maidif that would help, but really we are reaching the end of our negotiation on the matter.’

     Nicholas Sly’s brow creases. He is accustomed to acceptance. He wonders where the young woman, little more than a girl, is finding the confidence to cross him like this.

     ‘I am going to give you one more chance. There is nothing more on the table. If you resist our offer, you will not find us so convivial the next time.’

     The light at the windows fades and a servant arrives with a taper, to ignite the oil lamps. Sly holds up his hand, palm outwards, and the servant backs away through the doorway. He snaps a match into a sulphurous flame and lights one candle, on the desk in front of him. He watches the candle sputter and smoke, as the tallow begins to burn off. He waits.

     ‘I will not bow to threats,’ she says.

     ‘You and I are going to meet again and I will not be so conciliatory. You are a very foolish young lady. I see that you do not have the wit to understand what is being offered. I am very disappointed.’

     ‘Perhaps I am not what you are looking for.’

© Steven Neil

THE MEREST LOSS is available in paperback and eBook in the UK, US, France, Canada and Australia. 

Follow Steven Neil on https://twitter.com/stevenneil12 for information on how to purchase the paperback through an independent bookseller in the UK.

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  Thanks for supporting this author and his work! 

Quote

Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, @VashtiQV

16 Aug

Hello, everyone! My books and I are featured at Author, Colleen Chesebro’s blog. I’d like to invite you to visit her blog and check it out. If you enjoy the interview, please share it on social media. I appreciate the support. Happy Friday!

 

Conversations With Colleen-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-author_interview-writer-indie-supernatural-occult-horror

 

via Conversations With Colleen: Meet Author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega, @VashtiQV

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.

rave reviews book club-rrbc-rhani d'chae-author-indie author-book_blogger

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.

Rhani D'Chae-thriller-author-shadow of the drill-indie

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.

Rhani D'Chae-indie-author-thriller-Decker-shadow of the drill-book_blogger-RRBC

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

Poetry Friday ~ Random Acts Of Kindness

17 May

Hi, everyone! 

 

Poetry_Friday-garden-The Writer Next Door-vashti quiroz vega-Vashti Q-poetry-RRBC

This week has been “Random Acts of Kindness” week at the Rave Reviews Book Club and I must tell you it’s been an amazing week filled with love, generosity, and numerous selfless acts. I’ve never been happier or more proud to be a member of the RRBC because I’m surrounded by extremely talented, kind, and unselfish people. I’d like to thank Nonnie Jules, the founder of the club, her supporting staff, Tweet Support Team, sponsors, and all the members that participated in this event and have shown me love all year round. A sincere thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Nonnie Jules-Rave Reviews Book Club-RRBC-book club-The Writer Next Door-vashti quiroz vega-Vashti Q-blogger-Poetry_Friday

 

T  Author D.L. Finn (Blog)

H Natalie Ducey & Designs (Blog)

A Suzanne Burke (Amazon Author Page)

N Join The Adventure! | Author, Karl J. Morgan (Blog)

K Fiction Favorites with Author, John Howell (Blog)

 

Y Scribblings of a Southern Belle | Marlena Smith (Blog)

O Gordon Bickerstaff (Amazon Author Page)

U Books and Music | Author, Jan Sikes (Blog)

 

V THE INDIE SPOT! | Author, Beem Weeks (Blog)

E Flossie Benton Rogers, Author | Conjuring the Magic (Blog)

R M. J. Mallon YA/Paranormal Author (Blog)

Y Wendy Scott Award-Winning Writer of Fantasy & Books for Children (Blog)

 

M Stephen Geez.com (Author Blog)

U My Independent Editor | Susan A. Hughes (Blog)

C Lizzie Chantree (Amazon Author Page)

H Emotional Shadows | Author, Balroop Singh (Blog)

 

M The Showers of Blessings | Author Miriam Hurdle (Blog)

Y Author, Forrest Robert Stepnowski (Amazon Author Page)

 

F Reflections by Gwen M. Plano (Author Blog)

R The Long and Short Stories of Life | Author, Linda Mims (Blog)

I Writing What I See | Author, Charles W. Jones (Blog)

E Author, Joy Nwosu LoBamijoko (Amazon Author Page)

N Outshine Ovarian Cancer | Author, Karen Ingalls (Blog)

D Rhani And Friends | Author, Rhani D’Chae (Podcast)

S Our Lady of Victory Remembered! | Shirley Harris-Slaughter (Blog)

! Yvette M. Calleiro’s Author Blog 

! Mary Adler Writes (Author Blog)

 ♥

Pay it Forward-Vashti Q-the writer next door-vashti quiroz vega-Poetry_Friday-grattitude-poems

Grateful for good friends

Their kindness, it knows no end

I’ll pay it forward

So that all can comprehend

What it’s like to have good friends

karl j morgan-author-RRBC-Poetry_Friday-pay it forward-vashti quiroz vega-the writer next door-Vashti Q

Thanks for the visit! Enjoy the rest of the day!

 

 

 

RRBC “Spotlight” Author Blog Tour ~ Charles W. Jones

7 May

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog.

 

I am a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club (#RRBC) and every month a “Spotlight” author is selected. I am thrilled to host this month’s “Spotlight” Author, so please welcome Charles W. Jones

Today Charles is sharing an excerpt from his horror book, Circus Tarot. I hope you enjoy it.

 

 

author-charles w jones-blog tour-RRBC-Rave Reviews Book Club-Vashti Quiroz Vega-the writer next door-Vashti Q-spotlight_author-book club

 

 

BIO:

Charles W. Jones grew up in the small town Shoshoni, WY, and he managed to break free from its grasp with his soul intact. Growing up in a small town scared him to death most of the time. It’s very dark at night – really dark. To top it off, it is full of ghosts; well, that’s what Charles thought when he was a kid. Turns out it was just the constant wind blowing dirt and tumbleweeds. Two of Charles’ novels are set in Shoshoni, Dreamwalker: The Second Plain and HOME A Novel.

There isn’t a part of the horror genre Charles doesn’t like. He likes it creepy, filled with suspense, or even brutal with intense torture scenes. His favorite horror movies have always been the slasher movies; give him the gore. Clive Barker is Charles’ greatest influence but is also inspired by Lewis Carroll, Stephen King, and Frank Beddor. Real life is a large contributor to his writing, where he finds beauty in the most unexpected places.

Music has always been a great contributor to Charles’ life, by means of not only entertainment but the personal soundtrack. When he writes, he listens to different types of music to set the mood of the scene he is writing. Eurythmics will always be at the top of his playlist, but many other bands and genres occupy his mind.

 

 

About Circus Tarot

In the strange land of World Circus, Mary and Darrin discover they aren’t in their safe, dull life any longer, but have taken the identity of one of the cards from the Circus Tarot. After a terrorizing encounter, resulting in death, they learn the bizarre rules of the land and discover that the denizens of the sinister World Circus want more than to entertain them.

 

RRBC-Rave Reviews Book Club-blog tour-Charles Jones-vashti quiroz vega-Vashti Q-author-book

 

I think there’s something special about Circus Tarot. Not only did I create a world, but I also created 78 cards to represent everything and everyone in it. Each has two personalities, depending on whether they are “flipped” or not. Some changes aren’t physically noticeable, like Moon when is present, you wouldn’t know from looking at him, but you’d feel insecure or unsure or even terrified. Flip him, and you find your way through the chaos without trouble. The following excerpt is about Nine of Buckets, the “wish card.”

 

Chapter 17

Mary pinned her hair into a tight bun. She was excited to have a full house tonight after only having the Midgets and Poles the previous night. Muffled applause wafted on the breeze to her trailer, alerting her Magician’s act was coming to a close. An elephant let off a trumpet, intensifying her titillation for Darrin to see her under the silvery light of Star. The elephants led the Wild Animal Extravaganza. After the animals came Empress and Emperor on the trapeze covered in Star’s inspiring illumination, then her magnificent performance. The Clowns closed the show.

Once again, after the Ladies and Gentlemen returned to their castle, the performers were allowed to do whatever they chose now that the curfew and treaty had been lifted, and she and Darrin had the chance to spend the night however they wished.

She heard whispering and lewd giggles outside her trailer. She leaned to the side to look through the window slats. A few Clowns passed the window. They acted stranger than usual this afternoon. She wrinkled her nose, looking back into the mirror; her hair looked fantastic.

Scraping at the end of the trailer distracted her from her reflection. She turned her head, wondering what it was. She stood and went to the door. Outside, the Clowns had become restless. They were flipped, and no longer forced to maintain control of their primal needs. Mary hoped they held back until after the show, but it seemed they wanted to play now.

Nine of Buckets walked around the trailer. His thick fingernails scraped the pink paint from the walls. He smelled High Priestess, and it hungered him. The Ace had said she and Knight of Foils were his. It wasn’t fair, why did he get first dibs? Besides, didn’t she belong to Devil? He stopped at the door, seeing her silhouette in the frosted glass slats of the jalousie window. His swollen lips formed into a pucker, and he whistled.

“Don’t be a pervo, Nine,” she said, rolling her eyes. “I’m not ready for you to take me to World Tent yet.”

The sound of her voice made his hunger grow. Licking his full lips, he thought of his teeth nibbling her supple flesh, then ripping and pulling it from the bone.

“I thought you’d wish to see your fantabulous man before you performed.” He laughed.

“What a marvelous idea,” she replied to the happy thought. “Let me grab my wrap, and we’ll go.”

Nine of Buckets mocked her, mouthing back what she had said, tilting his head side-to-side, then muttered, “Stupid bitch.”

She turned the knob. He licked his lips. Her eyebrow pencil rolled across the vanity, then fell to the floor. She turned her head, watching it roll toward her. She released the doorknob, squatting to take the pencil. With the pencil back in the cup with make-up brushes and combs, the door slowly swung open.

Nine of Buckets watched the door move toward him and stepped back. His heart accelerated with anticipation, expecting her to step outside. Any second now. He squinted. Why hadn’t she come out of her trailer? He waited another second. Confused, he eased himself to the door and peered in. Gone. Where was she? He looked around spastically.

“What is the meaning of this, Magician?” she demanded outside World Tent.

“The House of Buckets is completely flipped,” he warned. “And I’m afraid they meant you harm, High Priestess.”

“Oh, well, I see. Thank you.”

“No need to thank me,” he replied. “Devil sent me to check on you.”

She stared at him without further word, and he vanished in a puff of smoke. Pulling open the side of World Tent, she peered in. He had delivered her to the First Ring entrance while her horses were at the Center Ring entrance. She saw the side of the risers and turned heads watching the lions and tigers and…she smirked.

Following the corridor behind the grandstands toward the Center Ring entrance, she watched pieces of popcorn fall like snow. Shadows jumped and bounced around her from the Ladies and Gentlemen above.

“Fab-u-rific to see you, High Priestess,” the Clown said.

She froze in her tracks. In the lattice of the grandstands’ under-workings, an exuberant Clown smiled at her. She squeaked.

“Oh, how horrific of me to startle you,” Fool apologized. “I must be a sight, what with the House of Buckets being flipped and all.”

“It’s OK. I just didn’t expect anyone to be back here.” She paused, looking him over. The dancing shadows made his orange and purple striped pajamas pulsate. “What are you doing in there?”

“I’m rehearsing my tightrope routine,” he replied in a stern Clown tone.

She looked down at the pink-fuzzy slippers on his feet balancing on a rope: his white-with-pink, polka-dot parasol dangled from his left hand.

“Why don’t you do it in the rehearsal arena?”

He looked at her with disappointed disbelief.

“What?”

“You want me dead.”

“No, I—”

“If I were to fall from this height,” he interrupted. “It’d be certain death for me.” Her eyes returned to the tightrope. It stood no more than a foot from the ground. “In here, if I feel woe-belly, I can grab hold of the rails or crossbars.”

“Uh, all right,” she said, shaking her head. “Well, carry on then.”

“Thank you, High Priestess.” Fool grinned. “Have a funnerific night.”

She smiled back at him, continuing her journey. A partially eaten fluff of cotton candy floated down in front of her. She looked up to see a small girl glaring down. She winked, putting her finger to her mouth to keep the girl quiet.

She looked behind her at the curve of the grandstand’s backside, never realizing how far it was to the Center Ring entrance. I haven’t passed it, have I? She thought. Nine of Buckets stepped from the folds of World Tent a short distance away. She stopped, fear attacking her. His hands twitched at his sides.

“There you are,” he said, his puffy lips barely moving when he spoke. “I thought you wished for me to be your escort as always.”

“Well, I thought so, too,” she replied, looking for a way to get past him. “Then Magician whisked me away without my consent.” She choked out a laugh.

She saw his demeanor was not his usual joviality. He appeared tense. His eyes were dark. The puffiness of his full lips was taught, making the red grease paint crack. The Clown shook as though he were detoxing. She swallowed hard.

“It’s OK, High Priestess.” His voice cracked. “I can take you the rest of the way. Your wish is my command.”

She forced a smile. “Since I’m almost there already, you don’t need to.”

“I insist.” He quivered.

She stared at him without moving. His pink tongue slipped between his lips, quickly, sweeping across them. He shuffled toward her. Her pulse quickened. She willed her legs to move, but they did not respond. He came closer, his breath harsh and body shaking.

Finally, her legs realized the urgency of flight, and she turned, running. The layers of her sheer dress ruffled in her propulsion. She reached the First Ring entrance in no time, and without looking back to see where Nine of Buckets was, she shot into the Circus grounds at the back of World Tent.

She hoped for a chance to stop and catch her breath once she had made it outside, but to her dismay, other Buckets were lurking there. Deciding her trailer to be safest place wait out the Clown revolt, she kept up her pace. Possessed laughter followed as she ran to the trailers. Ahead, Knight of Tokens glared up at Knight of Buckets.

“Stop it now and get ready for your act,” the Token yelled with a gravelly voice.

She skidded to a stop in the gravel, her shoes erupting a dust cloud. The Knights looked in her direction. Her eyes bounced around as she decided what to do. She ran towards the main Circus entrance, then veered back towards the area where the high fence opened to the Poles area. Wicked laughter pushed her to move faster. Running past the House of Poles’ campfire, she shot into the woods. Moon’s reflection glittered in Meeting of Wood Lake, but she didn’t stop to take in the sights.

 

Don’t forget to get your copy of Circus Tarot at Amazon.

 

Connect with Charles W. Jones on social media:

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

WEBSITE

 

Thank you for stopping by and have a great day!

 

Author, Miriam Hurdle | Songs of Heartstrings

18 Mar

Hi, everyone! I hope you’ve had a great start to the new week.

Today I’m happy to introduce a lovely lady who also happens to be a wonderful poet and writer. She has a new release, a poetry book called, Songs of Heartstrings. Please help me welcome, Author, Miriam Hurdle.

miriam hurdle-Poetry-author-vashti quiroz vega-Vashti Q-blog tour-new_book-The Writer Next Door

Author, Miriam Hurdle

About the Author

Miriam Hurdle is an Amazon Best-Selling Author. She writes poetry, flash fiction, short stories, and memoir. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, Outcast, and More Words.

She is passionate about poetry and her favorite poets are Robert Frost with his poems “The Road Not Taken,” and Linda Pastan with her poem “To a Daughter Leaving Home.”

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

Along with her brother, she took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California.

From the Author

My garden is a sanctuary to me. I love to have my morning coffee in the garden, walking around to appreciate the flowers, plants, butterflies and birds. A baby hummingbird was born in my garden in June 2018. He spent the winter in my garden while the parents flew south for several weeks. My husband and I travel frequently. The moments in nature near and far touch deep in my heart and soul and inspire my thoughts and words.

songs of heartstrings-miriam hurdle-new_book-poetry-the writer next door-vashti quiroz vega-Vashti Q-blog tour

From Amazon

Human beings have the will power to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

 

Songs of Heartstrings plays the melancholy tune of the suffering and transcending to the melody of serenity and peace. It is a road traveled with optimism, hope and appreciation amid heartache circumstances and an unpredictable cancer. It also celebrates true love and fulfilling relationships.

 

Hurdle in her poetry collection includes nine themes: Songs of Nature, Songs of Dissonance, Songs of Physical Healing, Songs of Marriage, Songs of Parenthood, Songs of Tribute, Songs of Reflections, Songs of Challenge, and Songs of Inspiration. Each of these themes covers various aspects of her life experience. Many poems are illustrated with her photos and watercolor paintings.

 

The poems in this collection are inspiring to the mind, heart and spirit. The readers will echo with these experiences.

 

Poem from Songs of Nature

Hibisbus-poem-flower-Miriam Hurdle-blog tour-new release-Vashti Quiroz Vega-The WriterNext Door-Vashti Q

Hibiscus

 

Hibiscus flowers,

red and yellow.

They bloom today,

wither tomorrow.

Their colors are

cheerfully bright,

velvety petals

thin with energy.

Yet they live

only for one day.

Wrinkles appear on

faces soon to be next.

Sigh! What a pity!

Why not stay?

They have no worry,

nature was made.

When they’re alive,

they live fully.

Give them all,

for Creator’s glory!

Poem from Songs of Inspiration

Solitude-inspiration-Poetry-Miriam Hurdle-blog tour-book-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q

Solitude

Everywhere, I hear noises and voices,

I quickly answer and respond.

Every day, I receive demands and comments,

I rush to comply and improvise.

Every hour, I see needs and pleas,

I passionately lend my ears.

The momentum is like a snowball,

where to stop, no idea at all.

Once in a while, I unplug myself

to be away from the

noises and voices,

demands and comments,

needs and pleas,

and land myself in solitude,

where I could attend my voice and

the voice from above, to

reacquaint my inner self,

refresh my private thoughts,

re-lubricate my soul,

rejuvenate my energy,

reignite my spirit, so to

return to the world, and

be of better service.

My Review:

 

Songs of Heartstrings by Miriam Hurdle is a lovely collection of freestyle poetry written from the heart.

 

The book is divided into nine sections of songs that cover much of what the author has gone through in life, from getting married and giving birth, to losing a parent and surviving cancer. Reading this book felt very intimate at times, because it seemed the author’s heart and soul went into writing it. At the start of each section the author shares quotes which I liked. I also enjoyed the photographs and drawings that she shared with some of the poems.

 

I had many favorite poems but “Mom and Dad” is at the top of my list. I loved it, because it reminded me so much of my own parents.

 

A wonderful poetry book by Miriam Hurdle.

 

 

Connect with Miriam on Social Media:

Contact the Author:

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW?ref=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Website: https://theshowersofblessings.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miriam.hurdle.1

 

Links to Purchase the Book:

Amazon Universal Link: http://smarturl.it/SongsofHeartstrings

Amazon UK Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07K1S47W9 

Amazon.com Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B07K1S47W9 

 

 

Thank you for stopping by and for your support!

 

Author, D. L. Finn in the house!

10 Mar

Have you ever read a book that haunted you for weeks afterward? That’s what happened to me when I read “The Button”, a paranormal thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat.

Today I am exited to feature the talented author of The Button,

D. L. Finn.

D.L. Finn-author-blog tour-the button-book-the writer next door-vashti quiroz vega-Vashti Q

D. L. Finn (Denise) is not only a talented writer, she’s a woman to be admired. One of the many things I love about her is that she isn’t afraid to embrace her inner child and enjoy life. She’s a quirky book “Dragon”, a massive supporter of other writers, book blogger, wife, mother . . . I could go on and on, but I’ll let her take it from here.

 

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 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA.  She immersed herself in reading all types of books,but especially loved romance, horror andfantasy. She always treasured creating her ownreality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks and cedars, her creativity was cradled until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to her readers to join her.

 

The Button-novel-D.LFinn-guest blogger-The WriterNext Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-blog tour

Click book image to get book on Amazon.

The Blurb:

Lynn Hill left a difficult childhood behind when she turned eighteen. The 1980s were going to be the beginning of a great life. Then what started as an ordinary evening out with her best friend, Stacy, turns into a nightmare. Lynn hears warnings: “Go!” “Leave!” Believing she is hearing things after partying too much, she goes back for one more drink before going home. That decision sets off a chain of events that nothing could have prepared her for. While humans and not-so-human beings are attempting to either help or harm her, Lynn risks everything to find the only person she trusts, Stacy. Who can help her? The stepbrother who shows up right when she needs him or the attractive, helpful bartender who gives her his phone number? Lynn must learn to trust again. Her survival depends on it in this paranormal thriller.

“The Button” excerpt is from the beginning of Chapter 2. Lynn had gone out to a night club with her best friend, Stacy. When she wakes up the next morning, she doesn’t recognize her surroundings:

 

Beep! Beep! Beep!

 

The alarm sounded before Lynn had even started dreaming. It took a couple of attempts to stop the irritating sound.

 

“Who moved the button?” she mumbled, finally making the sound stop. Her stomach flopped, and she quickly threw back the unfamiliar silky black comforter and ran to a strange yellow bathroom, where she threw up.

 

She had no idea where she was, but at least the resident was still asleep. Funny, she thought she had gone home last night. Wow, that was some strong whiskey.She quietly sneaked back into the room, grabbed her scattered clothes, and got dressed.

 

She noticed black hair sticking out from under the black satin bedding. His wallet was tossed on the floor. She carefully picked it up and found his driver’s license. His name was Todd John Smith, and he had turned twenty-four last month. The name and the good-looking face didn’t trigger any recognition. No one she remembered dancing with. Did we have sex?Not that it mattered; she’d started taking the pill a couple of years ago, but there were other things. Well, she wouldn’t worry about that. He had a Kaiser medical card, twenty dollars, an ATM card, and a AAA card. A rather empty wallet, by her standards. It was time to get out of there, and quietly. She’d find a pay phone and call Stacy to come get her, unless she found her car outside.

 

She surveyed the room to make sure she wasn’t forgetting anything. She put on her shoes, and as she picked up her purse, she saw that his hairy foot was sticking out of the covers. She tried to cover it up and touched it briefly. It was ice cold. She wanted to get out of there, but she couldn’t. What if there’s something wrong with him? She set her purse down, lifted the comforter, and peeked at his face. Why is he so pale? He was either the quietest sleeper or very sick.

D.L. Finn-author-blog tour-rave reviews book club-Vashti Quiroz Vega-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-novel-readers

 

My review of The Button:

Lynn grew up in an abusive home. She tried to commit suicide when she was only fourteen years old. When she turned eighteen she left home and tried to make a better life for herself. She began to think that the worse was behind her, until one night out partying with her best friend Stacy turned her life into a whirlwind of nightmare proportions filled with murder, drugs, fear and so much more.

Lynn has two guardian angels looking over her but their actions are limited due to the fact that they cannot interfere with mankind’s free will. They leave clues for her and communicate one-word warnings to try to help her any way they can. Will this be enough to save her from the demon behind all the chaos?

The Button by D.L. Finn is a suspenseful, well-written story that at moments will have you sitting at the edge of your seat. The characters are well developed and interesting. Lynn and her best friend are very relatable and I found myself rooting for them. The evildwel is a great villain––one you’ll love to hate. Overall, this book is a fun and entertaining Paranormal Suspense story that I highly recommend.

 

 

**You can watch and listen to Denise reading The Button here.

 

Follow the lovely and talented Author, D.L. Finn on Social Media:

 

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

D.L. Finn-author-writer-books-Amazon-the writer next door-vashti q-vashti quiroz vega-blog tour

Be sure to check out all of author, D.L. Finn’s books on Amazon. Click on image to go to Amazon.

Have a great new week!

RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB’S “SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour

3 Mar

Hello, everyone! I’m back from vacation and beyond excited to start the week hosting Rave Reviews Book Clubs March “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Julie Watson!

Julie Watson-author-writer-rave reviews book club-blog tour-new book

 

Author Bio

Julie grew up in a small, rural town in New Zealand. After leaving school, she worked at the local maternity annexe as a nurse aide, which gave her a love for caring for mothers and babies. Life could not have been happier, until the death of her second baby at birth led to depression, loneliness and despair.

Julie’s first book Born for Life: A Midwife’s Story follows her journey to overcome the challenges she faced to become the midwife that she was born to be.

She always had a dream to travel and work in a developing country. She had the opportunity to work as a midwife in many countries – including Zambia, Africa where she worked at Kalene Mission Hospital.

Julie’s second book Born for Life: Midwife in Africa describes her experiences living and working in Africa. She shares her incredible journey to make a difference in the lives of African women and their babies.

Julie lives in Palmerston North, New Zealand with her husband, Barry. She has recently retired and enjoys writing, traveling, volunteer work and spending time with her friends and family.

◊*******

Julie Watson-author-midwife-new book-blog tour-rave reviews book club-Facebook

BORN FOR LIFE: A Midwife’s Story

 Julie Watson

 

An inspirational story about overcoming adversity and fulfilling a childhood dream.

 

The true story of Julie Watson’s journey to become the midwife she was born to be.

 

Although as a young girl she’d dreamed of being a nurse, she left school early and worked as a nurse aide at Pahiatua Maternity Annexe. At the age of 17 she married, then, at 20, pregnant with her second child, tragedy struck. Her baby died within an hour of birth, and the trauma started a long battle with depression and suicidal thoughts.

 

She was drawn back to the church she attended as a child and after lot of soul searching and wondering if she might ever see her baby that had died, Julie gave her life to Christ and became a committed Christian.

 

Julie had two more children, both born with albinism. She continued to work as a nurse aide, the dream of becoming a registered nurse seeming out of reach.  But a chance meeting with a mature nursing student reignited her dream.

 

To her delight, Julie was accepted into Nursing School in 1991, at the age of 37. In her first year of training, she suffered a stroke.  With her ability to study compromised, Julie continued on and found the perseverance and determination to not only qualify as a Registered Nurse, but to then go on to train as a Midwife.

 

Julie worked as an independent midwife in Pahiatua for 7 years, then in Cambridge, England, returning to New Zealand in 2006 where she has worked at Palmerston North Hospital as a core midwife.

 

The stories in the book illustrate birth as viewed by a wide-eyed young nurse aide in the 1970s through to modern day midwifery as experienced by the independent midwife Julie became.

 

This true memoir gives hope when life becomes difficult and challenging and illustrates that when a person trusts God all things work for good and dreams do come true.

*  *  *

 

Born for Life-midwife_story-Julie Watson-author-Rave Reviews Book Club

 

Born for Life: A Midwife’s Story

From a young age Julie pondered what she would do with her life. A job as a nurse aide in the local Maternity Annexe at the age of sixteen gave her a love for being with women during labour and birth and caring for mothers and their babies.

Life could not have been happier, married to the man she loved and the birth of a son.  The tragic and unexpected death of her second baby in her first hour of life led to depression, loneliness and despair.

Born for Life: A Midwife’s Story tells of Julie’s struggle to overcome tragedy and who triumphs to become the midwife that she was born to be.

The many birth stories are told from an era in the 1970s through the eyes of a young nurse aide to modern day midwifery in New Zealand as an independent midwife with her own caseload.

 

Follow Julie online!

 

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Amazon author page