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Poetry Friday – BookTour: The Rise of Gadreel -4

16 Apr

Hi, everyone! Welcome. Thank you for visiting my blog today.

Heroes & Villians

Heroes and villains seem harder to define
when somethings happen to blur the lines
The villain style of justice may appear better than no justice at all
When the system fails the victim and makes the victim feel so small
Where are the Heros when evil abounds?
Are they still around? 
Who fights for truth and justice throughout the land?
Who is brave enough to take a stand?
Remember heroes often are easily disguised as ordinary people and don't stand out in a crowd
Their anonymity allows them to work behind the scenes 
they effectively crush the evil villains dreams.
The Heros tirelessly fight for truth and justice and selflessly care for others in need.
They support and encourage those that the villains of this world have knocked down.
The villains can too easily be found courtesy of our television screen they often make a showing on the 6 or 10 o clock news they are promoting violence they don't care about anyone else's views.
As far as Heros go you may discover that a Heros heart is contained inside of You.
Hero or Villain?
The choice is yours
Today you could take a stand to right some societal wrong
Today you can be strong and be a Hero to a friend or loved one or a stranger in need. To them can  make a difference indeed.
Hero's Traits:
H elping
E ncouraging 
R espectful
O pportunity 
Perhaps these traits are within you
Be the Hero that you long to see! 

Poem by Ann M. Johnson


Every story needs its hero and its villain. They are both important to the plot. I enjoy a villain who believes he’s the hero in the story. I also enjoy a villain who is clever, proud, vengeful, deceitful, merciless, and who totally embraces his dark side.

These are a few of my favorite villains:

Annie Wilkes from Stephen King’s Misery. A nurse and serial killer, Annie, rescues her favorite novelist Paul Sheldon from certain death after a horrible automobile accident. She sweetly nurses him back to health, only to break his legs with a sledgehammer after she finds out his plan to end her favorite novel series. She loved him, but she had to save him from himself. 😉

Cersei Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. Cersei was extremely clever and had many of the same characteristics of a hero but was completely misdirected. Everything she did was for “the good of the family,” especially, her kids, which she adored. Unfortunately, her eldest son and daughter were poisoned, and her youngest committed suicide.

Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris. Dr. Hannibal Lector was charming, classy, well read, and highly intelligent. He was also a terrifying, serial killing, cannibal psychiatrist. He knew what he was and embraced his evil ways completely.

In The Rise of Gadreel, the main villain is Satan, who escapes his earthly prison with the help of Lilituen witches by absorbing the body and essence of a young sorcerer, Abigor Chailín. Abigor volunteered to be Satan’s vessel, even though he knew he would perish. During the process of absorption Abigor’s knowledge, experience, and innate magical powers passed on to Satan, who would take over his identity. The following excerpt is in Abigor Chailín’s (Satan’s) voice.

Excerpt:

The day moved at the pace of a three-toed sloth, and when evening came at last, bodies willing and able to do my bidding crammed the great hall.

“The time has come,” I said. “Gadreel and her allies, dubbed the Fearless Five, shall enter the gates of London soon, and we must be ready.”

A Lilituen monk stepped forward, his head hung to avoid eye contact, and he wrung his hands as he spoke. “Many have spoken of a persuasive phantom who accompanies Gadreel, as well as a warrior priest who shifts into a fiend at will, a mighty sorceress, and a rock giant.” 

I watched him squirm for a while, and then stepped toward him. 

“Look at me!” I said. His eyes met mine. “Peasants tend to exaggerate, making issues appear grander than they are. But even if matters were as they claimed, who cares? Have we not formidable warriors and sorcerers in our midst? And most importantly, you have me, and there is not a creature on Earth who can defeat me. Do you disagree?”

            “No, Master,” he said. “The people of London, especially the peasants, suffer cold, sickness, and hunger. Their opinion of you, Master, if I may speak freely”—he paused and waited for my permission to go on—“has declined.”

            “And why should I care about the opinions of peasants?”

            “Because they may decide to join forces with the Fearless Five against us.” 

            “You stand in a room filled with mighty warriors, sorcerers, and demons, and you are worried about a handful of emaciated farmers? Oh ye of little faith.”

            “God is on their side,” the monk said.

            “You forget God is up there, and I am down here.” And with those words I placed my hands on the monk’s head, whispering a spell under my breath. 

Soon, my hands took on a green aura, and his face came to be the color of a pickled cherry. He convulsed, his eyes bulging out of their sockets, blisters distorting his skin as it darkened to the color of a ripe plum. Steam exploded from his ears, followed by dark blood which also oozed from his eyes and mouth. I lifted my hands and he crumbled, dead, to the ground.

            “Take away this filth,” I instructed my servants. They came forth and did my bidding in haste. “Anyone else have doubts? There’s no time for misgivings. Either you are with me or against me. Decide which it is, here and now.”

            The assembled remained quiet.

            “I shall take your silence to mean that you are with me and ready to do all that I ask of you. The whole of England is in peril, and so is the church. I’ll restore order, and the people shall keep the faith. First, drastic measures are required.”

Lilituens – A sect of witches and sorcerers which include demons and half-breeds with innate magical powers.

Fearless Five – A band of heroes that defend and protect human beings from evil forces. Gadreel, Dracúl, Thomas, Sabina, and Golem make up the Fearless Five.

I hope you enjoyed the post. Thank you for visiting!

Poetry Friday: The Rise of Gadreel – 2

2 Apr

Hello, everyone. Welcome. This is the 2nd post in my book tour. But, before I get on with it, I wanted to dedicate the following poem to the lovely and talented Sue Vincent who is no longer in the land of the living. She will be sorely missed.

She Made Words Talk

She walks in beauty

among the clouds with angels

reciting poems

She was a proper poet

Sue had a way with language

The main character in The Rise of Gadreel is a fallen angel. Gadreel was never evil, but she fell into the wrong crowd and did bad things, influenced by her close friend Lilith. After her fall from grace, she had plenty of time to ponder her many mistakes. Remorseful and ashamed, she no longer wanted to follow those evil creatures that got her exiled from her home in heaven. She escaped them and has looked for ways to make amends and find God’s forgiveness, ever since. She and Dracúl, son of fallen angels, found each other and became close friends. Together, and with the help of three unlikely allies; Thomas, Golem and Sabina set out to save mankind from an evil force that has awakened and threatened to end the world, as we know it.

Now that you’re a little more familiar with Gadreel, I’d like to introduce you to some of the other characters from The Rise of Gadreel.

Thomas:

Thomas was once the youngest of a group of Cathar monks living in a monastery. He was a cantor and tended to the gardens. When his brethren discovered certain scrolls not admitted into Catholicism, they began to document them. The church accused them of heresy, and one night, warrior monks attacked the monastery. All the monks, including Thomas, were forced out to the courtyard where they were burned alive. Since then, the monastery has been haunted by the spirits of the monks who were wrongly accused and suffered a terrible death. Thomas is a kind soul who still sings and tends the gardens, but many of the ghosts have grown restless and furious against God and the church. Their souls have been mutated into something evil and corrupted, and Thomas is trapped in the monastery with them.

Sabina:

Sabina’s mother was a white witch, a beautiful and caring woman. One day she became ill. White witches from all over the country came to their village to try to save her, to no avail. Sabina never knew her father and so became orphaned once her mother died. The people of the village loved Sabina’s mother and took care of her child. A year later, a woman named Helga arrived at the village claiming to be Sabina’s aunt from her father’s side. Since no one had ever met Sabina’s father, they assumed the woman spoke the truth. Helga took the child to her home in the woods, and even though Sabina was a child, she soon became aware that this woman was nothing like her mother. Instead, Helga was a bad witch who practiced black magic and meant to do her harm. Unbeknownst to Sabina, she had come from a long line of white witches and had potent magic within her. Her aunt forced her to practice day and night and develop her magic, all along planning to take it from her. When Sabina finally understood Helga’s plan, she began to study and practice both black and white magic, developing her strength and knowledge in secret.

A couple of years later, she escaped Helga’s house where she lived in fear and had been imprisoned. Shortly after her escape, she was adopted by a pair of Lilituens who inducted her to a mighty coven of witches. Despite growing up in fear and being surrounded by evil, Sabina’s mother’s influence remained strong in her, and she used her powers to do good for mankind.

Golem:

As a boy, Vikings raided Golem’s village. They murdered his father while he watched and hid. When another pirate grabbed his mother, he was compelled to rescue her. Golem ran to his mother, grabbed her hand, and tried to pull her away from the Viking who held her captive. He laughed as the boy struggled and hacked off his arm with his ax. Then he chopped his mother’s head clean off––Golem’s small, severed hand and arm still in her grip. Golem fell unconscious and was left for dead. An older couple, Abraham and Madrona, rescued him and nursed him back to health. They raised him as their own, and he grew into a strong, self-sufficient, one-armed man in their home. When the old couple died, Golem inherited a small stone figurine with supernatural powers, which he used for the good of mankind.

Dracúl, Thomas, Gadreel, Sabina, and Golem.

I hope you enjoyed meeting some of the characters from The Rise of Gadreel! Thank you for your visit and support.

Magical Whispers

14 Oct

Hi, everyone! I’d like you to help me welcome the lovely and talented poet, Balroop Singh . She has released a new poetry book, ‘Magical Whispers.’ I’m excited to read all about it, because I’m a fan of her work. The floor is yours, Balroop.

Thank you for hosting me, Vashti.

Book Blurb:

I wait for whispers; they regale my muse. Whispers that can be heard by our heart, whispers that ride on the breeze to dispel darkness and ignite hope. I’m sure you would hear them through these poems if you read slowly.

‘Magical Whispers’ would transport you to an island of serenity; beseech you to tread softly on the velvety carpet of nature to feel the ethereal beauty around you. The jigsaw of life would melt and merge as you dive into the warmth of words.

In this book, my poems focus on whispers of Mother Nature, whispers that are subtle but speak louder than words and breathe a quiet message.

Each day reminds us

It’s the symphony of surroundings

That whisper life into us.

Book Information:

Title: Magical Whispers

Author: Balroop Singh

Genre: Poetry

Available at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KJQ6K5D

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Excerpt:

Sublime Sky

If you just look at the dark clouds

They may share your anguish

But they offer no solace

They drag you into deeper dumps.

If you look at the moon

It would speak to you calmly

Telling you timeless stories of change

And purge your heart of all regrets.

If you look at the sun and his hues

It would unravel stories of life

From dawn to dusk it spreads gold

And fills your heart with delight.

But I beseech you to look at the azure sky

When the sun’s amber song begins

Permeating through pink clouds

A melody that springs hope and light.

© Balroop Singh

Meet Poet and Author, Balroop Singh:

Balroop Singh, a former teacher and an educator always had a passion for writing.  She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, a relaxed blogger and a doting grandma. She writes about people, emotions and relationships. Her poetry highlights the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.

A self-published author, she is the poet of Sublime Shadows of Life and Emerging From Shadows, both widely acclaimed poetry books. She has also written When Success Eludes,Emotional Truths Of Relationships Read FREE with Kindle Unlimitedand Allow Yourself to be a Better Person.

Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.

Visit her blog: http://balroop2013.wordpress.com

Connecting linkshttps://twitter.com/BalroopShado

Thank you for visiting today. I hope you enjoyed the post. Please show my guest author some love in the comment section below.

Rave Reviews Book Club

17 Jul

Hello, everyone!

To say it’s been a crazy week would be an understatement. So much has been happening around me, including renovations to the inside and outside of my house. It’s enough to make your head spin, believe me. 😮

Some of you know that I’m a member of an online book club called Rave Reviews Book Club. This is a wonderful organization for writers and readers established by author Nonnie Jules. This month has been hectic and a little rough but the one great thing that came out of it was that my novelette Memoir of a Mad Woman was selected “Book of the Month” by the RRBC. Not only is it an honor for your book to be chosen from thousands of fabulous books, it’s also a great opportunity for your book to be seen by a wider audience. You see, when your book is selected by the RRBC as a BOM all the members of the club are encouraged to buy, read, review, and share your book all over social media. That’s an amazing boost!

I am always thankful for the Rave Reviews Book Club. I’ve met and befriended so many kind, talented, and supportive people in the three years I’ve been a member. We’ve become one big happy online family.

This week I was supposed to take part in a book club discussion specifically for those whose books were selected BOM, but I wasn’t able to attend the zoom meeting because something happened to my WiFi Tuesday morning and it wasn’t working. I called Comcast several times. They gave my husband and me different instructions of what to do, but nothing worked. They finally sent a tech out to our house, and he discovered that the cable had been severed, no doubt by the men working in our side yard, where the cable was buried.

I was beyond upset to have missed the Book of the Month discussion because it would have been a great opportunity to discuss my book, give new insights, and answer questions about it. My iPhone has it’s own internet service from the provider, but I didn’t have the zoom app on it. I tried to get into the app store to download the zoom app to my iPhone, but I was given instructions to turn on the WiFi which of course I couldn’t. I also sent an emailed to RRBC to let someone know the situation and asked if there was a phone number I could call to join in the discussion. I received an email from someone letting me know that she was out to lunch when my email came in and it was too late by the time she read it. I’m truly sorry I couldn’t make it to the discussion. The circumstances were beyond my control. 😦

I was planning to make this a short post but I guess it’s too late for that. :/ The bottom line is that I’m happy to be a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club and highly recommend it. This is a wonderful organization for aspiring writers, experienced authors, and avid readers. There are so many great opportunities to grow your author platform and to gain sales and reviews for your books. There are also fascinating books to read and the members are amazing. If you’d like more information on how to join the club visit the RRBC website.

I hope everyone has had a better week than I did. I’m looking forward to a restful break this weekend. Happy Friday and weekend!

twitter-vashti q-vashtiqvega-rrbc-nonnie jules-vashti quiroz vega-author-rave reviews book club
I’m exhausted, so I’m going to escape into my fantasy world this weekend. See you soon!

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! 

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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!

 

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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.

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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!

 

 

 

Poetry Friday ~ Random Acts Of Kindness

17 May

Hi, everyone! 

 

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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.

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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)

 ♥

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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

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