Tag Archives: Rave Reviews Book Club

Book Launch: Ninja School Mum by Lizzie Chantree

15 Jan

Ninja School Mum-Lizzie Chantree-The Writer Next Door-book_launch-Vashti Quiroz Vega

Welcome, everyone! I’m very excited, because today I’m going to introduce a very talented writer and genuinely kind person: Author, Lizzie Chantree

I’m taking part in the book launch tour of her fun new book, Ninja School Mum.

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Click to purchase on Amazon

Blurb:

Obsessive-compulsive school mum, Skye, is a lonely elite spy, who is running from her past whilst trying to protect the future of her child. She tries hard to fit in with the other parents at her son’s new school, but the only person who accepts her unconventional way of life is new mother, Thea.

Thea is feeling harassed by her sister and bored with her life, but she suspects that there is something strange about the new school mum, Skye. Thea has secrets of her own and, although the two become unlikely friends, she hesitates to tell Skye about the father of her own child.

Zack’s new business is growing faster than he could have dreamed but, suddenly, he finds himself the owner of a crumbling estate on the edge of a pretty village, and a single parent to a very demanding child. Could he make a go of things and give his daughter the life she deserved?

When three lives collide, it appears that only one of them is who they seem to be, and you never know who the person next to you in the school playground really is.

Ninja School Mum-Lizzie Chantree-The Writer Next Door-book_launch-Vashti Quiroz Vega

 

Author Bio:

Lizzie is an award winning author, inventor and businesswoman. She founded her first company at the age of 17 and has been creating products and driving her family mad ever since.

 

Lizzie appeared on Sky News, ITV Lunchtime News, This Morning, The Big Breakfast, BBC’s Worldwide Radio Service, amongst others for becoming one of Fair Play London’s Female Innovators. She was also asked to be a Judge on Shell LiveWire’s Grand Ideas Award for new innovations.

 

Lizzie lives with her gorgeous family and a very unusual dog.  In between the school run and baking cakes (or burning them!), she sits in her rooftop studio daydreaming about new characters for her novels. All of Lizzie’s books weave stories around the romantic lives of eccentric entrepreneurs and the unusual businesses they run. She is the author of: Sizzling beach read, Babe Driven: Glamorous chauffeurs with performance cars. Medical romance novel, Love’s Child: A warehouse centre for troubled children. Mystical romance, Finding Gina: A country estate and fledgling events business. Modern romance, Ninja school Mum: A tree climbing and self defence business.

Book_Launch-Lizzie Chantree-Ninja School Mum-author_interview-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega

Q & A with author Lizzie Chantree

 

1- Tell us about your process of writing. Are you a plotter or a pantser?

 

I’m a pantser. I have a basic idea of the story and work out chapter ideas and then I make it up as I go along! The story unfolds to me as I write it. It makes the process so exciting, as I feel like I’m reading the story while I’m writing it and I can’t wait to see what will happen next in the story.

 

2- What’s the best way to market your book?

 

Networking. Making contacts and actually interacting with them. Don’t just bombard people with marketing, get to know them and tell them about yourself and your writing.

 

3- Do you Google yourself?

 

No. Ha ha! J Why would I want to do that? I’ve never thought of Googling myself. Is that a thing? I’m so out of touch! It worries me how much information is available out there, so It’s best not to look.

 

Ha,ha! I have googled myself on several occasions curious to see what’s out there about me. I usually find some old interview or spotlight and I read to see how much I’ve changed since. I’ve also googled my blog and book titles to get an idea where I rank on the google page. Called me weird, but it works for me.

 

4- What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

 

Coffee. I’d find it hard because I drink so much of it while I’m writing and it makes me smile.

 

I find that water keeps me focused.

 

5- Does writing energize or exhaust you?

 

It energizes and excites me. I love writing, as it’s so much fun and you are able to jump into the lives of your characters and experience new things. My books are all about eccentric entrepreneurs who have unusual businesses, so I am able to see what it might be like to run them.

 

That great! I’m very intrigued.

 

 

6- How do you celebrate when you launch a new book?

 

I jump up and down a lot! J I don’t usually do too much as my family are all a bit bewildered by the whole process. It’s hard to explain the emotional attachment you have to the stories that have taken so much time and energy to write. Launching them into the world for others to read is pretty scary!

 

I totally get it.

Book_Launch-Lizzie Chantree-Ninja School Mum-author_interview-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega

Connect with Lizzie on Social Media:

Website

Author page

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

Check out all of Lizzie Chantree’s books. (Click on the image below)

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Haiku Friday – Magic & Hope

12 Jan

Hi everyone! A warm welcome to my blog!

Since last year, I’ve been saying that I have a strong feeling that 2018 is going to be a great year for me. Well, so far I’ve had a great start to the new year. I mentioned earlier this week that the Rave Reviews Book Club had selected me as “Spotlight” Author for the month of January, which is amazing! It’s going great! I’m having a lot of fun in the “Spotlight”. The RRBC “Spotlight” Author Blog Tour is still going on and you can follow the line-up of blogs hosting me, here. Please visit some of these blogs and say hello.

The Fall of Lilith-eBook-Vashti Quiroz Vega-fantasy angels series-Haiku_Friday-The Writer Next Door-novel-Gadreel-lilith demon-fallen_angels-Poetry

My new release, The Fall of Lilith has received several great reviews this year, already! I’m extremely grateful to all of you who have read and reviewed the book. Thank you so much! You can read some of these wonderful reviews, here.

I have several goals for this year and two of these goals have to do with writing, so I really have to hunker down and get to work. I’m going to be ruthless about protecting my writing time this year.

This is my “Spotlight” Author schedule for the month:

Blog Tour: 1/7/18 – 1/13/18

“Bring On The Spotlight” Radio Show: 1/18/18

“Who’s On The Shelf?” Interview: 1/25/18

“SPOTLIGHT” Support Day: 1/29/18

* I’ll announce the different events and give more details, as we get closer to the dates.

Andrew Ferez-DevianART-dragon_writer-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Haiku_Friday-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Poetry

Illustration “Dragon Writer” by Andrew Ferez (25kartinok – DeviantART)

Some wondrous moments

appear like wishful dreams

carrying magic

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Illustration by Luis Royo (Dreams Collection)

 

“I believe we each make our own magic. It’s great to have hopes and dreams, but dreams only come true if we’re true to ourselves. To achieve our goals we’ve got to do more than hope. Hope works, if we do.” 

~Vashti Q

Magic and Hope are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

Rave Reviews Book Club “Spotlight” Author

8 Jan

 

Hi everyone! I have great news!

 

The Rave reviews Book Club has selected me as their January “Spotlight” Author! This is great news, because it means that my writing and my new release, The Fall of Lilith will be showcased all month throughout social media. The RRBC’s “Spotlight” Author Blog Tour began yesterday on Author, Wendy Scott’s blog, Wendy Scott Fantasy Blog and will continue until the 13th. You can visit today’s tour post on Author, Beem Weeks’ blog The Indie Spot. If you’d like to follow the line-up for the “Spotlight” Author Blog Tour and read all about what it is to be a “Spotlight” Author you can do so at Rave Reviews Book Club Blog.  I hope to see you at the blog tour!

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Rave Reviews Book Club “Spotlight” Author Blog Tour:

 

Fantasy Author Wendy Scott Blog

The Indie Spot

A Blog Focused On Writing An Music (Jan Sikes)

Michelle Abbott Romance Author Flawed Heroes

Shirley Harris-Slaughter

Life As I Know It (Marlena Smith)

Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

Rave Reviews Book Club-RRBC-Vasht Quiroz Vega-Spotlight_Author-blog tour-Vashti Q-the fall of lilith-fantasy angels series

Have a great week, everyone!

 

 

 

Rave Reviews Book Club “Spotlight Author” Michael Lynes

7 Nov

Hi everyone! I’m a member of a wonderful book club called, Rave Reviews Book Club and the club president and founder, Nonnie Jules has thought up many ways for the club to profile, promote and propel its members.  A “Spotlight Author” is selected each month from the many talented members. Today, I am honored to host the November “Spotlight Author”, Michael Lynes.

I will be sharing two beautiful poems written by Michael. Enjoy!

MElancHoly

by M. D. Lynes

God….it has begun…again.

White limned scars still pink and smooth mark me, mark my spirit…lamb’s-blood, smeared and dark, cross my lintel.

Passed over-saved I may be, but not healed…no.

Fettered still in the flimsy cage where last I bound it, the hungering demon gibbers and frets. It strains, deathless…sensing my weakness…baleful black orbs rimmed once more with fire…searing and soul wracking.

I am not ready.

Still…my hands know the way. They betray me.

I am practiced and I am competent and I have been tried and blooded in battle bitter. My agony intermingles now with pleasure…a draught of Siren wine…it sings in my veins.

I am tempted.

I feel the quickening now of unwanted pregnation;  the mourning-nausea, the swelling and the stretching. The Parasite stirs.

I know them and hatethemlovethemhatethem….

I know this will kill me…a part of me dies by day, by and by and bye…

Possessed…driven, afraid and hungry, the Jekel-jackal begs for release. The ink-dark water of transformation is near to me…so near… so simple, a pen-prick and the abyss yawns-wide, yawns-deep and warm and black.

God…why?

Why afflict me with the pain of Adam, as all are afflicted?

Why further afflict with the flame of Prometheus, the tongue of Loki, the eyes of Heimdal and the ears of Poseidon?

I wished for none of this.

My fellows – some fallen – some mad, would agree. Success here is more than pain…it is immolation!

Cleansing fire and through it we give sight to the blind and grant hearing to the deaf.

The Cave dwellers are brought news unwilling of their broken chain, of air keen-crisp and dawn-new, of horizons sailed, of seas unsullied and glory, joy, black sorrow and love-rivers-warm beyond all pain.

It is our curse…and our greatest blessing.

You who know, you know me…you are me…you can name me.

Author…author…

But…God….why….?

♥♥♥

Truth Becomes Her

by M. D. Lynes

Woman…Wise

Truth becomes her

Truth…its ways she knows.

Sorrow, drops of sorrow

Like rain bewet her

Joy fills her…brimming hollow.

Wise…wise Woman

Pain beforms her…bereaves her…she knows

Loss…searing…shattering.

Weary Woman

she Feels

Earth in her depths

Deep…

Truth becalms her and belies her and bestirs her.

Her Heart lies never

It Becomes

her

Truth

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Author, Michael Lynes

 

Author Bio:

Mr Lynes is a serial entrepreneur who enjoys dry red wine and single malt scotch. When not occupied with arcane engineering projects he spends his time playing with his two grandchildren, baking bread, feeding seasoned hardwood into his ancient Timberline woodstove, working on his various cars, bird watching and taking amateur photographs. His current menagerie includes one short-haired turtle shell cat and a pair of actual turtles.

 

His last book, There Is A Reaper: Losing a Child to Cancer, was an Indie B.R.A.G. Gold Medallion Honoree in January 2017, a silver-medal winner of the 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards for Memoir, a medalist in the 2015 New Apple Book Awards for Memoir, a winner of the 2015 TISBA (The Indie Spiritual Bookk Awards), and a finalist in both the Independent Author Network 2015 Book of the Year award and the Beverly Hills Book Awards for 2015.

 

Mr Lynes was awarded a BSEE degree in Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology and currently works as an embedded software engineer. He has a consuming interest in the science of emotion as promulgated by Dr. Paul Ekman and has made a comprehensive study of his Face and Emotion courses.

 

Mr Lynes has four sons, has been married for over thirty years and currently lives with his wife and youngest son in the beautiful secluded hills of Sussex County, NJ.

* * *

Connect with Michael on Social Media:

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/woodheat

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/MLynesAuthor/

Websitehttps://mikelynes.wixsite.com/mlynesauthor

 

* * *

Michael’s Books:

Blurb:

Featuring thirteen new stories by the award-winning author of There Is A Reaper, this wide-ranging collection is about fathers and sons, gods and demi-gods, and other assorted beings both macabre and sublime. Passion blossoms between unusual bedfellows, and in unique circumstances. Newly created worlds abound, exploring depths of pain and loss and boundless joy. Gods and mythological creatures are joined in epic battle, and we confront the strange hungers that bind man and his creations in forbidden love.
Each of these tales will surprise you with twists that are certain to please. From the sublime to the macabre to the bitter-sweet, The Fat Man Gets Out Of Bed will leave you breathless with laughter, brimming with tears, trembling with suspense.

Blurb:

Indie B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree – January 2017
SILVER MEDAL WINNER – 2016 Readers Favorite International Book Awards – Memoir
MEDALIST – 2015 New Apple Book Awards for Best Memoir
WINNER of the 2015 TISBA Award

FINALIST Independent Author Network 2015 BOOK of the YEAR
FINALIST Beverly Hills Book Awards 2015

“…it gave me chills…made me weep” JoeS #amazon

“…you will need a box of tissues!” BMQ #goodreads
“…I laughed and cried out loud…” Arlene P #amazon

FIVE-YEAR-OLD CHRISTOPHER AARON has always been a whirlwind of heroic action, leading his brothers into all sorts of youthful mischief. A mysterious illness suddenly plunges him and his family into a frightening nightmare of hospitals and doctors and extreme therapies far from his small-town home. Can his doctors diagnose his strange disease? How will he and his family adapt to a bizarre new world they have been thrust into?

Heart-wrenching, searing, and powerful, There is a Reaper immerses the reader into Christopher’s intense struggle against his pitiless foe as he matures and transforms in the white heat of his epic battle.

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Have a great day, everyone!

 

 

 

 

BOOK LAUNCH: Circumstances of Childhood by John W. Howell

2 Oct

Hi! I hope everyone has had a great start to the week, so far. I have wonderful news for all the bookworms out there!

The very talented author John W. Howell has just announced the launch of his new book, Circumstances of Childhood. Normally John writes in the Thriller genre, but with this book he has delved into the Family Life genre.

Both John and I are members of the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC), and he is also one of the elite members of WRISA. I read John’s book, Our Justice and enjoyed it very much. The novel is well-written and fascinating. I also love John’s very engaging writing style, so check out his new book, Circumstances of Childhood. You can purchase the eBook for only 99¢ for a limited time only. So take advantage of this opportunity––you have a lot to gain, but very little to lose.

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BLURB:

When a former pro football star and broadcaster, now a Wall Street maven is accused of insider trading, will he be able to prove his innocence and expose those who are guilty?

Greg and his boyhood pal dreamed of big success in professional football and then later in business. Greg was the only one to live the dream. Now the founder of an investment fund Greg is faced with a routine audit finding by the SEC. The audit points to irregularities and all the tracks lead to Greg. The justice department hits him with an indictment of 23 counts of fraud, money laundering, and insider trading. His firm goes bust, and Greg is on his own.

His best friend knows he is innocent but has been ordered under penalty of eternal damnation not to help.

If you enjoy stories of riches to rags, redemption, brotherly love, and a little of the paranormal, Circumstance of Childhood will keep you riveted.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. John’s fourth book Circumstances of Childhood, launched in October of 2017 tells a family life story of riches to rags, football, Wall Street, brotherly love, redemption, and inspiration with a touch of paranormal to keep you riveted. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

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

Have a great week and I will see you at the end of the week for Haiku Friday!

Haiku Friday – Sweet & Scent

29 Sep

Welcome to The Writer Next Door blog! I hope you had a great week, but if not you can always make up for it over the weekend. 😉

Sweet and Scent are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

Missing You

I lay down to sleep

Your scent is on my pillow

Giving me sweet dreams

Lured by whiffs of scents

that remind me of moments

spent with you, my sweet

Vashti Quiroz-Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-Haiku_Friday-Poetry-RonovanWrites


In Other News . . .

I have been selected by the (RRBC) Rave Reviews Book Club (Nonnie JulesPresident) to appear in the September/October issue of the Pipeline Magazine | The Literary Lover’s Magazine. I am beyond excited! I feel honored to have been chosen September/October’s ‘Author On The Move‘.

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Pipeline Magazine’s ‘Author On The Move

I would like to invite all writers and avid readers to join the Rave Reviews Book Club. It’s a wonderful book club that’s more like a friendly and supportive community that aims to profile, promote and propel their members to new heights of success. All readers and writers are welcome to join.


Also . . .

The Fall of Lilith has received several wonderful reviews. These are the last two reviews from Amazon and Goodreads.

Fallen Angels, Mermaids, and other mythological creatures, what’s not to love?
I don’t even know where to begin. This book was so amazing. It took the story of the fallen angels to a whole new level. Initially, I had hoped it was a story of Lilith, the first wife of Adam from Hebrew lore, but I was pleasantly surprised by the story I received.
The book is long, it is actually two books in one. The first is the story of the angels in Heaven. The reader is given a glimpse into the adolescence of God’s holy beings. You watch as Lilith learns of her ability to manipulate her siblings. She takes this gift and begins her desire to be as God. She convinces several of her weaker siblings to join her cause which leads to the battle for Heaven.
Book two takes you on the fallen angels’ journey across the new world God created, Earth. Here you experience the joys and pains as the angels discover their new gifts and realize they are free from the laws that bound them in Heaven.
Vashti is an incredible author with an amazing imagination. She created characters that you can’t help but fall in love with, and in some cases absolutely hate. She used the fallen angels to explain several mythological creatures and I found that to be ingenious.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys fantasy.
Goodreads
Once I started this, I couldn’t put it down. Not your usual, run of the mill fallen angel story. Completely unique. Impatient for the next…
The Fall of Lilith-eBook-amazon-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-fantasy_angels_series-RRBC-Goodreads

Have a fabulous Friday!

Haiku Friday – Touch & Miss

22 Sep

Hello friends! A warm welcome to my blog!

 

Today would have been my father’s birthday. He’s no longer with me, but he lives in my heart. I’m going to try to make this day about remembering all the happy times we shared. All the deep conversations, laughs, and meaningful moments. I declare September 22nd a holiday –– in my house and within my family. There’s a heaviness in my chest, because I miss him. I’ll try to take solace in the truth that he’ll never be forgotten and he’ll always be with me.

“You will always be in my heart . . . because in there you’re still alive.”

~Jamie Cirello

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Father

You taught me so much

But there’s one thing you did not

I never learned how

to exist in your absence

I never learned to miss you

You were always there.

The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz vega-Haiku-haiku_Friday-Poetry-Rave Reviews Book Club-RRBC-pay it forward

Touch and Miss are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.


Today is the Rave Reviews Book ClubPay It Forward‘ Day. I was supposed to choose one person from the club and dedicate this day to that member, but there are so many talented, creative and kind people I couldn’t choose just one. Instead I chose the wonderful club itself and will tweet, google, tumble, stumble, pin and share as many members as possible, as well as the club. Remember readers and writers are all welcome to join this fantastic family. If you’re a writer or an avid reader or both, please join us.

Have a great day, everyone!

 

 

 

Rave Reviews Book Club “Spotlight” Author Blog Tour

3 Sep

Hi Everyone! I am taking part in the RRBC’s ‘Spotlight’ Author Blog Tour. Please extend a warm welcome to September’s ‘Spotlight’ author/poet, Natalie Ducey.

Natalie is not only a talented writer/poet; she is also a sweet and kind person. She’s one of several members that have made me feel welcomed in the Rave Reviews Book Club . She has also been very generous with her encouragement and support.

I read her book, The Heart’s Lullaby and enjoyed it very much. It’s a beautiful love-themed poetry book that will move and inspire you and in some instances make you think deep thoughts. If you enjoy poetry you will enjoy this book.

Here’s my 5 star review:

This is poet, Natalie Ducey’s first book of poetry. She has a BA in Psychology and has worked in the field of counseling for fifteen years.

Although I enjoy reading poetry I had never read a book of poetry before now. I was inspired to read The Heart’s Lullaby, because I am a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club and many of the club’s members read the book and spoke highly of it.

The theme of this book is love and there are messages of compassion, grief, strength and hope.

I was impressed by the entire collection of poems. While some of the poems made me smile and inspired me, others moved me to tears, and many of the poems struck me with beauty and insight. As I read, I got a sense of honesty and passion in Natalie’s words. However, the overall mood of the collection is soothing and peaceful.

Poet Natalie Ducey used words in new and fascinating ways to create a unique book of poetry that I would gladly recommend to anyone who enjoys reading poetry.

♥♥♥

In her words . . . 

 

Life … it’s majestic and mystifying, and every day we are granted the opportunity to begin again.

Let’s enjoy the Journey!

Natalie Ducey-author-spotlight-RRBC-Rave Reviews Book Club-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

 

My first collection of poems, The Heart’s Journey Home, was published in February, 2015. I call it poetry for the soul. It is my hope that readers will connect with the verses in a way that is cathartic and soothing. I hope we can travel back with welcomed reflection, find solace and wisdom in the present, and feel inspired for the journey that lies before us.

 

Book Blurb:

We all love/loved deeply and most likely have been on both sides of goodbye. We know the exquisite and profound beauty of love. We know the immobilizing force of grief and the anguish between letting go and holding on. We know the acute distinction between second chances and new beginnings.

The Heart’s Journey Home is a celebration of the fragility and the resiliency of our hearts; the brilliant beauty of life’s journey.

Poems titled: Reckless Words, Borrowed Angel, Nobody’s Fool, Silence of the Heart, Love’s Illusion, Fallen Angel, Let’s Dance, Where Does the Love Go, Young Love, Small Town Girl, Winter’s Gift, Destined to Fly, Eternal Love, The War Within, To my Sister on our 40th Birthday, Goodbye without Warning, Old Oak Tree, Names in the Sand, Can’t Let Go, Memories Linger, Caged Bird Sings, Surrender, and Heart’s Journey Home.

 

***

Today, I’d love to share one of my favourite reviews for this collection.

These are prized moments for all authors.

 

“Natalie Ducey’s intensely emotional debut book of poetry is a collection of 23 poems reflecting upon her views during both her fifteen years counselling others, as well as her own personal journey. Both have given her ample fodder for writing of the many diverse facets of human emotion. Author Ducey says, “I try to capture the essence of the fragility and resiliency of our hearts—the brilliant beauty of life’s journey.” Her words are an apt description of her lovely and deeply moving poems.

This powerfully written book of poetry touches upon all of the emotions of humanity, sometimes with a gentle loving touch, other times with the raging agony of love lost. Her words speak in the brutally honest language of the soul, connecting with readers following journeys similar to her own . . . and to those whose emotional trials are yet to come.

Unlike poets who make their readers study and search for meaning, this poet writes directly to her readers, as the songlike meter of her joys and travails draw them into her journey; feeling with her.

As a published poet myself, I tend to judge poetry on how it affects me. If the meter is slightly off, but the words draw me in to them, I am content. I loved every single one of these poems and could not pick a favorite as each one reached out to me on so many levels. I laughed, loved and cried with these poems which drew out anew memories of my own. Most importantly, I stopped to read some of them yet again, drawn to words that felt like heartbeats, comforting me as I traverse my own journey.

By the books end I was left satiated by a warm sense of peace and an overall warm and fuzzy good feeling. That, to me, is the sign of a true poet.
Micki Peluso, author of . . . And the Whippoorwill Sang”

***

 

In celebration of my “Spotlight” tour, I’m delighted to say my second and recently published poetry collection The Heart’s Lullaby is currently available for 99¢!

The Heart's Lullaby-Natalie Ducey-poetry-spotlight-author-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Kindle

About Natalie

 

With a BA in Psychology, Natalie has worked in the Counselling field for 15 years. Through her work and personal journey, she has witnessed the remarkable power of the human spirit. Now, as an author and poet, she is passionate about stories that touch the heart and awaken the soul. Through words, she aspires to offer solace and hope, love and understanding. Natalie is the Co-owner and Writer of Peace by Piece Puzzles. She is the Owner/Writer/Designer of Whispers of the Heart (printable art/poetry/verse). She was born and raised in beautiful Newfoundland, Canada, with her two brothers and twin sister. She now resides in Ontario, Canada, with her husband, a Soldier in the Canadian Armed Forces, and their little dog, Bella. She loves kayaking and the freedom and serenity of being one with water. She is an avid reader, passionate writer, and seeker of tranquility along life’s mystifying journey.

 

You can connect with Natalie on:

Website/Blog 

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest 

Google+

LinkedIn

Goodreads

Amazon Profile Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watch WRISA Write Showcase Tour – Nonnie Jules

29 Aug

Hello everyone and welcome! Rave Reviews Book Club’s ‘Watch WRISA Write’ continues on day 29 with author and president of the club, Nonnie Jules. 

 

Nonnie is sharing a powerful and important piece with us today. Please read and share. Feel free to leave your thoughts and opinions in the comment section below. Thank you.

 

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Because of the division that’s going on in our world right now, the hate that’s being stirred up and spewed by these White Supremacist groups, we felt it appropriate and extremely necessary that we share a piece from our President, Nonnie Jules, that needs to be wide-spread.

“DOES MY LIFE MATTER?”

 

I am a black woman, and because of the shade of my skin and coarseness of my hair, because of the fullness of my hips, my lips and the bold colors I wear…some don’t find me as attractive as my fairer counterparts.  You see, I’m no longer your house-maid or here for your sexual pleasure; no longer Mamie to your children, I’m now someone’s Mother…a treasure.  But, does my life matter?

 

I am a black man, and because of my dark skin and the boldness of my stance, because of the kinky in my hair, the anger in my stare, and the wear and tear shown on my hands…some still don’t see me as a man.  You see, I’m no longer your field property or your whipping post.  I’ve freedom papers and own land now, maybe, more than most.  You build cages to hold me, guilty or not; where you should build institutions of higher learning, you lock me away for little things, then leave me there to rot.  Do you forever see my bed as a cot?  But, does my life matter?

 

I am a white woman, and because of my milk dove skin and cute, pinched nose, thin ruby red lips and fair skin that glows…with my pearly whites and prominent chin…some still look at me and despise the skin I’m in.  I was never privy to the pain that was caused.  I was born into that hatred…those God-awful laws.  So, does my life still matter?

 

I am a white man, born into privilege and wealth, easy life, perfect health, yet…I’m still persecuted and referred to as “the man.”  I, too, hate the ways of the Ku Klux Klan. My neighbors are black, white, green and red…still, I haven’t fled.  To be where everyone looks more like me, is not where I want to be.  I, too, would like to one day be FREE. Yes, FREE!  It also applies to me! FREE of the labels that bind because of the color of my skin; I’ve never owned any human or degraded any man. But, does my life still matter?

 

I am a brown-skinned woman and because of my accented words, you think I should be silent…quiet and not heard.  I can do more, than clean your windows and floors.  Just ask me what I’m capable of, you’d be surprised, I’m sure.  I may have come here via the back of a truck, or even the legal route, if I was blessed with such luck.  Maybe I was born here, and my parents, too.  In your eyes, would that still make me less American than you?  Does my life matter?

 

I am a brown-skinned man and though maybe a bit stocky, I’m no less in appearance, than your brawn and cocky.  I’m not a rapist, a thief or thug…but a man like you, with kids to hug.  I’m not ashamed to tend your lawns and trees, but Executive, also a title I wear with ease; whatever it takes…my family to feed. Don’t dismiss, or overlook my face; I may not have been born here, but I’m here to stay.  And, with that said, does my life still matter?

 

With all that’s going on, there’s much racial unrest.  It’s time to put differences aside and put real LOVE to the test.  We can’t keep fighting each other, when there are real wars going on.  We must come together in love, heal and stand strong.  There are real enemies among us, and their names we know not.  We must stand on the front lines, together and talk.

The differences between us are fewer than those in our heads; and in the end, until we draw our last breath,  we all still bleed red.  Yes, that small matter is what makes us brothers, and binds us tighter than any other.

That stream of red flowing thru our veins, is what should force us to…

release all blame,
stop the pain,
forge ahead,
no more blood we’ll shed.

Nonnie Jules WRISA Author Page

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Watch WRISA Write – Author Spotlight: John Howell

10 Aug

RWISA-RRBC-Rave Reviews Book Club-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Nonnie Jules-Vashti Q-author_spotlight-bog_tour-John Howell-The Writer Next Door

Welcome to the 10th day of the Watch WRISA Write Showcase Tour an event organized by the Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC). Today, the spotlight shines on one of my favorite authors, John W. Howell.

He has a great blog, Fiction Favorites where you can read some of his work, see all his books and learn more about him, so be sure to check it out.

John W. Howell-Watch WRISA Write-RRBC-Rave Reviews Book Club-spotlight-author-blog_tour-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

 

*I recently read John’s thriller, Our Justice and enjoyed it very much. Here’s the review I left on Amazon. 

Our Justice-John Howell-spotlight-author-novel-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Rave Reviews Book Club-RRBC-WRISA-blog tour-Vashti Q

Book Review

If Our Justice by John W. Howell was a roller coaster ride, it would be one that begins high on the track right before the free fall, twists and loops––what a ride!
The Protagonist, John Canon is an authentic, likable guy whose not afraid to show fear or allow a woman to take charge, which is endearing to me. He’s a genuinely good guy with great morals. You’ll love to hate his nemesis, Matt Jacobs, a very rich and powerful, kind of charming lunatic bent on destroying him. And I loved Stephanie, a strong, intelligent, beauty. All-around well-developed and memorable characters.
Aside from the nail-biting, edge-of-your-seat thrills and chills action, it’s obvious that a lot of research went into this story. Sometimes I wondered while reading if the author had been a navy seal or scientist, because the descriptions and scenarios were so on point and believable.
This story was written in first person, present tense and I felt like I was tagging along on all the adventures. This is the last book in the John Canon trilogy but it stands alone.
If you enjoy a fast paced, harrowing, thrilling story with a very satisfying ending then this book is for you.

John W. Howell is sharing a story he has written for this tour and it’s wonderful. Here it is. Enjoy! 

 

Last Night

by John W. Howell © 2017

 

So, with nothing better to do, I figure I’ll stop at Jerry’s place and grab a couple of drinks and a burger. Usually, I don’t go there on Saturday night since there’s a crapload of amateurs taking up what would be considered prime space. I figure since this is a Friday and close to Saturday, it may be packed, but not as crazy as Saturday. It’s the kind of place where everyone minds their business. They’re there for a good time and will likely not notice me. Even so, I go through the door, stop, and have a look around, trying not to make eye contact. I hope that the ball cap and large coat will keep me from getting noticed. The bar holds a weekday crowd, hanging on each other like they never had a date before. I tighten my eyelids against the smoke and make out four guys near the pool table, and what looks like a couple of girls fetching drinks. I search for a seat beyond the table in the back, but it seems like they’re all taken.

A guy bumps into me as I stand here. I say excuse me, and he looks me in the face. “Hey, don’t I know you?” he says.

“I don’t think so.” I make to turn away.

“Yeah, you’re the sports hero who lost all his money. I saw you on TV.”

“Naw, people always say stuff like that. I’m not him, buddy; trust me.”

He gives me a puzzled look but doesn’t want to push it, in case he has it wrong. I turn away and continue to look for a seat.

Straight ahead lies the bar, and it has a place right in the middle. I move in the direction of the empty place and look over to the other side of the room. The tables look full of happy drunks. Buckets of empties line the bar top, and the barmaid’s trying to sell more. She doesn’t have much luck since most of these people just spent their last five bucks on this outing. Upon making it to the stool, I hoist myself up and lean on the bar.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. “Whadda you have?”

“Evening, Jerry. I’ll have a Gin on the rocks with a water back.”

“Comin’ up.”

I like Jerry’s no-nonsense way of handling things. He doesn’t like small talk and gets right to business. My eyes smart from the smoke, and I wonder how Jerry gets away with letting people kill themselves, when clearly, it’s not supposed to be allowed in this kind of establishment.

“Here you go. Want me to run a tab?”

“Yeah, I would appreciate that. I intend to have another drink and then a burger.”

The guy who thinks he knows me grabs my shoulder from behind. I almost fall off the stool.

“You’re Greg Petros, the big fund manager. I knew I’d seen you on TV. You took a beautiful career in football and ran it into the ground.”

Jerry leans over the bar and lays his hand on the guy’s shoulder. “Move on, my friend. You made a mistake. This guy is nobody. Go sit down and let me buy you a drink.”

“You sure? You called him Greg.”

“Yeah, I’m sure. Go get a table, and I’ll send someone over.”

The guy looks at me one more time but does as Jerry suggests. He believes Jerry’s wrong, but the idea of a free drink lets him get away without losing face.

“Thanks. I didn’t mean for you to have to jump in.”

“No problem. Gimme the high sign when you’re ready for another drink.”

“Will do. Thanks.”

“For you buddy, anything.”

I should mention that Jerry and I go back aways. When I fell on hard times, he became the only one that seemed to give a shit. I take a sip of my drink and wait for the burn in my throat, which signals the good stuff. Here it comes. I take a swig of the water and almost believe life is good. The Gin needs to get to the brain before making any honest judgment.

While I wait for the warmth to go from my stomach to my head, I check out the folks seated on either side of me. They both have their backs turned to me and sit engrossed in some discussion with their neighbor. I figure it’s just as well since I don’t want to go through that old “don’t I know you?” bullshit again. Also, I don’t figure on staying the night, so no use in getting into any long discussions about life.

I look down at my drink and wonder what will happen tomorrow. My daughter Constance wants to come and visit. She lives in New York, and before all hell broke loose, we didn’t see each other often. I missed her so much, and it seemed I had to beg her even to talk on the phone. Now, it’s like she wants to be here every weekend. It’s only an hour’s flight by the shuttle or three by train, so she can come when she wants. I just can’t figure out why she got so clingy. I have my troubles, but it doesn’t have anything to do with her. No use in asking her husband, either. Though a nice enough guy, I always wonder if he has someplace important to go when I visit. He never sits still, and stays busy on the phone or at the computer. He makes a good living, but it seems a person could take an hour to sit and talk. I’d looked forward to some kind of relationship when he and Constance got married. It’ll never happen with him.

When I take another pull at my drink, I notice the burn feels less. It happens every time. First sip initiation, I call it. It’s like the first puff of a cigarette, hits hard then, after, nothing. I decide to let Constance pretty much have the agenda tomorrow. She and I have not had a chance to talk about anything deep for a while. It could just be that she blames me for her mother running off with that guy with the house on the Hudson. He has a title, and the old gal couldn’t resist, but, I think the daughter always felt I should have done something. Her mother’s sleeping with another guy and what the hell can I do about that?

I’ll just go with the flow. If she wants to go out, we will. If she wants to stay in, we can do that, too. I better think about getting some food in the house. Of course, we can always order take out. I need to move on to my drink and let this go. Tomorrow will be what it is. I remember the day she was born. I looked down at her in my arms and promised I would do anything for her. I love her more than life itself, and I hope we can somehow get to the root of whatever’s wrong. She sounded strange on the phone this morning, and I feel helpless to do anything about it. I hope she opens up when she gets here.

For some reason, I feel tired. Perhaps I’ll go ahead and finish my drink. Maybe I’ll just go home and forget the burger. First, though, I’ll just shut my eyes for a minute. My hands feel good when I put my head down.

“Hey, Greg,” Jerry says. I barely hear him. “What’s the matter? You taking a nap? Greg?” I can feel him shake me, but I have no interest in waking up. His voice gets further away, and I think he says, “Oh my God, Sophie, call 911, quick.” Now the room goes silent.

 

END

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Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH RWISAWRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, to please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.  WE ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

John W. Howell RWISA Author Page