Tag Archives: Rave Reviews Book Club

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! 

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!

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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!

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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.

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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.

*  *  *

 

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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

 

 

“THE SLEEPING ONE” Blog Tour – Author, Karl J. Morgan

28 Jan

Hi, everyone! Welcome to my blog. Today I’d like to introduce author, Karl J. Morgan. He’s a talented writer of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Today I am featuring his new book, “Carl Prescott and The Sleeping One” and you can check out all his other books here.

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We’re both members of the best book club everRAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (#RRBC)! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books, JOIN US! We’d love to have you!

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Author, Karl J. Morgan (Amazon Author Page)

 

 Bio:

With a long career in finance and as author of almost twenty books, I like to say that words and numbers are my life.

I have had a lifelong fascination with stories in the science fiction and fantasy genres, whether it was the Tom Swift novels by Victor Appleton I read as a young boy, or television like Lost in Space and Star Trek. More recently, I have devoured film series like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. That fascination is combined with a keen interest in cosmology, astrophysics, quantum physics, and spirituality.

That quirky combination along with the fantasy genre allows me to craft stories that reinforce the importance of family, friendship, and love. The protagonists must overcome incredible danger and challenges to survive their journeys, but eventually end up on top. It goes without saying that as a finance guy, my life has been less action-packed than my characters (thank goodness).

With Carl Prescott and The Sleeping One, I ventured back to comfortable territory. Many of my stories reinforce our direct connection to the Divine. While that is an element of this story, the sequels feature that relationship to a much greater extent. That element in my stories is an homage to what I believe really matters in this life.

I am the son of an Air Force pilot and as such, I have lived in many places, never for more than four years at a time. Thankfully, as an adult, I have lived in Chula Vista, CA for the past thirty-seven years. I met and married Aida, the love of my life, thirty years ago. Our grown children have made us grandparents four times over. It is a blessing to be around such wonderful parents and children.

My new goal is life is my stories. I hope you can follow me on this new adventure.

 

In His Words . . .

 

A Return to Fantasy

Fantasy has always been my favorite genre, especially if you include science fiction in the same category. Recently, I finished my jaunt into dystopian fiction with the four novels of the Revolution series. I honestly planned those books to be targeted to the Young Adult crowd, but when cannibals appeared in the second chapter of book one, I had to leave that dream behind. Thinking back on those stories, I am still surprised with the amount of violence and insanity that could flow from my fingers and onto the keyboard. While the story needed to be told, I am glad it is over now. It is interesting to me how our stories take on lives of their own. Hopefully that means the reader will feel a connection to what happens and come away satisfied that the journey was worthwhile.

With my new fantasy novel, Carl Prescott and The Sleeping One, I managed to control my fingers enough to keep the content acceptable to younger readers. Admittedly, much rewriting was necessary when things got too graphic. As with all of my stories, friendship, family, love, and faith are key elements. I also use the Hero’s Journey story mechanism, wherein the protagonist faces increasingly difficult challenges, but ultimately prevails. When I first read about the Hero’s Journey, all the books and movies I’ve read or seen made sense. It is a formula that is well known and enjoyed by people everywhere.

Carl Prescott and The Sleeping One is the story of three friends who travel far from home to attend the Bertrand Aloysius Thorndike Academic Institution. Thorndike is one of two schools on the entire planet that nurture the unusual abilities of their students. Since most of normal society believes these talents as evil, Thorndike is located in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean. Carl and his friends, Grace Mulligan and Burt Jackson, are put in the hands of Aida Whitehall, a student two years their senior. The four become the best of friends as they explore and learn to control their talents.

The major plotlines of this book are the friendship among the four, the increasingly amazing talents each discovers, and the relationship between the Thorndike Institution and the Masterson Academy, the second special school. The rivalry between the two schools has always been strong, which is why Masterson is located on the opposite side of the globe on a South Pacific island. The conflict continues to expand, eventually leading to all out warfare.

The story is all about the talents. Grace has the Mother talent which makes all animals love her as their own mother. Burt is a self-taught Sparker, enabling him to travel great distances via lightning. Although he always thought himself an average teenager, Carl is the most talented of all. In order to save the school and his friends, he must become the master of all talents, the Invisible Hand. The story is fast-paced and action packed.

The other main characters in the book are Carl’s mother, Ginny, Headmaster Alex Dorchester, Dean Clarisse Whitehall (Aida’s adoptive mother), Professor Alistair Donnelly, Professor Bertrand Thorndike VII, and Barbara Conway (another student with a crush on our hero).

Carl’s journey does not end here. The next two books are complete in rough draft form. The fourth is currently someplace between my mind and laptop. Enjoy the ride!

 

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Karl Morgan’s Social Media and Contact Links:

 

Book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L7HHNB3

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/karlmorganauthor

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Karl-Morgan/e/B00A57RWPO

Website/Blog: http://www.karljmorgan.com

Twitter handle: @karljmorgan

 

**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 author, Karl J. Morgan and his work!

Book Tour: If You Love Me, I’m Yours by Lizzie Chantree

9 Jul

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Hello and welcome!

Today, I’m excited to be featuring the latest release by author, Lizzie Chantree, as part of her “If You Love Me, I’m Yours” book release tour.

Lizzie and I are both members of the Rave Reviews Book Club and she has been a guest on this blog before. She is a talented, award-winning author and inventor. It is a privilege to have her as my guest today.

Introducing author Lizzie Chantree.

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Author Bio:

 

Award-winning inventor and author, Lizzie Chantree, started her own business at the age of 18 and became one of Fair Play London and The Patent Office’s British Female Inventors of the Year in 2000. She discovered her love of writing fiction when her children were little and now runs networking hours on social media, where creative businesses, writers, photographers and designers can offer advice and support to each other. She lives with her family on the coast in Essex. Visit her website at www.lizziechantree.com or follow her on Twitter @Lizzie_Chantree

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If You Love Me, I'm Yours-Lizzie Chantree-author-book-novel-romance-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Blog_Tour

Click on image to purchase.

Book Blurb:

 

‘If you love me, I’m yours…’

Maud didn’t mind being boring, not really. She had a sensible job, clothes, and love life… if you counted an overbearing ex who had thanked her, rolled over and was snoring before she even realised he’d begun! She could tolerate not fulfilling her dreams, if her parents would pay her one compliment about the only thing she was passionate about in life: her art.

Dot should have fit in with her flamboyant and slightly eccentric family of talented artists, but somehow, she was an anomaly who couldn’t paint. She tried hard to be part of their world by becoming an art agent extraordinaire, but she dreamed of finding her own voice.

Dot’s brother Nate, a smoulderingly sexy and famous artist, was adored by everyone. His creative talent left them in awe of his ability to capture such passion on canvas. Women worshipped him, and even Dot’s friend Maud flushed and bumped into things when he walked into a room, but a tragic event in his past had left him emotionally and physically scarred, and reluctant to face the world again.

Someone was leaving exquisite little paintings on park benches, with a tag saying, ‘If you love me, I’m yours’. The art was so fresh and cutting-edge, that it generated a media frenzy and a scramble to discover where the mystery artist could be hiding. The revelation of who the prodigious artist was interlinked Maud, Dot and Nate’s lives forever, but their worlds came crashing down.

Were bonds of friendship, love and loyalty strong enough to withstand fame, success and scandal?

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Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Goodreads

Universal book buy link

Please join Lizzie Chantree on Twitter each Monday for #CreativeBizHour

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Have a great week, everyone!

The Contract between heaven and earth

11 Jun

Hello, everyone! I hope you are having a great start to the week. I’m participating in a blog tour to introduce an exciting new novel, THE CONTRACT by John W. Howell and Gwendolyn M. Plano. I’m excited about this new thriller. Both John and Gwen are very talented authors and members of the Rave Reviews Book Club. Their writing styles are fascinating and very different, so this collaboration intrigues me. I’m really looking forward to reading this book.

I’m going to allow John & Gwen to take over now. Don’t forget to leave them some feedback in the comment section. Thank you!

The CONTRACT between heaven and earth

By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

Thank you, Vashti, for inviting us to join you today. We are delighted to be featured on your blog, and indeed feel like neighbors (you being the writer next door). All the best to you!

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Available on Kindle and Paperback

Kindle priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

THE CONTRACT is a different story for writers John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano. For either of them, it is their first attempt at co-authorship. After a year of Hurricane Harvey and other challenges, they have created, what they have termed, an inspirational thriller that bridges heaven and earth.

Here is the blurb:

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

 

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appearsto have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumbleas Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

 

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.

 

 

Here is an excerpt.

A child cried among the sea of moans in the burial ground that once was a school. An eight-point-five earthquake had hit San Diego and buckled the structure, trapping the children. Rescue teams lifted chunks of concrete, looking for any sign of hope, while sirens whined, and anguished parents screamed as rescuers lifted one lifeless body after another from the rubble.

In the darkened classrooms of twisted metal and collapsed ceilings, angelic beings held each child. They formed part of the divine regiment, sent to comfort and escort the children to their heavenly home.

“Mommy,” the voice said, faint and failing.

An angel responded, “Come, little one. Youaresafe with me.”

Without effort, theyoungster floated above his body, and with the angel, he ascended into clouds of bright iridescent hues. The wisps of color surroundedhimand obscured the destruction and terror below.

“Johnny,” hecalled out when he noticed his friend nearby in the clouds.

Johnny looked and waved in return. “Hey, Pauly.” He, too, traveled with an angel.

Then Pauly spotted other children on all sides of him, accompanied by celestial beings. He smiled and said to his guardian angel, “My friends are all with me.”

Authors Bio.

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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. The last, Circumstances of Childhood is a family life thriller story and launched October 2017. 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.

John’s other books.

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

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John and Lucy

Gwen had a lengthy career in higher education, and it was there that she published her first book, Beyond Boundaries, for students interested in volunteer work in developing countries. After she retired, she wrote her award-winning memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love.

 

Gwen lives in Branson, Missouri with her husband.

Gwen’s books.

Available on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2wdXsrn

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Gwen and her kids.

Thank you for visiting!

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.