Tag Archives: RRBC

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!

The Contract-thriller-John W Howell-Gwendolyn M Plano-new_release-novel-Vashti Quiroz Vega-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q

 

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!

 

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.

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

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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…
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Have a fabulous Friday!

Calling All Bookworms, Book Lovers, Book-Nerds & Bibliophiles!

25 Sep

Hello everyone! This year I told myself that I would make more time for reading, and I’ve been doing just that. Another thing I wanted to do was to expand the genres that I read. Today, I wanted to share some of the books that I’ve read lately. I’m picky about the books I read and review, and believe me these books are great. I highly recommend them. There’s something here for everyone.

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Our Justice

by John W. Howell

Our Justice is a suspense thriller that will have you reading on the edge of your seat.

BLURB

The terrorist leader and financier Matt Jacobs figured out a plan to eliminate the President. He is relying on John Cannon’s stature as a hero to help him carry it off. John finds himself walking the fine line of pretending to help Matt while trying to figure out a countermeasure to the plan.
The third book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy brings together two strong wills for a showdown. The question to be answered is who will feel the satisfaction that the achievement of justice delivers? John, Matt or neither?

You can read my Amazon review here.

 


The Heart’s Lullaby: A candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain.

by Natalie Ducey

The Heart’s Lullaby is a beautiful book of love poems.

Blurb

The Heart’s Lullaby is a candid portrayal of love in all its splendor and pain. Love, in its purest form, is tranquil and soothes the soul. But love, as is life, can sometimes be cruel and unjust with its paths of uncertainty and forced goodbyes. In essence, it is a journey of self-discovery. A continuous journey of becoming. Often, it becomes a delicate dance of holding on and letting go.

We linger in memories of ill-fated love; our minds can easily soil them, and our hearts can effortlessly polish them to perfection, altering their resemblance entirely. We can anchor ourselves to yesterday by zealous choice or solemn grief. So easily, we can become obsessed with what “might have been” and miss the beauty that lies before us. Our minds craft spectacular moments that will never be realized. Why? Is it self-indulgence, or are they necessary companions for our soul’s survival?

Love, its force so formidable, transcends time, distance, and even death. Eternal love is the epitome of its grandeur.

To feel the exquisite, majestic splendor of love is the greatest gift we can give or receive. To have another see the unique beauty in our imperfections, that will protect us and elevate us without greed or envy, a soul willing and proud to walk this journey of life with us and share in its joys and sorrows … this is love, a gift unmeasurable and unmatched by earthly possessions.

But two souls must be willing. Therein lies the intricate complexities of the heart. And in the end, we must never forget … love, as is life, is a continuous journey of becoming.

You can read my Amazon review here.


Lodestone: Witch-Hunt

by Wendy Scott

Lodestone: Witch-Hunt is a dark fantasy story with some romance, adventure and mystery mixed in.

 

Blurb

There’s a cauldron of trouble brewing in Valloaria…

Download Lodestone today and strap on your broomstick –you’re in for a hell of a ride: The Witch-Hunt Series.

Two tales entwine (excerpts below).
Sabrina and Lauren’s tales entwine – linked by blood and magic. Sabrina, a newly fledged healer, is thrust out of her sheltered life at Mistress Florisah’s healing school after the destruction of the witch-ancestor portraits. An anti-witchcraft militia is poised on Karthalon’s borders threatening full scale genocide, unless Sabrina, the last of Lauren’s bloodline, can destroy the Lodestone, and restore magic to Valloaria, but the Lodestone is buried deep within the heart of the Order’s headquarters. Sabrina struggles to accept this suicide mission, and is distracted by her inappropriate affection for Micah, a prospect monk. Lauren’s ghost haunts Sabrina’s dreams as her diary reveals the tragic events behind Lauren’s actions. With invasion imminent, Sabrina embarks on her quest armed only with a sliver of the Lodestone, and Lauren’s diary but how can a lone girl prevail against an army?

Excerpt – Lauren
They attacked me alone, in pairs and in mass with their witchy ways, but their magic fell short; I was immune. Blasts of power seared from their fingertips and stonework exploded above, below and next to me, but nothing penetrated the brilliant glow of the Lodestone and they fell back, shrieking in frustration. I glowered at those not fast enough to move out of me way and they vaporized in an orange flash, to black flakes that I trampled underfoot.


Excerpt – Sabrina
A shirtless youth, with his back to her, hummed as he brushed a dark horse. The horse was standing perfectly still as if the boy’s song had lulled him to sleep. Sabrina silently observed the prospect as he worked. He was tall with a slender build, but she could see the muscles in his tanned back and arms ripple with each stroke. His brown hair was caught up in an intricate knot threaded by two long feathers; one red, the other purple. She’d never met anyone like him before.
She shuffled forward to get a better view, but her brush whacked into the wooden partition. He whirled around and she found herself staring into the brownest eyes, framed by the longest lashes she’d ever seen. They gawked at each other for a moment before Sabrina rediscovered her tongue. “I … I was sent to care for your horses.”
He pointed with his brush, to the horses behind him and said, “I’ve finished the others. Only Alloni, the brown and white, needs attention.”
Sabrina scurried to the indicated stall. Where was his shirt? As if reading her thoughts, he casually reached down and grabbed a white shirt. Slowly, he pulled it over his damp shoulders and Sabrina hastily focused on the horse. Her strokes were a bit shorter and harder than she normally applied and the horse shifted beneath the brush. Before she could correct herself, strong fingers, radiating warmth, slipped over hers and a voice laced with musk, breathed into her ear. “Not so firm. Alloni likes long, languid strokes – like this.”
Heat blazed into spots on her cheeks as she followed his movements. After several strokes he said, “That’s it, you’ve got the knack of it now.”
He released her hand and stepped away. Sabrina felt as awkward as a newborn foal so she kept her eyes averted and silently busied herself with the horse. From outside, a muffled yell filtered through the stable and the boy said, “Deakon wants me. Will you be all right finishing up?”
She didn’t trust herself to speak. “Ah-ha.”

You can read my Amazon review here.


Empty Chairs: Much more than a story about child abuse

by Stacey Danson

Empty Chairs is a heart-wrenching memoir about the nightmarish young life of author Stacey Danson. This book will make you cry, but it will also teach you many lessons.

Blurb

Stacey Danson, lived through and beyond horrific child abuse. This book tells of her brutal beginnings, the streets of Sydney at the age of eleven were preferable to the hell she endured at home. She ran, and those streets became her home for five years. She was alone, ill, and afraid. Stacey also had an unshakeable belief that she would do more than just survive her life. She would not allow her future to be determined by the horrors of her childhood. She reached out for something different; there had to be more to life; if she could only find it. She had a dream of a life where pain and humiliation had no place. She was determined to find that life. Empty Chairs is the beginning of the journey. Now she is living the dream.

You can read my Amazon review here.

You can preview any of these books for free. I hope you are intrigued by at least one of them. Have a great week!

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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!

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

Watch RWISA Write – Author Spotlight: Gwen Plano

6 Aug

Hello and a warm welcome to my blog! Today is the 5th day of the Watch WRISA Write showcase tour and The Rave Reviews Book Club members are featuring the talented and sweet, Gwendolyn (Gwen) Plano. She will be sharing a lovely story called, Love at First Sight. Enjoy! 

letting go into perfect love-gewn plano-novel-The Writer Next Door-Vashti Q-Vashti Quiroz Vega-spotlight-RRBC-WRISA-readers

Love at First Sight

By Gwendolyn M Plano

 

“It doesn’t seem real. It just doesn’t seem real.” Mom muttered as she ran her hand over the curves of dad’s headstone. Sighing deeply, she stared blankly into the horizon.

After a few minutes, she turned and faced me. “I tell myself that it must be real.” She seemed to want my approval. “The stone says we were married 70 years. It must have happened; I must have been married. But, but…why can’t I remember?” She searched my face for answers.

Stooped from the burden of years now elusive and sometimes vacant, mom held my arm while she walked to either side of the monument.

“I saw him in a dream. Did I tell you that?”

“No, mom, I don’t think you did.”

“He was young, like when we first met.”

“Really? Could you tell me about how you met?”

“How?” Mom’s eyes darted to and fro as she struggled to answer. Then, as though the curtains lifted, she responded.

“Yes…yes, I can tell you how we met.”

“Let’s sit here, mom.” I led her to a cement bench under a tall oak tree near dad’s grave. “Now tell me how the two of you met.”

Mom took a deep breath and began. “It was during the war. I remember it now. It was 1944. There were posters in our high school which asked us to sign up to work at the Consolidated Aircraft factory in San Diego. They needed help building B-24 bombers. We called the bombers the Liberators. My sister and I and several of our girlfriends decided we wanted to help our country. Most of the boys in our class were enlisting in the army or navy. We wanted to do our part too.”

“Like Rosie the Riveter?”

“Oh, yes! We all wanted to be Rosie. Your grandparents didn’t much like the idea, but they knew the families of the other girls, and since we’d be living together and would watch out for one another, they finally agreed. After all, it was the patriotic thing to do.”

I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of mom being Rosie and asked where she lived.

“We lived with Aunt Lena on India Street in San Diego. She put in bunk beds for us. At night, we’d wash out our clothes and tie the pieces to the bedsprings so that they could dry overnight.”

“When we arrived at Consolidated, they gave each of us a uniform – blue pants and jacket. And, we had classes for a week or two. Most of us were assigned the job of riveting. It’s hard to believe, but there were about 20,000 women working at the factory. The assembly line was a mile long, and believe it or not, we built about nine bombers a day. Isn’t that amazing?”

“That is amazing, mom.” Pride glowed from mom’s face, and I couldn’t help but feel proud of her as well.

“I was assigned to the wings. I hate heights, but I’d climb on top of those wings and pretend I was sitting on the hood of a car. I didn’t get afraid that way. One day, when I was sitting up there, holding a riveting gun, your dad came by.”

“Hey,” he said. “What’s your name?” I thought I might be in trouble, but he smiled, so I smiled back.

“It’s Lauretta.”

“Well, Lauretta, you’re doing a great job. If you need anything, let me know. My name’s Jim, and I’m the foreman for this area.”

I put my arm around mom’s shoulder. “My goodness, mom, you were on the wing of a bomber when you met dad?”

“Sounds funny, doesn’t it? But, yes, that’s the first time we talked. I didn’t pay much attention to him, but my sister would whisper to me, “There he is again. I think he likes you. He keeps looking this way.”

Mom lowered her eyes and giggled. “Of course, I didn’t believe her.”

After pausing a bit, she continued. “Your dad started walking home with us in the evening. He lived further up the hill from us, so it wasn’t out of his way. Mind you, I was wearing the company uniform and had my hair in a bandana, so I was hardly a beauty.”

“Anyway, one day he asked if I’d like to come up to his place. And, I was stupid and said okay. That’s when I learned about the facts of life. You know, sex.”

“You didn’t know before then, mom?”

“No, but he taught me that night.” Mom giggled and put her hand on her face. “He wanted to get married right then. But, I told him no, he had to talk to my parents. We needed to do it right. Besides, I hardly knew him. There were a lot of shot-gun marriages those days. We all thought the end of the world was coming, and well, young lovers didn’t hold back.”

“So, you and dad became lovers?”

“You know the answer to that, don’t you? When I didn’t have my cycle, I knew I was pregnant. Your dad was elated and didn’t hesitate to talk to your grandparents. Of course, I was ashamed. But, I want you to understand something. You might have been the reason we married, but you were not the reason we stayed together for 70 years.”

“Did you love him, mom?” The question came out before I could filter it.

“I did, I just didn’t know I did. Your dad would tell anyone who would listen, ‘When I saw Lauretta on the wing of a B-24 bomber, I knew that she was the one for me.’ He’d say it all the time, ‘She’s the one for me!’” Mom giggled as she thought about this story. “Your dad always said it was love at first sight. But it wasn’t that way for me.”

“What do you mean by that, mom?”

“Well, love is a strange word, isn’t it? Your dad seemed to know from the first time he saw me that he wanted to marry me. I didn’t feel that way. I think my focus was romance or dreams. And, your dad wasn’t the wooing type.”

“I believe I fell in love with him after you were born. He thought you were the most beautiful baby in the whole world. In fact, I think he was happiest when he was holding you. He’d sing to you and rock you to sleep every night.”

She dropped her head, and tears rolled down her cheeks. My tears fell as well.

“He was a good man, a faithful man. Did I tell you his promise?”

I shook my head, and said, “no.”

“You know that he grew up hungry, right? During the Dust Bowl, his family barely survived. In fact, two of his sisters died. Well, your dad promised me that his children would never go hungry. He would make sure of it. And, he did. He worked two jobs most of our marriage, and you kids were never hungry.” She paused and looked into my eyes.

“Your dad kept his promises.”

Mom grew silent. Her face turned from animated to expressionless, and I did not know what to think. She whispered something that I had to ask her to repeat. She sighed and looked at me again.

“It just doesn’t seem real.”

Gwen plano-author spotlight-RRBC-RWISA-Rave Reviews Book Club-Vashti Quiroz Vega-Vashti Q-watch WRISA write-blog_tour-The Writer Next Door

If you enjoyed Gwen’s story check out her book, Letting Go into Perfect Love on Amazon.

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Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE 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:

Gwendolyn (Gwen) Plano RWISA Author Page