It’s the #RRBC 2018 SPONSORS BLOG HOP – @WendyJayneScott

Welcome to the final stop of the #RRBC 2018 SPONSORS Blog Hop.  

The purpose of this blog hop was to profile some of those awesome members of RRBC who so generously supported our yearly gift basket raffle giveaway in 2018.  Each day of this hop, 5 books were profiled, and today, we’re ending the hop with one special book:

HIEROGLYPH by RWISA Author, Wendy Scott

Hieroglyph by Wendy Scott

There’s that beautiful cover, now here’s the blurb:

“Did Ancient Egyptians visit Australia?”

13-year-old TC has a secret. No one knows she possesses a supernatural power.
Can TC help her Uncle Max, an archaeologist; to unearth enough evidence to prove Ancient Egyptians visited Australia, before he’s discredited in the media by those that want the past to stay buried?

“Some would say that I have a gift, but to me, it’s always been a curse. Before I changed my mind, I tugged off my gloves and whipped my head left and right, checking to see that no one was watching. I sucked in a breath and steadied my nerves then thrust my hands against the stones and touched one of the cartouches. Time and place ripped away.”

An enthralling archaeological mystery, mixing the supernatural with humor and suspense.

The first of TC’s adventures – an archaeological mystery for junior readers and above.

In December of 2015, this book earned a 5-star review from me:

I don’t know if you all have heard me say this before (more like, whine about it), but I am a person who definitely judges an actual book by its cover.  Suffice that to say, not only was I not impressed by the cover of this book, but the title was a total turn-off to me, as well.  Not because it wasn’t a great title, and not because it was a bad cover, they were both just not my cup of “obvious” tea.  But, you came here for a review, didn’t you?

I thought Wendy Scott was an amateur writer.  Little did I know, that once between the covers of this book, I would be taken on an excitingly wonderful journey (and I don’t mean the one TC took us on).  The journey?  The book itself.  Great story-line.  Characters so real they felt like family, and the research that must have gone into making this book all come together so well was nothing short of amazing!  An amateur, she is not. I know a bit more about Egyptian history now, more than I’ve ever known my entire life!  (Thanks for all the education, Wendy!)

I’m not one to give a full rundown of what a book is about in my reviews.  That’s what Amazon is for.  But, just for the sake of the holiday season, this is a story of TC, an amazing young girl with supernatural powers, which no one knows she possesses.  There!  I shared with you what the story is about.  But, what I haven’t shared yet, is that Wendy Scott wrote a book so good, that not only teens will enjoy it because of the adventure aspect, but avid readers of all ages will, too.  Not only that… I am so impressed with the writing and her ingenious character-development, that I am giving this book 5 stars and hoping that everyone will take the time to read it.  This was truly a clean read and it flowed seamlessly, like a constantly moving river.  It was typo and error-free for the most part, so I must thank the author for taking the time to make the read more enjoyable for me, by ensuring that it was properly edited before I was introduced to it.  What I did find that detracted from the read a little, were the animations.  I don’t think they’re at all necessary, and maybe a bit distracting, especially when you happen upon a more serious side of the story, only to look up and be made to feel as if it’s all a cartoon.  In summation, HIEROGLYPH is a coming-of-age tale with a twist, and one that will leave you feeling good after the read is all over!  By the way, I am now in love with this cover! {This book would make a great gift for those teenagers in your life.}

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RUN ON OVER TO AMAZON AND GET YOUR OWN COPY TODAY!

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Well, there you have it!  A wonderful end to an awesome tour filled with great reads!  We hope that you took the time to visit each stop along the way and that you also left comments, as one lucky winner of a $20 Amazon gift card will be announced on Friday, 5/3/19.

If you haven’t visited the stops or supported any of the books yet, please visit RRBC’S 2018 SPONSORS BLOG HOP LINE-UP  page.

Have you read HIEROGLYPH?  If so, what did you think of it?

 

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Welcome to the “FINDING BILLY BATTLES TRILOGY” Blog Tour – @JHawker69 #RRBC #RWISA

Hello, Lovies!

Today, I am proud to introduce to you a dear friend and Team mate of mine at RAVE REVIEWS BOOKS CLUB, Author, Ronald A. Yates!

Ron at Southcoast Winery

Ron will be speaking with us about THE RULES OF WRITING: There Are None!   This should be good so pull up a chair, let’s mute our cell phones and learn from one of the masters!

Ron, the floor is all yours!

***

For writers and those who are struggling to be writers, there is no shortage of rules, guidelines, tenets, and imperatives all calculated to turn you into a bestselling author.

They are often daunting and overwhelming and in some cases a bit terrifying.

But mostly, they are unnecessary.

Yes, I said it. Rules of writing are gratuitous, redundant, and pointless.

“What is he saying?” You might be asking yourself. “Has he gone off his mental reservation? Did somebody steal his rudder? Is he weak north of his ears?”

I have been writing, in one form or another, for most of my life. I learned the techniques and skills of writing by toiling for almost 30 years in the relentless and stressful world of journalism.

I was in some pretty good company. Ernest Hemingway began his writing career as a journalist—in fact, we both began our journalistic careers at the Kansas City Star.

Other successful authors who started as newspaper hacks include Rudyard Kipling, George Orwell, Graham Greene, Charles Dickens, Evelyn Waugh, Joan Didion, Norman Mailer, Hunter S. Thompson, Jack London, Annie Proulx, Stephen Crane, John Steinbeck, James Agee, Lillian Ross, and Mark Twain.

For 13 years I taught journalism and writing at the University of Illinois after leaving the world of professional journalism. During that time, I managed to condense my thoughts on writing into a structure suitable for the classroom.

So allow me to share my views on what writing is. What I am about to say here are not stringent rules or rigorous imperatives.

Don’t forget. There are no rules. Look at my comments as suggestions or musings, but not as edicts or diktats.

Writing is both an art and a craft. To be a good writer, you must first master the tools of the craft. What are those? They are vocabulary, grammar, research, style, plot, pacing, and story.

Words are your essential tools. They are your implements in the same way hammers, saws, bubble levels, squares, screwdrivers, and tape measures are the tools a carpenter must possess.

Then comes grammar. Just as carpenters must learn to respect and skillfully master their tools, so too must writers learn to skillfully manipulate words and respect the language.

If you don’t respect the language, you will never succeed as a writer.

You must also give yourself time to learn the art and craft of writing. You don’t learn how to be a writer by sitting alone in a room and squeezing your brain for inspiration the way you wring water from a sponge.

One of the first steps to becoming a good writer is by reading. Read, read, and read. As I used to tell my students, “If you want to write well, read well.”

Learn from the best; imitate (and I don’t mean to plagiarize). Listen to the words! Words speak to us from the written page, IF we let them IF we allow our eyes to open our inner ears.

Gifted writing can’t be taught. It must be learned.

And we learn from doing it; from experience. That’s how we gain confidence.

Let me repeat that because it is SO VERY IMPORTANT. To be a good writer, you must be confident in your ability to use the tools of the craft: vocabulary, grammar, research, style, plot, pacing, and story.

A confident writer is typically a good writer. We gain confidence by being successful in our work–no matter what work we do. We also learn from failure. Why was a book rejected 40 times? Why isn’t it selling on Amazon or Goodreads or Barnes and Noble? There must be a reason. Find out what it is and learn from it. Then go back to work and make the book better.

Once you master the Craft of Writing, the fundamentals, the mechanics, the “donkey” work, then you are ready to move on to the Art of Writing.

I don’t know if those who do not write for a living understand just how difficult writing is. Many believe that writers work from inspiration and that the words simply leap onto the blank page (or into the motherboard and central processing unit of a computer).

Ernest Hemingway once said: “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”

   

Ernest Hemingway

Ernest Hemingway

What’s a typewriter? You might ask. That’s a topic for another post when I discuss ancient writing implements.

But I digress. In fact, while inspiration is a beautiful thing, it is not what makes a good writer or book. Writing requires significant research, whether fiction or non-fiction. It requires a facility for organization and a keen sense of plot, pacing, and story.

I don’t believe writers are “born.”

They evolve over time as a result of significant experience in the craft.

Not all writers are brooding, intractable alcoholics or unbearable misanthropes who feel their creations contain irrevocable and definitive truths that most of humanity is too obtuse to comprehend.

In fact, most successful writers are excellent storytellers, and they like nothing more than to have their stories read by as many people as possible–even if those stories don’t always possess immutable truths.

And storytelling is not limited to fiction. Storytelling in non-fiction or journalism is just as important.

When I was young, I used to write lots of short stories. Were they any good? No. But for a person who wants to be a writer they were my way of practicing. Sort of like practicing the piano or the flute or some other instrument. The more you practice, the better and more accomplished you become.

Somerset Maugham, the author of such classics as The Razor’s Edge, The Moon and Sixpence, and Of Human Bondage, had this to say about writing:

“If you can tell stories, create characters, devise incidents, and have sincerity and passion, it doesn’t matter a damn how you write.”

And that leads me to Ann Rice’s Non-Advice to Writers. Ann Rice is a best-selling American author of gothic fiction, including books such as The Vampire Chronicles, Feast of All Saints, Servant of the Bones, Exit to Eden, and Belinda.

   

Ann Rice

Ann Rice
Here is what she says about giving advice to writers:

“On giving writers advice, offering “rules.” I’m asked a lot about this, and people bring great lists of rules for writers to the page all the time. What do I think? I can’t say it loud enough. There are NO RULES for all writers! And never let anyone tell you that there are. Writers are individuals; we each do it in our own way.

Don’t ever let anyone tell you that you’re not a “real” writer because you don’t follow their rules! I can’t tell you how much harm was done to me early in life by others judging me in that way. I was told in college I wasn’t a “real” writer because I composed on a typewriter; I was condemned later on in damn near apocalyptic terms for “not writing every day.”

“Real writers” are those who become “real writers.” That’s all there is to it. And again, we each do it in our own way. For me, stubbornness has been as important as any talent I might possess. I ultimately ignored the people who condemned me, ridiculed me and sought to discourage me. I laughed or cried over it in secret; and went right on writing what I wanted to write, the way I wanted to write it.

I knew of no other way to become the writer of my dreams. If you want to be a writer, go for it. Critics are a dime a dozen, and people who would love to see you fail are everywhere. Just keep on going; keep doing what works for you. Keep believing in yourself.” 

Ann Rice has said it well. You must believe in yourself and your work because if you don’t, who will?

Contact Ron via:

BB Trilogy 3-21-18 (1) (1)

Ronald E. Yates is an award winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. His extraordinarily accurate books have captivated fans around the world who applaud his ability to blend fact and fiction.

Ron is a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the Dean of the College of Media. His award-winning book, “The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles,” is the second in his Finding Billy Battles trilogy of novels and was published in June 2016. The first book in the trilogy, “Finding Billy Battles,” was published in 2014. Book #3 of the trilogy (The Lost Years of Billy Battles) was published in June 2018.

As a professional journalist, Ron lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia, and both Central and South America where he covered several history-making events including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia; the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing; and wars and revolutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, among other places. His work resulted in multiple journalism awards, including three Pulitzer nominations and awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Inter-American Press Association, to name a few.

BOOK PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON

TRILOGY LINK

BARNES & NOBLE

MY WEBSITE & BLOG

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

PINTEREST

LINKEDIN

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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.  
Lastly, Ron is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE 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!
Thanks for supporting this author and his work!  

I Love Promoting #RWISA #RRBC Books, But… (#AnOrphanNoMore) @IAmReginaLouise

…every now and again, I come across those that I think might be so good, that I have to promote them just as hard as I would a really good #RWISA or #RRBC book.

Everyone knows that I love Lifetime Television.  My husband and children would tell you that I watch too much LT  but, I would be quick to counter that I don’t watch enough.  I mean, LifeTime is where I garner much of the knowledge I use to keep them all safe.  You’d think they’d appreciate that.

Although all the stories on LT aren’t based on true stories, they are stories that make you feel so deeply, they could be.

Today, while watching LT in my office as I often do on Saturdays, a movie trailer came on that left me confused.  The title, “I AM SOMEBODY’S CHILD:  The True Story of Regina Louise” stood out for me, as I have an unpublished poem entitled “SOMEBODY’S CHILD” that I penned in 2011.

I will admit that even though some of the imagery from the trailer was a bit enticing, it was lacking in so many areas.  As my youngest daughter put it, “Most trailers leave you in suspense and anxiously awaiting the movie.  This trailer was just plain stupid.”  I had to laugh at her assessment, as the trailer also left me wondering why anyone would want to see the movie after viewing that poor production.  When it ended, I found myself asking the television, “Who the heck wrote that and what did they expect me to learn from it?”  

Since the creator of the trailer wasn’t in my office to answer my questions (nor was he or she inside of my television obviously), I headed to Google to find out for myself who Regina Louise was.

I learned a lot about her from that simple search, but, it was this poem of hers that I happened upon that left me breathless and wanting to see the movie behind that poor production of a trailer.  The words and the delivery literally forced me to Amazon to purchase her books, and now, I (along with my daughter) anxiously await the movie’s premiere in April.

During this month of Black History, I find the sharing of this poem by bestselling author, Regina Louise, highly appropriate for the time.

“SHE WAS ALL I EVER WANTED” 

Here are the only two books that I found by this author and I just can’t wait to read them:

“SOMEBODY’S SOMEONE”

“SOMEONE HAS LED THIS CHILD TO BELIEVE” 

Let me reiterate that I have not read these books and therefore am unable to share any insight into the worthiness of the reads…yet.  I have purchased them on the basis of the profoundness and the delivery of the poem above, by the author herself.

If you’re curious about the hashtag in my title, #AnOrphanNoMore, click the link for more beauty behind this unique mother/daughter love story.  (I must share that this article starts off with a few typos, but the story itself is so wonderful, you’ll soon forget those little hiccups).

Regina Louise and mom photp

Now tell me, have you ever been so moved by a trailer that you couldn’t wait to rush out and get the book or see the movie?  Or, has a certain piece of writing felt so phenomenal to you that it left you panting for more of that author’s work?  If so, please share your stories in the comments section below.

Thanks for dropping in and I wish for you also a beautiful LifeTime Saturday!

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If you’re not a member of one of the most amazing book clubs in all the world, JOIN US today so that you can be introduced to some really great reads and if you’re an author, so that we are introduced to you!

 

I Have That Same Dream… #RRBC #RWISA

Today is the day that we celebrate that great man, who, with perfect eloquence made us focus on the fact that “all men are created equal.”

I could very easily just post the words to that famous “I HAVE A DREAM…” speech, but, I think that you will feel it more deeply, if I share with you those words, via his most powerful delivery.

And I’m also sharing the actual speech because, believe it or not, some have never even heard of it before.

REST IN PEACE, DR. MLK.  THERE ARE THOSE OF US, BLACK AND WHITE, STRIVING TO KEEP YOUR DREAM ALIVE.

 

The Birth of a Wonder – The Short History of #RaveReviewsBookClub #RRBC

happy_birthday_background_6818462

(Image from All-Free-Downloads.com)

On Sunday, December 8, 2013, I remember sitting at my dining room table and staring at my computer monitor…surfing thru my Twitter feed.

After having finished reading a book that had been tagged on Twitter as “#GreatRead!” and being sorely disappointed and wanting to then tag a more truthful review – “#WorstReadEver” (as it was poorly written, in need of a professional edit and proof and so much more), the wheels of my brain began to spin rapidly.

“I’m going to create a forum where I can post honest reviews of the books that I’ve read,”  I said, half out loud.

After creating the forum and giving more thought to how I could make an even greater contribution to the literary world by posting honest reviews of books, I decided that it would be a great idea to offer more under the umbrella of what I had initially planned; more in the sense of creating a community of readers and writers who could also offer and benefit from honest book reviews.

There were a handful of authors on Twitter who I had developed a special rapport with, and the first one that I reached out to was Bruce A. Borders.  Bruce and I had been supporting one another for quite some time and I had read one of his books and knew that he was a good writer, and also a strong reviewer.

“I’m going to form a book club under the umbrella of Rave Reviews By Nonnie Jules.  A forum where authors will come together to support one another, and also a place where readers can expect that the reviews of books will be honest.  I’d like you to join me and serve as my VP.”

“Sounds like a great idea.  I’m all in,” Bruce said.  “Just let me know when you’re ready to start.”

After the site was fully established with the book club and all that it would offer, I reached out to a few more that I had been reciprocating support with, and, who I also knew would be assets to the club.  The late, Kathryn C. Treat was next on my list and she would serve as our first Membership Director until two months prior to her death.

In the first month of formation, we added over 300 members to our roster.  By month 5, we had over 600 members.  Membership at that time was really inexpensive: it was FREE.

Since one of the asks of the club was that members #Follow one another on Twitter, we soon came to realize that many were joining us simply to grow their Twitter following.  It soon became abundantly clear that they had no desire or intentions to support their fellow members;  they merely wanted to #follow so that they in turn would be #followed.

In our 6th month, we instituted a $25 annual membership fee, which in my eyes, was still FREE, especially when you think about all that the club offers.  It was our way of keeping the “riff raff” off our roster and seeking to add more of those who were serious about what we were working towards.

I had a TEAM of 7 at the time, and sadly, now I can’t even remember everyone’s name as they weren’t on our roster long (for their own personal reasons)…although we continued to support them off the roster.

Contrary to popular belief, Beem Weeks and Marlena Smith (Marlena Hand at that time) were not original TEAM members of the club.  I noticed Beem, as he was one supporting other authors on Twitter just as much as I was.  I knew that he would be a great asset to the club and he has never proven me wrong.  (After the 7 TEAM members, Beem was the 2nd member on our roster in January of 2014.)

Marlena was also a great supporter of others, and there was something about her persona on Twitter that made me KNOW she would be the best Secretary ever – and for all these years, she has been.  When I asked her to join and serve, she stood back and watched for a couple of days before she said “YES!” (This will surprise many of you, but Marlena was the 174th member on our roster in January of 2014.  And, that was before January 14, 2014!)  So, as you can see, our membership was growing by leaps and bounds (when it was FREE).

Although Shirley Harris-Slaughter was among my core group of those I reciprocated support with on Twitter, she didn’t come aboard immediately.  Her name was added to our roster shortly after Beem joined, and she has never wavered in her support of RRBC.

Fast forward 5 years and many changes to the faces on my TEAM.  We have had some awesome authors to serve on the RRBC board, but, there are some who hold Lifetime Memberships, who have given and who continually give of their time to serve the community of RRBC, who I’m sure will be around until the very end.  Some faces joined our TEAM much later, yet, have proven to be committed to serving the RRBC community and our agendas of support.  They’re so awesome, I often wonder how I ever got on without them (Wendy Scott, Jan Sikes, Michelle Abbott, Eric Halpenny, and Mary Adler to name a few).

Although some of the names on our roster have changed over the course of these 5 years, the goals and mission which I established on day one, have not.  We are a community of support.  We are committed to being recognized as an establishment of Indie authors, who take very seriously the business of writing and publishing great works.  We believe in lifting as we climb and we stand by the policy that “honesty” in book reviews, is always the road to travel.  We strive daily to ensure that we put forth our best and most professional “author” face ever, so that we are one day placed in the history books alongside other literary greats.  And, with the inception of RWISA (RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS), we aim to be the very best.

Other long-timers also remain on our roster.  Members like:  Bette A. Stevens, Karen Ingalls, Kim Taylor, Peggy Hattendorf, Ernestine Rose, Bill Ward, Nicholas Rossis, John Howell, Larry Hyatt, Robin Leigh Morgan, Karl Morgan, Carol Marrs-Phipps, Micki Peluso, Marcha Fox, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, Rhani D’Chae, Yvette Calleiro and so many more, are all part of this amazing family that we’ve created online.  This list is too extensive to go on, but, these are some of the early joiners.  I appreciate each and every one of them for their staying power and loyalty to RRBC.

As with any organization, we have also lost members over the years, but, I never concern myself with those who have moved on.  We accept that not everyone understands or subscribes to the theory of commitment and dedication.  If everyone did, that wouldn’t be real life, now would it?  My attention and focus is always reserved for those who remain.

For those members who have left our roster for things out of their control, like LIFE, we wish them all the best and we always welcome those members back into the fold, if and when they decide to return.  Many who have left our roster, later realize the importance of RRBC to the literary world and do return, by the way.

And, for every member who we have lifted, promoted and given name recognition to and in the end, moved on to try and compete with RRBC, as opposed to remaining and offering the same support to others, they’ve only made room for those who were actually designed to be here;  and, for that, I am grateful.

Until there is no more breath left in my body, RRBC/RWISA will continue to thrive and grow into the powerhouse it was destined to be, and, it will continue on as the most supportive arena for serious writers that it has grown into and that it is known for.

We don’t believe in looking back or dwelling on the past, here at RRBC.  Our success lies before us…in the minutes, days, weeks, months and many years to come.  We know that as long as we remember that it’s not about self, but more about community that helps us succeed, we’ll do just fine.

I will end here by saying, “Here’s to another very successful 5 years, RRBC/RWISA!” 

HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY!!!

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If you’d like to add your name to the RRBC Roster, please click HERE!

The WATCH “#RWISA” WRITE Showcase ends here! #RRBC #RRBCWRW

Welcome to the final stop of the 2018 WATCH “RWISA” WRITE SHOWCASE!  I’d like to begin by apologizing to those who are hosting me today as they were sent the incorrect (draft) copy instead of the finalized copy, which needed to be posted to their blogs.  But, instead of sending the post out to all of those who are hosting, as I don’t know who is for sure, I decided to post the correct copy here, on my own blog, and those who wish to switch out the post on their sites, may do so by simply copying and pasting from here. (If you would like the correct copy emailed to you, please leave me a comment below).  I do appreciate all your support and my deepest apology for the mix-up.  ~ NJ

For those of you who read my first novel, “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND,” you might recall the struggles that Maiya/Marisa had to endure.  In the upcoming (untitled) sequel, there is a huge new twist to her story.  Here is a snippet of what’s to come…

(For those interested in reading “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER…” please wait for the announcement of its re-release as it’s going thru a new round of edits.  I PROMISE IT WILL BE MUCH BETTER THAN THE FIRST TIME IT WAS RELEASED!)

EXCERPT FROM THE SEQUEL TO “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER…”

(I’ve decided not to preface this piece with any details.  I’d like for the readers to try and “figure” out the direction this piece is going in.  Have fun!)

***

 LEEZA

“Are you gonna buy me a drink or, are you just gonna sit there and stare at me?” Leeza asked the stranger at the bar.

“Uh, sure.  What are you drinking, pretty lady?”  Swirling to and fro, the man gripped the ridges of the bar to keep from falling from the bar stool.  “Hey, bartend, give this pretty lady what ‘er she wants and put it on my tab.”

Leeza looked him up and down.  Although not bad on the eyes, he didn’t strike her as a man with deep enough pockets to have a “tab” anywhere, but, who was she to judge?

“Vodka on the rocks,” she said, gesturing to the bartender.  When her suitor heard her request, his eyebrows shot up.

“Sure you can handle that strong of a drink, pretty lady?” he asked, still teetering.

“That’s not all I can handle.” Her suggestive wink was all the invitation the stranger needed to move a little closer, in spite of the fact that he could barely stand.

“So, what’s your name, pretty lady?” he slurred.

“Anything you want it to be, honey,” she replied.

“Really?  Well, I want your name to be Available.  So, are you?”

As he sat waiting for her response, she was reminded of her puppy, Scratches, paws perched on the windowsill, awaiting her return home from work.

“You gotta pay to play with me,” she nudged.

“Well, honey, you finish up that there drink of yours, and let’s head up to my room.  I’m in town on business and I would love the company of a beautiful woman going by the name…Available.”

In one fell swoop, she turned the glass up and the vodka was gone. The stranger’s eyes bulged again.  Clearly, he’d never seen a woman down a drink like that before.

Turning away from the bar and grabbing hold of his tie, Leeza led the way to the elevator of the hotel…the stranger following close behind, like a leashed dog.

“What’s your curfew, pretty lady?”

The elevator doors had only partially closed when she took her hand and grabbed his penis through his pants.

“I’m a big girl, single with no kids…does that sound like someone with a curfew?” she asked, as the ring of the elevator signaled their arrival to their destination.

Stumbling ahead of her, the stranger swiped his key and pushed opened the door.  Leeza walked past him, falling backward onto the bed.

“C’mon over here and let’s finish the party we started downstairs,” she said, kicking off her heels and propping her legs up on the bed…spread-eagle.

Balancing as he walked, the stranger stood over the bed with a huge grin plastered across his face.  Judging from the growing bulge inside of his pants, it was easy to discern that a grin awaited her there, too.

“C’mere.  You look as if you’re really happy to see me.” Leeza forcefully took him by the tie once again and pulled him on top of her.  When she began frantically unzipping his pants, he held her by the wrists to slow her down.

“Whoa, filly…what’s your hurry?  You said you didn’t have a curfew so why the rush?  Don’t you even wanna know my name?” he quizzed.

“Well, I thought your name was Ready since that’s the way you came across downstairs.”  Feeling a bit toyed with, Leeza’s smile exited. Being toyed with was the one feeling she hated most.

“You’re a funny one, aren’t cha?” he chuckled.  “Ok, well let’s ‘git to what we came here for!  By the way, my real name’s Jim.  Now tell me yours…”

“Nothing’s changed,” she whispered in his ear.  “I’m still…Available.”

Switching off the lamp, she proceeded to undress him by the orange glow of moonlight trickling through the window.   This was a typical night for Leeza;  raunchy sex with yet another man she didn’t know, nor cared to.  After a while, she just lay there and let him have his way.

Then, just as quickly as it had all begun, the party was over…at least, for her. The banging inside her head warned of the onslaught of another massive headache and there was no getting away from it.

Her enjoyment of the night’s events came to a screeching halt as the next one started to take over.

CHRISTY

Jim opened his eyes to a blonde pointing a gun in his face.  Startled, he scanned the room for the brunette he’d brought back with him the night before, but, she was nowhere to be found.

“Give me your wallet!” the blonde demanded.

“Who are you?  And, where is Available?” he asked, his eyes still searching.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about and I don’t want to know what you’re talking about, capiche?  My name is Christy and I’m not going to ask you again.  Give me…your wallet.”

Jim pointed to his clothes that he’d been stripped of the night before, strewn across the floor.  “You didn’t ask me the first time,” he said“My wallet’s in there. Take whatever you want, just get outta my damn room.”

Christy stooped to pick up the pants, throwing them at him; the gun, nor her eyes, hardly ever leaving the target as she moved.

“Hey, I don’t take orders from you. Remember that. Now give me everything in there that’s spendable.”

Jim snatched the bills from his wallet and threw them at her.  “Here, this is all I have,” he muttered, his tone laced with anger.

“I saw plastic.  I want those, too.  And don’t make the mistake again of throwing anything at me,” she warned, raising the gun to remind him who was in charge.

Jim mumbled something as he gently placed three credit cards on the bed.  Christy snatched the cards up and backed slowly towards the door.  Her hands had barely touched the door handle when she heard Jim yell, “Get out, you bitch!”

Pushing herself away from the door and calmly walking back over to the bed, she could see the fear which had quickly taken up residence in his eyes…the moment when he knew he had pushed too hard.

The growing smirk across her lips catapulted into a full-blown sneer as she lifted the gun to his head and pulled the trigger.

“Don’t you ever call me a bitch again.  I told you my name was Christy.”

***

Thank you for supporting myself and the other RWISA members along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! We ask that if you have enjoyed the showcases, that you would please visit the Author Pages on the RWISA site, where you can find more of our writing, along with our contact and social media links, if any of us have turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out our books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs. Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you have enjoyed following each member along this amazing tour of talent! Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about me:

NONNIE JULESRWISA Author Page

Welcome to Day #2 of the WATCH “#RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! #RRBC #RRBCWRW @Rhanidchae

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Hello, my wonderful guests!  Thank you all for joining me today on this amazing showcase tour being sponsored by RWISA (RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS), an elite branch of the amazing RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

This showcase will feature 19 amazing writers, each having their own special day of being featured on multiple blogs.  I, along with the other supportive hosts, ask that after reading the written work of art by each RWISA Author, that you click on the link designated to take you directly to that author’s profile page on the actual RWISA site.  On my blog, that link will be the author’s name.

Today’s special guest:

AUTHOR, RHANI D’CHAE 

Rhani D'Chae photo

and her piece is entitled…

“THE WEEK MY FATHER DIED”

I was at work when my mother called to tell me that dad had been rushed to the hospital the night before, suffering from excruciating pain in his abdomen.

Dad had been diagnosed with prostate cancer about fifteen years earlier and it had spread to other parts of his body, but he had been doing fairly well so there was no reason to anticipate something like this.

Mom told me that dad had spent quite a bit of time at the hospital while they ran numerous tests to discover the cause of his pain. Long story short, his kidneys were failing and there was nothing that could be done. He was sent home with a hospice nurse, so that he could be with his family in comfortable surroundings when the end came.

We rented a hospital bed and put it next to the front window so that he could see outside into the yard. We kept instrumental hymns playing on the stereo and moved mom’s chair closer to the bed so that she could be nearer to him.

And that’s when things started to get a little crazy.

James, my seeing eye son, was living with mom and dad at the time, and my sister, who I was living with at the time, drove out with me every day.  Gail, my other sister, also came out daily, as did her husband, her four children and their collection of young ones.

Gail’s grandkids were all under ten and did not really understand the severity of the situation. They knew that Papa was going home to see Jesus, but that was about as far as it went. Gail’s family had never lived close to mom and dad, so their kids only saw my parents three or four times a year. None of them had a close relationship with dad, so the thought of losing him did not rate overly high on their radar.

For five days, the kids ran through the house, slamming the doors and yelling to each other. Even when they were sent outside, the noise was loud enough to be heard everywhere in the house. Their respective parents would occasionally tell them to tone it down, but they were kids and that’s what kids do.

At one point, one of my nephews-in-law decided to commemorate the occasion by putting it on film. He videotaped everyone going to my father’s side and saying goodbye. Maybe it was the stress of the situation, but I didn’t like what he was doing. My father’s death was not a photo-op, and I resented anything that made it seem that way.

I remember being called into the living room and told to say something to dad. I had already spoken to him several times, telling him that I loved him and assuring him that mom would be taken care of. Having my niece’s husband dictate to me where to stand and how long to talk so that he could get it on film, was infuriating.

As six families moved through the house each day, my mother spent most of her time sitting with dad, reading the Bible to him and making the most of the time that remained. She loved having her family close, but as the days passed, I could see that the noise and constant disruption was getting to her. I did speak to my nieces individually on several occasions, asking if they could please keep the kids quiet, at least in the house. They always said they would, and I know that they meant it at the time, but it never happened. The noise, the chasing from room to room, and the constant interruptions into my parents’ private space, continued. I could see that it was upsetting my mother, and I finally decided to put my foot down.

I took my mom and Gail into the bedroom and asked mom what she wanted or needed. She thought about it for a long moment and then said, very simply, that she wanted to answer the phone. Either Gail or one of her daughters had been taking the phone calls and making a list of the callers. Mom wanted to speak to those people, most of them from her church and was upset that she was not being allowed to do so. And she wanted the volume around her to be turned down to a much less disruptive level.

Gail said that she would take care of it, and she did. Within hours, her grandkids had been taken by their fathers to another location. I didn’t know where they went, and I didn’t much care. They were gone, the house was quiet, and that was all that mattered to me.

Later in the day, James, my other sister Sharon and I, took mom to Cold Stone for some ice cream. Dad was fairly unresponsive by then, so she felt that it was okay to take a little break.

We were gone for about an hour, and by the time we got back, everyone else was back as well. But at least mom had a few hours of uninterrupted time with dad, and I’m so grateful that the girls understood and were willing to do what was needed to give her that.

My father passed that night, surrounded by family and carried home on the sound of our voices singing his favorite hymns. Standing in a semi-circle around the bed, we held hands as we sang, while my brother-in-law, a minister, laid his hands on my father’s head and prayed him home.

As cancer deaths go, my father’s was fairly quick. He had been fully functional up until the night he went to the emergency room, enjoying his life without much discomfort. He avoided the long hospital stays and horrific pain that are so often a part of that kind of death. My aunt Gloria died of lung cancer when I was eighteen or so. I went to see her in the hospital, and I remember a shrunken figure in the bed, hooked up to monitors and numerous IV lines. Her time of dying took several long and torturous weeks, and I will always be thankful that my father was spared a similar end. I would have hated to have my last memory of this strong and vital man, be that of a wasted shadow of the man that he had always been.

I thank the Lord that it didn’t go that way.

Thank you so much for dropping by to support Rhani on her special day of the showcase!  We hope that you will continue to follow the showcase by heading to Twitter and searching the #RRBC and the #RRBCWRW hashtags so that you can find and follow each author’s post.

Enjoy!

***

How would you like to become a RWISA Member so that you’re able to receive this same awesome FREE support?  Simply click HERE to make application!

 

 

 

Welcome to Day #1 of the WATCH “#RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! #RRBC #RRBCWRW

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Hello, my wonderful guests!  Thank you all for joining me today on this amazing showcase tour being sponsored by RWISA (RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS), an elite branch of the amazing RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

This showcase will feature 19 amazing writers, each having their own special day of being featured on multiple blogs.  I, along with the other supportive hosts, ask that after reading the written work of art by each RWISA Author, that you click on the link designated to take you directly to that author’s profile page on the actual RWISA site.  On my blog, that link will be the author’s name.

Today’s special guest:

AUTHOR, LAURA LIBRICZ

Laura (2)

and her piece is entitled…

“THE PROTECTIVE PLAGUE”

From the Overlord’s house came a quiet but vicious argument. I walked past the stately, tiered structure, decorated with wooden carvings. The other houses circling the town square stood quietly: the midwife’s red wooden house built up on stilts; the ironworkers’ blue housing complex and their adjoining workshop also built on stilts; the dark-brown community building, windows tightly shuttered.

I set my basket down in the middle of the square. The fountain marking the village center bubbled behind me as a mouse scurried around its stone base. The door of the Overlord’s house slammed open and he appeared on the top step. A woman’s sobs came from inside the house. He raised his nose to the sky and sniffed at the air, his black, wiry hair standing on end. He approached the fountain, his black woolen cape fluttering behind him.

“The weather has changed,” the Overlord said.

“You notice such things, Master?” I asked. “Today is the Turn of the Season; coupled with the full moon.”

“Yes, that is why you tie those wreaths of herbs,” he said. “Silly old traditions.”

“We will burn them at sunset on the Field of Fruition. These old traditions give the people comfort.”

“Your traditions have no power,” he said. “This year we initiate my new ritual. The One True Deity is not appeased with burning herbs.”

“What will appease your Deity then, Master? Burning flesh?”

The door of the red house squeaked open. The midwife flurried towards the fountain carrying a spray of reeds. Two red-haired daughters followed behind her. They carried baskets overloaded with sage and wormwood.

“Good day, Master,” she said, dropping her reeds at my feet.

Her black hair, not colored carefully enough, showed red roots at her scalp. I moved between her and the master, hoping he had not seen her hair, and gathered three reeds in my hands. I braided their stalks. Her daughters set the baskets down on the stone steps of the fountain and the midwife pulled both girls to her side.

“The workshop is quiet this morning,” I mentioned.

“The men have crossed the ford to the settlement beyond the Never-Dying Forest. They’ve taken our surplus of food and hope to trade. Years ago, the forest villagers made fabrics.”

The Overlord chuckled. “Foolish men. No one lives beyond the water and the forest but barbarians. They don’t trade, they take.”

I held my braided reeds aloft. “Our petition tonight at the bonfire is to ask for the safety of all villagers involved, whether they come from Forest Village or Field Village.”

“There will be no bonfire tonight,” he said.

As if by the Master’s silent command, the double doors on the community building slid open. Five leather-clad men, adorned with weapons of glinting steel, took two steps forward. Five young women draped with dirty white shifts, hands and mouths bound, knelt behind their ranks. I recognized the midwife’s eldest daughter and the barrel maker’s granddaughter.

“My new Turn of the Season tradition starts today.” The Overlord nodded to the troop. The men grabbed each of the young women under the arms and dragged them into the square. They were forced to kneel on the stone steps by the fountain. The overlord’s daughter was also among them.

“These women will be taken against their will on the Field of Fruition. The One True Deity will come to accept the eggs as soon as they are fertilized. I will summon him. The women and their fruits belong to him. He will exalt them and admit them into his glorious mountain realm.”

I threw my reeds aside. “Our traditions and petitions are based on protecting our villagers, not sacrificing them.”

“These women are ripe. We have prodded them all. The One True Deity will have this offering.”

“Men cannot enter the Field of Fruition at the Turn of the Season. It will bring us harm so close to the coming winter.”

“Your foolish traditions cannot keep the furies of winter at bay. Harm will only come if one of these women becomes pregnant. That would prove her self-seeking nature, her desire to retain the fruits for herself. She will be executed.”

The midwife let out a shriek. The overlord stroked his daughter’s matted hair.

“If she becomes pregnant,” he said, “we will also know she enjoyed the act. She will have defied The One True Deity. Women cannot become pregnant when taken against their will.”

He took two steps forward, his face a breath away from mine. “These women can be saved. Here they are. Save them. Save them now but know this: four others will take their places. You shall be the fifth.”

He turned with a swish of his cape and, followed by his armed mob, disappeared into the community house.

The midwife and I unbound the women. Together we gathered the wreaths, all our herbs and reeds, and walked out of the square towards the Field of Fruition. The sky was overcast. Rains threatened. Two women and their children stood at the edge of the green field, bundling straw. They piled it neatly on a cart. Two other women whacked the lazy ox and the cart jerked into movement.

In the middle of the Field of Fruition, wooden planks stood in support of one another, forming an inverted cone. Mice scurried under my feet and under the cone. The planks were once an old barn. In its place, we built a new one. Since the great flood, our village had prospered. We had practiced our Traditions of Gratitude ever since. I gave silent thanks for the abundance of grain that allowed even the mice to multiply.

“The moon is coming up over the trees,” I said. “We will start the fire now.”

The midwife scraped her knife on her stone and sparks flew into a pile of straw. She convinced the fire to burn and we fed the flames until the dried planks ignited. I raised my wreath of braided reeds over my head as mice scurried out from under the burning planks.

Our peaceful but preventive petition resonated between our practiced voices. We’d recited the verses many times and shuddered with the energy they held. I threw the wreath on the fire; sparks flew into the low storm clouds. More mice scurried over my feet. I looked down and the Field of Fruition was no longer autumn-green, but mouse-grey. A layer of mice had gathered, completely covering the Field–a protective plague ensuring the fulfillment of our petitions of peace and gratitude. Well, this was not what I had in mind, but it would do. No ill-wisher would enter this field tonight.

***

Thank you so much for dropping by to support Laura on her special day of the showcase!  We hope that you will continue to follow the showcase by heading to Twitter and searching the #RRBC and the #RRBCWRW hashtags so that you can find and follow each author’s post.

Enjoy!

***

How would you like to become a RWISA Member so that you’re able to receive this same awesome FREE support?  Simply click HERE to make application!

What Would You Do? #RRBC

I turn on my television today and just happen upon a talk show discussing a homeless man, who was cruelly subjected to ice water being dumped on him, as he slept in a Dunkin Donuts Shop.

Take a look at the video below.  I must warn you, though, if you have a heart, it’s not easy to watch:

As you can tell, not only was this poor man humiliated after having been physically assaulted with the water, but, the culprit then lashes out at him verbally.  Oh, and let me not forget to mention the ‘brilliant’ camera guy who’s recording the whole thing, tickled pink at the misfortune of this poor man.

My eyes filled with tears as I watched this man jump up from the shock of the cold, knock his cell phone over onto the floor (probably breaking it in the process), and then calmly and respectfully explain why he was asleep.  “It was an accident,” he said, only to be called a liar.

My question to you is this:  What will it take for us to become a little more compassionate towards each other?  How much more hate of ourselves must we heap unto others, before we realize, it is that which we see in other’s situations that frightens us to the point of poor behavior?  But why?  What’s the motivation?

I believe it’s because we realize that we, too, could one day be in similar situations.  It could just as easily be us, sitting in a restaurant, hungry, too tired to stay awake – accidentally falling asleep.

The culprit, who in my opinion doesn’t look any more blessed than the victim, feels that by “shaming” this man, it somehow builds up his own situation…whatever that may be.

I am filled with questions today and I need you to help me come up with answers…ones that might make sense to me. I mean, help me to understand this – Why must we tear others down to make ourselves feel bigger?  Why must we make others hurt, to make ourselves feel stronger and more powerful?

I don’t know if you can answer those difficult questions for me, but, I have my own take on these kinds of situations, and they are lessons we all must learn.

A man is no less a man simply because he has no bed of his own, or, a place to call home.  Even if he rides the bus, or stands outside of a store, asking for food…shoes without holes in them, foreign to him…he is still a man.

What separates the men from the boys, is that the one who lives in a mansion, high on a hill, with the most beautiful mountainous view and who also drives the finest cars…the one who so vigorously shakes the grime-filled hand of one whose clothes are dirty and tattered – when many others might look away and pretend to not see, this one not only gifts with food, but sits down next to him to eat, then calls him “friend” – that is a man.

What you saw in the video above were just two “boys” whose lives are probably worse than the man they victimized and who were either never taught or never learned how to be real men.

Would you like to know what happened to those ‘boys’? Well, it’s been reported that Dunkin’ Donuts suspended them, pending an investigation. Though based on the video footage, I’m not quite sure why an investigation would be needed.  The not-so-smart miscreants recorded their crime for the entire world to see, so I say, suspension was much too good for them.

And, what of  the man who was victimized because he accidentally fell asleep in a donut shop?  Well, now he’s no longer nameless.  Per WKTV News Channel 2, his name is Jeremy Youngs.  It was also reported that an aunt of Mr. Youngs has said that he has mental challenges, which makes what those ‘boys’ did to him, even more sickening.

I learned a long time ago that you never know what someone else might be going thru and it is because of that ignorance, that I try to be as decent a human being as is humanly possible.  I don’t turn my nose up at those who might appear to have less than I do.  I don’t frown upon those whose homes are not in as nice a neighborhood as mine, and I have never tried to make my worst day better by making someone else’s harder.

I don’t feel sorry for Jeremy Youngs.  I feel sadness for those ‘boys’, who at their ages, never learned how to be real men.  But, I feel the saddest for the children they might be father to now, or might one day become father to, because it is those innocent little souls who will watch and learn how not to be decent human beings, simply because of a sperm deposit.

So, can you answer my questions now?

Until next time…

Jump on board the #RRBCTreatReads Blog Hop! #RRBC #RWISA

Hello, ladies and gentleman!  I’m back with a lot of fun for you to dive into and some amazing reads hot on my “tail,” as they say down in Texas.

For 13 days, the amazing RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is hosting a blog hop for the grand prize winner, the runner-ups and the finalists in the 2017 KCT INT’L LITERARY AWARDS CONTESTS!  Now, all of these members are RWISA Members and that means that you can bet your bottom dollar, the reads are good!  (If you don’t know about RWISA, hurry and check them out!)

I’m sharing the Line-up here because I can just feel you itching for some good reads and you can definitely find one here, every day thru the 30th.

***

“TREAT” READS BLOG HOP LINE-UP

Tuesday, 9/18/18: “THE IMPROBABLE JOURNEYS OF BILLY BATTLES” by Ronald Yates

Wednesday, 9/19/18:  “IN THE SHADOW OF LIES” by Mary Adler

Thursday, 9/20/18:  “LETTING GO INTO PERFECT LOVE” by Gwen Plano

Friday, 9/21/18:  “SON OF MY FATHER” by Peggy Hattendorf

Saturday, 9/22/18:  “EXCLUSIVE PEDIGREE” by Robert Fear

Sunday, 9/23/18:  “ONE DYKE COZY” by Rhani D’Chae

Monday, 9/24/18:  “OUTSHINE” by Karen Ingalls

Tuesday, 9/25/18:  “TURPITUDE” by Bernard Foong

Wednesday, 9/26/18:  “DOG BONE SOUP”  by Bette A. Stevens

Thursday, 9/27/18:  “HIEROGLYPH” by Wendy Scott

Friday, 9/28/18:  “THE WAY TO HER HEART” by Amy Reece

Saturday, 9/29/18:  “ELEMENTS” by Nia Markos

Sunday, 9/30/18:  “DESTINY’S PLAN” by Victoria Saccenti

Sunday, 9/30/18:  “THE RECTOR:  A CHRISTIAN MURDER MYSTERY” by Michael Hicks Thompson

I’d love for you to assist me in helping to promote these awesome reads, and here is how you can lend your support:

1)  Pick up a copy of one of these amazing books, if you haven’t already;

2)  Follow along each day by heading to Twitter, performing a search there for #RRBCTreatReads, clicking the “Latest” tab and then re-tweeting all the tweets you see which include the hashtag #RRBCTreatReads;

3)  Leave a comment below to show your support and it will also garner you an entry into a raffle for a gift card after the hop has ended.  This is a win win situation, if I ever did see one!

That’s all there is to it!  Nothing hard about it.

Thanks so much in advance for your support and the next time, I promise you an amazing, thought-provoking blog post!  I know how much you love those!

Take care…

(If you’d like to become a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB where author support is overwhelmingly amazing, simply JOIN US!)