Welcome to Day #4 of the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase – @BeemWeeks #RRBC #RWISA

RWISA TOUR (1)

Welcome, readers!  Today is the 4th day of the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour!  For 31 days, a new RWISA member will be profiled on 55-60 blogs across the globe, to introduce you to some good reading and some talented writers.  We hope that you will visit each member’s Author Page and their Author Story and share your comments and LIKE their pages.  You may find their books within the RWISA catalog.  And, without further ado…

Author, Beem Weeks

“WORDLESS”

“What’s that word say?”

“That’s an easy one, Daddy. Just sound it out.”

Levi Bacchus can’t read. 36 years old, and he’d never learned the meaning of a single sentence.

“I just ain’t cut out for this, Jamie Lynn.”

The girl’s countenance dropped in disagreement—just like her mother, that one.

“So, you’re a quitter now?” she bellowed, sounding too much like the woman who’d walked out of their lives two years earlier.

Levi took offense. “Mind your manners, Missy. I ain’t never been called no quitter.”

“Reading is something everybody should be able to do, is all I’m saying.”

“It’s easy for you,” Levi argued. “You’re just a kid, still in school. You have teachers telling you what to do and how to do it. I’m just too old for learning.”

The girl narrowed her gaze, jabbed a finger into the open book. “From the beginning,” she demanded.

His heaving huff meant he’d do it again—if only for her sake.
Words formed in his head before finding place on his tongue. Some came through in broken bits and pieces, while others arrived fully formed and ready for sound.

Jamie’s excitement in the matter is why he kept trying. Well, that and the fact he’d long desired the ability to pick up the morning paper and offer complaint or praise for the direction of the nation. All those people in the break room at the plant held their own opinions on everything from the president to the latest championship season enjoyed by the local high school football team.

“That’s good, Daddy,” Jamie said, patting her father on the arm. “That’s really good. You’ll be reading books before too long.”

A smile worked at the edges of his lips, refusing to go unnoticed.

“I’d like that, Sweet Pea.” That’s all he’d say of the matter. If it came to that, well then, he’d have accomplished something worth appreciating.

Levi harbored bigger notions than merely reading books. When a man can read, he can do or be anything he wants to be. His own father often said a man who can’t read is forever in bondage. How can a man truly be free if he cannot read the document spelling out the very rights bestowed upon him by simple virtue of birth? No sir; being illiterate no longer appealed to him.

Of his immediate family—father, mother, two older brothers—only Levi failed to attend college. Oh, he graduated from high school. Being a star quarterback will afford that sort of luxury. But when those coaches from the universities came calling, low test scores couldn’t open doors that promised more than a life spent in auto factories.

He’d seen a show on TV about a man who’d been sent to prison for five years for armed robbery. While there, this man learned to read, took a course on the law, and became a legal secretary upon his release. Eight years later, he’d earned a law degree and opened his very own practice.

Levi didn’t see himself arguing cases in a court of law—defending criminals most likely to be guilty just didn’t appeal to his sense of right and wrong. What he did see, however, is the need for a good and honest person to run the city he’d forever called home.

“Think I could be mayor?” he asked his daughter.

Jamie Lynn always grinned over such talk. “Everybody has to have a dream, Daddy.”

It’s what she always says.

Everything begins with a dream.

She gets that part of her from her mother.

Once I can read without stopping to ask questions,” he mused, “maybe I’ll throw my hat into the ring, huh?”
“There’s nothing wrong with asking questions,” she answered, weaving wisdom between her words.

* * *

She’d been a girl scout, his daughter—daisies and brownies before that. It’s the other girls who bullied her out of the joy that sort of thing once offered. Straight A’s have a way of making others feel inferior, even threatened.

But Jamie Lynn isn’t the type to pine or fret. She chose to tutor—and not just her father, either. Kids come to the house needing to know this and that among mathematics or English or science. Her dream? To be a teacher one day.

And she’ll accomplish that much and more.

Her mother had that very same sense about her as well. She knew what she wanted in life, and cleared the path upon which she traveled.

High school sweethearts they’d been, Jamie Lynn’s mother and father. She’d been the pretty cheerleader, he’d been the All-American boy with a cannon for an arm. She went to college, he didn’t.

But she returned to him, joyfully accepting his proposal for a life together. Her degree carried her back to the high school from which they’d both graduated. This time, rather than student, she became teacher—American History.

Levi went to work building Cadillacs in the local plant. It paid well, offered medical benefits and paid vacation time. Life settled into routines.

Then came their little bundle. This didn’t sit well with the newly-minted history teacher. No sir. It’s as if Levi had intentionally sabotaged his own wife’s career in some fiendish plot to keep her home.

Words of love became “stupid” and “ignorant” and “illiterate ass.” She walked out one evening and never came back to the home they’d built together.

A former student, he’d heard—five years her junior. They’d ran off together, supposedly making a new home somewhere out west.

Levi didn’t challenge it. He received the house and the kid in exchange for his signature on those papers he couldn’t even read.

Jamie Lynn, she’s the light that shined in his darkness, showed him there’s still so much more living to be done. And learning to read, well, that just added to the adventure.

* * *

The night came when he read an entire chapter from one of Jamie Lynn’s old middle school books—straight through, un-punctuated by all those starts and stops and nervous questions. By the end of the month, Levi had managed the entire story—all 207 pages.

“We have to celebrate, Daddy,” she insisted.

It’d been the silly draw of embarrassment that twisted his head left and right, his voice saying, “No need to make a fuss, Sweet Pea.”

But fuss is only the beginning. “Dinner and a movie,” she ordered. “Then we’ll stop off at the mall and pick out a few books that you might like.”

There were stories he recalled from his boyhood; books other kids clutched under their arms and took for granted. Stories that stirred so much excitement in those young lives.

They’d belong to him now.

“You’re finally blooming, Daddy—just like a flower.”

And so was his daughter.

A teacher in the making.

***

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:

Beem Week’s RWISA Author Page

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Welcome to Day #3 of the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase – @LaurieBethArt #RRBC #RWISA

RWISA TOUR (1)

Welcome, readers!  Today is the 2nd day of the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour!  For 31 days, a new RWISA member will be profiled on 55-60 blogs across the globe, to introduce you to some good reading and some talented writers.  We hope that you will visit each member’s Author Page and their Author Story and share your comments and LIKE their pages.  You may find their books within the RWISA catalog.  And, without further ado…

Author, Laurie Finkelstein

“BULLETPROOF VEST”

The bulk, padding, and steel plates weigh me down. The protection of a bulletproof vest is necessary. No matter the weather, I wear the cloak. The weight is a burden, but I trek on because wrapped is the only way to navigate my journey. The jacket protects my heart from being blown to crimson shards of death.

A direct hit is avoided for days and nights, lulling me into calm and complacency. “All will work out fine,” I tell myself. The truth tells a story I want to change. All my will and might does not make an impact to stop the bombardment.

Experience and time separates me from tragedy. At any moment, the bullets strike. Inside or out. My house cannot provide security, nor can a million people surrounding me. With nowhere to hide, I am a target. Shelter and safety are nonexistent.

Discharges are held back while luck and grace harbor me. The slugs will come, however, in a piercing barrage without warning, and will pummel me.

Knocked to the ground, I am immobilized and rendered helpless. My breathing is halted. My movements are stopped, and I understand what assaulted me.

The shockwave subsides, and in small increments, I am able to take in air. Incapacitated, I continue to lie until I am rescued by the rational thinking buried under an avalanche of pain, doubt, and fear. My thoughts check my vitals to make sure I am in the here and now. “Stay in the moment,” I tell myself. “I can manage this. I will persevere.”

“Rise,” I command. The mass of the garb constricts my movement, but I stand, analyze what must be done, and begin to act. The warrior in me comes out. Battles will be fought. My impervious attire gets me through another crisis, and its weight comforts me.

Without the guise, I am unable to prevail against the onslaughts, which pop out of the dark corners of another day.

Yes, my vest is cumbersome, but without my swathe I will not withstand the painful projectiles. Clips are filled, ready to punch and knock me down, disabling me should I forget for a moment to cloak myself within my protective armor.

My bullets are not made of lead, surrounded by a dense metal. The projectiles do not come from terrorists intent on decimating me. The ammo does not come from a police state or a dictator’s command. A barrel is not involved.

My bullets are made of depression, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Composed of irrational thoughts, insipid ideations, and ignorant rationalizations, they are crushing invisible forces. The capacity to shatter my resolve and render me dysfunctional invades me.

My unsociable enemy is treatable, but never disappears. My therapists validate my experiences of being trapped, resentful, guilty, shameful, ill-equipped, grief-stricken, lost, uncertain, and disabled. My growth in therapy helps me accept the challenge with compassion and empathy in my heart.

Throughout my lifetime three stages will haunt me.

Stage one is the onslaught of rounds. The crisis mode. The shock and pain.

Stage two is being slammed down, breath taken away. Sabotaged. Terms and feelings of the emergency are acknowledged.

Stage three is advocacy for myself. Stand. Breathe. Make decisions. Tools in hand to counteract the depression and anxiety and OCD. Utilize appropriate response and care.
Encouraged by others, I enroll in Toastmasters. Time for me to improve my public speaking and thinking on my feet. Professional and compelling ways of expressing my views is a talent I want to possess. Persuasive interactions are in reach. My computer with Google as my guide, I find the Toastmasters website. The rules and guidelines answer many of my questions. Ready to take on the challenge, I enter my credit card information and become a member. A direct thrust knocks me down.

At first, I don’t understand what attacks me. My heartbeat begins speeding up. My gasps for air speed up. My head spins with dizziness. The mighty effects of terror hammer me to the ground. Despair sinks me deeper into the attack.

Stage one. The thought of standing before people enunciating in a clear voice avoiding “ums” and “ahs” strikes with negative force. In a semi-frozen state of fear and regret, I struggle to make sense of my attacker. Groups of Toastmasters are warm, safe environments to learn public speaking and leadership skills. “Warm and safe,” I remind myself. Still my heart beats faster and my breath diminishes by the second. A ghost of recognition appears before me. Panic is familiar.

Stage two. My history tells me to take an extra Klonopin. Scared to death is not an option. Upon reaching my medicine cabinet with weak, wobble-producing legs, I discover my pill case empty. In my next move, I check the bottle. Empty. My heart beats faster and my limbs go numb. Sweat trickles down my forehead. My last attempt before I collapse in a heap of despair, I call my pharmacist. My trembling voice separated from my body explains my attack and lack of pills. “How fast can you fill the prescription?” my quivering voice speaks out. “Is ten minutes okay?” the pharmacy technician asks.

Stage three. My inner voice tells me to be brave. Think of a serene place. My happy place. Take deep soothing breaths. My toolbox is ransacked for more options until I come to grips with the present. The dispensary is too far to hike, so I must drive to pick up my pills. Cranked engine. Foot on pedal. Brake released. My self-talk takes me on a wild ride to the drug store. My trembling legs walk me to the back of the aisles. The friendly face of the tech reassures me. The credit card transaction is signed with a jellylike hand, completing the purchase.

Back in my car, I down the remedy with tepid water from an old bottle sitting in my trash. My panting is steadier, my heart pounding a little less. Within thirty minutes, I am relaxed, able to pursue my day. Ready to reassess my decision to become a Toastmaster. The choice is sound and important.

My bulletproof vest is worn as a badge of honor and survival. Without my garb, I would be a prisoner in my house, hiding in bed. Sick to my stomach. Useless.

The stigma of mental illness must be broken. My vest is worn with pride. I am a survivor. I am the voice of one in every five Americans experiencing the assailant. I am not alone.

***

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:

Laurie Finkelstein’s RWISA Author Page

Welcome to the 2nd day of the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase – @KIngallsAuthor #RRBC #RWISA

RWISA TOUR (1)

Welcome, readers!  Today is the 2nd day of the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour!  For 31 days, a new RWISA member will be profiled on 55-60 blogs across the globe, to introduce you to some good reading and some talented writers.  We hope that you will visit each member’s Author Page and their Author Story and share your comments and LIKE their pages.  You may find their books within the RWISA catalog.  And, without further ado…

Author, Karen Ingalls

“A FISHY DAY”

It was one of those wonderful August days when the sun was high and warm in the sky. The big cumulus clouds slowly drifted by, creating designs that filled Jim’s imagination, who at nine years could see all kinds of amazing sights. He had been playing with his model airplane in his aunt and uncle’s yard, where he spent the summers on their ranch in San Diego, California. Staying with Uncle Leon and Aunt Helen was always a special time of adventure, fun and farm work.

“Jim, do you want to go to the pasture with me? We’ll check the water trough for the cattle,” Uncle Leon asked, at the same time he took his handkerchief and wiped some perspiration from his tan brow.

“Oh, yes,” Jim responded with great excitement. He ran to the front porch and put his treasured airplane on the table next to where Aunt Helen sat in her rocking chair.

Uncle Leon walked over to the Allis-Chalmers tractor and stretched his long, thin legs up and over onto the metal seat. “All right, Jim, you can come on up now.” Jim awkwardly managed to climb up and grab hold of his uncle’s hand, who swung him onto his lap. With the turn of the key the tractor began to vibrate and the engine roared. Shifting the gears into forward, Leon yelled, “Here we go!”

The pasture was a favorite place for Jim with its rolling hills, oak trees, and green grass. It was always a peaceful place where a boy could run until he was out of breath, and then fall onto the grass and let the wind gently blow over his panting body. Many were the times that Jim would spend his days, just climbing in the oak trees pretending he was hiding from some enemy, or shooting squirrels with his imaginary rifle.

He and his uncle drove through the pasture until they came to a large trough sitting by a water pump on the top of a knoll. The cattle were grazing some distance away, but their occasional moos could be heard.

Uncle Leon helped Jim off the tractor and then sauntered up to the trough. “Not much water left so we best get this filled up.”

Jim was leaning over the trough where the top of it just reached his chest. “What can I do? I want to help.”

“Well, now, how about you pump the water in once I get it primed,” replied Uncle Leon with his usual smiling face. He was happy that Jim wanted to help, but he also knew that pumping water would be a big job for such a young lad. Once he had the water flowing with each downward motion of the pump handle, he instructed, “Okay, young feller, it is your turn now.”

Jim eagerly grabbed the handle and standing on his tiptoes, pushed it down, smiling happily when the water gushed into the trough. He repeated the pumping for as long as he could, but all too quickly his arms and shoulders began to ache. Jim did not want to admit that he was getting tired, but his uncle knew and said, “How about if I do it for a while?”

Once the water neared the top, Jim leaned over cupping some water into his hands. “This is the best tasting water I’ve ever had,” Jim thought to himself. He slurped several handfuls into his dry mouth.

Looking over at his nephew, Leon asked with a twinkle in his eye, “Did you see that fish drop into the water from this here pump?”

“What fish?”

“Why, that fish that came right out of the pump into the trough. I thought sure you would have seen him while you were drinking the water.”

“No, sir. I didn’t see any fish.” Jim wiped his mouth with his shirt sleeve and earnestly looked in the water.

“Well, he must still be in there.” Uncle Leon leaned over the trough looking for the mysterious fish. “Now isn’t that something. I can’t see him anywhere.” He peeked a look at his nephew, who now had eyes as big as saucers. “I wonder if you accidentally swallowed that poor little fish while you were drinking all that water.”

Jim stepped back from the trough and began to rub his stomach. “I don’t think so, sir.” The minutes passed and Uncle Leon continued to wonder out loud what happened to the fish. Jim began to imagine that the fish was swimming in his stomach. “I don’t feel so good,” Jim said as he stretched down on the cool grass.

Seeing that his nephew was fearful and feeling sick, Uncle Leon laid down next to him and pointed up towards the clouds. “Jim, look at that cloud up there. See the little one next to the big puffy cloud?”

He waited until Jim nodded his head and said, “I think so.”

“It kind of looks like a fish, doesn’t it? I wonder if that is the fish that was in the trough.”

Jim looked at his uncle, then up at the clouds, and then back at his uncle who was smiling from ear to ear. Uncle Leon laughed and began to tickle Jim’s stomach. “Or, is that fish still here? Where is that fish?”

Jim laughed and joked right back while he patted his uncle’s stomach. “No, I think that fish is right here!”

Soon they both stopped laughing and just looked at one another. “I hope I don’t tease you too much,” Uncle Leon said.

“Oh no, Sir.” Jim looked at his uncle and went on to say, “I like to tease my younger brothers. Mother is always telling me not to do it too much. She doesn’t want them to cry.”

“Well, I would never want to make you cry.” Uncle Leon put his big hand on Jim’s head. “Do you know why?” Jim slowly shook his head back and forth not wanting his uncle to remove his hand. “I love you too much to ever make you cry for any reason.”

With tears in his eyes, Jim whispered, “I love you, too.”

They spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying the sun, the warm breeze, and just being next to one another in the grass, watching the clouds drift by. It was a special day that Jim always remembered with a smile.

***

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:

KAREN INGALL’S RWISA Author Page

Welcome to the 1st Day of the Watch “RWISA” Write Showcase – @Calleirobooks #RRBC #RWISA

RWISA TOUR (1)

Welcome, readers!  Today is the 1st day of the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour!  For 31 days, a new RWISA member will be profiled on 55-60 blogs across the globe, to introduce you to some good reading and some talented writers.  We hope that you will visit each member’s Author Page and their Author Story and share your comments and LIKE their pages.  You may find their books within the RWISA catalog.  And, without further ado…

Author, Yvette Calleiro

“WORDS”

The written word and I

Are cherished friends,

Embracing each other’s thoughts and emotions

Like kindred spirits,

Dancing on clouds.

Bosom buddies who gossip and giggle

And gasp at all the same moments.

She and I are equals,

More than that, really.

We are two parts of a whole,

Complementing and complimenting the other,

Perfect beings.

The spoken word and I

Skirt around each other’s social circles.

We stumble around awkward pauses,

Unable to pull the perfect word or phrase

From our filing cabinet of knowledge.

Ease and grace flee without a moment’s notice.

She is more skilled than I.

She whispers her intricately woven ideas into my mind,

But her delicate strength is no match for

The hills of anxiety and the mountains of insecurity

That obstruct her path to freedom.

Before her words can reach my tongue,

They unravel into shreds of confusion,

Left unspoken.

If only the written word and the spoken word

Could meet…

They would live in perfect harmony.

But alas…

It is not meant to be,

Neither willing to leave her domain,

Each content to dance alone,

And I…

I am stuck in the middle,

Pulled in both directions,

Reveling in the comfort of the written word,

Needing the spoken word to survive.

But still I dream

Of the day when my words will intermingle

And a new love affair can be born.

***

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:

YVETTE CALLEIRO’S RWISA Author Page

Blogs Are a Display Case for Our Work

The Long and Short Stories of Life

All Indie authors struggle with the vicious cycle of writing, publishing, marketing, blogging, tweeting, and starting the cycle all over again. The struggle doesn’t end unless you want to write one book, get it out of your system, and be done. For those of us who enjoy the craft, we must continue the cycle and that definitely means we must Blog!

Maybe traditionally published writers don’t blog. Perhaps famous indie authors don’t need to blog, but for those of us Indies who are interested in making a name for ourselves, and who are looking for a way to display our writing talents, our blog is where our readers (and other writers) should flock. Blogs are a display case for our work. What do you want to display?

I’ve been reading a lot of writers’ blogs over the past year and some writers have created a nice niche. One such…

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#RRBC, It’s Time to #PayItForward! #RRBCPIF @VashtiQV

Hello, all!  Today is PAY IT FORWARD Day at RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC) and I’m supporting one of our newest members, Vashti Q!  (I just love that name, by the way).  Since Vashti is a new member here, we haven’t really gotten to know one another well enough for me to speak on her on my own, so, why don’t I let Vashti tell you about Vashti. I mean, she is the Vashti expert, wouldn’t you agree?  I think you’ll find that Vashti is more than just a pretty face.

Vashti Q.png

IN HER OWN WORDS:

Hello! My name is Vashti Quiroz-Vega. I know, my name is a mouthful, but if you can learn Arnold Schwarzenegger, Saoirse Ronan, Charlize Theron, M. Night Shyamalan, Jean Claude Van Damme, and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau––mine will be a snap. ⇒JUST KIDDING!

I share quite a bit about myself on my blog (maybe too much?), I don’t know. I’m an open book (no pun intended) to the dismay of some of my friends. Pretty much what you see is what you get with me. I have been told that I have a bizarre sense of humor, a funny laugh and a raspy voice (you’ll hear for yourself when I post vlogs). I apologize in advance. Ha,ha! I hope you enjoy the info..

I blog about my writer’s life and experiences I’ve had. I write fantasy, suspense and horror short stories, articles about current events, social media, writing, anything and everything, and poetry which I share on Fridays (Haiku Friday). I also feature authors, bloggers, poets, artists and other creative types on my blog.

Why is my blog called ‘The Writer Next Door‘? I consider myself a people person and someone who’s very approachable. I try to see the good in people. I’m not easily influenced and I hate malicious gossip. I believe in ‘girl power’ and sisterhood between women, but I also respect and admire men. I’m not scary, although I can be a little weird at times. I’m a kid at heart and love to have fun, but I also take my responsibilities very seriously and work hard to achieve my goals.

AND…A BIT MORE ABOUT VASHTI:

From the time I was a young kid, writing has been my passion. I’ve always been a writer I just didn’t know it until much later. For me, it is easier to express my thoughts on paper than with the spoken word. I enjoy making people feel an array of emotions with my writing. I like my audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

My love of animals and nature are often incorporated in my stories. You’ll read intriguing things about various animals, nature and natural disasters commingled in my character driven novels. I love to read almost as much as I love to write. Some of my favorite authors are Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown. I’m currently living in sunny Florida, where I work as a Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographer. Writing is my passion, and I also love photography, drawing, reading, kayaking, traveling and watching basketball and UFC fights on TV. My first novel, The Basement, a suspense/thriller aimed at an Upper Middle Grade/ Young Adult audience is now available in paperback and eBook (Kindle, Nook, iBooks). Connect with me!

Please check out her book:

“THE BASEMENT”

The Basement by Vashti Q

Lastly, please visit her blog site at VashtiQVega

Lastly #2:  Please follow her on Twitter:  @VashtiQV

Well, that’s all I have on Vashti Q right now.  Was that enough?   If you would like to learn more about fabulous authors of RRBC, please support those that are participating in #PIF Day today by visiting the stops that are “all about them” and sharing the word of them on all your social media forums.  You’ll feel so good after you’ve done that!

Thanks for dropping by, friends!

#RRBC, It’s Lonely at the Top …

Rave Reviews By Nonnie Jules

You know, GOD has a way of making us take stock of our lives – even our time and how we are spending it.  Just today, I thought to myself, “Just as soon as Mar gets back from her vacation, I need to take a little hiatus myself.”  Well, just as soon as that thought entered my mind, it left…quickly.

How will the club manage without me?  How will ALL the million and one things that I do every day, get done?  Who’s going to make those hard and very important decisions that I have to make on a daily basis?  If not me, who?

Then, I opened my phone (to my Twitter account) and there was this article that was meant just for me to see.

Please, read on…

‘IT’S LONELY AT THE TOP – OR, IT SHOULD BE’

Man on top of mountain. Element of design.

Leaders need time for reflection and hard analytical work, just…

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A #WRITING CONFERENCE YOU DON’T WANT TO MISS! #RRBC

Authors, how much time do you spend trying to market your books while scouring the web for any and all information you can find on writing?  Well, if you’re like many of the authors I know,  you spend more time than you’d like anyone to know about.

This is not an easy business we’re in, but, it is one that our souls call us to be apart of.  Yes, for those of us who are born with the gift of the talent of writing, and for those of us who spend the time trying to hone our skills in the craft, we HAVE to do this…our spirit will not allow us to rest unless we are writing.  I penned the quote below to describe my own urgency to write:

 “How I know I’m a writer:  When I sleep, I wake to write;  when I dream, I rouse to write;  when I eat, I hunger to write;  when I drink, it’s my thirst to write;  and when I write, I write and write and write…until my Muse grows weary of the beating it takes from every keystroke.”

So, if you feel as I do about writing, I invite you to spend a week with the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, learning all that you can to ensure that your writing is the best that it can be, and that it is also able to hold it’s own against some of the very best in the business, Indie and Traditionally published.

For seven days, beginning October 22, there will be a virtual event unlike any other.  Last year this event was held for only a weekend, and with resounding success!  This year, RRBC promises more of the same, only on a bigger and better scale!  Author Booths, Vendor Booths, sessions on writing, marketing, blogging, etc., all presented via LIVE online forums such as BlogTalkRadio, Facebook LIVE, Skype, chat-room forums and blog posts.  The best part of this being, that if you can’t make it during the scheduled times, the majority of these sessions will be archived for a short while after the conference.

2017 WC&BE (2)

Some of the sessions being offered include:  *BOOK MARKETING VIA SOCIAL MEDIA *BOOK MARKETING 2.0 (BEYOND SOCIAL MEDIA) *CRAFTING BELIEVABLE SCENES *HOW TO KEEP YOUR BLOG BUZZING AND BUSY *HOW TO SHOW AND NOT TELL *WHAT YOU SHOULD BE DOING UNTIL YOUR NEXT BIG RELEASE TO STAY RELEVANT…and so many more!

There will be daily giveaways, AMAZING GIFT BASKET RAFFLES and how about a book Scavenger Hunt?  Yes, fun, fun and more fun!!!

If you are a newbie author or even a seasoned one, you don’t want to miss ‘virtually’ being in the midst of so many like-minded individuals, soaking up all the best knowledge you can about the literary field.  Our sessions are being presented by some of the most talented and knowledgeable professionals in this industry.

To find out more and to register for this amazing event, please visit the ‘virtual’ venue at RRBC WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO.  There are amazing EARLY-BIRD PRICES which will be around until June 24th, so, I’d advise you to hurry and register.

You want to get better in your writing?  Well, then I’ll see you in October!

READERS:  This is your opportunity to be introduced to some really great books!  The RRBC is home to some of the most talented writers who strive to offer the best in the field.  Looking for some of the latest and greatest reads to add to your library, then join us for this event!

 

The Secret Schedules of Great Authors

What’s your writing schedule?

A Writer's Path

by Andrea Lundgren

As I writer, I’m always curious about how other writers write. And much of what I’ve read on this subject is daunting: write every day, write even when you don’t feel like it, write first thing in the morning when your energies are at their peak, etc. Hemingway was a great proponent of early morning writing, starting at six, and even Stephen King’s excellent thoughts in On Writing are a bit daunting:

“Like your bedroom, your writing room should be private, a place where you go to dream. Your schedule–in at about the same time every day, out when your thousand words are on paper or disk–exists in order to habituate yourself, to make yourself ready to dream just as you make yourself ready to sleep by going to bed at roughly the same time each night and following the same ritual as you go.”

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#RRBC SPRINGTIME BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY EXTENDED!

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Because you were promised one extra stop later in the evening, I just had to get one done.  And, this is a very special stop, with several very important messages.

# of winners for this stop:  3

GIVEAWAYS:  

(1) $10 Amazon gift card

(1) 1-Day Multi-Blog Book Blast (courtesy of 4WillsPub)

(1) 6-book bundle (winner’s choice) from the Kathryn C. Treat Treasure Chest (if Marlena approves)

***

The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB was founded in 2013 and it was founded on the premise of strong support of others.  You give it, you’ll get it back, ten-fold.  Then, respect of others, especially in our forum, was the 2nd premise on which we were founded.  Negativity of any kind would not be allowed to breathe within the realm of RRBC.  So, it is with those two things in mind, that I bring you this very important message, which will cover a plethora of topics.

Let me begin with our GOVERNING BOARD Members and our SPECIALIZED SUPPORT TEAM.  We ask that members are always respectful of each other in (and out) of the RRBC forum.  But, we ask that members are especially respectful in their communication with our TEAM members, as not only are these members considered uber-supporters of our membership, these TEAM members serve you all without compensation and without complaint.  That means, they work for you for FREE.

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With the exception of a few bits of communication from our Reviews Dept., I approve every bit of communication that goes out of the RRBC offices, and I am also copied on every bit of communication that comes in.  Since rudeness is not allowed to live here, either, if you receive a response which you perceive as rude, I assure you it is not.  Please know and receive, that what you are reading is just factual, professional information, and depending on the way you sent in your concern or issue, you just might be met with a response in kind.  That could either be with a smile, or a bit of no-nonsense (Nonnie-approved) stern-ness.

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Yes, at times, a bit of the latter is necessary.

We do have those members who think that throwing tantrums will get them far here at RRBC;  again, I assure you, tantrums are not allowed to live here, either.  We are all ADULTS and we should, at ALL TIMES, behave in a manner that says “ADULT ON BOARD.” Whatever the issue or concern that you might have, we always want to work to resolve it and make you a happy camper, but, that being said, please remember that the old adage, “You get more bees with honey,” rings true every time, in all situations.

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Now, for those members who register for our events and promotions without fully reading and understanding the rules of participation, this is especially for you.

Let’s use our recent block party as an example.  We give instructions for each and every one of our events.  And, when we give those instructions, we expect that they are read all the way thru, down to the last period and fully understood, BEFORE you register for the events.  If you have questions, we expect that you’ll reach out to us BEFORE you register for the events.  Once any event begins, it is not our responsibility to ensure that what we have asked to be done, is done. (Have you heard me say we are all ADULTS here enough times yet?  OK, good, because I may have to repeat it again, somewhere down the line).

Some members get very upset and send us (extreme) sharply worded email messages when they don’t follow directions for participation, as they have been asked to do.  Why are we responsible for you not reading the instructions all the way thru?  FYI, we’re not.  Sending us messages letting us know how mad you are, that’s OK, we all get a little upset at times.  But, repeatedly sending us messages that get more heated each and every time you hit the SEND button, well, that’s a horse of a different color…

Purple Horse

…and, those are the times that I step in, as my TEAM members are not here to serve as punching bags for those who behave poorly at times. (And, for those of you who don’t know already, I have zero tolerance for poor behavior from children all the way up to older folks.  Simply put, I HAVE ZERO TOLERANCE FOR POOR BEHAVIOR PERIOD).  I don’t want my TEAM to be subjected to that kind of behavior ever, especially when I am built to handle these situations without batting an eye, and even in my sleep (which is how I effectively work, most often, anyway).  Listen, here at RRBC, calm gets the job done and there are no hurt feelings in the end.

If you have a question or concern, that clearly deserves a response from the GOVERNING BOARD, please do not leave that issue or concern on the RRBC site.  Drop us a line (or two, or three or four, we don’t mind at all) to RRBCInfo@gmail.com, or use the CONTACT US form on the site.  You’ll get a faster response and you’ll also get a more accurate response than you might get from a fellow member.  Believe it or not, some of our members are extremely appreciative of what we do here, and are just as protective of our board members, and you just might get a response from them, that, although it may sound nice, it might just mean…“Stop leaving these kinds of darned comments here and send an email directly to the board!”

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Well, we warned ya!  So please, be careful what you post on the site.  We do look forward to receiving your concerns, but in the appropriate place, please.

In every WEEKLY CLUB UPDATES (WCU), we mention that members are responsible for ensuring that they remain compliant and that their books are in the RRBC catalog.  If your books are removed from the catalog due to non-compliance, you will be offered a COMPLIANCE PLAN to get you caught up on your reviews, and you must pay a $5/per title re-listing fee to have your book(s) returned to the catalog.  It’s  hard work updating our huge catalog, so hopefully, this re-listing fee will serve as a deterrent and keep members from becoming non-compliant in the first place.  (What an ugly title that is anyway, don’t you think?)

Lastly, we need to reiterate our stance on support.  Members who are selected to sit in our “hot seats” are typically and most often selected based on their level of support.  If you are not purchasing, reading and reviewing your fellow member-author books, then we are not going to put you up as a BOOK OF THE MONTH (BOM), “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR, or a RAVE WAVES guest, asking our members to purchase, read and review your books.  Do you really think that’s fair?  Well, we don’t, and that’s why we don’t and won’t do it.

The same goes for our block parties.  The instructions clearly state that if you are not supporting your fellow member’s blogs, then your blog will not be allowed to be promoted, and if you’ve already had your run, your blog will be removed from the tour line-up page.  Again, why would we ask our members to visit, support with comments, book purchases and blog follows, when you haven’t bothered to support any of theirs?  Do you all see where I’m going with this?  At RRBC, when you give support, you get support…ten-fold. Don’t be one of those members who only show up when there’s something in it for them.  (Those kinds of people irk me, don’t they irk you, too?)

I hope that this post has been a real eye-opener for everyone. If you’re doing all that you know you should be doing to help us grow here in RRBC, then major KUDOS to you!

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But, if you fall into that class of people who need to step up their game, stop thinking only about themselves, and realize that we are all about giving support, then get on it in 2017.  RRBC is constantly evolving, and you never know what NEW rule might pop up next!

Believe it or not, many of our members love us because of the rules that we have in place to ensure that there is no negativity or chaos here.  We do hope that you are one of those members.

Thanks for dropping by and sharing your comments below, and may the luckiest people win the goodies above!

If you haven’t joined RRBC, we invite you to start your May off right and do so NOW!