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.

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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.


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 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…


Man on top of mountain. Element of design.

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

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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)


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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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


(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.

Free image'

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.

Cute baby face

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.


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, 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!”


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!

Stallone Thumbs Up

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!


Welcome to “MOMENTS” 1 Day/Multi-Blog Book Blast by @Harmony_Kent! #RRBC #RWISA #ShortStories

Author, Harmony Kent is a regular here at WATCH NONNIE WRITE!  so when we heard that she had released a new book and was going on a one day, multi-blog BOOK BLAST, we wanted to get in on the action!  Ladies and Gents, I present to you


Moments by Harmony Kent

Now, check out this Book Blurb:

Come.  (NJ:  Oh, she had me at “COME!” #Intrigue)

Take a moment to delve into tales from the dark side, have fun with fantasy, dabble in dystopia, and court danger in a little science fiction.

These tales touch upon death, grieving, war, fresh starts, hope, courage, change, choices, and encouragement.

And then, after all that, you’ll find the poems.

From the lonely echoes of an empty house to the soaring heights of unexpected love and joy and learning to live as free as clouds and water.

For each of us, a moment encompasses a lifetime and, yet, passes in but the blink of an eye. In but a moment, everything can change. And in this very moment, life beckons in all its potentiality.

When the shadows fall, what will you do?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Learn more about the author…

Harmony RRBC T Shirt

…by visiting her RWISA page!

Contact Info:

Twitter:  @Harmony_Kent



Thanks for dropping by to support Harmony today, and she’d love your comments below!  Hey, you can even just tell us what you think of the blurb!




Right now, some of you are staring at this page wondering “What the heck is an elevator speech and why do I need one?”  Well, EVERY writer needs one if he wants to rub elbows with movers and shakers in this industry, and to me that could be anyone who has the ability to purchase my books.

An elevator speech is a very passionate, 60-90 second “spiel,” that you would pitch to the media or any individual or groups who might be interested in (again), purchasing your books.  But, to be effective, this “spiel” must accomplish two things:

  • It must point out three ways your books will change your audience’s lives, and…
  • It must be conveyed with such enthusiasm and passion, that it will be hard for the listener to say “NO” to you.

This elevator speech should literally last no longer than an elevator ride, which means if you’re starting off on floor one, and the both of you are getting off on floor two, you need to make it really good, in a really short amount of time.  {Note:  this “spiel” should be equally effective whether it’s being delivered over the phone, in person, on the web or in print}.

Not comfortable with being put on the spot when asked about your books or your writing?  My advice:  Stand in the mirror and practice your “elevator speech.” I’ve personally done it many times and I’ve been told that it’s the best speech some have ever heard!

But, I don’t want you to share your elevator speech with anyone until your friend in the mirror (or your significant other) tells you that it is absolutely PERFECT!  Just imagine being faced with the possibility of being booked for a radio show.  You need to be able to present this “spiel” in such a way, that it explodes in the minds of those media people, convincing them to book you right on the spot…even if that spot is in an elevator.

So, today, I want you all to work on honing this very important skill BEFORE you (hypothetically) take your next elevator ride!

If this post was helpful to you, please follow my blog today.  You will always find new and useful information such as what has been presented here.

Thanks for dropping by and we hope to see you again soon!  Don’t forget to share this post on social media, and to also LIKE it before you leave!


The #PregnantFuture Blog Tour has stopped here! @Jinlobify #RRBC


Pregnant Future

(No One Knows What Tomorrow Will Bring)

A True-Life Memoir

On this last day of my tour, I would like to talk about our great book club, The Rave Reviews Book Club (#RRBC). Before I became a member of this great club, I published through those publishing houses that promise you heaven on earth. I needed them for the marketing of my books. In as much as I do not regret using them– because I learned something by so doing– I know now, as an indie, that using publishing houses that charge you to publish your book, is a waste of money. They do not deliver on all their promises. In fact, all they are good for is perhaps, printing your book. This you can do yourself with many services out there.

After publishing two book this way, and getting only two reviews for one, and three for the other, I decided this third time to go it alone. During my research for marketing these books, I stumbled on an RRBC tweet. I responded to this tweet. Nonnie Jules herself invited me to try out the book club. I had nothing to lose, so I did. This is my second year with the group, and I must say that it has been a most rewarding two years. Reviews of my books have grown in leaps and bounds. I have met many wonderful online friends who not only support, but encourage me.

RRBC was the second internet book club that I joined. The first one did not give me as much support, even though I read and reviewed authors in that group. The few reviews I received from that group were mostly disparaging. One gets the feeling that some of those reviewers never even read the book! I love our group, but above all, I love, respect, and admire the founder of our group, Nonnie Jules. I love her giving spirit, that keeps giving.

Pregnant Future Trailer



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 Joy has written and published extensively on national and international scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers. 

Her first short story I Come from Utopia was published in African Voices, Spring/Summer, 2007, pg. 18. Since then, she has published numerous others in RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL Anthology, Bks 1-3.

Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women was published in 2011, and       was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Contest in 2012. She has also two      books published in the Italian language.

The Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies, is a journey into the    mysteries of life and death of the Igbos of Nigeria was published in 2014.      

In Pregnant Future, her new Novel, Justina is the story of every young woman    who found herself alone in the world to fend for herself. It is the story of the pitfalls that await such a             woman. It is the story of survival


Legend of The Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies

Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women

Pregnant Future




Bog:                 www.Jinlobify.Com

Twitter:           @Jinlobify

Facebook:       Facebook


Welcome #RRBC #RWISA Member, Marlena Smith!


In her own words…

How long have you been writing?

Since a very young age, 2nd grade being my earliest memory. Writing has always been a big part of my life, a favorite past-time.

How many books have you authored?

I have three short stories/poems in RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL Anthology. My debut novel, THE POWER OF LOVE, will be released May 1st.

Do you have a writing schedule?

Not really. I write when time allows, when I feel inspired. I try to write some each day, but that doesn’t always happen. My days tend to get hectic, but I try to make up for missed time on my less-busy days.

You’re a member of RAVE WRITERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA). Why do you think you were accepted into this exclusive group?

RWISA brings the good writers into light, so I hope that’s where I fall… a good writer. Although I only have a few short writings in the Anthology, I’ve spent a great deal of time on my blog. A lot of my writing can be found there, and I like to believe that’s helped bring me to where I am.

Modesty aside, what separates your writing from the millions of other writers in the world?

Well, no one has ever told the story from my view, only I can do that. I like to think my story ideas are unique, the characters are relatable and that the writing is as close to perfect as it can get. (Thanks to editors, of course!) It’s important to bring the story to life, to put the reader there, and I hope I do just that.

If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be? Why?

If I could choose anyone, whether alive today or not, I would choose Jane Austen. I fell in love with her stories at a young age and still reflect back to them. Even today, people are using her story ideas in movies, in other books, in plays. She’s timeless. So are her ideas.

Are you a die-hard INDIE writer who loves having complete control of your work, or, if you were offered a publishing contract today, would you sign on the dotted line?

That’s a hard question. I feel like once you are an Indie writer and you have lived that life and survived that struggle, that it will always be a part of who you are. I’ll be honest, I would love for my book to be “big,” maybe even on the big screen. More and more, we are seeing Indies being recognized, and it doesn’t take a big publishing house to make that happen.

As an author, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I hope by then that I will have several books out, double-digits!! I also hope I have made a name for myself, that people are excited to see my next book release. Fame, fortune… that’s not me. I want to be known for my words, known for my ideas. That’s the only fortune I need.

What is the ONE tool that has been the most beneficial tool in the marketing of your books?

Social Media. Apps, internet, access to worldwide knowledge… it all has come a long way. Using social media to network can really be rewarding. Now, when I say social media, it’s a very generalized term. It includes Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even blogs and sites. Social Media, especially Twitter, has helped me grow into a better writer. It has brought me amazing friendships and even brought be to RRBC. That alone is a huge thing.

Name one writer that you know of, member or non-member of RRBC, who you feel should be added to the RWISA Roster of elite members? Why?

I haven’t read as many RRBC books as I would like, although there are LOTS on my TBR list! The books I have read, those authors already belong to RWISA. I don’t feel it fair to recommend someone without reading their book first, but I’ll keep my eyes open.

What is the one piece of advice that you could share that would be most valuable for those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers?

Never give up. If you have a story in that mind of yours, write it. You’re the only one that can tell it how you would tell it. Keep writing, keep chasing that dream. Never stop.

Do you believe that writers who churn out several books a year are really putting out quality work?

It really depends on the writer, on their time, on their priorities, on their skills. I’ve seen it both ways. A lot of published books does not mean the writing is good, just like few published books doesn’t mean the writing is bad. Too many factors.

If you had promised your fans a book by a certain date only to find that your book wasn’t the best it could be, would you go ahead and publish your book just to meet that self-imposed deadline and deliver as promised, or, would you disappoint your fans and shelve the book until it was absolutely ready? No matter your reason, please explain why?

I would work extra hard to get as close to that deadline as possible. I don’t like breaking promises. That’s not the kind of person I am. But, I also only want to put out my best work. I would definitely reach out to my readers and let them know what’s going on. I think it’s important to be open. But priorities would definitely change. My focus would be solely on that book, so that I could get close to fulfilling that promise.

In your opinion, what makes a book “a great book?”

The story has to be a good one, an intriguing one. The writing has to be as close to perfect as the writer could get. (Mistakes happen, we all know that!) The characters need to be realistic, even if from a futuristic or fantasy concept. There needs to be drama, a climax, a turning point. It can’t be boring, has to keep you turning the next page.

If you received a review of your book which stated that there were editing & proofing “issues,” what’s the first thing you would do? And the second?

I would check for those issues, definitely. Regardless of whether or not I agreed, I would thank the person for their honesty.

*THE POWER OF LOVE, Release Date of 05.01.17

*Twitter – @_MarlenaSmith_
*Facebook – authormarlenasmith
*Blog – “Life As I Know It”

Thanks for dropping by to  visit with Marlena today!  Please do drop by 4WillsPub to visit the other amazing authors who are on tour today, as well as the authors who you didn’t get to visit with earlier in the tour!  Marlena loves to chat, so do engage her below!