#SUNDAYSPOTLIGHT – Will Carter @WillCarterBand – Fallin’ In Love

Hi, and welcome to another Sunday Spotlight! It is with great pleasure I introduce this artist to you. Will Carter came onto the Texas music scene inspired by artists such as Mark Chesnutt, John Michael Montgomery, and Garth Brooks, to name a few.

He released his sophomore album in April 2019, and it quickly climbed the T3R, CDX Traction – Texas, MusicRow and other charts. He was nominated for Male Artist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year by the Texas Country Music Association.

In 2020, he’s released a new single, “Fallin’ In Love.” The lyrics are poignant and the melody catchy.

You can find a lot of information about any artist on the internet, but I love to get something more personal to share that is not available anywhere else.

So I asked Will Carter this question, “What was your biggest inspiration or ‘nudge’ that let you know you wanted a career in making music?”

Will replied, “My parents put me in dance and gymnastics at the age of three to learn balance and agility during my early developing years. My father was 6’4” – 250lbs and thought I would grow up to be a football player.  However, my mother is 5’3” – 100lbs. I landed somewhere in the middle. But I did not have the size to be a football player.  My parents later realized that I had a talent for playing and performing music. My father was unbelievably supportive and despite our family struggling financially, he did everything he could to push my music career. When I was 13, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer. I had recorded a CD to sell and try to raise money for the family, once he could no longer work.  He listened to that CD non-stop 24/7 for the last three months of his life. The CDs would constantly burn up, and I would have to give him another one. Seeing the way he believed in me, and had always supported me motivated me to pursue this dream no matter the cost.”

To think of a father being so invested in his son’s music, gave me goosebumps.

One of Will’s hit songs off his “Good Bad Idea” CD was “You Feel Like Home.” So, I want to share it here.

From the age of 3, Will Carter has been wowing audiences and gaining fans. COVID-19 put a halt to touring, but it didn’t stop Will from putting out new music.

Deep love of family combined with a regimen that included homeschooling, breaking 
horses, milking goats and tending to crops, provided Will with an ideal backdrop to pursue his musical dreams effectively. As a result, few performers in any genre can match Will Carter’s blend of native, talent, determination and drive.

Interested in learning more about Will Carter and his music?

https://willcarterofficial.com/

https://www.facebook.com/WillCarterBand/

https://www.instagram.com/willcarterband/

https://twitter.com/WillCarterBand

Thank you for stopping by and PLEASE, share this everywhere. Let’s help this dedicated and determined singer/songwriter through this hard time, by purchasing his music!

New Book Launch – Eternal Road-The Final Stop by John Howell @howellwave

It is with great pleasure, I welcome talented author, John W. Howell to my blog today. He has a brand new book hot off the press and I’ll let him tell you about it!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Jan, and thank you for helping me launch this book. I know with your new three-book publishing contract you are really busy with deadlines. I’m so glad you could take the time to help with this launch. Speaking of the book, let me describe it. Eternal Road is the story of two people finding their way through the selection process leading to the place where one will spend eternity. Yes, it is true. They both have passed away. James Wainwright just died in an auto accident. Samantha Tourneau died seventeen years before. Sam is James’s guide to help him decide where to spend eternity. This is not your usual thriller or paranormal romance. It is a piece of fiction that is a combination of inspiration, adventure, time travel, sci-fi, a touch of erotica, and a dash of spiritual. In short, it is a lot of things, but hopefully, a story that will make you happy to have read it.

It is now available on Amazon in paper and Kindle. The Kindle edition is introductory priced at 99¢ until October 15th

Here are the universal links to both versions

Kindle Universal link  mybook.to/EternalRoad

Paper universal link mybook.to/Eternalroadpaper

The blurb:

James Wainwright picks up a hitchhiker and discovers two things 1. The woman he picks up is his childhood sweetheart, only Seventeen years older. 2. He is no longer of this world.

James began a road trip alone in his 1956 Oldsmobile. He stops for a hitchhiker only to discover she is his childhood sweetheart, Sam, who disappeared seventeen years before. James learns from Sam falling asleep miles back caused him to perish in a one-car accident. He also comes to understand that Sam was taken and murdered all those years ago, and now she has come back to help him find his eternal home.

The pair visit a number of times and places and are witness to a number of historical events. The rules dictate that they do no harm to the time continuum. Trying to be careful, they inadvertently come to the attention of Lucifer, who would love to have their souls as his subjects. They also find a threat to human survival and desperately need to put in place the fix necessary to save humankind.

The question becomes, will James find his eternal home in grace or lose the battle with Satan for his immortal soul and the future of human life with it? If you like time-travel, adventure, mystery, justice, and the supernatural, this story is for you.

An Excerpt

“Don’t you have anything on the first floor? These men are in no condition to climb stairs.”

“Sir. The first floor is all bar space and gambling. We have no rooms down here.”

“Okay, then. We need to use the bar until the doctor has a chance to look at these men.”

Doc Holliday laughs and tells Wyatt, “Now you’re talking sense.”

Wyatt scowls at the joke but says nothing. The manager goes to the bar and asks everyone to take their drinks to the tables. Wyatt helps Virgil up onto the bar and lays him down gently. “Someone get me something for his head.” Until several coats arrive, Wyatt keeps his hand under Virgil’s skull. He murmurs to Virgil that everything will be okay. The way he says it, though, doesn’t convince anyone present that he believes what he says.

While waiting for the coats, helpers lay Morgan on the bar top as well. He sighs and eases himself down onto the hard surface. Doc Holliday takes a chair and orders a double whiskey. The barkeep brings him a glass, and Doc asks him, “You have any cigars?”

Wyatt tells him off, “Doc, you ass. You may have a bullet in your lung, so don’t get to smoking any cigars. Besides, these boys are in no condition to withstand getting suffocated from what you pass off as burning tobacco but smells more like refined horse dung.”

Doc raises his glass. “A salute to the wisdom of my elder.” He downs the whiskey and orders another.

The trailer

John’s bio

John is an award-winning author who, after an extensive business career, began writing full time in 2012. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. He has written five other books that are on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. The paperback versions are also available in the Indie Lector store

John lives in Lakeway, Texas, with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

Contact John

Blog Fiction Favorites

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Amazon Author’s page

John’s other books:

PURCHASE LINK: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B06VY4V2FC/
PURCHASE LINK: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016P42OH6/
PURCHASE LINK: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01LDFM9WM/
PURCHASE LINK: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B075SKWHCR/
PURCHASE LINK: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CZQ8WKH/

#TarotTuesday – Six of Pentacles

Welcome to another Tarot Tuesday!

If you are just joining me, let me explain the inspiration to begin these posts. In Texas, and all across the country, Taco Tuesday is a popular day when Tacos are usually 99 cents. So, I had the inspiration, or Angel nudge as I like to think of it, to create a Tarot Tuesday. Each Tuesday I will post a different Tarot card and give its meaning. I pray and ask for the right card that will bring a universal message.

I created a short video to demonstrate how I pull the card for the posts. If you’re interested, here’s a LINK.

Today’s card is the Six of Pentacles.

The keywords associated with this card are: Giving, receiving, sharing wealth, generosity, and charity.

You may remember that Pentacles represent the physical and six is a number of harmony.

Perhaps you are like the wealthy man in this card, sharing your wealth and abundance with others. Even if you are not financially wealthy, you offer up your time, energy, love and support to those who are in need, knowing it will be appreciated. Giving of your time or your wisdom is often just as spiritually fulfilling as giving away money or gifts, and the intangible gift of your presence is received just as well, if not better. There may be times when you wonder if you can truly afford to give generously to others – and the wise advice of the Six of Pentacles is to trust that every contribution you make is valued and will come back to you threefold.

You may also be inclined to make a loan to someone on the premise that they will eventually pay you back once they are back on their feet. This is a loan built on trust and good faith, knowing that if you give something away, it will come back to you. Remember, though, that this exchange is more about a short-term fix and not a sustainable solution. So, think about how you can financially support your family or friends in a way that encourages them towards self-sufficiency.

On the other hand, you may be on the receiving end of other people’s generosity, accepting these gifts with gratitude. This will help you to get back on your feet and to eventually repay the charitable organization or individual, either with your time or your restored wealth. You will also need to identify ways in which you can become more self-sufficient in the long run. The risk of accepting charity is that you become dependent on it and cannot look after yourself. Be mindful that you are not growing submissive or noticeably desperate as a result of the charity that someone else is providing you.

Finally, the Six of Pentacles is a card representing financial harmony. The amounts flowing in and out are in balance, and you are thankful for what you have and happy to share with others in need.

To me, this card represents any form of giving and receiving, whether it be of money, time, support or whatever form it takes. I love that it stresses the balance between giving and receiving. Many of us are givers by nature and find it difficult to accept when we are on the receiving end. This card is encouraging us to understand the flow. Your thoughts?

As always, thank you for joining me! See you next Tuesday for another inspiring message from the Universe via the Tarot Cards!

I use the Rider-Waite Radiance deck and BiddyTarot.com for interpretation

#SundaySpotlight – Tommy Alverson (Alverson 5 and 10)

Welcome to another Spotlight Sunday, where I feature talented music artists. Today, I want to introduce you to a Texas music legendary singer/songwriter, Tommy Alverson.

Tommy Alverson could easily be called the permanent face of the independent Texas country music movement. He embodies all the hallmarks of the sound, and the mindset. Rick and I first met Tommy in 2006. Tommy and his band were playing at the Comanche City Park, and a mutual friend had commissioned Rick to do a pen-and-ink-drawing of Tommy. We took it to him that day and heard him play live for the first time. We were hooked!

Pen-and-ink drawing of Tommy Alverson by Rick Sikes 2006

The next day, Tommy and the band came to our home in Coleman and visited with Rick. I’ll never forget the kindness and respect they showed to Rick that day.

At any rate, Tommy has a new CD release that I want to tell you about. When I asked why he felt compelled to release it in the midst of this pandemic, here’s what he had to say:

“I just thought it was time I put something out. It’s been a while. The songs have all been released on other projects but I thought these needed a little more attention. I felt like they fell through the cracks and I haven’t really promoted anything in along time. All this time at home has given us a lot of time to think about what we wanted to do next. We had already backed off on touring anyway, so from that aspect, the pandemic didn’t affect us that much. Our Facebook live shows have really worked out well, and we’re grateful for the support everyone has shown.”

The CD kicks off with If I’m Dreamin’. Written by Roy Robinson, Earl Musick and Mark Meritt, it talks about those times in life where the impossible happens, and if it’s a dream, don’t wake me!

Welcome To Paradise is a ‘take me back to the island’ song. And the song proves that you can have an island party anywhere. All you need is good music, good friends and good food.

One of my favorite tunes on this CD is Be Back Tuesday. Tommy’s father was a barber in the tiny town of Itasca, Texas, and this song is a childhood recollection of when Mr. Alverson would put a sign in the window of his barber shop saying, “Gone Fishing. Be Back Tuesday.” He’d load up the family and head to the coast.

Hard To Say For Sure is a Texas swing tune that will get your toes tapping. “We may have had the time of our life last night, but it’s hard to say for sure…”

A tribute to the road, Lonely Texas Highway always takes you home.

While most Texas songs about liquor consist of beer and whiskey, Tommy sings a Wine Song.

The first time I heard Troubles, I fell in love with it. The emotion, the raw grit and honesty tugged at my soul. “I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I’m walking around blind. I think about you darlin’ nearly all the time. I haven’t punched the clock in three weeks or more. And my ol’ boots are full of holes from walkin’ the floor. Troubles, I’ve got ’em, they’re all over me…”

But my number one pick from this album is How Good a Bad Woman Feels. This song could easily be the intro to a western movie. The powerful imagery the words provide is a rare and beautiful thing. When a writer can depict such a strong scene with just a few well-placed words, it’s pure magic. “Well, his voice was gruff and his boots were scuffed as he entered those swinging doors. With a back that was bent he ordered whiskey straight up, drank it down, wanted more. With a stare as sharp as a razors edge, his vision was not all clear. But he said, “Boys, I’ve got memories of how good a bad woman feels.” If you listen to nothing else on this album, click over and listen to this one! While this is a version from another CD, the lyrics are the same.

Tommy has had the privilege of playing shows with Willie Nelson, and his song, Watchin’ Willie’s Hands shows how far back his love for this man goes.

Another favorite of mine, Lucky Ol’ Sun always gives me a carefree feeling. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just roll around heaven all day like that lucky ol’ sun?

There are love songs and then there are Tommy Alverson kinds of love songs, and Fallin’ Off a Log is one of them. “It’s like a one, two, three, abc, Sunday morning, you and me, it’s so easy, it’s so easy, like fallin’ off a log, it’s so easy…”

Take a trip south of the border for a steamy love affair on Tequila Rose, another of my favorites, and another written by Roy Robinson (aka Amos Staggs.) This song has that same powerful imagery that I talked about earlier.

The CD comes to a close with I Wish I Didn’t Love You.

I sincerely hope my humble opinion of this compilation intrigues you enough that you send for a copy. I know Tommy would appreciate it greatly.

Tommy has not set a price for this CD. He is asking for donations – whatever you think it is worth to you. I’d suggest a price, but I’d rather you choose.

Order your copy of Alverson 5 & 10 through:

VENMO: @amy-alverson-2

PAYPAL: tommy.alverson@gmail.com (Don’t forget to select the “Family and Friends” option!)

Thank you for your support of Texas Music!

#RRBC September Spotlight Author – Susanne Leist @SusanneLeist #RRBC #RRBCSA

It is my great pleasure to welcome the #RRBC Spotlight Author for September to my blog! Susanne Leist is the author of The Dead Game Series, and today we’re featuring her third and newest book, “The Dead At Heart!”

Over to you, Susanne!

Thank you for having me at your blog stop today, Jan.

I want to share a poem that I composed as I watched the rain through my bedroom window.

WASH AWAY MY SORROW

Please wash away my sorrow and pain.

Let it flow down the streets with the rain.

Dissolved in torrents of despair and sadness,

Joining others on its way past the madness.

The ocean may take it far away

To places, we cannot even say.

Where no one recognizes its sting

Or knows the infliction it can bring.

Let the rain grow harder with its might,

Becoming hail on this fateful night.

I want to be free of all traces

Of unwanted feelings and faces.

My body grows cold from the rain.

It stands clean and free from the pain.

Shivers create a path along my spine

As I wait in the darkened woods of pine.

I hold my head high to the wet spray.

It becomes a mist of blue and grey.

The faucet has turned off for the night,

Leaving me feeling clean and so right.

Author Bio:

I have always loved to read. Agatha Christie, Alistair Maclean, Robert Ludlum, and other authors filled my young imagination with intrigue and mystery. When I wasn’t reading late into the night, the TV shows such as Murder She Wrote and Columbo, entertained me with murder and suspense tales.

Over the years, my taste in TV expanded to include such shows as Supernatural and The Originals. I searched for paranormal, murder mysteries, but found few at the library or bookstore. So, I wrote one.

The Dead Game, Book One of The Dead Game series, brings fantasy and surrealism to the classic murder mystery with dead bodies, suspects, and clues. It offers vampires, vampire derivatives, and a touch of romance to spice the motley mix.

The story continues in Book Two, Prey for The Dead, as The Dead vampires use an exclusive club in Disney World to infiltrate the rich and famous. As The Dead grow in power, not even the bright sunshine of Florida can weaken them. Linda and her friends join forces with human vampires–known as hybrids–to defeat the evil threatening to control Oasis. A masquerade ball and a romp through the tunnels beneath the town lead to a showdown in southern Florida’s swamps.

The Dead At Heart is Shana’s love story. Will her love for William strengthen, or will Sam lead her on a different path? At Chateau Frontenac in Quebec, Shana and her fearless friends fight for Oasis and their lives.

A career in writing has been a giant leap for me. Accustomed to the number-crunching field of budgeting and the hectic commodity markets, I left my first career and M.B.A. in Finance behind to pursue my dream. I do not regret my foray into literature for one moment. Fellow authors helped me make my way through the competitive field. I write every day and even tried my hand at poetry. If someone tells you it’s too late in life to try something different, they are wrong. It is never too late to follow your heart.

William’s bite bonded Shana to him, but he didn’t ask her to mate with him for life. She isn’t ready for a lifetime commitment. Now, William excludes her from his vampire meetings. Shana understands he’s an original vampire with immense powers. For them to be a couple, he has to treat as an equal partner. If William doesn’t respect her, then what are their chances of finding happiness?

Shana speaks to Linda, her best friend, of her fears.

“Paradise is an illusion.” Shana’s face grows heated as her frustration mounts. “Oasis is a haven for vampires. I’m tired of their battles. The Watchers get rid of an evil group of vamps, and another group arrives and attacks. It’s a vicious cycle. Vampires are trouble.”

“We will have a happy ending.” Linda lifts her head. “Don’t lose faith. The Watchers will protect us, and Gregg has an elite force of original vampires.” She touches Shana’s arm. “William loves you; he won’t let something happen to you.”

“The vampires keep secrets from us.” Shana swallows the lump in her throat. “I don’t want to live with vamps anymore, and I need time to decide on my relationship with William. One minute, I’m suffocating, and then the next, I’m lost without him.”

As a new enemy descends on Oasis, Florida, Shana turns to Sheriff Sam, who broke her heart. Can she trust the human-vampire?

This begins Shana’s journey to fight vampires and werewolves with Sam at her side.

An explosion at Chateau Frontenac in Quebec doesn’t stop Shana and her friends from saving their town, and maybe even the world.

AMAZON PURCHASE LINK!

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Twitter handle:  @SusanneLeist

Facebook URL:  https://www.facebook.com/susanne.leist.98

Website address:  https://www.susanneleist.com/

Thank you for supporting RRBC’s “SPOTLIGHT” Author!  If you’d like to follow along with each stop of this tour, please check out our “SPOTLIGHT” Author forum on the RRBC site.

Where can #Authors go for help? Guest Post @AuthorsMarketin

I am pleased to welcome a guest to my blog today to share some important information with you.

B. Alan Bourgeois has been in the business of helping authors learn new and innovative ways to market themselves and their work for many years. It’s no secret that there are over a million new books uploaded to Amazon each year. It makes our jobs as amateur marketers even more difficult as we struggle to get our books seen, read and reviewed.

I’ll turn the blog over to Alan and let him share some important facts about marketing your work.

COVID-19 Shines A Light on Inequities for Authors.

While I want to write that COVID-19 has created some issues for authors to sell their books, the reality is that this pandemic has shone a blinding light on what already existed for authors and small presses before the pandemic.  And that is the unfair practices that Amazon and the big five, soon to be the big four publishing houses have established to keep control over the indie author and small presses.

Let’s start with the issue of Retail Prices.

With both Amazon and the Big 5 controlling the general retail price of books sold, indie authors and small press have been faced with the challenge of not being able to adjust their retail price to accommodate the ever-increasing print increases, which over the past five years, has slowly eaten away at an author’s profit margin. If an author increases their retail prices to adjust for printing charges, then they price themselves out of the market. After all, what indie author can order 100,000 copies of a book to compete with a large publishing house?

Now let’s talk about distribution.

Ingram, which is a part of Lighting Source, has a monopoly on distribution for small press and indie authors. With their ability to have books printed in most continents, it’s a good avenue for POD/self-published books. While the Big 5 can afford the warehousing of their books with distributors like Baker/Taylor and others, small press and indie authors cannot afford the high fees they would be charged with the distribution companies. This then forces authors to work with IngramSpark for POD and distribution. Amazon is not a distributor, only a POD for their system.

But Authors Need Book Sales!

This now leaves us with the option of bookstores. We, as authors, count on them to generate sales as well as opportunities to do readings and other programs at these bookstores. The more chances we have of getting face-time with readers, the greater chances we have of sales. But in order to interest bookstores in carrying our books, we need to have a distributor that will accept the book returns, and at a price rate that works for the store to purchase the book and make money from the sell. This brings us back to a distributor like Ingram that prefers, but does not require indie authors to sell their books at a 55% discount off the retail price. You can opt for a lower discount, but if you do, then there is a good chance you will not get picked up by bookstores as it then prices the book out of their profit margin. 

Confused?  Wait, it gets better!

Let’s do an example.  I will keep it very simple with a $10 retail print book (a 6×9, 125 pages, perfect bound, glossy cover). You have it available on Ingram at the 55% discount. The book is then valued at $4.50, while your printing cost as of this writing is $2.73, leaving you a profit of $1.77 before their shipping and handling fees. If you were lucky enough to order 100 copies at once, the cost (including shipping and handling) would come to $3.52, leaving you with a profit of $0.98 per book. Starting to see the challenges?

If you are with Amazon Select, then you may make a little more money for each book sold.  But the downside is that you are missing out on over 30-40% of the customer base (bookstore sales). Is it worth it if you can’t reach the readers?

It should be noted that eBooks and audiobooks were not discussed as examples, as those too have many unfair practices put into place by both Amazon and the Big 5 that have harmed the indie authors and small press. That’s for another post of its own.

The sample is a perfect example of the cycle of frustration that the authors experience constantly and why the Big 5 and Amazon are making more money than the author. The monopoly that both of them have is not fair, but because they control the majority of book sales, they get away with it. The whole approach to controlling the market, is to buy up the competition and price everyone else out of the market, which is why the big 5 is soon to be the Big 4.

What is an author to do?

The key factor is for an author to learn how to market themselves, not just through bookstores or by buying Amazon ads, but through other sources, that yes, do take time and money. Authors must reach out to readers through social media, book festivals, podcasts, and any other events they can find. It’s not just about doing these events; it’s about doing them smart. It’s about thinking outside the box and creating events and concepts that draw readers to the author by giving them a reason to learn about the authors’ books and a reason to buy them.

Editing, proofreading, cover design, are essential key elements that authors should always invest in, to be competitive and to offer a product that is of high quality. A major mistake authors make is not investing in these key elements and ending up with a poorly written novel.

What COVID-19 has done, is bring these unfair issues to light, and force authors to think outside the box on ways to market and sell their books. It encourages authors to find partnerships that help them to succeed, as well as support their fellow authors.  As a community of one million authors, it allows indie authors and small press to change the unfair practices and shape the future.

It is up to an author to find organizations, events, and programs that help them to cost-effectively market their books so they can succeed. This also includes working with bookstores like IndieLector.Store, an online bookstore that pays authors up to 80% from their book sales, while also teaming up with an organization that teaches authors how to better market and sell their books, AuthorsMarketingGuild.com

By working through these programs, authors have a greater chance of success and at the same time, can educate readers on the value of buying books from places that help them to earn a fair living.

With any growth process, it is a matter of educating people about alternatives that help everyone grow stronger and better. It takes people getting angry at the status quo, and being willing to change it. Are you angry enough? Are you tired of not earning enough money from your book sales to make a fair living? You can be part of the change, or you can stay comfortable where you are and accept the results. It comes down to how much you value your work.

B Alan Bourgeois is the founder of several organizations and nonprofits designed to help authors to succeed in a variety of ways.  He is an award-winning author and speaker on the subject of marketing for authors. You can learn more about his careers, writing and speaking at BourgeoisMedia.com

Thank you, Alan, for this important message!

If you are interested, Alan has a book, “Authors Revolution Workbook,” which gives a step-by-step guide to successful marketing.

#TarotTuesday – Ace of Wands

Welcome to another Tarot Tuesday!

If you are just joining me, let me explain the inspiration to begin these posts. In Texas, and all across the country, Taco Tuesday is a popular day when Tacos are usually 99 cents. So, I had the inspiration, or Angel nudge as I like to think of it, to create a Tarot Tuesday. Each Tuesday I will post a different Tarot card and give its meaning. I pray and ask for the right card that will bring a universal message.

I created a short video to demonstrate how I pull the card for the posts. If you’re interested, here’s a LINK.

Last week we had the Ace of Swords. This week the Universe gives us the Ace of Wands.

Keywords: Inspiration, new opportunities, growth, and potential.

As with last week’s Ace of Swords, this card also represents new beginnings. But unlike the Swords, the Wands represent our spiritual side.

This Wands card brings you pure potential – this time in the spiritual, energetic realm. Ideas are flowing to you, motivating and inspiring you to pursue a new path. You are open to receiving new opportunities that align with your Higher Self. A whole world of possibility is available to you.

The Ace of Wands encourages you to follow your heart and live your passion. If you feel a strong pull towards a new project or path, but are questioning whether it will work, then this card gives you a gentle nudge to pursue your passion. Let your energy, dedication and motivation be your guides.

If you have been looking for a sign about whether this is the right project, then the Ace of Wands is a clear YES! The sprouting wand and the fertile landscape in the background are all positive indications that this idea has the potential to turn into something fulfilling and energizing. Use your creative energy and passion to take the first steps. Even if you prefer to plan out everything before you begin down a particular path, the Ace of Wands wants you to listen to your instincts and follow your gut. If it seems like a good idea, it probably is. So, start with a few fundamentals to get things rolling, and then continue to grow and develop your ideas through more complex activities later on. The important thing is that you act now rather than spending more time planning or researching.

Keep in mind, however, that just like we said last week, the Aces represent potential but not guaranteed results. The Ace of Wands (or any Ace) is a seed that has yet to grow into something more substantial or sustainable. See this card as the spark needed to fuel a massive fire, but remember that the flash itself is not enough to keep the flames burning. You have to do the work.

The Ace of Wands may appear when you have an opportunity to grow on a personal or spiritual level. You may be interested in taking a class or investing in a course so you can follow your creative spirit. For example, you might enroll in a photography class, a Tarot course, or a self-improvement program. Trust that this experience will open you up to even more possibilities.

Two weeks in a row, we are getting strong messages about following our inspirations and not being afraid to start down a new path. Even if your new project is going to require extensive research, this card is telling you to go ahead and start it, then do the research. It is an action card, in response to inspirations or nudges. My next story takes place at a horse sanctuary, of which I know nothing. So, while I will have to do lots of research, I may go ahead and start the first few pages just following this nudge. How about you? Was our message last week not strong enough? 🙂 Here’s to new ideas and the courage to act on them!

As always, thank you for joining me! See you next Tuesday for another inspiring message from the Universe via the Tarot Cards!

I use the Rider-Waite Radiance deck and BiddyTarot.com for interpretation

Fiction In A Flash Challenge’ Week #16 New Image Prompt. Join in the fun! @pursoot #WritingCommunity

For the past sixteen weeks, Author Suzanne Burke, has been offering a photo prompt for flash fiction creation. While I’ve been inspired by several of the prompts, time has been a huge constraint for me as of late. But, this photo demanded that I stop the turning wheels and write something!

If you’d like to know more about her Fiction in a Flash Challenge, you can visit her website for all the details! Join in! You know you want to. 🙂

Aiyana huddled beneath the Buffalo skin and shivered. Mingan drew her closer and snugged the skin around her shoulders.

“Do not worry, my love. The call of the wolf speaks to my soul. Tomorrow’s battle will be successful.”

She turned her dark troubled eyes toward him. “How can you be so sure? I have a heavy heart and dread sits like a rock in the pit of my stomach.”

Mingan stroked her hair. “When I was born, the first sound my father heard was the howl of a mother wolf. He knew at that moment I would carry wolf medicine with me throughout my life. I am one with them. The howling wolf outside our tipi tells me she will be with me as we face our enemies from the east.”

“I want to believe you, my brave warrior, but I also know the power of the enemy you face. They outnumber us and are determined to eradicate all of our people.”

As if listening to their conversation, the wolf howled long and loud.

“Wolf tells me that she and her clan will stand with us. We will not be alone against this great enemy. We have magic they know nothing of. We will be victorious.”

***

Before the sun rose the next morning, Mingan slipped out of the tipi into the cold air. Smoke from the fires that had burned pinon wood through the night tickled his nostrils. The village medicine man, wrapped in a blanket, lit a pipe and motioned to Mingan to join him.

“We must give thanks to the nature spirits that walk and talk with us, young brave,” the old man said.

At the edge of the forest, eyes pierced through the darkness. The wolves were waiting and ready.

As Mingan squatted by the fire and shared the old man’s pipe, the wood popped in the fire, sending spirals of sparks through the air.

“Wahya waits,” the old man said. “They are united with us and this day will be a victory for our people.”

Mingan grunted, stood and stretched. The female alpha wolf stepped out of the shadows and howled.

Fresh snow crunched beneath his moccasins as Mingan walked toward her, hand outstretched. She didn’t move and when he reached her, he laid a hand on her big head. “Thank you, Wahya. I will feed your clan tonight. We will win this battle. You will join us by our fires.”

She lifted her head, sniffed the air, and trotted back to the others that waited patiently.

One by one, braves emerged from their tipis. Weapons were polished and talk was scarce.

If they won this battle, Mingan and his wolf clan would be the new tribe leaders.

Once they’d partaken in a small fare, they painted their faces, said their prayers and mounted their ponies.

Just before the sun slipped above the horizon, they rode full force into the army encampment a few miles away. As predicted, the lazy white men were still asleep, their bellies full of last night’s liquor.

The braves tore through tent after tent, destroying everything in their path. The wolves lunged headlong into the fray, going for the throats of the men, and ripping flesh from their bodies.

In less than an hour, the battle ended.  The wolves growled and circled the camp. The braves dismounted and gathered weapons, blankets, food and supplies they desperately needed to get through the hard winter ahead.

The army men that hadn’t been killed escaped with nothing more than the clothes they slept in.

It was over.

Mingan returned to his village victorious, and as he promised, the wolves joined them at their fires and ate heartily of buffalo and venison.

For the moment, they’d ended the threat of eradication of both species.

***

I hope you enjoyed the story. It was definitely inspired. I hope you’ll visit Soooz’s website and read all the entries! I think you’ll find them very entertaining.

Please follow S. Burke here:

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And if you have a mind to do so, I’d love it if you’d follow me on my social media outlets!

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Liars and Thieves – Book Launch @dwallacepeach

I am pleased to bring you a new book release from author, D. Wallace Peach! I’ll let her tell you about it!

Behind the Veil, the hordes gather, eager to savage the world. But Kalann il Drakk, First of Chaos, is untroubled by the shimmering wall that holds his beasts at bay. For if he cannot cleanse the land of life, the races will do it for him. All he needs is a spark to light the fire.

Three unlikely allies stand in his way.

A misfit elf plagued by failure—

When Elanalue Windthorn abandons her soldiers to hunt a goblin, she strays into forbidden territory.

A changeling who betrays his home—

Talin Raska is a talented liar, thief, and spy. He makes a fatal mistake—he falls for his mark.

A halfbreed goblin with deadly secrets—

Naj’ar is a loner with a talent he doesn’t understand and cannot control, one that threatens all he holds dear.

When the spark of Chaos ignites, miners go missing. But they won’t be the last to vanish. As the cycles of blame whirl through the Borderland, old animosities flare, accusations break bonds, and war looms.

Three outcasts, thrust into an alliance by fate, by oaths, and the churning gears of calamity, must learn the truth. For they hold the future of their world in their hands.

Liars and Thieves Global Purchase Linkhttp://a-fwd.com/asin=B08FGQ2W3Q

About the Author:

D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked. Diana lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rain forest with her husband, two dogs, bats, owls, and the occasional family of coyotes.

Author Links:

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Myths-of-the-Mirror/187264861398982

Twitter: @dwallacepeach

Diana is also a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

#TarotTuesday – Ace of Swords

Welcome to another Tarot Tuesday!

If you are just joining me, let me explain the inspiration to begin these posts. In Texas, and all across the country, Taco Tuesday is a popular day when Tacos are usually 99 cents. So, I had the inspiration, or Angel nudge as I like to think of it, to create a Tarot Tuesday. Each Tuesday I will post a different Tarot card and give its meaning. I pray and ask for the right card that will bring a universal message.

I created a short video to demonstrate how I pull the card for the posts. If you’re interested, here’s a LINK.

Today’s card is the ACE OF SWORDS.

Keywords for the Ace of Swords are: Breakthroughs, new ideas, mental clarity, and success.

The Ace of Swords marks a wave of new energy from the intellectual realms. You may be on the verge of a significant breakthrough or a new way of thinking that allows you to view the world with clear eyes. Or, you may have a sudden realization or conscious understanding about an issue that has been troubling you, and can finally see the path ahead of you. Meditate regularly to clear away the mental chatter and make the most of this intellectual potential.

See this card as a sign of encouragement. It says your mind is in ‘expansion mode’. You are open to embracing new ideas, craving stimulation, and you’ll jump at the next opportunity to learn something new. You thrive on new ideas, inspiration, original thinking and vision, and you are excited to pursue new opportunities that draw upon your creative and intellectual abilities.

The Ace of Swords indicates that now is an excellent time to start a new project – one that requires your intellect, communication skills and mental power. You may feel inspired to take a writing class, practice your public speaking skills, or get involved in activities that require more brainpower than usual.

As always, an Ace indicates the beginning of a journey, but you can sense the energy building up and can’t wait to get started. If you channel this energy into the right moves, then you will succeed in your endeavors. Just remember that the road ahead may be bumpy and you can expect challenges along the way. Maintain a success mindset, and you will navigate these hurdles with ease.

The Ace of Swords also encourages you to pursue the truth of the matter and to find justice. You may champion a cause or stand up for your rights or the rights of others. Or, you may have a new idea for which you are prepared to fight, or you may feel fired up about an issue you are passionate about, such as human rights. You have great clarity on the situation and can now argue your point of view with truth and conviction. In other words, you are ready for battle.

What a beautiful card! The energy is so inspiring. For me, it comes at a time when I am finishing a book. So, it’s time to start a new project. 🙂 Isn’t that always the case with authors? But I also love that this card encourages us to pursue truth and find justice. Maybe it’s time to stand up for our rights, or the rights of others. I’m excited to hear your thoughts!

As always, thank you for joining me! See you next Tuesday for another inspiring message from the Universe via the Tarot Cards!

I use the Rider-Waite Radiance deck and BiddyTarot.com for interpretation