Good morning. I am inspired to start a new series that I hope you will find beneficial.
Each Monday, I will post a different short meditation that will help to ground, yet uplift you. If you are not familiar with, and new to meditation, these short guided journeys is a great place to start. Meditation may help enhance self-awareness, eliminate stress and anxiety, and promote emotional health.
Today’s short meditation with Jason Stephenson:
Have a great start to your week and banish ALL negative self-talk!
In March 2019, my sister (who lives in Canada), visited me in New Zealand, and we embarked on a memory tour. We revisited places from our childhood, including Queenstown, where our grandmother used to live.
Our great-grandfather had been an engineer on the iconic century-old coal fired steamship, the TSS Earnslaw, back in the day when it transported stock and supplies across Lake Wakatipu. We enjoyed a delightful sunny cruise to Walter Peak High Country Farm.
During our travels, we set a challenge, to each write a 1500 word story. I chose to write a Children’s Christmas story, based on a writing prompt from my Aspiring Author Series, and that’s how, ‘Sleighed’, came to be created.
My heart is overflowing with appreciation for not only one but two amazing reviews from Robbie Cheadle!
What Amazon says
Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.
Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?
Ghostly Interference is an unusual romance between a middle class…
I am happy to share a new book release from fellow RRBC author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega!
Hi, everyone! Thanks for stopping by. I’m grateful to be a guest on Jan’s fabulous blog.
Which type of heroes do you like best in stories?
I prefer heroes who have flaws. Someone who is genuinely good but who has made mistakes, who has faced challenges and doubts, and who is sometimes vulnerable . . . a person who perhaps starts off ordinary, and as the story unfolds, becomes more apparent. I enjoy reading about heroes who are intelligent, selfless, kind, and courageous. They feel the fear and do what needs to be done anyway. I find the classic hero, who is perfect in every way and completely fearless, kind of boring. Gadreel is the type of hero I enjoy reading about.
Sabina dismounted her horse and treaded up to the gate. She placed a hand on the stone wall and lurched back. “A witch cast a binding spell on this town.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“A magical binding is a hex that restrains people, preventing them from doing something.” Sabina placed both palms against the gate and closed her eyes briefly. “An effective sorcerer did not want the people of this town to leave.”
“Why?” I asked.
“I’m not sure.”
I rode past the gate into Warwick, and the others followed me.
We climbed off our mounts. I kissed my horse on its neck and told him to lead the others to water. They galloped away, and we ambled on. Every surface, every blade of grass and twig, grew long ice crystals. In the distance a low clinging fog concealed the homes at the top of the road.
We continued toward the east of town and ran across a monastery. Blackened and charred walls crumbled under the weight of ashes. The ruins were still smoking, even in this frigid weather. We maneuvered the creaking threshold and came across the charred remains of several monks. One of them lay curled knee-to-nose, while another gripped his pectoral cross with both hands. Glass littered the floor where the windows had broken, and oil lamps lay blackened and twisted on the ground amid the corpses.
“Almost nothing escaped the bloody fire,” Golem said.
Dracúl banged his fist against a wall, almost knocking it down, and stormed out of the monastery. I followed him, and the others trailed behind.
“There’s a castle on the hill,” I said. “Let’s go there. Perhaps there’s someone who can tell us what happened here.”
Dracúl stared ahead, blood tears pooling in his eyes, and we moved on.
More rotting bodies lay strewn on the streets as we made our way to the castle. Most had missing parts. Many of the corpses’ middles had a strange bowl-shaped appearance. Upon closer inspection, we realized that their organs had been removed. Their chests and abdomens caved in because they were hollow.
“Why?” Golem whispered.
There should have been a foul stench in the air, but the cold, dry winds somehow inhibited the release of the disgusting stink coming off the dead bodies.
We knocked on doors and searched inside the dwellings. We passed the charred remains of a house. Upon investigation, we learned that the only edifices burned down were those that stored food and sheltered livestock, but this particular house was a regular family home. Why was it burned? Only its skeleton stood under the vibrant wintry sun. Sabina rushed inside, and before long, a scream pierced the air. We hurried in to find Sabina motionless with her hands covering her mouth. I steeled myself, went to her, and gasped at the gruesome scene.
I hope the excerpt intrigued you. Please let me know in the comments below. Thanks again for the visit.
After making many magical miles around the globe in my virtual bus, for a total of thirty-one stops, it’s down for repairs! And so am I. 🙂
One thing I learned from this tour is that bloggers are the most generous and giving people on the face of the earth!
While there was a core group (my virtual blogger family) who showed up at every stop, there were also new potential readers discovered along the way. In the blogging world, we all tend to move in a circle and through tours like this one, my circle widened.
The most shared post was the one at Jacquie Biggar’s site. Jacquie, you have an amazing base of followers, and I am grateful that you allowed me to share my story with them! I’m still seeing new shares show up on Twitter.
The blog stop with the most comments was Mae Clair. What a fun topic we had to discuss that day!
The average number of comments per blog stop was an astounding sixty.
The most interaction came from posts that included something personal about myself such as the one I shared on John Howell’s blog site. It seems that folks want to know more about the author and personal experiences and I totally get that. You can find out about the book through a simple blurb, but the author behind the book seems to be more intriguing. I’ve never thought of myself as intriguing or even slightly interesting, but it was fun sharing little known facts about me.
The facebook shares and tweets were amazing. For me, Twitter is a better platform for this kind of promotion as the retweets can keep it going. Each time I logged into Twitter, I saw my book being blasted.
My fear was that everyone would get sick of me and Ghostly Interference before the tour ended. But, with new people stopping by, I hope that didn’t happen.
The tour bus is rolling one final day! I think it’s going to head straight into the shop for a 100,000-mile tune-up after this.
4 Wills Publishing offers blog tours at very affordable rates and they have provided the final stops for me, as I conclude the Ghostly InterferenceTour. And don’t forget! The book is on sale through January 22nd, so if you haven’t grabbed a copy yet, now’s the time! Just click on the highlighted title above for a purchase link.
On to my five hosts:
Rox Burkey is an RRBC member and part of a writing duo known as Breakfield and Burkey. They write techno-thrillers and draw from their twenty-five plus years of experience in the IT field to create their stories. The latest release, “Enigma Threat” is hot off the press and promises to be an edge-of-your-seat story with perhaps too much realism for comfort. We are discussing story-layering at her blog stop today. Come on over! Let’s eat an artichoke!
Jade, the Blog Tour Maven hosts authors. She generously devotes her blog to promoting others. At her stop today, we are talking about the similarities and differences between tradition and self-publishing. I’d love to hear from you!
Next, the bus stops in New York at Susanne Leist’s blog site. Susanne is an RRBC member and explores the otherworldly relations between Vampires and humans with her Dead Game Series. Her latest release, “Prey For The Dead,” wraps up the series with an epic battle between good and evil! We are discussing the three P’s of writing at her place, so come on over!
Shirley Harris Slaughter is one of the most supportive members of RRBC. She is always there with a hand-up and offering encouragement. Her latest book release, “Ronald L. Powell: Missing In Action” is a heart-wrenching tale of her brother who went to war and never returned leaving a lot of unanswered questions. At her blog stop, I am sharing five pieces of writing wisdom that I’ve learned the hard way over the years. I’d love to chat!
Charles W. Jones, another RRBC author, writes horror tales and writes them well. He can make the hair stand up on the back of your neck! His latest dystopian novel, “The Road To Saratin,” made my 2020 Top Ten List. The story gripped me from page one! We will be discussing sexual advances in the workplace at his stop today, so come on over.
Today I’m honored to be a guest of a Wild Rose Press author, Kimberly Baer. Born in Pennsylvania, Kimberly now resides in Virginia. Her most recent book release, “The Haunted Purse,” is a compelling YA tale about a bag with secrets and imbued with supernatural powers.
I enjoyed answering Kimberly’s questions and got to share a little more about the White Rune Series as a whole. Please head on over and join us!
I am so excited to share this music artist with you today on the first #SundaySpotlight of 2021! I had the pleasure of reviewing one of his albums a couple of years ago for Buddy Magazine and it’s great to see him back with a new release.
Randy C. Moore was born in Humble, Texas. If you know Texas, you know that Humble is a tiny town in the far west Texas oilfields. By age 15, he was making his own records. By the time he graduated from High School, he was playing on WSM Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. So, Moore is no stranger to music or to the industry.
And while 2020 was a hard year for us all, Moore turned his creativity into recording and releasing a new album named for the town where he currently resides, LUFKIN.
All ten tracks on this album are originals and weave a colorful tapestry of real life circumstances, emotions and thoughts in a way that is relatable. Randy Moore’s voice, smooth and warm, lends exactly the right medium for these songs.
The album kicks off with “Stars In Their Eyes.” It is an accurate depiction of the many artists arriving in Nashville or on Broadway with stars in their eyes and a dream in their hearts. Moore knows about that firsthand as that was his life. He left Nashville behind for a simpler life back in his home state of Texas.
“Daddy, I Wanna Go Fishin'” is a poignant recollection of a hot July summer with rods, reels, fishing poles and tribute to Moore’s father. It is a song that anyone who has ever cast a line in the water with their dad can relate to.
Even though the world moves at a fast pace, there are still places where things move a little slower and “He’s Just a Cowboy” sets that scene.
My favorite from the album, “Big In Texas,” is a look at life’s lessons. As a child we see things through different eyes than we do as adults. Things just don’t look as big as they did to us when we were children. Perspective changes.
“Woman, Woman” is a deeply personal love song. “I Sold A Lot of Beer” is another comparison between life in Nashville and in Texas. It’s a Waylonesque song. Love these lyrics! “…I sold a lot of beer in Nashville and never saved a dime. I’ll sell a lot of beer in Texas and I’ll have a better time…”
“Back In The Day” is a tribute to a time less complicated and more honest. Every dog lover will relate to and enjoy “Old Grey Dog.” Told from the dog’s point of view, it depicts pure unconditional love and loyalty.
It’s a rude awakening to realize that you can never find yourself in someone else’s eyes. “Day After Day” portrays those unending days where you reflect backward while looking forward. Another song with that famous Waylon Jennings heavy bass beat, “Devil For Hire” is a different take on Lucifer’s eviction from heaven.
Randy Moore’s voice is a perfect blend between the late great Vern Gosdin and Don Williams. The songs on this album are a combination of great poetry, deep thought, poignant lessons and real life.
He is making his way up the Texas Radio charts with several cuts from this album, and I predict he will have a number 1 hit before it’s all said and done. If you love true country music where you can hear every word of the lyrics mixed with flowing melodies, you are going to enjoy Randy’s new album, LUFKIN!