Welcome to Day 10 of the “EMPTY SEATS” Blog Tour! @EmptySeatsNovel @4WillsPub #RRBC #Baseball

I am thrilled to host Wanda Fischer today and let her share a new book release!

GIVEAWAYS:   During this tour, the author is giving away (1) $10 Amazon Gift Card, (2) $5 Amazon Gift Cards, (2) e-book copies of EMPTY SEATS & (1) copy of the author’s acclaimed “SINGING ALONG WITH THE RADIO” CD which features many prominent folk music singers (a $15 value)! For your chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment below as well as leaving a comment on the author’s 4WillsPub tour page.  GOOD LUCK!

When I was writing my novel, one of the more difficult choices was to decide to whom I should dedicate the book.

The obvious choices, of course, are my husband and children, who supported me through the process, who put up with my baseball obsession, who heard me dole out countless advice to a slew of Red Sox managers (“Don’t take that guy out! He’s doing great!” “Why are you leaving him in? He’s terrible!” “How many pitches has he thrown? HOW MANY???”), who knew I stayed up too late watching games, and all that.

But if you look at the dedication, I didn’t mention my family. This is not to slight their contributions at all; instead, I think they understood when they saw the novel was in memory of five people in professional baseball who meant a great deal to me: Jack Lanzillotti, Dick Radatz, Bill Monbouquette, Kirby Puckett and Harmon Killebrew.

I’ll tell you why, first by addressing the people you may know, because they played Major League Baseball on the field.

Dick Radatz was a reliever for the Red Sox in the 1960s. His nickname was “The Monster,” because he was a huge guy for the time—6’6” tall, 230 lbs, and an imposing presence on the mound. He dominated legendary Yankee Mickey Mantle to the point that Mantle hated facing off against him. Although Radatz never made it to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, the Red Sox inducted him into their team’s hall of fame, and he was ecstatic about it. After his MLB career was over, he did charity work for the Jimmy Fund, which is the Red Sox main charity. He died at the age of 67 after falling down a flight of stairs. Those of us who watched him pitch—and also who talked to him at Fenway Park—appreciated his sense of humor and kindness. He was always available to “us kids,” and I have his autograph in my cherished “little red autograph book.”

Bill Monbouquette was one of the Red Sox’s “native sons,” born in the Boston suburb of Medford. Known as Monbo to Red Sox fans, he pitched when the Red Sox had little to cheer about. And yet, when it was “Monbo Day,” the crowds at Fenway grew slightly because fans knew they’d get a great game from a scrappy local kid who’d give it his all from the mound. Monbo pitched two no-hitters in a Red Sox uniform.

Many years later, when he coached the Oneonta Tigers, a low-A minor league team (of the same NY-Penn League that my characters play in), then based on Oneonta, New York, I watched as one of Monbo’s proteges pitched a no-hitter against the Tri-City Valley Cats (affiliated with the Houston Astros) in Troy, New York. I went to the edge of the dugout and yelled for “MONBO!!”

“Wha’dya want?” he asked, poking his head out.

“Congrats on the no-hitter,” I replied. “And the kid’s wearing YOUR old number, 27.”

“How do you know that?” he asked.

“I’m old-school Red Sox.”

“You must be, if you remember that.”

“Not only that—I have pictures! And old yearbooks!”

“Why’d you want to keep stuff like that?”

“Because I remember…”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah…”

Then he looked up and gave me the biggest grin I’d ever seen from him.

Monbo passed away in 2015 after battling leukemia; he was 78. I was glad he had the chance to see the Red Sox win the World Series in both 2004 and 2013.

I met Harmon Killebrew many times when he played for the Minnesota Twins. My friends and I always went to Fenway Park early so that we could see both teams take batting practice. The Twins had some of the nicest guys on their team. Harmon and Rod Carew were two of the friendliest. They made a point of talking to us kids before baseball games.

In 2009, I went to Cooperstown for Jim Rice’s Hall of Fame induction. Harmon, once known as “The Killer,” was signing autographs along Main Street. I stopped to talk to him and told him he was one of my favorite players.

“So why are you wearing a Red Sox jersey?”

“I can be a Red Sox fan and still like Twins players. In fact, I love Kirby Puckett, too!”

“I’m so mad at Kirby!”

“Why?”

“Because he went and died before me! He was supposed to sing at my funeral!”

“Oh…Okay…Well, did you get someone else to sing at your funeral? I have a CD made by MLB players called ‘Oh Say, Can You Sing?’ Ozzie Smith is a great singer on that CD.”

“Nah, I don’t want a National League singer. I have someone lined up.”

“Really? Who?”

“Mudcat. Mudcat Grant. Ever heard of him?”

“Of course. That’s great. What do you want him to sing?”

“You ever heard that song, ‘What a Wonderful World?’”

“You mean, ‘I see trees of green, red roses, too…?’”

“Yes, that’s the one! That’s what I want him to sing!”

We kept on chatting for about ten more minutes about baseball and other things. I told him I’d made a CD and gave him a copy. I kept calling him “Mr. Killebrew.” He kept correcting me, asking me to call him “Harmon.” I just couldn’t. He was so much of an icon to me.  When I go to the Hall of Fame, I start by visiting his plaque.

Wanda Fischer and Harmon Killebrew at the 2009 Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Kirby Puckett has the distinction of having had a dog in my household named after him. That’s an honor in my house, and my dog Kirby was one of the best I’ve ever had. Kirby’s in the Baseball Hall of Fame, and my dachshund Kirby is definitely in the Dachshund Hall of Fame.

My late grandmother’s name is Puckett, and I can’t help but think that, way back, somewhere, Kirby and I are related. Can’t prove it, but can’t dis-prove it, either.

I always admired the way Kirby played the game. Every time he came to bat, it was with a smile on his face. He loved baseball; he loved being on that field. He hadn’t started playing baseball until he was past Little League age, and never played on anything except asphalt and hard-dirt fields in Detroit until he was a teenager. As the youngest of nine children, he lived with his family in Detroit’s projects, rarely having luxuries in his life.

He was also a fireplug of a player—stocky, short and stoic—always thinking the game could be won, whether or not his team was down by ten runs with two down in the bottom of the ninth inning. His ability to get up to the plate and keep a game going, or to haul in a tough line drive in center field to end a game were legendary.

I always visit his plaque when I go to Cooperstown as well. I talk to him and tell him I hope he’s found peace. Kirby had to leave the game when his body was still young, but his eyesight failed him after he was diagnosed with glaucoma. He had several rounds of surgery, but nothing seemed to help. I remember his tear-filled retirement ceremony in Minnesota in 1996. It was a sad day for baseball.

He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2001 during the first time of his eligibility. He died in March 2006 following a stroke. He was only 46 when he left this earth.

Finally, let me tell you about the extraordinary Jack Lanzillotti.

Jack was part of the team working at Fenway Park to produce every baseball game every day.

When Fenway Park lost its long-time public address announcer Carl Beane due to a car accident in 2012, they had no one to be in the in-park announcer. I decided to try out for the position. But first, the Red Sox had a “guest in the chair” program, for which I also applied.

On August 5, 2012, I served as Fenway Park’s public address announcer, seated above the game, telling people at the game things such as who was batting, who the Dunkin Donuts person of the day was, who the National Anthem singer was, etc. Now, even though I had 30 years’ experience in radio at the time, when I took the elevator to Fenway’s third floor, I kept asking myself, “What have you done?”

Then I met Jack.

Jack was the producer. My producer. He gave me a script. When I do radio, I don’t work from a script. I have to decide what to say spontaneously. Jack told me he’d point to the lines in the script when it was time for me to say the appropriate thing. He also showed me how to work the antique (and I mean antique) microphone (“you have to press the button before you talk”).

“Jack,” I said, “this is so easy. I work in public radio, and I have to do everything myself—log in the CDs, clean the studio, answer the phone, everything.”

“Oh, no,” he shook his head, “we try to make things as easy as possible. If there’s anything you need, let me know.”

That was Jack. Incredibly talented and helpful. He had already won an Emmy for a short video he’d done with Jacoby Ellsbury on how to steal a base.

An EMMY.

The last time I’d done anything even close to this was when I was the PA announcer for a Babe Ruth game in Schenectady, New York. But thanks to Jack, everything went smoothly. I only made one minor mistake, and Jack showed me how to correct it.

Talent and kindness. And he was young.

A couple of years later, I was checking the Boston Globe online. I saw that someone who had worked for the Red Sox was walking near Copley Square with his fiancée, and both had been killed by an unlicensed driver who mowed them down with an SUV. The guy’s name was Jack Lanzillotti.

Jack Lanzillotti.

Oh, no!

I called the Red Sox, and, indeed, it was their Jack, and his fiancée as well. Both of them gone in a second.

I went to his wake, even though it was a six-hour drive, round trip, and I had to work the next day. I stood in line for a couple of hours as well because so many people came to pay their respects. It turned out his mother worked at the same medical school my husband had attended many years ago.

At a Red Sox event about six months later, someone else whom I met during that August day told me Jack really respected my work as the PA announcer. He respected my work? I was bowled over by his talent, despite his youth, his kindness, his expertise, and his acceptance of a woman who could have been his grandmother, as he escorted me to the chair and explained everything to me.

I think of these five people every day, and what they contributed not only to baseball, but to my personal life. May everyone be as fortunate as I have been in encountering people such as these.

Book Blurb

What Little Leaguer doesn’t dream of walking from the dugout onto a Major League baseball field, facing his long-time idol and striking his out? Empty Seats follows three different minor-league baseball pitchers as they follow their dreams to climb the ladder from minor- to major-league ball, while facing challenges along the way—not always on the baseball diamond. This coming-of-age novel takes on success and failure in unexpected ways. One reviewer calls this book “a tragic version of ‘The Sandlot.’”

(Winner of the 2019 New Apple Award and 2019 Independent Publishing Award)

Author Bio

Following a successful 40-year career in public relations/marketing/media relations, Wanda Adams Fischer parlayed her love for baseball into her first novel, Empty Seats. She began writing poetry and short stories when she was in the second grade in her hometown of Weymouth, Massachusetts and has continued to write for more than six decades. In addition to her “day” job, she has been a folk music DJ on public radio for more than 40 years, including more than 37 at WAMC-FM, the Albany, New York-based National Public Radio affiliate. In 2019, Folk Alliance International inducted her into their Folk D-J Hall of Fame. A singer/songwriter in her own right, she’s produced one CD, “Singing Along with the Radio.” She’s also a competitive tennis player and has captained several United States Tennis Association senior teams that have secured berths at sectional and national events. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Northeastern University in Boston. She lives in Schenectady, NY, with her husband of 47 years, Bill, a retired family physician, whom she met at a coffeehouse in Boston in 1966; they have two grown children and six grandchildren.

Social Media Links

@emptyseatsnovel

https://www.facebook.com/EmptySeatsNovel/

https://www.wandafischer.com

Amazon and Other Purchase Links

Book: http://amzn.to/2KzWPQf

Audio book: http://bit.ly/2TKo3UC

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/empty-seats-wanda-adams-fischer/1127282887?ean=9780999504901

Thank you for supporting this author and her tour.  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please drop in on the author’s 4WillsPub  tour page.
If you’d like to schedule your own 4WillsPub blog tour to promote your book(s), you may do so by clicking HERE.

Welcome to Day 5 of the “REFLECTIONS” Blog Tour! @JohnJFioravanti @4WillsPub #RRBC #RWISA #Inspiration #Quotes

GIVEAWAYS:  The author is giving away (3) $5 Amazon Gift Cards during this tour! For your chance to win, all you have to do is leave a comment below as well as leaving a comment on the author’s 4WillsPub tour page.  GOOD LUCK!

Today, it is my great honor to turn my blog over to an inspirational author and RRBC member, John J. Fiorvanti. I’ll let him tell you about his book, “Reflections!”

Good day to you! I extend my appreciation to Jan, who generously agreed to have me as a guest, and to the good folks at 4 Wills Publishing who organized this tour.

An Incurable Romantic

“One might say I am an incurable romantic in that my emotions have a lot to do with who I am, what I do, and why I do things. I must write about that which inspires passion within me.”

~John Fioravanti

I took this quote from the Introduction of my book, A Personal Journey To The Heart Of Teaching. It is an autobiographical work in that I trace my path from childhood to professional teacher. I wrote the book primarily for new teachers, those studying to join the profession, and for those who are thinking about teaching as a career. I recognized the signs of high stress among new teachers and I hoped the book would help them realize that they are not alone in these feelings and that it is a good thing to reach out for help.

I used the word romantic in the first line above in the sense that I’m an idealist. I strive to keep myself grounded in reality, but I refuse to lose sight of what is possible both for myself and the world in which I live. Throughout the book, I speak of my quest for the heart of teaching. I searched for over three decades for this ideal in order that my work in the classroom would reflect it, even if it paled by comparison.

As well, the first sentence of the quote reveals that I am a person driven by emotion. There were times when this got me into all kinds of trouble as a child and as a young adult I struggled to harness my emotions and just sit on them. I failed. I am what I am! During the ensuing years, I came to understand that these emotions that I regarded with a jaundiced eye, were not the enemy. It was what I did with them that could be judged as good or bad.

Good ideas appeal to my rational side but they don’t motivate me to action or to write. Feelings about ideas or events galvanize me to express myself through writing. Whether I’m writing a reflection like this or writing a fictional story, I must be emotionally invested in order to produce anything that satisfies me. Thus, I write for myself. If others enjoy what I write, that pleases me but I write because my feelings about something compel me. If there is no passion, there is no writing happening. I don’t see this as good or bad; it just is.

This is the kind of teacher I became – one driven by passion. Some students would lament that history is boring and useless. I’d smile before I replied and would notice some students who knew me were smiling as well. I taught history because I thought it was exciting to find out about people who lived long ago, breathed the same air, saw the same sunsets, and felt the fears and joys that we the living still do. I allowed my passion for the subject at hand to flow freely and enjoyed watching the bored students transform into avid listeners who started to think about the past in a different way. I could not teach any other way. It is who I am.

An Amazon Review:

5.0 out of 5 stars A Voice of Inspiration

Reviewed in the United States on December 27, 2019

Format: Kindle Edition

On the cover, John Fioravanti is described as ‘A Voice of Inspiration’. That intrigued me. The further I delved into his writings the more this bold claim proved to be true.

The concept of this book is simple. Take fifty quotes from a variety of people that have touched the author’s life, ranging from ancient philosophers to more recent influential characters and talented individuals from the present day. Then add personal experiences and interpretations to those inspirational quotations. A simple concept maybe, but it takes real skill to write the motivational passages Mr Fioravanti has done in such an easy-to-understand way.

Enthusiasm and the love of writing shine through as you read the author’s astute observations. His background as a History teacher for thirty-five years gives reassurance of his own experience in tackling many challenges in the real world. Despite his own self-confessed demons, which he has learned to overcome, a positive and refreshing approach to life inspires you to achieve the same.

I read this book after Christmas, a period of reflection on the year just gone and the year to come. It challenged me on many levels. The lessons learned will help improve my attitude toward life. It is an inspirational volume I will return to when I need renewed motivation.

– by Robert Fear

Author Bio:

John Fioravanti is a retired secondary school educator who completed his thirty-five-year career in the classroom in June 2008.

Throughout his career, John focused on developing research, analysis, and essay writing skills in his History classroom. This led to the publication of his first non-fiction work for student use, Getting It Right in History Class. A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching is his second non-fiction work; it attempts to crystallize the struggles, accomplishments, and setbacks experienced in more than three decades of effort to achieve excellence in his chosen field.

John’s first work of fiction is Passion & Struggle, Book One of The Genesis Saga, and is set within Kenneth Tam’s Equations universe (Iceberg Publishing). He claims that, after two non-fiction books, he’s having the time of his life bringing new stories and characters to life! Book Two is Treachery & Triumph.

At present, John lives in Waterloo, Ontario with Anne, his bride of forty-six years. They have three children and three grandchildren. In December of 2013, John and Anne founded Fiora Books for the express purpose of publishing John’s books.

JOHN’S LINKS:

 REFLECTIONS on Amazon

FIORA BOOKS WEBSITE

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

Thank you for supporting this author and his tour.  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please drop in on the author’s 4WillsPub  tour page.


If you’d like to schedule your own 4WillsPub blog tour to promote your book(s), you may do so by clicking 
HERE.

JONAH is on Tour! @4willspublishing #RRBC #RWISA #RRBC_Community

I am thrilled to share all of the blog sites where Jonah has visited this week! With only two more days to go on the blog tour, I hope you’ll take a look at each blog post and leave comments. If you do, your name will go into a drawing to receive an Amazon Gift Card!

DAY ONE:

Wendy Scott hosted. Here is the link: http://www.wendyjscott.com/my-blog/welcome-to-day-1-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-4willspub-rrbc-rwisa

DAY TWO:

D.L. Finn hosted. Here is the link: https://dlfinnauthor.com/2020/04/06/welcome-to-day-2-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-4willspub-rrbc-rwisa/

DAY THREE:

Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko hosted. Here is the link: https://jinlobify.com/welcome-to-day-3-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-4willspub-rrbc-rwisa/

DAY FOUR:

Jade at the Blog Tour Maven site hosted. Here is the link: https://blogtourmaven.wordpress.com/2020/04/09/welcome-to-day-4-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-nonniejules-rrbc-rwisa/

DAY FIVE:

Nonnie Jules hosted. Here’s the Link: https://nonniewrites.wordpress.com/2020/04/11/welcome-to-day-5-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-w-author-jan-sikes-rijanjks-rrbc-rwisa-rrbc_community-4willspub/

DAY SIX:

Rox Burkey will be hosting. Here is the link to her site: https://roxburkey.com/welcome-to-day-6-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-4willspub-rrbc-rwisa/

DAY SEVEN:

Robert Fear will host. Here is the link to his blog site: https://www.fd81.net/2020-guest-blogs/welcome-to-the-final-day-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-4willspub-rrbc-rwisa

I do hope you’ll take a minute to look at each of the blog posts. They are all different and all directly related to JONAH!

Comments are closed here. Leave a comment on one of the hosted blogs to be entered for a $5 Amazon Gift Card!

Thank you!

Welcome to Day 8 of the “WHISPERS OF THE PAST” Blog Tour! @RobertaEaton17 @ @4WillsPub

I am happy to host the release of this new book! Please take a look and if it appeals to you, grab a copy!

What is rabies

Rabies is a viral disease that affects the nerves and brain. The virus is commonly transmitted by a bite for an infected animal. If the bitten person is treated timeously, rabies can be prevented, however, if untreated, rabies is almost always fatal.

Symptoms of rabies in humans

Humans infected with rabies usually don’t show any symptoms for one to three months post infection, but this incubation period can extend to one year in exceptional circumstances. Once the symptoms of rabies appear in a human, it is nearly always fatal.

In the initial stages, rabies shares symptoms with many other viral illnesses. The area around the site of the bit may be tingling, twitching, itchy or painful and the person have a fever, headache and a vague feeling of unwellness and tiredness, but nothing terribly serious. The stage continues of approximately ten days.

Once the virus reaches the brain, the acute phase starts which symptoms like insomnia, hallucinations, fear of water and difficulty swallowing, confusion, convulsions, muscle spasms, anxiety and excitation presenting themselves. About eighty percent of rabies patients develop furious rabies and become hyperactive and excitable, displaying erratic behaviour, agitation and excess salivation.

In time, these symptoms give way to a coma, heart or lung failure and death.

Rabies and South Africa

Rabies is most commonly spread by dogs. Dog rabies has been eliminated in many countries in the world, including the USA and Mexico, but not in South Africa.

The South African National Travel Health Network states that there were, on average, thirteen human rabies infections in South Africa per year for the ten-years to 2017. According to newspaper articles, 2018 and 2019 had nine reported cases each.

As a result of these statistics, I set my story in my home country of South Africa.

Rabies and my story, Missed Signs

Ever since I read Cujo by Stephen King as a young girl, the idea of rabies has both fascinated and terrified me.

My story, Missed Signs, in the anthology Whispers of the past, was inspired by the idea of a human contracting rabies and developing furious rabies and what that could mean for the people around that person. The secondary underlying threat was what if that person also suffered from obsessive compulsive disorder and already had massive stress and anxiety disorders as a result.

From these two ideas I wrote my story which is set in the Knysna forest in South Africa, in a remote cottage with no close neighbours or other types of assistance.

 BOOK BLURB:

A paranormal anthology with nine stories from six authors, including the winning story in the 2019 WordCrafter Paranormal Short Fiction Contest, A Peaceful Life I’ve Never Known, by Jeff Bowles.

AUTHOR BIO:

Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Hello, my name is Robbie, short for Roberta. I am an author with six published children’s picture books in the Sir Chocolate books series for children aged 2 to 9 years old (co-authored with my son, Michael Cheadle), one published middle grade book in the Silly Willy series and one published preteen/young adult fictionalised biography about my mother’s life as a young girl growing up in an English town in Suffolk during World War II called While the Bombs Fell (co-authored with my mother, Elsie Hancy Eaton). All of my children’s book are written under Robbie Cheadle and are published by TSL Publications.

I have recently branched into adult and young adult horror and supernatural writing and, in order to clearly differential my children’s books from my adult writing, I plan to publish these books under Roberta Eaton Cheadle. My first supernatural book published in that name, Through the Nethergate, is now available.

I also have a book of poetry called Open a new door, with fellow South African poet, Kim Blades.

Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Through-Nethergate-Roberta-Eaton-Cheadle-ebook/dp/B07ZJTW2DF

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Amazon Author Page

Writing to be Read

AMAZON OR OTHER PURCHASE LINKS:

https://books2read.com/u/38EGEL

Thank you for supporting this author and her “group” tour.  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please drop in on the authors’ 4WillsPub tour page.

Welcome to Day 5 of the "NO PEDIGREE" Blog Tour! @NonnieJules #RRBC #RWISA @4WillsPub

It is with great pleasure that I turn my blog over to Nonnie Jules where she will tell you about her new book, “No Pedigree.” Nonnie is the founder of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and the RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS.

Giveaways: (2) e-book copies of NO PEDIGREE, (2) $5 Amazon gift cards & (1) 3-Day Weekend blog tour! Total of 5 Winners!  To be entered into the drawing for either of these gifts, you must leave a comment below as well as a comment on the author’s 4WillsPub tour page.

Hi, and thanks for dropping in on Day 5 of my NO PEDIGREE blog tour!  I’d like to thank Jan who is so graciously allowing me her space today so that I can enlighten you a bit more on the troubles of Oklahoma, during 2014, the time period of which this tale was written. 

***

7 YEARS SHORT OF 100 AND NOT MUCH HAD CHANGED

Since NO PEDIGREE was set out of Piedmont, OK beginning in 2014, I thought I’d share some additional data on the area, which will shed a much brighter light on what Baylee had to suffer through – even in the 21st century.

There were 93 years resting between 1921 when the TULSA RACE MASSACRE occurred until 2014 when Baylee arrived in Piedmont.  Sadly, not much had changed. 

In 2015, there was controversy over a racist chant made by a white student at a University of Oklahoma fraternity, which brought attention back on the state’s race relations. 

Even today, reports show that blacks struggle in most of the quality-of-life factors in the state.  Oklahoma is first in the nation for blacks to die at the hands of police officers (this data from those states reporting).  Blacks are about half as likely to own a home, are more likely to go to prison, less likely to go to college and less likely to graduate.

Blacks in Oklahoma are more likely to be the victims of a crime or charged with a crime when compared to their white counterparts and other racial groups.

This atmosphere created a stressful dynamic where some in the black community worked hard to see better policing to keep their neighborhoods safe, but they also felt unfairly targeted by police, which bred mistrust.

Black students were faced with higher rates of school punishment along with higher juvenile arrest rates for violation of zero-tolerance policies.  This helped to create the so-called “school to prison pipeline” by pushing these students out of school.

Even as some states shifted to lighter punishments or legalization for marijuana possession, black Oklahomans were disproportionately charged with possessing the drug.

In 2014, minorities were underrepresented in Oklahoma’s two flagship universities:  The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.  Today, in 2020, this is still the case.  I know this as fact, because I have a child at one of these universities.

Both universities also struggle to retain, and graduate minority students compared with white students.

Oklahoma is rich with history – much of it hidden away.  I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to write NO PEDIGREE, giving me an even greater reason to dig deeper into Oklahoma’s background.  I’m honored to be able to share it with you.

Racism resides everywhere, not just in Oklahoma, but, so does strength, bravery and resilience.  It is up to us to decide which end of that spectrum we want to stand.  Racism is not born, it is bred … and the same goes for strength … it isn’t born – it is modeled.

**Resource:**  Oklahoma Watch News

***

BOOK BLURB…

Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, Baylee never quite fit in… anywhere. She was taunted and teased because her clothes had no designer labels, and spit upon because her only pair of shoes had holes in the bottom. The butt of many jokes, she was excluded from all social activities, sneered at by the parents of her peers after school as she waited for the bus, watching them drive away in their fancy cars; assaulted in the most unthinkable fashion.

Having been born to a white father and a black native American mother didn’t make things any easier. In fact, that circumstance made her life ten times harder – until the day she made them all stand up, take notice, and regret every ugly word and deed they had inflicted upon her.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Hi, I’m Nonnie JulesPresident & Founder of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {RRBC} and RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS {RWISA}.  As a writer who values the (polished) written word, it is my mission to help my fellow authors understand that their reputations as writers should be treated as rare treasure, and that the only way to be taken seriously in this business, is to ensure that your writing (no matter the forum) is impeccably written and well edited.  If not, you’re just another “Joe” with a pen who was the first to raise his hand when Amazon asked, “Hey, any old Joe out there wanna publish a book?  Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be good and there’s absolutely no hard work involved.”

FYI:  If you don’t care what you put out into the world, you’re just a laughingstock in the literary community … and your name is “Joe.”

***

Connect with Nonnie via Twitter:  @nonniejules

To purchase your own copy of NO PEDIGREE, https://www.amazon.com/NO-PEDIGREE-Really-Short-Story-ebook/dp/B083SB1RMN/

To learn more about Nonnie and other ways to connect with her, please drop in on her RRBC Author Page!

To follow along with the rest of the NO PEDIGREE blog tour, visit the author’s tour page.

If you’d like to schedule your own 4WillsPub tour to promote your books in similar fashion, click HERE.

Welcome to “THE MEREST LOSS” Blog Tour! @StevenNeil12 @4WillsPub

GUEST BLOG!

Today, I welcome Steven Neil to my blogsite to tell you about his latest book.

And, there are Giveaways!!

Steven is giving away (3) Signed Paperback copies of “THE MEREST LOSS.”  For your chance to win, be sure to leave him a comment below.

Take it away, Steven!

A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

Character Studies

I always draft character studies of my main characters and keep them close when I am writing. The more detail the better and the more likely it is that continuity errors can be avoided. Here are some extracts for three characters in my 19th century historical romance novel The Merest Loss.

Harriet Howard b. 1823

Harriet is born Elizabeth Ann Harryet. She is the daughter of Joseph Gawan Harryet, self styled Squire but actually a boot maker and son of a Brighton hotel owner. Joseph Harryet inherits wealth when his father dies and the hotel is sold.

     Elizabeth has a private education and is coached to achieve her father’s ambition for her that she should enter society and marry well.

     The young Elizabeth is beautiful, capricious, and precocious. She has a touch of arrogance about her. Whilst disguised as a boy, aged thirteen she has an encounter with a livery yard owner and attempts to secure a hunter hireling from him:

     ‘Well find me something else and be quick about it. I am Squire Harryet’s son and he wishes me to hunt in his place. We are guests of the Duke and I am keeping him waiting. And you sir are keeping me waiting.’

     As she becomes a young woman she retains her flamboyance but adds charm and humility to her personality. She is a talented mimic and has a wicked sense of humour. She has ambitions to be an actress.

     When she meets Jem Mason she is infatuated with him and runs away to live with him in London when she is still only fifteen.

     She is the heroine.

Jem Mason b. 1816

Jem Mason is born in Stilton, Cambridgeshire and is the son of John Mason; horse dealer to the gentry and very wealthy as a consequence.

     Jem is educated at Huntingdon Grammar School and later given private tuition. He is a talented rider from a young age and destined to become a successful jockey.

     Jem is handsome, elegant, well-dressed, slim, tall, gifted and athletic. He is also witty, smart, charming, and charismatic and has an easy, confident manner.

     He smokes cigars and drinks champagne. He likes the opera, ballet and the theatre.

     One story told about him is that when walking the steeplechase course at Stratford, in company with other jockeys, they come to two options: a five-bar gate and a bullfinch (a tall birch hedge which is jumped through rather than over). One of the jockeys asks Jem whether he would have the fence or the gate.

     ‘I’ll be hanged if I am going to scratch my face. I’m going to the opera tonight. I shall have the gate, forty miles an hour, and defy any man in England to follow me’

     The Sporting Life described him as ‘a lath-like elegant figure, beautiful seat and hands and a very quick eye.’

     When Jem and Harriet (then Elizabeth) meet they are immediately attracted to each other.

Major Francis Mountjoy Martin b. 1808

Francis Mountjoy Martin is the son of Charles Fuller Martin, former Sherriff of Calcutta who was by all accounts a rather eccentric character. Francis and his brother are reputedly the sons of an Indian mother.

     Francis is public school and Eton educated and becomes a Guards officer. He is the perfect gentleman. He is stiff, polite and very correct. He is tall, chivalrous and well-spoken. He is also quite shy in company and can speak with a stammer. He is artistic and also a musician and plays the violin

     In the novel he is an operational officer in the British Secret Service. He works for Nicholas Sly, Head of Espionage, French Operations.

     He is Harriet’s cover story and she lives under his ‘guardianship’ in London. It is believed that he is the father of Harriet’s son. It is ambiguous whether Harriet and Francis have a relationship or whether it is a business arrangement.

     He apparently provides a home and a trust fund for Harriet as he is not free to marry. This lends credibility to her wealth. In reality the money is provided by the British Government which is grooming Harriet to seduce Louis Napoleon.

     He acts as a sympathetic mentor to Harriet as the novel develops.

PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amazon France: https://www.amazon.fr/Merest-Loss-English-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amzon Au: https://www.amazon.com.au/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amazon Ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Follow Steven Neil on https://twitter.com/stevenneil12 for information on how to purchase the paperback through an independent bookseller in the UK.

Bio

Steven has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. He has been a bookmaker’s clerk, bloodstock agent, racehorse breeder and management consultant amongst other professions in his varied career. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire, England. The Merest Loss is his debut novel.

Twitter

@stevenneil12

IAN author page

https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/steven-neil.html

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Welcome to the “HELP FOR GRANDPARENTS RAISING GRANDKIDS” Blog Tour! @Healthmn1 #4WillsPub #RRBC #RWISA

It is my pleasure today to host this special author who has written many books designed to help folks through potentially hard situations. Today, she talks about adding emotion to non-fiction writing. Meet Author, Harriet Hodgson!

Adding Emotion to Non-Fiction Writing

By Harriet Hodgson

I’m a non-fiction writer.  Whether it is for young children, teens or adults, all of my writing contains emotion.  Sometimes my emotions are detailed in descriptive sentences.  Other times they are expressed with dialogue.  Writing about emotions takes effort and often includes pain.

Why should you bother to add emotions to your writing?  There are many pluses and these are the key ones.

Emotion links the author and reader.  Rob Parnell, in his Easy Way to Write website article, “How to Write About Emotion,” says emotions make us uniquely human.  Life isn’t all about what happens, he continues, “it is the way we react to events and people and the things they say that defines our experience of the world.”

All of my books contain emotion.  In fact, emotion is why I write them.  My recent work focuses on loss, grief, and grief recovery.  I wrote these books to identify, track and grow from the roiling emotions I was feeling at the time.  Readers can see my journey in the words I write and the outcome in my latest book about finding happiness again.

Emotion may serve as a “hook.”  Dialogue is one way to hook a reader, according to Mary Jaksch.  She expands this point in her Write to Done website article, “3 Things You Need to Know about Using Dialogue in Non-Fiction.”  What makes dialogue a hook?  According to Jaksch, it works “because it makes a story t of mere information.”  That’s why many newspaper articles open with a quote.

Decades of writing experience have taught me that you have to set the stage for emotion.  You can’t just slap it in the middle of a page and consider yourself done.  Usually, I cite a resource from the bibliography, explain my reaction to this information, and tell how I used it.  

Emotion stirs the reader.  Steve Zousmertells how an author may stir the reader in his “Writer’s Digest” article, “Evoke Emotions in Your Readers, published in the November 2009 issue.  A mistake many biographers and memoir writers make, according to Zousmer, is getting caught up in chronology.  The success of this kind of writing depends on the author’s ability to see his or her story as more than a procession of events, Zousmer notes.

His comment made me think of my own writing.  My elder daughter and father-in-law died the same weekend.  One week later, I sat down in front of the computer and started to pour out my soul in words.  Many of these articles were posted on the Internet and they eventually became a book.  Shocked as I was, overcome with grief as I was, I somehow had the sense to arrange the articles in topical order, not chronological.

Emotion helps the reader to remember facts.  Psychologists like my younger daughter know people remember emotions more easily than facts. Still, I know when I add emotion to my non-fiction writing that I have to sound sincere, credible, and stable. 

Harriet Hodgson, Health and Wellness Author

Rochester, Minnesota resident Harriet Hodgson has been a freelance writer for 38 years, is the author of thousands of articles, and 36 books. She has a BS from Wheelock College in Boston, an MA from the University of Minnesota, and additional graduate training.

Hodgson is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). She is a contributing writer for the Open to Hope Foundation, The Grief Toolbox, and The Caregiver Space websites. Visit www.thecaregiverspace.org/authors/hhodgson to read her articles.

Hodgson has appeared on more than 185 talk radio shows, including CBS Radio, dozens of television stations, including CNN, and dozens of blog talk radio programs. A popular guest, she has given presentations at public health, Alzheimer’s, bereavement, and caregiving conferences.

Her recent work is based on Hodgson’s 21 years as a family caregiver. She was her mother’s family caregiver for nine years, her twin grandchildren’s guardian and caregiver for seven years, and is in her fifth year as her disabled husband’s caregiver. Visit www.harriethodgson.com for more information about this busy wife, grandmother, caregiver, and author.

www.writelife.com    harriethodgson@charter.net

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