5 Year Anniversary

5_Anniversary

Five years ago, I published my first book, Flowers and Stone.

I had no idea where the journey would lead me. All I knew was that I had a story to tell.

I can’t even begin to list the things that have happened, doors that have opened and people that I’ve met. I was not following one blog five years ago and never imagined I would not only follow lots of amazing blogs but would have one myself. I certainly didn’t belong to an international author’s organization. I literally had no idea what I was doing.

Looking back now, I can see that my Angels were hard at work lining up opportunities, putting me with the right people and organizations, and keeping me moving forward when I lacked the energy to do it for myself.

And here I sit, five years and five books later with an active blog following, a solid fan-base, so many reviews from all over the globe and a wonderful website. And that’s just touching the tip of the iceberg. I have been a very busy woman.

So, now with all of that done, I ask myself, where do I go from here?

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Sure, I’ve published six short stories and that was truly fun! And, I write for two magazines and thoroughly enjoy that, but after writing such big novels, I feel as if I am sloughing off. Does anyone ever feel like that after completing a big project that drives you?

I had a dream the other night where I was driving a car and my sister was with me. There were two red wasps flying around in the car and she started to open the door. I yelled at her to open the windows and that I’d stop. I pulled into a small convenience store/gas station and she went inside. I opened all the doors to shoo out the wasps but never saw them again. When she returned to the car, I looked at her and said, “I have no idea where we are or where we are going. All I know to do is go back the way we came.”

That may hold no significance to anyone but myself, but I awoke knowing the profoundness of the dream.

I have written a fiction novel – in fact, I finished it last year and started pitching it to publishers. I’ve had no takers yet. I ‘ve also written the first chapter of the second book in the series, but I feel as if I am constantly spinning my wheels and going nowhere.

The anniversary of my first published book has brought all of this to a culmination in my mind. The dream – go back the way I came – holds a message. Is the message to go ahead and self-publish the fiction series? I’m groaning as I type it. I want the support and backing of a publisher. That’s the bottom line. Will I get it? Heck, if I know. All I do know is that I work long hours every day and while I know where I’ve been and where I am, I haven’t a clue about where I’m going but still enjoying the journey and still trusting the Angels to get me there. 🙂

Thanks for letting me share. Happy Anniversary to Flowers and Stone!

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The Contract by John Howell & Gwen Plano #RRBC #RWISA

It is such an honor to tell you about this new book co-written by fellow RRBC and RWISA members, John Howell and Gwen Plano! Pick up a copy today. I promise you will enjoy it.

The CONTRACT between heaven and earth

By John W. Howell & Gwen M. Plano

Thank you, Jan, for inviting us to join you today. We are honored and grateful to be featured on your blog where you have such good writing and music.

The Contract

 

Available on Kindle and Paperback

Kindle priced at $0.99 for the introduction.

The CONTRACT is a different story for writers John W. Howell and Gwen M. Plano. For either of them, it is their first attempt at co-authorship. After a year of Hurricane Harvey and other challenges, they have created, what they have termed, an inspirational thriller that bridges heaven and earth.

Here is the blurb:

The earth is threatened with a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.

Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits for the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.

If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.

Trailer

Here is an excerpt.

When they stepped out into the brisk air, Brad wrapped his arm around Sarah and pulled her close. “Will you be warm enough? I have a jacket in the car.”

Sarah didn’t know how to respond. With his arm around her, she felt warm—in fact, a bit more than just warm. Maybe I should accept his jacket, but I don’t want to wear it and give up his arm.

“Sarah?”

“I just thought that it had been a while since a gentleman had his arm around me.” I can’t believe I just said that.

Brad turned to face her, his hands now around her waist, “I hope you like being held close.”

Sarah nodded, her eyes welling. Brad leaned and offered a first kiss. Sarah felt fifteen again, swept off her feet by prince charming.

“If I keep my arm around you, will you be warm enough?”

Sarah beamed. He had reframed his question, and she nodded yes.

Brad smiled. “I thought so.”

Under a street lamp busy with swarming intruders, Brad drew Sarah close, and with tenderness, kissed her. When she relaxed into his arms, Brad took a deep breath in, and his eyes shone wetly as he exhaled. Was he falling in love with her too? It seemed that neither of them wanted the moment to end. Sarah savored Brad’s warmth and strength. It felt so right, so natural, as though he and she had been lovers in times past. This is where I belong, she thought, in his arms.

Authors Bio.

John Howell Head shotGwen's headshot

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories. His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016. The last, Circumstances of Childhood is a family life thriller story and launched October 2017. All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

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

John’s other books.

Available on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Gwen had a lengthy career in higher education, and it was there that she published her first book, Beyond Boundaries, for students interested in volunteer work in developing countries. After she retired, she wrote her award-winning memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love.

Gwen lives in Branson, Missouri with her husband.

Gwen’s books.

Available on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2wdXsrn

Both John and Gwen are members of the prestigious RAVE WRITERS INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS and THE RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.

ALL ABOUT THE #RRBC SPONSORS BLOG HOP!

Welcome to the first ever ALL ABOUT THE SPONSORS BLOG HOP!  These kind members of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC) donated their support during the 2017 conference, in the way of gift cards and Kindle e-book donations for our Gift Basket Raffle. They supported us and now we are showing our support of them by pushing their book(s).  
 
We ask that you pick up a copy of the title listed and after reading it, leave a review.  There are several books on tour today, so please visit the HOP’S main page to follow along.  
 
Also, for every comment that you leave along this tour, including on the HOP’S main page, your name will be entered into a drawing for an Amazon gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour!
Blurb: 
It was always “Father” never “Dad.” The love and respect was manifest so was the distance – the distance not as evident. Christiana Lynn Barrington’s life was a carefully constructed world built, presented and controlled by her billionaire father, Jonathan Robert Barrington.

She never knew anything else.

Frequently, she wondered if her father had wished to have had a son instead of a daughter but never posed the question.

Maybe she was afraid of the answer.

As the only child of Jonathan and Elizabeth Matthews Barrington, she was the heir apparent to the behemoth Barrington Holdings International.

But a threat to her hard-earned succession waits in the shadows ready to take everything she’s worked for away from her.

Author:

Peggy_Hattendorf
Learn more about Peggy Hattendorf, member of the exclusive writer’s group, RWISA!
This blog hop sponsored by:  4WillsPublishing

Jonah – Part 6

When we left Jonah last week one of the fanged beasts that inhabit this tangled and briar ridden island threatened to end his life. In a moment of carelessness, he’d left his dagger laying inside the hut. Let’s see how he gets out of this one.

Jonah managed to sidestep the lumbering beast, but it quickly turned and charged again. He cast an eye toward the hut, calculating. Could he make a dash for it? The blade of his dagger glinted in the sunlight as if taunting him.

A piercing whistle cut through the air.

The beast stopped in his tracks, tucked his tail and slinked off into the tangled brush growling.

Jonah whirled in the direction of the whistle and blew out a long breath. Tidus stood a good ten yards away.

“Hey,” Jonah yelled. He scrambled toward the boy. “Please don’t run. I need to talk to you.”

Tidus held a crudely woven basket in his hands and approached Jonah.  “Here.” He shoved the basket at Jonah. “I thought you could use these.”

 

Jonah lifted the lid and glanced inside to find an array of vegetables and fruit. All his original questions fled. “Where did you get these?” His mouth watered at the sight.

veggies

“I grow them.” Tidus fell into step beside Jonah. “Where I live looks nothing like this.” He gestured at the tangled terrain.

Jonah pulled a Mangosteen from the basket and bit into it, ignoring the juice that trickled down his chin. “I want to go with you, Tidus.” He said between bites.

“I thought I was taking you, but they wouldn’t let me.”

They reached Jonah’s hut and ducked inside.

“Who are they? And thank you for this gift.” He set the basket on the ground and grabbed another piece of fruit.

“You are welcome. I don’t exactly know who “they” are. My father was teaching me when he disappeared and never returned. Then my mother died and that left me.”

Jonah let out a soft whistled. “Sorry kid. And, sorry I was such a bully the other day. I wanted to get off this godforsaken island more than anything. I was only thinking of myself.”

“Why are you here? Did your mom die too?”

Jonah leaned back. How he wished that were the reason. “I’m here because I was given a choice. I could either go to prison or come here. I chose here. At least I’m not locked in a box, although now I wonder if wouldn’t have been easier.”

“You must have done something really bad.” Tidus reached for Jonah’s book, The Four Agreements. “My mom used to read me bedtime stories out of this book.”

“Bedtime stories?” Jonah shoved a hand through his hair. He couldn’t bring himself to tell this boy about all his bad deeds. “Tell me more about your mom.”

Tidus’ eyes glowed an iridescent green. “She was beautiful and kind. She had long silky violet hair and her hands could do such amazing magic. Both my mom and dad were teaching me, but now, I’m alone and only half-taught.” His voice trailed off. “I wish my dad would come back.”

Jonah’s mind scrambled for logic but found none. This kid was obviously born to a witch and warlock. He recalled stories he’d heard about these people being banished from the mainland hundreds of years ago. Even though Tidus appeared to be a young boy of twelve, in truth he could be over one hundred.

He prodded. “Tell me about your dad.”

The clear blue skies disappeared in an instant. Thunder boomed, and angry dark clouds swirled, turning day into night. Lightning crackled in the brush nearby and a deluge of hard driving rain pounded the hut.

stormy sky

Tidus cowered. “I don’t think I can.”

Book Release – C.S. Boyack #RRBC

Today, it is with great pleasure that I host Author, C.S. Boyack’s latest book release The Enhanced League!

Thanks for inviting me over today, Jan. I’m here to talk about my newest release, The Enhanced League. It’s a collection of short stories and anthems that span one year in a fictional baseball league.

I keep a living document about topics for a blog tour, and an excerpt is one of the topics. It’s always tricky choosing an excerpt because you don’t want to introduce spoilers for those who may run out and buy the book. This one gives you a bit of the pomp associated with this league.

***EXCERPT ***

I threw about twenty right down the middle; all changeups to spare the bullpen catchers. It was more about loosening up than working on location at this point. I slapped my glove on my leg and headed for the dugout.

“Not you, Warren.” It was the pitching coach.

“Why not?”

“Part of the show. You get to ride in the bullpen car for your intro. You’ll be the only starter who’s ever ridden in it.”

Jesus, these people love a show. It’s more like professional wrestling than I realized. I made my way down to the tunnel.

The bullpen car was a full blown custom hot rod. It had a huge Mountie hat atop the open sides, and a chromed engine block with six chrome intake stacks. The body was the traditional red of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The field announcer named off the starting players for both teams. Boos echoed as the Las Vegas Gamblers were introduced.

The announcer continued, “Working the third base line tonight, Traci Goodbody. Roaming the infield is Daisy Farmer, and your crew chief tonight, working the first base line is Ms. Lita Von Strychnine.”

The butterflies decided to swarm when the national anthem started. O Canada! Terre de nos aïeux, Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux

I closed my eyes and took some deep breaths.

“Better climb in, and hang onto the straps.” It was my driver, but I’d never met him before.

Machines filled the tunnel with a thick fog. The stadium went silent and spotlights waved back and forth occasionally hitting the tunnel. The stadium announcer said, “Roger Warp-speeeeed WARREN!” The thundering sounds of It’s a Long Way to the Top, by AC/DC echoed through the stadium, complete with bagpipes.

The bullpen car roared to life with a sound that would shame most Harley Davidsons. We crept toward the opening, and the driver hit the lights and siren. Red and blue alternated across the fog, and the crowd screamed above the siren.

We launched from the tunnel and turned onto the warning track around the outfield. The crowd was on its feet, and I reminded myself to shut my jaw which had fallen open. No ancient gladiator would have seen a sight any more outrageous.

We toured around the outfield and past the visitors’ dugout with sirens and lights all the way. My driver deposited me beside the mound, where Montes was waiting. “You ready, man?” He asked.

“Um, yeah.” I tipped my hat to the crowd, then glanced at Daisy Farmer in her booty shorts and cropped umpire top. “Looks like the players aren’t the only thing enhanced here.”

Montes slapped me lightly on the cheek. “Head in the game, jefe.”

“Right, let’s go.”

Von Strychnine stalked down toward the plate and called, “Batter up.”

***

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Blurb: The Enhanced league is a collection of short stories and anthems centered around a year in a fictional baseball league. It has a slight science fiction background. This league has a lot more pomp than you might be used to, and nobody seems to care if the players use performance enhancing drugs.

Stories involve existing heroes, up and comers, and falling stars. While there are the obvious stories that take place on the field of play, there are also human interest stories that take place around the baseball gyrations. These stories involve scouting, trades, ruthless business decisions, and even relationships.

I enjoyed researching and bringing you The Enhanced League, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. — CB

Purchase link 

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I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

FOLLOW AUTHOR, C.S. BOYACK:

BLOG   CRAIG’S NOVELS   TWITTER   GOODREADS    FACEBOOK    PINTEREST

Family – Broken pieces

We all have issues within the makeup of our families that don’t always play out the way we’d like. This seems especially true with adult children and spouses.

No family is perfect

But, in the story I’m writing, my character, at the age of twenty-six, discovers the man who raised him and whom he believed to be his father, isn’t. He meets his real father for the first time at a rock concert. His real father is a rock star.

So, here are the emotions he deals with.

First off, SHOCK!

Second, disappointment, hurt and anger that his mother would withhold something that important from him. She’s raised him to be an honest and forthright person, and to keep his karma clear. So, she loses his trust with this shattering revelation.

How do they move on from here?

My character has to find a way to forgive his mother. But, will things ever be the same between them? Probably not. (At least it wouldn’t in real life). And, what are the underlying issues?

Family wounds

Then, he has to begin to build a relationship with this stranger, his real father. He’s admired the man and his music his entire life. But, things look different on this personal level. Where do they start?

First off – they have a common ground – a love and talent for music.

Second, they share a love for his mother.

It’s a place to start. And in real life, isn’t that all we can look for to repair a relationship or build a new one? A place to start.

Quote_Baldwin I love this quote from James Baldwin!

I’d love to hear your thoughts – your own experiences with family situations and how you moved forward from them. You might help give me deeper insight into my story. 🙂

 

Code

This word conjures up several different meanings such as ‘code of conduct’ or the ‘code’ to a safe, but for this blog, I want to look at programming ‘code.’

Isn’t it amazing that by stringing together symbols, numbers, characters and letters, we can get beautiful images like these? They are so lifelike that you can almost hear the roar of the waterfall or feel the gentle touch of the butterfly lighting on your finger.

8ff5fc45ac68329c579a525b5658604b

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It fascinates me!

In my new novel, When Two Worlds Collide, the protagonist, Jag Peters,  is a computer programmer. He spends his days writing code, but never unlocking the one leading to his own happiness.  He lives a settled life with few bumps in his road until he almost collides with Rena Jett and her candy-apple-red Harley. Rena carries deep scars from a lifetime of abuse and hides it behind a dark scowl and sharp tongue. It is a story about opposites with much to learn from each other and, of course, to fall in love with little hope of ever meshing their two worlds. Add in a paranormal aspect and it is shaping up to be a powerful story.

So, the next time you see a GIF like these, or play a computer game, think about the mile-long code it took to create it.

Computer Code HTML

Have you unlocked your own code to life? Have an AWESOME weekend!

 

A unique and entertaining series filled withPassion, Crime, Redemption, Second chances and inspiration.png

 

#RRBC Author, Larry Hyatt honored!

The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (an international group of writers and readers) has chosen Author Larry Hyatt to be honored on #PUSHTUESDAY!

This is the day #RRBC members purchase the book and show support to lift up the author chosen.

Larry is the author of “How to Reach For the American Dream (And Not Get it)”

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How to Reach for the American Dream… (and not get it), is the fictional, comedic account of the life of an entertainer who from childhood had what it took to “make it.” You’ll laugh, cry, and cheer him on as he struggles to achieve what only a select few can, through his television kid show debut, glee clubs, remedial college studies, gaining weight as a “starving” artist, dating women out of his league, nightclub entertainer, and romps through radio, television, and publishing.

So, if you’re looking for an entertaining new read, this is it!!

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Since the age of five Larry has been a performer. He’s written radio comedy, sketch comedy and plays, produced television and radio, worked as a creative director for an arts and entertainment magazine, and published numerous humorous articles and essays. Add appearing in operas, musicals, and a movie, and one would wonder how someone who has entertained so much, has so little. Well, he’ll tell you…but wait, that would be stupid, because he wrote the book on having what it takes, and now want you to buy the book on knowing what it doesn’t.

Purchase Larry’s book on AMAZON

Curious about the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB?  Take a look and if you decide this group is the perfect fit for you, please tell them Jan Sikes sent you!