#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.

My Author Booth – 2020 WC&BE #RRBC

This has been such an incredible week attending the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB 2020 Writers’ Conference and Book Expo. The way it is presented this year, truly FEELS like a physical conference. Of course, it’s all virtual, which is beautiful in and of itself. I can go on with daily responsibilities and still participate fully in educational informative workshops, play Bingo, guess the answers on the Fact or Fiction game, and go on a scavenger hunt! We even have a chat lounge this year where we can gather and share our thoughts with other authors over a glass of wine or cup of coffee.

But, one of the highlights of the conference are the many author booths.

The author booths are open to the public.

I’d be thrilled if you’d stop by my booth and take a look at the books, book trailers and everything else it has!

Please do me a favor, if you visit, and tweet it out or share it to Facebook!

Of course, you’re welcome to leave a comment! So, what are you waiting for? Head on over!

https://rrbcwritersconferencebookexpo20.wordpress.com/author-jan-sikes/

#RRBC #Writers’ #Conference & #Book #Expo – #WCBE20! @RRBC_Org

Wow! It’s almost time for this fabulous Writers’ Conference to kickoff and it promises to be one for the books! Literally!

What better way to enhance your writing skills, interact with other authors, find new books to read, play games, win prizes and all from the comfort of your home!!

Five years ago, when Nonnie Jules, created this conference. there were few, if any, virtual conferences taking place. We were all still enjoying getting out and attending physical events. But now, in the midst of this pandemic, virtual conferences are the new normal. I say this just to demonstrate the innovative thinking of our fearless leader!

The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is an international book club dedicated to reading and giving honest reviews. But it is SO much more. It is a community of writers who develop friendships, encourage each other, uplift each other, and support each other in so many ways.

This conference is one of the highlights of the year for this community!

Take a Peek at our 2020 Sessions and Workshops!

  1. Amazon Author Central:  What It Is and How It Can Help You Sell More Books
  2. Anatomy of an (Almost) Perfect Book Review
  3. Anatomy of a Blog Post / Your Content Is King 
  4. Are You Failing As an Author?  The Reasons Why and How To Start Soaring
  5. Book Marketing Without A Plan: ‘Know Where’ You’re Going Before You End Up ‘Nowhere’
  6. Creating A Writer’s Platform That Will Get You Noticed
  7. How To Blog an Entire Book in 30 Days
  8. How To Build An Audience and Sell More Books
  9. How To Turn Your Blog Into A Hot Spot!  Keep Readers Coming Back For More
  10. STOP Marketing Your Books! How To Get Others To Do It For You
  11. The Basics of Spelling & Grammar: What You May Have Slept Through In School That’s Now Hurting Your Writing
  12. The Easiest Way To Format Your Paperback via Word Doc
  13. The Elements of a Short Story
  14. Powerful Keywords and How They Can Increase Your Blog’s Traffic
  15. The Simplification of “SHOW DON’T TELL”
  16. The Skinny on Social Media – Using It The Right Way So You’re Not Just Spinning Your Wheels
  17. TRELLO – A Step-by-Step Guide to Using it Effectively to Organize and Write Your Next Book
  18. What It Takes To Become A More Productive Writer
  19. Writing Dialog That Feels Like Realistic Conversation
  20. YOU the Reviewer Are Ruining YOU the Writer. Why Your Book Reviews Are Turning Off Potential Readers and How You Can Turn It Around
  21. FREE BONUS SESSION
  22. Filter Words and How To Avoid Them In Your Writing
  23. What RWISA-Ready Looks Like

Want to know the benefits of attending this conference? I can’t say it any better than Nonnie.

You’re a writer.  You realize that there is a lot for you to learn to become a great writer…heck, even a good writer.  You’ve heard about writers’ conferences but you’ve no time to attend, you’ve no money to spare, and most of them are just too darned far.  You’ve heard that they are wonderful, though, and you’d really like to see what they’re all about, so, what do you do?

Well, there is such a thing as a virtual writing conference, and below I’m going to share with you some of the benefits of attending an RRBC writers’ conference & book expo.

*A virtual conference allows you to attend from the comfort of any place of your choosing (living room, bedroom, bathroom, your car trunk, Starbucks, etc…).  Writers’ conferences and book expos come a dime a dozen as we say down South.  I mean…just like churches and liquor stores, there’s practically one on every corner.  But, with the busy lives that we lead, we often find it difficult to get away to visit or participate in one, so the next best thing is to find one online.  No need to worry about the cost of travel fare (car, bus or plane), no need to worry about hotel accommodations (you get to sleep at home), or, the cost of eating away from home…you get all that you need, when you need it, right where you are. #BENEFIT

*Resources you will use forever.  When you attend a virtual writers’ conference, you have the ability to revisit much of the information that is shared because it is all online.  The sessions and workshops presented at an RRBC writers’ conference, are all created with the purpose of educating attendees.   Our sessions and workshops are on carefully selected topics that we know authors need in order to grow in their writing careers.  The handouts that you receive (virtually), are invaluable along your journey as a writer.  No matter the format utilized to present these sessions, attendees leave our sessions and workshops enlightened and with a renewed sense of having learned something that will make them a better writer and stronger marketer for their books. #BENEFIT

*Payment Plans.  Have you priced writers’ conferences and book expos lately?  Well, I have and who can afford them without skipping a mortgage payment?  Geez!  There again lies the beauty of a virtual conference (at least an RRBC one).  Not only are the prices lower than any others we’ve found, but, we also have payment plans to make it easier to afford an author booth to promote your books, a vendor booth to introduce and sell your wares, and all the sessions and workshops your amazing brain can handle! #BENEFIT

*Community.  The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB popped onto the scene over 7 years ago and has offered to writers something never heard of before:  a community of support that truly cares about the success of its members, and a community of like-minded individuals who care about the success of their fellow members just as much as they care about their own.  There’s no competition here.  We’re all trying to get to the same place, and we’re gladly sharing the load so that we all get there quicker!   This community (or family as we like to call it), is there through the good times and the bad;  there to lift you up when you’re feeling low and need the encouragement to write another page; there with advice on how to handle certain situations involving your writing, tips on how you should write, what literary services you should utilize, and so much more.  We purchase, read and review each other’s books, we give our honest opinions on those books, we promote one another via our blogs and social media forums, and during the conference, we all get to commune to further our careers and friendships even more. #BENEFIT

*Friendships.  Many RRBC members are surprised at the bonds of friendship they form once they immerse themselves within the club.  The World Wide Web is known to be a cesspool of ‘crazies’, stalkers and any other negative label that you can attach to someone who you should be wary of on the net.  But, not so in RRBC.  Now, don’t get me wrong, there are some that I’m sure you should be leery of, but, I can assure you they are not within the realm of our core members…the professionals who work hard to protect and maintain their reputations as authors.  We are a global organization with members around the world, which means, when you find those to call ‘friend’, you’re never without a place to rest your head along your travels. #BENEFIT

*Find great new books.  Since the inception of RRBC, we hear on a daily basis how readers were introduced to amazing books they might never have found had it not been for RRBC.  The traditionally published have their work plastered all over the place, and sometimes, our Indie awesomeness is a little hidden…you have to dig deep to find it.  That’s not the case within RRBC.  We have amazing talent in our midst and their books speak for them.  If you’re looking for great reads, look no further than our catalog.  The conference & expo is THE place for our members to introduce their latest work and you don’t want to miss out on any of it! #BENEFIT

***

So, there you have it…  the most important benefits of attending a virtual writers’ conference & book expo hosted by RRBC.  What you will walk away with will far outweigh the pennies you will spend to take part in it.  And, because 2020 is our year of being judged on the skill with which we write, we hope that all our members care enough about their writing and their reputations as writers, to take part in this awesome event, which can only serve to further their writing growth.

Last year’s event was amazing and it was our 4th year putting it on.  With the past few years under our belt, can you imagine the things that we’re going to do this year?  I don’t think you can!

Everything about this event is geared towards your success.  If you haven’t registered yet, we invite you to do so today.  Don’t be the lone wolf standing on the sidelines of this wonderful event, wishing after the fact that you had been part of it.  Jump right on board our rocket to the stars.   We certainly have enough room for ya!

See you at the conference!

*JOIN RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

There you have it! There’s still time to jump in and participate in any of the workshops that interest you!

PLEASE NOTE: the conference site will go offline at some point over the weekend, but will re-open on Monday at 10 AM CT, in the event that you get an error msg saying the site is private when you visit.

Authorpreneur, Nonnie Jules – #RRBC #RWISA @NonnieJules

Nonnie (aka Wonder Woman) has been super busy organizing the 5th Annual #RRBC Writers’ Conference & Book Expo (a super-duper virtual literary event!!!!), so a group of us decided we would shine the spotlight on Nonnie.

Please support an author who gives tirelessly and selflessly (on steroids!) to other authors every day of the year. So, as well as sharing our posts & tweets, please buy her books, and post your honest reviews.

#RRBC and #RWISA – Let’s make some NONNIE NOISE!!!!

Nonnie Jules – President & 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 reputation as a writer should be treated as a 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.”

RRBC Author Page https://ravereviewsbookclub.wordpress.com/about-nonnie-jules-nonniejules-rrbc-rwisa/

You can find Nonnie’s books listed under the following categories in the RRBC Catalog:

Non-Fiction

Novels

Parenting & Relationships

Poetry

Short Story

Latest Release: No Pedigree

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.

My 5 STAR REVIEW OF “NO PEDIGREE!”

SWEET REVENGE!

This is a short story that addresses a social crisis that still plagues us. Racism has never gone away in the United States, and in fact, over the past four years, has escalated. This short story shines a light on that hard subject. When a beautiful girl of mixed race is forced to attend an all-white up-scale school, she is shunned by everyone but one girl. So, when the most popular boy in school shows an interest in her, she has no idea of his motives. The story is well-told and the best part was the ending. Satisfying is not a strong enough word to describe the ending. This book is inspiring because in real life we all know that the good guy does not always win. I highly recommend that every teenager in America be required to read this story.

RWISA Author Page https://ravewriters.wordpress.com/meet-the-authors/author-nonnie-jules/

Watch out for Wonder-Jules truth lasso!

Social Media Links

Contact via:

Email:  nonniejules@gmail.com

Twitter:  @nonniejules & @AskTheGoodMommy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BooksByNonnie/

Blog/Websites:

Books By Nonnie

Watch Nonnie Write!

Ask The Good Mommy

4WillsPublishing

#RRBC #RWISA Thanks for supporting author, Nonnie Jules!

Welcome to Day 3 of the @4WillsPub “THANK YOU, HOSTS!” Blog Tour for #RRBCAuthor @mbiermanauthor #RRBC #RWISA

Giveaway:  (1) 5-Day Blog Tour to promote your book!

PURCHASE LINK: VANISHED

BOOK BLURB:Driven to despair by a shared loss, Americans John Webster and Tyler Montgomery try to self-medicate by embarking on a mission of goodwill to earthquake-ravaged Haiti. The reconstruction of an orphanage transforms into a nightmarish hunt after a young girl is kidnapped.

Unequipped, culturally illiterate, and alone, the pair are forced into alliances with shifty characters, as they delve deeper into the treacherous underbelly of the human trafficking world. Can they survive long enough to keep their promise to the child’s mother?

AUTHOR BIO:
Mark combines his unique experiences and imagination to create his stories and characters.
Raised on a farm, Mark Bierman enjoys the great outdoors. He began writing a bit later in life, relying on his unique experiences as a Private Investigator and Correctional Officer to create tales of adventure. 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
https://www.markbierman.com/
https://twitter.com/mbiermanauthor

Thank you for dropping in to support this author today along the 4WillsPub “THANK YOU, HOSTS” Blog Tour!  To follow along with the rest of the tour as we show appreciation of these bloggers for all their support in supporting our books, please visit the main tour page for this event! There’s another book and author on tour today, so do get by to support them, as well!  Remember, you could win a (5) Day Blog Tour of your own to promote any of your books by simply leaving a comment below!  

New Short Story Releases! #RRBC

Once again, it’s that time of the year when the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB sponsors the 90-Day Alpha/Omega Beginning To End Short Story Contest!

I have discovered that I truly love writing short stories. So, I look forward to this contest every year as it gives me the push I need to keep creating. This time I wrote a Western and that is a first for me. I have to say that I enjoyed it immensely.

BLURB:

War-torn drifter, Jack McClean is left with nothing but bad memories, scars, and a restless soul. When he stumbles upon a burning homestead, and an unconscious woman, beside the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, he stops to render aid. Grieving widow, Savannah Logan, sees no reason to live, and only wants to join her husband and children in their graves. But, Jack refuses to let her die. In saving her, he might somehow find redemption for himself and hope for a new tomorrow. Is it possible that both Jack and Savannah can find a new destiny in the changeable flow of the Brazos wind?

PURCHASE LINK – AMAZON

The second story I wrote for this contest came from a conversation with a family member that left me scratching my head. Two brothers – one responsible, the other not so much and family dynamics that twisted my heart as I wrote it.

BLURB:

Quentin Marks’ mother can only love one son, and from the day Rowdy was born, she makes Quentin, his little brother’s keeper. She demands that Quentin fix every problem for Rowdy and that he also protect him. The truth is, after a deadly snakebite, Quentin owes his very life to his little brother, a debt that will never be paid in full. Only now a man is dead, and once again, their mother calls on Quentin to make the problem go away and save Rowdy from prison. When is enough enough, and how much of his own life will Quentin Marks have to sacrifice?

PURCHASE LINK – AMAZON

I hope that these stories grab your attention! They are both only 99 cents on Amazon. Keep your fingers crossed that maybe one of these stories will win the contest! 🙂

If you’re not following me on social media, please take a minute to connect! Thank you for your awesome support!

WEBSITE

TWITTER

FACEBOOK

Amazon Author Central

Welcome to Day 8 of “THE LOST AND FOUND BILLY BATTLES” Blog Tour! @JHawker69 @4WillsPub #RRBC #RWISA.

GIVEAWAY:  (2) Complete sets of the Billy Battles trilogy.  For your chance to win one, please leave a comment below!

I am thrilled to welcome talented author and journalist, Ron Yates, to my blog today where he’ll share some hard-earned wisdom with you.

The Lost and Found Billy Battles Tour

Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing: Annotated

At least once every year I find it useful to take a look at the late Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing. It is sage advice from a master. Every writer should read these rules and remember them. I’m doing my part by posting them here at the beginning of 2019 for your edification and enjoyment. 

I began reading Elmore Leonard’s books before I knew anything about writing or even that I wanted to be a writer. Back then, a lot of his books were westerns filled with gritty characters, compelling stories, and robust, convincing dialogue.

I remember reading Last Stand at Sabre River and Hombre, both of which became successful movies. Later, after Leonard had moved from westerns to crime and suspense stories, I read Mr. Majestyk, The Big Bounce, and the Moonshine War.

From 2010 to 2015 I watched with great pleasure the TV series “Justified,” based on Leonard’s book “Raylan” and partly written by Leonard. It has run its course, but I encourage you to take a look at the series. I am sure it is available on Netflix. Timothy Oliphant plays Raylan to a “T.”

Elmore Leonard was a writer’s writer. Not only could he spin a great story, but he could also create characters you loved to hate or hated to love and some you simply learned to tolerate because they made the other characters interesting.

If you like reading William Faulkner or Thomas Wolfe, you probably will not like reading Elmore Leonard. As brilliant as those two writers were, their stream-of-conscious narration probably drove Leonard nuts.

Leonard believed the writer should never get in the way of the story. (NOTE: See “Hooptedoodle″ at the end of Leonard’s rules)

I am not sure when Leonard wrote his 10 Rules of Writing, but I found them a few years ago and filed them away.

Some of you may already know those ten rules, but I am betting a lot of you don’t. So let me share them with you today. Read them, consider them and most of all, and try to follow them when you write your books. I think you will be glad you did.

Here they are in Elmore Leonard’s own words:

These are rules I’ve picked up along the way to help me remain invisible when I’m writing a book, to help me show rather than tell what’s taking place in the story. If you have a facility for language and imagery and the sound of your voice pleases you, invisibility is not what you are after, and you can skip the rules. Still, you might look them over.

    1. Never open a book with weather.

If it’s only to create atmosphere, and not a character’s reaction to the weather, you don’t want to go on too long. The reader is apt to leaf ahead looking for people. There are exceptions. If you happen to be Barry Lopez, who has more ways to describe ice and snow than an Eskimo, you can do all the weather reporting you want.

   2. Avoid prologues.

They can be annoying, especially a prologue following an introduction that comes after a foreword. But these are ordinarily found in nonfiction. A prologue in a novel is backstory, and you can drop it in anywhere you want.

There is a prologue in John Steinbeck’s Sweet Thursday, but it’s O.K. because a character in the book makes the point of what my rules are all about. He says: “I like a lot of talk in a book and I don’t like to have nobody tell me what the guy that’s talking looks like. I want to figure out what he looks like from the way he talks . . . Figure out what the guy’s thinking from what he says. I like some description but not too much of that. . . Sometimes I want a book to break loose with a bunch of hooptedoodle. Spin up some pretty words maybe or sing a little song with language. That’s nice. But I wish it was set aside, so I don’t have to read it. I don’t want hooptedoodle to get mixed up with the story.” (NOTE: I already violated that rule in my Finding Billy Battles trilogy. Sorry, Elmore. I won’t do it again.)

    3. Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.

The line of dialogue belongs to the character; the verb is the writer sticking his nose in. But said is far less intrusive than grumbled, gasped, cautioned, lied. I once noticed Mary McCarthy ending a line of dialogue with “she asseverated,” and had to stop reading to get the dictionary. (NOTE: I learned this important rule in journalism school at the University of Kansas. It has served me well.)

     4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said” …

…he admonished gravely. To use an adverb this way (or almost anyway) is a mortal sin. The writer is now exposing himself in earnest, using a word that distracts and can interrupt the rhythm of the exchange. I have a character in one of my books tell how she used to write historical romances “full of rape and adverbs.”

     5. Keep your exclamation points under control.

You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose. If you have the knack of playing with exclaimers the way Tom Wolfe does, you can throw them in by the handful.

     6. Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”

This rule doesn’t require an explanation. I have noticed that writers who use “suddenly” tend to exercise less control in the application of exclamation points.

    7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.

Once you start spelling words in dialogue phonetically and loading the page with apostrophes, you won’t be able to stop. Notice the way Annie Proulx captures the flavor of Wyoming voices in her book of short stories Close Range.

     8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.

In Ernest Hemingway’s Hills Like White Elephants, what do the “American and the girl with him” look like? “She had taken off her hat and put it on the table.” That’s the only reference to a physical description in the story, and yet we see the couple and know them by their tones of voice, with not one adverb in sight.

     9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.

Unless you’re Margaret Atwood and can paint scenes with language or write landscapes in the style of Jim Harrison, but even if you’re good at it, you don’t want descriptions that bring the action, the flow of the story, to a standstill.

And finally:

     10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

A rule that came to mind in 1983. Think of what you skip reading a novel: thick paragraphs of prose you can see have too many words in them. What the writer is doing, he’s writing, perpetrating hooptedoodle, perhaps taking another shot at the weather, or has gone into the character’s head, and the reader either knows what the guy’s thinking or doesn’t care. I’ll bet you don’t skip dialogue.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.

Or, if proper usage gets in the way, it may have to go. I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative. I attempt to remain invisible, not distract the reader from the story with obvious writing. (Joseph Conrad said something about words getting in the way of what you want to say.)

If I write in scenes and always from the point of view of a particular character — the one whose view best brings the scene to life — I’m able to concentrate on the voices of the characters telling you who they are and how they feel about what they see and what’s going on, and I’m nowhere in sight.

What Steinbeck did in Sweet Thursday was title his chapters as an indication, though obscure, of what they cover. “Whom the Gods Love They Drive Nuts” is one, “Lousy Wednesday” another.

The third chapter is titled “Hooptedoodle 1″ and the 38th chapter “Hooptedoodle 2″ as warnings to the reader as if Steinbeck is saying: “Here’s where you’ll see me taking flights of fancy with my writing, and it won’t get in the way of the story. Skip them if you want.”

Sweet Thursday came out in 1954 when I was just beginning to be published, and I’ve never forgotten that prologue.

Did I read the hooptedoodle chapters? Every word.

And there you have it: Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing. They are well worth remembering and following. Of course, there are some who believe there are no rules when it comes to writing. I don’t believe Leonard himself felt his ten rules were inviolable. To me, they seem like common sense–especially when it comes to avoiding the dissemination of hooptedoodle.

BOOK BLURB:

The Finding Billy Battles trilogy tells the story of a remarkable man who is born in 1860 and who dies in 1960. For decades Billy lives an improbable and staggering life of adventure, peril, transgression and redemption. Then Billy mysteriously disappears. For several decades his family has no idea where he is or what he is doing.

Finally, with his life coming to an end, Billy resurfaces in an old soldiers’ home in Leavenworth, Kansas. It is there, when he is 98 that he meets his 12-year-old great-grandson and bequeaths his journals and his other property to him — though he is not to receive them until he is much older.

Years later, the great-grandson finally reads the journals and fashions a three volume trilogy that tells of his great-grandfather’s audacious life in the old west, as well as his journeys to the Far East of the 1890s—including French Indochina and The Philippines—and finally, in the early 20th century, to Europe and Latin America where his adventures and predicaments continue. One thing readers can be sure of, wherever Billy Battles goes trouble is not far behind.

AUTHOR BIO:

Ronald E. Yates is a multi-award winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. His extraordinarily accurate books have captivated fans around the world who applaud his ability to blend fact and fiction.

Ron is a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the Dean of the College of Media.

The Lost Years of Billy Battles is the final book in the trilogy and recently won the Independent Press Award’s 2020 Distinguished Favorites Award. In 2019 it also won Best Overall Book of the year and the Grand Prize in the Goethe Historical Fiction Category from Chanticleer International Book Awards as well as a Book Excellence Award and a New Apple Award. The second book in the trilogy, The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles, was published in June 2016. It won the 2017 KCT International Literary Award and the New Apple Award in the Action/Adventure category. The first book in the trilogy, “Finding Billy Battles,” was published in 2014 and won a Book Excellence Award and Laramie Award from Chanticleer International Book Awards.

As a professional journalist, Ron lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia, and both Central and South America where he covered several history-making events including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia; the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing; and wars and revolutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, among other places. His work as a foreign correspondent earned him several awards including three Pulitzer Prize nominations.

Ron is a frequent speaker about the media, international affairs, and writing. He is a Vietnam era veteran of the U.S. Army Security Agency and lives just north of San Diego in Southern California’s wine country.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

-Twitter   https://twitter.com/jhawker69

-Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ronaldyatesbooks/

-Website   https://ronaldyatesbooks.com/

AMAZON OR OTHER PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon:

Barnes & Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/finding%20billy%20battles/_/N-8q8

I hope you enjoyed Ron’s post today. Please remember to leave a comment to be entered in the GIVEAWAY!

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to schedule your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  Thanks for supporting this author and his work!

Some Recent #Reviews – @maeclair1 @pursoot @teagangeneviene @spolakoffauthor @maurabeth2014

It has been a while since I took the time to post some reviews for books I’ve read recently, so here we go!

If you want to hop over and purchase a copy of any of these books, simply click on the titles.

From the super talented author, Mae Clair – “In Search Of McDoogal.”

Quirky and Entertaining!

This short read from Mae Clair is funny and filled with quirky characters. When Brady mistakenly sells his girlfriend’s painting, her talisman, her treasure, (or so he is led to believe) he will move heaven and earth to get it back. He grabs his best friend, Declan, and the two set out to retrieve the painting before the girlfriend returns from out of town. The search almost reads like a “who’s on first” scenario, as they met dead-end after dead-end in a small town four hours away. The characters come to life and jump off the pages, from the love-struck Brady to the star-struck Dorie and a confused sheriff. I loved everything about this story. It is well-written, a quick easy read, and will make you laugh out loud! But my favorite part of Brady’s quest was his own discovery of how much he’d come to care for (no fall in love with) Vanessa. While the quest was to retrieve the dreadful painting, it accomplished so much more. If you’re looking for a lighthearted escape from life, this is a perfect choice! It is well-written and shows the diverse talent of this author! I highly recommend it!

From Author, S. Burke, “The Reckoning Squad.”

Full of Action!

This story gripped me and drew me in from the first sentence on the first page. Unimaginable tragedy strikes a young girl, Chastity, crippling her mentally for a long time. When she has to shoot and kill another classmate to save lives, she struggles to recover. Her desire to see justice served to those who deserve it send her on a path of becoming an FBI Agent once she graduates college. But, the unexpected offer to join an elite team appeals to her even more.
As the story unfolds, we see her bond strongly with her teammates as they face arduous training, with only a handful completing the training. But the bond cements itself as they begin to work cases and bring about justice in whatever way it takes.

When they’re assigned to an extremely high profile case and there is a breach, causing great loss of lives, things move into overdrive for Chaz (the name she shortened Chastity to after the school shooting) and other team members. The intricate web of deceit, murder, and high finance proves to be a challenge beyond anything they’ve imagined. These characters come to life at the hand of this talented author. I particularly loved the characters, Chaz and Zach, and the romantic tension between them. This story has everything any reader could want. It is a definite page-turner. I couldn’t wait to see the outcome. If you are a fan of fast-paced, deep stories, you’ll love this one! This story deserves to be made into a movie and I hope Ms. Burke has more in store for the characters going forward.

Suzanne Burke is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

From author Teagan Geneviene, “Brother Love – a Crossroad.”

An Imaginative Tale At a Crossroads!

This author serialized this story on her blog before publishing it, and I enjoyed following along then. But reading the story from start to finish was an entirely different experience. There are several things I love about this story. A girl who is ostracized because she happens to live in a house that sits at the crossroads and believed to be evil. A magpie, Jinx who can talk and sing is another aspect of the story I loved, But the tent revival setting and shenanigans that occurred captured me the most. This author took word prompts from her blog followers to include in each chapter of the story and that is such a unique idea. She also included some fun facts or educational information at the end of each chapter. This story is well-written. The only criticism I have for it is the way it ended abruptly. I would like to have had a more satisfying conclusion. Great story with an imagination that knows no bounds!

Teagan Geneviene is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

From Maura Beth Brennan, “Stardust.”

So Many Different Levels of Goodness!

I thoroughly enjoyed this short story. Maeve is a retired librarian and the children in the small town adore her. As a ritual, each year at Halloween, when the trick-or-treating is over, many children along with their parents gather in Maeve’s living room for stories and refreshments. Maeve is beloved by everyone despite her eccentricities such as riding her bicycle all over town. But, when she ventures out of her safety zone to visit a new supermarket, tragedy strikes in the most horrific way. Maeve is mugged by a group of thugs and would have met her death without the intervention of a young boy, Eddie. The two become best of friends as she helps him with his school lessons. That is until his older brother finds out, and makes threats he is known to carry out. Maeve is drawn to a chest left to her by her great-grandmother, where inside, she finds a shawl that she remembers being told was woven from stardust. That starts a series of magical events. I will not leave a spoiler for this story, but will say it is very well written and compelling with many different levels and layers of goodness! I highly recommend it.

Maura Beth Brennan is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

From author, Sam Polakoff – “Shaman.”

A Reincarnation Journey!

Dan Alston has spent a lifetime building a reputation – that of the last clean politician. He’s now serving in the U.S. Senate and represents his constituents with honesty and integrity. But things are not all rosy for the Senator. As his life starts to unravel, more and more strange occurrences – visions – voices and mystical possibilities unfold. This book gets off to a slow start and I was almost at 50% before the story grabbed me and wouldn’t let me rest until I reached the end. There are dual timelines and souls intertwined and reincarnated to learn lessons and for some, to seek revenge. The ultimate revenge to bring down the Senator and destroy the world at the same time is a huge undertaking for Maritza Coya and her accomplice. I won’t tell you what happens, as I do not want this review to be a spoiler. I’ll just say this is a journey from start to finish. While I am a believer in reincarnation, some parts of the scenario I found to be a bit unbelievable, but still entertaining. The last scene in the book left me confused. A wedding in Peru with both living and deceased people in attendance left me scratching my head. However, after contacting the author, it all became clear. The story came to a satisfying conclusion. If you are intrigued by reincarnation or mysticism, you will enjoy this book.

Sam Polakoff is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

I hope you enjoyed my thoughts on these books. If any grabbed you, click on the title to purchase. I’m now reading a book by an author new to me, Linda Trout, and the title is “Tangled Promises.”

I’ll share my thoughts on this book later. What are you reading?

Celebrating Harriet Hodgson @healthmn1 #RRBC #RWISA

Today, Wednesday, 5/27/20 we are honoring the GRAND PRIZE Winner of our 2019 KCT INT’L LITERARY AWARDS Contest“SO, YOU’RE RAISING YOUR GRANDKIDS!” by RWISAAuthor, Harriet Hodgson.

And I’m SUPER excited about that. At 84 years young, Harriet is an inspiration!

HARRIET HODGSON BIO

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 Harriet’s RRBC Author Page to find out more about this busy wife, grandmother, caregiver, and author, as well as more information on her many other books listed in the RRBC catalog.

BOOK BLURB:

If you are a grandparent raising your grandchildren, help has arrived.

According to the US Census Bureau, more than 10% of all grandparents in the nation are raising their grandkids, and the number is going up. You may be one of the millions of these grandparents and it’s a role you never expected. Willing as you are to assume this role, you have some questions. How will I find the energy for this? Is my grandchild normal? What if I “blow it?” Each day, you look for ways to make life easier.

This book will:

•Help ease your worries and guilt;
•Offer tips for creating a grandfamily;
•Give methods for improving grandparent-grandchild communication;
•Suggest ideas for how you can connect with your grandchild’s school;
•Provide child development information;
•Recommend approaches to help your grandchild set goals;
•Stress the importance of having fun together;
•Offer ideas of how to foster your grandchild’s hopes and dreams.

So, You’re Raising Your Grandkids blends Harriet Hodgson’s wise and moving grandparenting story with recent research and findings. It shares her 21 years of caregiving experience, including seven years of raising her twin grandkids. Each chapter ends with What Works, proven tips for grandparents raising grandkids.

At the end, you’ll cheer for all the loving grandparents—including you—who are putting grandchildren first.

PURCHASE LINK:

#RWISA “RISE-UP” TOUR DAY 12, Nonnie Jules @nonniejules #RRBC #RRBC_COMMUNITY #RWISARISEUP

Today is the final day of the RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour and we close it out with our RRBC and RWISA President, Nonnie Jules.

by Nonnie Jules

By Friday, I doubted that I would even be part of this event.  I’m sure many of you noticed that I kept moving others ahead of me and ahead of me, until I ran out of members to move – as I struggled with finding the time in my schedule to write something.  As of this morning, I had finally decided that I just wasn’t going to be able to participate, as again, I saw no opening in my schedule that would allow it. 

Then, I got a phone call at 7:37 this evening from a friend, sharing that her relative had just attempted suicide due to his personal struggles since the arrival of COVID19.  He had lost his job, had received an eviction notice, and saw no clear path to anything remotely close to “better” while the Coronavirus lingered.  That conversation forced me to sit down at my desk just as soon as I hung up the phone.  What you will find below may not be that great, but it’s what my heart rolled out in the final hour. 

***

And So, I Believed

We are living through what is possibly the most trying time in many of our lives.  We are a world on lock-down, and though there are those of us who are living a bit more comfortably than others during this pandemic, many in the world are suffering.

Some of us are not concerned with how our mortgages and car notes will get paid.  Some of us aren’t concerned with where our next meal will come from, or, if we’ll have to suffer through another night filled with tears streaming down the faces of our hungry children, along with our own tears of helplessness.

For those who suffer with mental illness, their situations are creating a new wave of crisis, as many who see no way out, are, out of fear and desperation, turning to suicide.

My heart breaks for these innocents in this war.

***

It’s quiet.  

I’m afraid​. ​

I’ve been locked up inside for so long, I don’t know my nights from my days.

It’s lonely.  

I’m scared.

There’s no place to hide, ​and ​no other place to go​, ​because it’s everywhere.

I need to make a run

​…​just out to the store

…but, I’m not even sure

…it’s safe to open my door.

It’s in the air ​we breathe​

​…​on everything that we touch

I never realized ​until now​

​…​I needed people so much​. ​

I’ve no medical insurance

…so, I mustn’t get sick​. ​

My stomach is growling​​​ 

​…​but, it will soon quit​. ​

I’ll just stay inside for now.

I do need my meds 

…to kill the voices in my head.

They’ve never been this loud before.

A little knock at the door 

…would really help right now.

It’s ​too ​quiet.

I’m ​so ​afraid.

I open my wallet and remember…

I haven’t even gotten paid.

What will I do?

​How will I survive?

I don’t even know if it’s worth staying alive.

And, what will I eat?

What about the heat?

I know that it’s summer

…and it’s supposed to be hot

…but​, ​this thing has me terrified

…all tied up in knots.

​So, I strangely shiver as if it is cold.

While parts of the world move, my life is on hold. ​

Under the covers

…the only place I feel safe.

Oh, how I wish

…to feel the sun on my face.

How will I ​cover​

…the rent that is due?

My landlord’s expecting 

…to be paid at two.

Some understand 

…but others not

My luck ran out

…with the landlord I got.

“I’ve got a family to feed – you’ve only got you.” 

He does not ​see​ that only me has to eat, too.

I don’t have the rent, dear Lord. 

What will I do?

Where will I go?

I need a sign

…because I just don’t know.

How long will this crisis last?

No one knows for sure.

I’m afraid​ of my thoughts​.

How much more can I endure?

I just don’t know.

My mind is racing

…it just won’t stop.

Please slow it down, Lord

…these thoughts are just not – to your liking.

I cover my mouth

A cough escapes.

​I d​rift over to the window

…and pull back the drapes.

Unlocking the locks

…one by one

I can hear the calling ​

​…​not a voice​, ​but a gun.

​No, too noisy, I think.

And what if I miss?  

I’m already afraid to even consider this.

Now, it’s a voice – louder – more clear  

Almost a shout – deep in my ear.

“Come closer to me. 

Look, I’m down here.” 

Five stories below me

Cars rush​ing​ by

​I hear the voice again​

“​C’mon, you can fly.”

I look back over my shoulder

As my landlord knocks

Then I glance at the wall

…it’s straight two o’clock.

“Why are you hesitant? There’s only pain here for you.

There’s nobody to help, so, what will you do?

The world is on lockdown, but you can be free.

Do not wait another second; come and join me!

You see, I am free – down here. 

And don’t forget, you can fly.”

And so, I believed.

***

To everyone reading this who might be struggling with thoughts in their head, that under normal circumstances wouldn’t make sense, yet, they seem to make sense in the moment, what you should always remember is that the devil is alive and well, and sometimes looks and sounds just like you and me. {And of course, he wants you to join him…in hell.} 

Fight those voices that encourage you to harm yourself and others. 

If you were not born a bird or created in the likeness of some type of aircraft, listen to ME – you cannot fly.

Please take a moment to visit Nonnie Jules’ RWISA Author Page!

Thank you for supporting today’s RWISA author along the RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the main RWISA”RISE-UP” Blog Tour page on the RWISA site.  For a chance to win a bundle of 15 e-books along with a $5 Amazon gift card, please leave a comment on the main RWISA”RISE-UP” Blog Tour page!  Once you’re there, it would be nice to also leave the author a personal note on their dedicated tour page, as well.  Thank you, and good luck!