#RRBC Pay-it-Forward

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We all hear the term, Pay-It-Forward, but how often do we get a chance to do something for someone else selflessly?

Today, I take the opportunity to tell you about a RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB Author, Larry Landgraf.

Larry lives a fascinating life. He was born and raised on the Texas Gulf Coast in the swamp country of the Guadalupe River Delta. Larry has spent his entire life dealing with nature. He is at home with snakes, alligators, and every other swamp critter. In fact, a rattlesnake which crossed his path the other day is now a hatband. Larry started hunting and fishing to provide for his family while still in elementary school. He can build stuff with raw materials and make things work. Larry is a survivor by necessity. And, he is an author.

He has a brand new book of true stories. And, it is my honor to tell you about it.  Psst, don’t tell Larry because he doesn’t know I’m doing this. 🙂

Tales_From_Riverside

Blurb: Tales from the Riverside tells true and unique stories about one man’s struggle with alligators, snakes, killer bees, and hordes of nasty critters on a daily basis in his swamp. Experience the danger without the need for professional medical services. Life in a swamp is not for everyone.

One reviewer said, “Tales from the Riverside, is a refreshing group of stories that you will relate to if you are not a born and raised a city dweller. If you are a city dweller, you will enjoy the stories, because Author Larry Landgraf writes with candor and humor as he shares his life on the Guadalupe River in Texas.”

This book is available on Amazon as are all of Larry Landgraf’s books.

For information on ALL books click HERE

Larry is a supportive member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and will have an Author Booth at the upcoming RRBC Writers’ Conference & Book Expo!

 

 

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Where I am

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No blog today, folks. I am on vacation at Crystal Beach on the Bolivar Peninsula in Texas with my sister, my best friend, my brother and sister-in-law. It is incredibly beautiful here and the beach is practically deserted.

I will catch up with blogging when I return. 🙂

 

The Alternative by S. Burke – Cover Reveal!

 

Hello, and welcome to the Cover Reveal of my New Thriller Anthology

“The Alternative”

The ALTERNATIVE BANNER HEADLINE FOR COVER REVEAL BEST

The Alternative

The Alternative
by S.Burke

Available to Pre-Order NOW.
Release Date: Monday June 18th 2018
Mystery> Thriller & Suspense > Anthology.

It is such an exciting time for an author when releasing a new book! I would be remiss in not sharing my heartfelt thanks to the marvelous people who gave of their time so readily to beta read my latest book. Their valuable insights helped me enormously when crafting “The Alternative”

At long last, I’m able to share the cover and blurb for “The Alternative” my latest Thriller Anthology. “The Alternative ” is due for release on June 18th.

It is NOW available for Pre-Order

I have many good friends sharing this cover across the blogosphere today and tomorrow, so you’re likely to see it pop up in various places. Thank you to everyone participating in my cover reveal splash, and to everyone dropping by to share in my excitement. Here’s my new baby . . .

With much gratitude to Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khaleesi for the cover creation.

Cover Created by Eeva Lancaster at The Book Khalessi

Presenting “The Alternative” A Thriller Anthology.

“The Alternative”

THE ALTERNATIVE COVER IN HIGH RESOLUTION BEST

BLURB:

The Alternative.

There are those that cling unreservedly to the lifeboat that believing in Karma hands them so willingly.

They work, they live, and they function in a world that allows them the option of unreservedly trusting that Karma has no deadline.

Until they are handed the spark that ignites them into becoming the instrument of Karma itself.

There are others who have had all they once held to be truths, everything they once stood for and took pride in, torn apart and ripped from them by the hand of a cruel fate.

Then, of course, there are those who believed in nothing and no one, to begin with …

These are their stories.

The stories of people both good and bad, who made the choice to exact “The Alternative.”

An excerpt from Chapter 1. Picasso.

February 1990.

The tall man stretched his arms and flexed his long artistic fingers. He stood back to gain a different perspective of his latest work of art. He’d spent a great deal of time sketching his outline and was well satisfied with the outcome. Perhaps this one would be the perfection he craved above all else.

His other efforts were upstairs in the gallery, and while they were far from his lofty imaginings, they each represented another step forward toward his ultimate goal. He knew this exhibition would prompt worldwide interest, that was a given. His reputation was on the line. That at least was something he valued.

He grunted and moved the newest piece into the workroom. The more difficult application of his talent needed to begin.

***

NEW YORK JULY 2015

Meredith keyed in her code, shouldered the door open and dropped her briefcase onto the polished boards of the entry. Working on autopilot, she flicked on the light and bent to collect the mail from the floor; throwing it onto the small bureau without bothering to check the sender. She shrugged off her coat and draped it over the arm of the sofa. Too damned weary to be bothered with any external interruptions tonight, she removed the home phone from its cradle and headed to the kitchen to fix enough coffee to sustain the long evening ahead, deliberately ignoring the well-stocked bar. She was well aware that she’d need every bit of concentration she could muster. She removed the Glock from her handbag, and out of habit, she placed it on the coffee table next to the perpetually full ashtray.

Her head was already pounding and she rubbed at her tense neck muscles until her fingers ached. Relief from the unresolved tension still hovered … just out of reach. She held her breath for a moment, stilling her impatience. If all went to plan, this thing would be finally ended. If justice existed at all, it would go well. All the years she’d worked to bring what was the only course left open to herself and the others to completion was coming. ‘Soon now’, was her daily mantra. But the darker visions still danced vividly in her mind’s eye and tormented her rare sleeping hours … it had been that way for almost twenty-five years.

The memory haunted her, dark and unforgivingly brutal. It replayed in clear and explicit detail every time she was forced to reflect on it … and its aftermath.

***

THE ALTERNATIVE IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

“The Alternative” on AMAZON.COM

Suzanne Burke Amazon Author Page

On TWITTER.

On Facebook.

My Blog

Thank you so much for joining me here today. Your support is very much appreciated.

I would be delighted to hear your thoughts and comments below.

Suzanne Burk is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.

Daisy Bold & Beautiful – Ellie Collins

Daisy

BOOK BLURB: 

D.J. and her dad moved far from the small town and only home she ever knew. Now she’s starting middle school in the city with kids she’s never met. She tries to make friends, but they all appear to be slaves to screen time. D.J. just likes to garden, nurturing plants, watching them grow and thrive. It seems she’ll never find a way to fit in, but then she awakens in a gorgeous garden where she meets Persephone, Goddess of Spring. She must be dreaming; her new friend can’t possibly be real—and what could she know about getting along with gamers? D.J. really needs some ideas, or she might never find her own place in a complicated world.

Daisy, Bold & Beautiful is the debut novel of middle-schooler Ellie Collins, daughter of award-winning author Stephanie Collins. Boys and girls alike will appreciate Ellie’s keen eye for the challenges of growing up that she and her friends must face. Discover the wonderful writing of Ellie now, then follow her to learn about her writing and more books to come.

MY 5 STAR REVIEW:

This is such a heartwarming story about a girl starting middle school in a new town, new school and without her mom.  It’s just her and her dad. I loved the relationship depicted between the young girl and her father, both trying to find their way. The book is well-written and to know it was written by a ten-year-old is mind-blowing. I loved every aspect of this book from the rendezvous in the garden with the mythical Goddess, Persephone to the challenges of trying to fit in at an awkward age in life. The messages are powerful in this book. ‘Be yourself no matter what’ is a strong message. And, if you stay true to yourself, everything will fall into place. The book also touches on how a child deals with her grief at the loss of a parent. I highly recommend this book for teens and tweens. I think everyone can learn something from Daisy Bold & Beautiful. My hat is off to the young author!

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Stephanie Collins, Award-winning Author, is Ellie’s mother. For more, visit: RAVE WRITERS INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

My Podcast Interview On “Tell Me A Story!”

This was such a great privilege and honor. And, one of the most fun interviews I’ve ever done. I got to dig deep on a very personal level. My thanks to Annette Rochelle Aben.

**When you click on the link, scroll down to my name. The names are in alphabetical order by last name.**

via Tell Me a Story Jan Sikes

Redemption – Tom McElvain CD Review

Redemption

RELEASE DATE JUNE 22!

AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

There is only a hand full of male artists around with the vocal prowess of Tom McElvain. And few who would dare to expose the cold hard facts of addiction and recovery like McElvain does on his new CD, Redemption.

 Recorded at the famed Sonic Ranch in far West Texas, and produced by Joe Austin and Charles Godfrey, the theme running through Redemption is the struggle of a man tumbling to the bottom and the strength and determination it takes to climb back from the darkness into light and love.

McElvain faces his demons head-on with “Lady in Red.” Started during his meth phase, he compared the swirl of blood in the hypodermic needle to a lady in a red dress…dancing, taunting, pleasing. “I’d sell my soul to the devil, Lord for one more night/Lady in red dance for me…”

Written from the point-of-view of a single parent, “Why” is an apology for not being there for the kids. Running from problems comes easy for some and “Anywhere” describes a young man’s need to avoid commitment.

Keeping with the theme, “High” tells the story of a carefree journey down a rabbit hole with a companion that gets lost along the way. “They’re telling us we’re stoned/Like to think we’re just high/But I took your tender heart and gave it a jagged edge…”

Hurt, regret and anger drive “Goodbye.” It’s never easy to say goodbye and McElvain wrings pure emotion from every word.

Facing a desperate darkness, hitting rock bottom is the place where you decide whether to live or die. “Crank Thinking” takes you into that dark place where McElvain sits with a “Bible in one hand and a pistol in the other…” This song stood out to me for many reasons, but the raw and honest lyrics delivered only the way McElvain can, should be a theme song for every drug and alcohol rehab facility.

The entire vibe takes a serious turn with “Miracles.” It is a beautiful flowing and uplifting song. “Miracles are born every day.” The next dip on this rollercoaster ride of songs grabs your attention with raucous laughter and driving guitar licks. “Hands of a Woman” is a love song like no other. McElvain admits that “Whiskey Song” was written for his wife and the salvation she brought into a shattered life. The expression of that love continues with “Damn I Love You.” It is a story of surviving years together with an honest and steadfast love intact.

Written with his wife, Christi, “Here’s To You” is a tribute to the songwriters. “Hard times can make you humble/If you learn from your pain/They say we all make our own mistakes/There ain’t nothing wrong with that…”

Redemption closes with McElvain’s acoustic version of “House of the Rising Sun.” The depth of his vocals will raise the hairs on your arms. I remember hearing him sing this song live for the first time, and I had chills from head to toe. See for yourself.

Superb arrangement, delivery, and production, Redemption is a no-holds-barred must for any music-lover’s collection. If you are not acquainted with the phenomenal writing and vocal talents of Tom McElvain, this album is the perfect introduction!

Redemption is set for release on June 22 through Smith Music Group. The album is available now for pre-order on Amazon.  For more visit http://www.tommcelvain.com.

**PUBLISHED IN BUDDY MAGAZINE, MAY 2018 ISSUE**

McElvain_Tom

GDPR And Authors: What You Need To Know

Author and Web Developer, Nicholas Rossis, answers many questions about the new GDPR guidelines. If you have a newsletter, blog or gather emails via any source, you need to read this!

Nicholas C. Rossis

I’ve received quite a few inquiries regarding the new European Union privacy legislation known as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). GDPR comes into effect on May 25, 2018. This regulation initially impacts European Union member countries and aims to protect people from companies selling personal data. To do this, it regulates the use of people’s personal data online and aims at ensuring that every business storing an individual’s personal information has their prior consent. Furthermore, people have the right to know which data is stored and to ask for their removal.

Does That Affect My Newsletter?

GDPR and authors | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Image: Pixabay

The first question in most authors’ minds is: how does this affect my newsletter? There are four points to remember here:

First of all, if you’re in the US contacting solely Americans, you’re covered by the CAN-SPAM regulation; not GDPR. However, if you’re also addressing Europeans, you must enforce GDPR. In other words, the…

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Mama’s House

Happy Mother’s Day!

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My mother was born in 1917. She was a young woman just married and starting a family during the Great Depression. The things she endured were beyond comprehension. But, she grew to be the strongest, most determined woman I ever knew. Born in May, she was a Taurus. No task was too big for her to tackle. I have a distinct memory, as a very young child, of Mom climbing up a ladder and putting a new roof on our house because Daddy was working too many long hours to do it himself. I like to think I get some of my grit from her.

She could make the best peach cobbler on the face of the earth and was most at home in the kitchen.

When she passed away, I wanted to create some sort of deserving tribute. I was driving down the highway between Coleman and Brady, Texas one day and this song came to me all at once and clear as a bell. I pulled over on the side of the road and wrote it. I hope you enjoy it and the photos that accompany it.

My tribute to Marian Edith Clark Smith.

Thank you for listening.

Bad Boys – Bad Girls

It’s no secret I’ve always been attracted to “bad boys” throughout life. I remember writing a High School paper on the outlaw, Billy The Kid. Some of my classmates thought it was strange, but it wasn’t to me.

Billy The Kid

I came by it honest – that attraction. My dad was a hard-working man that never committed a crime in his life other than a little light boot-legging in his younger years. But, he had a great admiration for the outlaws of his time. Bonnie and Clyde, Pretty Boy Floyd, Machine Gun Kelly, and Baby Face Nelson were just a few of the outlaws he looked up to. I remember, as a child, going with him to see Bonnie and  Clyde’s car, with all the bullet holes in it, on display in Oklahoma City.

Bonnie_Clyde_Car_1

But, no wonder. He’d come through the horrible Great Depression; a time when they had no home and no food to eat. He admired the outlaws for taking from the rich. If he hadn’t been a family man, it is possible that he might have been tempted to follow their lead.

Nevertheless, that affinity to outlaws got passed down to me. I fantasized about riding on the back of a Harley with the infamous Sonny Barger and dreamed of being rescued from religious oppression by a swarthy pirate. So, it was no surprise when I was drawn to a Texas outlaw musician at the young age of 19. And, then when they sent him to prison with a 75-year sentence, it was no surprise that I wound up marrying a Harley rider. I openly admit that without the Harley, this man would have held no attraction to me. Maybe that’s shallow, but it’s honest. I know many women suffer from this disease and it may have caused a few problems throughout life.

Darlina on Will's Harley 1972

I wrote a scene in “The Convict and the Rose,” where Will and Darlina ride the Harley to Dallas to party with the Bandidos MC. It didn’t end well. Those of you who have read it know what I’m talking about.

Author, Rhani D’Chae, wrote “Shadow of the Drill,” about two bad boys, Decker and Rudy and Decker’s woman, Charlotte. I totally related to Charlotte and saw bits and pieces of myself in her (only she’s stronger  and gutsier than I could ever be.)

So, in thinking about all of that, I began to wonder if there are men who grow up being attracted to “bad girls.”  Do men suffer this same disease as women and for the same reasons? I did some research and found that most men want a nice girl to settle down with, but can’t deny they are attracted to bad girls. The research also found that, if they are honest, men are only thinking about bad girls from a sexual context. They don’t want a bad girl for a wife but fantasize about wild sex with them.

The study had this to say:

“When it comes to the allure of a bad girl, it’s not necessarily that men want a force of destruction in their life. It has more to do with the symbolism of what a bad girl represents. When men think of bad girls, they imagine a woman who is sexually free, open for adventure and just doesn’t care what other people think of her. These are women who play by their own rules and will try just about anything once.

In a world where many men increasingly feel that they are living a monotonous life with an overwhelming number of rules and restrictions, this can be incredibly appealing, even if it is nothing more than a fantasy. It’s the symbolic freedom that men have yearned for, the freedom that the average relationship doesn’t always allow due to the constraints of society and responsibility. Of course, men know they will be happier with supportive and responsive women in the long term, but sometimes the temporary excitement that a bad girl represents is just too much to pass up.”

bad girls

I would tend to agree with that.

My new book, “When Two Worlds Collide,” has this scenario: The guy is a computer geek who almost runs a Harley rider off the road by accident. He goes to apologize and finds that it is a girl. She has a tough exterior and keeps her heart guarded for many reasons. He is compelled to “fix” her. So, it is a book of opposites. I hope that it will see the light of day sometime soon. I’m still waiting to hear from one more publisher.

I like writing about opposites and the conflict that can come from simply that one aspect.

So, what do you think? Girls, do you like bad boys, or do you avoid them? Men, are you attracted to bad girls? Tell the truth now!

 

Winner of Poetry Book

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It is with red-faced embarrassment I realize I never drew for a winner of the poetry book, Discovery from my April post.

Could it be that perhaps I am trying to juggle too much? Nah! Never. 🙂

Anyway, the winner of the eBook format of Discovery – Poetry and Art by Rick and Jan Sikes is none other than TINA FRISCO.

Tina, watch your email. The book is on its way and I sincerely hope you enjoy it.

Meanwhile, back to your regularly scheduled program…