#Writing Journey

I am often asked the question, “When did you first start writing?”

To the best of my memory, I was around eight when I wrote my first string of words that made sense. I had an alcoholic uncle whom I adored. He lived with us off and on throughout my growing up years and occasionally he’d twist off, so Mom would make him move out. During one of those episodes,  I was worried about him, so I wrote a gospel song about Uncle Luke finding Jesus.

But, before that, I can remember loving anything written. I loved the Dick and Jane books in first grade. I loved fairy tales. I loved reading and devoured books of all kinds. In fifth grade, I checked out the Grimm’s Book of Fairy Tales so many times they had to make a new library card.

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Ah, the smell of libraries. I still love them. I never outgrew my love for reading. It was my entertainment, education, and adventure. And it still is!

Fast forward many years where I found myself in a serious songwriting vibe. My late husband, Rick, was a singer/songwriter and several years after we’d married, he pulled his vintage Martin D35 out from under the bed and returned to writing and playing the music he loved.

I wanted desperately to join him. I loved singing harmony with him, but I wanted to play. We had a second-hand/antique store, and some guy stopped in one day and sold Rick an old banjo. He took the instrument apart and put a guitar neck on it to create a Gitjo. And it was on that instrument I learned my first chords.

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When he saw  I was dead serious about learning, he bought me a 3/4 size Applause guitar for my birthday. I was fifty years old. So, NEVER let anyone tell you are too old to learn something new!

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And it took off from there. I played on that little guitar every day and we wrote songs every day. When I’d get home from my day job, I’d hurry to put supper on the table so that we could toss around ideas, chords, melodies, and lyrics. It was an exciting part of life for me. We booked gigs and I got to play and sing on stage with him.  We built a recording studio so that we could record our songs, and we published our own music.

But, now those are simply fading memories with pictures and CDs to prove it all happened. And I moved on after his death, in another direction of writing.

Compelled to tell our story (his and mine) I began to write books.  And, I decided that I would continue to promote our music by releasing a music CD with each book that matched the time period of the story.

The first book, Flowers and Stone, was a HUGE learning curve for me. I am often tempted to pull it down and rework it and I may some day.

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Set in 1970, this is the beginning of an epic love story with a musical twist as Luke Stone and Darlina Flowers (our fictitious names) travel the roads of Texas with Luke’s band. It is real and raw with a devastating conclusion.

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The second book in the series, The Convict and the Rose, is not only the story of Luke’s determination to survive many years behind prison bars, but Darlina’s own struggle to survive in a prison of her own where the bars were invisible. It is inspiring with a lesson in turning a negative situation into a positive one. This book garnered my first writing competition award – First Place in the Biographical Fiction Category from the Texas Association of Authors!

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Ah, the reunion. Finally,  Luke and Darlina earn a chance to build the life they’ve always dreamed of. But, the struggles are real and the price of love is high.  Home At Last won two First-Place writing awards.

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Then, all too soon, it’s over. Twenty-five years seemed like nothing. But, this is not a book about death. Instead, it is a book about living and wringing the most out of every moment – ‘Til Death Do Us Part.

I never stopped learning as I moved through this writing journey. I always strived to make each book better than the one before, while continuing to tell this true story. Thank God for my older sister, Linda Broday, who helped guide me along the way. I took classes. I learned about POV and head-hopping, sentence structure, show-don’t-tell, and passive voice vs. active voice. And guess what! I’m still learning and still striving to be better.

I released one more book, a beautiful expression of poetry and art. It is a combination of poems from both Rick and myself and pieces of his amazing artwork accompany them.  Discovery is available in hardback, paperback, and eBook.

Is my writing journey over now that I’ve told this story? Oh goodness, NO! I’m almost done with my first fiction novel, which I’ve entitled When Two Worlds Collide. It has been so much fun to create and live vicariously through these fictitious characters. I’m fully invested in them and their story as it unfolds in my imagination.

I also write for two magazines. Buddy Magazine is the Original Texas Music Magazine for which I interview artists, review CDs and feature innovative, creative, and talented musicians. The Oklahoma Farm and Ranch Magazine has a music section and I have the honor and privilege of filling it each month.

Will I ever stop writing? No. I don’t think so. 🙂

For more, visit my Website

Follow me on Twitter     Facebook    Pinterest

I am a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB where I sit on the Board of Directors

I am a huge fan of The Texas Musicians Museum, where I also am a board member.

The Texas Author’s Institute of History is a place where Texas literary works are preserved and I am a board member of that organization as well.

 

 

OUR JUSTICE by John Howell – Review #RRBC

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Fasten your seatbelts and get ready for a ride!

In this third book of the John Canon series, Author John Howell has amped up the action. Matt Jacobs is determined to capture national hero, Attorney, John Canon, and force Canon to join with him in murdering the President and destroying America.

There are explosions, car chases, harrowing airplane trips and even F18 fighter jet rides in the race to evade capture and/or death at the hands of Jacobs. Canon manages to stay one step ahead and with Stephanie Savard at his side, finds not only an ally and but, perhaps even love. Sheriff Ned Tranes takes the brunt of attacks in his attempt to protect John and when he gets shot, is forced to sit on the sidelines for a while. But, not for long.

In this book, Howell takes us deep inside the mind of a terrorist, Matt Jacobs, and shows how committed he is and how much he believes in his cause. Matt Jacobs sees America as Satan and the president as the leader of Satan and feels fully justified in committing murder to bring the country to its knees. And, in that process, securing himself a place in heaven. Murder in the name of Allah.

But, he underestimates John Canon. And it helps that a bit of betrayal is added into the mix.

This is a nail-biter. Each attack on Canon escalates until there appears to be no hope of survival. But, in true John Howell fashion, there is a climatic twist. If you like thrillers, you are going to enjoy this conclusion to the Canon series when “Our Justice” is finally served.

Author, John Howell, is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and hosts a regular RAVE WAVES Blog Talk Radio Show.

Follow John on TWITTER    WEBSITE/BLOG   FACEBOOK

Purchase OUR JUSTICE

Other Books by John Howell

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#RRBC Virtual Writer’s Conference and Book Expo 2017!

n this year of BETTER The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is proud to bring you the RRBC Writers’ Conference and Book Expo!  

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October is a long way off, right? WRONG! It’s right around the corner and the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB Writers’ Conference & Book Expo is an event you won’t want to miss.

Here are the TOP THREE reasons you should plan to attend this event!

  1. This is a virtual conference. What does that mean? You can enjoy every aspect of this conference from the comfort of your own home, in your pajamas, if  you wish. It is an on-line event. Except for the live presentations, you move at your own speed, participating AT YOUR CONVENIENCE.
  2. You will have the opportunity to sit in on literally dozens of workshops covering topics for improving your writing skills to marketing your work and everything in between. (Take a look!)
  3. You will have a chance to interact with workshop presenters on a personal level and ask any questions you may have. AND, as an added bonus, you get the chance to discover new books you may not have heard of!

And the cost is affordable and you will leave the conference a BETTER writer!

Whether you are a brand new or well-seasoned author,  this conference will benefit everyone.

I invite you to check it out. Take a look at the cost and all the different packages and options. Register and come join us!

Hawk

I live in an apartment complex that sits in the heart of the DFW (Dallas/Fort Worth) metroplex. It is one of the largest metroplexes in the state and possibly even the United States.

So, in the midst of all of that, this guy decides to land on my balcony this morning around 7 am. It’s 10:30 and he’s still there.

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A regal creature, I estimate that he measures around 20″ from tip to tail. He just sits and watched every movement below and around him. Occasionally, a mother Mockingbird lands on a railing across from him and fusses at the top of her lungs. He casually ignores her.

While he is a hunter and there are baby rabbits all around the complex, I take his presence to mean something deeper.

At least fifteen years ago or more, I received a gift of Animal Medicine Cards along with a book. I have used it often through life’s ups and downs, seeking guidance and deeper understanding.

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When I pulled my Animal Totem Cards so many years ago, Hawk was one of my Totem Animals.

So, the fact that he’s here today tells me there is a message.

Here is what I know:

The hawk’s gifts include clear-sightedness, being observant, long distance memory, messages from the universe, guardianship, recalling past lives, courage, wisdom, illumination, seeing the bigger picture, creativity, truth, experience, wise use of opportunities, overcoming problems, magic, focus.

So, as my brother, the Hawk, sits on my balcony, it gives me pause to look inside and search for hidden messages all around me.

I burnt incense and did a meditation to honor this beautiful messenger bird.

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What about you? Do you think animals can carry messages from other worlds? Do you have a special connection with an animal that you consider to be spiritual?

15 Lessons I’ve Learned about Writing So Far – Guest Post by Yecheilyah Ysrayl…

I found these to be OH SO TRUE, so wanted to share them with you! I recently embarrassed myself by breaking rule #15 and repeating something I hadn’t yet done my research on. It’s a great way to lose credibility! Love this!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

I’ve been writing for eighteen years now and publishing books for ten. Over the years I have learned so much. Sometimes it can be overwhelming as you’ll begin to feel as if you are always two steps behind. That’s how I’ve felt lately. There’s so much to learn and to understand that I often feel I’ll never know enough. Then I realized that’s the whole point. The person who stops learning is an empty person.

I present to you 15 things I’ve learned so far in my journeys. It was difficult to downsize to a 15-item list but I managed it. The top five things are the last five at the bottom. It will seem that some of these things should be further down the line. That’s because the most important lessons I’ve learned are not about just writing alone but also how I’ve changed or grown as a person…

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#RRBC “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Wendy Scott

June is Board Member Appreciation Month at the Rave Reviews Book Club, so we are sharing the love with our awesome Board. That includes the Spotlight Author seat, which brings us to today’s post. It is my great honor and privilege to feature the June RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Wendy Scott!

Wendy Scott

Wendy hails from New Zealand and is a fabulously talented multi-genre author.

Last year, I read and reviewed her book, Lodestone Book 1 Witch-Hunt and found it not only entertaining, but compelling, and I didn’t want to see it end. Here is my review of this great read!

Jan Sike's review

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I was thrilled when Lodestone (Witch-Hunt) was featured on author Jan Sikes’ Top Ten Best Books for 2016. Jan – heartfelt thanks!  heart-1237269_1280

https://rijanjks.wordpress.com/2016/12/31/jans-top-ten-best-books-for-2016/

Or you can see Jan’s Top Ten List on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKrNW3ipdYw&t=16s

 

Amazon US 124 reviews 4.4* rating

Amazon US Lodestone https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AMQX7DO

Amazon UK Lodestone https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AMQX7DO

 

Connect with Wendy:

Twitter @WendyJayneScott

FB https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyScott

Author Profile Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Scott/e/B009B1N8NA/

Website http://www.wendyjscott.com/contact.html

Pinterest https://nz.pinterest.com/wendyscottbooks/lodestone-witch-hunt/

 

This too shall pass

On a day when I needed to be uplifted, I see this beautifully inspiring blog from Dawn Howard. This line especially touched me, “If they stop loving you, love harder…” Wow!

Dawn Delivers

When you think the world is being dragged into hell, when the hate seems to be all that there is and when the terror seems to be never ending we have to remember, this too shall pass.

There is a time for grief; our cities, our countries, our world needs to mourn their senseless losses, but let that grief not be fuelled by hate. Hold on to the hope of better times and of better lives.

If they try to stop you singing, then sing louder.

If they try to stop you dancing, then dance longer.

If they try to stop you loving, then love harder.

If they try to end your way of live, then live it all the more.

Never let the hate win, that is the way those who spread the hate will win.

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The Secret Schedules of Great Authors

This is such great content, I have to share! Nonnie Jules shared it on her blog and I found it to be a great insight! Hope you do as well.

A Writer's Path

by Andrea Lundgren

As I writer, I’m always curious about how other writers write. And much of what I’ve read on this subject is daunting: write every day, write even when you don’t feel like it, write first thing in the morning when your energies are at their peak, etc. Hemingway was a great proponent of early morning writing, starting at six, and even Stephen King’s excellent thoughts in On Writing are a bit daunting:

“Like your bedroom, your writing room should be private, a place where you go to dream. Your schedule–in at about the same time every day, out when your thousand words are on paper or disk–exists in order to habituate yourself, to make yourself ready to dream just as you make yourself ready to sleep by going to bed at roughly the same time each night and following the same ritual as you go.”

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One Dyke Cozy – Book Review

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I became an instant fan of Rhani D’Chae’s work when I read Shadow of the Drill and A Perilous Thirst. 

So, when she announced that she had a new story, I couldn’t wait to grab it. And I was not disappointed. This author knows how to weave layers upon layers of emotion through her stories.

Blurb:

People come into our lives for a day, a season, or a reason…
“Shy taught me to fight like a champion, love like a poet, & live like it was my last day on earth.”

One Dyke Cozy touches on the lives of two girls, Gabby and Shy, from their first meeting as children to Shy’s untimely death.

My Review:  5 star

This is a short read, but it is packed full of action and emotion. It is the story of an unlikely friendship between two girls that began at the age of 8 and continued through adult life. They couldn’t have been more opposite. One straight, one gay. One liberal, one conservative. But, the bond they formed couldn’t be broken as they grew into adulthood. It is not only a lesson in love but in life. Only an author like Rhani could make the central theme of a story evolve around a koozie. She has told this story with such passion and emotion that you, the reader, are swept along like the ocean tide pulling you in. I won’t spoil the story by telling what happens, but I will tell you that it is a MUST read for every person, male or female and you might want to have a box of tissues handy. You can’t keep from being immersed in the story as it unfolds. Such a talented author.  I’ve come to expect nothing less from Rhani D’Chae!

Pick up your copy today! Click HERE to order!

 Author, Rhani D’Chae

Rhani D’Chae is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB AND RAVE WRITER’S INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA)

7 Essential Skills You Need to Become a Writer

These Seven Essential Skills an author MUST have struck a chord of great truth with me so had to share. Which one do you struggle with the most? For me, it’s the Time Management.

Nicholas C. Rossis

Tess Pajaron | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's booksThis is a guest post by Tess Pajaron. With a background in business administration and management, Tess currently works at Open Colleges, Australia’s leading online educator. She likes to cover stories in careers and marketing.

7 Essential Skills You Need to Become a Writer

Being a writer is so much more than the ability to envision and draft out a story. So many people make the mistake of believing that it’s easy work. In reality, writers work just as hard as people with other hobbies or professions. Anyone can write something, but it takes a lot to be a great writer. If you need a little inspiration or you ever feel stuck, consider building on these skills.

Writing | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books1. Creativity

There isn’t much of a point to telling a story that’s already been told a thousand times before. You may have your own spin on it, but seasoned readers will…

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