Smorgasbord Blog Sitting Special – Mrs T – Time for some Laffs. – Some lessons in Management

Because sometimes we simply need a little laugh!! I enjoyed all of these. Smile!!

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

blog-sitting

Just because I am not officially here this week… it does not mean that you are being neglected. A band of fellow writers are standing in for me this week as official Blog Sitters. I am delighted to hand you over to the delightful Mrs. T.. (also known as Tina Frisco) Please check out her books and blog in the links at the end of the post.  Thanks Sally

If you have worked in any environment you will have experienced the missteps that can occur, particularly when watching managers finding their way up the ladder. Mrs. T.. has sent me through some guidelines that will grease the ladder …. however that can also aid progress in the other direction.

Five-Minute Management Course

Lesson 1
A sales rep, an administration clerk, and their manager are walking to lunch when they find an antique oil lamp. They rub it…

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Indie Authors, Need a place to call home? #RRBC

It is not often in life that I find a group or organization which actually does what it proclaims to. In fact, as an Indie Author seeking ways to help promote my books, I have been ripped off more than once. (I’m sure you can all agree with that.)

So, when I stumbled up on the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, I had my doubts. Words like “promote, propel and uplift,” caught my eye, but didn’t convince me. But, hoping for more reviews for my first two books, I joined.

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I must say that for the first year, I didn’t participate much. I read the required four books and wrote reviews. I tweeted and re-tweeted. I read the Weekly Club Updates and pretty much sat on the sidelines.

Then, as I watched other members of the club begin to garner the kind of recognition and promotion that led to more reviews for their books, I decided to get off the fence and jump on in.

Results? Amazing! I got a guest spot on one of the RAVE WAVES Blog Talk Radio shows, my third book, Home At Last, was chosen as a Book of the Month and things really took off. Sales jumped. I got more reviews, I had people start following my blog and I moved up the rankings both on Google and Amazon. And that was with only one book spotlight.

Since then, I’ve been a #PUSHTUESDAY winner, participated in a large number of blog tours, attended an amazing virtual RRBC Writer’s Conference and Book Expo, won multiple awards, am now co-hosting a RAVE WAVES blog talk radio show and have more followers than ever before.

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And I have been accepted into the RAVE WRITER’S – INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS which was founded for the sole purpose of introducing the world to some of the TOP Indie Authors!

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The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is a community of authors, editors, publishers and readers who have one goal and passion in life and that is to lift others. The President of RRBC, Nonnie Jules, says that you can only rise as high as you are willing to lift someone else. It seems like reverse psychology, doesn’t it? But, I do know it works. By promoting other authors, you are in turn, promoted. What a philosophy!! And I have found that it bleeds over into every day life.

Rise by lifting others

So, if you are an Indie Author struggling to float the river alone, I invite you to join the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and let others help you. BUT, you must do your part or else you’ll see no results. It is NOT a place to simply list your books and sit back to wait for the reviews to come rolling it. You must GIVE to GET!

If you think this is a fit for you, take a look. You have to list the person who referred you to the club and that would be me, Jan Sikes. 🙂 See you in #RRBC land!!

 

#Guest Author Jan Sikes

Thank you, Tina Frisco, for this awesome Guest Post!!!

TINA FRISCO

I’m delighted to feature Jan Sikes on my blog today. Jan is a dear friend and multi-award winning author of five books.

Jan Sikes

Find Jan’s books here and here.

With the publication of each book, Jan also releases a CD of original songs appropriate to the story’s time period, because “the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.”

Jan lost her husband, friend, and soulmate in 2009. Her novels are “true stories about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans.”

Featured below are a back cover blurb and short synopsis of two of Jan’s books, along with my review of the first.

Home At Last

HOME AT LAST

Back Cover Blurb

With empty pockets and a heart full of dreams Luke Stone leaves behind the nightmare of fifteen long years in Leavenworth prison, not giving it a backward glance.

Eyes…

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Meet Linda Mims

Meet this awesome #RRBC Author and read about her fascinating book, Neon Houses!!

Life As I Know It

Hello, bloggers!

I am pleased to open my virtual doors today for another fab author & member of RRBC. Please welcome Linda Mims! Linda is off on a blog tour, beginning today, with 4WillsPublishing.

Even more exciting is there will be giveaways throughout her tour, so be sure to visit each stop… Share, comment, promote!


Introduction to The Neon Houses

The Neon Houses was politically motivated. It was a story that begged to be told, but told to who? The choice was whether to write for a Young Adult, New Adult, or Adult audience. While deciding, I wrote what I felt, and let the characters have their way. When it was mostly done, I found that, unbeknownst to me, my characters had been cursing and having a small amount of sex. Oh, my!

I reasoned that both might be okay because, if the teen pregnancy rate in…

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Do what you love!

inspiration

I am thrilled it when inspirations come out of the blue. I have a feeling I will get lots of them living in my new place. But, I digress.

The thought I had was this, “Do what you love. Love what you do.”

“How?” you ask.

We all have to do things in life to put food on our tables that we aren’t particularly fond of, such as going to a thankless job. Maybe your boss is a jerk. Or perhaps your  daily commute is grueling. There could be a myriad of negatives about the things we must do to survive.

But…instead of focusing on the negatives, what if we sought out the positives and focused on them instead. So, your boss is a jerk, but the receptionist that greets you each morning is always full of sunshine and smiling. And, yes, the daily commute is grueling, but what about that cool audio book you managed to read in a week just sitting in traffic? Or how about that awesome new song that came on the radio and made you turn up the volume?

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Sometimes, it’s the little things. Maybe there aren’t any big positives to what you do that you can grasp, but as a wise man once said, “Littles make bigs.” By finding ways to love what we do, we free ourselves to do things we truly love. Writers find more time to write. Songwriters find time to compose new melodies. Families spend more time playing and less time arguing. It’s the proverbial domino effect.

By focusing on the aspects of life that we do love and less on the parts we don’t, the world instantly becomes a better place in which to live.

So, DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND LOVE WHAT YOU DO!

Hugs, light and love sent to you.

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Meet RWISA Author, Natalie Ducey

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It is my pleasure to bring to you this author who is a member of the RAVE WRITER’S INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS  (RWISA)

Let’s see what Natalie has to share with us today.

  • How long have you been writing?

Writing is my passion and my saving grace, as I discovered in 2014. In January 2014, at the age of 39, I embraced the stillness and, without judgement or fear, listened to my soul. I really listened. The truth is … I was tired. The sheer weight of the compilation of my heart’s journey was about to break me. The vast remnants of loss, sorrow, and regret suddenly chose to show their presence after I thought I had nestled them away in a place where they could no longer touch me. I felt everything with such acuity, it was as if I stepped back in time. My mind knew I couldn’t dwell there, but my heart was so eager to stay. So, I began to write. It was my saving grace; as the words flowed so did my healing.

  • How many books have you authored? Please give us up to 3 titles?

In February 2015, I published my first book of poetry The Heart’s Journey Home. It is a collection of poems that capture the essence of the fragility and the resiliency of our hearts – the brilliant beauty of life’s journey.

  • Do you have a writing schedule?

Ideas come to me during the day, but it’s usually late in the evening, when the day settles, that the words flow and poems emerge. I think finding what works for you and then committing to writing every day is key for all writers. Quite simply, writers must write.

  • If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be? Why?

I would love to spend a day with Maya Angelou. Her soulful spirit and fierce determination to defy the odds has inspired me deeply. She left a profound legacy as an author, poet, historian, songwriter, playwright, dancer, stage and screen producer, director, performer, singer, and civil rights activist.

She said, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” In my late 30’s, the profound truth of her words resonated deep within and gave rise to my writing journey. She was a remarkable woman, indeed.

  • As an author, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I aspire to be a writer of poetry that truly resonates with people around the world. With a BA in Psychology, I have had the privilege of working in the counselling field for approximately 15 years. Through my work and personal journey, I have witnessed the remarkable power of the human spirit. I strongly believe that we are connected by similar and relatable experiences, and through my poetry I try to capture the brilliant beauty of life’s journey.

It is my goal to publish two more books of poetry, and through my words continue to offer some measure of hope and solace to others.

  • What is the ONE tool that has been the most beneficial tool in the marketing of your books?

I joined Rave Reviews Book Club in August 2015 and can honestly say, as an author, it has been the best decision I have ever made. After publishing my book of poetry, I quickly learned that writing was the easy part, connecting it to readers was something entirely different. But I love a challenge and love learning new things, so I developed a Facebook page, then entered the world of Twitter. That is when everything changed: I discovered RRBC. RRBC is not like any other book club; it truly is a community of authors supporting authors.

The talent within the club is extraordinary and the level of peer support is undeniably inspiring. By observing and engaging with fellow members, I learned how to effectively use social media (particularly Twitter). The truth is, I rarely promote my book on Twitter because the incredibly supportive RRBC members do shout-outs all the time. In return, I promote fellow members and just love it! This is the kind of support fostered in the community of RRBC.

  • Name one writer that you know of, member or non-member of RRBC, who you feel should be added to the RWISA Roster of elite members? Why?

Mae Clair is an extraordinarily gifted writer. After reading Eclipse Lake, I became an instant fan of her writing style. I’ve since read two more books and can honestly say I see bestseller headlines in her future. In addition to her talent, her support for fellow authors is tremendous and inspiring. Without hesitation, I can say she should be added to the RWISA Roster of elite members.

  • If you had promised your fans a book by a certain date only to find that your book wasn’t the best it could be, would you go ahead and publish your book just to meet that self-imposed deadline and deliver as promised, or, would you disappoint your fans and shelve the book until it was absolutely ready? No matter your reason, please explain why?

If my book wasn’t polished to perfection I simply would not release it into the world.  As writers, I believe it’s our duty to honour the craft of writing. Producing poor quality work to meet a deadline is a disservice to the craft, the industry as a whole, and most definitely the readers who expect and deserve a product they can ultimately enjoy.

  • In your opinion, what makes a book “a great book?”

 My experience and connection with every book differs for various reasons. The books that I’ll never part with are those that ultimately transformed me. The writing is brilliant, eloquent, poignant and commands and earns my attention. For example, To Kill a Mocking Bird is my favourite book because of the brilliant, eloquent writing first, the plot second. These are books that I take my time reading and ingest every word. I’m not in a hurry to finish them.

Then, there are other books that I simply can’t put down because the author has masterfully captivated me with a story that is plot driven with well-developed characters.

I would define both types as great books, they just affect me differently.

  • If you received a review of your book which stated that there were editing & proofing “issues,” what’s the first thing you would do? And the second?

This is something I would never dismiss. It would be a shame to do so.

It’s our duty to produce polished work; but, we are human, editors are human, and mistakes may get by a thorough screening process. Regardless, we can always make necessary changes/edits after publication. To dismiss a comment that addresses editing issues would be a shame and, consequently, stain our work and reputation in the industry.

What is the one piece of advice that you could share that would be most valuable for those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers?

“We can’t do it alone.”

One piece of advice that I’d like to share with those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers is to join a supportive writing community, such as Rave Reviews Book Club or any writing group or club that offers support, engagement, and guidance. We can’t do it alone. Writing is such a solitary process that we need to connect with others, to interact, engage, exchange ideas and learn from each other.

As I said before, joining Rave Reviews Book Club was the best decision I have ever made as a writer. But here’s the key piece: you have to interact and engage.

The talent within RRBC is extraordinary and the level of peer support is undeniably inspiring. By observing and engaging with fellow members, I learned how to effectively use social media and discovered the wonderful world of blogging.  I’m ecstatic to say I host fellow authors on my blog now. There is a strong community framework within the world of blogging. It’s all a learning process, but a fun one. A lot of what I’ve learned is directly linked to my interaction with fellow writers.  I immersed myself into the wealth of knowledge that exists within RRBC. I believe, wholeheartedly, that I’m learning from the best, and I’m elated to say so.

I’ve met so many talented authors and have the privilege of reading and reviewing their work. It continues to be a remarkable journey of learning, friendship, and gratitude.

If you’re not a member already, I highly recommend joining. It’s not like any other book club; it truly is a community of authors supporting authors. But if RRBC isn’t for you, find another writing support group, a place for interaction and learning. Please don’t try to do it alone.

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Book and Contact links…

The Heart’s Journey Home  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00ZO1KJDI/

Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/myheartspoetry/

Website/Blog https://natalieducey.wordpress.com/home/

Twitter https://twitter.com/NatalieDucey @NatalieDucey

Thank you for supporting our RWISA (RAVE WRITERS-INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS) Members!  Please follow and support the entire tour by visiting 4WillsPub.

 

PAY-IT-FORWARD DAY #RRBC

Today is a day set aside to stop all self-promotion and give the spotlight to another author. I choose to support Author, John Howell.

He is the author of the John Cannon thriller trilogy, My GRL, His Revenge and Our Justice.

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John Cannon is an attorney who takes a leave of absence from the firm to simply buy a boat and relax on the water. Little did he know he’d find himself in the thick of a terrorist plot. These books are hard to put down once you start reading one and have garnered many 5 star reviews on Amazon.

I invite you to take a look at these stories. You won’t be disappointed!

Author John Howell is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, which is where I made his acquaintance. He is supportive of other authors and always keeps a good sense of humor. He is the host of more than one RAVE WAVES Blog Talk Radio show and lives on the beautiful Gulf Coast in Texas.

john-resized   Follow John on Twitter  Facebook   Website

 

Not one, Not two, but THREE!

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Author Linda Broday has THREE books up for pre-order. She is one busy writer and she inspires me!

Linda Broday’s Line-up

This year has barely begun and I’m racing around like some crazy chicken, flopping its wings. I have four books available for preorder. YIKES! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. This is what I’ve worked so hard for and I’m going to savor every second. They’re all available for PREORDER.

Coming May 2, 2017

THE HEART OF A TEXAS COWBOY – #2 Men of Legend

Three Brothers. One Oath.

No Compromises.

The MEN of LEGEND

The Cowboy

One bullet is all it takes to shatter Houston Legend’s world. He swore he’d never love again, but with the future of the Lone Star Ranch on the line, he finds himself at the altar promising to love and cherish a woman he’s never met—a woman whose vulnerable beauty touches his heart.

 

All Lara Boone wants is a name for her baby. She never expected to fall in love with her own husband—or any man—after the heartache she’s endured. Yet when her troubled past catches up with them, Houston will move heaven and earth to protect his bride…and discover depths to a marriage of convenience neither realized could be theirs to claim.

AMAZON  |  B&N  |

Coming August 1, 2017

KNIGHT ON THE TEXAS PLAINS — (#1 Texas Heroes series) Reissue of a 2002 book

He’ll do whatever it takes

To keep them safe

Duel McClain has lost everything he’s ever loved: his wife, his son, his sense of self. But when a strange twist of fate—and a poker game he’ll never forget—leaves an innocent little girl in his care, Duel vows to defend his new family to his very last breath. If only he knew a single thing about taking care of babies…

Just as Duel swears his life can’t get any more complicated, a beautiful woman stumbles into the light of his campfire, desperate for help. Jessie Foltry is hungry, tired, and running for her life. She agrees to help Duel care for the child in exchange for his protection, even as she fights to guard her broken heart. But Duel will do whatever it takes to make Jessie see that the Texas plains have more than one kind of knight, and perhaps their salvation is closer than either of them could have dreamed…

AMAZON  |  B&N  |

Coming October 3, 2017

CHRISTMAS IN A COWBOY’S ARMS – anthology with Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Margaret Brownley, Anna Schmidt, and Amy Sandas

Stay toasty this holiday season with heart-warming tales of the Wild West! This Western Christmas anthology features bestselling authors including: Leigh Greenwood, Rosanne Bittner, Linda Broday, Anna Schmidt, Margaret Brownley, and Amy Sandas. Each story features rugged cowboys, the women who’ve lassoed their hearts…and the Christmas miracles that bring them together.

My story is: The Christmas Stranger

Sidalee King rescues a drifter from the snow and takes him home. She helps Hank Destry learn the meaning of Christmas and how to open his heart again.

A lonely old woman, Hank’s irrestible dog, and a collection of quirky characters celebrate Christmas with the Legend family on the Lone Star Ranch.

AMAZON  |  B&N  |

Coming November 7, 2017

(Sorry, No Cover Yet)

TO MARRY A TEXAS OUTLAW – #3 Men of Legend

Outlaw Luke Weston is surviving by his wits. On the run with a price on his head for a murder he didn’t commit, the last thing Luke needs is more trouble. But when he stumbles upon a young woman who has clearly been kidnapped, he’ll find he’s willing to face any odds if it means keeping the delicate beauty safe.

AMAZON   |   B&N   |

To Celebrate Valentine’s Week!

This is something I rarely do, but in honor of Valentine’s Week, I have made HOME AT LAST free on Amazon Kindle!

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With empty pockets, a heart full of love, and hope for a new beginning, Luke leaves behind the horrors of prison and embraces a bright future. In this book, he and Darlina are finally united after fifteen long years apart. Their tenacious love is what carries them through struggles that seem insurmountable.  Journey with them as they learn to live as one unit, facing difficulties head-on. Lessons learned the hard way and belief in their undying love is their strength!

An epic love story.

Get your copy today! CLICK HERE

AND, I’d be thrilled and honored if you’d pick up the music CD that accompanies this book. I’ll Be Home When The Roses Bloom Again” is a compilation of songs from the heart of Rick and Jan Sikes.

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THANK YOU FOR YOUR AWESOME SUPPORT!

Author Linda Broday Featured on USA Today!

Some of my readers may know and some may not know that Linda Broday is my sister. When she called and told me she was going to be a featured author on USA Today’s Happy Ever After, I jumped for joy!

She has a new release, Texas Redemption, which is a historical romance set in deep East Texas where Cypress trees grow so tall you can’t see the tops and where Alligator swish through the dark waters.

Originally released in 2005, Linda was thrilled when Sourcebooks chose to re-issue it.

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This book is special to me for two reasons. First and foremost, it’s a great story about two men (brothers) who both love the same woman. Secondly, she wrote it shortly after she was diagnosed with MS and then lost her husband.

She inspires me because she never gives up! When the doctors told her that she had MS, she quickly tagged it “Mighty Spirit,” and that truly describes her.

Here is the link to the USA Today feature.

Back Cover Blurb for Texas Redemption:

Desperate to escape her dark past, Laurel James agrees to wed the mayor of a small East Texas town. With him, life will be quiet, respectable. Safe. It should be everything she ever wanted.

And it is. Until Shenandoah rides back into town.

Shenandoah never thought he would find the woman he’s loved and lost…and he certainly never dreamed she’d be pledged to his brother. He knows he should step aside—he has nothing to offer a woman like Laurel James—but the moment their eyes meet, Shenandoah is lost. He can only find peace in her arms…but can redemption be more than a dream for a man who has known nothing but war?

Intrigued? Linda is doing a Goodreads Giveaway until February 19th. Click here to enter.

Order on AMAZON

Follow Linda:

Website             Twitter            Facebook