#RRBC Slivers of Life – A Book Review

5 star

Slivers of Life could not be a more appropriate title for this compilation of short stories from Author, Beem Weeks.

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Each is like a slice of pie from the whole or pages ripped from someone’s book. I thought I had found my favorite tale with “Medal Detector,” but the next chapter, “Forget Me (Not Fade Away)” had me in tears.

Exquisite emotion drips from the words Beem weaves together to create a story. Each writer has his/her own voice and that is what makes them unique. Beem is a master at ‘Show Don’t Tell.’ I’m going to share a few lines with you from various stories in the book to “show” examples of descriptive writing as only Beem Weeks can do. 

“Urgency filled the air with a thick acrid smell.”

“It starts with that gnawing feeling, like a rat trying to chew its way through my stomach, making a meal of my guts as it escapes.”

“She backed off my front porch, set her black flats onto the cement walk, and eyed me like maybe she’d entertained notions of killing me there on the spot.”

“My feet slap the hard dirt in the field between our neighborhood and Wendell High school, carrying me quickly toward Chad and his paint cans.”

“The old timer’s shelter leaned like a well-oiled lush against a stand of ancient maple trees sipping life from Maryland soil a mile up the road.”

“Her feet found solid ground outside of the car. A quick spring breeze swirled around her like a cleansing devil, blowing away winter’s heavy sediment.”

He covers the gauntlet with stories about old folks to teenagers experimenting with forbidden and dangerous situations to the Bigfoot myth. If you are a lover of emotionally driven ‘too-human’ stories, this book is for you. It’s easy to read, but the stories linger long after you’ve turned the last page. I highly recommend this book! 

Order is NOW on AMAZON

Beem Weeks is a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB. For more information about this unique organization click on the link above.

Beem

Texas Association of Authors – Did you Know?

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I’ve been a member of the Texas Association of Authors for several years and for Indie Authors living in Texas, you won’t find more a comprehensive marketing avenue.

HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT TXAUTHORS

TxAuthors was created in the summer of 2011 and continues to expand every year.  Texas has an estimated 8,400 published authors and that number grows every year.
In 2016, we estimated our in-person outreach to 30,000 people, in addition to our Social Media following of over 25,000 people, to be a great value and resource in helping you get the word out about you and your book(s).
With each year, we continue to increase our outreach not only within the state but around the world.This alone is worth the membership price!
The only requirement for membership is one of the following items:
1 – You live in Texas and are a published author or
2 – Your heart is in Texas and you are a published author.
Below is everything that is included in our regular membership.
Plus, notice of new and exciting events that we create to help you market yourself and sell your books.
  • Listing and ability to sell your book(s)on our bookstore website  http://Books.TxAuthors.com 
  • Participation in the DEAR Texas event -listed on the website http://DearTexas.info
  • Dear Texas Radio Interview – No Less than 2 times in a calendar year.  The show is recorded live and then distributed as a Podcast on several channels.
  • Listing on the Texas Authors Institute of History website with the opportunity to sell your book(s).
  • Having your book(s) available for sale in our Pop-Up traveling bookstore. (In 2016 we did 15 events across the state of Texas)
  • Access to the Members Only section of this website that has articles, links, and connections to a variety of items and people to help you grow in marketing your work.
  • Major discounts on events and programs sponsored by TxAuthors, which includes our Annual Book Contest, Short Story Contest, Authors Marketing(http://Authors.Marketing) event and other programs.
  • Access to Book Festival events at extremely low discounts
  • Assistance in videotaping a book reading or interview for use on YouTube
  • Listing on our YouTube channels
  • Printing discounts for marketing materials by a Texas printer
  • Weekly email newsletters with the latest information about TxAuthors and informative articles to help you succeed
  • Use of eBook Download Card system to sell Mobi & ePub books yourself and make more money.
  • Monthly tweets on 25 social media sites to over 30,000 followers and growing by 100 followers per week
  • Plus access to the Book Festival Network program which increases your exposure at book festivals and on the internet.
All of the above services are included in your membership.  Individually, you could spend up to $1,500 per year or more.  The cost of these services and more is only $125 for your first-year membership. We do offer payment plans.
TxAuthors is designed to help YOU save money and time while gaining exposure, which equates to the opportunity for more book sales.

#RRBC Meet Author Nicholas Rossis!

Here at the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB,  we like to celebrate our fellow authors with a Pay-It-Forward day. That simply means that we set aside all of our self-promotions for one day and support someone else.

I couldn’t be more excited to introduce you to a multi-talented, multi-award-winning. dream-protecting author, Nicholas Rossis!

Nicholas has written everything from children’s books to fantasy sci-fi, to speculative fiction, to a writer’s resource guide.

The book I want to focus on today is Emotional Beats – How to Convert your Writing into Palpable Feelings.

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I chose this book because it is such an incredibly valuable resource for me. It resides next to my computer and I often stop and refer to it when I’m trying to emphasize a particular scene or phrase.

In this book, Nicholas Rossis gives writers lots of options to choose from no matter the genre you write in. There is something for everyone.

For instance, are you writing a scene where a person is exhibiting fear and nervousness? On Pages 28-46, he gives examples such as physical symptoms, hair, face, eyes, etc.

Emotional Beats impressed me so much that I created a Writing Workshop around it. And, I added it to my TOP TEN book list from 2016.

For other titles by Nicholas Rossis visit his Author Central Page on Amazon or his WEBSITE.

He always has great information including marketing and writing tips on his Blog

AND, Nicholas Rossis is a super supportive member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB

Follow Nicholas on Twitter     Facebook     Pinterest     LinkedIn

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#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.

    Jan Sikes CD

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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