Welcome to the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! Day 3 #RRBC #RWISA

It’s Day 3 of the Watch RWISA Write Showcase Tour!

Today I’m thrilled to bring to you, A.M. Manay!

“Mirror, Mirror” by A.M. Manay

Set in the world of The Hexborn Chronicles

Shiloh stood in her teacher’s doorway, pulling anxiously on the end of a pink braid that had snuck out of her hood. Brother Edmun was in high dudgeon, ranting about insults and ingrates. A wooden crate sat upon the table, straw peeking through the slats. She could feel magic pouring out of it like waves of heat; it wasn’t dark magic, but it didn’t feel like good magic, either.

“Master?” she ventured. “Would you like me to make your breakfast?” She didn’t bother to ask about the box. He’d tell her if he wanted her to know – and, in his own good time, not before.

Edmun looked at her as though she’d appeared out of thin air. He waved her off. “Don’t bother, poppet. I couldn’t eat.”

Shiloh’s eyes strayed to the crate, but she said nothing.

“Go finish your essay from yesterday,” Edmun barked.

Taking her seat at her little desk with her back to the table, Shiloh could hear Brother Edmun unpacking the mysterious arrival. It was all she could do to resist the urge to peek when she heard the sound of a hammer. Under his breath, Edmun muttered a constant patter of unintelligible complaints. At last, she heard him pull out a chair and collapse into it. Carefully scanning the page once more for any mistakes, she stood to present her work to her master. 

He looked down at the offering in her little hand, her words marching neatly across the page. Pen in one hand and her paper in the other, the glower slowly disappeared from his face as he read, leaving behind a hint of satisfaction. At last, he nodded, resting his unused pen. Shiloh exhaled in relief.

“Well done. A princess at the Academy could not have done better at twice your age.”

“Thank you, master!” Her smile lit up her eyes, which then strayed over Edmun’s shoulder to a mirror with gilded leaves and lacquered flowers hanging on the wall. The ornate frame looked out of place in the rustic mountain cabin.

“Don’t look in it more than you can help it,” Edmun ordered, calling attention back to her teacher’s face.

“Yes, master,” she replied. “May I know why not?”

Edmun hesitated.

“I can feel that it’s magic, master,” Shiloh continued.

He snorted. “I’m sure you can.” She waited for more, but knowing well enough not to press him.

Edmun heaved a sigh. “A man can give you a gift out of love, to please you. Or, he can send it as an insult, to remind you of errors and to caution you against repeating them. This mirror is the latter.”

“What does it do?” she asked.

“That is none of your concern,” he replied. “And that is all I will tell you. Go get a wand from the cabinet.”

Excitement sheathed Shiloh’s face. “We’re using wands today?”

Edmun glanced down at her from beneath his eyebrows. “Is there another reason I’d ask you to get one? Now, do it quickly, before I think better of it.”

***

The following evening, Shiloh picked up a clean rag and set about the dusting. Edmun was busy in the temple, preparing for the upcoming Feast of the Father. As soon as she was done in the house, she was to join him there. As usual, the red cabinet took most of her attention. The many books, wands, and magical curiosities inside had to be carefully wiped and returned to their accustomed positions. It was tedious work, but she was pleased that Edmun trusted her with the task.

Her work on the cabinet finally completed, she turned to dust the mirror and gasped. The silver surface had turned to black. A face appeared, and not her own. Shiloh took a step backward.

A man cocked his head to the side, a slow smile spreading across his face. He opened his mouth as if to speak, but Shiloh did not wait to hear the words. She ran, her head scarf flying behind her all the way to the temple doors. She threw them open.

“What?” Edmun demanded, looking up from the altar.

“The mirror,” she panted. “It turned black, and then there was a man…”

Edmun crossed the floor and took her by the shoulders. “What did he see? What did you say?”

“Nothing! I ran as soon as I saw him. I was only finishing up the dusting. Who was he?”

Edmun ran a hand over his mouth and chin and took a deep breath. “The most dangerous man in the kingdom. Silas Hatch.”

“The Hatchet?” Shiloh shivered. “The king’s spymaster? Why would he appear in your mirror?”

“Who do you think sent it? Hatch likely meant to speak with me, to threaten me. The king hates and fears me for reasons you well know.” His brows drew inward. “He gave you a right scare, didn’t he, poppet?”

Shiloh nodded. Edmun knelt to look her in the eye. “Now, if I were a kind man, I’d tell you that you need not fear him. But I’m not, so I’ll tell you the truth. You should be terrified of him. If you ever give him reason to believe you are disloyal to the crown, he will slit your throat with his own hands.”

“Why would I ever be disloyal to the crown?”

Edmun placed a hand on her head. “Good girl. Now, put that man out of your mind and help me ready the temple for tomorrow.”

Shiloh nodded, yet the ice of fear in her stomach remained; as did the look of worry on her beloved teacher’s face.

***

Shiloh sat on her bed in the loft above her father’s smithy. Upon her blanket lay an array of charms she’d just made for protection against all manner of hexes or ill-wishing.

The look upon the mirror man’s face had chilled her to the bone—something about the smile. It had been predatory. Proprietary. Wary. It had given her the distinct impression that the man’s interest lay not only in her master but in herself, as well. I will not leave my teacher unprotected.

She pinned one charm on the linen beneath her tunic. The others she gathered into an old handkerchief. She tied it tight and placed the bundle in her pocket along with a jar of paste.

She knew Edmun would already be in the temple performing his ablutions for the feast day. She let herself into his house and crossed warily to the mirror. She exhaled with relief to find it clad in its ordinary silver.

Carefully, she lifted the mirror off its nail and turned it face down upon the table. She held the pot of glue in the crook of her elbow and pried it open, then affixed seven charms to the back of the Hatchet’s “gift” to her master, one for each of the Lords of Heaven. She returned the mirror to its proper place and hurried to the temple before Edmun could scold her for tardiness.

***

At dusk, Edmun sat his tired bones into his favorite chair and looked balefully at the mirror. Given the visitation to Shiloh the night before, Edmun expected to see Silas Hatch’s face, yet as the pink light of sunset faded, the man did not appear.

“Perhaps tomorrow,” Edmun murmured. “I had hoped to get it over with.” He looked up at the mirror and realized that it was just slightly askew. Standing, he removed it from the wall. Turning it over, he found Shiloh’s handiwork.

Edmun smiled and shook his head. “My sweet, clever poppet. Too clever by half.” Sighing, he plucked the charms from the backing and set the mirror on the table, leaning against a water pitcher. Silas appeared in moments.

“Master Edmun, I feared you had forgotten the terms of our arrangement. There was to be no meddling with the mirror.”

Edmun swallowed heavily. “It was a momentary lapse,” he lied. “I thought better of it.”

Silas grinned. “You don’t have lapses. It was the girl, wasn’t it?”

Edmun said nothing.

Silas laughed. “It was. Ha! And what is she, only eight years old?”

Still, Edmun said nothing.

“She must love you as much as I did,” Hatch mused.

“What do you want?”

“Are you really teaching her mirror magic this young?” Hatch asked, brow raised.

Edmun closed his eyes and sighed. “Of course not. Evidently, I didn’t teach you your own well enough, as she defeated you with a handful of charms and some paste.”

The young man’s ears flushed. “Well, then,” he managed, “I shall have to redouble my efforts.”

“You do that. And Silas?”

“Yes?”

Edmun leaned in. “The next time you frighten that girl, it had best be after I’m cold in the ground.”

THE END

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

A.M. MANAY’S RWISA Author Page

Welcome to the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! Day 2 #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 2 of the Watch RWISA Write Showcase, where each day a different author will be featured!

It is my pleasure to introduce Author, D.L. Finn!

POETRY by D. L. Finn

ICICLES 

The icicles dangle downward

Reaching for the substantial snow

Each drop bringing them closer

As the landscape merges into itself

It is silent in its existence

Until a raven reveals itself

Wondering what’s in the trash

Yet, the moment remains peaceful

Sitting and surveying in the chill

An instant promising potential

When there is no celerity

When crackling fires call

When surroundings are concealed

Soon, the renewal will be revealed

But now it’s the stage of contemplation.

For sustenance

For solace

For soul

To live on our abundance of the past

This is the gift of the snow

When we can replenish our hearts

In the silence of the icicles.

FREEDOM (Musings from the back of a Harley)

The freedom of the blue skies

Welcome us warmly back

Our path is asphalt

Our vehicle a mechanical horse

Our guide is the wind

Lush green walls soar

The sun illuminates the way

Oaks are waking up after a long nap

And I…

I fill my soul

With nature’s flowering renewal

Bursting with beauty and abundance

In the freedom of spring.

WHERE THE RIVERS MEET
Roaring white, pounding the granite

Swirling, swelling, splendor

The air is heavy with anticipation

It blows over me like a lover’s touch

Filling my heart with sweet floral ecstasy

I relax into the experience

Each breath carries away my worries 

My eyes fill with abandonment

As the rushing liquid serenades me

Singing the praise of this paradise

Until the different directions converge

After a brief resounding rumble

They combine and continue on their way

Leaving the moment where the rivers meet.

OCEAN

As I sit perched up high on our lanai

Comfortable on my recliner in the shade

The ocean draws my gaze

Its sapphire and emerald water calls me

While the blue pool floats in its space—uninviting

I hear the sea’s song as it smashes onto the shore

The surfers ride its motion

The snorkelers gaze into its depth

And the swimmers float on its perception

Our attraction is undeniable

Opposites: one of air, one of water

It beckons, and I must respond

Offering myself up to the hidden world

Under the cerulean summon

I answer, embracing the ocean completely.

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

D.L. Finn RWISA Author Page

#TarotTuesday – 7 of Wands

It’s #TAROTTUESDAY again!!

This week, the card I drew was the Seven of Wands.

The suit of Wands in the Tarot deck represents primal energy, spirituality, inspiration, determination, strength, intuition, creativity, ambition and expansion, original thought and the seeds through which life springs forth. The suit of Wands is ruled by the element of fire.

The Seven of Wands shows a man on top of a hill, armed with a wand in his hands, and fighting off six more wands drawing up from below. He appears to be defending his territory and his successes. However, notice that the man is wearing two different shoes which indicates that he may have been caught unaware or unprepared for battle, or he may be unclear of his own stance and opinion.

The Seven of Wands indicates that you’ve worked hard to get to where you are, but some people covet what you have and are prepared to fight you for it. While it is flattering that they strive for your success, it also makes for a tense and competitive environment because you need to protect what you earned and must continually prove yourself.

The more visibility you have as a leader in your field and the bigger your audience, the more likely it is that you will need to grapple with this kind of pressure.

The Seven of Wands can also mean a challenge to the success of a creative project from an external source. Someone or something may get in the way of you being able to pursue your goals and dreams. While it appears to block your path forward, you can overcome this obstacle by drawing upon your strong self-confidence, self-belief, and continual self-improvement. Establish clear boundaries and then protect them. Hold your ground, take a stand, and defend your position at all costs. This will require courage and persistence, but you have the strength and determination to do it. Keep fighting for what you believe in.

While this may seem like a challenging card, I see it as a positive confirmation of each of us growing better in our craft of writing. I am not the kind of person who is easily drawn to any kind of confrontation, but if need be, I can draw on my experience and stand firm in my beliefs, as can we all!

I also want to note the significance of the number 7 on the card. In Tarot readings, numbers can indicate a passage of time such as 7 days, weeks, months, years, etc. But on this card, I see it as the combination of the hard-working #4 and creative #3 to bring together both practical and mystical indications.

I sincerely hope this card brought you some sort of message that makes the way more clear on your journey!

Thank you for joining me for another #TarotTuesday reading!

As always, my reference source is BiddyTarot.com.

Welcome to the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! Day 1 #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 1 of the Watch RWISA Write Showcase, where each day a different author will be featured!

It is my pleasure to start off this tour with Author, John W. Howell!

The Road

by John W. Howell

Just a couple more hours and I’ll be able to rest my eyes. Been on this damn highway for what seems like forever. His head slowly nods until the rumble strip noise causes him to jerk awake. “I have been asleep,” he yells. He yanks the wheel, and the tires screech in protest as he swerves back on to the highway. He can feel his heart in his chest and pressure in his eyes. In an instant, he regrets being so weak as to give in to the physical need. He also becomes alarmed since now he knows that sleep could overtake him without notice.  One second, his eyes could be open and the next closed. Thank God for the jarring and noise of the rumble strips since without its alarm, he is sure he would have ended up piled into a tree.

As his heart settles down, he concentrates on the road ahead. There’s someone at the side about a half mile away. A hitchhiker by the looks of a backpack. A sign in the person’s hand is not readable at this distance. The thought occurs that It would be a good thing to have someone else in the car to help him stay awake.  Of course, there are dangers in picking up a stranger. As he gets closer, he can see that the hitchhiker is not a guy like he thought. It’s a young woman about his age.  She is wearing some kind of overalls, but the distinctive female form still comes through. He decides to slow down and assess the situation. A girl makes all the difference in trying to reach a decision for or against a pickup. After all, who knows where this could lead? He does know that in all probability, she is not likely to stick a knife in his ribs and demand his wallet after a couple of miles down the road.

He eases the car to the shoulder and can’t help kick up some dust in the process. The sign is facing him even as the person turns away to avoid the dust storm he has created. Kansas City in black marker on cardboard is all it says.

He opens the passenger door and waves her over. “I’m going to Kansas City. Want a ride?”

The young woman looks back at him, and he can tell she is doing an evaluation on the safety prospects of accepting a lift. She slowly hoists her backpack on to her shoulder and walks with hesitant steps toward the car. She puts her hand above her eyes to cut the glare of the sun and stops short of the door. She leans in. “Did you say you’re going to Kansas City?”

“Yes. Yes, I did. I also asked if you would like a ride.”

“That all depends on your intentions?”

“My intentions?”

“Yeah. You are offering a ride. How much will it cost me?”

“Cost you? I’m going to Kansas City. Your sign says Kansas City. Why would it cost you anything?”

“Just want to make sure is all.”

“No charge. I’ve been on the road forever, it seems, and I would welcome the company. My name is James.”

“Sorry, James. I know I sounded a little ungrateful, but I have also been on the road and have met several guys that think I owe them something for a ride.”

“I can understand that. Let’s just say you can ride or not it’s your choice. No other decisions to be made.”

“Fair enough. I accept your offer. My name is Sarah.” She slides in and slams the door.

“Nice to meet you, Sarah. You want to put your backpack in the rear?”

“No, I’ll just keep it here in the front with me. You can never tell.”

“Tell what?”

“When I’ll have to bail. Everything I own is in this pack, and I sure wouldn’t want to leave it behind.”

“I get it. No use trusting someone just cause they say you can.”

“Right. I think I like you, James.”

“Wainwright. My last name’s Wainwright. How about you?”

“Not sure I have a last name. I go by Sarah.”

“No last name? How can that be?”

“You going to start this car or is my fear well founded.”

James flushes as he turns the ignition. “Yeah, here we go.” He looks in the side mirror and signals as he pulls back on the highway.

“You are a cautious one. There’s no one for miles.”

“I guess it’s a habit from city driving.” He keeps checking in the mirror until he is up to highway speed

“Where you from, James?”

“New York. You?”

“I think I was originally from down south somewhere.”

“You don’t know?”

“Well, it’s been a long time.” She pauses.

James glances at her and sees that she is lost in thought somewhere. Her skin is fair, and she has the high cheekbones and lips of a runway model. She looks vaguely familiar, and he compares her looks to Joni Mitchell. There is that innocent, fragile look that makes you want to take care of her.

“I’m sorry. What did you say?” She is back.

“I didn’t say anything. I’m amazed you don’t know where you are from.”

“Well do you remember where you’re from or is it someone told you?”

She has a point. James only knew he was born in Chicago because his parents told him so. He lived in New York for twenty years so unless clued in he would have thought he lived there his whole life. “I guess I should rephrase the question. Where did you last live?”

“Yes, James. That makes a little more sense. I last lived in Dubuque, Iowa.”

“What a coincidence. I am driving from Dubuque. Do you believe that?”

“I can believe that. Someone once said there are only six degrees of separation of everyone on Earth. You and I traveling from Dubuque at the same time certainly falls into that realm.”

“Aw come on, Sarah. We are both going from Dubuque to Kansas City. That has to be more than a coincidence.”

“I never said I was going to Kansas City, James.”

“Wait. You have that sign that says Kansas City.”

“Doesn’t mean I’m going there.”

“What does it mean?”

“You think I know?”

“I’m getting a weird feeling here, Sarah. Like you aren’t telling me something.”

“Do you remember swerving after you ran off the highway?”

“What? Back there. Yeah, I remember almost falling asleep. Hey, wait a minute. How would you know about that?”

“Think a minute, James. How do you think I would know about that moment?”

“Sarah I’m too tired for guessing games. What is this all about?”

“Do you feel okay, James?”

“Yeah, just tired.”

“Look around. Do you see any other cars?”

“No, but I haven’t for a while. What are you trying to tell me, Sarah?”

“You fell asleep, James.”

“When did I fall asleep? I know I nodded off, but when did I fall asleep?”

“Just before your car went off the road and you hit a cement culvert.”

“Now, you are joking. Right? Right, Sarah?”

“No joke, James. Look ahead. What do you see?”

“Uh, up the road, you mean?”

“Yes, up the road.”

“Nothing, but what looks like a sandstorm.”

“It’s no storm, James. It is nothing.”

“Who are you anyway?”

“Do you remember that little girl who went missing in the second grade?”

“Yeah, what does that have to do with you?”

“Does the nickname Jimmy Jeans mean anything?”

“That’s what Sarah called me in the second grade.”

“How did I know that?”

“You wouldn’t unless.”

“Unless I’m Sarah.”

“Oh My God. Sarah. It is you. Where have you been?”

“That’s not important. What is important is you were broken-hearted when I vanished. You prayed for my return and made promises to God if only I would come back.”

“I never got over that either. I think of that little girl. I mean, I thought of you almost every day. Why didn’t I recognize you?”

“’Cause I’m all grown up. There would be no way.”

“Where have you been, Sarah. I have missed you so much.”

“Don’t cry, James. I’m here with you now.”

“Can you tell me what happened to you?”

“No, James, it’s not worth the time.”

“So why now? Why are you here now?”

“To help you, James.”

“To help me. How?”

“To understand what your life is like now.”

“Now? What do you mean?”

“You were in an accident, James. You ran off the road, and I am sorry to say your body didn’t survive. You are now going with me on an eternal trip.”

“You are saying I’m dead. I can’t believe that.  Look at me. I’m just as alive as you.”

“That’s right. You are.”

“Um, Sarah?”

“Yes, James.”

“You are dead too?”

“Yes, James. A man took me from school and killed me. They never found my body.”

“W-what?”

“Don’t think about that now. Think about the future. Because you prayed so hard and missed me so much, I was given the honor of escorting you to the other side.”

“Other side? There’s a future?”

“A wonderful one.  You and I for all time.”

“I would like that.”

“Take my hand then. Let’s be off.”

“I have more questions.”

“All in good time, James. All in good time.”

THE END

Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today!  We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs.  Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent!  Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

John W. Howell RWISA Author Page

NEW RELEASES – SHORT STORIES #RRBC

I am SO excited to release three new short stories as a result of the 2019 90-Day Alpha/Omega Beginning to End Short Story Contest at #RRBC!

I love how this contest pushes me out of my comfort zone and gets my creative juices flowing!

I’ll list the three short stories in no particular order. I sincerely hope that at least one will pique your interest!

BLURB:

For almost eighteen years, Jewel has known little beyond hopelessness and hunger. Barely existing in a ramshackle cabin, on the edge of a Louisiana swamp with her little sister and their mother, she sees no way to stop the downward spiral. When her mother falls gravely ill, Jewel learns that her life is about to take a drastic turn. But will it lead to joy or more devastation?

Take a heart-warming journey with Jewel as she struggles to rise from the clutches of poverty and shame.

PURCHASE LINK:

BLURB:

At the tender age of fourteen, Jennifer shoulders the full responsibility of running a household and caring for her seven-year-old sister. It’s bad enough that their father is lost at war in Afghanistan, but troubles multiply when their so-called mother abandons them for another man. Hardships and struggles are constant companions. Family is whatever Jennifer can make it. That’s the way the cards have been dealt, and that’s the way she’ll play them.

This strong young girl meets every obstacle head-on, while never losing hope for a better tomorrow.

PURCHASE LINK:

BLURB:

Claire Winters is heartbroken when her husband of many years says he’s found a new love and wants a divorce. While having a pity party with her best friend, Jade, they come up with a daring idea. Together, they construct a Voodoo doll and with the help of several bottles of wine, create a ceremony to bring the same heartbreak to Daniel Winters as he brought to Claire. But do they go too far? You decide!

PURCHASE LINK:

I enjoyed writing these vastly different stories and I hope you enjoy reading them!

TAROT TUESDAY – WHEEL OF FORTUNE

It’s TAROT TUESDAY again and the card I pulled today is one that gets me excited!

The card I pulled today is from the Major Arcana. A Tarot deck consists of 78 cards – 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana.

Let me provide a brief explanation about the two.

The Major Arcana Tarot cards represent the life lessons, karmic influences and the big archetypal themes that are influencing your life and your soul’s journey to enlightenment.

Minor Arcana cards tell us about the day-to-day goings-on in our lives and the issues and challenges we face along our journey. Within the Minor Arcana are Swords, Cups, Wands and Pentacles.

So, on to our card today – WHEEL OF FORTUNE!

As you might guess from its name, this card represents good luck, karma, life cycles, destiny, or a turning point.

The Wheel of Fortune reminds you that the wheel is always turning and life is in a state of constant change. If you’re going through a difficult time (from the card we had last week, that may surely be the case) rest assured that it will get better from here. Good luck and good fortune will make their return in time. Similarly, if things are going well, know this, too, will change and life may return to ‘normal’ soon. This cycle shows why it is so important to cherish the blissful moments in your life and make the most of them while they are within reach – because in a flash they could be gone.

The Wheel of Fortune is also known as the wheel of karma and reminds you that ‘what goes around comes around.’ Be a kind and loving person to others, and they’ll be kind and loving to you. Be nasty and mean, and you will get nasty and mean turning back your way. So, if you want happiness and abundance, make sure you’re sending out that positive juju in kind. What you send out into the Universe will come back your way.

The Wheel of Fortune card asks you to be optimistic and have faith that the Universe will take care of your situation in the best way possible.

What a beautiful card!

Finally, the Wheel of Fortune can show a critical turning point in your life. Opportunities you could never imagine are suddenly available to you, and you have the chance to make a significant change in your life. While it may be unexpected and unfamiliar, see this as an invitation to turn things around and take an entirely new direction in your life. The more you tune in to your intuition and allow the Universe to guide you, the better the outcomes will be.

Thank you for joining me again today for another TAROT TUESDAY! See you next week!

Welcome to the “THE CHOICE, the unexpected heroes” Blog Tour! @gmplano @4WillsPub #RRBC

Writers create stories within a context. They establish time and place, but this is not done in the abstract. A writer’s personal world provides the unspoken but overarching backdrop to the narrative. I became quite aware of this fact when writing THE CHOICE.

I was dealing with a degenerative neurological problem which ultimately required surgery. During my writing days, every decision was a struggle; I had choices but often they scared me.

In this sequel, the characters from THE CONTRACT reappear and lead the story. They face one difficult decision after another, life and death decisions. Two protagonists emerge and come to the realization that some things are worth more than the physical life and this awareness gives them the peace they need to proceed.

THE CHOICE bears no similarity to my life, but it spoke to the drama I was living. In an unexpected way, the characters helped me with my ordeal, though I was unaware of this fact until I finished the book and looked back through the chapters. I wonder, have you had a similar experience?

Links:  

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Z3dUEm 

Website: https://gwenmplano.com/

Twitter: @gmplano

Facebook: @GwendolynMPlano

BIO:

Growing up in Southern California, Gwen Plano loved learning. She earned four degrees and taught and served in universities and colleges across the country and in Japan. Now retired, she is focused on writing. Gwen’s first book, Letting Go into Perfect Love, is a memoir. Her second book, The Contract, is a thriller co-authored by John W. Howell. Gwen lives in the Midwest with her husband, and when she is not writing, she is traveling, usually to see one of her four children and many grandchildren.  

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 book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  
Lastly, Gwen is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {#RRBC}! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books, 

JOIN US! We’d love to have you!

Thanks for supporting this author and her work!  

How Amazon Destroyed Publishing

Warning! This is a very long post from Nicholas Rossis, but one I believe every author needs to take the time to read!

Nicholas C. Rossis

Typewriter | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's book Then, Amazon came along and turned everything upside down. Including typewriters!

In my previous post, How Amazon Destroyed Barnes & Noble, I explained how Amazon (alone) could not be held responsible for the bookstore’s troubles.

This post addresses another common complaint, that Amazon has destroyed publishing.

Again, things are not as black and white as that. Yes, Amazon is a shark. But it was the publishing industry which made blunder after blunder, allowing Amazon to take advantage of their mistakes.

Let’s take things from the start.

A Brief History of 20th Century Publishing

As Kristen Lamb points out in her must-read post, Goliath has Fallen & What This Means for Writers, publishing worked in a pretty standard way for over a century. Writers would take their books to publishers. If their pitch was successful, the publishers would then sign them on, publish the books, and distribute…

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TAROT TUESDAY – 3 OF SWORDS

Welcome to another card reading for TAROT TUESDAY!

Today I pulled the 3 of Swords.

Swords deal with the mental level of consciousness that is centered around the mind and the intellect. Swords mirror the quality of mind present in your thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs.

The Three of Swords represents possible heartbreak, emotional pain, sorrow, grief, and hurt. It can signal that you are feeling deeply hurt and disappointed. Your heart has been pierced by the sharp blades of others’ hurtful words, actions and intentions, and they have inflicted intense emotions of pain, sadness, grief, and heartbreak. These events are often unexpected and come out of the blue, making them even more painful.

However, the Three of Swords is also about an emotional release. When you have suffered a major setback or loss, now is an excellent time to have a good cry. Expressing your sadness is part of the cleansing process and letting it all out will help you move on to better times. Allow yourself the opportunity to experience these emotions, no matter how painful. Cry, shout, or scream at the top of your lungs. Do whatever it takes to express your anger or pain as this will help the emotions flow through (and out of) you.

The good news is that this painful season will pass. While the Three of Swords brings hurt and sadness, it is only temporary. You will bounce back. The clouds will dissipate, and soon you will have a better perspective on what you can learn from the experience. You can conquer any pain that comes your way – all it takes is faith, self-love, forgiveness and time.

Just remember that you do not have to accept the hurtful words as truth; they are merely another person’s opinion or a projection of their own inner fears and anxieties. Shift the energy by looking at these people with a compassionate heart: what struggles are they going through that they feel they need to throw their insecurities at you? Be mindful, too: why are their words triggering you? Is there a more profound truth in what they’ve said, one you might not be willing to see just yet? Use these pain points to expand your perspective and see the bigger picture of what is happening here.

I hope if you are experiencing anything like this that you can take away a different perspective from the message the card brings, and keep in mind this too shall pass!

This interpretation was taken from BiddyTarot.com.

See you next week for a new card and a new message!

Tarot Tuesday – Knight of Cups

Hello, everyone and welcome to the first of many posts to come on TAROT TUESDAY!

I love the card that we get to start this series off with!

The Suit of Cups Tarot cards deal with the emotional level of consciousness and are associated with love, feelings, relationships and connections.

The card I drew is the KNIGHT OF CUPS.

The Knight of Cups represents Creativity, romance, charm, imagination, beauty.

What an appropriate card for authors!

The knight rides on a white horse and holds out a golden cup as if he bears a message from the heart. Over his armor, the knight wears a cloak covered with images of fish, the symbol of water, consciousness and creativity. His helmet and boots are winged, a symbol of an active and creative imagination and an appreciation for beautiful things.

The Knight of Cups is the classic romantic of the Tarot deck. He is in touch with his intuition and emotions, and he uses them masterfully to charm and attract others. He shows compassion and understanding towards others because he has learned to understand his own feelings and emotions. The Knight is kind, caring and very in touch with his feminine side. He might be found writing a romantic poem to his lover, creating art inspired by his innermost feelings or appreciating a vibrant sunset with a glass of champagne in his hand. His heart is wide open, and he wears it on his sleeve. He shares his love freely with others, without constraint or worry; he is in love with love itself.

When the Knight of Cups appears in a Tarot reading, you thrive on all things beautiful and are inspired by the many creative outlets available to you. 

The Knight of Cups is motivated by action. You have dreamed about what it is you want to create and now are moving forward with this dream to make it a reality. It may be an art project or something you feel ‘called’ to do, based on your emotions, imagination and intuition. Be open to exploring your passions and your big ideas. You may find yourself drawn to a particular passion or hobby and now is the time to turn it into ‘something.’ While you are in no hurry to reach the finish line, keep in mind that true imagination feeds on action; if you do nothing with your dreams, they will remain just that – dreams and not reality.

That, of course, is the short version interpretation of this card. If you’d like to read about it in more detail, I invite you to visit BiddyTarot.com.

Thank you for tuning in for the first segment of TAROT TUESDAY! Make it a great day to create! I welcome your comments!