#RRBC Writers’ Conference & Book Expo

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One of the most fun and beneficial things any writer can do is attend a conference.  Not only do you walk away with new information and knowledge, but friendships and connections.

But, how can you create a conference with international participation? The answer was simple to the President of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, Nonnie Jules.

Have a Virtual Writers’ Conference and Book Expo!  And that’s what she did. This is a conference with something for everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re brand new at writing or been writing for thirty years, you will benefit from this conference.

Please take a look and see for yourself. Explore the workshops offered, the opportunities to win prizes, discover new authors and create friendships. And you can do it all from the comfort of your own home. There is no other conference like the RRBC Writers’ Conference & Book Expo!

I’ve made it easy for you. Click on the links below and register to be a participant in this unique conference set for October 22- 28, 2017.

*General Info – https://rrbcwritersconferencebookexpo17.wordpress.com/

 *Registration Info – https://rrbcwritersconferencebookexpo17.wordpress.com/registration/registration-general-info/

 *Registration Packages & Pricing – https://rrbcwritersconferencebookexpo17.wordpress.com/registration/registration-packages-pricing/

 *Registration Page – https://rrbcwritersconferencebookexpo17.wordpress.com/registration/

See ya’ there!

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RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB

I have posted this before, but today is Recruitment Day at the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and I can’t say it any better than this!! If you’re an author looking for a community where you truly belong, are supported and become like family, this is the place for you. 

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I know you hear me refer to The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB a lot, but when I find something that is exciting and rewarding, I like to talk about it.

I first became a member of #RRBC in August, 2014. I didn’t get involved much – read my required number of books to remain active in the club, tweeted now and then, caught a RAVE WAVES Blog Talk radio show now and then and skimmed through the WEEKLY CLUB UPDATES.

I didn’t see a whole lot of benefits at the time, except that immediately, when I listed on my Profile that I was a member of the club, my Twitter followers increased substantially. Well, that was good. I now had other authors interacting on a consistent level and more opportunities to spread the word about my books.

Then, in November 2014, I received the honor of a #PUSHTUESDAY spot that showcased The Convict and the Rose. I saw an immediate spike in sales on Amazon. At the time the book was spotlighted, I had ten reviews. That number went to 25 within a few short months. Hmmmm, I thought to myself. Maybe I need to get more involved with this club because it seems to make things happen!

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Long story short, I got more involved. I began supporting other members, following their blogs and helping spread the word about their books. Again, I saw a huge spike in followers of my own blog. Wow! Now that meant I had to consistently start blogging and provide interesting and interactive content.

Two more examples -I earned a spot in April 2016 on a RAVE WAVES Blog Talk Radio show where I had the opportunity to discuss and answer questions about my books and again the support I received was overwhelming.

When the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB  chose my third book, Home At Last as a featured book of the month in July 2016, even more miraculous things began to happen.  Up until that date, I had only eight reviews. And even though it’s not a huge number, I now have twenty.

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I’ve participated in a virtual Writer’s Conference with the club, gone on numerous Block Party Blog Tours and read some absolutely amazing books by talented indie authors. In fact, at the end of 2016, I decided to put together a TOP TEN list for the books I enjoyed the most during the year. Out of the 10 books, 8 of them were #RRBC Authors! Check them out here!

All I’m saying, is that if you’re looking for a community of like-minded people to support, uplift, encourage and propel you to greater heights as an author, you might want to take a look at the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB.  Go to the FAQ page for the answers to any question you might have.

Membership fees are VERY affordable and the results (IF YOU PARTICIPATE) are amazing!

This group of supportive authors and readers have POWER!

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OH YES, AND ONE FINAL THING.  WHEN YOU JOIN, PLEASE TELL THEM I SENT YOU! 

Top Reasons Readers will close your book.

While recently attending the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia, I sat in on a workshop that gave out this information. I felt that it was valuable enough to pass along.

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1) Nothing happens in the opening pages. No one will keep reading about a bunch of characters that are going nowhere, or pages filled with pretty scenery. Start out with some interesting action or problem, and hook your reader.

2) Too much happens in the opening page or too many characters. If  the reader has to make a list to keep track of who’s who, you’ve got too many characters. Also, avoid the same sounding names or names starting with the same letter; Kark, Kanya and Kumbla.)

3) Info dump. Your story barely gets going when the reader is saddled with pages and pages of back story. This bogs down the pace and is tedious to read. Once we get engrossed in the story, a little bit of back story will add a deeper understanding of why your character is acting the way he/she is. The key words above are ‘a little bit’.  In the workshop, it was referred to as “Salting” the story, not dumping the entire shaker out. 🙂

5) Too much of anything will spoil your story. If it’s a romance, keep the romance alive with sexual tension. If it’s a mystery, don’t just have murder after murder. Give us a clever mystery to solve. If it’s an action/thriller, don’t have chapter after chapter of fight scenes and bombs and car chases. The reader needs to get a break. And this is the perfect spot to talk about cuss words. Use them sparingly. Okay, gang members swear. To be realistic you have to have dialogue that fits. Just don’t overdo it. It is very easy to lose readers from extended profanity.  (I realize this is totally based on opinion, but I think most readers will agree that over use of profanity turns them off to the story.)

6) Factual errors. Whatever it is that you’re writing about, someone out there will be an expert in the subject. If you don’t know medicine, be careful when writing a hospital scene. If you don’t know police work be careful when writing about a crime scene. If you have your characters doing something dumb, not only will you get letters, you will lose fans. These types of errors take the reader out of the story.

7) Too helpless and too hopeless. Don’t have your plot revolve around something that could be easily cleared up by asking a question or two.

8) And it is worth mentioning that hiring a professional editor (if you are self-publishing) is of utmost importance! A poorly edited manuscript is the #1 reason a reader will stop turning pages and close your book. 

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What are the things that will cause you to close a book and put it away without finishing it? 

 

Winners! #RRBC

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I am thrilled to announce the winners from my stop on the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB Springtime Book and Blog Block Party tour!

$10 iTunes Gift Card  –  NONNIE JULES

$5 Amazon Gift Card – PATRICIA GREEN

eBook of Flowers and Stone – Lynn Miclea

eBook of The Convict and the Rose – Rob Kimbrell

A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED! 

Don’t miss out on the rest of the tour! 

Here are today’s stops:

4/12 – Kim Cox

DAILY GIVEAWAYS: (1) $20 Amazon gift card;

4/12 – A. S. McGowan

DAILY GIVEAWAYS: (1) e-book copy of “FOR THE LOVE OF A CENTAUR,” (1) e-book copy of “THE GHOSTS OF A CENTAUR” & (1) $5 Amazon gift card; 

4/12 – Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

DAILY GIVEAWAYS: (1) $10 Amazon gift card, (1) $10 Starbucks gift card, & (2) e-book copy of “MIRROR OF OUR LIVES: VOICES OF FOUR IGBO WOMEN”;

Let’s Play!

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Something similar to this circulated on Facebook not long back and I thought it would be fun to customize it a little for authors and bloggers. Let your readers find out something they might not know about you and in return you may learn something about your readers that you didn’t know. So, have fun and LET’S PLAY!

  • Do You have any Tattoos?    No
    • If yes, visible or not visible:
  • Where is the farthest place you’ve traveled?  Rome Italy
  • Pick one book shelf in your house and count the books on it:  124
  • Have you ever been to Vegas?   Yes
  • Do you gamble:      Yes (but only for FUN!)
  • Have you ever quit a job?   Yes
    • If Yes, Why?   To move to a different city
  • Have you ever sang Karoke?    Yes
  • What’s the most exotic animal you’ve seen:   A Bongko
    • Where were you?   Dallas Zoo
  • What is your biggest pet peeve in life?   Pet owners who don’t take care of their pets
  • What is the most exotic food you’ve eaten:  Fried Alligator
    • Where were you?     New Orleans, La. 
  • If you were granted ONE wish, what would you ask for?    Health
  • What is the scariest situation you’ve ever been in?   A war zone between biker gangs.
  • Have you ever seen a ghost?    Yes
    • Where were you?   In my bed in Coleman, Tx. I awoke and saw a small built little man with a fedora hat on standing and looking out the back window.
  • Do you have a bucket list:   Yes
    • If so, how many items are in it?   Lots
      • Can you name them?   I’ll name a few: I want to ride in a hot air balloon. I want to visit Ireland and Scotland. I want to visit every corner of America. I want to see New England in the Fall. I want to dance more before I get too old. I want to have a Bestseller book! I want to visit Switzerland and Amsterdam.
  • What’s the most memorable concert you ever attended?  That’s a hard one. I’ve been to so many amazing concerts, but in the 80s when Charlie Daniels was doing his Windows tour, he came to Shreveport and it was and still is memorable. Just amazing! 

  • If you could attend one concert anywhere in the world today, who would you see?  Again, that’s hard because I’ve seen so many. Dolly Parton, or maybe Joe Bonamassa. 
  • If you could sit down and visit with anyone alive or dead, who would it be?  Jacqueline Kennedy
    • Why?  I always admired the way she handled herself in good times and bad. She was the embodiment of a Goddess. 
  • What is one book you have read that changed you or you never forgot?   The Captains and the Kings by Taylor Caldwell – eye-opening and fascinating! 

So my answers are in RED

Reblog and give me your answers, or simply copy and paste. Let’s get to know each other better!!

 

Do what you love!

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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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Code

This word conjures up several different meanings such as ‘code of conduct’ or the ‘code’ to a safe, but for this blog, I want to look at programming ‘code.’

Isn’t it amazing that by stringing together symbols, numbers, characters and letters, we can get beautiful images like these? They are so lifelike that you can almost hear the roar of the waterfall or feel the gentle touch of the butterfly lighting on your finger.

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It fascinates me!

In my new novel, When Two Worlds Collide, the protagonist, Jag Peters,  is a computer programmer. He spends his days writing code, but never unlocking the one leading to his own happiness.  He lives a settled life with few bumps in his road until he almost collides with Rena Jett and her candy-apple-red Harley. Rena carries deep scars from a lifetime of abuse and hides it behind a dark scowl and sharp tongue. It is a story about opposites with much to learn from each other and, of course, to fall in love with little hope of ever meshing their two worlds. Add in a paranormal aspect and it is shaping up to be a powerful story.

So, the next time you see a GIF like these, or play a computer game, think about the mile-long code it took to create it.

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Have you unlocked your own code to life? Have an AWESOME weekend!

 

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Made It Into the TOP 5!

What a pleasant surprise to find this video in my Inbox this morning from the Texas Association of Authors! 

I made it into the TOP FIVE Bestselling Authors list.

What is TxAuthors?

Very simply put, it is a non-profit organization created to assist Indie Authors in Texas with the marketing of their books and this is done in a variety of ways.

  • DEAR (Drop Everything and Read) Texas
  • Texas Authors Institute of History (A museum dedicated to preserving Texas Literary History)
  • Lone Star Book Festival
  • Representation to the American Library Association as well as TLA
  • Website and Social Media support
  • A variety of Book Festivals held across the Lonestar state
  • Opportunity for readings in Libraries and Indie Book Stores
  • Writing Contests
  • Virtual Bookstore as well as a traveling Bookstore
  • Dedicated work with Texas Government officials for author recognition
  • BlogTalk Radio Shows

This is simply a brief list of ways that the Texas Association of Authors supports authors who live in the State of Texas, or as the founder of the organization says, whose heart is in Texas.

If you think this organization may be helpful to you, I invite you to take a look and decide for yourself.

In the meantime, I am ecstatic that I made the TOP FIVE list of Bestselling Authors in the organization!

 

#RRBC Writer’s Conference and Book Expo! Coming SOON!

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A Writers’ Conference like none other!  OPEN TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC! Participate from the comfort of your own home. animated coffee

This is a virtual conference. Because the membership of Rave Reviews Book Club is international, this is a innovative solution to bring members together for a conference.

From Thursday, December 1st until Saturday, December 3rd, some of the greatest writers, authors and avid readers from around the world will gather online!

This conference will consist of three days of fellowship (Gathering), having fun (Enjoying) and becoming enlightened! (Learning!).

You’ll find newbie authors, seasoned authors, and readers of all stages and interests, in one arena, teaching, learning and growing.

What an amazing opportunity to be a part of an event such as this!

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Just like at any conference, we will have Author Booths, Vendor Booths and Workshops.

And there will be GIVEAWAYS!!

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To find out more about this virtual conference, click here!

To register, Click Here!

Workshop sessions include such topics as:

*Building Your Author Platform

*Why Your Brand is Important and Why Protecting It Is Even More Important

*Why You Should Never Refuse LIVE Media Interviews

*Blogging for Success

*Literary Lingo 101

*Marketing 101

*Indie vs Traditional: Which One Wins?

*Social Media Dos & Don’ts

*Editors: Sniffing Out The Right One

*Formatting Made Easy

*Your Best Self Promotion Tool…

*Writing In The Senior Season

*Writing the Perfect Book Review

*Book Blurbs Do’s & Don’ts

*Cover Design (FREE bonus session!)

So, as you can clearly see, there is literally something for everyone!

Don’t miss out on EARLY BIRD pricing!

If you are not yet a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, I invite you to check it out.  See if it is a perfect fit for you and if so and you join, please tell them Jan Sikes sent you over! 

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#RRBC – WRITER RESPONSIBILITIES

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With the question posed, I had to give it some serious thought.

So, I decided to see what Webster had to say about the word “Responsible.”

“Answerable or accountable, as for something within one’s power, control or management (often followed by to or for)”

Accountable for my own actions as a writer…

My first and foremost responsibility, as a writer, is to myself. As with any other facet of life,  honesty with, and respect for, myself is #1. My writing voice is unique. It is my responsibility to use that voice to tell a story.

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Secondly, my responsibility is to my story and characters. It is my job to get inside their heads and let them tell me what I need to know. If I don’t do this, then I am never going to bring my reader along for the ride. The words will fall flat on the pages.

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The third part of my responsibility as a writer is in supporting and uplifting others. We are all on this journey together. It isn’t a competition to see who gets to the top first.

Writers are as diverse as the stars in the heavens or snowflakes that drift to earth in winter.

Many times, a writer’s existence is rather lonely. Friends and family often cannot relate to the way we think of our characters as real people. We may be labeled as eccentric or obsessed.

We have a strong need to belong to a community who supports, promotes, encourages and lifts each other.

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For me, The Rave Reviews Book Club is that community. This is not the only organization I belong to or strongly believe in, but it is the most supportive of any I have found. I’ve never been part of any other group that will openly share my books…even create attractive graphic designs to hawk my stories.

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But, there’s a catch. Nothing in life is a free ride and as a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club, my responsibility is to support, promote and propel others.

Does this sound like something that you’ve been searching for as a writer?

Not only is this community made up of authors, but also readers, editors, book designers, bloggers, radio broadcasters, and publishers .

It is truly a WHOLE community of support.

I invite you to take a close look at The Rave Reviews Book Club and all that it embodies.

If you feel this is a good fit for you, join. But, don’t expect to sit back and do nothing. It is your responsibility to get involved, support others and enjoy the support you receive.

If you decide to join, please say I sent you.  – JAN SIKES, AUTHOR

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