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. 

book-club-badge-suggestion-copy

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!

Featured Image -- 3343

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.

HomeAtLast_BookAnd CD-Text

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!

Featured Image -- 3561

Featured Image -- 3343 conference-badge-1-1   trailer-block-party-1

rwisa-oval-lavendar

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

SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR, Rhani D’Chae #RRBC

I have met some of the most amazing and resilient authors through the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, and Rhani D’Chae tops the list. I’ll use some of her own words to explain, but will also throw in some of my own.

Firstly, Shadow of the Drillwritten by Rhani D’Chae landed at #3 on my TOP TEN Best Books list for 2016. The characters in this story captured me and even though it’s been months since I read the book, I still think about Decker and Charlene. 🙂 That’s the sign of a great story! You can read my review here.

Shadow of the Drill

As a member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, you are required to read and review a minimum of 4 books per year written by other members. For a lover of books, that is not any chore. But, that is how I discovered this story (which, by the way, is not my normal genre).

But, enough about me. Let me tell you a little bit about Rhani and why I say she is resilient.

“I was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, and for my vision, it was all downhill from there . My 20-40 vision went into the triple digits, and then started fading altogether. Later on, I developed glaucoma and ischermia, neither of which I found amusing. Two months ago I learned that I now have macular degeneration. Fortunately, the shots that I’m already getting in my eyes are the same ones used to treat md, so at least I’m not having to deal with more shots.

My vision loss has really changed the actual act of writing for me. When I write, I sit on my couch with my laptop on the coffee table in front of me. When I am seated in the “proper” position to type, I’m too far from the screen to read what I’m writing or to see if there are any mistakes. So I lean forward until my chin is over the outside edge of the laptop, at archaic point I can read what’s on the screen, provided the font is large and bold. But typing in that positioning is hard to do and impossible to do quickly. So I prop my chin on my left hand and do the hunt and peck thing with my right. So much for 60 words per minute.”

Can you imagine? What a challenge Rhani faces and yet she continues to write. She is working on a sequel to Shadow of the Drill as we speak, which I am thrilled to hear. AND, she has also written another short story, which I read as well, A Perilous Thirst.  Check out my review here.

pt  A short story about a gay vampire in the early days of the AIDS epidemic.

I simply want to honor Rhani D’Chae today for her strong spirit, determination and attitude. You’ll never find a negative post from Rhani on social media and until she tells you, you’d never know that she deals with blindness and relies largely on Dragon Speaks to write her posts. She is a personal inspiration to me.

So, THANK YOU, Rhani for embodying what every human spirit should!

If you’d like to follow Rhani on her SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR blog tour at  the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, please do. Each post is entertaining and delightful!

If you’d like to know more about the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and the members who make up this International Organization, take a look. If you’re an author or reader, this might be the home you’ve been looking for!

And, THANK YOU for helping me honor and lift up Rhani D’Chae!

Follow Rhani on Twitter and on her Website

My GRL Relaunch by John Howell #RRBC

It is both an honor and privilege to present the fresh new look of Author, John Howell’s re-launched first book in his thriller trilogy, My GRL!

Announcing the re-launch of My GRL

my-grl-front 

The cover is new and the book edited once again to enhance the experience. What is really nice is the price has been cut for the introduction. You can buy the kindle version for a special introduction price of

$0.99

Here’s the blurb:

John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body of the young woman who sold him the boat in the first place. John now stands between the terrorists and the success of their mission.

Here is the link to Amazon for the Kindle version

Here is the link to Amazon for the Paper version

Check them out and read the first few pages on Amazon.

Also, you can check out John Cannon’s other two adventures, as well as, the new My GRL at John W. Howell’s Author Page

 

his-revenge-resized]                              51bypm1jgll-_uy250_

 

john-resized

Author Bio

John began his writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive business career. His specialty is thriller fiction novels, but John also writes poetry and short stories.  His first book, My GRL, introduces the exciting adventures of the book’s central character, John J. Cannon. The second Cannon novel, His Revenge, continues the adventure, while the final book in the trilogy, Our Justice, launched in September 2016.  All books are available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions.

 

John lives in Port Aransas, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.

John is also a SUPER supportive member of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

Follow John Howell on

TWITTER        FACEBOOK       BLOG

 

 

Guest Post – Author, Tina Frisco

Meet my guest today, Author, Tina Frisco. tina-4a

She has a brand new book release and I am happy to share it here.

Thank you for inviting me to be a guest on your blog, Jan. I appreciate this opportunity to talk about my new book, Vampyrie: Origin of the Vampire.

Vampyrie is not your typical vampire novel. It’s based in science and brings the myth of the vampire into the realm of possibility. Although the book is not part of a series, two primary characters from my first novel, Plateau, play major roles.

One day during my morning walk, the word Valkyrie came to mind. As you may know, a valkyrie is one of a host of female helping spirits of the god Odin in Norse mythology. Depicted as both loving and bloodthirsty, valkyries decide who lives and who dies in battle. They also assist Odin in transporting his favorites among the slain to Valhalla, the hall where he houses the dead whom he deems worthy of dwelling with him. In my novel, Valkyrie becomes Vampyrie and Valhalla becomes the Haven.

I always have been fascinated by the myth of the vampire and often have wondered if the phenomenon actually could exist. My background in medicine led me to speculate about how this might have a basis in reality. If rooted in science, how might this myth come to life? The most likely answer would be as a physical disorder or disease.

As I began writing, the story began unfolding. What if vampires were not the undead, but rather the dying? What if there were two factions among vampires: the sustained and the unsustainable? And what if those factions were at war with one another over the life of a young woman who promised them a future?

vampyrie_cover_for_kindle

Vampyrie brings the myth of the vampire into the realm of possibility.

My protagonist, Phoebe Angelina Delaney, is a reluctant genius and a compassionate hothead. She loves deeply, agers quickly, often acts before she thinks, and curses with abandon.

She finds herself in a pitch-dark underground and doesn’t remember how she got there. Did she drink too much alcohol and wander off in a stupor, or was she kidnapped by a malicious element determined to make her life a living hell? Sir Michael Alan David is a vampire – an enigma, charismatic and mysterious, who weaves in and out of Phoebe’s life. Does he intend to use his title as a ruse to draw her closer to an unearthly fate, or is he a cloak-and-dagger knight in shining armor? Too many secrets have been kept for too long. Phoebe must unravel the mystery in order to survive.

EXCERPT:

“Where in the blazes am I?” Phoebe mumbled under her breath, afraid someone might be listening. “And how in the world did I get here?”

She crept along the cold stone wall, carefully placing one foot in front of the other. The last thing she remembered was saying goodnight to Lunah outside the club. Her head was splitting.  The pain dulled her normally sharp mind. Dazed and confused, she dropped to her hands and knees and crawled in pitch-black darkness.

Shivering in the damp cold, she waved her hand in front of her eyes but couldn’t see a thing. She felt drugged, hung over, and everything in her wanted to lie down. Fear growled in her belly, threatening to explode into unbridled terror. But Phoebe wasn’t the type to cave in the face of danger. If she were ever again to see the light of day, she knew she had to pick up the pace.

“Get up, you fool!” she whispered emphatically. “You’ve no idea what might be lurking in this damned snake pit.”

She tried to ignore the throbbing in her head. She tried to shrug off feeling she was captive in the lair of some hungry beast. She forced herself to stand, despite feeling lightheaded and dizzy. Guiding herself with one hand pressed against the wall, she walked slowly and paid close attention to every step. She didn’t want to make a sound.

Just when she started to rebound, something damp prickled her fingers from between the stones.

“Damn!” Startled by the sound of her own voice, she cupped her hand over her mouth as she lurched backward. The jolt cleared her mind. She was in a cave or underground tunnel.

“I’ve got to find a way out of this hellhole!” she murmured, too frazzled to whisper. She couldn’t help giving voice to the menacing panic . . .

She forced herself to keep going, in a futile attempt to keep the phobia at bay. But it resolved to have her in its greedy clutches. Barely able to breathe, her mind flooded with profanities, and escalating terror insisted on having a voice.

“Dammit!” squeezed its way out as she panted and broke into a sweat.

She couldn’t help repeating the obscenity until it echoed down the corridor, eerily and with telltale foreboding . . .

Her head was pounding. She felt as if she were spinning round and round on some horrific amusement park ride. Yet she knew she hadn’t drunk enough alcohol to cause such nauseating vertigo. She lost her balance and fell back against the wall, gasping for air and fighting to stay conscious. Her body slid down until she sat with her hands braced flat on the ground. The feel of the cold stone against her skin helped her catch her breath.

“Snap out of it, Pheebs; you’re stronger than this,” she whispered, mindful the darkness might be concealing something deadly. She repeated the reproach until she finally heard herself.

When the panic lifted, she grasped the flashlight with her teeth, leaned back against the wall, and slowly pushed her body upward until she stood. Although trembling and lightheaded, she managed to maintain her balance.

She brushed her hands together to remove the grit, but instead of falling to the ground, it rolled across her wet palms and stuck to her fingers. Aiming the flashlight downward, she saw something red covering her hands. Frantic to get rid of the nasty stuff, she rubbed her palms across the wall until they were chafed. But the red slime seemed to penetrate her skin. When she realized what it was, a sickening horror struck and dared her to regain composure.

“Oh my god, it’s blood!”

Shrieking, the flashlight dropped from between her lips and broke as it hit the ground. But Phoebe was too spent and disoriented to notice.

EDITORIAL REVIEW

I was hooked from the first paragraph. Phoebe has an indomitable spirit. I was rooting for her throughout her quest and her ordeals. As the tension built, I found myself riveted to the page . . . and then the next page and the next. I read this book in two days. I could barely put it down when outside forces demanded my attention. There is also an underlying metaphysical angle to the narrative that only enhanced the pleasure I experienced while reading this wonderful, wonderful story. —Andrew Joyce, Author of Yellow Hair and Redemption: The Further Adventures of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer

Pick up a copy of Vampyrie today!

Follow Tina: TWITTER             FACEBOOK            BLOG/WEBSITE

 

JAN’s TOP TEN Best Books for 2016

top-10_2

Because I have read SO many fantastic books this year, I want to share with you the ones I enjoyed the most. Almost ALL of the amazing books on this list were written by Indie Authors!

#1     Pennies From Burger Heaven by Marcy McKay     Pennies-from-Burger-Heaven-3D-2-259x300

I had no trouble choosing the #1 book of the year for me. For months after I’d finished reading this one, it continued to haunt me. That, my friends, is the sign of a great story!

It is a gripping tale of an eleven-year-old homeless girl, Copper Penny who has lived on the streets with her mother for years. Their “home” is in the cemetery under an Angel statue. Copper awakes one morning to find her mother gone. She can’t find her anywhere and her search takes her into some scary, dangerous and gritty situations. You can read my full review here.

#2    To Love a Texas Ranger by Linda Broday                  texas-ranger-final

I didn’t choose this book to sit at #2 because Linda Broday is my sister. I chose it because it is such a HUGE story and the introduction to the Men of Legend Series. Stoker Legend has two sons (as far as he knows) and all he ever wanted was for them to help him run one of the largest ranches in Texas, The Lonestar Ranch. But, Sam Legend, has other desires and wants no roots. He is a hard-as-nails Texas Ranger but, a gang of outlaws hangs him and leaves him for dead. After a mysterious man saves his life, he is forced to return to the Lonestar to recuperate. What happens along the way will have you on the edge of your seat! You can read my full review here.

#3     Shadow of the Drill by Rhani D’Chae                          Shadow of the Drill

This is not a genre I normally read, but I was certainly glad I stepped out of my norm and picked up this book. The characters lingered with me long after I’d finished reading the last page. I couldn’t put it down as the story unfolded. Decker, The Drill, is hardened, tough and ruthless. He’s taken on the role of judge, juror and executioner and is on a mission to get revenge for an injustice that won’t stop haunting him. You can read my full review here.

#4      A Thousand Yesteryears by Mae Clair                      AThousandYesteryears_hires

I love character driven stories and this book by Mae Clair fits that description. When Eve Parrish returns to Point Pleasant to settle her aunt’s estate, she is in for more than one surprise. The story is based around a tragic bridge collapse that had happened when Eve was just a child. Many lives were lost including her father’s and her best friend. To cope with the loss, Eve’s mother moved them away and this is the first time she’s returned since the tragedy. I will tell you that this book has everything – romance, strong characters, paranormal, murder and a mythical creature. You can read my full review here.

#5       Lodestone Book 1 (Witch Hunt) by Wendy Scott     Lodestone

I  love paranormal books and was drawn into this one from page one. I couldn’t stop until I reached the end, and even then, I wanted it to continue. I hope that Wendy Scott is writing a sequel to this book…I will be watching for it. Sabrina has been at the ‘Healing School’ since she was a very small child. She finds herself thrown into chaos at her graduation when she learns she is the direct descendant of Lauren, a woman who is considered evil. She is given a diary, written in Lauren’s own hand, along with a sliver of stone, and is told she must leave the school. Now it is up to Sabrina to unravel the mystery surrounding Lauren’s Order and end its reign of terror. You can read my full review here.

#6       Jazz Baby by Beem Weeks                                          A+ Jazz Baby 2 Front Cover

This is a coming-of-age story about Emily Ann “Baby” Teagarten, who can sing. She has one dream and that is to be on the big stage singing Jazz. When she loses both of her parents within a few short months, the man who takes her under his wing seems to be the answer to her dream. But, as we continue through the story, we see the selfish motives of everyone who claims to want to help her. This is another character-driven book and the tragedies that “Baby” had to endure were heart-wrenching to say the least. You can read my full review here.

#7    Daydream’s Daughter/Nighmare’s Friend by Nonnie Jules  daydreams-daughter-cover 

This is a story of unimaginable abuse which eventually leads to murder. My heart broke for this young girl who suffered so much. There seemed to be no escape for her even in adulthood. As the story unfolds, Nonnie takes us inside scenarios that are unfortunately, all too common and all too real in life. You can read my full review here

#8     His Revenge by John Howell                                            his-revenge-resized        

This is the second book in the John Cannon series and again, is not my normal genre to read. However, I loved this book. It is gripping, full of adventure, danger and a high stakes game that can bring this country to its knees. John Cannon, the main character, stumbles into this story simply by chance and where it takes him will keep you on the edge of your seat! You can read my full review here.   

#9     Jem by Michelle Abbott                                                 jem     

The scars of abuse run deep from childhood to adulthood and Jem carries those scars physically and mentally. All he’s known is hatred and pain except for one, his angel, whose kindness he could never forget. He’s tough and determined not to take any crap from anyone. When his “angel” shows up in the oceanside town where he lives, how can he let her know that he’s never forgotten? This is a gripping romance with plenty of hardcore action to keep you turning the pages. You can read my full review here

#10    Novy’s Son – The Selfish Genius by Karen Ingalls     NOVY'S SON     

I gave this story a five star review and believe that every young man, as they come of age, should be required to read it. Murray Clark, the selfish genius, is destined to be a victim his entire life because he never takes responsibility for his own actions. Karen Ingalls takes us through nine decades with Murray’s story and she does it in such a way that the reader never loses interest. She refers to the “Iron John” philosophy throughout the book which turns out to be a story written by Robert Ely as a sort of guide book on how to be a man. Novy’s Son is a MUST READ for all young men!  You can read my full review here.

I cannot end this list of amazing books without mentioning one more.

Emotional Beats: How to Easily Convert your Writing into Palpable Feelings (Author Tools Book 1) by Nicholas Rossis   

emotional-beats

This book is an invaluable resource and reference book for all writers. Because of the way our brains are wired, readers empathize more strongly if you don’t name the emotion you are trying to describe. As soon as you name an emotion, readers go into thinking mode. And when they think about an emotion, they distance themselves from feeling it.

A great way to show anger, fear, indifference, and the whole range of emotions that characterize the human experience, is through beats. These action snippets that pepper dialogue can help describe a wide range of emotions, while avoiding lazy writing. The power of beats lies in their innate ability to create richer, more immediate, deeper writing.

This book includes hundreds of examples that you can use for your inspiration, so that you, too, can harness this technique to easily convert your writing into palpable feelings.

Well, there you have it. I enjoyed these and many more books throughout the year and all but two of these authors I discovered through the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB! It pays to belong! 

Of course, I’d be thrilled if you’d check out my own books and you can find them all here!

Or visit my website for more information!

51hidjsj2xl-_uy250_     51amkqztl-_uy250_    51zrzfrbkjl-_uy250_    51cd-fknmml-_uy250_                                        51mezg9nebl-_uy250_                      texas-shorts                                                           3d_early_rec     online_3d-cd_cover_fortyfoothigh1    online_frontcover_whentherosesbloomagain     etchings_in_stone_updated

 

 

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!