SUNSHINE BLOGGER AWARD!

I am beyond honored to receive several nominations for the Sunshine Blogger Award!!

Thank you, D.L. Finn, Sally Cronin, Ron Yates and Gwen Plano for the nominations!

That gives me 44 questions to answer and I’m not going to attempt to do that, so I am going to answer three questions from each blogger, focusing on the ones that are most relevant.

Gwen Plano asks:

  1. What motivates you to write? Honestly, the biggest motivation for me to write is a new inspiration for a story. If I am in the middle of one story and get a big idea for another, it takes all my patience to simply jot a few notes and keep going with what I am working on. There is nothing like the adrenaline rush I get when a new story idea arrives!
  2. Do you eavesdrop on your characters, or craft them to fit the story? This question has more than one answer. When I was writing my first four books, true stories, the characters were already created. My job was just to relate the story. But, having written several stories since then, that are pure fiction, I have to say that I definitely eavesdrop on them. In fact, I have conversations with them and have interviewed some to get answers to situations. One that comes to mind was for a book that I have written and have waiting in the wings. I couldn’t decide on my main character’s name, so I interviewed his mother (of course all of this took place in my head.) But, the result was the character’s name, Jag, and the story about why she gave him the name. She loved Mick Jagger. 🙂
  3. How do you structure your time to make room for writing? I chose this question to answer because it is such a huge ongoing issue for me. Besides still working outside the home part-time, I also write for a music magazine that involves interviewing artists as well as reviewing new music. I try to give as much time as I can every day to supporting the wonderful authors at the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and RWISA. I have five grandchildren and make a strong effort to attend their events and spend time with them often. I also love to read and do so almost daily. I blog regularly and support other bloggers. I try to visit my various social media platforms daily. So, you can see I have a full schedule. I haven’t yet figured out how to juggle it all so that there is time for writing. Often, it gets shoved to the back burner, but I’m constantly working on improving my time management. I’m open to any and all suggestions!

Sally Cronin asks:

4. What is the most daring thing you have done? For those who have read “The Convict and the Rose,” you probably know the answer to this question. Back in the seventies, I went to Dallas with a guy who rode a Harley and was trying to get into The Banditos motorcycle club. While we were at the Dallas house, another motorcycle club threatened a war and I was put at a window with a loaded gun and told to shoot anyone that came into view. There is no way in hell I could have ever pulled that trigger. In fact, I’d never even held a gun before and I was scared out of my wits. Thankfully, it all ended without incident and the party continued. When I look back on it, there is absolutely NO doubt that I had a guardian Angel!

5. Name one item that is still on your bucket list. I have such a strong desire to visit Ireland and Scotland. It is the land of my ancestors and I am drawn there by a strong connection. When I watched Outlander, the desire grew even stronger. Someday before I leave this life, I will make that journey and I can’t wait!

Isle of Skye – Scotland

6. What is your favorite movie of all time? While I’m not a big movie buff, I do enjoy a good show that moves me in some way. I have to say “A Star Is Born” is that for me. I have seen both the one from the seventies with Kristofferson and Streisand and the newest with Lady GaGa and Bradley Cooper multiple times and will watch them again and again!

D.L. Finn Asks:

7. How long have you been blogging? I created my blog site in May 2014. However, until the last three years, it was hit and miss blogging. I got serious about it and have now made 671 posts and my following has slowly built. I believe the keys to a successful blog are consistency and content.

8. Do Blogs encourage you to purchase books? Oh yes! Most definitely! I love reading others’ reviews and that influences my decision to purchase.

9. What do you write about in your blogs and why? The answer to that question is as varied as my blogs. 🙂 I love supporting other authors and Indie music artists. So, you will find anything that relates to words in any form on my blog. In the past, I’ve posted story series on my blog. I’ve posted CD reviews on my blog as well as book reviews. Most recently, I had the inspiration to create a #TarotTuesday on my blog. The idea was taken from Taco Tuesdays where across the nation you can find Tacos for 99 cents on Tuesdays. I draw a Tarot card and tell its meaning every Tuesday. I have really enjoyed this. Not only is it a great way to learn more about Tarot, but to offer uplifting and encouraging messages.

Ron Yates Asks:

10. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer or blogger? I’ve written all my life, but I never imagined myself as an author. That was my sister’s dream, not mine. My dreams always went in the direction of music. But, after my husband passed away I felt a huge nudge to get our story told. However, it took a while before the realization hit me that I would have to tell it. I seriously thought someone else would. So, when reality set in, there was nothing for me to do but educate myself on the craft of storytelling and get to work. Now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

11. What do you think makes a good story? A good story must be well-written, as error-free as possible and have compelling characters that drive the plot. I read all genres and the same holds true for all. I love unforgettable characters. And while I may eventually forget some part of the plot, I never forget a character that comes alive and takes me along on the journey.

12. If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be and why? I realize my answer to this question is going to sound a bit strange, but it is sincere. The one person I would want to have dinner with is my deceased husband. I have so much to tell him and show him. He has grandchildren he never got to meet and I would enjoy showing him pictures. I’d love to hand him a copy of the books I wrote about us, along with the poetry and art book that was his. And I would ask him a million questions about the afterlife! Then, I would write one helluva blog to tell you all about it!

Rick and Jan Sikes

That’s it. I thank each one who nominated me for this beautiful award! I apologize for not answering all the questions, but I am huge advocate for short easy-to-read blogs.

Please take the time to visit the four bloggers who nominated me at their sites and follow them, if you don’t already!

D.L. Finn

Sally Cronin

Gwen Plano

Ron Yates

I know that here is where I am supposed to post the rules and nominate 11 more bloggers, but quite honestly, I think all the bloggers who follow my blog have been nominated already. So, I will leave it at that. Thanks so much for taking time to read my Q&A!

Flowers And Stone – Book Review

I want to offer a HUGE “Thank You” to Rox Burkey for this incredibly poignant review of “Flowers and Stone!”

Honestly, I have known this author for a long time. I’ve listened to her play guitar, heard the sadness when she shared some details of her life and love of Rick Sikes, and cheered loudly at her achievements and awards. I had only read a few of her poems and a short story, until she suggested I consider Flowers and Stone.  

After book one of this first series, I am truly hooked on her writing. In this debut novel, Jan Sikes creates the scenes in a way that makes you feel you are a part of the story. I could hear the music, see characters with their smiles and tears, and more than once had to dry my eyes as emotions coursed through me at different places in this story.

This complex love story centers around Luke Stone and Darlina Flowers, an unlikely couple at first glance. Luke, an experienced musician and older man, and Darlina a young inexperienced woman, learn many lessons from each other. I like how Luke, smitten early on for this special girl, goes to extraordinary lengths to find out if he should be serious. Ms. Sikes details the steps leading up to this meeting, though this meeting touched a chord of sweetness in my heart and kept me until the end of this book.

“             The bell rang, announcing someone’s arrival.  She half turned. “May I…” She paused in mid-question, shocked to see Luke standing there with the trademark crooked grin on his face. “…Help you?” she finished.

               “That is exactly what I’ve been asking myself,” Luke replied.

               “What are you doing here?”

               “I came to see if you were for real or a figment of my imagination.”

               “For real?”

               Luke’s smile widened, “Yes, for real. You see, I thought maybe I just made you up so had to come and see.”

               Darlina didn’t reply, and Luke quickly continued, I brought you a little something.”

               She stood and walked to the open window that separated her and Luke. “Okay, what did you bring me and more importantly, why? After all, you barely know me.”

               She wondered what kind of strings might be attached to any gift from Luke Stone.

               Luke fished the small box out of his pocked and handed it to her. Their hands briefly touched, and an electrical current passed between them. She looked up at Luke, then down at the box.

               “Open it,” Luke encouraged.

               Darlina gasped as she opened the box to find the delicate gold heart necklace. “Oh, Luke, how beautiful. I’m not sure what to say.”

               “Well, you could say thank you, and you could say that you’ll have dinner with me, just me, and you could say that you’ll give a chance to redeem myself.”

From this point forward I was drawn into the story as these people travel down the road of growing up, growing together, and realizing their differences are key to their magic. In many ways he is a rogue and she is naïve, but in the 70s the music and freedom was what they both wanted and needed. Its easy to recommend this love story to college age and above. There is more to the story and thankfully more books in the series.

About the author

Author Jan Sikes

Multi-Award-Winning author, Jan Sikes, has been called a wordsmith by her peers. Jan openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author, but she had a story to tell.  Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation.

She published four biographical fiction books about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love. True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories.

Jan also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.

Jan has published a book of poetry and art and nine short stories.

Author Jan Sikes is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, and the Executive Council at Rave Writers’ Int’l Society of Authors. She is also a member of the Writer’s League of Texas and Authors Marketing Guild.

Connect through Jan’s website: http://www.jansikes.com
Follow Jan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks
Follow Jan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rijanjks
Follow Jan’s Blog: http://www.rijanjks.wordpress.com    

I want to invite you to visit Rox Burkey’s blog site and if it interests you, please follow her! She is an avid book reviewer!

New Look! #RRBC

Happy New Year to all my wonderful followers!

I’d like to invite you to visit the ALL-NEW RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB at our new location RaveReviewsBookClub.wordpress.com.

This international book club of which I am a proud member, has a new home, new URL and new look!

But, it’s still the same organization with the same mission: {The Mission and Goal of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB are to Profile, Promote & Propel the careers of Indie authors.   The only way that we can do that, is by supporting each of our authors with book sales and HONEST reviews. 

The RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB is a not just an organization, it’s a community. Our mantra at RRBC is those that are most supportive here, are the ones who are most supported here.  Those who are expecting to add their name to our roster and then just disappear without making any connections within the club, or without supporting any of their fellow members, probably won’t get out of it what they are expecting.  What you put in, is what you’ll get out.

So, while the premise, mission and guidelines for RRBC haven’t changed, if you take a look, you’ll find lots of new and amazing opportunities within the club such as a LITERARY SESSIONS LIBRARY AUTHOR PAGESRRBC CIRCLE OF BOOKSRRBC FREE TO REVIEW!

RRBC has a huge catalog of all genres! RRBC CATALOG I read at least 80% from this catalog and I’d love to find your book listed!

You will not find an organization anywhere in the world that offers what the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB does! If you are an Indie Author struggling to keep your boat afloat in a huge sea of other books and authors, take a look at this club and see if it possibly fits your needs. But, I want to stress again that TO BE SUPPORTED, YOU MUST GIVE SUPPORT TO OTHERS! That’s how it works.

Want to know more?

FAQ

HOW RRBC PROFILES, PROMOTES, PROPELS

JOIN

If this interests you, as an Indie or Traditionally published author, and you decide to join, please give my name as the person who referred you! I’d be honored!

New Release! The Enigma Beyond! @1rburkey @EnigmaSeries

Award-winning authors, Rox Burkey and Charles Breakfield are releasing Book #11 in their Enigma Series and it is available for pre-order for only 99 cents!

It is my pleasure to turn my blog site over to them today to talk about The Enigma Beyond!

Imagine what happens when technology outruns our humanity? Humans have turned over their decision making to Artificial Intelligence driven supercomputers. Or, was it simply confiscated?  Next generation computers are not just tracking our movements, or answering questions. Now they are delivering manufactured choices to each person through their ever-pervasive personal devices. The seduction of mankind is eminent unless our champions can stop them.

Jacob, Petra, Quip, EZ, Julie, and Juan, the current heads of the R-Group, are in for the winner-take-all fight. They use their programming, technology advancement, communications, and encryption to help their own next generation youth. They are poised to take on one of their most complex adversaries, AI enhanced supercomputers run by greedy, powerful technological geniuses. The training for the new members of the R-Group is live, in the form of a real world cyber assault crisis. ICABOD, the R-Group’s own customized supercomputer, is their best weapon in this battle.

With corporate self-discipline gone and the power of US Congressional oversight crippled, the dominance of the technical oligopolies has risen to a position where they  dictate their terms. Not satisfied to dominate commerce, they feel they are better decision points for running the planet.

MAG, the  consortium of global technology predators, have united to bring their insidious plans to fruition, capitalizing on using humans’ desire for the easy and effortless lifestyles, even as it steals their freedoms. For freedom oriented groups caught in the cyber crosshairs, time has already run out. The social media noise has been weaponized and blinds humanity to what is actually happening. MAG uses social media to seize control of politics, healthcare, finances, and defense systems.

Award winning authors, Breakfield and Burkey, take readers into the depths of humanity’s newest menace in their 11th book in The Enigma Series. We are on a one way trip to keeping or giving up our most precious human quality, the freedom to choose. No one saw it coming when they built computers to ease their work and improve life. Where are the guardrails to protect humans from giving up too much? Can humanity take back control? See how fast you can determine who wins in the AI Wars.

Here is a recent Editorial Review! https://literarytitan.com/2020/01/01/the-enigma-beyond/

Purchase Link: The Enigma Beyond

These authors are members of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB! You can find more of their books in the RRBC Catalog!

Jan Sikes Top-Ten Book List for 2019

AND THE WINNER IS!! I am ashamed to say that I almost forgot to draw a winner for this blog post, BUT, I saved myself at the last minute. 🙂 The winner of the $10 Amazon Gift card is Stephanie Ortiz Jenkins!! Stephanie watch your inbox! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

It is always a challenge to pick just ten books from the many books I read each year. Because it was so difficult this year, I have listed a Bonus book and also some fabulous short stories. I hope you enjoy my Top Ten, and if you see a book that catches your interest, click on the purchase link and add it to your TBR list!

PURCHASE LINK: WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING

PURCHASE LINK: THE MAGIC STRINGS OF FRANKIE PRESTO

PURCHASE LINK: WHATEVER IT TAKES

PURCHASE LINK: THE OUTLAW’S MAIL ORDER BRIDE

PURCHASE LINK: VOYAGE OF THE LANTERNFISH

PURCHASE LINK: END OF DAY

PURCHASE LINK: VANISHED

PURCHASE LINK: MEMOIR OF A MAD WOMAN

PURCHASE LINK: THE LOVE THAT DARE NOT SPEAK ITS NAME

PURCHASE LINK: WHEN CAN I STOP RUNNING?

PURCHASE L INK: REFLECTIONS

PURCHASE LINKS: RAVE WRITER’S INT’S SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA) ANTHOLOGY VOL I

CASTE METAL

VISITORS: A SHORT STORY MYSTERY

RED EYES IN THE DARKNESS – A SHORT STORY

MEGAMAX

SLIMMER

And, last but not least, I will be giving away a $10 Amazon Gift card to some lucky person! Just leave a comment and share this post to be entered! MERRY CHRISTMAS!! HO! HO! HO!

#RRBC Pay It Forward Day! Meet Author, Karl Morgan

Today is one of my favorite events at the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB! It’s the day we set aside our own “buy my book” efforts to support someone else.

I choose to support author, Karl J. Morgan, a super supportive member of RRBC!

Words and numbers are my life. As an accountant and author of numerous fantasy novels, I am realizing my life’s purpose. Storytelling is a big part of my life, whether novels or business cases. My tales are always action-packed and full of surprises. I write from my laptop in sunny Southern California. I invite you to join the adventure.

Connect with Karl via…

Twitter:  @KarlJMorgan

Facebook

Blog:

Join The Adventure!

“WHO’S ON THE SHELF” w/Nonnie Jules Interview 

Buy Karl’s Books!!!

The Carl Prescott series is young adult fantasy, and the tale is just beginning. These books tell the story of four friends who discover their amazing talents and begin incredible adventures together. The books so far are: The Sleeping One and The Demon Queen.

The four-part Revolution series is a dystopian fiction story, which follows young Jack Kennedy, his family, and friends as they flee a corrupt government which has almost destroyed the United States of America. The tales are both raw and violent. Our hero must somehow change the course of history to restore the nation. The books are: 212121222123, and 2125.

The Modern Prophet series tells the story of four different protagonists. Three of the stories involve the battle between ultimate good and evil. The Reluctant Prophet is different, and brings back a connection to some key players from the Dave Brewster series. The series includes: Two DoorsThe Reluctant ProphetHand of God, and Demonic.

The Dave Brewster science fiction series is the first I created. The books tell the story of our hero who is summoned to the future to restart humanity’s drive out into space. As his crew encounters new life forms and distant worlds, his network of friends and enemies grows. The titles are: Showdown over NeptuneThe Second Predaxian WarThe HiveTears of Gallia, and The Accord.

The Heartstone series was my first fantasy series. The hero discovers a magic stone buried under the Earth that connects our planet to others throughout the universe. Unfortunately, that stone has also led terrible dangers to our planet. Let us hope Henry Marshall can learn to control the power of the Heartstone before all is lost. The two books in this series are: Sentinels of Far Sun, and The Time Walker.

These books were not written as part of a series. Each stands on its own. Whistlestop and The Old House are fantasies. Remembrances is a spiritual self-help tome. These stories are: RemembrancesWhistlestop, and The Old House.

Now, isn’t that quite the catalog? Wow!! Please share this everywhere on social media today and let’s lift and support Karl J. Morgan!

#RRBC Spotlight Author Blog Tour – D.L. Finn

It is such an honor to host this amazing lady on my blog site today! And congratulations to D.L. Finn for sitting in the RRBC Spotlight Author seat for November!

I have read this beautiful book of poetry, and I can tell you first-hand, it is a true work of art! I highly recommend it. Okay, D.L., I’ll turn it over to you!

Thank you, Jan, for having me on your blog for day two of the “Just Her Poetry” Spotlight Tour!

Finn Facts:

  1. I broke my foot on Friday the 13th, tripping over our black cat.
  2. I dislike mushrooms.

Blurb:

Take a journey with D.L. Finn as she blends her love of nature with her deepest emotions. Sit with her on the forest floor observing its tranquil beauty, or stroll along the ocean’s shore admiring the vastness of its horizon. Here in these peaceful moments you’ll be able to experience her thoughts and feelings in the light—and in the darkness. This is a thought-provoking collection of poetry that invites the reader into all the seasons of a soul.

Excerpt from Just Her Poetry: NATURE Fall and Winter

RED

Outside my kitchen window,

The dogwood trees light up the forest.

In their golden-pink and red splendor,

It is startling against the deep green.

Just like the bloom of a flower,

It is a temporary but satisfying pleasure.

Soon, the leaves will scatter on the land,

And the trees will stand brown and bare.

The chill of the impeding winter,

And their hibernation is coming.

But for now they give us,

The beauty of a red fall.

Where magic abounds…

And memories happen…

Where each walk is special…

And every glance rewarded…

When the nights are cooler…

And the days are growing shorter…

This is the gift of fall.

Not only a time to harvest our crops,

But harvest our perceptions.

This will carry us over until spring,

When the landscape bursts into life again.

But for now we enjoy the encore of beauty,

In the stunning red hue that flows from fall.

Amazon Purchase Link

D.L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA. She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, and adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventures with an open invitation for her readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

I do hope you’ll join us at each stop along D.L. Finn’s Spotlight Tour! For a complete list of blogs, visit #RRBC November Spotlight Author page!

Welcome to “MOMENTS WE LOVE” Blog Tour! @BalroopShado @4WillsPub #RRBC

It is my pleasure today to host Balroop Singh and her newest book of poetry!

Moments of fragrant love that stand frozen in time, of dreams that dare not unfold, of passion that fleets by, of erratic joy that we meet at the crossroads of life, butterflies of time that add color to our dark moments to scare the demons away – I have gathered all of them in this book. Some of them whisper softly to create a magical aura while spring of life sings with them, trying to wipe silent tears. Mother Nature steps in with all her grandeur to breath quiet messages of tranquility.

Each poem would soothe your emotions with élan and add a dash of color to your life. Life – that doesn’t halt for your sad moments; that just floats by. You just need to dive in to soak in myriads of moments to discover how it could ignite positive tones. All the poems in this collection are imaginary but inspired from people around me, some of whom chose to share their frustrations and tremors with me. Sometimes I could read between the lines to pen my thoughts down.

Memories and moments merge here

Today when I return to share

The glow of rainbows

Embers of emotional entreaties

And smoldering debris.

Buying links:

US UK DE FR ES IT NL JP BR CA MX AU IN

Excerpt from Moments We Love:

Thaw

The warmth of walking beside you

Just like wrapping that old blanket

The wait for your cold arm

Yearning to reach me

That ear shattering peace

Eased by the doves above

Icy winds – a somber reminder

Of fragile emotional embankments

A laconic reply – a clear message

Yet those sunbeams

Dappling on the alienated path

Alluring us toward each other

Embers are alive within

Mist around the eyes is receding

As I could hear unspoken words

Echoing smoldering emotions

Which were buried

At the behest of hubris.

© Balroop Singh

Author Bio:

Balroop Singh, a former teacher and an educationalist always had a passion for writing.  She is a poet, a creative non-fiction writer, a relaxed blogger and a doting grandma. She writes about people, emotions and relationships. Her poetry highlights the fact that happiness is not a destination but a chasm to bury agony, anguish, grief, distress and move on! No sea of solitude is so deep that it can drown us. Sometimes aspirations are trampled upon, the boulders of exploitation and discrimination may block your path but those who tread on undeterred are always successful.

When turbulences hit, when shadows of life darken, when they come like unseen robbers, with muffled exterior, when they threaten to shatter your dreams, it is better to break free rather than get sucked by the vortex of emotions.

A self-published author, she is the poet of Sublime Shadows of Life,  Emerging From Shadows and Timeless Echoes – her widely acclaimed poetry books. She has also written When Success Eludes, Emotional Truths Of Relationships, Allow Yourself to be a Better Person, her latest poetry bookMoments We Love has just been released.

Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.

You can visit her blog at: https://balroop2013.wordpress.com

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.  

Thanks for supporting this author and her work!  

Welcome to “THE MEREST LOSS” Blog Tour! @StevenNeil12 @4WillsPub

GUEST BLOG!

Today, I welcome Steven Neil to my blogsite to tell you about his latest book.

And, there are Giveaways!!

Steven is giving away (3) Signed Paperback copies of “THE MEREST LOSS.”  For your chance to win, be sure to leave him a comment below.

Take it away, Steven!

A story of love and political intrigue, set against the backdrop of the English hunting shires and the streets of Victorian London and post-revolutionary Paris.

Character Studies

I always draft character studies of my main characters and keep them close when I am writing. The more detail the better and the more likely it is that continuity errors can be avoided. Here are some extracts for three characters in my 19th century historical romance novel The Merest Loss.

Harriet Howard b. 1823

Harriet is born Elizabeth Ann Harryet. She is the daughter of Joseph Gawan Harryet, self styled Squire but actually a boot maker and son of a Brighton hotel owner. Joseph Harryet inherits wealth when his father dies and the hotel is sold.

     Elizabeth has a private education and is coached to achieve her father’s ambition for her that she should enter society and marry well.

     The young Elizabeth is beautiful, capricious, and precocious. She has a touch of arrogance about her. Whilst disguised as a boy, aged thirteen she has an encounter with a livery yard owner and attempts to secure a hunter hireling from him:

     ‘Well find me something else and be quick about it. I am Squire Harryet’s son and he wishes me to hunt in his place. We are guests of the Duke and I am keeping him waiting. And you sir are keeping me waiting.’

     As she becomes a young woman she retains her flamboyance but adds charm and humility to her personality. She is a talented mimic and has a wicked sense of humour. She has ambitions to be an actress.

     When she meets Jem Mason she is infatuated with him and runs away to live with him in London when she is still only fifteen.

     She is the heroine.

Jem Mason b. 1816

Jem Mason is born in Stilton, Cambridgeshire and is the son of John Mason; horse dealer to the gentry and very wealthy as a consequence.

     Jem is educated at Huntingdon Grammar School and later given private tuition. He is a talented rider from a young age and destined to become a successful jockey.

     Jem is handsome, elegant, well-dressed, slim, tall, gifted and athletic. He is also witty, smart, charming, and charismatic and has an easy, confident manner.

     He smokes cigars and drinks champagne. He likes the opera, ballet and the theatre.

     One story told about him is that when walking the steeplechase course at Stratford, in company with other jockeys, they come to two options: a five-bar gate and a bullfinch (a tall birch hedge which is jumped through rather than over). One of the jockeys asks Jem whether he would have the fence or the gate.

     ‘I’ll be hanged if I am going to scratch my face. I’m going to the opera tonight. I shall have the gate, forty miles an hour, and defy any man in England to follow me’

     The Sporting Life described him as ‘a lath-like elegant figure, beautiful seat and hands and a very quick eye.’

     When Jem and Harriet (then Elizabeth) meet they are immediately attracted to each other.

Major Francis Mountjoy Martin b. 1808

Francis Mountjoy Martin is the son of Charles Fuller Martin, former Sherriff of Calcutta who was by all accounts a rather eccentric character. Francis and his brother are reputedly the sons of an Indian mother.

     Francis is public school and Eton educated and becomes a Guards officer. He is the perfect gentleman. He is stiff, polite and very correct. He is tall, chivalrous and well-spoken. He is also quite shy in company and can speak with a stammer. He is artistic and also a musician and plays the violin

     In the novel he is an operational officer in the British Secret Service. He works for Nicholas Sly, Head of Espionage, French Operations.

     He is Harriet’s cover story and she lives under his ‘guardianship’ in London. It is believed that he is the father of Harriet’s son. It is ambiguous whether Harriet and Francis have a relationship or whether it is a business arrangement.

     He apparently provides a home and a trust fund for Harriet as he is not free to marry. This lends credibility to her wealth. In reality the money is provided by the British Government which is grooming Harriet to seduce Louis Napoleon.

     He acts as a sympathetic mentor to Harriet as the novel develops.

PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amazon France: https://www.amazon.fr/Merest-Loss-English-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amzon Au: https://www.amazon.com.au/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Amazon Ca: https://www.amazon.ca/Merest-Loss-Steven-Neil-ebook/dp/B077D9SHB5

Follow Steven Neil on https://twitter.com/stevenneil12 for information on how to purchase the paperback through an independent bookseller in the UK.

Bio

Steven has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics, a BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from the Open University and an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. He has been a bookmaker’s clerk, bloodstock agent, racehorse breeder and management consultant amongst other professions in his varied career. He is married and lives in rural Northamptonshire, England. The Merest Loss is his debut novel.

Twitter

@stevenneil12

IAN author page

https://www.independentauthornetwork.com/steven-neil.html

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.  Thanks for supporting this author and his work! 

Welcome to the #RRBC October-Ween Book, Blog & Trailer Block Party!

Hi and “WELCOME” to Rave Reviews Book Club’s BOOK, BLOG & TRAILER BLOCK PARTY  “Writing and Music!”

AND THE WINNERS ARE:

$10 AMAZON GIFT CARDS!FORREST STEPNOWSKI AND MARK BIERMAN

ONE (1) eBOOK “JEWEL”CASSIDY SALEM

ONE (1) eBOOK “A SOLDIER’S CHILDREN” – MIRIAM HURDLE

ONE (1) eBOOK “VOODOO OR DESTINY: YOU DECIDE”WATCHINGTHE DAISIES (BRIGID GALLAGHER

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL FIVE WINNERS!

If you are new to my blog, I do hope you’ll take a minute to look around and if you like what you see, please follow me!

Since this is a month-long book, blog and trailer block party, I decided I’d give your eyes a break and let your ears do the work at this stop today.

Below you’ll find a short excerpt from “JEWEL” and one from “A SOLDIER’S CHILDREN.”

am SO super proud of these short stories as JEWEL won the Grand Prize in the recent 90-Day Alpha/Omega Beginning to End Short Story Contest sponsored by the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB!

A SOLDIER’S CHILDREN received an honorable mention!

Now, here is an excerpt from JEWEL!

Excerpt from A SOLDIER’S CHILDREN!

And now just for fun, a tune I wrote and recorded several years ago. Enjoy!

Once again, thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of this post.  Good luck on winning my giveaways!  I’ll see you at the next stop of this awesome BLOCK PARTY!