Welcome to Day 5 of the "NO PEDIGREE" Blog Tour! @NonnieJules #RRBC #RWISA @4WillsPub

It is with great pleasure that I turn my blog over to Nonnie Jules where she will tell you about her new book, “No Pedigree.” Nonnie is the founder of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and the RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS.

Giveaways: (2) e-book copies of NO PEDIGREE, (2) $5 Amazon gift cards & (1) 3-Day Weekend blog tour! Total of 5 Winners!  To be entered into the drawing for either of these gifts, you must leave a comment below as well as a comment on the author’s 4WillsPub tour page.

Hi, and thanks for dropping in on Day 5 of my NO PEDIGREE blog tour!  I’d like to thank Jan who is so graciously allowing me her space today so that I can enlighten you a bit more on the troubles of Oklahoma, during 2014, the time period of which this tale was written. 

***

7 YEARS SHORT OF 100 AND NOT MUCH HAD CHANGED

Since NO PEDIGREE was set out of Piedmont, OK beginning in 2014, I thought I’d share some additional data on the area, which will shed a much brighter light on what Baylee had to suffer through – even in the 21st century.

There were 93 years resting between 1921 when the TULSA RACE MASSACRE occurred until 2014 when Baylee arrived in Piedmont.  Sadly, not much had changed. 

In 2015, there was controversy over a racist chant made by a white student at a University of Oklahoma fraternity, which brought attention back on the state’s race relations. 

Even today, reports show that blacks struggle in most of the quality-of-life factors in the state.  Oklahoma is first in the nation for blacks to die at the hands of police officers (this data from those states reporting).  Blacks are about half as likely to own a home, are more likely to go to prison, less likely to go to college and less likely to graduate.

Blacks in Oklahoma are more likely to be the victims of a crime or charged with a crime when compared to their white counterparts and other racial groups.

This atmosphere created a stressful dynamic where some in the black community worked hard to see better policing to keep their neighborhoods safe, but they also felt unfairly targeted by police, which bred mistrust.

Black students were faced with higher rates of school punishment along with higher juvenile arrest rates for violation of zero-tolerance policies.  This helped to create the so-called “school to prison pipeline” by pushing these students out of school.

Even as some states shifted to lighter punishments or legalization for marijuana possession, black Oklahomans were disproportionately charged with possessing the drug.

In 2014, minorities were underrepresented in Oklahoma’s two flagship universities:  The University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State University.  Today, in 2020, this is still the case.  I know this as fact, because I have a child at one of these universities.

Both universities also struggle to retain, and graduate minority students compared with white students.

Oklahoma is rich with history – much of it hidden away.  I’m thankful that I had the opportunity to write NO PEDIGREE, giving me an even greater reason to dig deeper into Oklahoma’s background.  I’m honored to be able to share it with you.

Racism resides everywhere, not just in Oklahoma, but, so does strength, bravery and resilience.  It is up to us to decide which end of that spectrum we want to stand.  Racism is not born, it is bred … and the same goes for strength … it isn’t born – it is modeled.

**Resource:**  Oklahoma Watch News

***

BOOK BLURB…

Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, Baylee never quite fit in… anywhere. She was taunted and teased because her clothes had no designer labels, and spit upon because her only pair of shoes had holes in the bottom. The butt of many jokes, she was excluded from all social activities, sneered at by the parents of her peers after school as she waited for the bus, watching them drive away in their fancy cars; assaulted in the most unthinkable fashion.

Having been born to a white father and a black native American mother didn’t make things any easier. In fact, that circumstance made her life ten times harder – until the day she made them all stand up, take notice, and regret every ugly word and deed they had inflicted upon her.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Hi, I’m Nonnie JulesPresident & Founder of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {RRBC} and RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS {RWISA}.  As a writer who values the (polished) written word, it is my mission to help my fellow authors understand that their reputations as writers should be treated as rare treasure, and that the only way to be taken seriously in this business, is to ensure that your writing (no matter the forum) is impeccably written and well edited.  If not, you’re just another “Joe” with a pen who was the first to raise his hand when Amazon asked, “Hey, any old Joe out there wanna publish a book?  Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be good and there’s absolutely no hard work involved.”

FYI:  If you don’t care what you put out into the world, you’re just a laughingstock in the literary community … and your name is “Joe.”

***

Connect with Nonnie via Twitter:  @nonniejules

To purchase your own copy of NO PEDIGREE, https://www.amazon.com/NO-PEDIGREE-Really-Short-Story-ebook/dp/B083SB1RMN/

To learn more about Nonnie and other ways to connect with her, please drop in on her RRBC Author Page!

To follow along with the rest of the NO PEDIGREE blog tour, visit the author’s tour page.

If you’d like to schedule your own 4WillsPub tour to promote your books in similar fashion, click HERE.

Welcome to Day 10 of the #RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! #RRBC @JohnJFioravanti #RWISARevolutionTour

Welcome to Day 10, the final day of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! We’d like to introduce you to an amazing supporter and RWISA member, Author, John J. Fioravanti!

We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of his profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

Lastly, we ask that you support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

RWISA Profile

What John J. Fioravanti has to say about RWISA…

John has a book he’d like to introduce you to!

AMAZON PURCHASE LINK

Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE: If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave us a comment and a “LIKE” below!

And if you’re looking for a great book to read, John has a couple of recommendations!

Welcome to Day 6 of the #RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! #RRBC @RhaniDChae #RWISARevolutionTour

Welcome to Day 6 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! We’d like to introduce you to an amazing supporter and RWISA member, Author, Rhani D’Chae.

We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of her profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

Lastly, we ask that you support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

RWISA Profile

What Rhani has to say about RWISA…

Rhani has a book she’d like to introduce you to:

“SHADOW OF THE DRILL” 

Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE: If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave us a comment and a “LIKE” below!

Welcome to Day 5 of the #RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! #RRBC @BeemWeeks #RWISARevolutionTour

Welcome to Day 5 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! We’d like to introduce you to an amazing supporter and RWISA member, Beem Weeks.

We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of her profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

Lastly, we ask that you support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

What Beem has to say about RWISA!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite to membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Beem has a book he’d like to introduce you to!

AMAZON PURCHASE LINK

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave us a comment and a “LIKE” below!

Welcome to Day 4 of the #RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! #RRBC @PeggyHattendorf #RWISARevolutionTour

Welcome to Day 4 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! We’d like to introduce you to an amazing supporter and RWISA member, Peggy Hattendorf.

We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of her profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

Lastly, we ask that you support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

What Peggy has to say about RWISA!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite to membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Click Here to visit Peggy Hattendorf’s RWISA Member Page!

Peggy has a book she’d love to introduce you to!

PURCHASE LINK

Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE: If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave us a comment and a “LIKE” below!

Interview on Heather Kindt’s blog today! #RRBC #RWISA

Today I’m traveling. Well, not literally, but RWISA author, Heather Kindt, has featured me in an interview on her blog site today. I’d be thrilled if you’d stop by and leave a comment!

http://heatherkindt.com/2020/02/09/interview-with-author-jan-sikes/

Heather is the first graduate student from RWISA University! Congrats to her! 

I’ve closed comments here and hope that you’ll visit her site and read my interview! Thank you!

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!

My Short Stories Won!! #RRBC

I am truly speechless! To have TWO of my short stories as 1st and 2nd place winners in this International short story contest is beyond my belief!! I am honored and humbled!

These two stories are available on Amazon for only 99 cents!

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.

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.

I’d be thrilled and honored if you’d pick them up today!! You can see all of my books on my Amazon Author Page!

I want to give a HUGE “Thank You” to those who have already purchased, read and reviewed these stories!

But most of all, Thank You to the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB and Nonnie Jules for providing opportunities such as this contest! And to the RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA) because it inspires and pushes me to be a better writer!

How do your value yourself as a writer?

I saw something the other day about how we perceive ourselves in our everyday worlds and it got me thinking about how we see ourselves as writers. How much value do you place on yourself as a writer?

And what does that even mean? It may mean something different to each one of us because we are unique individuals. But, there are some aspects of writing that are the same for all. In this world of self-publishing where anyone can upload a book to Amazon, we have all experienced running across books that are sub-par in every aspect from grammar and punctuation to dialogue and unbelievable characters. What kind of impression does that leave with you about the writer?

I do not want to be known as a writer who produces work riddled with errors. Of course, we make mistakes. We are human. But, to gain credibility in this over-crowded industry, we must strive to make every aspect of our written communication as perfect as possible.

That doesn’t mean just our books. That means our blogs, our tweets, our facebook posts and our emails as well. It all reflects on us as self-claimed professionals.

But, in order to value our writing, we must first value ourselves!

I never thought about my self-image reflecting in my writing, especially with writing fiction. After all, it’s a made-up world with made-up people. But, the part that reflects is the pride we take in our writing. For me it all starts with a clean uncluttered writing space (again, I know we are all different). If my work space is clear, my mind is more at ease and I can get into a creative flow.

Expressing the scene we see in our minds is not always the easiest thing to do. When we start to put it into words, if we don’t choose the best descriptive words possible, the scene starts to get fuzzy around the edges and can fade. I use tools. Next to my computer, I have three reference books I grab often. “Emotional Beats” by Nicholas Rossis (who is a member of RRBC) is a fantastic tool to find a more descriptive way to show an emotion, as is “The Emotion Thesaurus” by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman. Those gals know how to put it all together as does Nicholas! The third book I reach for is “Strong Verbs Strong Voice” by Ann Everett.

The saying comes to mind about doing things right the first time. Any extra effort is reflected in our work. So, even though it might take a few more minutes to reach for one of these tools, it’s worth it in the end product. And, our work is a product.

Another aspect of valuing ourselves comes from valuing others. I know that may sound strange, but it is true. Don’t compare yourself to other writers because there are always going to be writers better than you. And even if your best friend, who has been only writing since last spring, did get published, you can’t wallow in self-doubt that you’re not good enough. Take this negative comparing energy and move it towards positive creating energy. Your time will come. Get back into your chair and create! Oh, and create some good karma and congratulate your friend with love and sincerity.

When I was accepted as a member into the RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, I knew I had to “up” my game. It is advertised and promoted as the place where the best writers within RRBC reside. And, it has been a great motivator for me. I now proof every email, tweet, FB post and blog post before I hit the publish button. Why? Because I don’t want bad writing to reflect on the organization that so kindly accepted me as a member. AND, I don’t want to be that writer who is criticized for constant grammatical errors. I do value myself as a writer!

If you want others to value you as a writer, it all starts with YOU. Take pride in your work and value what you do. I have read some of the best books in my life written by indie authors! Slowly but surely, we are breaking the misconception that all indie writers are writing slobs. And it all goes back to valuing yourself as an author!

I loved this when I ran across it. Don’t mark your price tag down. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you see yourself as a professional in an industry that is over-saturated with sloppy work. We can continue to change that one great story at a time!

Welcome to the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! Day 9#RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 9 of the WATCH “RWISA” Write Showcase Blog Tour!

Today, I welcome Author, Mary A. Adler to my humble abode!

BLACK NOTES BEAT

Mary A. Adler

I have studied and observed crows for years, and the more I’ve learned about them, the more I admire their complex family and flock relationships. They are intelligent, create and use tools, and they teach their skills to other crows. As Rev. Henry Ward Beecher said, “If men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.”

Over the years, I have told my family and friends more than they ever wanted to know about crows. One person said, after hearing the stories I told about them, that she stopped trying to run crows down with her car. (There is so much wrong with that statement, that I don’t know where to begin.)

During the non-nesting period of the year, crows gather at night to roost together, sometimes in flocks of thousands. They are stealthy and take a roundabout way to the roosting place. They have good reason to be wary. For decades, humans have killed them, even dynamiting their roosting places at night.

Like many natural creatures, they are good and bad, depending on your viewpoint, and not everyone appreciates their beauty. But I love to watch them streaming across the sky–one small group after another–as they return from foraging to join the flock. When they are together, those who have found a safe source of food will tell the others where it is. They share, but only within their own flock.

One evening, after watching them move across the sky, I wrote this:

Black Notes Beat

Black notes beat

Unfurling dusk

                Across the bruising sky.

Quarter notes, half notes

Rise and fall.

Whole notes

        Rest on treetops.

An arpeggio of eighth notes

        Silently swirls,

Scribing a nocturne

in the fading light.

Softly they spill

        to the nighttime roost:

Rustling,

        murmuring,

                settling,

                        hushed.

Now the still moment,

the last note fading,

No bows, no curtsies,

No fear of reviews.

They need no applause to perform their works.

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:

Mary A. Adler’s Author Page

Please take a minute to check out Mary’s newest book, Shadowed by Death!


Blurb:

San Francisco, 1944. Sophia Nirenska, a Polish resistance fighter who survived the Warsaw ghetto uprising, finds safety in California until someone tries to kill her. She insists political enemies want to silence her, but homicide detective Oliver Wright, on medical leave from the Marines, believes the motive is more personal. He and his German shepherd, Harley, try to protect Sophia, but she insists on doing things her own way—a dangerous decision. 

Oliver guards Sophia as they travel from an Italian cafe in Richmond to communist chicken farmers in Petaluma where her impetuous actions put them both in mortal danger. 

When Oliver rescues a girl and her dog who are running for their lives, he discovers the dark secret at the heart of the threat to Sophia, a secret with its roots in Poland. When he does, he is forced to choose between enforcing the law as he knows it and jeopardizing Sophia or accepting a rougher kind of justice.

Shadowed by Death accurately portrays the fears and troubles of the communities of northern California as they bear the burdens of World War II and celebrate the gift of finding family among strangers.  

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