#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!

#RRBC’s Spotlight Author for September – @JohnJFioravanti #RWISA

Hello, and welcome to the next stop on the RRBC Spotlight Author Blog Tour for the amazing author, John Fioravanti!

It is an honor to introduce you to John and his work!

The REFLECTIONS Blog Tour

I’m grateful to my host of this fifth post of the REFLECTIONS TOUR, and to Nonnie Jules and the #RRBC Team who arranged it all!

Reflection 26 – Love Yourself – You’re Worth It!

“You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.”

~ Buddha

Buddhism is based upon the teachings of Gautama Buddha who taught in eastern India over twenty-five centuries ago. His philosophy sought a middle way between unbridled sensuality and a-self discipline that denied any sensual pleasure. His teachings were handed down by oral tradition until put into writing four centuries later.

I read this quote twice to make sure I got it right the first time. My immediate reaction was, Really?  On reading his words a third time, there came a glimmer of understanding. As I began to see his meaning, I realized that it is my own life experience that allowed me not only to understand, but to admire his wisdom. I’m afraid that as a young man, this lesson would have completely escaped me.

We are social beings, and we search for love because it is one of our basic needs. Yet most, if not all of us, look outside of ourselves to find those worthy of our love. At this point, I’m not differentiating between familial, platonic, or romantic love relationships, because I don’t think this teaching is about any one of them. In my mind, this statement is about all of them. We look outside of ourselves for our best friends and our intimate romantic partners. What we don’t do is look within first.

Buddha is not only teaching us that we must love ourselves first, but he goes further by saying that no one is more worthy of our love than ourselves. That means that I am at least as worthy of my love as any other person I might choose. Embracing his meaning, my mind reeled… I wasn’t used to thinking along these lines!

I was raised in a culture that taught self-denial to make me worthy of God’s love. I equated self-love with selfishness – another negative characteristic that one would do well to eliminate. Christianity taught me to focus my love and good deeds outside of myself… do unto others… look after the needs of others first… are just a couple of lessons that come to mind from my early religious instruction.

How many of us grew to adulthood with a jaded view of ourselves? I was taught to control my urges – all of them – lest they lead me into sin. I’m sure this is why Buddha’s words seemed so alien to me at first; it was culture shock. When I take the time to digest this idea, it is enlightening… charity or caritas begins at home.

I’m sure we’ve all met people who suffer from self-loathing. They are not happy and they do not love others. How can they? It stands to reason that if I do not believe myself worthy of my own love, then how could I see myself as worthy of love from another; how could I trust another to be worthy of my love? On the other hand, if I accept myself, not as a perfect being, but as a worthy being, I can love myself. In loving myself, I can make choices that are good for me. I’m not talking about being self-indulgent, constantly seeking to satisfy every desire, with no consideration of the consequences. I mean that I must look after my own best interests by doing the hard work that is necessary to make me into the kind of person I wish to become! But I can’t do that unless I start by recognizing my own worthiness.

In recognizing my own worthiness to be loved by myself, I am not denying that I am a flawed being. This does not negate the fact that I get impatient easily, or that I lose my temper and hurt those around me. But I am sure that by being wise enough to love myself, I will find it easier to deal with my shortcomings more successfully. A friend has been trying to teach me this lesson for quite some time, and now, I think I understand.

In loving myself in this way, I am eminently qualified to take a lover and cherish that person in a way that testifies to their worthiness to be loved. In the same way, I am free to love another person as my best friend. Because I acknowledge my own worthiness to be loved, I can extend that caring to my best friend who will be inclined to reciprocate in kind. You reap what you sow. Because of this teaching, taken to heart and internalized, I am more open to the lessons of love – no matter what their origin.

Author Bio:

John Fioravanti is a retired secondary school educator who completed his thirty-five year career in the classroom in June, 2008.

Throughout his career, John focused on developing research, analysis, and essay writing skills in his History classroom. This led to the publication of his first non-fiction work for student use, Getting It Right in History Class. A Personal Journey to the Heart of Teaching is his second non-fiction work; it attempts to crystallize the struggles, accomplishments, and setbacks experienced in more than three decades of effort to achieve excellence in his chosen field.

John’s first work of fiction is Passion & Struggle, Book One of The Genesis Saga, and is set within Kenneth Tam’s Equations universe (Iceberg Publishing). He claims that, after two non-fiction books, he’s having the time of his life bringing new stories and characters to life! Book Two is Treachery & Triumph.

At present, John lives in Waterloo, Ontario with Anne, his bride of forty-six years. They have three children and three grandchildren. In December of 2013, John and Anne founded Fiora Books for the express purpose of publishing John’s books.

Connect with John via Twitter @johnjfioravanti

Thank you so much for dropping by today to support John and his work.  Please drop by the “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR forum at RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB to find out more about John’s time in the spotlight.

If you’d like to be featured in one of the many wonderful hot-seats held by RRBC members, we invite you to JOIN US!  We’d love to have you!

#RRBC Spotlight Author, Mark Bierman

I am happy to host Author, Mark Bierman, the November Spotlight Author at the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB! 

He is the author of Vanisheda compelling and gritty story about human trafficking.

Today, he has some advice about an author’s writing environment.

How to set up your writing space

Where you write can almost be as critical as how you write. Here are a few tips on setting up your writing space.

Be Choosy.

It’s all about environment. That’s a different animal for everyone. No one knows your comfort level better than you. Maybe you can complete your masterpiece while standing at the island in the kitchen, as your pre-schooler plays the soup pan drum. Perhaps you require a sensory deprivation chamber just to type the date. Most of us fit somewhere in between.

An unused spare room, away from the general traffic areas, could make an ideal crafter’s cave. If space is at a premium, investing in multi-purpose furniture and/or an adjustment of writing schedule, may be wise.

Multiply those screens.

If you find switching into a different tab or window annoying, try adding another screen. I find this particularly useful when conducting research. One screen is dedicated to searching Google, while the other remains on the manuscript. This can also be applied to social media and emails.

Smell your way to success.    

There has been some research indicating that aromatherapy may increase brain function. Peppermint and lavender scents may enhance focus, while lemon may decrease those nasty typos.

Be Neat.

If you don’t use it, lose it. Clutter begets confusion and distraction, so toss the trash and store the items that you aren’t currently using.

Light up your life.

Want to improve productivity and avoid headaches? Proper lighting is the key. While natural light is best, if you write in a windowless room, LED lights are a suitable replacement. Avoid bright light directly on your computer screen. This can be accomplished by repositioning the workstation, or using shades and light diffusers.

This list is not exhaustive, there are many other wonderful ideas for building your writing nest.

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9781483448121_COVER.indd

VANISHED, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E4CZHIO/

Blurb:

Tragedy . . . heartache . . . how much more can Tyler Montgomery and John Webster take? This missions trip, the “healing” one, has only added fresh layers of pain. Construction of an orphanage in Haiti’s northwest . . . yes. But a doomed rescue operation, human traffickers, human anomalies, extreme personal danger . . . risk of death? They hadn’t signed up for those.

 

*  *  *

author photo color

Author Bio:

Born and raised on a farm near Brockville, Ontario, Mark’s childhood consisted of chores, horseback riding, snowmobile races, fishing trips to local lakes, and many other outdoor adventures. He was, and remains, an avid reader of many genres.

Transitioning into adulthood also meant moving from the farm into large urban areas that introduced this ‘country boy’ to ‘big city’ life.

Drawing on his many experiences as a private investigator, and later, a correctional officer, Mark combines his unique experiences and imagination to create stories and characters.

 

Follow Mark online!

Twitter:   @mbiermanauthor

Facebook: Facebook

Website:  markbierman.com

 

#RRBC Spotlight Author – Vashti Q

Each month, the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB Spotlights one of its most supportive authors. The Spotlight Author spot for January is occupied by Vashti Quiroz-Vega.

VASHTI

Please show your support by purchasing her book, The Fall of Lilith, reading and reviewing it.

FALL

BOOK INFO:

 In The Fall of Lilith, Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts an irresistible new take on heaven and hell that boldly lays bare the passionate conflicted natures of God’s first creations: the resplendent celestial beings known as angels. 

 If you think you know their story, think again.

 Endowed with every gift of mind, body, and spirit, the angels reside in a paradise bounded by divine laws, chief of which are obedience to God, and celibacy. In all other things, the angels possess free will, that they may add in their own unique ways to God’s unfolding plan.

 Lilith, most exquisite of angels, finds the rules arbitrary and stifling. She yearns to follow no plan but her own: a plan that leads to the throne now occupied by God himself. With clever words and forbidden caresses, Lilith sows discontent among the angels. Soon the virus of rebellion has spread to the greatest of them all: Lucifer.

 Now, as angel is pitted against angel, old loyalties are betrayed and friendships broken. Lust, envy, pride, and ambition arise to shake the foundations of heaven . . . and beyond. For what begins as a war in paradise invades God’s newest creation, a planet known as Earth. It is there, in the garden called Eden, that Lilith, Lucifer, and the other rebel angels will seek a final desperate victory—or a venomous revenge.

 “[A] compelling narrative that . . . strays far from traditional biblical text . . . A well-written, descriptive, and dark creation story.”—Kirkus Reviews

THE FALL OF LILITH

AUTHOR BIO:

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of fantasy, horror, and suspense/thriller. When she isn’t creating extraordinary worlds or fleshing out powerful characters, she enjoys reading, traveling, kayaking, photography, and seeking adventures. She lives in Florida with her husband and fur baby, a Pomeranian named Scribbles (who’s also her writing buddy).

Twitter -@VashtiQV

Facebook – http://on.fb.me/1g0da7d

Website – http://vashtiqvega.wordpress.com

 

“I once wrote a story that killed a town.”

A Town’s Perception

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

It began with the blood moon.

One evening I lifted my eyes to the firmament, and the moon appeared to have doubled in size. It was crimson in color and its reflection painted the skies cerise. Afterward, all manner of curious phenomena began to occur and nothing would ever be the same in my small town.

Strange swirls of iridescent colors began to form in the night skies. During the day the sun shone purplish-blue and colored the skies indigo. It was like something had transported us to a different planet overnight.

When I saw the ships in the sky, I knew it wouldn’t be long before they came for us, and I was right.

In the middle of the day, they came. I watched them disembark their ships, small groups at a time. They resembled men of diminutive stature with large heads. They appeared to waddle rather than walk. They wore weird metallic suits with respirators attached to their faces. They walked down the street and entered my neighbors’ homes. Screams and wails disrupted our normally quiet town.

I rushed to my daughter’s side. She sat on the bed in her room, stared ahead at nothingness and wailed, as she had done for days.

My poor child. Her mind was not equipped to handle this invasion. I held her tight. I would not allow her capture. Who knew what these small creatures were capable of doing to her––to us.

I pushed the barrel of the gun up against her temple to keep my hand from trembling. The feel of the cold metal against her flesh did not stop her wails. Poor thing, her voice was so hoarse. I would extinguish the fire in her gullet.

I pulled the trigger. She fell on her side, her eyes still open wide as if she still saw this nightmare. I shut her eyelids and finally gave her peace.

It was my turn. I’d convinced myself, like so many others in this town, that this was the only way out. I was the last to take action since I was taught to always have hope, but even those of us who always have hope had given up.

The priest took most of the townsfolk. After his last sermon, the priest instructed the congregation to get on their knees and pray. While they were praying, the priest left the church and locked them in. Then he set it ablaze.

Pitiful man of the cloth, his mind also handled the crisis in a bad way. He burned those people alive: men and women, young and old. He had invited my daughter and I to attend his last sermon, and I agreed to go, but my daughter was sick, so we stayed home and were saved from a horrific death.

I live a few blocks from the church, and I heard the screams and howls of the burning souls. I ran down the street and noticed there was no one sitting on their front porches, no children playing hopscotch, no dogs being walked. As I neared the church the screams grew louder. I met with a fiery inferno. The stench of burning flesh and hair made me retch. I released the contents of my stomach right there on the street. What did it matter? There was no one around to watch me. I saw the priest stagger from the back of the burning building. My stomach was tied in knots.

“Demons! The demons are upon us,” he shouted. “If you remain they will take your soul!”

“What are you talking about?” I backed away from him. “There are people burning alive in there!” I ran toward the church’s double doors. The heat of the blaze stopped me. I sobbed helplessly. Those were my neighbors. My friends.

“You have to burn! Otherwise, the demons will take your soul. I burned them because the fire will purify their spirits.” He wore a demented expression.

I froze and stared at him with wide eyes and raised brow. Then my hands flew to cover my mouth upon recognition of what he had done. My legs faltered and I fell to my knees. I trembled uncontrollably as the priest took steps toward me.

I held up my shaky hands before me. “Stop! Don’t come any closer!” I made an attempt to get to my feet, but my knees buckled.

“My dear, you must not remain alive. The demons will take your soul.” His voice was eerily calm. He continued to walk in my direction.

“You’re right!” I bobbed my head. “I know I must die. I must tend to my daughter’s demise also.”

“What? Your young daughter is still alive?”

“Yes, she waits for me at home.”

“No, no, no!” The man of the cloth pulled on his sleeves and shook his head like a madman. “You must go to her. It may be too late already. The demons do not waste time. A young soul like hers is a prime target. Go to her! If her soul is still intact, take her life and then take your own.”

He took a lighter out and flicked it on. He bent over and put the small flame against the hem of his cassock.

I tried to scream as I watched the little flame spread and grow on the flammable cloth of his priestly vestment, but I opened my mouth and sounds did not leave my lips. I gathered my strength and lifted myself off the ground. I wanted to run. Instead, I barely escaped the howling priest who floundered, engulfed in flames.

I staggered past him, noxious smoke attacking my nostrils. The stench was so great, I could taste it.

The very next day, the little men came.

It’s time now. My daughter is gone. The entire town is gone.

***

A gunshot is heard. Men in white lab coats and facemasks run into a young girl’s bedroom. On the twin bed, dressed in pink, lies a pre-teen girl and a thirty-something-year-old woman. Both females are deceased due to gunfire wounds to the head.

“We’re too late,” one of the men in lab coats said.

“Well, maybe it is for the best.” His partner nodded. “There is nothing we could have done to reverse the effects of the chemical agent.”

“It’s a shame what happened in this town.”

“Yes, but how could we know Solution K would have this effect on them?”

“No, we had no way of knowing that the solution we prepared to cause infertility in the men and women of this town would turn into a powerful, hallucinogenic, mind-altering drug when combined with their water.”

“We’ll have to look into the town’s filtering system before we try this again in the next small town.”

“I agree, but let’s not allow this small speed bump to deter our cause.”

“Doctors,” a young man interrupts, “you asked for bottled water?” Both men nodded and each took a bottle. The young assistant leaves.

“Of course it won’t deter us. Our cause to save the planet by ending overpopulation goes beyond a few casualties.”

“Well, I wouldn’t exactly call five hundred people a few casualties, but such things happen in the name of science.”

“Absolutely.” The scientist gulps down his bottled water. Suddenly, he sputters. His eyes widen. “Thi-this water was bottled right here in this town!”

The other scientist fumbles with the bottle, trying to see the manufacturer’s name.

“How could this small town have a bottled water company?” Openmouthed and hands trembling, the scientist stares at the lettering on the bottle. He reads, “‘We take pride in our fresh, clean mountain water and we use the highest quality water filtration systems.’ They bottled this water four days ago.” He drops the bottle and it crashes to the ground.

“No!” His partner clasped his hands over his head. “We put Solution K in the water supply seven days ago!”

“Maybe it won’t affect us in the same way as the townspeople.” His voice wavers as he stared at his partner while rubbing his neck. His body trembles at the thought of having ingested the solution that caused all the townspeople to go mad and kill themselves and each other.

The other scientist stared at him, unnervingly silent.

Suddenly, the first scientist recoils. “Stay away from me! Don’t come near me. You will never take me alive!”

“What is the matter with you?” The second scientist narrows his eyes and shrinks back. “Oh––no.” His face slackens as realization hits.

“You’ll never take me alive, Nazi!” His partner continues shouting, grabs a lamp and charges.

The scientist wrestles with his crazed partner and seizes the lamp from him. The madman bites him on the shoulder. The scientist beats his partner on the head and back repeatedly with the lamp until the madman finally unclenches his teeth and falls to the ground dead.

The scientist falls back against the wall and wraps his arms around himself. He slides down the wall, landing in a crumpled mess on the floor. He holds his head in his hands and stares at his partner’s limp body and cracked skull, whose blood meanders toward him. Rivers fall from his eyes. His body shakes and convulses.

His eyes do not reflect what lays before him but instead, he sees what his mind perceives.

The flames of hell surround him, while demons dance around and torment him with pain.

Moral of the story––Karma’s a bitch.

For more information about the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, visit the website.

 

 

#RRBC Spotlight Author, Carol Marrs Phipps

It’s time to Spotlight another #RRBC Author! Today it is Carol Marrs Phipps!

RRBC WHAM! 1280x2000

Fairy Tongue

Fairy Tongue

Fairy Ring1

 

Fairy Ring

Our green haired Fairies including Meri Greenwood speak what the people of Niarg know as Archaic Modern Niarg, the ancestor of what they were speaking at the time of our epic tale. It sounds like some sort of Germanic or Nordic language, yet it is quite easy to understand and it makes the Fairies come to life.

Phipps

What Archaic Modern Niarg happens to be is Middle English with most of the obsolete words eliminated so that the uninitiated modern reader can read it without difficulty. It is no harder to read than a note full of misspellings passed by grammar school kids, yet it would be understood at once by people in the London area, six hundred years ago, since we have based its spelling, grammar and word order on the writings of John Wycliffe and Geoffrey Chaucer.

Phipps2

Thirty years ago, my husband/co-author, Tom, learned to read Middle English using the rules of pronunciation based on a vowel shift which was thought to have occurred by the widely respected E. T. Donaldson and others, which made the language patently incomprehensible to the ear, and made Chaucer’s poetry not rhyme very well. As a Botany major, Tom had no stake in revering his work and he didn’t think he supported his claim very well. So, Tom started reading it with Appalachian vowels and found that it not only rhymed much better, it was now easy to understand when one listened to it.

Phipps 3

When Tom read some Middle English to his Navajo students, they thought it was eerie because it sounded like a foreign language except that they could understand it perfectly well.

Phipps4

Author Bio:

Carol Marrs Phipps is a teacher turned author. She was born in Missouri, grew up in Illinois and lives on their farm in Illinois with her husband and her menagerie: a parrot, a raven, two cockatiels and her Siberian Forest cats. The books she has written with her husband, Tom Phipps include, Elf Killers which takes place a millennium before the books of the Heart of the Staff series: Good Sister, Bad Sister, The Collector Witch, Stone Heart, The Burgeoning, The Reaper Witch, the final book of the series, Doom, and Heart of the Staff: Complete Series boxed set and Heart of the Staff: Complete Appendix. Recently, Carol and Tom launched a new Dystopian/Urban Fantasy series with the first book of a planned trilogy, Wham! (Book1 Timewalker). All their books are available as eBook or paperback except the boxed set and the appendix.

Carol taught with her husband on various Native American Reservations in Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada, where they learned a great deal from their students, the very first fans of their writing. Not long after they married, she discovered to her joy that he also loved to write. They have been writing together full-time ever since.

 

 

Links

 

*Wham! is currently exclusive to Amazon.*

Universal Amazon Link for Wham!  getBook.at/8ba

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/carol.phipps3

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Car01am

 

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/Carol-Marrs-Phipps/e/B005HB8MC0/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

 

Blog: http://niarg.com

 

 

Other Links for Heart of the Staff Books:

 

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?rh=n%3A133140011%2Ck%3ACarol+and+Tom+Phipps&keywords=Carol+and+Tom+Phipps&ie=UTF8

 

Amazon UK:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss/278-2820750-5307210?url=node%3D341689031&field-keywords=Carol+Marrs+Phipps+and+Tom+Phipps&x=13&y=19

 

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/carol%20marrs%20phipps%20/_/N-0

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/search?Query=%22carol+marrs+phipps+%22

 

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/CarolMarrsPhipps

RRBC Author Pic Carol