Tag Archives: indie author

Author Tia Shurina Pays Us A Visit!

Time to introduce you to another talented indie author. Today, fresh on her global blog tour, is Tia Shurina, author of the memoir Everything and a Happy Ending. Take it away, Tia…

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DAY 2

A blessed begin in gratitude to Beem Weeks for sharing your sacred spotlight… your blog space with me & to the Rave Reviews Book Club members who organized this tour.

From the moment I closed the cover of EAT PRAY LOVE, I somehow sensed it would be made into a movie… so important was its message about staying true to self I felt.  That book ending was also a beginning for me, of a challenging time, as I faced myself in my mirror everyday day, moved in a very sad way, by my cowardice & lack of courage to be true to my own self.   Who knew where the start of that particular reflection would ultimately lead & how the Universe would guide that cowardice inside…who knew?!   I not only didn’t, but detoured, delayed & deterred that journey for a great deal of time.

Years passed, & gratefully, my reflection slowly passed some important seasons as well.

Quite a bit of time later, an old friend & I re-connected.  As Ray & I began to round an old sacred circle of friendship that birthed something new & beautiful together, we both also moved through our own challenging times separately.  Our new story, already a bit complex in its roots, grew more complicated as our circle rolled ‘round.   I had already been trying to release the last little grip I was hanging onto in a relationship that was ready to die, so that I could finally, fully, honor my own self above all else.  As I struggled to let go, my husband struggled to hang on to our marriage, with all his might.   Ray’s wife was sick with cancer.  Who he was, & what his celebrity symbolizes in the world, called for a hyper-sensitivity on our part to those around us as we tried to stay sensitive to our own wants, needs & desires at same time.  That very important career, & who he is, along with our holy honoring of those other important people, also “set the stage” tho, for a fantastical love story, fueled by a most unique way to be able to communicate.  It is an extraordinary, beautiful story, yet, balanced by an ordinary, bittersweet sadness.

Since I feel so strongly that the struggle to honor our own selves is so hard for so many of us, for so many reasons, &, as a longtime lover of movies, feeling equally as passionate about the power of Hollywood to inspire & influence so positively, I was especially thrilled to be invited recently to a Q&A with Matthew Welsh of SpiritualMediaBlog.com, a site devoted to spirituality in entertainment in Hollywood.  I’m honored to share it with you here.

1.What is your book about & why did you write it?

My book, Everything and a Happy Ending, is a memoir that shares my journey with 3 separate, different, yet similar & very interconnected relationships & love stories with the 3 most important men in my life. I share a very full circle journey with each man which details that connectedness & sheds light on how each impacted me & has helped move me around my circle of life.

I wrote the book, & published the book for 2 different reasons. I wrote it to be another tool for one of the men, the 3rd of the special trio, that had been using my writing for quite time some very privately, with a beautiful, almost heavenly, holy, success. He’d been struggling to shed the persona he had created for himself & our relationship was the key he needed to unlock the hold from a role everybody loves for himself. The 3rd part of the trifecta is an extraordinary spectacular love story along the lines of the Oscar winning movie, Marty. He’s a writer himself & was wanting to do the re-make but still needed a little more help from me at that point, so I decided to ghostwrite it. I still felt strongly it was his story, & his desire, to tell, along with his own equally moving story about his relationship with his own dad. He’s the writer & the one I felt most would want to hear it from. At a certain point, though, I started to gain clarity & accept the possibility that maybe the story was meant for me to tell, from my perspective. I began to realize it might be “meant to be”, for me, to be the one to share it & communicate it in order for it to have the impact it’s meant to have & to be seen in a different light than if he was the one to write it. I began to understand that him telling it actually held potential to do a dis-service to our story, simply because of his name…. who he is might taint the story for many, before it could be told through in its entirety. I felt many would judge it, criticize it & label it for no other reason than his identity. I also realized as a young woman petrified of ever being looked at or stared it, for fear I was surely being judged, it might be an important opportunity that was being gifted to me to step outside my comfort zones that I had realized along my way I was desperate to do in my life.

I decided, eventually, to publish the book as a way to help me regain the financial security I gifted to him along our journey together. It was an incredible gift of trust that I’d never been able to give in my life before that I felt strongly I not only wanted to give another, but finally felt the confidence in myself & had the tools, the faith, & the strength, thanks to my father, who is one of the men I share about, to give another. In giving him “everything”, I showed him, the Universe, & most importantly, myself, I was capable of giving the exact kind of love I wanted to allow myself to receive in my life. To experience a mature, healthy, adult, romantic relationship with a beautiful balance rooted in a true love, not in guilt or entitlement or fear or obligation…just pure desire & free choice to be in the relationship. And with that, I handed him my heart, my soul, & my wallet too …I offered up my mental, emotional, spiritual & physical well-being as I risked “everything”, in an “All-in” act of complete & total trust. Our re-connection, & my influence, moved him powerfully, & I ultimately decided it was powerful enough to move another, if one was wanting to move themself, to a metamorphosis & transformation like I had helped my dad with, then he helped me with as I moved myself through one & then held the 3rd man’s hand through his own after his own dad passed.

When I ended my 20-year marriage, a 25-year union with a very important man I loved very much but was not “in love” with, on the heels of my dad’s death, I was ready to move on to a new start & a new “mini life” as my old boss used to say. I put that new start on hold to help an old special friend. I am thrilled for him for where he is at this point in his life. His happiness is very, very important to me. But, so is my own, & I would like the same for myself & I’d like to re-turn to the new start I had taken a big step towards but then stuck myself in a standstill of stagnation after re-connecting with him & committing myself very privately to him. Stillness & stagnation are two very different things & I allowed myself to blur some lines while I waited which was a very unhealthy thing for me to do. Publishing my writing, my story, was a firm faithful step towards moving in stillness again, allowing myself to be led out of an unhealthy standstill as I re-committed to myself, 1st & foremost, & going with the flow of my life instead of trying to push against it in fear.

 

  1. You have written your journey almost destroyed you. How did your journey almost destroy you?

When I ended my long marriage, it was a complete flip of almost everything that had been put in place in my life up to that point. I had chosen, when I was much younger, a very safe life because I was scared of so much. I was afraid as a child & I grew into an afraid adult. Ending my marriage was part of a process of reversing a lot of choices I had made as a younger woman, of my own free will, but wound up in my life, as a woman of a certain age, with a lot of dissatisfaction & sadness. The life of security & protection I had chosen as a younger woman, I realized along my way, may have protected me from SOME certain things that I felt strongly at the time I wanted & needed protection from, brought a whole different set of worries, pains, & insecurities that I had not had the maturity nor the health of body mind & spirit to help me understand would be waiting down the line for me as my choices caught up with me. When I made the flip, I turned everything on a dime as I rounded a soulful circle & in order to balance out a life of safety I had lived up to that point, I wound up out on an incredibly lovely, but very scary, unsafe limb. It would have been challenging enough, given my age, & statistics that surround long term committed couples splitting, & society’s view of divorce equaling failure for the most part…but, the story took an incredible turn that upped those stakes with risks worthy of a Las Vegas casino & craps table when I crossed paths with an old special friend at the exact precise special moment I embarked on that change for myself. The story, & our journey is detailed in the book, but I’ll share here that at a certain point along the way, a very private, very personal, very intimate prayer for him was shared with God, & with him, & what unfolded, as the Universe answered my prayer is our extraordinary story. That it came on the heels of his own prayer, a very public, very specific prayer, shared with his fans &, of course with God, makes our story that much more spectacular. Our journey together “almost” destroyed me, as I gave every single sacred spec of trust I finally felt safe enough & intimate enough with another to give & made the choice to leave myself totally, completely vulnerable, for the 1st time in my life, at an age when many are deepening their footholds on security & safety. The shit really hit the fan for me & my life as I went All-In, and stayed all-in instead of folding, but I kept my faith, thanks in good part to my dad, a real & true gambler, & my story wound up my saving me, not destroying me.

 

  1. What did you do that helped you through your journey and make it so your journey did not destroy you.

I leaned on my dear, but very dead dad, in the same way I had finally allowed myself to lean on him as an adult in the few years before he passed as our relationship changed. And I prayed, with the same faith, to the same Universe & life force that I had prayed along my way in my story…the perfect power that my dad was now a part of. The unbreakable bond of love reached through time & space & would not let me give up. I gave up so easily as a young woman. My dad came to know this, as well as the why’s that was as we forged a new relationship later in our lives & I opened my soul to him. And he truly reached from heaven I feel, to hold my hand through a very challenging transition & metamorphosis long in the making for me. The power that our transformed relationship held, changed my life, my “story” & then that same unbreakable bond of love changed another’s.

 

  1. What is your—or the book’s—connection to Ray Romano? How does he tie in to the journey or the book?

Ray is the 3rd man in the trio. He is called by another name, Emilio, a private nickname between he & I that he gave himself many years ago, when we were much younger. An amazing faithful foresight the divine gifted our story at that perfect time as a special seed was planted given who he would eventually become & the need for such privacy many, many years later. I lived a few years with his need for complete & total privacy and discretion at the very top of my list. Unfortunately, it came at the exact time I had finally felt ready to put myself 1st & foremost in my life. And there was a clash as I tried to do what I felt was best for myself, for my ex & for my old special friend at the same time. And, that clash came with incredible consequences to me. Trying to juggle all 3 wants & desires exhausted me. I used his nickname as I wrote as a way to stay in the authenticity of the way I had lived my life for those few years, & stay true to the spirit of the life I had been living …. very privately, very much committed to keeping the identity of the very special man in my life private, at all costs.

 

  1. What advice would you give to other people who are trying to love themselves but are often too hard on themselves?

I will share my athlete dad’s most profound advice to his children as we were growing up, “hold your form”, as I offer up that in my case, the gift of patience & fortitude I finally gave myself made a huge difference. When I finally started to be gentler with myself & take the time to “just breathe” through some certain difficult times instead of feeling a failure because I had allowed them in the 1st place, it was then that “everything” started to change for me. I baby-stepped through a complete & total transformation, with a few faithful fantastical leaps thrown at the right & perfect time to balance those baby steps, but, for the most part…I moved slowly, & thoughtfully & instead of losing patience & scolding myself for all the things we can usually find to berate & betray our own selves, I decided to keep the faith. Whether it’s a new weight, a new job, a new relationship, or a whole new life one is wanting for themselves… it can be daunting & overwhelming & certainly discouraging when only focused on the end result. Holding your vision is so important, yet, holding your form the best you can through each & every day is what moves you to that vision & often, just zeroing in on the baby steps necessary to make it through one beautiful but brutally challenging day is the most important thing we can do for ourselves. If anyone had told me after my dad passed how long, how challenging, & how much heartbreak & sadness I was going to have to move through to make it through to the other side I feel quite certain I would have turned around & ran the other way, as I did for much of my life. Suffering is different than sadness though, & when I began to give myself some patience as I committed to “holding my form”, I began to see the difference & was able to start inching through the sadness as I released my grip & my choice to stay & suffer by shutting the uncomfortable down or ignoring it or trying to move through it quickly as if it didn’t exist.

 

  1. Anything else?

As a piggyback & a p.s. to #6, I’d like to share the importance of gratitude. It is so challenging sometimes when we are faced in real life with the pains & struggles & sufferings we are witness to as well as have to move through ourselves in our human life. But, in my own story, when I began to search for the blessing, & the meaning that might be held for me through any given experience, especially the hard & painful ones, instead of allowing myself to play the victim as I asked “why me” as I had done often in my younger years, it was a powerful gift & shift that helped me immensely as I embarked on the journey to change the ending for my story.

 

Everything and a Happy Ending, an award-winning memoir published by Mascot Books, details the soulful shift of a story as Tia shares her holy grail & trail she took to transform her life.  After moving through her own metamorphosis, she then helped an old friend, Ray Romano, move through his own transition, going with the flow very privately, but most profoundly.

“My journey almost destroyed me.”  Almost.  Boy, have I come to like that word.  What a pleasurable word “almost” can be.  You may almost be ready to buy my book.  You may almost be ready to begin an exciting new journey of your own.  You may almost be over that rainbow Judy Garland sings about.  What great potential “almost” can hold if you can flip your way of thinking.  Just imagine, controlled pessimism, doubt & fear flipped into blind optimism, faith & love.

That flip helped Tia move to a place where heaven meets earth…the pearly gates of her own happy ending.  Changing the ending for her story brought a pure, precious peace of heart, but kicked her butt a bit as she made her way… committed to keeping her faith. The book was a plan C, maybe even D, but Tia was determined, after a dedicated intention & divine decision to start swimming more with the current of her life, instead of bucking that flow.  Her ordinary, relatable story took an extraordinary, fantastical turn when she showed the Universe she was committed to her intention & her desire to be given an opportunity to make some new, different choices for herself.  EAAHE is a memoir that shares the “how’d that happen?” & the “how’d she do that?” in a holy hope of helping others to see life in a new way.

EAAHE recounts 3 interconnected relationships & stories that enable Tia to love truly, deeply, & most of all, love herself.  Three special circles she rounded with Ray, her dad, & her ex-husband.  A woman’s full circle journey to learn how to really trust, how to “thine own self be true,” & then, the “real & true” love it led her ‘round back to.  It shares how the power of love & a journey to intimacy helped her make a faithful flip which began a sacred circle and new chapter… one that would allow a different ending for a story she had begun writing for herself when she was much younger.  One that Tia feels strongly will inspire other women of a certain age keep faith that it’s not too late to write a new ending for their own, as they embrace their history, not try to re-write it.

Tia is, most days, filled with joy.  She is, every day, filled with peace.  She looks forward to a happy ending each new day now, however it unfolds, whomever it holds, & whatever way the Universe molds, as she continues to create a new “happily ever after”, staying committed to rising above her fears, moving out of her comfort zones, & going with the flow of her life.

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http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/will-tia-shurina-give-ray-romano-a-happy-ending-new-memoir-reveals-relationship-and-unveils-transformation-300212049.html

http://everythingandahappyending.com/

Here are what some customers are saying on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015I13RDC/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1#customerReviews

“The tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

Peggy Hattendorf: Author & RWISA Member!

Greetings and welcome to The Indie Spot. It is my privilege and honor to introduce to you author and RWISA member Peggy Hattendorf — in her own words! Take it away, Peggy…

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The Interview

1) How long have you been writing?

My professional writing started in the mid-1970’s, when I created volunteer and staff handbooks for a number of agencies in the non-profit field.

I entertained the idea of writing a novel about 10 years ago but purposely shelved the plan for nearly two years due to other commitments. The notion of writing fiction still gnawed at me and I would jot down potential characters, ideas and storylines during this hiatus. When I finally dusted off my old notes, scribbles and research and read over the material, I realized I had the makings for a good story. With new found enthusiasm, I set about writing my first novel. My background with upscale and luxury travel products served a cornerstones in the character development and storyline.

2) How many books have you authored?
At present, I have one novel Son of My Father – A Family Dynasty.

3) Do you have a writing schedule?

Yes. Currently I am working on my second book in the family dynasty series. This one still focuses on the wealthy Barrington family, and I utilize some of my travel destination research for the magazine to add new locations and settings for the book.

4) You’re a member of RAVE WRITERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA). Why do you think you were accepted into this exclusive group?

I was honored and humbled to have been selected by personal invitation from Nonnie as one of the first 10 people to join RWISA. I believe I was invited into this organization because I am a strong and focused writer with a distinct voice and style. I take writing very seriously and continue to strive to be the best in all I produce. With my debut novel, I’ve been able to create a captivating story with well defined characters in exquisite settings and locations; appropriately interrupting the narrative with savvy and funny dialogue while maintaining suspense with plot twists and turns to keep the reader engaged until the very end.

5) Modesty aside, what separates your writing from the millions of other writers in the world?

I am a serious writer who continues to advance my professional endeavors, hone my skills and strive for excellence. I write with passion and want to translate that deep purpose to the reader. As a character driven writer, I use that passion to create a compelling and richly developed cast. I write in my head and start assembling this small grouping around a central theme and the storyline develops. I use logic, structure and organization in developing clear ideas and how to express them in a solid story. I’m grounded in data, research and fact-checking for credibility and authenticity. For example, in certain instances, it’s more appropriate for character and life-style to use more formal language in dialogue. I deliver a readable story with good content, a strong storyline, an intriguing plot, crackling dialogue from well crafted characters presented in elegant settings around the world.

6) If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be? Why?

I was fortunate years ago to have had this experience. My husband and I had dinner with the late Allen Reed Folsom and his wife Karen at their home in Malibu. He was a screenwriter for years but his big break came with his thriller, The Day After Tomorrow, about a Neo-Nazi cult. We were with them shortly after he sold this debut novel in 1993 for $2 million dollars, a record at that time. As elated as he was to have sold his novel, he said it took him decades to get to that point. He was diligently working on his second book at the time of our visit. Had I known then, I would someday venture into this whelm, I would have been armed with a list of questions to ask him over dinner.

There is another author, Patricia Cornwall that I would find most interesting to involve in conversation. She is a seasoned serial writer and I am writing my second book in my family dynasty series. Her Scarpetta Series is one of my favorites as she uses a strong female lead, Dr. Kay Scarpetta, a medical examiner by training. I too have a strong female lead, also a career woman, Christiana Lynn Barrington. If I could “pick” Ms. Cornwall’s brain, I would inquire as to how she keeps a series “fresh” and interesting writing a total of 35 books in 27 years. As she also writes children’s books and cookbooks, I would be curious as to what prompted her move into other genres. In addition, I would ask if she found her work as a journalist an asset in writing fiction.

7) Are you a die-hard INDIE writer who loves having complete control of your work, or, if you were offered a publishing contract today, would you sign on the dotted line?

I do love being an INDIE writer and am not looking for outside representation. But with that said, if I was offered a publishing contract today, from a recognized publishing house, it would warrant my time and attention to understand the facts and terms of the contract. My desire is to have Son of My Father – A Family Dynasty adapted into a television movie or mini-series and that might be one of the major advantages of having an agent.

8) As an author, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I would like to have the third and final book in my family dynasty series complete. In so doing, this will require more travel for my inspirations, settings and research.

9) What is the ONE tool that has been the most beneficial tool in the marketing of your books?

I joined a very supportive network – Rave Reviews Book Club. I would tell any new author to commence the overall marketing process well before completion of the book and go online and immediately join Rave Reviews Book Club.

10) Name one writer that you know of, member or non-member of RRBC, who you feel should be added to the RWISA Roster of elite members? Why?

I would suggest Rebecca Reilly. I believe she is a gifted writer as demonstrated in her book Haunting Megan.

11) What is the one piece of advice that you could share that would be most valuable for those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers?

Enjoy each and every step of this “creative journey” and don’t be in a rush to publish.

12) Do you believe that writers who churn out several books a year are really putting out quality work?

There are certainly a number of prominent authors who publish several books per year to satisfy contractual terms of their publishers and keep their readership engaged through new releases. Some writers are co-authoring books possibly to keep ahead of the competition. It is hard to place a chronological time period on quality work. I believe each body of work should be judged on the quality alone without regard to the amount of time it took to produce the manuscript.

13) If you had promised your fans a book by a certain date only to find that your book wasn’t the best it could be, would you go ahead and publish your book just to meet that self-imposed deadline and deliver as promised, or, would you disappoint your fans and shelve the book until it was absolutely ready? No matter your reason, please explain why?

I would absolutely halt the release date if the book was not deemed ready for publication. At the same time, I would issue a statement that the release date had to be pushed back and add the new publication date to keep up the interest from my fan and readership base. In the interim, I would continue to have contact with my readership via blogs etc.

14) In your opinion, what makes a book “a great book?”

In my opinion, a “great book” is based on a number of key elements and I use the broad categories of fiction and non-fiction works. For a fiction book, I look for the following: *interesting storyline, * intriguing plot, * proper pace and flow, * well-defined characters, *crisp dialogue and * above all it must be a readable story! In a non-fiction book you also need an interesting storyline and proper pace and flow. Moreover, a non-fiction book must: * present an engaging topic, subject or person, * deliver insight or knowledge – possibly not known prior to reading the book and * be well researched with verifiable data and first-hand documentation, if possible. No matter the type of book or genre, it must be well written and hold the reader’s attention.

15) If you received a review of your book which stated that there were editing & proofing “issues,” what’s the first thing you would do? And the second?

I take my writing career very seriously and strive to deliver quality and excellence in all my work. Unfortunately, some editing issues have been brought to my attention and I have engaged Nonnie Jules and her team at 4Wills Publishing to address the items not identified and corrected by the former contracted editors.

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The Importance of your Author Brand and Reputation

By Peggy Hattendorf

Improper branding or a tarnished reputation can sink your career.

Proper messaging and a solid reputation, on the other hand, add both tangible and intangible benefits. A recognized brand is a strategic tool and important business asset which can determine your success as an author – as much as quality or price. Branding is imperative to commercializing your business, advancing product exposure and leading to increased demand for your books and products.

The American Marketing Association defines brand as, “a name, term, sign, symbol or combination of these, intended to identify the goods and services of the seller and to differentiate it from competitors.”  Branding is all activities that raise awareness for your business and helps shape consumers’ perceptions, awareness, associations and loyalty.

Professional reputation is defined as the “public” opinion about your business determined in part by the image and quality of products and services and further conditioned by consumer understanding, knowledge and intuition.  A “good” reputation helps build brand loyalty. The terms brand and reputation are interrelated and sometimes a strong brand image can combat some reputation issues.

Branding:

  • Improves recognition.
  • Assists in promotion of products/books/services.
  • Attributes quality, value and reliability.
  • Associates an image – “luxury” or “mass-market” as examples.
  • Creates trust, credibility, legitimacy and loyalty.
  • Supports advertising.
  • Differentiates from the competition.
  • Generates customer sales.
  • Builds financial value and resources.

Reputation:

  • Defines public beliefs or opinions generally held about a person or business.
  • Harder to build than to destroy.
  • Requires effort, patience and time to build.
  • Needs consistency and constant attention.
  • Represents your value in the marketplace.

The establishment of a solid brand, positive image and a good reputation are key elements for creating success in the literary world.

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Social Media

Twitter handler – @peggyhattendorf

Facebook – www.facebook.com/peggy.hattendorf

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Web Site/Blog

Website/blog – www.peggyhattendorf.com

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Thank you for supporting our RWISA (RAVE WRITERS-INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS) Members!  Please follow and support the entire tour by visiting 4WillsPub.

 

It’s Gwen Plano’s Day!

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A loud and gigantic CONGRATULATIONS to Gwen Plano on being named Rave Reviews Book Club’s #PUSHTUESDAY honoree!

For those who may not know who Gwen Plano is, let me introduce you to her. Gwen Plano is the author of a book entitled Letting Go Into Perfect LoveIn this memoir, Gwen shares her struggles and her triumphs with readers, offering hope to those who are still in the grips of domestic abuse.

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But that’s not all there is to Gwendolyn Plano! Did you know she is also the host of the popular blog talk radio program Aspire to Inspire? This show airs each month on the Rave Waves network.

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So if you happen to find Gwen today on Twitter, don’t forget to send her your best wishes. And again, CONGRATULATIONS, Gwen! You deserve this honor!

Visit Gwen at her web site: http://www.gwenplano.com/

Find Gwen on Twitter: https://twitter.com/gmplano

Listen to Aspire to Inspire live or in the archive: RAVE WAVES

Grab a copy of Letting Go Into Perfect Love

Don’t miss your opportunity to find great support for your book. Join Rave Reviews Book Club today: JOIN RRBC

 

 

RRBC Book & Blog Block Party

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Greetings and welcome to Rave Reviews Book Club’s BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY at The Indie Spot!  Location: Lansing, Michigan, USA.

Blog Party 1

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Here’s What I’m Giving Away Today:

** PRIZES HAVE ALREADY BEEN AWARDED**

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I invite you to check out my books and the book trailers that go with each title. I’ve included an excerpt of Jazz Baby and a short blurb for each book to help you become better acquainted with the stories!

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Jazz Baby Chapter Four Excerpt

722 Dauphine Street promised little in the way of excitement—from outward appearances. What once had been a Digby’s Department Store now went by the somewhat famous Crescent Club.

Revelers of every color, size, and persuasion lined the sidewalk out front, passing around flasks of bootleg hooch, eager for the doors to swing open so nighttime could finally begin.

Nobody paid us any mind as Tanyon and I split the crowd on our way down a side alley leading to the rear entrance.

Tanyon laid a coded knock against the heavy red door.

A fella’s chubby face filled the small peephole.

“I have Miss Teegarten with me,” said Tanyon to the man.

That door swung wide; entrance was granted.

Dozens of round tables lay scattered willy-nilly throughout the cavernous main room. A wide stage rose five feet above the floor. Four colored boys worked up a number I could sing in my sleep.

I said, “I’m ready,” drinking in a dream fixin’ to come true.

That chubby fella let go a laugh. “How’s about we open for business before you get started, huh?”

Waitresses lit candles and set ashtrays on each of those tables.

Tanyon snatched the one closest to the stage, and ordered a pint of bourbon from a dark-haired girl dressed out like a flapper.

“Tell me something,” I began to say.

’Cept Tanyon, he had an answer all lined up. “Your mama was not a whore—if that’s what you’re meaning to know.”

Fine enough by me.

Even if I really didn’t believe him.

Frank Rydekker himself brought Tanyon’s pint to our table. “So this is the little songbird,” said the short, stocky man, pulling me into a splash of orange glowing off a candle. “Can you sing any of these songs?”

My eyes tumbled down the list he presented. “I can sing ’em all,” I gladly admitted.

Rydekker nodded toward a big fella up near the bar and hollered, “Let ’em in, Bill!”

“Don’t be scared, Baby,” Tanyon said, handing me a go at that pint.

I raised the hooch to my lips, had a good pull. “Don’t call me Baby anymore.”

*      *      *

Cool blue dripped onto the stage from lights burning high above.

My body stood in its gathering puddle.

A boy on drums got us going with a slow shuffle that took up with the bass like a couple of long-time lovers knowing each other’s next move before it’s even been considered. Sullum Cass kissed his shiny saxophone with the breath of something painful and delicious, tossing delicate notes into the smoky air. When the boy on piano sprinkled all the right keys into the mixture, I eased my body against that skinny silver microphone stand, closed my eyes to the fractured night, and told all about that man done me wrong.

Everybody on that parquet dance floor caught on real quick. It’s me they stared at.

Me!

Emily Ann Teegarten.

And wasn’t a single one gave a tinker’s damn about my age or my station in life. Faces opened in welcoming smiles as wicked rhythms spun us all toward a whole new place—a place tucked up high as heaven.

Bodies shimmied and twirled at my feet.

One song blurred into another with nary enough time to breathe.

If I’d dropped dead then and there on that Big Easy stage, I’d have no real complaints. I reckon I’d tell the first angel I set eyes on I’d lived a full life.

I lived out my dream.

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Jazz Baby

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While all of Mississippi bakes in the scorching summer of 1925, sudden orphanhood wraps its icy embrace around pretty Emily Ann “Baby” Teegarten, a young teen.

Taken in by an aunt bent on ridding herself of this unexpected burden, Baby Teegarten plots her escape using the only means at her disposal: a voice that brings church ladies to righteous tears, and makes both angels and devils take notice. “I’m going to New York City to sing jazz,” she brags to anybody who’ll listen. But the Big Apple—well, it’s an awful long way from that dry patch of earth she’d always called home.

So when the smoky stages of New Orleans speakeasies give a whistle, offering all sorts of shortcuts, Emily Ann soon learns it’s the whorehouses and opium dens that can sidetrack a girl and dim a spotlight…and knowing the wrong people can snuff it out.

Jazz Baby just wants to sing—not fight to stay alive.

Click here to view the Jazz Baby book trailer

Click here to buy Jazz Baby

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Slivers of Life: A Collection of Short Stories

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These twenty short stories are a peek into individual lives caught up in spectacular moments in time. Children, teens, mothers, and the elderly each have stories to share. Readers witness tragedy and fulfillment, love and hate, loss and renewal. Historical events become backdrops in the lives of ordinary people, those souls forgotten with the passage of time. Beem Weeks tackles diverse issues running the gamut from Alzheimer’s disease to civil rights, abandonment to abuse, from young love to the death of a child. Long-hidden secrets and notions of revenge unfold at the promptings of rich and realistic characters; plot lines often lead readers into strange and dark corners. Within Slivers of Life, Weeks proves that everybody has a story to tell—and no two are ever exactly alike.

Click here to view the Slivers of Life book trailer

Click here to buy Slivers of Life

Once again, thank you for stopping by. Don’t forget to share your thoughts and comments below.  Good luck on winning my giveaways!  I’ll see you at the next stop of this awesome BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY!

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Lizzie Chantree Stands In The RRBC Spotlight

Greetings fellow indies! I am thrilled and honored to host Lizzie Chantree, the Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author this month! Have a read, leave a comment for my guest, show your support for this indie author. Take it away, Lizzie…

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Finding Gina

by Lizzie Chantree.

 

My latest novel, Finding Gina, is a magical romance novel. I would love to tell you a little about it:

 

Can a sprinkling of stardust overcome a past full of demons?

 

Gina had traversed the breadth of the country in her little campervan to try and find everyone on her grandmother’s list, before her father drunk himself into an early grave. She lent down and pulled the battered and worn journal from her bag and opened it to the latest page. The neatly written names were etched onto her heart and she was determined to visit every single one and compensate them in some way. Her family’s debt had to be repaid.

 

Toby, heir to Bluebell Manor, couldn’t believe his luck when a flame haired beauty arrived at his door. Just when he thought all hope was lost! Looking for somewhere to stay for the night, Gina’s decision to turn left on a country lane, might have greater consequences than she could ever realise.

 

Lewis read another provincial story about a ‘guardian angel’ who had been helping families across the country and his reporter’s nose began to itch. He was sure that if he could track down the girl they were talking about, he would unearth an even bigger story. He just had to work out how to locate her and then find out what it was that she was running from!

 

 

I really enjoyed writing this book and the story gradually evolved as I wrote it. The main character Gina is quite solitary and faces the challenge of letting the people she meets into her life. She has to work out whom she can trust and find out if the life she has created for herself is actually real, or the figment of her father’s drunken imagination.

 

I grew up believing that being able to use your own imagination made things more interesting and fun! My mum had always told me tales of magical creatures who lived in our garden and story time before bed was full of naughty dragons who could talk and princesses with stripy tights who slept on clouds. My mum is also an author and she inspires me every day. I believe that if you have a story clambering inside your brain to get out, enjoy it, put it down on paper and when the story is finished, you will probably find another one sitting patiently waiting to introduce itself!

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Follow Lizzie Chantree on Social Media:

Twitter handle: @Lizzie_Chantree

Facebook address: https://www.facebook.com/lizziechantree/

Website address: https://www.writewithsydney.co.uk

Any additional means of contact: Blog: https://www.lizziechantree.com

 

 

 

 

A New Release From S. Rose

I would like to share a brand new book release from indie author S. Rose. Sparrow In The Wind is now available through Amazon and other book retailer sites.

I’ve been a huge fan of Ms. Rose’s work since first discovering her debut novel, Bridge Ices Before Road, a few years ago. I can honestly say this is truly one of my favorite novels–indie or traditionally published. If you’re a fan of complex characters, strong plot, and skillful writing, I invite you to become acquainted with the works of S. Rose.

Sparrow In The Wind

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Buy: Sparrow In The Wind

Book Blurb:

Funny how memories work, the things you remember, the things forgotten, the things that change you. Back in the summer of 1962, ten year-old Cassandra Parsons has her life all figured out. She lives with her father and mother in the upstairs flat of a well-appointed two family house in a pleasant neighborhood of Racine, Wisconsin. Her maternal aunt and grandfather live right downstairs and her best friend Kitty has always lived two doors down.

Cassandra’s well-ordered world comes undone when her father decides to move his nuclear family to the backwoods of Northern Wisconsin, to renovate and manage his father’s hunting lodge. Isolated and friendless, she is suddenly left to her own devices as her parents plunge themselves into their new business endeavor. Loneliness and self-pity gradually give way to growth as Cassandra learns to appreciate the beauty of nature and the peace of quietude. Soon she meets a half-Ojibwa girl named Sparrow. The girls become fast friends and have a final fling with childhood, spending their last carefree days fishing in the river and roaming the woods, pretending to be ancient Ojibwa. But their sweet Indian summer comes to an abrupt end as tragedy strikes both girls’ families. Cassandra and Sparrow’s friendship is tested as they try to forge a mature, enduring relationship that hopefully will see them through even these darkest of times.

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Bridge Ices Before Road

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Buy:    Bridge Ices Before Road

Book Blurb:

The year is 1970. In a blue-collar suburb of Boston, two eleven year-old Catholic girls struggle to come of age in a culture still very much dominated by men. They watch in dismay as their fathers and priests determine the lives of the women around them. Loyalty to family and church is paramount; women and children suffer in silence rather than expose the men who do them harm.

Frances Orillio is an adopted, only child; she is self-critical, anxious, and vulnerable. Maddy Malone is one of six children, and grew up in a rough housing project scrapping with the boys. Although they are strikingly different in temperament, they forge an enduring friendship on the path to becoming strong, independent women. Together they battle the tangled jungle of ignorance, racism, and homophobia that goes hand in hand with the culturally entrenched discrimination against women. Like the treacherous roads in a New England winter, the way is fraught with hidden dangers. Family secrets and lies are like the invisible black ice on a bridge: if you don’t watch out for the signs, it can be deadly.

Lilith’s Dominion

There’s always an excitement in announcing a new book release. Be sure to get your copy of Lilith’s Dominion by the talented Y. Correa! 

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Blurb:

When Lilith fails to comply with the plans of Man and The Creator, she is punished to an existence that costs her the fruits of humanity. Every moment becomes a never ending spin cycle of memories mirroring profound loss, recalcitrant rage, and immeasurable suffering.

During a Halloween party at the Arcadia Chateau, the blue-green eyed brunette Jet leaves an impression which shatters the equilibrium of Lilith’s cloud of darkness. Is this a temporary aggravation or the start of a much needed resurrection—the fire of love in a heart iced with hurt?

Excerpt:

It is believed that before the Genesis of the human age, Adam had a wife … a first wife; Lilith.

Created from the same ground from which Adam was molded, Lilith proved to be a bit more than his subordinate.

She was his equal.

Legend has it that Lilith was strong willed, independent and unyielding. All of the things that Adam did not want in a wife.

Red hair, sensual curves and red-brown eyes, Lilith was voluptuousness in the form of a woman. Passion, ardent and burning vitality. Lilith considered herself Adam’s compeer in every way—second to none and nothing.

What Adam hated to admit was that Lilith was his weakness, his burning desire, and his fierce, iniquitous poison. As much as he wanted her, he also hated her. It was her authority that continually dominated him, and her lasciviousness that seduced him. He was less of a man when he was around her, yet he also could not feel more empowered.

Adam realized that his obsession with Lilith was a lecherous enthrallment and nothing more, for he could not love her. Neither could he be her master. This was the problem. Adam’s job was to be in control, to be the head. The leader of Lilith and all of their descendants. For this, the Creator had made him.

Yet, around her—Lilith—he was nothing more than a groveling, dribbling, insecure excuse for a man. She had him wrapped around her little finger, and this suited her just fine.

Adam, not so much.

This was not what the Creator had mandated. Not what he intended when making them both. He needed Adam—level headed and trustworthy—to be in charge. However, with the ever present seduction of Lilith, this wouldn’t be possible.

 

Something must be done.

 

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The sound of a single long nail clicking against a hardwood table was all that could be heard in the room. Why? Because all of the noise and commotion was in her head.

Voices, memories, flashing thoughts. Chaos! Nothing more and nothing less.

The upsurge of rampant thoughts caused her mouth to slap with thirst—suck her teeth in upheaval. Lilith’s thirst was soon to be quenched, she was certain. She’d already made the preparations. Yet, the riot that was Lilith’s unending trail of assaulting musings would probably never be quelled.

 

The light of night poked through the monumental stained glass windows. One ray in particular beamed across the room, perpendicular to its point of origin, then ricocheted from a mirror to shine a slender bright stream of yellow-orange light on the table. The thin beacon glowed not too far from where her hand tapped an agitated finger.

The room was enormous and regal, yet devoid of any exuberance. Filled with scarce furnishings—the mammoth hardwood table and the innumerable chairs that surrounded it. Old, decrepit paintings adorned the walls.

The air was stifling, consumed by the scent of mothballs, molded and aged wood.

 

How did I get here? Lilith’s thought, although in her mind, seemed to echo through the stretch of the empty room.

 

“Madam, your supper is ready,” squealed Lilith’s faithful attendant, though indubitably pitiful as he was, whilst walking in. The aged, wooden double doors screeched upon his opening them. Then, he closed them, without as much as a glimpse back. His skin had not seen the light of day in so long that it had lost its color. A peculiar shade of tan-gray, wrinkled and rough, was all that remained.

Throughout the years, Demetrius had become an old, dilapidated, fragile corpse of a man—feeble and haggard, yet faithful. Lilith considered that while his situation was different than hers, at least they shared the apathetic hue of their skin color, albeit not her extraordinary good looks.

“Bring it in, Demetrius. Leave it,” replied Lilith as she waved a hand in the air, with little to no regard whatsoever. Completely detached from human emotion and void of fascination. She couldn’t help herself. All her vitality had been lost eons ago.

“Yes, Madam,” responded Demetrius, then nodded his head and bowed out of the room. Seconds later he pulled in a frightened brunette, who was so dismayed that she’d lost all fight and merely shivered and sobbed uncontrollably. Demetrius, grabbed a handful of the girl’s hair and tossed her on the ground in front of Lilith. “Your supper my lady.” he said subserviently, then bowed out of the room once more.

Lilith wasted no time whatsoever and with the blink of an eye had the girl trapped, her fangs sunk into the girl’s main artery. The one located between the thighs—Lilith had long since grown tired of the neck. It was too convenient and she craved a bit of excitement, rare as it was.

Moments later, the girl’s life blood had been drained and all that remained was a naked, pale carcass.

Lilith stood to her feet uneventfully, sighed deeply, dusted her hands and then took a seat once again in her favorite chair.

With that, her mind whirled into its turbulent incongruity yet again.

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Author Bio: 

Y. Correa is a literary seductress, luring one in with her talent of Romancing the Words, keeping one hypnotized with dynamic characters, and stimulating one with engaging narrative voices, strong plots, and epic conflicts. Her writes are as complex and as distinct as her person; a delightful combination of eclectic and antiquated. Therefore, the mere mention of fitting into one set genre is laughable. The multi-genre decadence is where she showcases her magnificence.

Some of Y. Correa’s works include Historical Fiction “MarcoAntonio & Amaryllis”, Sci-Fi Mashup “Earth 8-8-2: The Genesis Project”, Sci-Fi Fiction series “A.L.O.M” and short stories such as “Ryan”, “Loving … them!” and “The G. Particle”.

Ms. Correa has also been in several short story anthologies and is the Founder/Creator of All Authors Publications and Promotions whose subsidiaries are:

  • All Authors Magazine
  • All Authors Graphic Design
  • All Authors Publishing House
    and
  • All Authors Certificate of Excellence

Links:

Pre-Order Lilith’s Dominionhttp://www.amazon.com/Liliths-Dominion-Novelette-Y-Correa-ebook/dp/B01D0I845G/

“Lilith’s Dominion” on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5129204.Y_Correa

Author Website: http://ycorrea.net

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsXZQbWzFcY