Tag Archives: Rave Reviews Book Club

Paying It Forward For #RRBC Member / Author D. L. Finn

Today, I am taking part in Rave Reviews Book Club’s “Pay It Forward” day. What this means is, I am promoting a member of the book club here on The Indie Spot.


Now, here’s one of those interesting coincidences: The author I am promoting today is D. L. Finn, whose book, No Fairy Tale, is the book I just happen to be currently reading.

D. L. is an independent California girl, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay area. In 1990, she and her husband packed up their kids, dogs, and cats, and relocated to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA.

To say D. L. is a reader is a major understatement. She immerses herself in all sorts of books, crossing genre lines that include romance, horror, and fantasy. With vivid imagination, D. L. has long treasured creating her own reality on paper. So, when the family’s move placed her among towering oaks, high cedars, and fragrant pines, her creativity blossomed into a solid skill for telling stories that others are thrilled to read.

Her creations include three indie children’s books and an autobiography with poetry (which is the book I’m currently reading).

In 2016, No Fairy Tale was awarded the New Apple Annual Book Awards Official Selection in the Memoir Category! In 2017, the book became a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards (NGIBA) in the poetry category.

Though D. L. has endured difficult situations in her life, which has included addiction and abuse, she has risen above the turmoil to become one of the better writers in the indie author movement. Her words have a way of pulling the reader into the stories unfolding on the pages. Her poetry is simply beautiful.

It has been my pleasure and honor to introduce this author to the readers of this blog. It is my sincere hope that those who take the time to read this piece will become better acquainted with D. L. Finn and her work.

Let’s now take a closer look at this writer’s work.

The Books:

No Fairy Tale: The reality of a girl who wasn’t a princess and her poetry

You are invited into D.L. Finn’s life, written through a princess’s viewpoint. While it’s usually assumed in fairy tales that the princess is beloved by all, this is one princess who doesn’t feel loved. She dreams of a moment when her father will walk through the castle door, sweep her up in his arms and proclaim how much he misses her. That never happens. Instead, she is introduced to a new step family. Just like in the fairy tales, this is where the story takes a dark twist; where addiction, abuse and adolescence thrive together in retched misery. From her lowest point as a hopeless fourteen-year-old girl who gives up all hope– comes a spark of faith. This is where she begins her quest for a happy ending.

Although the princess ends her very real fairy tale, D.L. Finn steps in and shares her thoughts, poetry and photographs. This entire narrative is the author’s reality from childhood through adulthood. She maintains the privacy of those involved while hanging on to her truth.

An Unusual Island

When Janine’s parents win a vacation to a private island, it’s the same week as her and her twin brother’s 16th birthday. Cool! She can’t wait to lounge on the beach and let the staff pamper her! Much to her disappointment, though, they leave the island to go sightseeing on a boat. Unlike the rest of her family, bouncing around the ocean isn’t her idea of fun. Even when her brother gets their dad to stop the boat to investigate the neon sea creature that he is sure is following them–nothing. Losing her new red hat is the highlight of her trip until an unexpected storm hits, and they shipwreck on an uncharted island. After tending to some wounds from the crash, they search the island in hopes of finding human civilization. Although they don’t find what they are looking for, it appears they aren’t alone. When they return to their campsite—a fully cooked dinner is waiting for them! Why? And a better question is why did they eat it? It was as if they stepped into a fairytale– or nightmare. Who is on the island with them and what do they want?

Elizabeth’s War

It’s April of 1917, and World War I has reached Elizabeth’s family on their wheat farm in North Dakota. Although the battles are being fought overseas, the war has affected her in ways she couldn’t have imagined. Elizabeth is thrust into a new role after her brother and father leave the farm to do their part in the war. And she’s only eleven years old!
Having almost died as a toddler, Elizabeth has been babied most of her life. Now she must learn to help out around the farm; cooking, cleaning, and tending to the garden and livestock. No longer can she run from her responsibilities, as she did when her horse Rosie was giving birth. There were complications during the delivery, and Elizabeth panicked and froze. The foal didn’t make it.
Elizabeth faces her biggest challenge yet as a huge Christmas Eve snowstorm rages outside, cutting her family off from any help; and her mother is about to have a baby! Her brother and sister are laid up with chicken pox. Does Elizabeth face her fears or run from them? Can she help her family, who need her more now than ever? Or will she retreat like she did when Rosie needed her?

Things on a Tree

What a way to spend Christmas Eve! Thirteen-year-old Aimee is sick and missing her dad, who died in a car accident last year. While the rest of her family are outside playing in the snow, she is alone by their Christmas tree. Aimee sighs as the tears begin to fall. She wishes she still believed in Santa Claus. Then she could ask him to change the last year. Yeah, right, she thought. She turns away from the tree, and falls asleep. Later that night, Aimee awakens to a strange noise. Clink! Clink! Clink! Her fever must be higher than she thought, because she can’t believe what she is seeing running down her purple blanket! But everything happening to her is very real, including the fact someone wants her dead. Aimee is thrust into a world of magic, wonder and greed. Her journey takes her from her snowy rooftop, to the streets of New York and the North Pole with the promise to return her father to her family. Who could she trust when things aren’t always what they seem?

 

Social Media:

Website

Twitter

Facebook

 

Book Trailers:

No Fairy Tale

 

Elizabeth’s War

Gearing Up For the 2017 #RRBC Writers’ Conference and Book Expo!

2017 WC&BE

Once again, Rave Reviews Book Club is taking the lead on cutting edge ideas for promoting indie authors. Picking up where we left off last year, this year’s Writers’ Conference & Book Expo promises to be bigger and better! If you are an indie author and you’re still figuring out the marketing landscape, then this event is one you don’t want to miss.

Simply follow the links below for all the latest information you’ll need to know to be involved.

 
This is the year for bigger and better here at RRBC. Don’t miss this golden opportunity to reach a new audience while gaining new skill sets designed to help indie authors succeed.

 

 

 

Catching Up With #RRBC Spotlight Author Wendy Scott!

Hello, everybody! I am honored to share this blog with a fellow writer and Rave Reviews Book Club’s Spotlight Author for the month of June. As part of the celebration, Wendy Scott is making the rounds at various blogs. Today, she’s gracing us with her presence here at The Indie Spot! For those who may not know Ms. Scott, Wendy is a super supportive member of Rave Reviews Book Club. So let’s all make her feel welcome by leaving her your comments and well wishes. That being said, take it away, Wendy…

Fantasy Author Wendy Scott’s RRBC Journey.

When I first joined RRBC I had no idea of the literary roller coaster I’d jumped on.

I was so excited when my books and book trailers went live on the RRBC catalogue pages.

There was no time to pause for breath before I was involved in my first book trailer party. What a blast! 30 days of book trailers. I was impressed and inspired by the variety of book trailers. I won books and a coveted Book of the Month Spot.

I’m convinced the RRBC Tweet team doesn’t sleep! My followers skyrocketed as my tweets were retweeted into twitterland.

The lovely Gwendolyn Plano interviewed me on Behind The Pen. I was worried no one would understand my Kiwi accent!

Until RRBC I’d never taken part in or hosted a blog tour. Wow – an influx of visitors posted their comments on my site.

RRBC core focus is reading and posting honest reviews of other members’ books. I haven’t made the 100 club yet but it’s on my list! So many wonderful RRBC authors and books.

One of my highlights was when one of my children’s books earned Nonnie’s Seal of Approval.

Another highlight was being invited to join the VIP lounge and RWISA.

Yet another was being accepted as a RaveWaves host for Bring On The Spotlight.

There’s also the annual virtual RRBC Book Expo and Conference where I had fun presenting on a couple of topics.

Other features are the annual RRBC anthologies, the monthly Pipeline Magazine, and the KCT awards.

I was honoured (hugely surprised!) to be presented with a couple of Rave Awards in 2016.

The best part is the family-friendly vibe of this global community of authors where we help promote each other. Pay-it-forward is truly alive and thriving in RRBC-land.

  

 

Readers come and find your next read in the RRBC catalogue.

Authors come and join RRBC’s dynamic community – just say Wendy invited you! https://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/join-here/

 

 

 

Amazon US 124 reviews 4.4* rating

 

Amazon US Lodestone https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AMQX7DO

Amazon UK Lodestone https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00AMQX7DO

 

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Connect with Wendy:

Twitter @WendyJayneScott

FB https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyScott

Author Profile Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Scott/e/B009B1N8NA/

Website http://www.wendyjscott.com/contact.html

Pinterest https://nz.pinterest.com/wendyscottbooks/lodestone-witch-hunt/

 

Pregnant Future: A Brand New Book by Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

My dear friend and author Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko has stopped by The Indie Spot to share news concerning her brand new book release! It is truly my pleasure to share this space with this incredible woman. Take it away, Joy…

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Pregnant Future
(No One Knows What Tomorrow Will Bring)
A True-Life Memoir

BOOK BLURB:

Justina was a fighter. And, although it seemed the world was against her and her future was destined for failure…she persevered in the face of it all.

The future that was being thrown in her face, was not the one she had dreams of…and if she wanted to get her feet on the right path

She was going to have to show the world her strength. But, does she?

Will she have the will to make it to the end, unscarred?

What would you do if you knew what the future had in store for you?

Would you run towards it with open arms, or would you run away and never look back?

Justina must make a choice … before life chooses for her

Justina is every young woman who found herself alone in the world to fend for herself. It is the story of the pitfalls that await such a woman. It is the story of survival

How the Book Was Born:

This was a very difficult book for me to write. It was supposed to be my first published book, but because of the dread I had about events contained in the book, and the fear of spilling my guts for all to see, I circled away from it and wrote about other things. I wrote about other people’s fears and struggles, about their disappointments and victories, and all the time, I was asking myself, what about the fears and struggles you personally witnessed and endured?

In 1962, I was practically smuggled out of Nigeria, out of the continent of Africa, to a foreign country, a European country where English was not spoken. No one prepared me for the trauma of finding myself where I was the odd person out. The plan was originally for me to go to Dublin, but somehow, the plan was changed, for the better, I was told. Instead of a scholarship by the Holy Rosary Sisters, who trained and nurtured me, the scholarship was up-graded to a government scholarship.

At the time, I was ecstatic about the upgrade. I was even looking expectantly forward to being in Rome. I was still a child in everything, never having been exposed to the outside world. There I was, alone, and lost.

I mentioned being smuggled out. Yes. I was spoken for, and my fiancé was determined to sabotage my leaving the country, in any way he could. So, I had to leave in a hurry without his knowledge. No one will ever know how it feels like to be alone and lost, unless one has lived it.

Justina of this story is me, muddling through life, falling and rising. In the end, I can sit, look back and shudder. I am still in awe of what I have become. It is only by the grace of God that I am who I am today.

Pregnant Future Trailer

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

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Joy has written and published extensively on national and international scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers.
Her first short story I Come from Utopia was published in African Voices, Spring/Summer, 2007, pg. 18. Since then, she has published numerous others in RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL Anthology, Bks 1-3.
Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women was published in 2011, and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Contest in 2012. She has also two books published in the Italian language.
The Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies, is a journey into the mysteries of life and death of the Igbos of Nigeria was published in 2014

In Pregnant Future, her new Novel, Justina is the story of every young woman who found herself alone in the world to fend for herself. It is the story of the pitfalls that await such a woman. It is the story of survival

Author of:

Legend of The Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies
Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women
Pregnant Future

CONTACT:

Website: https://thelookingglassjnlb.wordpress.com
Blog: www.Jinlobify.Com
Twitter: @Jinlobify
Facebook: Facebook

This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing Author Services

Author Linda Mims Stops by The Indie Spot!

It is my privilege and honor to introduce to you indie author Linda Mims. Take a few minutes to read about this talented writer and show your support by leaving a comment for her. Take it away, Linda…

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An interview with the Author …

 

Why did you write this story? I wanted a story that would resonate with the Millennials who are moving away from the inner cities. I wanted them to see the affect that not giving back to the community will have in the long run. It’s for the Black and Brown Lives Matter advocates who must also teach that education matters. Voting matters. Stopping the violence matters. Breaking the code of silence matters. LOVE matters. I put it in a mystery because people like them, but I hope they will still hear the message.

 

Who is this book for? Originally, it was for the New Adult category, but as it grew, it became a story that any adult could read and relate to. I’d like for teachers in the inner-city to recommend it to students who are mature enough to handle adult themes.

 

How did you come up with the title? When I was writing the scene where Cameron Reed explains to his son-in-law, Dickey, how Noel received her sight, I was in the “zone”. Dogs were meowing, cats were barking, and the houses were sizzling with electric lightening. I saw them glowing in bright, neon orange and yellow.

 

Why did you give your main character paranormal powers? As I was writing I wanted her to have a secret and I decided, “wouldn’t it be great if her own husband didn’t really know the extent of her secrecy?” Also, paranormal is a popular trend and I wanted to keep it current for my readers.

 

You say this is a series. When can readers expect the next installment? The outline has been created and the rough draft is swimming around in my head. I’ll say before the end of 2017.

 

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Author Bio:

Linda Mims started creating tales in her head as a child. At age 12, she knew she was onto something when she sold a story to her grandmother for a quarter, but it was her dad’s more practical advice, to get a good education and find a real job, that she followed.

After retiring from her “real job” as an educator, Linda began her writing career as an indie author. The tale of The Neon Houses was born out of a careless comment that people had lost interest in reading. The joke was that decades from now we’d need to hold reading nights in neighborhood parks for citizens who wouldn’t be able to read.

Linda rolled that idea around in her head until it turned into a whole society of have-nots. Once the idea got rolling, she worked nonstop until she’d finished the first draft. Writing is now her real job!

Linda Mims resides in a small suburban town 30 miles outside of Chicago, IL where she likes to cook, garden, and blog, sometimes simultaneously. She is married to her long-time love, has two grown daughters and one bossy, bichon-pom, Alexis.

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/boom_lyn

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLindaMimsmbria

Website – https://lindamims.com/blog/

 

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THE NEON HOUSES
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M8P63E3

Dr. Noel Kennedy hears screams inside her head, but the screams aren’t hers. While preparing for her annual end-of-summer barbecue, Noel hears her young friend—twenty-year-old Zarah Fisher—screaming for her life. However Zarah is miles away!

Noel knows the exact moment Zarah takes her last breath because Noel has a secret! It’s a secret that not even her husband Richard knows.

As the Deputy Chief of Schools of Gang Territory, Noel has perfected her life. She is a solid, middle-class citizen from New Chicago, Incorporated. New Chicago and Gang Territory have become vastly different societies since the early Urban Wars. Now, year 2087 finds New Chicago’s military-trained police determined to enforce laws that keep “gang people” out.

Harlem Pierce, a New Chicago police detective, has been warned to stay away from this case and he urges Noel to let it go. But a new killing involves Noel’s younger cousin and her boyfriend and links Noel to it in a startling way.

Who can Noel draw on? Must she turn to Warren Simpson—the menacing, treacherous boss of Gang Territory? Or … could he be the killer?

https://youtu.be/_JrglVENUOs

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

Writers: Don’t Get Lost in the Traffic!

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Wrote a great book, did you? Looking for ways to reach readers, are you? Well, have I got the place for you. It’s called RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB! Yep! I’ve been telling you all about it for the past three-plus years.

And just what exactly is RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB? I’m glad you asked. RRBC is an online community of readers and writers whose sole goal is to support one another. Members buy, read, and review fellow members books. It’s what we do.

But wait!!! There’s more!!!

Book Club Badge Suggestion copy (1)

By joining the RRBC community, you will have your book(s) placed in the club’s online catalog, making it available to the entire membership (currently at just under 400). Those who choose to be supportive of fellow members will discover the perks of membership. Books of the Month? We select three titles and promote them on Twitter, blogs, and Facebook each and every month. Many club members purchase these titles and review them.

Spotlight Author? Well, let me explain it to you. When chosen to stand in the spotlight, the author embarks on a month-long journey that includes wicked Twitter support, a blog tour, a seat on the shelf with club President Nonnie Jules (chit-chatting about you and your book), and a live interview on one of the RRBC Blog Talk Radio programs.

Look, most of us here are writers. We understand the marketing struggles indie authors face in today’s world. RRBC is meant to be a tool for the writer. But it requires more than just signing up. Support is vital. Those who don’t support, well, they receive little support themselves. It is through support that members become familiar with the names of fellow members. Marketing, branding — this is a foothold, an opportunity to meet other authors who also happen to be readers. This is the writer’s chance to build a foundation on which to establish their work.

If it sounds like something you may be interested in, stop by the RRBC site and have a look around. It only costs $25 per year.

Click here to visit the RRBC SITE!

Writing the (Almost) Perfect Book Review

Today we will take a look at what goes into writing the (almost) perfect book review. Nothing is ever really perfect, but those imperfections should never be an excuse for being unprofessional or rude.

Okay, so you’re new to the fine art of writing book reviews. Maybe you’re not quite sure how to go about sharing that incredible (or terrible) story you just finished reading (or couldn’t force yourself to read the entire thing). The hope here is that perhaps we can shed some light on approaching the task—regardless of your feelings toward the book in question.

Book reviews are opinions and nothing else. But these are valued opinions (when done correctly) that can guide readers to—or away from—an author’s hard work. Opinions will always vary when it comes to books, movies, restaurants, or anything else that is often the target of reviews. I may not have enjoyed the mashed potatoes at Cracker Barrel, but those same spuds may stir recollections of Granny’s home-cooked Sunday dinners from way back in another patron. So does that make my opinion any greater than another’s? Not a chance. My opinion is just an option for those reading reviews of dinner choices at the local Cracker Barrel.

But this presentation isn’t about culinary creativity. We’re here to discuss books and the reviews we seek to write. I’ve written over a hundred book reviews and dozens of concert and record album reviews. Book reviews (and movie reviews) are a different breed from other write-ups in that there are certain things of which you need to be aware when sharing your thoughts on the latest novel you’ve read.

The first (and most important) item to remember is: NO SPOILERS! Not even with a “spoiler alert” attached to the front end of your review. If there’s a twist at the end of the story that really blew your mind, then please allow the next mind to be equally blown. I hate it when such things are divulged—even with a warning. I may choose to not read beyond the warning, but that doesn’t mean a friend will stop at that point. This friend then decides to bring up the twist as I’m mentioning the new book I just added to my Kindle.

I call to mind the first time I saw the movie The Others. I hadn’t even heard of this film prior to my viewing it one lazy afternoon. I remember thinking that the film trotted along at a rather slow pace—so much so that I nearly turned the channel. I’m glad I didn’t. As the film progressed, I became even more invested. And as it reached its conclusion, POW! I honestly did not see that twist coming. And thankfully, I was able to be floored by the brilliance of the writing and the acting because nobody spoiled it for me.

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I’ve read the novel Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock. This wonderful story contains a twist at the end that spins the entire story into a whole new perspective from the one through which I’d viewed it right up to the final two chapters. Good writers will do these things. Good reviewers will leave those things hidden, allowing the next readers to discover those gems for themselves. So please leave the spoiler alerts out of your reviews.

The next thing to keep in mind is: DITCH THE PLAY-BY-PLAY! A review is never meant to be an outline spilling plot details. Neither is it supposed to be a road map through the story. If I can gather most of what’s going on between those book covers from your review, what reason do I have in investing money and time in reading it for myself? This only serves to cheat the reader out of a good read, and it snuffs out a sale for the author.

A well-written review will give us just a taste of the plot, a glimpse into the lives of the characters, and offer opinions on whether or not the author has what it takes to tell a fine story. It should be a critique of story and style.

This leads us to another very important point: ATTACKING CONTENT MISSES THE MARK! Okay, so what exactly am I talking about? Saying you didn’t like the story in question because the girl was raped or a child died says more about the reviewer than it says about the book. If we’re voracious readers, we’ll eventually run into a story that may, at points, make us feel uncomfortable. My skin was crawling at times while reading The End of Alice by A. M. Homes. It’s a dark read, this story. But Miss Homes is one of my favorite writers. Her stories are vivid with living characters. She, as a writer, is skilled at yanking the reader from his or her comfort zone. The best writers are able to do these things without a second thought.

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The End of Alice is a bestseller. I mention this only because, as such, there are quite a few reviews for this work. The titles of some of those reviews posted on Amazon are rather telling. Beautifully Disturbing; Disgusting, But Impossible to Forget; Fascinating, Frustrating and Disappointing—but Unforgettable. Most opinions of this book award four and five stars—even though many of these reviewers found the story quite disturbing. Then there are those who simply attack the content and do all they can to steer potential readers away from this work.

Did the writing captivate you? Are the characters believable? What sort of emotions did you experience while reading? Did the author pull you out of your comfort zone? Is it a well-written story without punctuation or spelling errors? Did you care about the characters or were they worthy of being hated? These are the sorts of questions we should ponder while determining our opinions of the works of others.

Not all reviews warrant four and five stars. But that’s not license to attack an author’s work either. An honest review should be constructive in its criticism, not destructive. Social media is rife with mean and nasty comments that are designed to tear down rather than build up. Take into consideration the author may learn something from your review, and thus become a better writer because of you! Be honest, be tactful, be kind—even if it’s a 1, 2, or 3 star review. If you don’t like a particular story, explain the reasons behind your opinion.

As reviews coordinator for RRBC, I’ve heard from members who found issues with books they’ve read. They tell me they feel guilty writing a one or two star review. Well, if that’s their honest opinion, then that’s what they should award. I challenge them to offer the author—as well as potential future readers—an explanation on why they arrived at this rating. Are there punctuation problems? Plot holes? Is the story just too unbelievable? Share these details—but do so in a way that teaches. Be encouraging rather than discouraging.

And finally, when posting your reviews, be sure to proofread before sharing with the world via Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Nothing is quite as ridiculous as a critique of another’s work in a review filled with misspellings, missing or poor punctuation, and sentences that make little or no sense at all. If need be, allow another pair of eyes to do the proofreading for you—before you hit the post button. Your words represent you as a writer—whether they’re reviews, blog articles, essays, or novels. Always strive to make a strong impression. And remember, writing reviews is another way to make connections in the indie author world. If you’re needlessly harsh in your criticisms, that’s a reflection on you.