Tag Archives: The Indie Spot

Welcome to #RRBC’s NOVEMBER “SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour!

Today, it is my great honor to share with you a fantastic author and an amazing human being. Introducing Rave Reviews Book Club’s SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR for November, D. L. Finn! 

Take it away, D. L. . .

Thank you for having me on your blog for day one of the Just Her Poetry Spotlight tour!

Finn Facts:

  1. I won the first place ribbon, at our local fair, of an icicle picture taken near Reno, NV.
  2. I’ve almost drowned in a river, pool, and the ocean, but I still love to swim.

 

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 Spring and Summer

SPRING SUN

I sit outside in the spring sun

Listening to the birds sing

As a bee hums near me searching.

Small patches of snow are slushy

Everything’s waking up from the dormant season

The cats are exploring…the dogs sunbathing.

I relax in the warmth that renews my soul.

It is a day for new beginnings…a new seed

A place to plant buried dreams in the stars

In the fertile magic of a perfect day in spring.

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

More Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

 

Welcome to Part 2 of “THE MEREST LOSS” Blog Tour! @StevenNeil12 @4WillsPub #RRBC

Q & A THREE

Getting to know Steven Neil, the author of THE MEREST LOSS.

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

 

The Learning Process

 

  1. The ability to write is a gift. True or false?

It is a gift that most of us have, to a greater or lesser extent. What is missing is usually application. Having said that, not all writers are created equal and some people do seem to have the ability to write effortlessly. Lucky them.

  1. Some people think that writing cannot be taught. What do you think?

Clearly no one can teach you to be a great writer. You have to have some feeling for language and a story to tell. However, I think the craft of writing, the technical ability to write grammatically, to be able to describe character and to be competent in building the arc of a story, can be taught. It is no certainty, however, that the skills will be learnt.

  1. How did you learn to be a writer?

I studied English Literature and Creative Writing at the Open University. It took me five years to complete my degree. I enjoyed it so much I carried on and took a one year Masters in Creative Writing at Oxford Brookes. I also read almost a lifetime of books!

  1. What experiences have been most useful to you in honing you skills?

My formal education and my reading helped me, but I have probably learned most from getting feedback from other authors on my drafts.

  1. Have you read any helpful texts on writing?

Stephen King: On Writing

  1. Which authors do you regard highly for their technical excellence?

Amongst nineteenth century writers I think Anthony Trollope is the master craftsman. Amongst modern writers Kazuo Ishiguro, Hilary Mantel and William Boyd are technically excellent but they are also great storytellers.

  1. Would you recommend creative writing courses?

I would absolutely recommend courses, but I do understand that my courses were taken at a time when tuition fees were much lower than they are now and it is hard to justify the cost of a degree course.

  1. What is the best piece of advice you have been given?

Stick to your guns. Whilst all the advice I have been given along the way has been helpful, one particular development editor thought I should rewrite The Merest Loss from a different point of view. I’m glad I took the conscious decision not to change it.

  1. What do you wish you had known before you started writing?

I have mixed feelings about this. I am proud of my novel The Merest Loss and pleased with the critical feedback. However, if I had understood the true economics of publishing, where even a successful novel brings meagre financial rewards for an author, I might have done something else with the time I invested. Who knows?

  1. What would you recommend to someone setting out as a writer?

Read a lot. Write a lot.

 © Steven Neil

THE MEREST LOSS is available in paperback and eBook in the UK, US, France, Canada and Australia.

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

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

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

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

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

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

4Wills Blog Tour

 Book

The Merest Loss by Steven Neil  ISBN: 1788039718

Blurb

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

When Harriet Howard becomes Louis Napoleon’s mistress and financial backer and appears at his side in Paris in 1848, it is as if she has emerged from nowhere. How did the English daughter of a Norfolk boot-maker meet the future Emperor? Who is the mysterious Nicholas Sly and what is his hold over Harriet?
Can Harriet meet her obligations and return to her former life and the man she left behind? What is her involvement with British Government secret services? Can Harriet’s friend, jockey Tom Olliver, help her son Martin solve his own mystery: the identity of his father?’

Genres

Historical Fiction and Victorian Historical Romance

Bio

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

Twitter

@stevenneil12

IAN author page

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

Email

stevenneil1@aol.com

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  
 
Thanks for supporting this author and his work!

 

 

 

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

MOMENTS WE LOVE – 4 Wills Publishing Tour from 18 October to 24 October 2019
Day – 6

About the Book:

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

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

Memories and moments merge here
Today when I return to share
The glow of rainbows
Embers of emotional entreaties
And smoldering debris.

Buying links:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W57M462

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

Do you Like Poetry?

I don’t remember when I started liking poetry. Probably I was born with it or was fascinated by the lyrics of Mother Nature. When I walk down my memory lane, one image looms large and that is how much effort one of our English professors used to put into explaining the poetry of Tennyson and Wordsworth. While the latter was relatively easier to understand, the former much more complex and obviously we didn’t like the one that was more challenging.

The real challenges came my way when ‘Paradise Lost,’ an epic poem by John Milton was not taught in the class (or if it was, I must be mentally absent) and even when it was discussed, it didn’t evoke any interest!

While prose can be effortless reading unless it is stream of consciousness writing, poetry can become quite boring if we are not familiar with its techniques and tones.
Despite the tests and trails, I continued to like poetry and discovered that it is a genre par excellence. It can say a lot through literary techniques, which only an admirer of Literature can understand. I still struggle to understand some subtle messages conveyed through simple words.

Ambiguous ideas in a poem provide a food for thought and chisel your creative skills.
Who has the time and the inclination to read and re-read a poem in this fast-paced world? Only poetry lovers do! Most of my blogger friends are elaborative when they share their reflections on my post. Whenever I post a poem, I get a lukewarm response and I often wonder – is it because of poetry?

Quickly my mind hurtles back, my interactions with teenagers get refreshed, all their expressions, yawns and glances stand before me, bringing those lovely memories of hate-love relationship we had with poetry…when we would try to convince each other why poetry is good or bad and how we could understand it better.

I am not an expert but I have figured out a few ways to understand poetry.
How to understand a poem:

All readers have their own approach and interpretation but how imagery is used defines a poem. Can you read between those special words to fathom their depth?
It is better to read slowly.
Stop and ponder over at the word that seems simple but abstruse.
“If you’re curious, there is always something new to be discovered in the backdrop of your daily life,” says Roy T. Bennett.
Be curious. Inquisitiveness and interest are two important elements that lead to our understanding of a poem.
Poetry can’t be scanned and understood like prose as the former demands concentration, attention and gentle reading.
If you read a poem in a hurry, you would miss the real meaning. Many times words are used as metaphors.
You have to be familiar with most common literary techniques like simile, metaphor, hyperbole, personification, alliteration and assonance.
Imaginative flights of poets can’t be predicted, we have to fly with them to figure out their proficiencies.
Critical analysis of a poem reveals the nuances of its theme, undertones and other signals, which remain hidden to a scanner.
Some poems are ambiguous. Probably they relate to the poet’s past or buried memory, which he wouldn’t like to reveal yet, give a vent to his emotions through writing.
© Balroop Singh

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

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

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

Balroop Singh has always lived through her heart. She is a great nature lover; she loves to watch birds flying home. The sunsets allure her with their varied hues that they lend to the sky. She can spend endless hours listening to the rustling leaves and the sound of waterfalls. The moonlight streaming through her garden, the flowers, the meadows, the butterflies cast a spell on her. She lives in San Ramon, California.
You can visit her blog at: https://balroop2013.wordpress.com
Connecting links: https://twitter.com/BalroopShado
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Emotional-Shadows/151387075057971

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7340810.Balroop_Singh
https://www.amazon.com/Balroop-Singh/e/B00N5QLW8U/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.

Thanks for supporting this author and her work!

WELCOME TO THE #RRBC 2019 OCTOBER-WEEN BLOCK PARTY!

Greetings to all! Welcome to Rave Reviews Book Club’s 2019 October-ween Block Party! Today, in keeping with the Halloween spirit, I am sharing my short story entitled Monster, from my short story collection Strange Hwy

CONGRATULATIONS TO MY WINNERS! 

1. Mark Bierman

2. Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

3. Jerry Marquardt

**This giveaway is now closed**

Three lucky readers will win prizes! (Who doesn’t like prizes?)

Here are my prize packs:

1. A $10 Amazon Gift Card and your choice of a signed paperback copy of one of my books!

2. A $10 Amazon Gift Card and your choice of a signed paperback copy of one of my books!

3. A $10 Amazon Gift Card and your choice of a signed paperback copy of one of my books!

Those books to choose from are:

  1. Jazz Baby
  2. Slivers of Life: A Collection of Short Stories
  3. Strange Hwy: Short Stories

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below!

And now, on to my Halloween short story. . .

 

Monster

 

“Indecent liberties with a minor,” my mother explained, repeating the same words Danny Deagle sprinkled on us kids earlier in the day. “I don’t want you girls trick-or-treating at his house tonight.”

The old man at the end of the street, she meant. A swirl of new words followed him into our neighborhood—words shrouded in secrecy, in a thick fog of mystery. The simple ones I’d commit to memory, intending find them in the dictionary I got for my tenth birthday this past summer—a secret gift that nobody else knew about.

Perv—that’s the one I looked up last night, right before bed. Millicent, my older sister, she used it when telling Grandma Myron about the new neighbor in question. But if there’s such a word as perv, well, old Merriam-Webster hasn’t been told. I couldn’t find it to save my life.

“I ain’t going anywhere near that side of the street,” Millicent announced. “—not as long as he’s lurking down there.”

She’d go over there, though. Millicent thinks she’s hot you-know-what just because she’s thirteen now. Besides, every kid in the neighborhood wants to be the first one to walk up those front steps and ring the doorbell. You have to be seen doing it, though, or it won’t count for anything.

I tossed in a handful of words meant to be my two cents. “Danny Deagle says he got in trouble down in Kentucky before he got in trouble here in Ohio—that old man, I mean.”

Danny Deagle knows about these sorts of things. His stepdad is a cop.

My mother lit a fresh Marlboro and proclaimed, “He’s got no business staying on this street—not with all you kids around.” Thin lazy smoke slithered from her nostrils like twin snakes in search of a meal. “Don’t let me hear that you girls went trick-or-treating at his house.”

* * *

Millicent dressed as a belly dancer again—same as last Halloween and the one before that. She just likes the attention from boys like Danny Deagle and Jeff Brahm. But they like her only because she’s practically naked in her costume.

Me? I got stuck being a hobo again—even though my mother promised me I could be the belly dancer this year.

Millicent grabbed her pillowcase from the kitchen table and said, “Ready, dweeb?”

“You’re the dweeb,” I argued, snatching my own pillowcase.

My mother said, “Don’t stay out all night.”

We’d stay out as long as it took to fill those pillowcases to the full.

Danny Deagle met us in front of his house. Those gray eyes of his drank up Millicent like she’s cool water and he’s been thirsty for days. But he really couldn’t be blamed. Booty shorts and a sports bra, that’s all she wore underneath that sheer white fabric that left her belly bare and exposed.

Our father, before he remarried and moved to Cincinnati, wouldn’t have allowed one of his daughters to go traipsing through the neighborhood wearing only a couple of tissue papers.

.

But our father doesn’t come around anymore. And our mother, she won’t play the villain—as she likes to say. So Millicent gets away with murder.

Kids of all ages crisscrossed our neighborhood exchanging tricks for treats. Smarties and Sweettarts mingled with fun-sized Snickers and Milky Ways in the bottom of our pillowcases. And later, when we’d finally have to call it a night, Millicent would try to swindle me out of all of my Hershey’s Miniatures, offering junk like jelly beans and peanut butter chews for trade.

Billy Pinsler found us where Delbert Avenue and McCaully Drive cross. Billy’s my age—only shorter. “Anybody going to the perv’s house?” he asked.

Danny fixed me in his sight. “You’ll go up there, won’t you, Melanie?”

My head twisted left and right. “Mom said to stay away from his house,” I told him, knowing full-well he’d poke and prod until I agreed to answer his dare.

Danny’s good like that. He knows how to get kids to do what he’s too scared to do—only he’d never admit to being scared.

Millicent joined the push, said, “Since when do you listen to Mom?”

We were already there, bags half-full, in front of that house on the end of our street. I’d be the one going, as usual.

“Melanie won’t go,” Billy announced. “She’s too scared.”

My eyes found Millicent’s eyes. “You’re the one who’s half naked; why don’t you go up there?”

“Because the guy’s a perv, nimrod!” said Danny. “You want him to try something with her?”

And what about me?

I tossed my gaze toward that house. A lone porch light shined out of the dark.

“If I scream,” I said, walking to my demise, “you better run and call the cops.”

A fall breeze passed through the trees overhead, sending loose leaves gliding to the ground.

My legs went heavy and stiff, unwilling to move without provocation. Somewhere on that street a dog barked warnings at kids in costumes.

My body halted at the bottom step leading to the front door. I tossed a glance over my shoulder. Millicent, Danny, and Billy took refuge behind shrubs at the foot of the driveway.

“Ain’t gotta be scared,” the voice said, suddenly there like a spook in the night. “Just come on up. I won’t bite—except you want I should.”

A bead of sweat raced down my belly, which was stuffed with an old pillow to make me look fat.

Gray hair going thin twisted this way and that, like weeds, atop his head. Skinny, like maybe he’d been sick for a while.

My foot found the first step, brought us closer.

He asked, “You gonna say it?”

I would. It only seemed right. “Trick or treat.”

A laugh just like my father’s slipped past his lips. He kind of resembled him, too, around the eyes and nose.

“You say it with no real conviction, girl,” he said, almost accusing me of something.

The mouth of my pillowcase yawned wide, ready to swallow whatever treats he chose to dispense.

Two Hershey’s miniatures.

Mr. Goodbar and Krackle.

“Where’s your sister?” he wondered aloud, throwing his gaze like a pair of marbles down the driveway.

“Hiding,” I confessed, backing away.

But those eyes of his—cobalt blue, same as my father’s—took hold on me, wandered along my length as if sizing me for a new dress.

“You ’sposed to be a bum?” he asked.

Denim coveralls, a gray T-shirt that used to be white, and worn-out tennis shoes seemed the easiest of Halloween costumes to put together.

I corrected him, said, “A hobo.”

“Hobo, huh?” He waggled his finger, drew me closer to his grasp. “Take the rest of these,” he said, offering me the entire bowl of miniatures.

“What about the other kids?”

“Ain’t no other kids. You the only one come ’round tonight.”

It made my bag heavier and more than satisfied, this extra loot.

My voice came tight, higher-pitched than normal. “Thank you.”

“Polite—just like your daddy at that age.” The weight of his body found relief against the door frame. “Did you get the Merriam-Webster I sent for your birthday?”

My head tipped a nod, my voice said, “Thank you, Granddad.”

* * *

“Did he lose his goo over you?” Danny Deagle asked, acting like a big brother. “I’ll tell my stepdad if he did.”

“He didn’t,” I assured him, not really understanding what goo just might get lost.

Millicent’s gaze took hold on mine, passed words into my head, words demanding my silence on the matter.

Aloud, her words asked, “What’d he give you?”

“Jellybeans,” I told her. “Nothing but jellybeans.”

This story can be found in Strange Hwy: Short Stories.

If you ever find yourself on the Strange Hwy–don’t turn around. Don’t panic. Just. Keep. Going. You never know what you’ll find.

You’ll see magic at the fingertips of an autistic young man,

  • A teen girl’s afternoon, lifetime of loss.
  • A winged man, an angel? Demon–?
  • Mother’s recognition, peace to daughter.
  • Danny’s death, stifled secrets.
  • Black man’s music, guitar transforms boy.
  • Dead brother, open confession.
  • First love, supernatural?–family becomes whole!

You can exit the Strange Hwy, and come back any time you want.

See, now you know the way in, don’t be a stranger.

BUY:

 

Spotlighting #RRBC and #RWISA Author @JohnJFioravanti

Greetings! Today, I am hosting RRBC Spotlight Author John Fioravanti! 

Take it away, John. . .

The REFLECTIONS Blog Tour

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

 

 

Reflection 46 • What Winners Have that Losers Don’t

 

” Winners view ticking clocks as precious time, and work fervently to accomplish much before the sun goes down.

 

Losers view ticking clocks as the means to get them closer to the end of their 8-hour work day.”

 

~ Nonnie Jules

 

Nonnie Jules, founder and President of Rave Reviews Book Club, inspires those around her to be the very best they can be, both in their personal life and their professional life. She is an excellent writer in her own right, as well as a loving mother and wife. She dedicates enormous hours, in any given day, to promote the well-being of others.

 

The central idea behind this quote is the most significant ingredient in any formula for success, and that is a person’s work ethic. We all know people who work hard at whatever they do and those who seem to be allergic to honest work. I have known families where not all the children grow up with strong work ethics, despite the fact that they had a good example from their parents. I have often wondered why one child in a family is incredibly lazy, while another works very hard at everything. There is so much not understood about human development, but I suspect that a good work ethic is the result of both heredity and environment. A predisposition to exert yourself could be an influential factor.

 

Having said that, I do believe that responsibility is learned. Parents must teach their children about priorities and then model those lessons. Not only must we teach the important priorities, but also that priority activities are completed first. One other aspect to this teaching is the importance of giving our work our best effort every time. We need to instil work principles: a job isn’t done until it is done well; it’s important to strive to improve our performance each and every day.

 

When a child grows to maturity having mastered and internalized these lessons, how can they not be the winners Nonnie Jules references? My parents modelled hard work and taught their children the lessons outlined above. Yet, I recall that it took a long time for me to develop my work ethic. I could have earned much higher grades in high school and university if I hadn’t been so lazy then. I did only what had to be done and that was all. I wasn’t prepared to expend any extra effort. Perhaps it was immaturity. I do understand laziness to a degree – it’s easy. Unfortunately, it is a one-way ticket to Loserville.

 

I turned the proverbial corner and began to develop my work ethic after my first year of teaching. My attitude changed because my work became very important to me. I chose to become the best teacher I could be, and spent the next thirty-four years working each day to be a better educator than I was the day before. It was, and is, a mindset.

 

This quote describes how winners view the passing hours on a clock. I immediately identified with Jules’ words. That’s how I feel, I thought. But for me, the concept of the sun going down is more figurative than literal. As a young man beginning my career in education, my whole life stretched out before me. Now, most of my life is behind me. There is an urgency within me spawning my second wind. I have unrealized dreams and I don’t have decades more to achieve them. The hours of each day are precious… not to be wasted… but filled with the best efforts I have to give. I begrudge the hours of sleep my body needs each day.

 

Am I a winner? I know that I may never achieve my dreams – either because my days ran out or skill was lacking. But as long as I stay in the race and put my heart and soul into my work, then yes, I’ll die a winner. My dad taught me as a teenager that the perfect man is one who never quits in the face of failure. I have tried my best to live that way, and I’m grateful to mentors like Nonnie Jules for the wisdom and inspiration to fight the good fight and run the race.

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.

 

 

 

Welcome to the “BOUND’ED BY CHAINS” Blog Tour! @FRStepnowski @4WillsPub #RRBC

Greetings! Today, I am hosting author/poet Forrest Robert Stepnowski on The Indie Spot

Take it away, Forrest. . .

Blog Tour Day 4

Title: “Bounded by Chains” Tour

About the Book:

BOUND; The Lost Romanticism and Eroticism of Gay Men. Allow yourself to give in to your deepest fantasies, desires, and sensual dreams, BOUND is a collection of poetic works exploring the world of eroticism, romanticism, and fantasies of gay men of all ages. Walk through the mind inspired by fantasies, the hopes for romance, the desire to be swept off ones’ feet, and the longing to be touched through this anthology filled with lost romance and passionate memories. Escape into a world that allows you to be one with your desires, feel the heightened sensations and passion through random rendezvous and engagements.

Poetry Excerpt from Bound: The Lost Romanticism and Eroticism of Gay Men:

I never knew your name

 

I remember when I thought I knew what innocence was

I had recently come out after pretending of being something I was not

I examined the possibilities of where to meet hot guys

There were the bars of course

Bars that were swarming with hot men in the midsummer night’s heat

Meat markets for all to ogle and lust after

Could I not see myself caught up in the scene and becoming a bar fly?

Or could I?

I was not the pretty face or the guy with abs of steel

I was joe average, still am I suppose

We met randomly on a chat page the year prior

You remembered it well

You were my guru on gay.com

Your sweet face was so innocent

Cute little smile, beautiful eyes, full beautiful lips

But your words were infused with sexual anticipation

You said it was your first time talking to a guy like that

I had just come out

We would talk for hours

We decided to meet at the metaphor, a local coffee shop in downtown San Diego

I walked into the shop and I became breathless

You were angelic, sitting their reading your book

I felt like a stalker as I stood there frozen in my tracks

Admiring your beauty across the room, love at first sight

You looked up and caught me staring, you laughed

You put your book down and walked my direction

You gave me a hug and a sweet kiss on the cheek

You said you were relieved to see I was truly the handsome man you saw in my photos

I was puzzled

Apparently, you have met some trolls and impostors before

We sat together by the window, holding each other’s hands

Talking for hours, we continued to talk for 12 hours

Lost by the time, you invited me to come over to your place for dinner

You smiled and said, ‘we can continue our talking there’

I could not resist your charms

We were both naïve

So innocent

But the sexual tension continued to build between us

After dinner, you kissed my cheek again

I caressed your face gently and kissed your lips

Slowly massaging your lips with mine

You trembled in my arms

I said, I better leave before it gets too late

You looked at me with a sense of desire and asked me to stay

I accepted the invitation

I offered to sleep on your couch, you laughed

You grabbed my hand and lead the way to your bedroom

We kissed

More and more intense each caress of our lips became,

We began removing each other’s clothing

Touching each other, exploring each other’s bodies

We laid upon your bed in an entangled embrace

Your legs wrapped around my waist

We stared into each other’s eyes

You smile and asked me to be your first

I kissed you and held you tight against my body

We became one so effortlessly

My initial thrust made you moan passionately

At first, we froze like statues

Lost in time like a work of art displayed by DaVinci

I began to thrust into you more and more

You quivered, asking me never to stop

I controlled your body with every motion

Holding your hands down against the bed

Looking into your eyes

Kissing you

We were locked in this embrace for hours

We both began our passage to climax

Moaning

Heavily exhaling

Our orgasm was powerful and in sequence

My final thrust caused you to arch backwards with a final ahh!

We peaked in a rage of passion like Mt St Helen’s erupting over and over again

I kiss you softly

I am still inside of you, throbbing inside of you

You looked into my eyes and began to move your hips side to side, enjoying the feeling inside of you

We began to make love again

You were utterly speechless and out of control

Our dance embattled, and intense

You sang out a song that put sirens to shame

We were at another apex in a passionate duet

Another moment of heightened sensation

We both exhaled, kissed, and then laughed

We continued to stare into each other’s eyes

Our coffee date became 20 hours of pure exhilaration

We embraced for the rest of the night

We fell asleep in each other’s arms

We dreamt of the intense Kamasutra we performed

Later that morning, we arose a warm embrace

You made me promise to never forget you

I laughed saying this is only the beginning

You began to cry

You told me how you were being deployed at the end of the week

You were in the middle of your tenure in service to our country in the navy

I reassured you I was not going anywhere and would wait for you to return

You cried and kissed me over and over again

We showered, dressed, and went to the coffee shop where our initial date started

We spent every available minute we had left that week in preparation of your leave to the middle east

You even introduced me quickly to your family, whom I still talk to this day

My heart both full and broken simultaneously

I kissed you with the sentiment I will be here when you return

Neither of us could say the words, goodbye

We wrote each other for four months

Your letters stopped coming

I waited for four more months, and your letters stopped coming

Your parents called me daily to see if I had heard from you, as their letters had stopped coming as well

Until the day you were pronounced missing in action

Your parents fell silent to everyone

March 25, the phone rang

It was your sister

She had been crying

I tried to console her, but she stated she wanted to know if I was ok

She called me for your parents whom I could hear crying in the background

I asked her what was wrong, even though I had a sense I already knew

She cried inconsolably and told me you were found dead in the field

I lost my identity, my joy, and my reason for living in one statement

My first true love ended in tragedy, like a Greek mythological play

You were part of my soul, my being, my treasure

The day of the funeral, I was left in shattered pieces

Like a broken stain glass window with the colors of life you gave me

They were fragmented into several pieces upon my feet

I read your full name in the memorial

I shed tears as I realized I never knew your full name

I continued to weep

I never knew your name

About the Author:

Forrest Robert Stepnowski is an advocate, a writer, a social worker, and a performance artist in the Pacific Northwest. He has been writing poetic works and prose for most of his life. He realized how important is to share his work with others who have dealt with similar pathways of self-hate, self-deprecation, and self-loathing in the hopes they find they are not alone, as well as help them realize they are not deviants, nor are they against “human nature.” They are part of a collective of misfit toys on an island where being different is beautiful. We all have a voice, and the world should hear it. Forrest is a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club.

 

Social Media Links:

Website/Blog: https://www.forresttakesajourney.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/forrestrobertstepnowski

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/frstepnowski

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/forreststepnowski

 

Amazon Purchase Links:

Paperback

https://www.amazon.com/BOUND-Lost-Romanticism-Eroticism-Gay/dp/1096882558/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

 

E-Book

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07S1MLFGD/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

 

 

 

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  
Thanks for supporting this author and his work!

Welcome to the “GRANDMOTHERS: A FORCE FOR GOOD” Blog Tour! @HealthMN1 @4WillsPub #RRBC #RWISA

Greetings! Today I am honored to welcome author Harriet Hodgson to The Indie Spot.

Excerpt from The Grandma Force

Readers remember stories more than statistics. I use personal stories to emphasize points and link me to readers. This is my favorite story in The Grandma Force.

It was early morning at the family cabin. I sat in a log chair on the dock with my granddaughter on my lap. Patches of fog lingered in the forest and mist was rising from the river. We sat there silently, no words, no wiggling, and watched the current carry a few leaves and twigs downstream. Mayflies had hatched in the night and trout jumped from the water to catch them. One trout jumped up inches away from us. We heard other trout splashing in the river as they tried to catch mayflies.

At the edge of our property, an eagle had built a nest on top of a Norway pine. When we canoed on the river, we often saw the eagle in its nest. That misty morning my granddaughter must have been thinking about the eagle because she jumped off my lap and called, “Eeeagle, you can fly overrr, if you want to.” Her sentence as almost a song. We smiled at each other and she came back and snuggled on my lap.

Minutes passed. Suddenly we head a flapping sound as the eagle swooped low over the river, a couple of inches above the water, its claws poised to catch a trout. But the eagle missed the trout, made a quick turn, gained altitude, and flew back upriver. My granddaughter and I looked at each other in amazement. Neither of us said a word. Spoken words would have spoiled the miracle.

I tried to write a children’s story about the experience and failed. There were too many facets to the story—the stillness of the forest, the mist rising from the river, the jumping trout, the grandmother-grandchild bond, and the eagle who answered a little girl’s call. Much as I hated to admit it, the story exceeded my ability to tell it. Yet I remember the story and it’s one of the most beautiful times of my life.

 

Author Bio:

 

Harriet Hodgson has been a freelance writer for 38 years, is the author of thousands of print/online articles, and 37 books. Hodgson is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Alliance of Independent Authors. She has appeared on more than 185 radio talk shows, including CBS Radio, and dozens of television stations, including CNN.  A popular speaker, she has given presentations at public health, Alzheimer’s, bereavement, and caregiving conferences. She lives in Rochester, Minnesota with her husband, John. Please visit www.harriethodgson.com for more information about this busy wife, mother, grandmother, caregiver, speaker, and author.

 

 

Purchase Links: Amazon paperback   https://amzn.to/31Kklgs

Amazon eBook   https://amzn.to/31FoUt5

Barnes and Noble paperback   http://bit.ly/2N28jLY

Barnes and Noble eBook   http://bit.ly/31GeWaj

IndieBound paperback   http://bit.ly.2TBRpol

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  
Thanks for supporting this author and her work!