Welcome to the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour with A.M. Manay! #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to day 3 of the Welcome to the Watch “RWISA” Write Showcase Tour. Today I am privileged to host #RRBC author, A.M. Manay. 😀

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“Mirror, Mirror” by A.M. Manay

Set in the world of The Hexborn Chronicles

Shiloh stood in her teacher’s doorway, pulling anxiously on the end of a pink braid that had snuck out of her hood. Brother Edmun was in high dudgeon, ranting about insults and ingrates. A wooden crate sat upon the table, straw peeking through the slats. She could feel magic pouring out of it like waves of heat; it wasn’t dark magic, but it didn’t feel like good magic, either.
“Master?” she ventured. “Would you like me to make your breakfast?” She didn’t bother to ask about the box. He’d tell her if he wanted her to know – and, in his own good time, not before.
Edmun looked at her as though she’d appeared out of thin air. He waved her off. “Don’t bother, poppet. I couldn’t eat.”
Shiloh’s eyes strayed to the crate, but she said nothing.
“Go finish your essay from yesterday,” Edmun barked.
Taking her seat at her little desk with her back to the table, Shiloh could hear Brother Edmun unpacking the mysterious arrival. It was all she could do to resist the urge to peek when she heard the sound of a hammer. Under his breath, Edmun muttered a constant patter of unintelligible complaints. At last, she heard him pull out a chair and collapse into it. Carefully scanning the page once more for any mistakes, she stood to present her work to her master.
He looked down at the offering in her little hand, her words marching neatly across the page. Pen in one hand and her paper in the other, the glower slowly disappeared from his face as he read, leaving behind a hint of satisfaction. At last, he nodded, resting his unused pen. Shiloh exhaled in relief.
“Well done. A princess at the Academy could not have done better at twice your age.”
“Thank you, master!” Her smile lit up her eyes, which then strayed over Edmun’s shoulder to a mirror with gilded leaves and lacquered flowers hanging on the wall. The ornate frame looked out of place in the rustic mountain cabin.
“Don’t look in it more than you can help it,” Edmun ordered, calling attention back to her teacher’s face.
“Yes, master,” she replied. “May I know why not?”
Edmun hesitated.
“I can feel that it’s magic, master,” Shiloh continued.
He snorted. “I’m sure you can.” She waited for more, but knowing well enough not to press him.
Edmun heaved a sigh. “A man can give you a gift out of love, to please you. Or, he can send it as an insult, to remind you of errors and to caution you against repeating them. This mirror is the latter.”
“What does it do?” she asked.
“That is none of your concern,” he replied. “And that is all I will tell you. Go get a wand from the cabinet.”
Excitement sheathed Shiloh’s face. “We’re using wands today?”
Edmun glanced down at her from beneath his eyebrows. “Is there another reason I’d ask you to get one? Now, do it quickly, before I think better of it.”
***
The following evening, Shiloh picked up a clean rag and set about the dusting. Edmun was busy in the temple, preparing for the upcoming Feast of the Father. As soon as she was done in the house, she was to join him there. As usual, the red cabinet took most of her attention. The many books, wands, and magical curiosities inside had to be carefully wiped and returned to their accustomed positions. It was tedious work, but she was pleased that Edmun trusted her with the task.
Her work on the cabinet finally completed, she turned to dust the mirror and gasped. The silver surface had turned to black. A face appeared, and not her own. Shiloh took a step backward.
A man cocked his head to the side, a slow smile spreading across his face. He opened his mouth as if to speak, but Shiloh did not wait to hear the words. She ran, her head scarf flying behind her all the way to the temple doors. She threw them open.
“What?” Edmun demanded, looking up from the altar.
“The mirror,” she panted. “It turned black, and then there was a man…”
Edmun crossed the floor and took her by the shoulders. “What did he see? What did you say?”
“Nothing! I ran as soon as I saw him. I was only finishing up the dusting. Who was he?”
Edmun ran a hand over his mouth and chin and took a deep breath. “The most dangerous man in the kingdom. Silas Hatch.”
“The Hatchet?” Shiloh shivered. “The king’s spymaster? Why would he appear in your mirror?”
“Who do you think sent it? Hatch likely meant to speak with me, to threaten me. The king hates and fears me for reasons you well know.” His brows drew inward. “He gave you a right scare, didn’t he, poppet?”
Shiloh nodded. Edmun knelt to look her in the eye. “Now, if I were a kind man, I’d tell you that you need not fear him. But I’m not, so I’ll tell you the truth. You should be terrified of him. If you ever give him reason to believe you are disloyal to the crown, he will slit your throat with his own hands.”
“Why would I ever be disloyal to the crown?”
Edmun placed a hand on her head. “Good girl. Now, put that man out of your mind and help me ready the temple for tomorrow.”
Shiloh nodded, yet the ice of fear in her stomach remained; as did the look of worry on her beloved teacher’s face.
***
Shiloh sat on her bed in the loft above her father’s smithy. Upon her blanket lay an array of charms she’d just made for protection against all manner of hexes or ill-wishing.
The look upon the mirror man’s face had chilled her to the bone—something about the smile. It had been predatory. Proprietary. Wary. It had given her the distinct impression that the man’s interest lay not only in her master but in herself, as well. I will not leave my teacher unprotected.
She pinned one charm on the linen beneath her tunic. The others she gathered into an old handkerchief. She tied it tight and placed the bundle in her pocket along with a jar of paste.
She knew Edmun would already be in the temple performing his ablutions for the feast day. She let herself into his house and crossed warily to the mirror. She exhaled with relief to find it clad in its ordinary silver.
Carefully, she lifted the mirror off its nail and turned it face down upon the table. She held the pot of glue in the crook of her elbow and pried it open, then affixed seven charms to the back of the Hatchet’s “gift” to her master, one for each of the Lords of Heaven. She returned the mirror to its proper place and hurried to the temple before Edmun could scold her for tardiness.
***
At dusk, Edmun sat his tired bones into his favorite chair and looked balefully at the mirror. Given the visitation to Shiloh the night before, Edmun expected to see Silas Hatch’s face, yet as the pink light of sunset faded, the man did not appear.
“Perhaps tomorrow,” Edmun murmured. “I had hoped to get it over with.” He looked up at the mirror and realized that it was just slightly askew. Standing, he removed it from the wall. Turning it over, he found Shiloh’s handiwork.
Edmun smiled and shook his head. “My sweet, clever poppet. Too clever by half.” Sighing, he plucked the charms from the backing and set the mirror on the table, leaning against a water pitcher. Silas appeared in moments.
“Master Edmun, I feared you had forgotten the terms of our arrangement. There was to be no meddling with the mirror.”
Edmun swallowed heavily. “It was a momentary lapse,” he lied. “I thought better of it.”
Silas grinned. “You don’t have lapses. It was the girl, wasn’t it?”
Edmun said nothing.
Silas laughed. “It was. Ha! And what is she, only eight years old?”
Still, Edmun said nothing.
“She must love you as much as I did,” Hatch mused.
“What do you want?”
“Are you really teaching her mirror magic this young?” Hatch asked, brow raised.
Edmun closed his eyes and sighed. “Of course not. Evidently, I didn’t teach you your own well enough, as she defeated you with a handful of charms and some paste.”
The young man’s ears flushed. “Well, then,” he managed, “I shall have to redouble my efforts.”
“You do that. And Silas?”
“Yes?”
Edmun leaned in. “The next time you frighten that girl, it had best be after I’m cold in the ground.”

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Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today! We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs. Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent! Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

A.M. Manay #RWISA Author Page

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

Thank you for joining me today for the Watch RWISA Write Showcase tour! I am excited to host #RRBC author, D.L. Finn. I hope you enjoy her post.

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The Poetry of D.L. Finn

POETRY by D. L. Finn

ICICLES
The icicles dangle downward
Reaching for the substantial snow
Each drop bringing them closer
As the landscape merges into itself
It is silent in its existence
Until a raven reveals itself
Wondering what’s in the trash
Yet, the moment remains peaceful
Sitting and surveying in the chill
An instant promising potential
When there is no celerity
When crackling fires call
When surroundings are concealed
Soon, the renewal will be revealed
But now it’s the stage of contemplation.
For sustenance
For solace
For soul
To live on our abundance of the past
This is the gift of the snow
When we can replenish our hearts
In the silence of the icicles.

FREEDOM (Musings from the back of a Harley)
The freedom of the blue skies
Welcome us warmly back
Our path is asphalt
Our vehicle a mechanical horse
Our guide is the wind
Lush green walls soar
The sun illuminates the way
Oaks are waking up after a long nap
And I…
I fill my soul
With nature’s flowering renewal
Bursting with beauty and abundance
In the freedom of spring.

WHERE THE RIVERS MEET
Roaring white, pounding the granite
Swirling, swelling, splendor
The air is heavy with anticipation
It blows over me like a lover’s touch
Filling my heart with sweet floral ecstasy
I relax into the experience
Each breath carries away my worries
My eyes fill with abandonment
As the rushing liquid serenades me
Singing the praise of this paradise
Until the different directions converge
After a brief resounding rumble
They combine and continue on their way
Leaving the moment where the rivers meet.

OCEAN
As I sit perched up high on our lanai
Comfortable on my recliner in the shade
The ocean draws my gaze
Its sapphire and emerald water calls me
While the blue pool floats in its space—uninviting
I hear the sea’s song as it smashes onto the shore
The surfers ride its motion
The snorkelers gaze into its depth
And the swimmers float on its perception
Our attraction is undeniable
Opposites: one of air, one of water
It beckons, and I must respond
Offering myself up to the hidden world
Under the cerulean summon
I answer, embracing the ocean completely.

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Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today! We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs. Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent! Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author:

D.L. Finn #RWISA Author Page

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I’m so glad you were able to stop by to day! Please join me tomorrow when I host another fantastic #RRBC author.

Welcome to the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! #RRBC #RWISA With John Howell @HowellWave

Welcome to Day 1 of the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour! #RRBC #RWISA

I am priviledged today to host talented #RRBC author, John W. Howell. I hope you enjoy his post.

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The Road

by

John W. Howell

The Road by John W. Howell 2019
Just a couple more hours and I’ll be able to rest my eyes. Been on this damn highway for what seems like forever. His head slowly nods until the rumble strip noise causes him to jerk awake. “I have been asleep,” he yells. He yanks the wheel, and the tires screech in protest as he swerves back on to the highway. He can feel his heart in his chest and pressure in his eyes. In an instant, he regrets being so weak as to give in to the physical need. He also becomes alarmed since now he knows that sleep could overtake him without notice. One second, his eyes could be open and the next closed. Thank God for the jarring and noise of the rumble strips since without its alarm, he is sure he would have ended up piled into a tree.
As his heart settles down, he concentrates on the road ahead. There’s someone at the side about a half mile away. A hitchhiker by the looks of a backpack. A sign in the person’s hand is not readable at this distance. The thought occurs that It would be a good thing to have someone else in the car to help him stay awake. Of course, there are dangers in picking up a stranger. As he gets closer, he can see that the hitchhiker is not a guy like he thought. It’s a young woman about his age. She is wearing some kind of overalls, but the distinctive female form still comes through. He decides to slow down and assess the situation. A girl makes all the difference in trying to reach a decision for or against a pickup. After all, who knows where this could lead? He does know that in all probability, she is not likely to stick a knife in his ribs and demand his wallet after a couple of miles down the road.
He eases the car to the shoulder and can’t help kick up some dust in the process. The sign is facing him even as the person turns away to avoid the dust storm he has created. Kansas City in black marker on cardboard is all it says.
He opens the passenger door and waves her over. “I’m going to Kansas City. Want a ride?”
The young woman looks back at him, and he can tell she is doing an evaluation on the safety prospects of accepting a lift. She slowly hoists her backpack on to her shoulder and walks with hesitant steps toward the car. She puts her hand above her eyes to cut the glare of the sun and stops short of the door. She leans in. “Did you say you’re going to Kansas City?”
“Yes. Yes, I did. I also asked if you would like a ride.”
“That all depends on your intentions?”
“My intentions?”
“Yeah. You are offering a ride. How much will it cost me?”
“Cost you? I’m going to Kansas City. Your sign says Kansas City. Why would it cost you anything?”
“Just want to make sure is all.”
“No charge. I’ve been on the road forever, it seems, and I would welcome the company. My name is James.”
“Sorry, James. I know I sounded a little ungrateful, but I have also been on the road and have met several guys that think I owe them something for a ride.”
“I can understand that. Let’s just say you can ride or not it’s your choice. No other decisions to be made.”
“Fair enough. I accept your offer. My name is Sarah.” She slides in and slams the door.
“Nice to meet you, Sarah. You want to put your backpack in the rear?”
“No, I’ll just keep it here in the front with me. You can never tell.”
“Tell what?”
“When I’ll have to bail. Everything I own is in this pack, and I sure wouldn’t want to leave it behind.”
“I get it. No use trusting someone just cause they say you can.”
“Right. I think I like you, James.”
“Wainwright. My last name’s Wainwright. How about you?”
“Not sure I have a last name. I go by Sarah.”
“No last name? How can that be?”
“You going to start this car or is my fear well founded.”
James flushes as he turns the ignition. “Yeah, here we go.” He looks in the side mirror and signals as he pulls back on the highway.
“You are a cautious one. There’s no one for miles.”
“I guess it’s a habit from city driving.” He keeps checking in the mirror until he is up to highway speed
“Where you from, James?”
“New York. You?”
“I think I was originally from down south somewhere.”
“You don’t know?”
“Well, it’s been a long time.” She pauses.
James glances at her and sees that she is lost in thought somewhere. Her skin is fair, and she has the high cheekbones and lips of a runway model. She looks vaguely familiar, and he compares her looks to Joni Mitchell. There is that innocent, fragile look that makes you want to take care of her.
“I’m sorry. What did you say?” She is back.
“I didn’t say anything. I’m amazed you don’t know where you are from.”
“Well do you remember where you’re from or is it someone told you?”
She has a point. James only knew he was born in Chicago because his parents told him so. He lived in New York for twenty years so unless clued in he would have thought he lived there his whole life. “I guess I should rephrase the question. Where did you last live?”
“Yes, James. That makes a little more sense. I last lived in Dubuque, Iowa.”
“What a coincidence. I am driving from Dubuque. Do you believe that?”
“I can believe that. Someone once said there are only six degrees of separation of everyone on Earth. You and I traveling from Dubuque at the same time certainly falls into that realm.”
“Aw come on, Sarah. We are both going from Dubuque to Kansas City. That has to be more than a coincidence.”
“I never said I was going to Kansas City, James.”
“Wait. You have that sign that says Kansas City.”
“Doesn’t mean I’m going there.”
“What does it mean?”
“You think I know?”
“I’m getting a weird feeling here, Sarah. Like you aren’t telling me something.”
“Do you remember swerving after you ran off the highway?”
“What? Back there. Yeah, I remember almost falling asleep. Hey, wait a minute. How would you know about that?”
“Think a minute, James. How do you think I would know about that moment?”
“Sarah I’m too tired for guessing games. What is this all about?”
“Do you feel okay, James?”
“Yeah, just tired.”
“Look around. Do you see any other cars?”
“No, but I haven’t for a while. What are you trying to tell me, Sarah?”
“You fell asleep James.”
“When did I fall asleep? I know I nodded off, but when did I fall asleep?”
“Just before your car went off the road and you hit a cement culvert.”
“Now, you are joking. Right? Right, Sarah?”
“No joke, James. Look ahead. What do you see?”
“Uh up the road, you mean?”
“Yes, up the road.”
“Nothing but what looks like a sandstorm.”
“It’s no storm, James. It is nothing.”
“Who are you anyway?”
“Do you remember that little girl who went missing in the second grade?”
“Yeah, what does that have to do with you?”
“Does the nickname Jimmy Jeans mean anything?”
“That’s what Sarah called me in the second grade.”
“How did I know that?”
“You wouldn’t unless.”
“Unless I’m Sarah.”
“Oh My God. Sarah. It is you. Where have you been?”
“That’s not important. What is important is you were broken hearted when I vanished. You prayed for my return and made promises to God if only I would come back.”
“I never got over that either. I think of that little gir. I mean, I thought of you almost every day. Why didn’t I recognize you?”
“Cause I’m all grown up. There would be no way.”
“Where have you been Sarah. I have missed you so much.”
“Don’t cry, James. I’m here with you now.”
“Can you tell me what happened to you?”
“No, James, it’s not worth the time.”
“So why now? Why are you here now?”
“To help you, James.”
“To help me. How?”
“To understand what your life is like now.”
“Now? What do you mean?”
“You were in an accident, James. You ran off the road, and I am sorry to say your body didn’t survive. You are now going with me on an eternal trip.”
“You are saying I’m dead. I can’t believe that. Look at me. I’m just as alive as you.”
“That’s right. You are.”
“Um, Sarah?”
“Yes, James.”
“You are dead too?”
“Yes, James. A man took me from school and killed me. They never found my body.”
“W-what?”
“Don’t think about that now. Think about the future. Because you prayed so hard and missed me so much, I was given the honor of escorting you to the other side.”
“Other side? There’s a Future?”
“A wonderful one. You and I for all time.”
“I would like that.”
“Take my hand then. Let’s be off.”
“I have more questions.”
“All in good time, James. All in good time.”

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Thank you for supporting this member along the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour today! We ask that if you have enjoyed this member’s writing, please visit their Author Page on the RWISA site, where you can find more of their writing, along with their contact and social media links, if they’ve turned you into a fan.

We ask that you also check out their books in the RWISA or RRBC catalogs. Thanks, again for your support and we hope that you will follow each member along this amazing tour of talent! Don’t forget to click the link below to learn more about this author.

John W. Howell #RWISA Author Page.

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Thank you so much for joining me to day and reading the work of this wonderful author. I’ll be back tomorrow with another stop on the WATCH “RWISA” WRITE Showcase Tour.

A fantastic short read!

Do you like a book that crosses the line into the dark side of human nature? One that unashamedly shows just how far people can sink into depravity, given the right circumstances.

Memoir of a Mad Woman is that kind of book. I picked it up, read the first couple of pages, and was unable to put it down. The story is dark, occasionly tragic, and shamelessly twisted.

I hope my review encourages you to download your own copy of Memoir of a Mad Woman.

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I loved this story! The main character, Emma, comes from a harsh background and definitely has some issues, but is blissfully unaware of them.

Emma sees herself as a victim, which in some ways she is, but she also feels she is the isolated target of a conspiracy. Maybe she is, maybe she isn’t. That’s up to the reader to decide.

I would have loved this story as a full-length novel. Given Emma’s kind of paranoid crazy, I’m sure she would have left a few more bodies in her wake over the years, had she been more cautious in the beginning.

The only problem I had with this story was being asked to believe that a woman could spend the first fifty years of her life in Institutional settings , surrounded by adults, and never learn the facts about how the female body works. This was a little hard for me to believe, but the story was more than good enough to overcome it.

This book is not for the young, squeamish or easily offended reader, but I highly recommend it for everyone else. It takes us behind the scenes of crazy- in-the-making and gives us a front row seat when the blood hits the walls.

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Vashti Quiroz-Vega

Facebook: Vashti Q

Twitter: @VashtiQV

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Thank you for stopping by today and reading my review of this well-written little story.

I’ll be back soon with another review of something awesome that I’ve read.

My books

Shadow of the Drill

Born of Circumstance, Bred for Revenge!

A Perilous Thirst

A different kind of vampire story.

One Dyke Cozy

“HAVE A NICE DAY”
Mr. HAPPY

Zombie Dawn

A short story with a bite.

I’ve Always Loved Women

Love makes Danny do crazy things.

Megamax

Let the blood flow!

Contact Info

Email: rhanidchae@gmail.com
Twitter: @rhanidchae

Facebook: Rhani D’Chae

My review of a great collection of short stories.

I love reading books by talented Indie authors! And when I find a book or author who really grabs me, I like to spread the word.

So today, I’m sharing my review of Strange Hwy: Short Stories, from author, Beem Weeks.

I hope you enjoy my review.

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Strange Hwy is a collection of short stories from one of my favorite Indie authors. Covering a variety of topics and situations, each story has a unique voice that draws the reader in.
Beem Weeks is a master of description, allowing us to fully experience the visual aspects of the worlds that he creates.
From a schizophrenic kangaroo to a mother having a poignant, one-sided conversation with her daughter to a secret shared between like-minded souls, each segment comes to us from a gifted storyteller who knows his way around the written word.
This is a book worth reading.

Strange Hwy: Short Stories

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I hope you will take at closer look at this book and others by Beem Weeks.

Please follow him on Twitter: @BeemWeeks

and visit his blog:

The Indie Spot

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Thank you for joining me today. I will be back soon with another review of something amazing that I’ve read.

What’s in A Name?

A wonderful article, originally posted on The Indie Spot If you are not following that blog, you definitely should!

The Indie Spot!

Naming characters might not seem like a major aspect to writing fiction, but it’s one of the most important pieces of the writing puzzle.

Names, when well thought out, convey elements of that character’s personality, region of birth, ethnicity. A memorable name will also stay with your readers—even after they’ve finished reading your book. Names like Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are much more memorable than, say, Dave Johnson and Bill Smith. Over the course of many books and several movies, we have a firm image of Han and Luke. Just hearing those names takes us on a journey into the future, into the deepest reaches of space. Bill and Dave, though part of a famous story, would not be easily recognizable in the name-dropping game of story fandom.

At times, I’ll come up with a name before I even have the story. There’s a personality within the name that…

View original post 238 more words

RRBC 2018 WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO SPONSORS BLOG HOP

Today, it’s my pleasure to share this book, written by Karl Morgan.

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DEMONIC

The world is on fire, and everything and everyone Bill Watson has ever loved is about to be wiped out of existence. A nuclear attack forces him to flee San Diego in the middle of the night. With his two dogs and a new friend, he heads for safety beyond the mountains. Bill is desperate to reach his family, but terrorists are everywhere and seem to be after him specifically, but why?

Doors have been opened from another universe and hideous creatures have come to enslave humanity while slaughtering every Bill Watson and Mary Stewart on the planet. His family has been kidnapped, and now, Bill and Mary must step through one of those doors to rescue them and end the destruction.

They will face ruthless killers and impossible odds over and again, but also learn unbelievable truths about themselves and the families they never knew they were part of. Their beliefs and faith will be tested to the limit as events spin out of control. Let us hope they are up to the challenge.

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Author Contact

Twitter: Karl Morgan

Facebook: Karl Morgan’s Author Page

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I hope that you’ve enjoyed this look at this excellent read! If so, I ask that you head to Amazon to snag a copy and please don’t leave without sharing this page to your social media platforms, as well as leaving a comment below!

You can follow along with the rest of the 2018 SPONSORS BLOG HOP HERE.

Thanks again for stopping by!

RRBC 2018 WRITERS’ CONFERENCE & BOOK EXPO SPONSORS BLOG HOP

I’m thrilled to be able to share this book, written by Shirley Harris-Slaughter, with you today!

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CRAZY! HOT! AND LIVING ON THE EDGE!! by Shirley Harris-Slaughter

Imagine experiencing emotions that have you questioning your sanity. Your body gets overheated at the least bit of excitement and you scramble to find a fan or some air. Or you find yourself in the throes of a panic attack and can’t understand how to shut it off, so you are filled with anxiety wondering when the next one is coming. What if every time you take a drug you experience side-affects that you are warned about on the label?
The title was conceived in my mind after I thought over all the situations I had found myself in, how I got out of them, and the affect all of this had on my overall physical and mental well-being.
Crazy! Hot! And Living On the Edge!! Is the True Story of My Upside Down Life!

Author Contact:

Twitter – @sharrislaughter

Facebook – Shirley Slaughter

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I hope that you’ve enjoyed this look at this excellent read! If so, I ask that you head to Amazon to snag a copy and please don’t leave without sharing this page to your social media platforms, as well as leaving a comment below!

You can follow along with the rest of the 2018 SPONSORS BLOG HOP HERE.

Thanks again for stopping by!

Welcome to the “PREY FOR THE DEAD” Blog Tour! @SusanneLeist @4WillsPub #RRBC 

  • Today, I am priviledged to host fellow #RRBC author, Susanne Leist. I hope you enjoy reading her post.

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PREY FOR THE DEAD

Linda yearns for a simple life after the heartache she experienced in New York. She moves to Oasis, Florida, to make a fresh start. She and her new friends face supernatural forces. This was five years ago. Now, the town is peaceful once again. Tourists fill the shops and hotel. As soon as she sits back to appreciate her life, trouble hits.

This is an excerpt of Chapter One of PREY FOR THE DEAD.

Linda Bennett’s illusions of paradise cloaked and comforted her as she stood at the front window of her bookshop. Sunlight filtered through the tinted glass, a rainbow of colors falling on the leather couches and chairs.

The seaside town woke early with the dawn. Eight in the morning and tourists filled Main Street with a small group peering into Oasis By The Sea. Linda skirted the coffee table filled to reach the food counter on the far right wall where stands displayed cakes and pastries. She climbed onto a white-cushioned stool and waited for the first customer of the day.

The picture window drew her attention as the newspaper boy rode his bicycle, flinging newspapers at each door. Palm trees waved long fronds in the breeze resembling dancers swaying their arms to music. The sun peeked through the leaves from a sky stroked by an artist’s loving touch in alternating shades of orange and yellow. As shop owners unlocked their doors for the day, laughter trickled inside from the passing vacationers.

Linda closed her eyes. Ever since Oasis settled into its unique rhythm five years ago, she’d been living a life of bliss. Sunny days and chilly nights became the town’s mainstay. No returning creatures to ruin its perfect image. Her dreams of paradise and happiness appeared to be at last on the horizon. A soft sigh escaped her lips.

The ground beneath her rumbled.

Linda’s eyes shot open.

The sun retreated.

Birds fell quiet.

Glasses behind the counter rattled.

Then came the explosion.

The fun begins for Linda and her friends as they fight The Dead vampires. An exclusive club in Disney World and a showdown in the swamps of Florida await.

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SUSANNE LEIST’S SOCIAL MEDIA & BOOK LINKS

Book trailer:

PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PB9KG4P

Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130732773?ean=2940161260111

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SusanneLeist

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susanne.leist.98

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/susanne.leist/

BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/susanne-leist

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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.

Lastly, Susanne is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {#RRBC}! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books, JOIN US! We’d love to have you!

Thanks for supporting this author and her work!

Welcome to the “FINDING BILLY BATTLES TRILOGY” Blog Tour! @JHawker69 @4WillsPub #RRBC #RWISA

Today, I am priviledged to host Ron Yates, award winning author of the Billy Battles trilogy.

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Some Thoughts on the Art and Craft of Writing

I was interviewed recently about the art and craft of writing in general and writing in the historical fiction genre in particular.

As a journalist for some thirty years, I interviewed thousands of people all over the world. Now that I am on the other side of the table, I am finding that being the interviewee is as different from being the interviewer as chalk and cheese.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoy being interviewed because it obliges me to think about what I do. It’s a lot like teaching. You must be able to verbalize your skills and knowledge and present them in a compelling way to teach effectively.

That’s not always easy to do. But I thought I would share my interview with my readers. I hope you will find it useful and perhaps even enjoyable.

Q. What historical time periods interest you the most and how have you immersed yourself in a particular time?

A. Growing up in rural Kansas I was always fascinated by the state’s 19th Century history. Kansas was a pivotal state before the Civil War because it entered the union as a free state and was populated–especially in the Northeast–by abolitionists. Kansas was a terminus for the Underground Railroad.

After the Civil War, it became about as wild and violent as any state in the union. Cattle drives from Texas, wild cow towns, outlaws, legendary lawmen and fraudsters of every stripe gave Kansas a wicked reputation. At the same time, the 19th Century in America was a time of fantastic growth, invention, progress, and expansion.

For some, such as Native Americans, this growth was not a pleasant experience, and in some cases, it was quite deadly. For others, the possibilities seemed limitless. Prosperity seemed restricted only by one’s determination to succeed.

Dodge City, Kansas

Q. Introduce us briefly to the main characters in Book 1 of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy.

A. William Fitzroy Raglan Battles is the main character in the trilogy. We meet Billy Battles through his great-grandson who meets him when he is 98 years old and living in an old soldiers’ home in Leavenworth, Kansas. The great-grandson inherits Billy’s journals and other belongings. Then, following his great-grandfather’s request, he produces three books that reveal Billy’s fantastic life.

The book begins with Billy introducing himself. We learn that his father is killed during the Civil War. He is reared by his widowed mother, Hannelore, a second-generation German-American woman who has to be both mother and father to her only son, rears him.

It is a tall order, but Billy grows up properly and is seemingly on the right path. His mother, a hardy and resilient woman, makes a decent living as a dressmaker in Lawrence, Kansas. An ardent believer in the value of a good education, she insists that Billy attend the newly minted University of Kansas in Lawrence. She is a powerful influence in his life, as are several other people he meets along the way.

There is Luther Longley, an African-American former army scout who Billy and his mother meet at Ft. Dodge in 1866. He escorts them the 300 miles to Lawrence and winds up being a close friend to both Billy and his mother.

There is Horace Hawes, publisher and Editor of the Lawrence Union newspaper who takes Billy with him to start a new paper in Dodge City. There is Ben Minot, a typesetter and former Northern Army Sharpshooter, who still carries a mini ball in his body from the war and a load of antipathy toward The Confederacy.

There is Signore Antonio DiFranco; the Italian political exile Billy meets in Dodge City. There is Mallie McNab, the girl Billy meets, falls in love with, marries and with whom he hopes to live out his life. There is Charley Higgins, Billy’s first cousin, who sometimes treads just south of the law, but who is also Billy’s most faithful compadre.

Then there is the Bledsoe family–particularly Nate Bledsoe who blames Billy for the deaths of his mother and brother and who swears vengeance.

Book one of the trilogy ends with Billy on a steamship in 1894 heading for French Indo-China and other points in the Orient where one adventure (and misadventure) after another awaits him.

Book 2, The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles, begins with Billy aboard the S.S. China headed for Saigon from San Francisco. Aboard the S.S. China Billy meets the mysterious Widow Katharina Schreiber, a woman who propels Billy into a series of calamities and dubious situations. She may or may not be a good influence on him.


He also meets a passel of shady characters as well as some old friends from his days in Kansas, etc. Events conspire to embroil him in a variety of disputes, conflicts and struggles in places like French Indochina and the Spanish-American War in The Philippines–events with which a Kansas sand cutter is hardly equipped to deal.

How does he handle these adventures in the “mysterious East?” You will have to read Book #2 to find out!

Q. What drew you to write this story

A.I was intrigued by the idea of a 19th Century Kansas boy forced to deal with a string of tragedies and misadventures who eventually makes his way to the Far East in search of himself.

How would he handle himself in such strange places as French Indochina, the Spanish-controlled Philippines, Hong Kong, Singapore, etc.? I spent most of my career as a foreign correspondent in Asia and I often wondered what it would have been like to have been in that part of the world in the 19th Century. This book gives me (and my readers) an opportunity to find out.

Q. On what are you currently working?

A. I just finished The Lost Years of Billy Battles, Book #3 of the trilogy. As Book 3 of the Finding Billy Battles trilogy begins we know where Billy is. He is in Chicago with his wife, the former Baroness Katharina von Schreiber living a sedate and comfortable life after years of adventure and tragedy. That changes with a single telephone call that yanks Billy and Katharina back into a life of turmoil and danger.

Persuaded by a powerful old friend to go undercover for the U.S. government the two find themselves in Mexico during the height of the violent 1910-1920 revolution. There they encounter assorted German spies, Mexican revolutionaries, devious political operatives, and other malefactors. Caught in the middle of the 1914 American invasion of Veracruz, they must find a way out while keeping their real identities secret.

After managing to extract themselves from danger, disaster strikes. It is a tragedy Billy is all too familiar with and one that will send him plummeting into a painful abyss of despair and agony. Consequently, Billy vanishes leaving family and friends to wonder what happened to him. Where is he? Is he dead or alive? What provoked his disappearance? In Book 3 of the Finding Billy Battles Trilogy, those questions are answered, and the mystery behind Billy’s disappearance is finally revealed.

Q. Is there ever a time when you feel like your work is truly finished and complete?

A.I don’t know if that ever happens. I do know that at some point, YOU MUST LET IT GO! Writing a book is a bit like rearing a child. Eventually, after you have imbued the child with as much of your worldly experience and wisdom as he or she can grasp and absorb you have to allow your creation to encounter the world. It’s the same with books. Writers can fiddle with plots, characters, endings, and beginnings ad nauseam and never feel the book is finished. My advice. JUST FINISH THE DAMNED BOOK! Get over it and get the book out into the public domain. Readers will let you know if you have finished the book–and if they like it.

Q. What is the most significant misconception beginning writers have about being published?

A. Probably that once you get a publishing contract, you are going to become a millionaire. I have published two books before Billy Battles with traditional publishers, and I am still on the hunt for my first million. The J. K. Rowling’s of the world are anomalies. However, thank God they do exist because it keeps the rest of us working our tails off in pursuit of that elusive kind of success. I do believe many writers write for the sheer joy we get from telling a good story–at least I do. The $$ are less of an incentive.

Q. What would I like readers to gain from reading my book(s)?

A. Because the Finding Billy Battles trilogy is historical fiction and is set in the 19th Century, I would like readers to get a sense of the time and place of the story. I would like them to have an appreciation of the way people lived, how they thought, and how they dealt with both adversity and triumph in a very different era. Finally, I would like readers to finish the trilogy and think to themselves: “Damn, I didn’t want that story to end!”

Q. Do you have some final words for readers or writers?

A. For Readers: Please DON’T STOP READING! Those of us who love telling stories need you. And when you read a book, don’t be shy. Write a review on Amazon, Goodreads, Barnes & Noble, etc. and let us know what you liked and didn’t like about a book. I value the reviews I get from Amazon Verified Purchase customers more than I do from professional or editorial reviewers. After all, customers spent money on the book and that gives them the right to tell the author what they think.

A. For Writers: Keep Writing. The world needs good storytellers today more than ever. I know that many who write are frustrated by letters of rejection from agents and publishers. Don’t be discouraged. If you can’t get a book before the reading public going the traditional publishing route, consider self or indie publishing. Publish on Demand (POD) books are everywhere these days and so are e-books. Writers today don’t have to feel a rejection letter the last word in their aspiration to publish. You have options to reach readers that didn’t exist 10 or even five years ago.

I must be honest, however. Many self-published books are not well done. The writing may be poor quality; the covers are often inferior, and the proofreading and editing are shoddy. Frankly, some books should never have made it off the printing press or into an e-file. However, there are enough gems coming from self-published authors to offset the marginal efforts.

Q. What advice do you have for beginners?

A. Give yourself time to learn the craft of writing. How do you do that? Read, read, and read. If you want to write well, read well. Learn from the best; imitate, and by that, I don’t mean plagiarize. Listen to the words! You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on writing seminars, conferences, etc. Gifted writing can’t be taught. It must be learned. And we learn from doing it; from experience.

Writing is a discipline that you can learn at any age. Unlike ballet or basketball or modeling, becoming an author is not something that if you missed doing at 16, 18 or 20, you could never do again. You are NEVER too old to begin writing!

Pearl S. Buck

I recall interviewing Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning author Pearl S. Buck once. It was late fall, 1971, and at the time she was living in Vermont. We were talking on the phone, and suddenly she began describing her backyard and what she said was the first snow of the season.

“You should see this, Ron. From my office window, I am watching a leisurely shower of white crystals floating, drifting, and landing softly onto a carpet of jade. I wish you could see it.”

“I do,” I said. “Thanks for showing me.”

I never forgot that conversation with the first American female Nobel laureate. She was 79 and still writing. Pearl S. Buck won the Nobel Prize in Literature for her book “The Good Earth,” about life in rural China.

Finally, writing–as difficult as it is–should also be fun. When you turn a beautiful phrase or create a vivid scene, you should feel a little flutter in your heart, a shiver in your soul. If you do, that means you have struck an evocative chord with your writing. Nothing is more rewarding than that!

Write On!

Ronald E. Yates is an award winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. His extraordinarily accurate books have captivated fans around the world who applaud his ability to blend fact and fiction.

Ron is a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the Dean of the College of Media. His award-winning book, “The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles,” is the second in his Finding Billy Battles trilogy of novels and was published in June 2016. The first book in the trilogy, “Finding Billy Battles,” was published in 2014. Book #3 of the trilogy (The Lost Years of Billy Battles) was published in June 2018.

As a professional journalist, Ron lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia, and both Central and South America where he covered several history-making events including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia; the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing; and wars and revolutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, among other places. His work resulted in multiple journalism awards, including three Pulitzer nominations and awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the Inter-American Press Association, to name a few.

BOOK PURCHASE LINKS:

AMAZON: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KHDVZI/-/e/B00KQAYMA8/

TRILOGY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07DNDWHH6/ref=series_rw_dp_sw

BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/finding%20billy%20battles/_/N-8q8

MY WEBSITE & BLOG: https://ronaldyatesbooks.com/

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/ronaldyatesbooks/

TWITTER: https://twitter.com/jhawker69

PINTEREST: https://www.pinterest.com/bookmarketingglobalnetwork/author-ronald-e-yates-books/

LINKEDIN:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ronyates/

Book Trailer:

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.

Lastly, Ron is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {#RRBC}! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books,

JOIN US! We’d love to have you!

Thanks for supporting this author and his work!