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Showing posts with label #RWISA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #RWISA. Show all posts

Saturday, November 26, 2022

It's Day 5 of the #RRBC Spotlight Author Blog Tour for #Author, Harriet Hodgson @healthmn1! C'mon by! @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBCSA #GriefDoodling

Today, I’m welcoming back Harriet Hodgson for the 5th day of her RRBC Spotlight Tour.

RRBC _SPOTLIGHT_ Author


What Can You Do When Book Sales Stall?

By Harriet Hodgson

Book marketing is a never-ending task. To track your efforts, you may want to keep a marketing log. Try to take one marketing step a day. Despite your best efforts, your book sales may stall. What can you do?

Don’t give up. When seeing an ad or article and order your book, buyers may think they took immediate action. In truth, three or four weeks may pass before a buyer takes action. So you need to continue your book marketing efforts.

Learn more about marketing. My current publisher has an authors’ portal on its website. Authors can click on the portal, enter the password, and find information on a broad range of topics. This information includes copyright information, wholesale pricing, and marketing ideas.

Bring your book to consumers. The days of autographing books in a bookstore seem to be fading. Instead of having buyers come to them, Indie authors are taking their books to consumers. They are autographing books at wineries, coffee shops, grocery stores, and outdoor markets.

Connect with other authors. RRBC and RWISA are perfect for this. You are connecting with authors that understand a writer’s life, the challenges you face, and the excitement you feel when you hold your book in your hands.

Take a different route. I just signed with a top-notch radio marketing company. Yes, the fee was high, but I knew I was paying for access, pre-written questions for interviewers, and linking my book to current headlines. Time will tell if my money was well spent.


Grief Doodling by Harriet Hodgson'
About Grief Doodling

From the very first page, Grief Doodling invites action. Topics range from the benefits of doodling, to why doodling is fun, to doodling tips, and responding to doodling prompts. The prompts, based on grief research, promote self-worth and healing. This is a hopeful book—something all grieving kids need.

amazon


About Harriet Hodgson

Harriet Hodgson, BS, MA has been a freelance writer for 42+ years, is the author of thousands of print/online articles and 42 books. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists, Alliance of Independent Authors, and Minnesota Coalition for Death Education and Support.

Harriet is Assistant Editor of the Open to Hope website. She is a contributing writer for www.opentohope.com, The Grief Toolbox, and “Grief Digest,” now an online magazine.

A popular speaker, Harriet has given presentations at The Compassionate Friends national conference, Bereaved Parents of the USA national conference, public health, Alzheimer’s, and caregiving conferences. She has appeared on more than 185 radio shows, including CBS Radio, and dozens of television stations, including CNN.

RWISA Rock Star, Harriet Hodgson

This award-winning author loves writing so much she writes in her sleep. Grief Doodling: Back Your Smiles, written and illustrated by Harriet, is her latest book.

Find Harriet at the following places

Twitter facebook link


Thank you for dropping by to support Harriet along her tour. To follow along with the rest of her 7-day tour, please visit the “SPOTLIGHT” Author forum on the RRBC site and don’t forget to pick up a copy of her book above! Lastly, we ask that you LIKE and SHARE this post, as well as the “SPOTLIGHT” Author page, to your social media, to enhance Harriet’s support!

Ghostly Interference by @JanSikes3 #Review #RRBC #ParanormalRomance

I always find it interesting to read something that isn’t within my normal genre and discover new stories. Ghostly Interference (The White Rune Series) being a romance doesn’t fit into my norm, while the ghost part does. I enjoyed the world that Jan created with Jag and Rena and their almost deadly first encounter. For me, the ghost of Sam could’ve been more frightening at the beginning, but that’s not what this story was about.

Throughout the book, Jag and Rena become their better selves, allowing the other to make them stronger. These characters are very well developed and strong, making them feel real as I read. Even the harassment part of the story seemed like something that has happened in real life.

4 Stars

I was very impressed with Ghostly Interference and give it 4 out of 5 Stars.

About Ghostly Interference

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical runestone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?

About Jan Sikes

RWSIA_Author_Jan_SikesJan Sikes is an award-winning Texas author who has been called a wordsmith by her peers. She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. She chose to create fictitious characters to tell the story through, and they bring the intricately woven tale to life in an entertaining way. She released a series of music CDs to accompany the four biographical fiction books and then published a book of poetry and art to complete the story circle.

And now that the story is told, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published many short stories with a series of novels waiting in the wings. She is a member of Authors Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC), the RAVE WRITER’S INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHOR (RWISA), sits on the RWISA Executive Council, and hosts a monthly RAVE WAVES blog talk radio show, ASPIRE TO INSPIRE.

Connect with Jan

link facebook Twitter link

Welcome to Day 1 of #RRBC's October #SpotlightAuthor #PatGarcia @pat_garcia! @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBCSA

DAY 1 Turn The Light On–Developing Alessio Terracina and Della Cartwright

I started writing Turn The Light On in 2015. I wanted to capture the feeling of suspense and passion between a man who was rarely understood and an older woman that had a big compassionate heart.

Two things were important to me when I started writing it:

  1. The woman had to be an African American,
  2. and that women of color be able to identify with her. Too often I have heard people speak negatively about the Strong Black Women Syndrome as if we were not women who can feel emotional pain or understand the essence of loving a man.

The male character is an Italian American living in Europe. His job dangerous. His handicap, Asperger’s Syndrome. Highly intelligent, he comes out of an orphanage.

It was hard to write. I put the story aside for months several times. It is not unusual for me to work on three or four stories at a time, so I would work on something else.

Once, I let him tell who he was to a small group of authors. Some liked him, other didn’t. I think that is when I knew I had pinned him correctly. He stirred the emotions of the authors. They couldn’t remain neutral. So, I had given Alessio breath to live, and then, I focused on getting Della together. There, Alessio helped me. He told me the kind of woman he expected, and Della evolved and lived.

Snippet from Turn the Light On

Turn The Light On AmazonAlessio Terracina knew he was a strange man. Many considered him weird. His stares and silences were unsettling. That he often drifted away into his own world made people angry and afraid. He sat in the far, right corner of Della’s living room. The sudden blitzes of lightning revealed to him where she stood. His war-ridden soul had awoken as soon as she had walked into her apartment. Had she run to him, he would have embraced her and lost himself in her warmth as he held her. But how could she have known that he had been so badly wounded? Getting dismissed from the hospital and then arranging the evening for them, had been his highest priority. He wanted to show her just how much he cared.

He was proud of the fact that the silent moments between them had taught her how to recognize him without announcement. She was now like a part of his team. Only they had learned to recognize where he was. They could precisely pinpoint him anywhere. Alessio smiled, relishing the courage she had displayed by not breaking the silence. She had learned well to respect the intensity of an unspoken word, evoking an emotion simmering between two people … both yearning for acceptance and love. His mind wandered, enjoying the silent waves of intimacy flowing between them as he mulled over her questions. This empathic understanding that they shared, heightened his desire to cover her with his body, and let her soothe away his pain, while he wiped away her tears.

At the age of three, he was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. Alessio had grown up in an environment that rarely understood him – an orphanage. Eight boys at the orphanage had become his friends and supporters. Seven of them were now his teammates, and Jeffrey, the eighth, had become his manservant. Except for those eight men, Alessio didn’t trust anyone, including his higher-ups. He had long discovered that lawmakers and politicians were more interchangeable than the wind, due to their greed.

About Turn The Light On

Would you ever accept a dinner invitation to meet a stranger who never spoke one word to you during your time together? Would you accept that you could not even sit at the same table with them? How about, you don’t even know their name and you continue this “game” for months?

Meet Della Cartwright. A superstar at what she does professionally, but when the tall, mysterious, Italian stranger, Alessio Terracina, enters her world, she begins to question her judgment and everything about her.

In this short story which takes place over the course of one day, this otherwise savvy businesswoman is led into making decisions that could jeopardize her professional life and maybe even cost her her freedom. But the greatest danger…just might be to her fragile heart.

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Pat Garcia RWISA shirtAbout Pat Garcia

Pat Garcia can’t remember a day when she didn’t desire to write. At the age of three, Pat wrote her first story. No one could understand it because she hadn’t learned to write. So, she read the scribble on her paper to whoever would listen. Born in Blythe, Georgia, (USA), she is also a musician, singer, and songwriter and has released five CDs.

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Thanks for supporting the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB’S October Spotlight Author! To learn more about this author and all the wonderful perks she is receiving under this spotlight, please visit the RRBC SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR forum.

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Welcome to Day 4 of the CALLING ALL GRANDMAS Blog Tour featuring Author, Harriet Hodgson! @healthmn1 @4WillsPub @4WP11 @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA

Today, I’m honored to host the amazing Harriet Hodgson and her book Calling All Grandmas!

Enter the giveaway by leaving a comment.

GIVEAWAY: (2) $5 Amazon gift cards

Adding Emotion to Nonfiction Writing

I’m a non-fiction author, yet my writing contains emotion. Sometimes my emotions are detailed in descriptive sentences. Other times they are expressed with dialogue. Writing about emotions takes extra effort. Why should you add emotions to nonfiction writing?

Emotion links the author and reader. Rob Parnell, in his website article, “How to Write About Emotion,” says emotions make us uniquely human. Life isn’t all about what happens, he continues, “it is the way we react to events and people and the things they say that defines our experience of the world.”

Emotion serves as a “hook.” Dialogue is one way to hook a reader, according to Mary Jaksch. She expands this point in her website article, “3 Things You Need to Know about Using Dialogue in Non-Fiction.” What makes dialogue a hook? Adding dialogue works because it creates a story.

Emotion stirs the reader. Steve Zousmer tells how an author may stir the reader in his “Writer’s Digest” article, “Evoke Emotions in Your Readers.” He thinks many biographers and memoir writers get caught up in chronology. However, the success of this writing depends on the author’s ability to see events as a story.

Emotion helps the reader remember facts. Psychologists like my younger daughter know people remember emotions more easily than facts. This is true of me. When I add emotion to my writing, I know I need to sound believable and sincere.

About Harriet Hodgson

Harriet HodgsonHarriet Hodgson has been making books since she was eight years old. In her 43-year career as a freelancer, she has written 44 books and thousands of print/internet articles. Major publishers, such as Warner Books, John Wiley & Sons, and Hazelden, have published her work. Harriet loves writing so much she writes in her sleep.

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Book Blurb For The Grandma Force

Becoming the grandmother of twins changed Harriet Hodgson and altered her life course. According to Hodgson, we live in a fast-paced, complex time, a time when too many grandchildren are victims of bullying, Internet scams, and sexual abuse. Hodgson believes that grandmothers are needed today more than any other time in history.

ACX Front Cover“Grandmas can’t be passive,” she declares. “Every grandma has the power to protect and guide her grandchildren and needs to tap this power.”

This narrative weaves Hodgson’s personal story with research findings. It’s packed with ideas for helping grandchildren. Hodgson’s age, child development degree, life experience, teaching experience, witness to history, and extensive research converge to make this an inspiring read. Working individually and together, grandmas are changing the world.

“The Grandma Force is about the power of love and the power of one,” Hodgson says. “One-by-one, grandmas are standing up for grandchildren and creating a hopeful future for them.”

Where To Buy

amazon

 

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!

Monday, February 7, 2022

Welcome to the WATCH RWISA WRITE 2022 Anthology Release! "Life Is But A Rose Garden" @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA

Introducing the WATCH RWISA WRITE 2022 Anthology, “Life Is But A Rose Garden,” debuting on Amazon today for only $2.99! We invite you to take a look at the promo for this little gem below, and lastly, we ask for your support by purchasing a copy, as well as spreading the word of its release via your own social media!

Friends, thank you for dropping by today in support of this new release! We hope that what you find between the covers brings you much joy and pleasure as you read it, and we also hope that some of what you find here will give you pause – just a little pause, though, before you hop to your feet and spring into action! There are many calls to action in this little gem!

Thank you, again, for your support!

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Welcome to the GHOSTLY INTERFERENCE 1 Day/5 Blog Tour! @JanSikes3 @4WillsPub @4WP11 @RRBC_Org @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Ghostly Interference Tour banner
Giveaway – (2) e-book copies of GHOSTLY INTERFERENCE

SEXUAL ADVANCES IN THE WORKPLACE

Hello, and welcome to one of the final stops on my Ghostly Interference blog tour! I am honored to be here today.

Sexual advances in the workplace is as common as a coffee pot in the break room. But we tend to think of them as being a man coming onto a woman.

In Ghostly Interference, Jag Peters is forced to deal with unwanted sexual advances from his boss Yvette (Yvette Calleiro this in NO way reflects on you). 🙂

His boss continually tries to corner him and it finally escalates to a breaking point.

I’ll share a short excerpt.

Within minutes, he pulled into the crowded parking

lot of the Glass Slipper. He’d make a few minutes of

polite talk with his co-workers, then excuse himself. He

liked the project Yvette had assigned him, and he

wanted to stay there. But he had limits as to how far

he’d go.

Crowds freaked him out and made his underarms

sweat. This place was packed. He squeezed through a

group near the door and scanned the room for what he

hoped were co-workers and not just Yvette.

He spotted her near the back and his heart sank.

She was alone. He stood frozen while he gathered his

nerve. Leave! That’s what he should do. Too late. She

was waving at him.

Inching his way through the crowd, he formed a

speech in his head.

When he reached her table, she stood and leaned

forward as if asking for a hug. He briefly patted her

shoulder.

“Oh, Jag, I knew you wouldn’t let me down.” She

motioned to the waitress.

“I’ll have a mineral water,” he instructed the

waitress. He turned back to Yvette. “Where is

everyone?”

“Why? Isn’t little ol’ me enough?” She pouted.

His eyes darted around the room hoping against

hope to spot someone, anyone he knew. Strangers’

faces stared back. He slumped into the seat next to hers.

“Of course, Yvette. I just didn’t think you’d be here

alone.”

A hand wandered to his knee. “That was my plan. I

swear you never catch on. I have to spell out

everything.”

He crossed his legs and leaned away, hoping that

would send a clear message. He couldn’t keep this up.

Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad getting banished to a shitty

project if it meant no more of her advances.

“No, Yvette, you don’t have to spell anything out. I

read you loud and clear, I don’t want to hurt your

feelings, but you can’t keep doing this.”

She pulled back. “Doing what? Inviting my

employees to join me for an occasional happy hour?”

“Of course, you can.” He sighed. “You own the

company. You can do whatever you want.”

“I’m so glad you realize that, Jag Peters.” She

swirled her Cosmo and brought it to her lips.

Once again, her hand found his leg and moved

smoothly up his thigh.

He clenched his teeth. “Please don’t. You’re a

married woman. I shouldn’t have to remind you.”

She purred, “Oh, don’t worry about that. He’s out

of the country until next week. He doesn’t care what I

do as long as I keep making him money.”

For a split second, Jag got a glimpse of a lost and

lonely little girl, looking for company in the only way

she knew how.

Could this day get any weirder?

“I have to be honest with you, Yvette. You’re an

attractive woman, but I’m not interested in you that

way. You’re my boss and I respect you, but I don’t

want to sleep with you. So, can we stop this craziness?”

“What? You thought I wanted you to sleep with

me? Well, I never.” She lifted her head haughtily.

“Stop with the games, Yvette,” Jag said softly.

She let her hand drop from his thigh and her voice

hardened. “Someday you’re going to regret this. Mark

my words.”

He stood. “I already do. I have to go now. My

mom is waiting.” While he paused for a group of

people to let him pass, he heard her last dig.

“Project Cyclone has a new vacancy. You better

think long and hard about what you’re doing.”

If words were barbs, he’d have them sticking in his

back about now. He forced his eyes to stay focused on

the door and inched his way through to sunlight and air.

***

I’d love to chat. Have you ever had to deal with unwanted sexual advances in the workplace?

Sale Ghostly Interference GIF

BOOK BLURB

Ghostly Interference by Jan Sikes

Jag Peters has one goal in his quiet comfortable life—to keep his karma slate wiped clean. A near-miss crash with a candy apple red Harley threatens to upend his safe world. He tracks down the rider to apologize properly. Slipping into a seedy biker bar, he discovers the rider isn’t a “he”, it’s a “she”, a dark-haired beauty.

Rena Jett is a troubled soul, who lives in a rough world. She wants no part of Jag’s apology, but even while she pushes him away, she is attracted to him. When he claims to see a ghost—her brother—can she trust him? And could her brother’s final gift, a magical rune stone with the symbol for “happily ever after” have the power to heal her wounds and allow opposites to find common ground—perhaps even love?

BOOK PURCHASE LINKS:
AMAZON:

BARNES & NOBLE

KOBO

iTUNES

GOOGLE PLAY

Jan_Sikes_Bio2
JAN SIKES SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

http://www.jansikes.com

https://jansikesblog.com/

https://www.twitter.com/jansikes3

http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

http://www.pinterest.com/jks0851/

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CS9K8DK (Author Page)

***

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the authors’ tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site for the additional stops that are all going on today. 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 these authors and their work!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Welcome to Jan Sikes’ SHORT STORY BOOK BLAST! #RRBC #RWISA #RRBCAuthor

AUTHOR BIO:

Jan SikesJan Sikes is an award-winning Texas author who has been called a wordsmith by her peers. She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. She chose to create fictitious characters to tell the story through, and they bring the intricately woven tale to life in an entertaining way. She released a series of music CDs to accompany the four biographical fiction books and then published a book of poetry and art to complete the story circle.

And now that the story is told, Jan Sikes can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published many short stories with a series of novels waiting in the wings. She is a member of Authors Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB (RRBC), the RAVE WRITER’S INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHOR (RWISA), and sits on the RWISA Executive Council.

SOCIAL MEDIA:

Connect through Jan’s website: http://www.jansikes.com

Follow Jan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks

Follow Jan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/JanSikes3

Follow Jan’s Blog: http://www.jansikesblog.com

Brazos WindBOOK BLURB FOR BRAZOS WIND:

War-torn drifter, Jack McClean is left with nothing but bad memories, scars, and a restless soul. When he stumbles upon a burning homestead, and an unconscious woman, beside the Clear Fork of the Brazos River, he stops to render aid. Grieving widow, Savannah Logan, sees no reason to live, and only wants to join her husband and children in their graves. But, Jack refuses to let her die. In saving her, he might somehow find redemption for himself and hope for a new tomorrow. Is it possible that both Jack and Savannah can find a new destiny in the changeable flow of the Brazos wind? Jan Sikes

Brother's Keeper by Jan SikesBOOK BLURB FOR BROTHER’S KEEPER:

Quentin Marks’ mother can only love one son, and from the day Rowdy was born, she makes Quentin, his little brother’s keeper. She demands that Quentin fix every problem for Rowdy and that he also protect him. The truth is, after a deadly snakebite, Quentin owes his very life to his little brother, a debt that will never be paid in full. Only now a man is dead, and once again, their mother calls on Quentin to make the problem go away and save Rowdy from prison. When is enough enough, and how much of his own life will Quentin Marks have to sacrifice?

TOUR GIVEAWAY:

(2) $10 Amazon gift cards. Leave a comment below for a chance to win!

Thank you for supporting this author.  Jan wrote these short stories as entries into the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB’S 90-Day ALPHA / OMEGA “Beginning to End” Short Story Writing Contest which she has won for the past two years.Jan is giving away (2) $10 Amazon gift cards to (2) lucky winners! For your chance to win, simply leave a comment below.If you’d like to schedule your own blog tour and have your books promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Harriet Hodgson KCT Int'l Literary Awards Winner #RWISA

Today, I would like to congratulate Harriet Hodgson (I’ve posted about her before) for winning the KCT Int’l Literary Award for her book So, You’re Raising Your Grandkids! You can find more information about her on her page at the Rave Reviews Book Club.

HARRIET HODGSON BIO

Rochester, Minnesota resident Harriet Hodgson has been a freelance writer for 38 years, is the author of thousands of articles, and 36 books. She has a BS from Wheelock College in Boston, an MA from the University of Minnesota, and additional graduate training.

Harriet HodgsonHodgson is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). She is a contributing writer for the Open to Hope Foundation, The Grief Toolbox, and The Caregiver Space websites. Visit www.thecaregiverspace.org/authors/hhodgson to read her articles.

Hodgson has appeared on more than 185 talk radio shows, including CBS Radio, dozens of television stations, including CNN, and dozens of blog talk radio programs. A popular guest, she has given presentations at public health, Alzheimer’s, bereavement, and caregiving conferences.

Her recent work is based on Hodgson’s 21 years as a family caregiver. She was her mother’s family caregiver for nine years, her twin grandchildren’s guardian and caregiver for seven years, and is in her fifth year as her disabled husband’s caregiver. Visit Harriet’s RRBC Author Page to find out more about this busy wife, grandmother, caregiver, and author, as well as more information on her many other books listed in the RRBC catalog.

The Blurb for “SO, YOU’RE RAISING YOUR GRANDKIDS!”

So You're Raising Your Grandkids!If you are a grandparent raising your grandchildren, help has arrived.

According to the US Census Bureau, more than 10% of all grandparents in the nation are raising their grandkids, and the number is going up. You may be one of the millions of these grandparents and it’s a role you never expected. Willing as you are to assume this role, you have some questions. How will I find the energy for this? Is my grandchild normal? What if I “blow it?” Each day, you look for ways to make life easier.

This book will:
•Help ease your worries and guilt;
•Offer tips for creating a grandfamily;
•Give methods for improving grandparent-grandchild communication;
•Suggest ideas for how you can connect with your grandchild’s school;
•Provide child development information;
•Recommend approaches to help your grandchild set goals;
•Stress the importance of having fun together;
•Offer ideas of how to foster your grandchild’s hopes and dreams.

So, You’re Raising Your Grandkids blends Harriet Hodgson’s wise and moving grandparenting story with recent research and findings. It shares her 21 years of caregiving experience, including seven years of raising her twin grandkids. Each chapter ends with What Works, proven tips for grandparents raising grandkids.

At the end, you’ll cheer for all the loving grandparents—including you—who are putting grandchildren first.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Welcome to Day 4 of the "WHISPERS OF THE PAST" Laurel McHargue Blog Tour!

How “Tanked” Evolved by Laurel McHargue

“Laurel McHargue, how do you come up with such bizarre story ideas?” This is a question I’m frequently asked, along with, “And what were you on when you wrote that?”

Laurel McHargue Whispers of the PastTruth be told, unless you consider crisp Colorado mountain air a drug, I’ve never been on anything when crazy ideas pop into my head! For instance, the vision of an orb floating above a friend’s head came from nowhere one day, inspiring my story “Orbs,” and my Waterwight trilogy emerged from a dream I shared with another author friend, Carol Bellhouse, who insisted I must write a story about it.

Since I was a child I’ve dreamt in Technicolor, and I’ve never been shy about sharing my sleep world—often to the chagrin of whomever is the target of my sharing. My dreams are quite full of detail. They’re gifts, I believe, and once I started Chapter One of Book I of Waterwight, they continued to provide new characters and situations over the course of several years as my trilogy evolved.

A multi-colored jaguar? Sure! Having to leap from a frightful precipice? Why not! A oneeyed wizard named George, the ham man? Most definitely! I found ways to work many dream sequences into my fantasy world. But dream worlds aren’t the only places with fertile soil for sprouting stories. I also get inspiration from places and people I meet in that crisp Colorado mountain air.

My character Old Man Massive, for instance, had been there all along, just waiting for my walking buddy to point him out to me—a real rocky profile of a bearded old man jutting out from Mt. Massive. And the dragonfly that hitched a ride on my paddleboard that one day. And the boy who told me his superpower would be to “build things.”

My list of story ideas and characters is longer than that fish I once (almost) caught. When I hear others complain about “writer’s block,” I go a little berserk because, well, come on! Whether your eyes are open or, often in my case, closed, there are “things” to be felt and heard and imagined. After moderating author panels at the past couple of Denver Comic Cons, one topic that is always animated is “Finding Creative Inspiration in the Mundane.” Hey, if Stephen King can create blockbusters from rabid dogs and possessed cars, no thing, nothing is off-limits for its potential to inspire a story.

For those whose muses remain asleep, however, I would highly recommend doing something I’ve tried for over a year now—and no, not a drug! I’ve started entering short fiction competitions, and many of my stories have been inspired by the prompts required by the contest. “Tanked” is just one example. There are countless contests out there on the interwebs, and some I particularly enjoy come from nycmidnight.com because they provide feedback from several readers, including what they like in your submission and what they believe could use improvement. Also, their fee is reasonable. “

Tanked” was a flash fiction piece, and at midnight on Day 1 of the competition (10 p.m. Colorado time), I was given a genre, a location, and an item that needed to be featured in the story. I had 36 hours to complete a ghost story in an aquarium with a champagne bottle (in the story, not to be consumed while writing). Wow. 2/21/20 Never in my wildest imagination—and I have a pretty wild imagination—would I have come up with this combination of things to write about, and that’s the point. I had to do it. I paid for it. It was a challenge. And so I set my brain to work on it overnight with full confidence that in the morning I’d have idea, even a vague idea, about a storyline. Laurel McHargue

In my blog post titled The Genesis of “Orbs” I talk about the necessity of decision-making when creating fiction, and I’ve applied that same process to all of my stories. Make a decision and go with it. Decisions I had to make for “Tanked” include: • Who is the main character? • Where is the Aquarium? (Since I’m originally from Boston, I thought it would be fun to throw in some Boston dialect). • Is there a backstory? • Who/what/where is the ghost? • How does a bottle of Champaign play in the story? • What obstacle(s) must the main character overcome? • In what P.O.V. should I write? • How will it end?

My original title for this story was “Wet Dreams.” How to title a story is another decision to be made, and after sleeping on this one for another day, I realized that “Tanked” was far more appropriate—and had the added benefit of being a double entendre. I do enjoy word play. I’m the kind of writer who works best with a deadline, a relatively short deadline, so these contests stoke my muse.

If this type of pressure doesn’t excite your muse, however, you can still challenge yourself with myriad prompts available for free on the web, or start a story with your favorite song lyric, or create your own bizarre combination of “things” by filling one bucket with unique nouns, one with adjectives, one with locations, one with character types, one with genres (you get the idea) and choose from each. Sleep on your smorgasbord and see what your sluggish muse might do with the items. Wake up and set your own deadline for completing what will surely become a very . . . unique . . . story!

I hope you enjoy reading “Tanked” and the other stories in Whispers of the Past, and I hope you might consider my other work! Follow me on my website at https://leadvillelaurel.com/ and subscribe to my podcast Alligator Preserves, which now will include stories from my upcoming book Dark Ebb: Grim Tales. Do you have a dark/mysterious/surreal/creepy short story to share? Contact me! And if you’re up for an adventure, find me at this year’s Denver Starfest (May 1-3) and Denver Pop Culture Con (July 3-5).

BOOK BLURB:

A paranormal anthology with nine stories from six authors, including the winning story in the 2019 WordCrafter Paranormal Short Fiction Contest, A Peaceful Life I’ve Never Known, by Jeff Bowles.

AUTHOR BIO:

Laurel McHargue

Laurel McHargueAward-winning author Laurel McHargue, a West Point grad, was raised near Boston and somehow found her way to the breathtaking elevation of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains–where she lives and laughs and publishes and podcasts. She writes about life, real and imagined, and hosts the podcast ‘Alligator Preserves.’ Contact her for interviews, book signings, and speaking engagements, but probably not for babysitting.

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Laurel-McHargue/e/B00INB9OO6

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Amazon Author Page

Writing to be Read

AMAZON OR OTHER PURCHASE LINKS:

Buy Links

https://books2read.com/u/38EGEL

Thank you for supporting this author and her “group” tour.  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please drop in on the authors’ 4WillsPub tour page
 
If you’d like to schedule your own 4WillsPub blog tour to promote your book(s), you may do so by clicking HERE.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Welcome to the "CHASING THE RAINBOW" Blog Tour! @FRStepnowski @4WillsPub #RRBC

“Chasing the Rainbow” Blog Tour

Day 1
About the Book: “Journey to the Rainbow’s End: A Drag Queen’s Odyssey”

A collection of poetry that describes the coming of age and coming out of a man who struggled with his self-worth and identity, in the hopes to show others who share similar struggles that they are not alone.

Writer’s Q&A
When did you start writing and what inspired you to write?

Answer: I began writing when I was twelve years old after experiencing one of the most depressing times of my life. The summer of 1987, I attempted to end my life. I struggled with a great many things, such as identity and traumatic stress caused by events that occurred my earlier childhood. Events I do not talk about very often, but one day put them pen to paper, as they say. Anyways, to make a long story short, the fall of 1987 I was lucky to have an incredible English Teacher by the name of Mrs. Carr. Now our school was not the prettiest or the fanciest, but we were lucky to have passionate instructors who were truly passionate about teaching.

Mrs. Carr often commented on my writing style and once day during a 1:1 session she asked me if I ever thought of becoming a writer when I grew up. I fell over in my chair laughing at her. She had a great sense of humor luckily, however, she made it clear she was being quite sincere. She said she saw great potential in my writing style and with everything I had gone through in my life, she said it might be quite therapeutic for me. I told her I would think about. I will admit I was quite resistant to such a thought, as we were in the impoverished East San Diego region called “El Barrio Logan.” The school was in the middle of the barrio where is was riddled with drugs and gangs.  Anything artistic was not considered exactly “normal” in this part of town.

The day after Mrs. Carr and I had our conversation, she decided to spring on the class what she called a “pop writers challenge.” Even though it was not much of a contest, she would present these “challenges” with passion and great hype. The challenge that day was to write a poem about our past summer vacation. She implored us to make it lyrical. I remember her words to this day, “I want you to tell me a story through your poem… I want to laugh with you if it was a funny event… I want to cry with you and feel your pain if it was a sad event.” She liked playing music during these challenges and for that day’s challenge she played “Moonlight Sonata”. To be honest the first five minutes of this writing challenge I froze. My summer was filled with a rollercoaster of emotions as I stated earlier. I let the music take me into my emotions and memories. The name of that poem is titled “Freeze”.

My teacher like to showcase our work to the rest of our peers, so the following day Mrs. Carr did her usual impassioned speech on how impressed she was with each and everyone one of us but stated a few of the authors from yesterday’s challenged stood out. The poetic works that were shared were ranged from romantic, well as romantic as a 12-year-old could be, to extremely humorous. The last poetic works she shared was “Freeze” however she did not disclose the author to the class. She said, “after I read this poem, I will leave it up to the author whether or not they wanted to share the identity.” She tearfully read my poem, as if she was in my soul and was feeling the pain I endured. My peers were in awe making comments like “I want to give them a hug whoever they are” and “The poem should be published.” After the tears from my peers and continued statements I slowly stood up. This is how this author was born.

Excerpts from “Journey to the Rainbow’s End” by Forrest Robert Stepnowski

The Embrace

You are the warmth of my embrace, and the endless rhythm of my heart,

The whisper of the wind and the song of endless dreams realized,

How fortunate am I, when I’ve always thought I was one of those unfortunate souls?

You are the angel I have always dreamed of, but always thought never existed,

The sparkle of the heavens and the dance of a falling star,

When did I become the lucky one, to be captured by your light and love?

You are my life, my love, and my laughter during the endless darkness that tries to consume me,

The shield of the knight in shining armor when the dragons and demons appear to be on the attack,

How you make me feel just by your glance and the caress of your touch?

You are the beauty that I never could imagine in my deepest fantasies,

The mystery discovered and the joy of the sunshine upon

the cascading waterfall and the rainbows end,

How incredible I feel when I look at you and know that I am home?

You are the warmth of my embrace, and the endless rhythm of my heart,

The whisper of the wind and the song of endless dreams realized

How fortunate am I, when I’ve always thought I was one of those unfortunate souls?

Unfortunate soul, I am no more.

Freeze (written in 1987)

Feeling sorry for myself,
Freeze.
Seeing death as a way out,
Freeze.
Showing scars in memory,
Freeze.
Feeling sharp steel against my flesh,
Freeze.
Drops of red coloration fall upon the ground,
Freeze.
Life is flying past thy eyes,
Freeze.
Horrible memories come into mind,
Freeze.
Life is healing,
Think.
Loved ones are near,
Care.
Good memories appear,
Care.
Love is in my mind,
Care.
Drops of red fade away,
Care.
I am alive,
Love.
The ice has melted…

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

Journey to the Rainbow’s End: A Drag Queen’s Odyssey (Available on Kindle and Paperback)

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!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

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

Today, I welcome back Harriet Hodgson, who’s dropped by to share a yummy sounding recipe.

Red Pepper Dip for Vegetables

Because writing is a sedentary job, I try to eat healthy. Each day, I eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables. If you don’t like vegetables, this recipe may tempt your palette. If your kids don’t like vegetables, this dip may spark their interest in them. The dip comes together in minutes and doesn’t mask the flavor of the veggies. This recipe is from The Family Caregiver’s Cookbook.

Ingredients:

1 scallion, white and green parts, minced
½ cup light mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream, fat free (or plain yogurt)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Dash black pepper
Dash hot sauce
Bite-sized raw vegetables: green pepper strips, broccoli florets, cauliflower florets, celery sticks, carrot sticks, cucumber slices

Method
  • Drain red peppers, dry with paper towels, and cut into chunks.
  • Puree peppers in food processor or with a hand blender.
  • Add remaining ingredients.
  • Chill 45 minutes to blend flavors.
  • Serve with raw vegetables. Yield: 1 ½ cups.
About Harriet: 

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
Amazon eBook
Barnes and Noble paperback 
Barnes and Noble eBook 
IndieBound paperback

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!

Friday, July 19, 2019

Welcome to the WATCH "RWISA" WRITE Showcase Tour! #RRBC #RWISA - Bernard Foong

Finishing off the week, I welcome back Bernard Foong, who has dropped by with Vignettes Parisian. Please, enjoy, and leave your comments.

Vignettes Parisian

Vignettes Parisian is a collection of four short stories about the Author’s past and present experiences in the French City of Love and Romance, commonly known as Paris.

Christian Dior Couturier Du Reve

It is impossible not to have a close encounter with fashion when I am in Paris. Even if I had to wait in the freezing cold for an hour and a half to enter the Christian Dior Couturier Du Reve (Christian Dior Couturier of Dreams) exhibition at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Museum of Decorative Arts). My husband, Walter, and I were the lucky few who arrived early before the museum opened its doors. The late arrivals were banished to the back of the queue for a five hours wait before admission was granted.

This spectacular exhibition was worth the wait. Not only were the lives, times, and accomplishments of Christian Dior, one of the great French couturier and his successors well documented, the exquisite fashions and well-thought-out displays were equally impressive.

Since my first visit in 1966 to the French capital of romance, luxury, and fashion, my love for Paris has never waned. Before I left sunny Maui, I had designed and made a haute couture gold, silver, and black embossed velvet fleur-de-lis patterned coat to wear during my recent holiday in France. It was at this exhibition that I received compliments for my one-of-a-kind creation.

A stranger approached me at the exhibition to buy the coat off my back because he loved what I wore. Perhaps I should be the next designer to take over the reins for this resplendent Maison – The House of Dior. After all, I am a knowledgeable and seasoned fashion designer who knows every aspect of the international fashion industry.

Shopping In Paris (Then & Now)

I am one of those blessed individuals with a pair of discerning eyes and can detect items I wish to purchase in cramped spaces on my crazy shopping sprees. It was in such a circumstance that Walter and I found ourselves in the middle of the crowded shopping Avenue, des Champs Elysées.

A sole of my shoe had divorced itself from the body of my long-lasting suedes and left me to hobble around Paris like a circus clown with flapping feet. I had to take immediate action to remedy this unanticipated situation before the remainder of my footwear disintegrated onto the wet and soggy ground, while my beloved, sniggered at my fashion malfunction.

I remembered an amusing incident that happened in 1969 at this boulevard. Back then, I was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed fashion student. Accompanying Moi was Count Mario, an accomplished Vogue fashion photographer, Andy, my model-looking lover and Valet, and Sammy, a flamboyant young fashionista. The four of us were shopping at the avenue, that drizzly day.

To elongate his petite stature beneath his wide bell-bottom jeans, Sammy wore a pair of eight inches high platform shoes. He also donned a fitted denim jacket over a sassy body-hugging bodysuit. To complete his eccentric ensemble, his dyed cornflower yellow, emerald, and turquoise hair flowed behind him like an exotic mane as our quartet floated down the street.

Eyes turned in our direction as we trotted around Paris in style. Before I realized what had transpired, Sammy was flat on the pavement. Colorful socks bounced around him like raptured pom-poms. The lad had stuffed pairs of rolled-up socks inside his footwear so he could fit his tiny feet into the platforms. He had stumbled on the wet and slippery sidewalk.

Mario, wasted no time whipping out his camera to capture this unanticipated fashion faux pas, while Andy and I looked on in shock.

As if modeling for a Vogue fashion shoot, the quick-witted Sam posed this way and that on the wet thoroughfare while the photographer clicked away at the gaffe. A pedestrian circle had formed in the middle of Avenue des Champs Elysées to witness this “fashion happening.” Advertently, our friend had transformed an embarrassing situation into a photo-opt as the applauding crowd showered the boy with accolades. By the time Sammy got on his feet, he had saved his face with poise and grace.

The Magical Power of The Written Word

“Why are there beds located at different corners of the bookstore?” I asked Monsieur Mercier, an assistant at the Shakespeare & Company bookshop.

“The beds are available for writers to stay a night in Paris for free,” the man responded before he resumed, “ Are you a writer? Do you intend to stay the night?”

Surprised by the man’s inquiries, I evinced, “I am a writer. But no thank you to the lodging offer.”

“What genre of books do you write, Monsieur?” Mercier queried.

“I’m an autobiographer,” I replied. “Because of its controversial and provocative contents, my books are often classified under the Erotica genre.”

The bookseller questioned, “What are the titles of your books, and what is the author’s name?”

“A HAREM BOY’S SAGA; A MEMOIR BY YOUNG. It’s a five-book series,” I declared.

“I believe we have your books in the store. Are the titles: INITIATION, UNBRIDLED, DEBAUCHERY, TURPITUDE, and METANOIA?” he promulgated.

I nodded, delighted by his information.

The Frenchman led me through a series of narrow pathways covered with volumes and pamphlets of the written word. When he finally extracted five volumes of my autobiography from a shelf, my heart nearly leaped out of my chest.

“I read the series. What a compelling teenage life you’ve led. I wish my school had a secret fraternity program like yours,” the teller quipped smilingly.

He recommenced, “Our store is a focal point of English literature in Paris. Anais Nin, Henry Miller, and Richard Wright are frequent visitors. We also host literary activities, like poetry readings, writers’ meetings, book readings, writing festivals, literature festivals, photography workshops, writing groups, and Sunday tea.

“Ms. Sylvia Whitman, the owner, might invite you for a book reading at our store.”

“That will be splendid. Unfortunately, my husband and I are in Paris for a short period. Maybe we can arrange a book reading and signing session when we are in Paris again,” I proposed.

Monsieur Mercier and I had exchanged contact information before I left the Shakespeare & Company bookshop. Hopefully, during my next visit to Paree, I will get to meet Madam Sylvia Whitman with a book reading and signing gig in place.

S.O.W. and R.E.A.P.

Although the Parisian cityscape has changed over the years, these three alphabets continue to shadow my existence whenever I am in or out of Paris. S.O.W. is also a reason Walter and I chose France as our home away from home.

In the autumn of 1966, when the Simorgh (one of my Arab patriarch’s private jet) touched down in Charles de Gaulle airport, I had contracted the romance bug. Back then, the ebullient Moi, an inquisitive teenager with a quest for adventure, was whisked to the Paris Ritz Carlton in a luxurious Bentley by my host, Prince P. I had fallen head-over-heels in love and in awe with both the prince, Andy, my then chaperone and Valet, and Paris, the city of romance. That was before our entourage visited the haute couture fashion Houses of Chanel, Dior, Ungaro, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Patou, and the fancy eateries, such as Café de Flore, La Belle Époque, Maxim’s, and last but by no means least, Le Folies Bergers. Back then, these infamous Parisian establishments were places to go, to see and be seen. Nowadays, they are tourist attractions.

Through the subsequent years, I had accompanied many princes, princesses, sheiks, sheikas, and their aristocratic Arabian entourages to the French capital. Most significantly, this city of love and romance had taught me the art of Seduction (S), Originality (O), and Wit (W). Some may say that wittiness is a congenital trait, but I purport it as a learned art of human relationships. Whatever definition one chooses to use, I had returned to this electrifying metropolis of S.O.W.; where I had sown many a wild oat. Now, with my beloved husband in tow, I’m here to R.E.A.P. its rewards.

“What the hell is R.E.A.P.?” you ask.

I will explain:

R – Romance continues to exist in this alluring Capital of Love; even amid an influx of foreign refugees and political upheavals. Another series of stories, I will narrate another time.
E – Elegance in this sordid city of high culture is a trait Walter and I find irresistibly seductive.
A – Authenticity is historicity in this Center of Romance. And I am not referring to the faux reproduction of the Las Vegas ‘Paris’ in Nevada, United States of America.
P – Paris equals Sophistication, Originality, Wit, Romance, Elegance, and Authenticity. But last and by no means least, this French capital is where Perfection reigns supreme.

PARIS – Mon Paree!

Bernard Foong (aka Young)


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:

Bernard Foong’s RWISA Author Page

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