Welcome Carmen Stefanescu with Dracula’s Mistress #Historical #Gothic #Paranormal

Happy Saint Paddy’s Day! On this delightful wearin’ o’ the green day, I’m excited to welcome my dear friend, Carmen Stefanescu, with her brand new release, Dracula’s Mistress. Carmen is wonderful supporter of other authors. If you haven’t already connected, check out her blog, Shadows of the Past, or find her at any of the contact links below.

As a lifelong native of Romania, Carmen is ideally suited to write Dracula’s Mistress, a tale that combines history, horror and light romance in a look at the man who spawned the Dracula legend. Let’s make Carmen feel welcome on her book’s birthday!

Dracula’s Mistress

Book Cover for Dracula's Mistress by Carmen Stefanescu

Purchase Dracula’s Mistress from Amazon • Just .99 cents!!

Blurb:
From the day that the powerful, brave and merciless Vlad III Basarab, a descendant of the Draculesti family—better known to most people as the infamous vampire Dracula—ascends the throne, he knows only battles, betrayal and intrigue.

Evil grips the town of Targoviste, capital residence of Walachia. The secrets behind the stone walls of the palace are as dark and violent as a winter’s night, as terrifying as the prince’s deeds. Dead bodies, drained of blood and missing their little finger keep appearing in the streets at night.

Lovely, smart, determined, Angela Oltenescu ignores all the aggressive rumors and her mother’s warning regarding Vlad. Will she suffer the consequences of falling in love with a man nicknamed Dracula by his enemies—an infamous creature of the night?

Rich, sly, treacherous,  Marin Craioveanu, a powerful landlord, craves the same woman loved by Vlad. Marin’s hatred toward the prince will make him an ally to Handsome Radu, Vlad’s brother and Sultan’s friend, ready to sell the country to the Ottomans to get rid of his rival.

Dracula’s Mistress will awe legions of fans of Gothic literature, paranormal and historical fiction.

 

Purchase Dracula’s Mistress from Amazon • Just .99 cents!!

Excerpt:
Angela smiled with fond indulgence and looked at her father. “Prepare for mother’s. . .” She stopped as the words passed her lips, looked over her father’s shoulder, and started violently. The image behind her father made her words freeze on her lips. A sickening sense of horror overpowered her.

The pale light of the moon fell on a man’s face. A man dressed in torn clothes. Some ragged ends of silken thread were still attached to his arms, stretched towards them in begging.

His face, all covered in blood. His eyes were closed. His bluish lips mumbled something Angela couldn’t clearly understand. Slurred words reached her. She thought she heard, “Candle. . . candle. . . pleaaaase. . .” A sickening odor reached Angela’s nostrils. Slowly, the closed eyelids opened revealing two empty sockets instead of eyes.

A low moan of horror escaped her.

“What? What’s wrong?” Grigore asked.

But before he turned his head to see what triggered Angela’s reaction the apparition melted into the darkness.

Angela staggered a little, and then found her balance.

“Nothing,” she answered in a shaken voice. “I thought . . . Nothing, Father.” She pushed the horrible apparition from her mind. Perhaps all the stories about the souls of the young noblemen killed so cruelly here were not just stories.

Grigore shook his head and shrugged. Then reaching out his hand, he helped her climb into the carriage. She was barely able to move as she trembled from head to foot. She shrank back on the bear skin spread inside.

Grigore sat facing her, but looked absorbed by the things that had happened that night.

The neighing of the horses sounded strange to her ears. The sound of a tree branch scraping the roof of the carriage sent Angela’s heart into her mouth.

She leaned forward until her nose was touching the glass of the carriage window. Outside, on the side of the road, she glimpsed again the silhouette of the horrible man, dressed in tattered clothes. She peered into the darkness to see better. There was no doubt.

Author Bio:
Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula  where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble – the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

High-school teacher of English and German in her native country, and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression  by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books. Reading was, is and will always be her greatest hobby.

She has dreamed since childhood to become a writer, but many of the things she wrote remained just drawer projects. The fall of the Ceausescu’s regime in 1989, and the opening of the country to the world meant a new beginning for her. She started publishing. Poems first, and then prose. Both in English.

Several of her poems were successfully published in a collection of Contemporary English Poems, Muse Whispers vol.1 and Muse Whispers vol.2 by Midnight Edition Publication, in 2001 and 2002.

She likes to blend genres and thus she writes paranormal stories with a smidgen of mystery, history and romance. The reader will find suspense, dark themes, adventure, danger as well as sweet revenge. She calls her stories  “gothic” romance. Her writing focuses on rebirth, past life regression, karmic retribution.

Her first novel, Shadows of the Past, was released in 2012 by Wild Child Publishing, USA, folowed by Till Life Do Us Part released by Solstice Publishing, USA.

Carmen joined the volunteer staff at Marketing For Romance Writers Author blog and is the coordinator of #Thursday13 posts.

Connect with Carmen at the following haunts:
Blog | Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Facebook | Goodreads | Google+ | Amazon | 
Cold Coffee Cafe  

Welcome Nonnie Jules, President of Rave Reviews Book Club and Rave Writers–International Society of Authors

Hoy, boy! Do I have a special guest for you today, gang! I am honored to be hosting Nonnie Jules, the woman whose vision became Rave Reviews Book Club. Please welcome the president of RRBC and the founding member/president of the Rave Writers International Society of Authors! I’m thrilled to have her here today for an awesome Q&A and personal post!

Banner logo for author Nonnie Julies, president of Rave Reviews Book Club

How long have you been writing?
This will sound cliché, but I really have been writing all my life, at least since the 3rd grade.  I became a published author in 2012.

How many books have you authored? Please share the titles of up to three.
I have authored 3 books, and co-authored one.  The titles are “THE GOOD MOMMIES’  GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” “DAYDREAM’S DAUGHTER, NIGHTMARE’S FRIEND,” and “SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS.”  I can’t list the co-authored title because the question asks that I list only 3, but I’m sure you can find it…it is one of my favorites.

Do you have a writing schedule?
Yes, in my mind and in my dreams. Running an organization as streamlined and professional as RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB, consumes so much of my time, that none of you could even imagine my life. It is so extremely important to me that we succeed here, and also, that we do it in a manner conducive to the way that I live my life.  I spend truly almost my every waking moment devoted to this club and the success of our members, and because of that, my own writing time has suffered. That being said, this year I have vowed to adhere to a strict writing schedule and so far so good.  I won’t share it yet, though.  Let’s see how it goes.

You’re a member of RAVE WRITERS – INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA). Why do you think you were accepted into this exclusive group? 
Well, if you want honesty, I was accepted because I created it.  BUT, if I had not been the founder of this amazing group, I would hope that my acceptance was based purely on my dedication to the perfection of writing, in all areas.

Modesty aside, what separates your writing from the millions of other writers in the world?
Believe me, I have no problem being honest about who I am, and my abilities, as everyone else should feel. I’m not sure that I can answer that question right now, so let me think on it. I do know that I can tell the pants off of a story.  In plain English, I’m a good story-teller, but I can’t say that separates me from the other good story-tellers out there. I mean, I’m in awe of so many of our members and their writing, that sometimes they can make me feel as if I don’t belong alongside them.  Gwen Plano, Peggy Hattendorf, Rhani D’Chae, John F., Beem Weeks, Wendy Scott, Rea Nolan Martin…and there are so many others that I have yet to read, that I just feel deep in my heart their work is going to be so enjoyable for me, too.  I can’t wait to sink my teeth into some Jan Sikes, Mae Clair, John Howell, A. M. Manay, Yvette Calleiro, Natalie Ducey, Ron Yates, and even more that I haven’t listed (so please don’t be offended if I missed your name…I still want to dig into your work!) Shirley Harris-Slaughter’s first book was so detailed, I was blown away, and Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko, has me wanting to live inside her head, because of her book LEGENDS.  I mean, these people leave me awe-struck!

If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be?
If I could spend the day picking an author’s brain, it would have to be RHANI D’CHAE’S.  Why? Rhani leaves me speechless with her story-lines!  I read her books and I’m left wondering, “Now who could think of something like that?”  She also works with a deficit in that her eye-sight is slowly leaving her, yet her writing in her books, is almost impeccable.

Are you a die-hard INDIE writer who loves having complete control of your work, or, if you were offered a publishing contract today, would you sign on the dotted line?
I am such a control-freak (I’m sure none of you have ever noticed this), that I just can’t imagine giving up control of my work.  Now, as most of my peers have responded, it would have to be a darned good contract, but I’m going a step further in saying, I’d still have to be in control of my writing, my covers, etc.  It’s not about the money with me.

As an author, where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I see myself spending all my waking moments in my writing room, after having found THE MOST PERFECT and THE MOST EFFICIENT person to run RRBC and all its affiliates.  Let’s all pray on that for me.

What is the ONE tool that has been the most beneficial tool in the marketing of your books?
How else can I answer this other than to say the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB has been IT for me!  There is no way that my books would have been read and reviewed as they have been, or garnered the attention that they have, without the support of this organization behind them.  I’m shocked that so many others didn’t credit the club for the same reason.  C’mon, let’s give credit where credit is due.

Name one writer that you know of, member or non-member of RRBC, who you feel should be added to the RWISA Roster of elite members? Why?
D.L. Finn is high on my list right now, and I think she will be there soon. Her writing, just in one of her books that I’ve seen…can anyone say “flawless?”

What is the one piece of advice that you could share that would be most valuable for those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers?
READ, READ, READ and stop believing all the hype! If you can’t or won’t read, then I don’t trust that you can write. AND, I’ve said quite often, some of us are so quick to believe every “good” review we’re given, and then we’re shocked when an honest one rolls around.  We get upset and the truth stings. Learn to discern which reviews you should take to heart and those that should be thrown out with the trash.  Believe it or not, more people are telling you that your book is good (when it’s not) because they’re afraid of sharing their honest opinion publicly, for many reasons.  Rest assured, I am not one of those people.  Ask around.

Do you believe that writers who churn out several books a year are really putting out quality work?
Unless it is all they’re doing, eating, sleeping, drinking, and peeing words, no, I don’t believe that it is quality that’s being churned.  I have noticed some that put out books so quickly, simply because they’d like to be able to profess that “I’ve written 15 books, etc.”  In their minds, they think having several books published, makes them more credible as a writer. Again, people, stop believing the hype. I’m sure of their reason, because every time they speak, they’re quick to share with you that magic number.

If you had promised your fans a book by a certain date only to find that your book wasn’t the best it could be, would you go ahead and publish your book just to meet that self-imposed deadline and deliver as promised, or, would you disappoint your fans and shelve the book until it was absolutely ready? No matter your reason, please explain why?
You know, I once wrote a poem called “We Live, We Learn, We Grow.”  When I published my first novel, I was trying to meet a deadline…I failed at meeting that first deadline, but I came pretty close to the second one. I didn’t know any better at the time, but let me share this, I am re-editing that book as we speak, and will be replacing it shortly with the un-rushed version. I got it. I took my own advice that I’m always sharing, and I’m big enough to say that since I first published, I’ve Lived, I’ve Learned and I’ve Grown…immensely!  Mind you, if I weren’t presiding over this extremely busy book club, these things would have definitely been done a lot sooner.  So, you see, I’m so busy making everyone else’s books grand, that I’ve forgotten I need to take the time to do the same for my own.

In your opinion, what makes a book “a great book?”
To me, a great book is one with a storyline so good, so well-written and so well-told, that I want to see it on the big screen!  Notice I’ve highlighted the so well-written part of this.

If you received a review of your book which stated that there were editing & proofing “issues,” what’s the first thing you would do? And the second?
Let me give you all the steps.  The first thing I’d do, would be to thank the person who was sharing this info with me, then immediately head to find some of their published work, to ensure that they were credible. Remember, I always say, there are some you should take to heart, and there are some you should ignore. Reason being, if you can’t write and all of your published work is a mess, you can’t critique anyone else’s work. I’ve seen some horrible reviews given to some books and the reviewer couldn’t write to save his/her on life. Do you think I’m taking to heart their opinion of my work? NO!  Moving on, the next thing I’d do, would be to head to re-read my own book, from start to finish. IF I did find that there was some validity to their claim, I would begin the work of the re-edit. IF the hiccups that were pointed out were so bad that they might affect the enjoyment of the read for another, I would pull it immediately until it was completely ready. As I said, I’m a MUCH BETTER WRITER now than I was when I first published and am not at all ashamed to say, that I’m going thru some re-edits as we speak.

~ooOOoo~
Book cover of If Only There Was Music by Nonnie Jules shows a musical notes at an angle

I hope you enjoyed Nonnie’s interview and post. I encourage you to check out her  books:

IF ONLY THERE WAS MUSIC

“THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love 

SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS…YES I SAID IT!  

 


Connect with Nonnie on Twitter (@NonnieJules)
Or her blogs:
Watch Nonnie Write
Books by Nonnie

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

Welcome Teri Polen with Sarah and #WritingTechinques

I’m so happy to introduce new friend, Teri Polen, who writes YA fiction and has recently released her debut novel Sarah. Teri and I met when she hosted an October/Halloweenish promotion for multiple authors on her blog and was kind enough to include me.

Since then, I’ve come to realize we have many common friends in the blogosphere. In addition to that, she held me glued to the pages through Sarah, a spooky YA novel centered around a vengeful ghost. You can find my five star review for Sarah on Amazon, but before you go gallivanting off, check out Teri’s post on writing techniques. The character quirks section really made me stop and think!

~ooOOoo~

Epiphanies (for me) in Writing Techniques

I’ve never had any ‘formal’ training in writing – both of my degrees are in business, and learning how to interpret balance sheets was worthless when it came to crafting a story.  Over the years, I’ve taken advantage of the free writing workshops at the annual book festival where I live (and discovered how horribly wrong I’d been doing things), attended numerous webinars, and read Stephen King’s On Writing so many times I could probably recite some passages from memory.  Once my brain had been rewired with the basics, I had to sift through various techniques to discover what worked for me.

One of my online classes required me to complete an extensive questionnaire about my characters – things I’d never thought about, like boxers or briefs, nervous habits, did they like long walks on the beach, and fav flavor of pop-tarts.  Okay, maybe not exactly those questions, but they seemed just as obscure at the time.  All I saw were pages and pages of homework – but once I started interviewing my characters, everything changed.  The deeper your understanding of your characters, the easier it is to breathe life into them and make them come alive for your readers.

Outlining – your either love it or hate it, but it seemed like a waste of time when I already had the general plot direction in my head.  Then I’d wind up in places I’d never planned, wrote myself into corners, found minor characters leading the story, and had no idea how I’d gotten there – raise your hand if those surroundings look familiar.  But I wasn’t a complete pantser either, so when I came across the Basic Beat Sheet at http://jamigold.com/, I knew I’d struck gold (pun totally intended).  A beat sheet is the road map of a story broken down into three acts that include the inciting incident, pinch points, midpoint, crisis, climax and resolution.  After typing in the projected total word count for your book, it calculates the page count and word count where these plot points should occur – which also helps with pacing.  You can print it out and fill in the blanks from there.  Every writer has their own process, but this one helped me focus and stay on track.

It all comes down to personal preferences and motivations and can be trial and error, but researching, talking to other authors, and reading about the craft of writing will help you find your path – there’s no magic formula to writing a novel.  And keep in mind, the learning never stops – there’s always room for improvement.  Now head to your writing caves!

Author, Teri Polen, outdoors and smiling for cameraAuthor Bio:
Teri Polen reads and watches horror, sci-fi, and fantasy.  The Walking Dead, Harry Potter, and anything Marvel-related are likely to cause fangirl delirium.  She lives in Bowling Green, KY with her husband, sons, and black cat.  Sarah, a YA horror/thriller, is her first novel.  Visit her online at www.teripolen.com

Connect with Teri at the following haunts:
Website

Facebook
Twitter
Goodreads 

~ooOOoo~

Book cover for the novel SARAH shows girl with long black hair hiding her face crawling down steps from attic doorBook Blurb for SARAH:
Seventeen-year-old horror fan Cain Shannon thought helping a ghost find her killers would be the supernatural adventure of a lifetime. Now, he just hopes to survive long enough to protect his family and friends from her.

A bet between friends goes horribly wrong, resulting in Sarah’s death. When she returns to seek justice against those responsible, Cain agrees to help her. But when he discovers Sarah has been hijacking his body, he realizes she wants retribution instead of justice.

Terrified of what could have happened when he wasn’t in control, Cain commands Sarah to leave his house – but exorcising her isn’t that easy. She retaliates against her murderers in bloody, horrific ways, each death making her stronger, then sets her sights on Cain. With the help of friends, Cain fights to save himself and his loved ones and searches for a way to stop Sarah before she kills again.

Purchase SARAH from:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

 

Welcome D. S. Nelson with A Deadly Orientation

Please welcome D. S. Nelson who is here with her latest release, A Deadly Orientation. She has a fabulous post that takes a look at an ancient myth and the practice of geocaching—something that has always fascinated me. And who can resist a treasure hunt? 🙂 Read on….

The Ultimate Treasure Hunt 

First of all I must give a huge thank you to Mae for inviting me over to talk writing, myth and legend with you all. To set the scene I’d like to tell you a story:

‘The moon is full and the lake lazily licks the shore in harmony with the gentle hum of voices from the hillside. The Balsa Muisca, a golden raft, is adrift in the middle of Lake Guatavita. Glistening in the light of the moon a naked man stands proudly on the raft, head held high his skin covered in golden dust. He is the new king of the Muisca people and this is his coronation.

Four burning torches stand at each corner of the raft. The air is heavy with the smell of incense. Strewn across the raft are gold, jewels, plaques, crowns and sacred items. The new king’s consorts reach down and throw the offerings into the water, the gold sacrificed to the gods and the lake. This is the lost gold of El Dorado.’ 

When I decided that the theme for the next Blake Hetherington Mystery was going to be geocaching I needed a way to link it to an interesting back-story. Geocaching is contemporary treasure hunting for the cool and as a geocacher you follow a set of co-ordinates to a cache. You can swap SWAG  (Stuff We All Get) at the cache and log your find on a central website. If you’re lucky you may even achieve the highly coveted FTF (First to Find). What better than to tie all of this together than with the ultimate treasure hunt: the search for the lost gold of El Dorado.

An Aztec drawing of figures in black on a gold background

Image courtesy of Pixabay

There are many theories as to what the lost gold of El Dorado actually is. Some think it is in the ‘House Of The Night’, a place where the sun sets, others believe the lost city has never been found, but the most popular line of thought is that the lost gold lies at the bottom of Lake Guatavita. The lake was used for the coronation ceremony of the new Muisca king and, as the story above describes, there was plenty of gold thrown into the lake.

By Andrew Bertram (World66) [CC BY-SA 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Andrew Bertram (World66) [CC BY-SA 1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/1.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

 Lake Guativita is high up on top of a steep sided hill in Columbia. Approximately five different attempts have been made to drain Lake Guatavita, the earliest of which was in 1545 when the conquistadors arrived in pre-Columbia.

A blue green lake surrounded by mountains

By Masanalv (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Antonio de Sepulveda made a second attempt in the 1580s and he used forced labour to cut a v shape into the side of the lake to try and drain it. Both these attempts failed. Interest was ignited again when in 1801 a German scientist, Alexander Von Humbolt, worked out that there could be as much as $300,000,000 at the bottom of the lake. Twenty years later Jose Ignacio Paris attempted the same strategy as Sepulveda again to no avail.

A more successful attempt was made by ‘The Company For The Exploration Of The Lagoon Of Guatavita’ when in 1898, they dug a tunnel into the side of the hill. This worked but within twenty-four hours the mud at the bottom of the lake was baked dry in the scorching sun. All the plunderers had amassed was approximately £500 nothing like the millions they had been promised.

In 1965 Lake Guatavita was declared a National Park, protecting it from any further interference. Is there more gold at the bottom of the lake? We’ll never really know, but the opening scene of ‘A Deadly Orientation,’ finds us on the lake with a group of people who’d like to find out.

To me the legend of El Dorado and attempts to drain Lake Guatavita are fascinating and this research formed the bases for the seventh Blake Hetherington Mystery.  Thanks again to Mae for inviting me over and I’d love to hear what you’ve heard about the lost gold of El Dorado.

Book cover of A Deadly Orientation by D. S. Nelson shows gold compass and knife over an old treasure map

‘A Deadly Orientation’ is available in e-book and paperback and you can get yours here.

If you’d like to connect with me, you can find me on Facebook, Instagram and my blog, Every Day’s A Mystery. I’ll see you there!

 

 

 

Welcome Joan Hall with Unseen Motives #RRBC Author

Hand writing a letter with a goose featherHappy Thursday, blogging friends! Today, I am delighted to welcome fellow Story Empire member and Rave Reviews Book Club author, Joan Hall. This is the first time Joan has been featured on my blog, so I hope you’ll give her a warm welcome. She has a new release (which I’ve read and highly recommend) and also took the time to answer a few questions for an interview. So, let’s get down to chatting with Joan…

Thanks for visiting today, Joan. I have a number of probing questions for you. 🙂Let’s start with plotters and pansters. I think even plotters often veer from their outline during the writing process. When you finish a novel, how closely would you say the end product resembles your original concept — 100%? 50%? Something else entirely? 

I call myself a “planster.” I have a general idea of how I want the story to go and end, but doing a detailed outline would take the fun of writing away. Unseen Motives ended as I planned, but as I began writing, it took some unexpected turns. I planned for it to be a stand-alone novel, but ideas for two other books came as I began to write. I would have to say the finished novel is 75% in line with my original idea.

Isn’t it wonderful how those other books crop up and start whispering “series?” In the case of Unseen Motives, I’m happy to see where the next books in the series take you, as I’m a big fan of mysteries. What is it that attracts you most to that genre?

I’ve always been fascinated with unsolved mysteries and intrigued with the idea of being a private detective. Of course, I want to solve the mystery!

I can relate to all of those! How did you choose your title?

I wrote this with the working title Willow Lake, and later changed the name of the town to Driscoll Lake. I played around with titles such as Hidden Intentions or Ulterior Motives, but there are countless books with those titles. I used a thesaurus and came up with Unseen Motives along with titles for books two and three, Unknown Reasons and Unclear Purposes. 

Excellent choices! Without giving too much away, tell us a bit about your favorite scene. 

A scene near the end (where the mystery is solved) was probably one of the most exciting ones to write, but there is a scene with Stephanie (the protagonist) and Matt (who becomes her love interest). He confesses something about his background and why he feels guilt over the death of his wife.

Both Stephanie and Matt were wonderful characters. When you’re not writing, what else do you do? Do you have any guilty pleasures (fave foods, TV shows, silly distractions) you’d like to share? 

Living in Texas, I’d have to say Mexican food is my favorite. I’m not much of a TV person, but I love MASH reruns. I own all eleven seasons on DVD and often watch a show before going to sleep at night. Sometimes to take a short break from writing, I’ll play solitaire online

I remember having incredible Mexican food during a visit to Arizona. I love it too, but it’s not as authentic in the east. 🙂 Oh, and MASH. That was a fabulous show!  How about pets? Pets and writers seem to go together like peas in a pod. What can you tell us about yours?

I love animals and have three pets – an outside dog named Maggie and two cats, Tucker and Little Bit. Tucker is the inspiration for the cat Whiskers in Unseen Motives. Little Bit is a black tailless Manx and I featured him in a story I wrote for a Halloween Anthology. What’s Halloween without a black cat? Both cats tend to “hover” when I’m writing and Little Bit often climbs in my lap. They just don’t understand that Momma is working! 

LOL! I wrote a book review for Amazon last week and before I could click “submit,” my cat, Raven, walked across my keyboard and erased the whole thing! I had to redo it from scratch. Cats just don’t care what’s going on when they want attention.

Okay, a few quick questions:

Dream vacation gifted to you by a fairy godmother: A trip to the Australian Outback.

Favorite season: Autumn

Favorite type of music: Classic rock, especially music of the sixties and seventies.

Favorite musical group or singer: I’ve been a Beatles fan since I was six years old. A big highlight was being able to see Ringo Starr in concert a couple of years ago.

Casual or dressy: Casual. I could live in blue jeans.

Mountains or beach: Mountains. I love to get away from the Texas heat and humidity!

I bet it was great seeing Ringo in concert. I feel in love with the Beatles as a tween and plastered my bedroom walls with photos of Paul McCartney. I think he was one of my first crushes. 

Thanks for visiting with me today Joan. Before you leave, please share the blurb for your newest release.

Book cover for Unseen Motives by Joan Hall features close-up of a window surrounded by brick and vines

UNSEEN MOTIVES

Things aren’t always what they seem…

Stephanie Harris is no stranger to mystery and suspense. The author of several best-selling thrillers returns to her hometown of Driscoll Lake twenty years after her father’s suicide when her great-aunt Helen dies.

She hopes to settle Helen’s affairs as quickly as possible and leave behind the place where she suffered so much heartache. Soon after her arrival, Stephanie stumbles upon information that leads her to believe that all is not as it seems.

When she digs deeper into secrets long buried, she begins to receive warning notes and mysterious phone calls. The threats soon escalate into deliberate attempts to harm her. Stephanie soon finds herself caught in a web of deceit and danger.

Who doesn’t want her to stay? And why? What are they afraid she’ll learn?

Undaunted, Stephanie searches for clues about the scandal surrounding her father’s death. But discovering the truth places her in the path of a cold-blooded killer.

Purchase Unseen Motives Here

Author Joan Hall in a casual pose outdoors with trees in backgroundAUTHOR BIO
Joan Hall has always enjoyed a good story. Some of her earliest memories are of her mother telling stories of family history and folklore. Joan developed a love of reading, frequented the school library, and spent countless hours immersed within the pages of books.

At age ten, she realized she wanted to become a writer and began to scribble stories on pieces of paper. At age seventeen, she wrote a short novel and started writing another one. After high school, she set aside her desire to become an author for several years. However, the passion for writing never left her.

Joan likes to create character-driven fiction with strong, determined female leads and male characters that are somewhat of an enigma. Her favorite genre is mystery and suspense—often with a touch of romance.

When she’s not writing, Joan likes to take nature walks, explore old cemeteries, and visit America’s National Parks and historical sites. She and her husband live in Texas with their two cats and a dog.

Connect with Joan at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter
(@JoanHallWrites)
Facebook
Goodreads
Newsletter Sign-Up
See all of Joan’s books here

Welcome #RRBC Spotlight Author, Marlena Smith

Colorful banner for Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author Blog Tour HostHello, my friends! Today, I’m pleased to take part in my first Spotlight Author post for the Rave Reviews Book Club. You’ll be seeing more of these on my blog as I participate in showcasing authors in this fabulous club. Today, the limelight is on Marlena Smith, who is on a week long tour and is here with an engaging post about bucket lists. Please comment and make her feel welcome! Take it away, Marlena…

~ooOOoo~

Welcome to Day 4 of this incredible “SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour! (By the way, that’s “incredible” because of RRBC and my fantastically supportive blog tour hosts!!) I’m so happy you have joined us on the tour!

With a show of hands, who has a BUCKET LIST? I imagine there are some exciting things on those lists! Things you want to accomplish, places you want to see, people you want to meet.

Now, what about my fellow authors? Do you have a special Bucket List, one that is geared towards your writing? Well, you should!

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t until recently that I stumbled across this fun idea. I felt like it was a must for me! So today, I am sharing with you some of the things on my Writing Bucket List for the upcoming year (or two!).

old style fountain pen resting on top of papers with writing and the words My Bucket List in foreground

  1. Devote more time to my personal blog. – Post more reviews, host more guests, share more about my life and my writing.
  2. Devote time to my Freelance site. Build my portfolio, build my readership, make things happen.
  3. Publish THE POWER OF LOVE in the spring.
  4. Have a book signing. Meet readers. Make new friends.
  5. Get my very first book review.
  6. Publish an inspiring, thought-provoking article in a magazine. Maybe even more than one.
  7. Give back to those that have impacted my life. (This includes my family and RRBC.)
  8. Visit South Carolina and California, both of which are locations for my YA Romance Novel, A MOMENTARY GLANCE. (Of course, I’d love to just visit these places, too!)
  9. Go on a Writer’s Retreat, completely isolated, surround by nature.
  10. Publish A MOMENTARY GLANCE by the end of 2017.
  11. Attend local Author events.
  12. Step out of my comfort zone, do something crazy, and write about it.
  13. Travel and explore this beautiful world, so I can be inspired.
  14. Write & publish a poetry book.
  15. Publish a cookbook. (Would love to do this as a fundraiser project for Relay For Life.)

I do hope you enjoyed today’s post. I greatly appreciate you stopping by! Please share your thoughts. I would love to hear items that fall on your bucket list.

~ooOOoo~

Book cover for The Power of Love by author Marlena Smith shows silhouette of man and woman kissing on a snowy nightBOOK BLURB:
All she wanted was a fresh start. 
 

Eight months ago, Scarlet made the choice to leave the prison she called home, and to escape the man that put her there. She had made a new home for herself in the small town of Belmont, Montana. The abandoned apartment was far from luxury, but she was better off, away from her past life.  

She never expected to meet Lucas, the local hero and town’s only doctor. She didn’t expect to enjoy the small town life. She didn’t expect her past to catch up to her. 

Will she risk it all? Risk revealing her secrets at a chance of love? Will she be forced back into the life she hated? Will she gain control of her own destiny?  

Available Spring 2017!!

~ooOOoo~

Author Bio:
Author Marlena Smith in a casual pose, smiling
Author Marlena Smith is a true Southern Belle at heart. Her home has always been in Alabama and she couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. Growing up as a preacher’s daughter, faith and family played a large part in her life.

Her earliest memory of writing was that of 2nd grade when she was selected to attend the Young Author’s Conference in her home state. Little did she know then that her future was being mapped out.

Today, Marlena is an Author, Freelancer, Book Reviewer, Researcher and Secretary of Rave Reviews Book Club. She may wear many hats, but her passion remains with writing. That’s where her heart is and that’s where she feels she belongs. She has several works in progress, including an upcoming short romance, THE POWER OF LOVE, expected to be out in Spring 2017.

Until then, you can check out some of Marlena’s writing in the RAVE SOUP FOR THE WRITER’S SOUL ANTHOLOGY, available on Amazon.

Find Marlena online at:
Facebook 

Twitter 
Blog 
Website

 

Book Release: Our Justice by John W. Howell #Thriller #Suspense #RRBC

Check it out gang—a new book release! Book birthdays are always a reason for celebration and I’m especially jazzed about this one given it’s a new release from fellow Rave Reviews Book Club author, John W. Howell. I read the first book in this series and found it to be roller-coaster ride of suspense. And check out the cover of book three. Totally rocks IMHO. But don’t stop at the cover, read on and find out what it’s all about. Purchase links are below. If you don’t know John, say hello. He’s a wonderful guy and a hard working author!

~ooOOoo~

Introducing the third book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy – Our Justice

Our Justice

Click to go to Amazon

BLURB:
The terrorist leader and financier Matt Jacobs has figured out a way to eliminate the President. He is relying on John Cannon’s stature as a hero to help him carry it off. John finds himself walking the fine line of pretending to help Matt while trying to figure out a countermeasure to the plan.

The action begins with John fearing for his life. Clearly, whoever is trying to get him has a mission to accomplish and the elimination of John is at the top of the to-do list. The quest to survive takes John and his love, Stephanie from the beaches of Port Aransas to West Virginia and finally to Matt Jacob’s corporate headquarters at the Embarcadero Center in San Francisco. There John finally understands what he needs to do to protect both he and Stephanie from further mayhem.

The third book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy brings together two strong wills for a showdown. The question to be answered is who will feel the satisfaction that the achievement of justice delivers? John, Matt or neither?

Our Justice is available on Amazon and KDP now in e-book format for preorder at $2.99 with shipments starting on September 23rd. The paper edition will be available on Amazon September 23rd at $14.99. Here is the link for pre-order of the e-book https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LDFM9WM?ref_=pe_2427780_160035660

EXCERPT:
I see out of the corner of my eye that Ned is on the phone. Hopefully, he’s calling in reinforcements since it looks like the SUV is gaining on us. Just as the rear window of the Focus blows inward, he finishes the call. Hundreds of pieces of glass hit Ned and me. Luckily, it’s shatterproof stuff, so we’re mostly okay cut wise. Ned crouches down and fires three quick shots with his 9MM. In the mirror, the SUV swerves to the left and almost explodes after it rams a parked car. “Stop,” Ned yells.

I slam on the brakes, which nearly tosses Ned through the windshield. “For shit’s sake, I don’t have a seatbelt on, junior, so take it easy. Just stop and turn around.”

John Howell

AUTHOR BIO:|
John’s main interests are reading and writing. He turned to writing as a full-time occupation after an extensive career in business. John writes fictional short stories and novels as well as a daily blog. His first novel, My GRL is available on Amazon and wherever e-books are sold. His second, His Revenge is available on Amazon and KDP Select.

John lives on a barrier island in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of South Texas with his wife and spoiled rescue pets.

Other places you can find John:

Blog Fiction Favorites – http://johnwhowell.com/

Facebook– https://www.facebook.com/john.howell.98229241

Twitter –https://www.twitter.com/HowellWave

Authors db –http://www.authorsdb.com/authors-directory/6604-john-w-howell

LinkedIn –http://www.linkedin.com/pub/john-w-howell/48/b59/462/

Google +https://plus.google.com/+JohnHowellAuthor/

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7751796.John_W_Howell

Amazon Author’s page –https://www.amazon.com/author/johnwhowell

Martin Sisters Publishing –Http://www.martinsisterspublishing.com

 

 

 

“NOVY’S SON: THE SELFISH GENIUS” Book Trailer Debut! #RRBC

Hi, and welcome to the debut of “NOVY’S SON:  THE SELFISH GENIUS” BOOK TRAILER DEBUT!  This amazing story has been penned by Author, Karen Ingalls.

To find out more about Karen, please visit her blog tour page at 4WillsPublishing, where this event is being sponsored. We hope that you will enjoy this amazing story, told thru visuals, meaningful words and music.

Book cover for Novy's Son, the Selfish Genius by author, Karen Ingalls shows a green sea beneath a fiery skyBOOK BLURB:
From his early childhood, Murray Clark sought love and acceptance from his father, who was raised as the bastard child of a famous artist. Murray struggled with jealousy toward his younger brothers, and he questioned the morals and values of people around him.

As an adult, Matthew lived life his way, with years of lying, womanizing, and heavy drinking. Though married four times, did he ever find unconditional love? Would Murray’s high intelligence, his love for his two daughters, and his unique philosophy of life help him rise above his demons?

SEE THE TRAILER HERE

JOIN KAREN FOR HER AUTHOR EVEN HERE
Friday, June 24, 2016 @ 12 NOON

Connect with Karen Ingalls at the following haunts:

Twitter:  @KIngallsAuthor
 

Guest Author Sandra Cox with Sunset #FantasyRomance #Genies

I’m delighted to welcome Sandra Cox back to my blog today with her latest release, SUNSET. Doesn’t that title conjure wonderful images? And wait until you see the cover! First, though, here’s Sandra with an intriguing guest post…

Be Careful What You Wish For
by Sandra Cox

If you found a genie’s lamp and had three wishes what would they be? Anything you want. What would you wish for? My first would be world peace, followed closely by being a New York Times bestselling author. And I think I’d hold on to the third for a fallback.

While having our desires fulfilled sounds wonderful, the problem with wishes, dreams, and fantasies achieved is that there is usually an unforeseen downside.

In Gillian Stone’s case it was an unexpected codicil.

Book cover for Sunset by Sandra Cox shows a genie lamp with smoke spiraling up from the spoutIntro:

Be careful what you wish for.

While I’m dropping pearls of wisdom let me add, read the fine print.

Why am I wasting my time offering warnings that no one is going to listen to? Because as humans we have this unconquerable urge to try to help others learn from our mistakes. Or in this case my great, great, great, great grandmother’s mistakes.

She came from a very poor background and consequently wanted it  all, riches beyond measure, beauty. Need I say more?

Great-great-plus Grams stumbled onto a genie’s lamp and made her wish.

You don’t believe in genies?

Trust me. They’re real all right. Unfortunately, when my ancient relative made her wish she didn’t bother to listen to the genie’s warning of strings attached. This lack of foresight has a direct bearing on the first born daughter of each generation, i.e. me.

To put it mildly, my life is complicated. I am literally grounded forever.

I live on a lavish estate in the mountains of North Carolina. Between sunset and dawn, my life is my own. But  during  the  day  I’m  encased  in  several  hundred pounds of marble. If you happen to wander by the Stone Estate and peep through the fence, you’ll hear the rippling sounds of water from a lovely manmade pool surrounded by lush fragrant flowers. Beside it stands a life-size statue of a young woman with long flowing hair and classic bone structure, draped in a Greek toga, a cat at her feet.

The cat is Merrick.  The young woman is me.

~ooOOoo~
Author Sandra Cox in a candid shotBio:
Multi-published author Sandra Cox is a vegetarian, animal lover and Muay Thai enthusiast. She lives with her husband, three cats, one dog and an occasional foster cat in sunny North Carolina.

Purchase Sunset from:
Amazon 

Follow on Amazon:
http://tinyurl.com/zj7pbgt

On Line Hang Outs:
Blog
Facebook
Twitter @Sandra_Cox
Website 

Guest Author Carmen Stefanescu with Till Life Do Us Part #NewRelease #Paranormal

I’m doing the hippity-hop-happy-Snoopy dance for my dear friend, Carmen Stefanescu, who is celebrating a book birthday with her new release, Till Life Do Us Part.  She’s brought along a thought-pondering post with a topic that plays into her novel. Garb a cup of coffee or tea and mull it over. And while you’re pondering, be sure to check out Carmen’s release through the links below!

~ooOOoo~

Mae, thank you so much for having me as your guest today.  I’m thrilled to be here, and excited to share my latest release.

Book cover for Till Life Do Us Part by Carmen Stefanescu shows a trees at night framing a full moon

Till Life Do Us Part

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Mystery, Suspense, Reincarnation,

Release date: 9th June 2016

It’s not my intention to lecture on a complicated topic but I’m sure there is no one who, having a sense of personal or collective responsibility, won’t wonder, at a certain moment in their life, what will happen to them after their physical death— why they were born and why must they die. Why life is so unfair for some and easy for others.

Is there or is there not a spirit? What is it? Is it mortal as our physical body or immortal?  At one time or another we will be touched by the passing of of our mother, father or some other beloved person. We want to know if we will meet them again and, if we do, when and how—their physical body was left in a flower-covered grave in a cemetery, or was burned to ashes.

Since ancient times people have wondered if something remains of a human being after physical death. Philosophers divide into two categories according to their beliefs. One is that of materialists, who believe all we have is our life here on Earth. Nothing follows after we pass. Our name lives on in the memories of others.

The second category includes idealists. They believe there’s more than the physical body—an immortal component that doesn’t disappear when we die. They call this component the spirit or soul and have tried, unsuccessfully, to find the place it resides in the human body.

I, too, have pondered these questions regarding the mystery of our lives. The immortality of the soul is the topic of my writing. Shadows of the Past, Till Life Do Us Part, as well as the upcoming Dracula’s Mistress, all tackle this idea.

Is it my fear of death, the fear of  “nothingness?”  Perhaps. But I am sure Antoine Lavoisier’s statement that “nothing is lost, nothing is gained, all is changed and transformed continually,” can apply to immortality of our soul, too.

BLURB:
Barbara Heyer can hear the voices of dead people. They whisper of their deaths, seek comfort for those left behind, and occasionally even warn her about future events. But when Barbara’s brother, Colin, is accused of murder, it will take more than her gift to prove his innocence.

Becoming smitten with the handsome investigator, Detective Patrick Fischer, is a serious complication given his assignment to her brother’s case. Barbara senses there is something far deeper—and perhaps much older—than the surface attraction between them. Could that be why she’s visited by a mysterious woman named Emma in her dreams? Could past life regression tie all the seemingly unconnected events together?

Barbara and Patrick must overcome heartache to find the truth to save Colin, and perhaps themselves.

Excerpt:
Barbara drove home in a state of utter mental and physical exhaustion. So many things had piled up on her in only one day. Her head throbbed and her soul was heavy. What had the spirit, Kathleen, wanted to tell her? Why did she mention Colin’s name?

Coincidence nagged at the back of her mind. The time when the girl had regained consciousness, according to the doctor, seemed to fit the moment when the spirit stopped talking to her in the car.

The joy of having brought peace into the hearts and minds of Alfie’s family was shadowed by what the spirit implied. Colin has some explaining to do. I can’t believe he would kill someone, she thought. It’s impossible. He’s a good, quiet kid. It must have been a malicious spirit, pulling my leg. And, what about her own attacker? That despicable man. Could there be a connection? He mentioned the name Kathleen and made threats. She must keep her windows shut and locked from now on.

/././././././././

“Detective, please, don’t  think I’m raving, but I have to ask. Do you know someone called Mabel?”

The man riveted Barbara with his dark blue eyes for a moment.

Barbara cringed inside. He’ll rebuke me.

The man passed a hand over his face and nodding, he answered, “Yes, I know a Mabel. My… my wife.”

“How long ago did she pass away?”

In a voice that was more than a little surprised he asked, “How on earth did you know she’s dead?”

“She’s here,” Barbara replied in a small voice.

His eyebrows shot up in disbelief. The steel in his voice was hard to miss. “What? What are you talking about?” He spun round and looked at the apparently empty space behind him.

Tell him I no longer suffer, Barbara heard Mabel’s voice.

Detective Fisher was still staring blankly around him.

“She wants me to tell you she no longer suffers. She hopes you’ve found in your heart the power to forgive her for committing suicide… for jumping off the bridge.”

The detective looked straight into Barbara’s eyes. The grief she saw in them was almost palpable.

 

Purchase Till Life Do Us Part from:
Solstice Publishing
Amazon 

Author Bio:
Author, Carmen Stefanescu smiling for camera
Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble – the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

Teacher of English and German in her native country, and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression by escaping in a parallel world, that of books.

Several of her poems were successfully published in a collection of Contemporary English Poems, Muse Whispers vol.1 and Muse Whispers vol.2 by Midnight Edition Publication, in 2001 and 2002. Her first novel, Shadows of the Past, was released in 2012 by Wild Child Publishing, USA.

Carmen joined the volunteer staff at Marketing For Romance Writers Author blog and is the coordinator of #Thursday13 posts.

You can stalk the author at the following haunts:
Blog 

Twitter 
Pinterest 
Facebook 
Goodreads 
Google+ 
Amazon Author Page 

Purchase Till Life Do Us Part from:
Solstice Publishing 

Amazon