Staci Troilo with a Deleted Scene from Bleeding Heart #StoryEmpireRoadshow

Hey, everyone! It’s the last day of our Story Empire Roadshow Bookmobile blog tour. The week went so fast, I can’t believe it’s winding down so soon. Even though the fun is ending, I have a fabulous post from my wonderful friend and SE sister, Staci Troilo to close things out. She’s got a number of goodies to share with you too, so let’s close this Roadshow out with a bang! 🙂


Hi, Mae. Thanks for hosting me today. And hi, Mae’s followers. It’s nice to be back here with you today.

We’ve been making the rounds on the Story Empire Roadshow, and this is my last stop. I’ve been talking about my Medici Protectorate series, and I thought I’d close out with a deleted scene. This was originally the opening, but as many writers will tell you, sometimes your beginning starts too far back. So, the beginning to Bleeding Heart starts a little farther along the timeline. I also considered using this as a prologue, but it wasn’t necessary; the relevant information from this scene is organically revealed throughout the series.

But I really liked this scene, and I didn’t want to get rid of it entirely. The interplay between the guys reveals a lot about their characters. Reading it might give you a good idea of who the Brothers are. Without further ado, here’s the deleted opening to Bleeding Heart, book one of the Medici Protectorate series.

“Okay, Vinnie. Good job. Gianni, sweep… now watch for the—”

“Oooph.” Gianni took a bo staff thrust to the right side, and his breath left him with a whoosh. He took a knee on the mat and struggled for air while Nico and Coz stood snickering, waiting for their turns, and his sparring partner Vinnie leaned on his staff and grinned. Their instructor showed about as much amusement as Gianni felt.

Silhouette of two men engaged in martial arts“He gets you every time.” Marcus offered Gianni a hand and hoisted him to his feet. “Just because you’re on the attack doesn’t mean you can let your guard down.”

“He’s not left-handed. It doesn’t seem natural for him to thrust leading left.”

“You aren’t left-handed. You attack on the left.”

Gianni rubbed his side. It was going to be bruised. Again. Vinnie didn’t hold back. He narrowed his eyes and squared off.

“Bring it.” Vinnie grinned and spun his staff in front of him.

“Hey, it’s our turn,” Coz said.

Marcus stepped between Gianni and Vinnie and pushed them each back a step. “Ladies, stand down. Your sisters want a go.”

Usually talk like that would garner equally sarcastic retorts, but Gianni was grateful for the break.

Vinnie must have been tired too, because he bowed and gestured to the sparring arena. “Have at it, girls.” Then he joined Gianni against the wall. Marcus stayed on the mats to coach Nico and Coz through their fight.

“Did I get you too hard?”

No way was Gianni admitting his pain to Vinnie. “Nah, I’m fine. Just tired. It’s wicked hot in here today.”

“No argument there.”

Usually the men wore full dobaks, or martial arts uniforms in the gym, but that day they had all stripped off their shirts, even Marcus, and were battling in nothing but the wide-legged black pants. While Marcus worked with Nico and Coz, Enrico taught a young black belt class across the gym. Poor kids didn’t have the luxury of working shirtless. Rico kept them in their full uniforms.

Gianni rubbed his side until he and Vinnie got up for round two. Just before they started, Paolo came in with a young boy in tow. “Marcus, this is Ben. He’s going to start training with us. Ben, this is Marcus, one of my partners and an instructor here. And these are four of our associates, Gianni, Vinnie, Nico, and Bobby.”

“Everyone calls me Coz.” No one called him Bobby except Paolo, and Gianni suspected Coz didn’t care much for it.

Paolo grinned at Coz over Ben’s head, but Ben didn’t pay attention to any of it. He stared at Marcus’s chest. “Cool tattoo, man. Does it have any special significance?”

Marcus grabbed a towel off the floor and hung it around his neck, covering the ink with the tail of the cloth and his hands as they grasped the edges.

Students in a martial arts class watching two men practicePaolo turned Ben toward Enrico and the young black belt class. “First, you should learn right away we don’t address elders here as ‘man’ or ‘dude’ or any other nonsense. Second, we need to let these gentlemen get back to their training. Let’s go meet Enrico and the students who are more your age. You should be at their level in about three years.”

They turned to walk away, and Marcus donned his dobak shirt, securing the waist with a plain black belt. The lack of stripes didn’t mean anything. Everyone used plain black belts in the gym, but they all had embroidered ones with their names and ranks for competition. Marcus had a belt in his possession with seven stripes on it. Gianni’s and his brothers’ belts had six each.

While Marcus dressed, his cell phone beeped. So did Paolo’s. Quick glances at their screens caused them both to frown then exchange worried looks. Enrico left his class and joined them. A senior instructor had already taken over his class. The three men bowed their heads together and discussed the message in hushed tones.

Gianni nudged Vinnie and caught his attention, but he looked as puzzled as Gianni felt.

Paolo turned back toward his young charge. “Ben, go sit in that room and watch those boys. Someone will be with you shortly.” He shoved the boy toward the class Rico had abandoned and gestured to a senior black belt to assist the new student.

Marcus turned to Gianni and the others. “Keep practicing. Bo staff, not daggers. At least another hour. We need to go.” And he, Paolo, and Enrico ran out of the gym without any further explanation.

“What the hell do you think that was all about?” Vinnie asked.

“It’s gotta be something for work,” Gianni said.

“Yeah, but which work?” Coz asked.

Since they had graduated college, they had been hired at MDH, a multi-national conglomerate with offices in Italy, the United States, and Argentina. The three men who had just left, plus one who wasn’t there, had been their mentors since they had been young boys, training them in martial arts, getting them into elite colleges, making inroads for them at MDH, and even helping them get graduate degrees in their respective fields. There had been talk of another job that they were being groomed for, but no one would give the guys more information. Gianni suspected it had something to do with the tattoo Marcus had.

On Marcus’s left pec, near his heart, was the outline of a dagger. All four of the mentors had them. Marcus’s was white, Enrico’s was green, and Paolo’s was black. Sal, the mentor that Gianni was closest to, had a red one. The daggers were simple enough when you looked at them, yet there was something exquisite about them. Each one of them alone was a true work of art, but for the few people who had ever seen them when the men were all together, they were stunning. Each pointed in a different direction, as though they were parts of a whole picture. Gianni didn’t know the significance of the colors or the directions—even Sal wouldn’t tell him—but he was certain they had to do with the other job the Sal kept alluding to. The most he could get out of him was that Gianni and his brothers were likely the chosen, and they’d learn about it all when the time was right.

Whatever that was supposed to mean.

“Well, if it was important and had to do with MDH, you’d think one of us would have been notified,” Nico said. “We cover pretty much the whole company. We definitely overlap their departments.”

“That leaves the other job. Whatever it is,” Vinnie said. “What do you think it is?”

“My luck it’s something illegal,” Coz said.

“Why would you say that?” Nico asked.

Coz shrugged. “Track record.”

“Sal wouldn’t do anything illegal.”

“There goes Gianni with his man-crush again.” Vinnie put his bo staff down and grabbed a dagger.

“I don’t have a man-crush.” Gianni grabbed a dagger and squared off against Vinnie.

“Didn’t Marcus say we were supposed to practice staff for another hour?” Nico asked.

“Are you going to tell?” Vinnie continued circling Gianni.

“I like daggers better, anyway.” Coz grabbed the remaining staffs and put them away. He selected two daggers and offered one to Nico, keeping the other for himself.

Nico sighed but accepted it.

“So, when do you think they’ll tell us what’s really going on?” Vinnie struck at Gianni. “Those guys are getting old. It’ll be our turn soon enough.”

Gianni started circling. “Old? They’re in prime fighting condition.”

“We’re in prime fighting condition,” Vinnie said. “They’re in great shape for their age, but they’re not young anymore. If they need to fight for their job, they’re past prime.”

Gianni swept Vinnie’s legs and held the dagger to his throat. “Submit?”

Vinnie tapped out.

“They can still kick our asses.” He helped Vinnie up and immediately tripped him again. He pointed his dagger to Vinnie’s throat, but Vinnie just laughed.

Then Coz swore. Nico had cut this left bicep, and it gushed.

“Sorry. Let’s go stitch it up.” They left their daggers behind and went to the medical room for Nico to clean and stitch Coz’s arm.

Most of the men at the gym had wounds in some stage of healing. They had all gone through medic training and could administer CPR as well as stitch wounds. A few of them had performed minor surgeries on occasion.

Gianni and Vinnie continued practicing dagger drills and speculating what the big secret was. Nico and Coz returned in ten minutes and rejoined the practice and the conversation.

None of them came close to guessing the big secret, but they’d learn it all too soon.

So, there you have it. Something that happened before what happens, if you get what I mean. I appreciate the chance to share this scene with you and to close out the tour on familiar ground. Thanks for having me here today!


To show my gratitude, I’m offering two prizes to commenters.

One commenter will receive a free eBook of their choosing, not just from the Medici Protectorate series (although you can choose one of those), but from any of my works (the complete list can be found by clicking here).

Another commenter (US only) will be sent a Medici Protectorate gift pack. Every day this week I gave away a little Medici swag. Today, one commenter gets the whole bunch: bookmark, refrigerator magnet, pen, and sticky note pad. Good luck!

Swag gift pack from author Staci Troilo


display ad for the Medici Protectorate book series by Staci Troilo

Medici Protectorate Series
Premise:
The four Notaro sisters are the secret legacy of the Medici, famed rulers of Italy. Michelangelo promised his Medician benefactor that he’d always watch over the family, and as such, he formed the Medici Protectorate to guard them throughout the generations. Now, Italy is in political turmoil and revolution is imminent. The people are calling for new rulers, and the Notaros are poised to assume control. But a nefarious opposing faction wants the power for themselves. Never was the family in more jeopardy. The four sisters are protected by the Brotherhood—four elite warriors of the Medici Protectorate prophesied to keep the family safe until they fulfill their destinies. They journey around the world in an effort to keep the family safe and the future of Italy secure.

Book One
Bleeding Heart: Gianni, a warrior destined to defend the secret legacy of the Medici, protects his charge Francesca from a prophesied assassin. Their worlds collide in passion and violence, and he must conquer her fears and his demons in time to save them both.

Bleeding Heart is only $.99 throughout the duration of the tour.
Click the universal link for purchase information.

Book Two
Mind Control: Vinnie copes with his own identity issues while he struggles to protect the one prophesized Medici descendant, Jo, who refuses to embrace her heritage. With lives in peril, can they find the strength to overcome their tragic pasts, or is it too late?

Mind Control is only $1.99 throughout the duration of the tour.
Click the universal link for purchase information.

Book Three
Body Armor: Nico works to increase his powers and save the Notaro family matriarch, but his private agendas put his charge Donni’s life at risk. When secrets and lies result in three abductions, the group will need to place their trust him to save them all.

Biography box for author, Staci Trolio

Social Media Links:
Web | Blog | Newsletter Signup | Twitter | Amazon | Additional Social Media Links

Continue to follow the Story Empire Roadshow at these
blogs for more giveaways, prizes and fun!

Staci Troilo | C. S. Boyack | Harmony Kent | Joan Hall | P. H. Solomon

 

Visiting the Playground with C. S. Boyack #StoryEmpireRoadshow

The Story Empire Roadshow continues today with an appearance from C. S. Boyack. Craig is here to share the scoop on his book The Playground. Gather ’round the bookmobile and grab your copy before the tour is over. There’s only one more day left to score great prices on great reads and accumulate some nifty prizes along the way.

Take it away, Craig!

vintage photo of a bookmobile with crowd gathered around itThanks for having me over today, Mae. This Story Empire Roadshow has been a blast. All of us are doing different things, and in my case it’s something different every day. I think today’s stop is a good one. I’m offering my paranormal novel, The Playground, free for two days.

This story involves a ruthless businessman who has a line of toys for children. They’re called Playground dolls, and they come with access to a social network for kids. Children can interact with each other from all around the world.

Behind the scenes, he’s using the system to brainwash our children into his own homegrown army. Imagine the invasion happening from within our own homes.

This becomes what I like to call a chase for the maguffin, when the next generation of software goes missing. The businessman turned to the occult when things weren’t happening fast enough, and now his position is tenuous at best.

The Playground is told from three different points of view. You get the victim, the heroine, and a badass street thug who’s been sent after the missing software at all costs.

I think it has similarities to the works of Frank Miller, and Quentin Tarantino. If you like something on the dark side, with paranormal themes, this might be the one for you.

Book cover for THE PLAYGROUND, a novel by C. S. Boyack shows dramatic image of young girl's face over a sinister looking house at night with a car in the foregroundBLURB:
The hottest new toys of the Christmas season are the Playground Network dolls. They contain a worldwide social network for children. Except the network is controlled by a ruthless businessman with dreams of power.

To reach his goals he turns to the occult. Will our children make up his personal army? Could we have an enemy soldier in every home?

Gina Greybill is a cancer survivor who stumbles into her own brush with the paranormal. She wants nothing to do with it, but may be the only one who can bring down the Playground Network. To do it she’ll have to embrace her new situation, and recover the next generation of Playground software.

There is competition for the software in the form of a brutal thug named Clovis. He’s bigger, more ruthless, and more experienced. To top it all off, he has a head start.

The Playground is suitable for mature readers, due to violence and mature themes.

 The Playground is available at this Universal Purchase Link 

Story Empire is a cooperative effort of six outstanding authors. While I’m here at Mae’s visiting, she has her own bookmobile parked at Joan Hall’s blog. Joan is over at Entertaining Stories, so make sure you stop by my place too.

As an incentive to keep following the tour, my two most prolific commenters will win a huge coffee mug featuring my Romanesque bust, and Lisa Burton my robotic personal assistant. These are awesome mugs, and you’re going to want one.

Coffee mug with character and author bust

Connect with Craig at:
Blog | Amazon | Twitter | Goodreads | Facebook

Biography box for author C. S. Boyack

Continue to follow the Story Empire Roadshow at these
blogs for more giveaways, prizes and fun!

Staci Troilo | C. S. Boyack | Harmony Kent | Joan Hall | P. H. Solomon

 

Welcome Multi-Genre Author, Harmony Kent #StoryEmpireRoadshow

Hey, blogging friends! It’s day three of the awesome Story Empire Roadshow! Gather round the bookmobile to welcome Harmony Kent. She’s here with part two of a post she started yesterday on SEer P. H. Solomon’s blog. Harmony is out of town today, away from internet access, but she’ll be checking in tonight to reply to comments, so please leave her one one below!

vintage photo of a bookmobile with crowd gathered around it

Hello, everyone, Harmony Kent here. Welcome to my tour stop on the Story Empire Roadshow. First of all, I would like to give Mae a huge thank you for hosting me today. Because I have so many books published, I broke yesterday’s and today’s topic into two posts. So, for the first installment, check out yesterday’s post. And, remember, throughout this week, I shall be offering Kindle deals on some of my books, so keep checking in for details of which books and when the discounts are happening. The most prolific commenter at the end of the tour will get to choose ONE copy of any TWO of my ebooks!

What I write (part two) 

A firmly established mulit-genre author, you’ll not pin me down to any one thing. I’ve written various fiction, poetry, and non-fiction. Read on for more details on my books. My book trailer videos can all be found on my Amazon author page and my website.

My fifth book, Finding Katie, while fiction, tackles a serious topic, that of self harm and the affects of abuse. Readers have proclaimed that everyone should read this book.

I killed someone, you see. I killed the girl, who used to be me.

I’m Kate … Kate Charlesworth. I’m seventeen, and self-harming. This time I cut too deep, and I’m in hospital. I hadn’t meant for it to be so bad—it just sort of happened. I needed a lot of distraction that day.

You’ve had bad days, right? Days it hurts too much to think. Days you just wanna stay in bed. Days when the world needs to go away for a while. Right?

What do you do when you’ve hit rock bottom? When there’s nowhere left to turn?

This one little mistake lands me back on a psych unit—the last place I wanna be. Only this time, the nurse I end up with isn’t content to stick on a band-aid and send me home. She wants me to face my demons. But to do that, I’ll have to face who I am … who I used to be … I’ll have to find Katie.

books banner for author Harmony Kent

My sixth book, Slices of Soul, takes us into the realm of poetry and covers a multitude of topics.

Slices of Soul is a collection of contemporary poetry from author Harmony Kent that will both delight and call for deeper reflection. ‘Phantoms’ gives a gritty account of pain that you can never catch. ‘Enough’ expresses the contentment of Zen. ‘Diamonds’ shows the beauty to be found on a drab and rainy day. While ‘The Alchemist’ shows you how a guitar can turn lead into gold. This wonderful arrangement of fifty poems takes you from the abstract of Zen to the melody of music, and will reach into your mind, your heart, and your soul.

My seventh book, Interludes, takes a jaunt on the naughty side in the form of erotic short romance stories.

A collection of short erotic fiction that will tickle more than your taste buds and wet more than your appetite.

With a range of genres and styles, this book has enough steam for everyone.

GREY MANCHESTER—contemporary romance in 1000 words. Will Nadine choose to drop her knife or her knickers?

DOUBLE TROUBLE—ménage à trois in 2000 words. After a dry spell, Sophia gets more than she bargained for with a solicitor and a teacher.

DRAGON KISSED—shifter romance in 3000 words. Jenna’s life is fairly run of the mill until she has a flying accident. With a dragon. All is not as it seems in this fiery romance.

TRYST—contemporary romance in 4000 words. Polly pushes the boundaries on a workplace night out.

LOVE ON THE CORNISH LINE—contemporary romance in 5000 words. Becky falls flat on her face, and madly in love. Her weekly commute home proves to be anything but routine.

THE INLAW—contemporary romance in 6000 words. At 43, amputee Carla never expected in her wildest dreams to be called a MILF by a hot young stud. Trouble is, he’s her son in law’s brother. And young enough to be her son. Sparks fly when she’s caught with her hands in the biscuit tin.

NIGHT NURSE—contemporary romance in 7000 words. Denise has only weeks left to live. What constitutes life, though? What fills the yawning hours of empty days? Who are you once the chemo and the cancer have stripped you bare? What to do?—Go out on a slow fizzle, or with a big bang?

OVERBOARD—contemporary romance in 8000 words. When Stella falls overboard in the middle of the Pacific, she gets more than she bargained for. Sharks and storms not withstanding.

ALIEN LIAISON—alien romance in 9000 words. When the military transport, Lunas Two, crash lands on Zorth, Jay is given the job of liaising with the locals. She’s seen plenty of aliens in her four years of service, but never one as finger licking good as Lemo. How far will she have to go to keep the peace?

SAVING FACE—historical romance in 10,000 words. Non-related step brother and sister, David and Annalise, break all the rules in this steamy historical romance. Forced to live apart from the love of her life and into an arranged and loveless marriage, Annalise has to grow up fast. When all is lost, will she be able to save face?

READER ADVISORY: This book contains explicit sex scenes and language hot enough to melt your Kindle. For mature readers only.


My latest book, Moments, is available on pre-order on Amazon. Pre-order HERE (US) and HERE (UK). This is a collection of short stories and poetry that touches upon death, grieving, war, fresh starts, hope, courage, change, choices, and encouragement. Take a moment to delve into tales from the dark side, have fun with fantasy, dabble in dystopia, and court danger in a little science fiction.

I’d love to hear what some of your favourite reads are. Thanks so much for stopping by!

bio box for author Harmony Kent

Connect with Harmony at:
Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Continue to follow the Story Empire Roadshow at these
blogs for more giveaways, prizes and fun!

Staci Troilo | C. S. Boyack | Harmony Kent | Joan Hall | P. H. Solomon

 

P.H. Solomon on Writing Roots #StoryEmpireRoadshow

Happy Monday and welcome to the first day of the Story Empire Roadshow Blog Tour!

vintage photo of a bookmobile with crowd gathered around it

The authors of Story Empire have banned together on a week-long tour spanning all of our blogs to bring you entertaining posts, fabulous deals on books, giveaways and other prizes. To kick things off, please welcome P.H. Solomon!

Book cover for the Bow of Destiny, a fantasy novel by P.H. Solomon

Hello to everyone and thanks to Mae for hosting me today. I’m P. H. Solomon and I’m a fantasy author, living in greater Birmingham, AL. It’s great to be a part of Story Empire and be on the Roadshow this week. I hope you’ll enjoy all the stops and authors this week and take a look at our books. To see our schedule and information about our prizes, please click to our Roadshow page and see where we are making appearances each day. This week I’m giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card to the most active commenter.

close up of fountain pen with tip on paperI like to write and have for several decades, even though I’ve taken several long breaks from it. During each hiatus, writing always nagged at me and I often thought of ideas and toyed with them from a writing perspective. But one of the main reasons I like to write is that I’m a reader. While I like to read mainly speculative fiction, I do dabble with mysteries, action-thrillers and non-fiction so I have a variety of interests.

But reading influenced me to write long before I ever made my first attempts and it always called me back to writing over the years, simply for the love of a good story. I suppose one of my first memories of reading a good book on my own as a child was when I read The Hobbit by Tolkien, probably about my fifth-grade year. I read all about Bilbo’s adventures while sitting on a grate of our old furnace because it was warm in a drafty old house. The reading warmed my mind as much as the furnace warmed me bodily. That was a nightly ritual for some weeks as I plodded through a much bigger book than I was used to reading on my own. But it led to reading all of The Lord of the Rings over the next year which greatly increased both my reading comprehension and vocabulary. It also led me to other books.

One summer after that, I dealt with a case swimmer’s ear infection for a week or so during June. During that time, I read all of The Chronicles of Narnia. The series kept me company but I was soon finished with it since I was free to devote most of each day to reading. Of course, when I finished and was well, I was more than ready to get out and be active the rest of the summer but the characters stayed with me all that time as I remembered their adventures.

Later, I read other fantasy books and really enjoyed Patricia McKillip during my teen years. I once picked up her newest book, Heir of Sea and Fire, the sequel to The Riddlemaster of Hed, and read it on Christmas break by the fire. It was another story of wonder and adventure and the cozy fire each night was a good setting for reading about characters often visiting new locales with their own campfires to which the characters gravitated for warmth on their journey.

Book cover for An Arrow Against the Wind, a fantasy novel by author P.H. SolomonThese reading memories are much of what gave me a love of story and eventually led me in to writing. Books have been life-long friends to me and they’ve often lent comfort in difficulty which is the case of stories since people started telling them around their nightly fires thousands of years ago. What books influenced you when you were young? What are your fondest reading memories? Thanks for reading this post today and be sure to check out our schedule. While you’re here, feel free to have a look at my current book, The Bow of Destiny and the upcoming release of An Arrow Against the Wind. You can click on my bio banner below to pay me a visit at my website and learn more about me and the rest of The Bow of Hart Saga. Please follow me all week as I share more about my writing each day.

Here are some of the places where you can catch up with me on social media:
Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Website | Pinterest | Google+ | Wattpad | Amazon Author

bio box for author P. H. Solomon

Continue to follow the Story Empire Roadshow at these
blogs for more giveaways, prizes and fun!

Staci Troilo | C. S. Boyack | Harmony Kent | Joan Hall | P. H. Solomon

 

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.

And the Winners are…

Hi, gang. The Paranormal Bar and Grille Tour is over. Can you believe it’s almost Thanksgiving? Sheesh! Where does time go?

Anyway, thanks to everyone who went belly up to the bar before last call. On behalf of myself, Staci Troilo, Craig Boyack, Sandra Cox and Harmony Kent, we were glad to see you there and hope you had as much fun as we did.

Paranormal Bar & Grille

And now for all those treats I promised! 🙂 My scavenger hunt winners are:

Amazon $15 Gift Card: jjspina
Amazon $10 Gift Card: Jasmine
eBook copy of either Eclipse Lake, Food for Poe or Solstice Island: Julie Holmes

If you haven’t already received an email from me about your prize, expect to see one shortly!

The group and I also did two tours through the month of October (one even flopping over into November).

The winner of the “Reading is my Addiction” tour is “Kate” (no last name provided) who gets a $30 Amazon gift card.

The winner of the “Goddess Fish” tour is Kristen Burns, who won our ultimate prize, a $50 Amazon gift card.

Congrats to Kristen, Kate, Julie, Jasmine and jjspina. If you’d like to get a gander at the scavenger hunt winners for the other authors, just hop over to Story Empire. Thanks again and keep your eye peeled for more fun offerings from the Story Empire group in the months ahead!

Welcome to the Paranormal Bar and Grille #ScavengerHunt #Giveaway

Welcome, traveler! The authors of Story Empire (Staci Troilo, C.S. Boyack, Sandra Cox, Harmony Kent and I) have a huge Halloween giveaway kicking off today. There are multiple gift cards and ebooks up for grabs, plus lots of fun with several scavenger hunts.

You’ll find us hanging out at the Paranormal Bar & Grille, a spooky establishment with a questionable clientele. Well, questionable if you consider vampires, gargoyles, witches, creatures of urban legend and other supernatural beings unusual. Grab a tankard at the bar, sit down for a chat, and then embark on the scavenger hunts, collecting goodies along the way.close up of bar with old bottles and urns

You can find the main page here with links at the bottom to each of the individual scavenger hunts we’re offering. Each hunt offers you the chance to win a $15.00 Amazon gift card, a $10.00 Amazon gift card and multiple ebooks. That’s fifteen, not too shabby, chances to win.

And there’s more…

We’ve also booked a month long blog tour through Reading Addiction Tours that begins today and runs through November 4th. Discover excerpts from our books, reviews and purchase links at multiple stops. At the end of the tour we’ll be awarding a $30.00 gift card to Amazon. Be sure to enter the Rafflecopter drawings at each blog to increase your chances to win. You can follow the tour here.

paranormalbarandgrille_zpsyewb54s6

Finally, on October 31st we’ll be doing a one day Halloween blast through Goddess Fish Promotions. One lucky winner will walk away with a $50.00 Amazon gift card. You can check the Story Empire site or any of our individual blogs on the 31st for links to the blast.

And if you haven’t picked up your copy of MACABRE SANCTUARY yet, a collection of spooky tales in which four of the Story Empire authors are featured, snatch up your FREE copy and start reading.

Happy Halloween!

The Tragic Collapse of the Silver Bridge by Mae Clair

I’m back on tour today with my mystery/suspense novel, A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS. Set in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, the book is a blend of history and fiction spun around the urban legend of the Mothman and the tragic collapse of the Silver Bridge.

Banner for A Thousand Yesteryears, a mystery/suspense release by Mae Clair

Today, I’m at Jan Sike’s blog. Jan is a sister author with Rave Reviews Book Club, and my hostess for the day. If you get a chance, hop over and pay me a visit. I’m blogging about the bridge that defined and forever changed the town of Point Pleasant!

The Bogeyman Beneath the Bed by Mae Clair

Remember your childhood, and the creepy monsters who populated the darkness? Faceless beings who lurked in nether regions, tucked under the bed, burrowed in the closet, or hidden in a dank basement. The bogeyman was certainly the worst.

Today, for the third day of my blog tour celebrating the release of A THOUSAND YESTERYEARS, I’m visiting RRBC sister author Jenny Hinsman and sharing a post about the night time terrors that existed in our imagination, yet seemed so real.

Why not drop by and share your own memories of those vivid creatures of yesteryear?

Banner for A Thousand Yesteryears, a mystery/suspense release by Mae Clair

Mae Clair Presents: Christmas Carols by Daisy Banks #SweetRomance #VictorianRomance

I’m delighted to welcome Daisy Banks back to my blog with her newest release, CHRISTMAS CAROLS. I positively adored this sweet romantic tale set in the Victorian era. A great read at anytime of the year, not just Christmas, I can easily see myself reading this book over again, revisiting characters I fell in love with. You can find my 5-star review for CHRISTMAS CAROLS on Amazon. In the meantime, please welcome Daisy Banks, as she takes her lovely book on tour!

~ooOOoo~

HRchristmascarolsThank you, Mae, for your kind offer to help me celebrate the release of my new book Christmas Carols, published by Liquid Silver Books on the 10th of August.

I know readers might think it a little odd to be thinking about Christmas in August but in Victorian England, where my story is set, people were used to starting their Christmas preparations early.  Many projects were begun a full year or more before a specific Christmas. I think that’s an idea many of us now find very strange. With twenty-four hour shopping available in many ways the necessity of advance planning is no longer important. Yet part of the joy in an important event is the planning of it and for it.

In the UK we are at the turning point of the year with many seasonal fruits ready for harvesting and here is a recipe for a lovely wine that utilizes berries from the harvest. This is one of my favorites. I hope if you make it you will enjoy it too.

Damson Wine

This recipe makes about a gallon.

4lb’s of washed and de-stalked damsons
1 gallon of boiling water
4 fl oz of red grape concentrate
1 teaspoon of yeast nutrient
1 teaspoon of tartaric acid
1 teaspoon of pectin-destroying enzyme
2lb of sugar if you want to make a dry wine, or 3 and a half lb’s of sugar if you want a sweet wine.

Make up your yeast starter mix 2 or 3 days before you begin your wine.

6oz of water
1 dessertspoon of malt extract
1 desert spoon of sugar
A pinch of citric acid
Pinch of yeast nutrient
Use Burgundy wine yeast for this recipe.

Put water, malt extract, sugar and citric acid in a pan. Stir over heat until it boils and then turn off the heat.

Let the liquid cool a little then pour into a sterile clean half pint bottle. Plug the bottle top with cotton wool. Cool until the liquid is 70F  or 21 C and then add your yeast. If it’s liquid yeast culture shake before putting it into you half pint bottle. Put the cotton –wool plug back in and leave in a warm place. The yeast will ferment fast and be ready in 2 to 3 days.

When your yeast mix is ready:

Chop damsons, remove stones, and put your fruit into a fermentation bucket. Pour on your boiling water, stir in 1 lb of your sugar, keep the rest back, and allow the mix to cool before you add your other ingredients, and the starter yeast mix. Stir and then cover with a cloth or lid and let the mix ferment for 4 to 5 days. Remember to stir the liquid twice, daily as it ferments.

Strain carefully and don’t squeeze the fruit. Return the liquid to the fermentation bucket.

Over the next 4 or 5 days add the rest of your sugar about a lb at each time. Stir so the added sugar dissolves.

Siphon off into a 1 gallon jar and fit an airlock.

Leave the brew in a reasonably warm place.

At 3 or 4 month intervals you can rack the wine (siphon off sediment) until the wine is clear and ready to drink which can take up to a year.

Once you broach (open) the jar for a jug of wine bottle the rest and seal the bottles so the wine doesn’t go off.

In Christmas Carols Stephen and Alice mainly drink tea but wine is mentioned later in the story.

Excerpt

“Right ho, sir. Enjoy your tea both, and my Rosie will be out with a bowl for Blue in a moment.”

“May I ask if you will pour, Mrs. Broadbrace? I often ask Mrs. Brown or the girl Rosie to do it. I’ve tried myself, but the experience has sometimes resulted in a blister or two on my fingers. Not a good thing when I want to play well.”

“Of course. Blisters, my goodness me. Forgive me for prying, but Mr. Grafton, may I ask who looks after you?”

The soft swish of sound told him she stirred the pot. A few seconds later, he smelled the rich fragrance of the tea as she poured it into a cup. This was followed by the distinct dribble of milk.

“Sugar?”

“No, thank you.”

“Shall I put the cup and saucer by your hand?”

“Place it by my hand on the table, that’s fine. Now, as to who ‘looks after’ me. I have to say Blue takes much of the work.”

“I didn’t mean to offend, Mr. Grafton.”

“Of course you didn’t, I know. I am no different from many single men, ma’am. I have a woman who comes to clean in the house, a manservant who attends to my clothes and other household details such as the ordering of coal and so forth. Does that answer your question?”

Her cup rattled on the saucer as she put it down. “Thank you, yes it does. I’d wondered who had tied the green bow tie you wore for the recital.”

“Ah, yes. David, my manservant, assists me with such things when necessary. He also attended to Blue’s collar for the evening. A little affectation of mine.” He reached and found the biscuit dish, picked up a biscuit and snapped it in half. “I have learned the audience at the recitals enjoys such things.”

“Yes, of course they do. It makes you seem…”

“What, Mrs. Broadbrace, makes me seem what?” She gave a tiny cough. He wasn’t the only one with little affectations. He reached out, sliding his hand across the lacy tablecloth until it met the coolness of the tips of her fingers. “Do tell me?”

“I think the audience likes the things like Blue’s bow, because, well, because it makes you seem human, Mr. Grafton.”

He leaned back in his chair. “I’m glad to hear it. Please, Mrs. Broadbrace, my given name is Stephen I would be honored if you would use it.”

“Thank you for telling me, and yes, Stephen.” She near whispered the word. “I’ll be happy to call you by name when we are alone as we are now.” She paused and the click of her cup leaving the saucer sounded as she lifted her cup before adding, “My name is Alice. As a friend, I would welcome you using my name.

Blurb

Stephen Grafton, the blind organist at Holy Trinity Church, is gaining a reputation for his fine playing and compositions. Alice Broadbrace’s initial venture back into society after years in deep mourning brings her to the notice of the talented organist, and he offers her the opportunity to sing a solo carol to his accompaniment. His courage convinces her to find her own, while her charm entices him into thoughts of romance. A difficult walk in a snow storm is only the beginning of Stephen and Alice’s journey to happiness. Enjoy this sweet Victorian tale of talent and love blossoming.

Thanks for reading,
Daisy Banks

You can find Daisy Banks at the following haunts:
Blog 
Website 
Twitter @DaisyBanks16 
Facebook    
Pinterest 
Tsu   
Amazon 

Purchase CHRISTMAS CAROLS from:
Amazon

Barnes and Noble
iTunes

Kobo

Daisy Banks is the author of:
Soon to be available with Liquid Silver Books Serving the Serpent
Christmas Carols
Marked for Magic
To Eternity
A Perfect Match
Timeless
Valentine Wishes
A Gentleman’s Folly
Your Heart My Soul
Fiona’s Wish
A Matter of Some Scandal

Daisy’s books are available from:
Amazon  
Barnes and Noble
Kobo
iTunes

Daisy Banks writes a regular monthly story in the Sexy to Go compilations