#RRBC’s”SPOTLIGHT” Author, Bernard Foong @bernardfoong @aharemboysaga

I’m excited to host this month’s RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB’S “SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour with Bernard Foong!

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My writing process:

The Truth Will Set You Free is base on a real incident I encounted during my teenage school years. This incident was etched in my mind for as long as I can remember.  I am compelled to include this incident in the opening chapter of A Harem Boy’s Saga – II – Unbridled; a memoir by Young.

 

The Truth Will Set You Free is a mistaken identity short story about a gay teenager (moi, the author) at a Valentine Day’s party with a girl who had eyes for him (the author).  

My writing inspiration:

The Truth Will Set You Free was inspired by my personal experience when I was a teenager in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I had befriended a female student from my sister school who had eyes for me. Little did I suspect that she would back me into an uncomfortable situation during a Valentine’s Day party at her home. I documented the actual incident in The Truth Will Set You Free; a novella by Young.

***

Book excerpt:

…After a series of invigorating dances with the party twins, I was ready to call it a night, but under Dorothy’s insistence, I stayed. Nobody at the party knew of my sexual inclinations except me. During a slow dance, Dorothy leaned her head against my chest. Although this intimate way of dancing was not new to me, I had no intention of leading my friend on. I tried to keep a polite distance. Dot, thought me shy and continued her aggressive approach. I had little choice but to go with the flow since she held me tight with no intention of letting me leave anytime soon. The moment arrived when her lips almost touched mine. She looked into my “eyes wide shut,” and expected romance to sparkle between us. I did not back away  even though I did not feel the same as Dot. Since it was Valentine’s Day, I did not wish to upset her. I play-acted, as much as I could. In my mind, it was the correct thing to do. After all, I will be back to London in a week and would not be seeing my Malaysian friends for another year. To me, this was merely a moment in time to make my female friend feel good about herself.

***

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Author Bio:  Young alias Bernard Foong is, first and foremost, a sensitivist. He finds nuance in everything. To experience the world he inhabits is an adventure which is mystical, childlike and refreshing. He has a rare ability to create beauty in a unique fashion. His palettes have been material, paint, words and human experiences.

By Christine Maynard (screenwriter and novelist).

Foong just published A Harem Boy’s Saga – V – Metanoia; a memoir by Young  – the final volume of his autobiographic five book series of Mr. Foong’s young life:

A Harem Boy’s Saga: A Memoir by Young.

This provocative story spanning 4 decades and 3 continents is about a boy who was sent to a very exclusive English boarding school in the 1960s where he was initiated into a clandestine sexual society and then spirited away to serve in wealthy and elite Middle Eastern harems .”

Ranked Internationally Best-Selling Author on amazon.com

A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book I – Initiation (a memoir by Young)

A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book II – Unbridled (sequel)

A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book III – Debauchery (3rd volume in the series))

A Harem Boy’s Saga – Book IV – Turpitude (4th volume in the series)

 

A Harem Boy’s Saga series is published by Solstice Publishing and is available in print and E-books internationally.

A Harem Boy’s Saga (series) – Film Option Agreement signed with a U.K. Film Production Company.

Book I – Initiation is currently in film production.

 

 

Looking Back as I Head Forward, Part 3

Part 1 & 2 covered tripping over a black cat on Friday the 13th to the aftermath. Here in Part 3, the changes continue for a person who has not been one to join clubs or read outside favorite genres.

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Part 3

I can’t talk about my writing experience without mentioning more about a book club I joined almost 3 years ago, #RRBC. I started out in the club with only the intention of reading and reviewing books, but I quickly learned to attend the club events. I got to know other members through these events and their books. I was reading at a pace I’ve never read before and genres I’d never attempted, all the while enjoying myself.

Last year I decided to take another uncharacteristic leap and became their Social Media Director. Here I help promote the club and its authors. It was a good fit for me. I’ve learned a lot there, too, like I can schedule Twitter posts for an entire month. I do that for myself and as Social Media Director, although I’m swamped with work at the beginning of the month. I deal with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest (which I am still figuring out). I begin each day and end each night with social media while reading as many blogs as I can and trying to focus on my family. I haven’t figured the perfect balance out for that and writing yet.

I also belong to the Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and Sierra Writers. But I haven’t participated much in either one of those other than to read the newsletters and pay the membership fees. I plan on changing that this year.

Besides clubs, one thing I found I enjoy doing is beta reading for other indie authors. Editing is not my strong suit, but something I’m always working on. Luckily  I can read, and I know when something seems off.  When a book I’ve beta read comes out, I can’t wait to re-read it and see it in its final form.

I have been reading a lot these past two years, thanks to #RRBC.  Last year I hit 77 books in the Goodreads Challenge most of them from club members. Some perfectly edited and written, some with mistakes but a good story and a few just poorly written and edited. I don’t waste my time now with the latter group. First, all this reading started out as a quest to join the 100 Club at #RRBC. It took me a while to get there, but I did. What I learned was that it wasn’t the getting there that was important, but all the books I got to read along the way that became my reward.

This year I’m attempting around the same amount of books just for the fun of it.

The genres I’ve always been a fan of are fantasy/paranormal, mystery, love stories, or horror. I had my favorite go-to best-selling authors in each genre. Now since joining #RRBC and becoming an indie author, I’m reading memoirs, science fiction, children’s books, poetry, and many other genres.

I strongly believe reading is part of the education for an author. I’m puzzled by writers who don’t read. They are the same people who ask you to read their books repeatedly, too. I tend to read books from authors that interact with me and of course, are amazing writers. These are the people who are the most supportive and usually have interesting blogs, too.

The side-effect of all this reading has been not only a long reading list, but I’m now a fan of many new authors. I don’t even bother with some of my old stand-by best selling authors anymore. All this reading has shown me what is good and what isn’t in a book. Besides a great story,  I appreciate a snappy dialog, showing over telling and those moments when I can pause and admire a brilliant poetically crafted line–there’s nothing better.

I no longer wonder who the readers that indie author are always looking for–it’s the other indie authors and some dedicated readers as well. #RRBC knows that and now so do I after taking a chance and doing things I never would have thought to do before breaking a bone. Strange how life finds ways to inspire and encourage.

Next week is the final part of this series.


Just a reminder: If I don’t respond or comment in a timely fashion it might be a weather-related power outage or phone lines down. We have a series of snowstorms coming at us this week and losing power or the internet can be a part of that. The worst has been a week-long power outage and the internet down for two weeks, but usually, it’s just a day or two. Although we do have a generator now so we have the luxury of water (on a well) and power to the fridge and microwave, I can’t complain (like I might have done when we were without for that period)! A nice side-effect of this is I enjoy candlelight reading.

There will be another special post later today.

Happy Valentine’s Day and Happy Anniversary to my “breaking” into publishing!

Embrace your inner child with a good book! D.L. Finn

Welcome to the SEASONS Blog Tour @ErnestineRose25 #4WillsPub #RRBC

I’m very excited to welcome fellow author Ernestine Rose here today! Please make her feel welcome.

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I grew up on the west side of Chicago in the 50s and 60’s. As an only child, I became an avid reader and explored the world beyond my block through reading. Writing was easy for me also, and I loved the bustle of classes and extra-curricular activities in high school. So teaching English seemed to be a likely career choice. I could stay there forever surrounded by dance, drama, and books. After four years at Bradley University in Peoria, I started my teaching career. After eight years, we moved to Fort Worth and I taught English, speech and theater another 28 years, gaining a master’s degree along the way.

In 2011, I retired from teaching full time. A year later, I started writing. When exploring topics, my husband asked me what I knew a lot about. My reflex answer was “being married to you.” We’d been married thirty years by then, and I felt that I had something to share. I explored webinars and self-publishing programs to guide me on my approach, and I completed my first book, 7 Tips for a Successful Marriage, within a few weeks. I could not, however, figure out the formatting, nor did I feel that this was the kind of book I wanted to write. I like a good story above all else. So I went on to my next book, a companion piece on bringing up my four sons: Raising the Roses. The formatting still eluded me, so I started book number three, Tales from the Family Tree. This one is a collection of short stories about family conflict. Some of them are based on my family; some are pure fiction. As you can see, my niche is family and all of my books somehow revolve around that.

Finally, in December of 2011, my husband and I figured out the secrets to formatting through CreateSpace, and published all three books within a few days. I spent the next two years struggling with marketing, having had no idea how difficult it would be. I went back to teaching part-time since my book sales were not what I had hoped, and worked in after-school and summer programs the next four years. In 2015 I published a romance novel, Monday Morning Blues, because it’s a genre I’ve always enjoyed. I wanted to write something that women my age and mindset would enjoy, unlike the influx of urban fiction and historical romances that were flooding the market.

My writing time was interrupted when my husband of forty years became ill, and I became his caretaker through a difficult year before he passed. There were weeks of adjusting to my loss and living alone, and months spent planning to relocate to be near my sons and grandchildren. Now, that I’ve settled in Houston, I’m ready to write again.   I feel that my journey through grief and my husband’s fight with sarcoidosis are worth sharing, so that is the topic of my latest book, Seasons: My Journey through Grief. I think I can help others who’ve experienced loss, and it’s a story that I feel I must tell.

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Author Bio:  Ernestine Rose grew up on the west side of Chicago during the turbulent 50’s and 60’s. Adopted by an older couple, she spent a great deal of time as a child reading and participating in dance and drama club activities in school. Bradley University and the University of Dallas prepared her for a successful career as a teacher of English, speech and theater in Peoria and Fort Worth, where she earned numerous educator awards.

As a retired public school teacher and mother of four sons, she made her debut as an author with the publication of three books: 7 Tips for A Successful Marriage, Raising the Roses, and Tales from the Family Tree, all in 2012.  She later produced a romance novel, Monday Morning Blues. Her most recent work reflects her experience as a caretaker and widow, Seasons: My Journey through Grief. Inspired by Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, her focus in both writing and theater is on the power of language, love, and family. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.

BONUS!!! The Author is also hosting a giveaway during each day of her blog tour. Simply comment on each stop to be entered. You can win a copy of one of her e-books or even a $10 Amazon Gift Card!! (There will be a total of 13 giveaways!!)

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

Thanks again for your support!

Welcome to “THE SLEEPING ONE” Blog Tour! @KarlJMorgan #4WillsPub #RRBC

I’m very excited to have Karl J. Morgan drop by today on his tour! Please give him a warm welcome.

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Looking forward to Book Two, etc.

Storytelling is a lifelong passion for me. No sooner had my keyboard cooled down after writing “The End” on book one when my mind was began to imagine book two. There is a scene in The Sleeping One when Professor Thorndike mentions a demonic cult that controlled much of Eastern Europe before the Roman Empire reached their borders. The cult worshipped Satan and fifty specific demons. When the Romans encountered them, they attacked and slaughtered them without mercy, which was not an unusual tactic for the Roman Empire. That kernel of an idea sparked what has become Carl Prescott and the Demon Queen.

At the beginning of book two, a medieval castle is discovered buried beneath the Bertrand Aloysius Thorndike Academic Institution. This is a problem on many levels. First, the school is located in the Azores in the middle Atlantic. That archipelago was not discovered by humans until a thousand years after the cult was destroyed. The second quandary is that the only evidence that such a castle ever existed was in the few records of the cult. Decent civilization chose to erase the cult’s existence from history. The problem gets worse when Carl meets Sylvia, the demon who led the cult and now wishes to reestablish it. That removal will cause the school to collapse into the pit left behind.

The Demon Queen takes me back to familiar territory. I have written five other novels that feature a direct connection between the hero and Divine beings. As an eager reader of books on cosmology, astrophysics, and quantum mechanics, this latest story allows me to go back before the Big Bang and explain the origin of the universe in a nonscientific way. My solution is not meant to be a theory of anything, only a story mechanism, and hopefully a clever one.

As with most entertainment, the book is a series of scenes. A few of my favorites from Demon Queen are Carl’s birthday party, Carl and Sylvia’s date night, the journey back through the Big Bang, the Crossroads of Existence, the gravity bubble, and especially the Rope Bridge. They are listed here in no particular order. I hope you will select your own favorites in the coming weeks.

Book two is far from the end. Book three is completed in rough draft form. It is tentatively entitled Carl Prescott and the False Universe. Book four is in process, although I have had some mental blockage and plot issues. Four could be the last in the series, but I will not know until it is complete. That is always the way with stories. In the words of baseball legend Yogi Berra: “It isn’t over until it’s over.” The Demon Queen will be my twentieth published book. For a moment, I thought that was astounding, but there is no time to celebrate when more characters demand my attention. I can guarantee that my storytelling days are far from over. I sincerely appreciate your interest and readership.

For the curious, the other five novels mentioned are Two Doors, Hand of God, Demonic, Whistlestop, and Sleeping One.

Karl Morgan photo

Karl Morgan Bio

With a long career in finance and as author of almost twenty books, I like to say that words and numbers are my life.

I have had a lifelong fascination with stories in the science fiction and fantasy genres, whether it was the Tom Swift novels by Victor Appleton I read as a young boy, or television like Lost in Space and Star Trek. More recently, I have devoured film series like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. That fascination is combined with a keen interest in cosmology, astrophysics, quantum physics, and spirituality.

That quirky combination along with the fantasy genre allows me to craft stories that reinforce the importance of family, friendship, and love. The protagonists must overcome incredible danger and challenges to survive their journeys, but eventually end up on top. It goes without saying that as a finance guy, my life has been less action-packed than my characters (thank goodness).

With Carl Prescott and The Sleeping One, I ventured back to comfortable territory. Many of my stories reinforce our direct connection to the Divine. While that is an element of this story, the sequels feature that relationship to a much greater extent. That element in my stories is an homage to what I believe really matters in this life.

I am the son of an Air Force pilot and as such, I have lived in many places, never for more than four years at a time. Thankfully, as an adult, I have lived in Chula Vista, CA for the past thirty-seven years. I met and married Aida, the love of my life, thirty years ago. Our grown children have made us grandparents four times over. It is a blessing to be around such wonderful parents and children.

My new goal is life is my stories. I hope you can follow me on this new adventure.

Karl Morgan Social Media and Contact Links:

Book on Amazon

Facebook

Amazon author page

Website/Blog

Twitter

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.
Lastly, Karl is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB #RRBC! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books, JOIN US! We’d love to have you!
Thanks for supporting this author and his work!

Looking Back as I Head Forward, Part 2

Last week I talked about the fall over a black cat on Friday the 13th that landed me contemplating publishing. Part 2 is the result of that moment.

Part 2

The “maybe” I should publish quickly turned into a why not. Spending so much time immobile finally gave me that time to research and do what I needed to do. I quickly realized I needed to have my work edited, along with starting a website, a blog and getting on social media, which was a bit overwhelming. So next time my daughter visited, whose idea this was, she jumped right in to help.  I soon had my writer’s name, because my Italian last name is impossible for most to say or spell–and I also wanted a bit of privacy. D.L. Finn was born out of my love for dolphins (sound it out). Then I got the domain name for my website, created the site, started social media accounts, found an editor and a company to publish my book. I thought I was ready to go. Soon I’d be a published author.

Next on my list of things to do while “Elizabeth’s War” was being edited, was a book cover.  Fortunately, I knew of a designer and got her to work on it, what you see above is its second version. During this time I also copyrighted the story and got a Library of Congress number for the print. I decided to purchase my ISBNs, so I’d have full control of my work. Then all I could do is wait while watching more seasons of “Supernatural” as I healed.

Soon everything was back to me. I was ready. With a shaking hand and racing heart, I uploaded my work and cover to Bookbaby. I was published. Within several days, I was holding an expensive printed copy of my first book. It was like Christmas morning when I was a child. I sent it out to reviewers and got a lot of great expensive feedbacks, for the most part. I started my blog and ran a giveaway. I built up a small base, had a couple of readers and made some wonderful friends along the way. I repeated the process with “An Unusual Island” while I was writing my first book in years, “Things on a Tree.”

Things were moving quickly, and I kept going. I soon decided it was time to part ways with Bookbaby and I took over the publishing part myself. I made a few changes to “Elizabeth’s War,” adding in a short story, an updated cover and put out the second edition. I removed my other two children’s books from Bookbaby and published them. Bookbaby did their job, but I wanted to do this for myself and not pay all those fees.

Then, I found a wonderful book club #RRBC that I joined. Here’s where I got the rest of my writer’s education (more on this in part 3). I had “An Unusual Island” and “Things on a Tree” re-edited from what I found was poor editing from two different companies. I was pleased with the results, but this editor was too busy to take on any new work.

In the meantime, I published “No Fairy Tale” my memoir/poetry book. The editing company I used for that may have caught all the errors, but the editor more suited to business writing over fiction. I later wondered if some of my personality might have been edited out in that process.

I decided it was time to find a constant editor. I thought I had one for my first adult fiction book, “This Second Chance.” Luckily in a pre-publication review, many errors were found and I changed the release date. I scrambled to find another editor because I had already started promoting my book. Luckily after a ton of research, I found one who could take me immediately! Within three weeks I had my work back. I had found an editor who understood my writing style and wasn’t shy to point out things to me. She made my first adult fiction book readable.

When it’s my story–I know the story. I’ve found I can’t edit my own work nor can some companies that claim to employ proficient editors. It was a hard and expensive lesson to learn as a writer to find good editors. Reviews can be very helpful when choosing an editor as well as other author’s experience and advice. I now look at resumes and many other things.

Also during this time frame, I decided to move my website from Wix to WordPress. This switch opened up how I communicated with other authors and my blog posts. One of the most important things I’ve learned as a writer is how vital it is to interact with other indie authors.

Although, I had no history with blogs before I published. I just knew I needed one from research. So I posted about my books or things I was thinking about. During my move, I gave some serious thought to what content I wanted on my new blog. I decided on book reviews, my opinions, my poetry, supporting other authors and sometimes promoting my books. Then the best part was finding other blogs to follow.  I’ve have become very attached to several authors now, but not in a stalker kind of way. There are several blogs that I do not miss a post.  I love stories, book reviews, advice, humor, and personal insight. It’s time-consuming but very worth it to me.

I rarely share my writing experiences because I feel like I’m still learning. But, when I was asked a question on Goodreads about writing I realized I do have experience now to share.

Next week will continue with Part 3.

Watch for another special blog post this week.


Embrace your inner child by reading a book! D.L Finn

Welcome to the Visionary Fiction and the Soul Blog Tour @pdeblassieiii #4WillsPub #RRBC

I’m excited to welcome fellow #RRBC author Paul DeBlassie III on his Soul Blog Tour!

Visionary Fiction and the Soul Blog Tour 

Goddess of the Wild Thing 

eBook Goddess Of The Wild Thing with awards

And

PD The Unholy with Awards

The Unholy

 What do you mean by visionary stories and the soul?

The visionary fiction I write dramatizes soul. There are people who’ve lost it or come close to losing it. They feel crazy or on the verge of crazy. When we get to the edge of sanity, we teeter and totter. Oh, it’s a very scary time. Sometimes the teetering goes on and on. We feel ill inside, lost and empty. Physical sickness strikes. Mental anguish bears down and won’t let up. The characters in my stories struggle with what it means to be a woman or a man living with pain from the past and abusive people in the present. What do you do? You can’t run from the past forever. You can’t pretend the toxic people in your life now aren’t as bad as they seem. They are. And the truth of what they are and how you play into what they do has to be faced. This is a visionary story—intense, loaded with choices that make the difference between soul and soullessness.

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Author Bio:  Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D. is a depth psychologist and award-winning writer living in his native New Mexico. He specializes in treating individuals in emotional and spiritual crisis. His novels, visionary thrillers, delve deep into archetypal realities as they play out dramatically in the lives of everyday people. Memberships include the Author’s Guild, Visionary Fiction Alliance, Depth Psychology Alliance, International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, and the International Transpersonal Psychology Association.

Website

Facebook

Twitter

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

 

Looking Back as I Head Forward, Part 1

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I’m coming up on the four-year anniversary of being a published indie author. In honor of that, I’m doing a four-part series about my writing journey.

Part 1

This writing anniversary always gets me reflecting on my journey. It’s not that I started writing four years ago,  I’ve been doing that since I was a teenager, although I took it more seriously in the 90s. I wrote a couple of children’s books and many children’s short stories. “Mega Veggies” was published in a children’s magazine and I was sending out my work to publishers with “nice” handwritten rejections. Also during this time frame, I made the decision to further educate myself. So I took several writing classes and later found myself back in college, where I focused on English, Photography, and Yoga. It was in a college English Class I found my love poetry and I began to work on more “adult” short stories, but then after I graduated all of my work just sat. I’d stopped sending my books to publishers and hadn’t submitted an article, short story, or poem to a magazine in a while. I had a family to raise, relatives to take care of, and health issues. Writing wasn’t a priority.

Then an incident happened in 2015 that ended up being a great story. Four years ago on a cold winter’s night in February, on Friday the 13th, I had just finished reading and was about to go to sleep. I had to use the restroom, so I threw the covers back and raced across the 20 feet to my destination. I didn’t make it. On our large throw rug was a picture of a black bear and our black cat Coco on top of that. In my rush, I didn’t see him, and my foot caught underneath him. I tried to grab the dresser next to me to balance, but instead, I kept falling. I remember my cat watching this with interest, but not moving either. I twisted to avoid landing on him and heard a loud crack. I was face first on the cold floor with Coco still on top of the bear. It wasn’t that he was stubborn either, he completely trusted I wouldn’t hurt him, and I didn’t. My other cats I have accidentally stepped on, and they move when I walk near them. That came later with him. Now he gets out of my way, most of the time.

I laid there for a moment wondering what to do. I tried to pull myself up with no luck. The pain was too intense when I tried to use my foot. My husband had slept through this entire event.

When I finally called out to him, he sat up and asked, “Why are you laying on the floor? You should get up.” Then his head was back on the pillow again.

It took a bit of urging to wake him up, but he finally got me into the bed where I decided to wait the night out and see how I was in the morning.

After a long night of trying to get comfortable, morning came. I knew I needed to see a doctor. It was the weekend so ER was our only option. After a long process of getting dressed, my husband and I made it to the car and the hospital. The hospital staff seemed to enjoy my Friday the 13th story, and my husband said he was glad to be with me on Valentine’s day no matter where we were. (you can see why we’ve been married for 35 years) I was diagnosed with a high break on my left foot. It was wrapped up, I had crutch lessons, and we headed home.

Being laid up with a broken bone over being sick was a new experience for me. I had a lot of time of my hands. I did some projects I had wanted to do like go through all my grandparents’ old slides. I watched hours of TV, including started watching Supernatural. Catching up the seasons filled the hours, but still, I couldn’t do that all day. So one day my daughter was visiting and suggested I publish my work myself on Amazon. I thought…maybe.

Next week continues with Part 2

Watch for a special edition blog this week:)


Embrace your inner child by reading a book! D.L. Finn

More 2019 Book Reviews @Sandra_Cox @teagangeneviene @VashtiQV

Memoir of a Mad Woman 

by Vashti Quiroz-Vega

“Memoir of a Mad Woman” is a short, but chilling read. You’re taken into the mind of a young girl, Emma, who had a very unstable upbringing. Emma ends up in an orphanage. This is where she’s finally pushed completely over the edge. It’s brutal and almost unthinkable what follows. The characters feel real, which makes it all the more terrifying in their cruelty. How Emma responds to what she considers a complete betrayal, you can’t help but to root for her and feel her pain. I thoroughly enjoyed this psychological thriller and felt like I understood her madness. I highly recommend this well-written dark short story.


Atonement in Bloom

by Teagan Geneviene

“Atonement in Bloom” is the second book in the Atonement series and begins where “Atonement, Tennessee” left off.  Ralda Lawton is settling into her new home, has friends and found supernatural beings, too. I loved the narrative going between Ralda and Lilith her cat. I appreciated seeing Atonement through the cat’s eyes. I’d like to think my cats are as observant as this calico. With Faes, glowing pigs, and failed magic mixed with mystery, a small town, a sudden appearing house, and a kidnapping–it was a hard story to put down.  The relationship between Ralda and Bethany is endearing. They retained their memories from the first book, while others didn’t. Then help came from an unexpected ally, which added a new dynamic to their relationship. I loved the Tea Room where Ralda and her friends met. I could picture myself having a cup of tea there easily.  This is an imaginative, fun read that I highly recommend, but I’d start with “Atonement, Tennessee” first if you haven’t read it, so you don’t miss anything.


Vampire Bay (Hunters #3)

By Sandra Cox

This is the third book in the Hunters Series and revisits Zoe and her Uncle Kilmer, after book two visits Zoe’s cousin, Jolene the “weres” hunter.  Zoe and her uncle go to a small town to hunt vampires. They stay in a house that used to belong to a vampire Zoe had killed and immediately have a run-in with “vamps”. I enjoyed the relationship between Zoe and her protective uncle, as well as her boyfriend Sam.  While Zoe appears to be a fashion-conscious teen, she’s also an intelligent hunter. I’ve loved all three of the books in this YA series and hope there are future books about Zoe. I recommend this for not only YA readers, but adults who enjoy a story through a teenager’s point of view.


Starting next week I will be posting a series of four blogs where I’ll be reflecting on my journey as an indie author, in honor of my four-year anniversary in February. I will not have any book reviews posted here until after, but I’ll be reading. Right now I’m thoroughly enjoying, “End of Day” by Mae Clair. Then I’m heading into the final installment of the Four Seasons Series “Into Summer” by Larry Landgraf with a long “Reading List” to follow! I have my list on Goodreads marked under currently reading. I’m very excited to work my way through that list–then add more.

Embrace your inner child by reading a book! D.L. Finn

#RRBC SPOTLIGHT Author Mary Alder @MAAdlerWrites

I’m excited to welcome #RRBC Spotlight Author Mary Alder!


ShadowedByDeath

WORKING SMART: PART THREE 

TIMELINE

I write historical fiction, so it is important that the events in the story fit logically within actual historical events. While doing research, I note events that are significant to my story and create a timeline.

It is much easier to attribute facts to sources as I go along and to create a bibliography as I read each book. At the end of the novel writing process, I have a bibliography I can append to the back of the book or put on my website. It allows people to read trusted sources for issues in the book they might have a deeper interest in.

Here is an example of the timeline for the war in Poland.

     1943 continued.

April 19-

New York Times: Editorialized that the Bermuda Conference: … important as the first attempt at international collaboration to mitigate the appalling horror of Hitler’s war of extermination since the outbreak of the war … it would seem that even within the war effort, and perhaps even in aid of it, measures can be devised that go beyond palliatives which appear to be designed to assuage the conscience of the reluctant  rescuers rather than to aid the victims.” Allied Press response to defeatism of Conference. P 54 While 6 million Died

April –

Russia breaks off diplomatic relations with Poland in light of Katyn massacre discovery. Soviets blame Germans and British and Americans endorsed the lie.

May 12 –

Szmul Zygielbojm commits suicide in response to a message about the devastation in the Warsaw ghetto;

June  –

Karski to U.S. Meets with Roosevelt. Cannot convince the U.S. of extermination or get them to help. At time, still 100,000 Jews alive in Lodz and large gas chambers at Auschwitz had just become operational.

August –

Yakov Wernik, an escapee from Treblinka, ran away during the uprising there in August-1943. He described vividly what had happened at Treblinka. His words were written down and his was the first report transmitted to London and published there and in America. P87 Memoirs of Ghetto Fighter

November 3 –

Fall -Time to liquidate Jews in work camps. “Erntefeste” – “Harvest Festival”

Lublin work camp. Could not liquidate it gradually because by now the Jews did not believe they would survive. Had been uprisings in Warsaw ghetto, (April) Treblinka (July), Bialystok (August), Sobibor (October)

Jewish prisoners dug zigzag trenches outside work camps; told they were for fortifications from air raids but became their mass graves.

I create a timeline marking the major events, and tape it on my wall. Then I weave the events of the novel into the timeline. Even if you do not write historical fiction, a timeline of your book will help you keep track of significant events.

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Author Bio:

Mary Adler was an attorney and dean at CWRU School of Medicine. She escaped the ivory tower for the much gentler world of World War II and the adventures of homicide detective Oliver Wright and his German shepherd, Harley. She lives with her family in Sebastopol, California, where she creates garden habitats for birds and bees and butterflies. She is active in dog rescue and does canine scent work with her brilliant dogs — the brains of the team — and loves all things Italian.

Leader

little tree

I decided to start this year off right by borrowing an idea from a fellow writer, Jan Sikes. I picked a word/theme for 2019; then several family members also chose a card from my cat tarot card deck. My husband got “clan/family/love”, my daughter “do what is right for you,” my son “use both your head and heart.” It fit them perfectly for the life path they are on. The card I chose had a strong message for me. It talked about being a leader/lead and trust. Note: As an introvert, this was not a welcome message.


Here’s the definition of Leader found in dictionary.com:

noun

a person or thing that leads.

A guiding or directing head, as of an army, movement, or political group.

Music.

A conductor or director, as of an orchestra, band, or chorus.

The player at the head of the first violins in an orchestra, the principal cornetist in a band, or the principal soprano in a chorus, to whom any incidental solos are usually assigned.


I’m not the leader type, but I will do what needs to be done. I raised kids, took care of relatives and if I saw something needed to be done, I did it.  But I’m not the person jumping in to lead a group, in the army or have aspirations to be in politics. I’m not in a band or a conductor either. So, why did I get this?

My first thought was Hero Girl in the holiday movie “Polar Express” that I had just watched with my grandkids a few weeks ago. Her message, in the end, was to lead. She made sure the shy boy in the back of the train got hot chocolate. Or she took charge when no one knew which way to go at the North Pole to find their way back to the group. It’s not that she always had the answers either, she questioned herself when pressed if she knew what lever to pull to the stop the train. But she decided to trust herself and was right. She was confident and kind. She didn’t follow others blindly. Still, how does a Christmas movie apply to me?

Well, I know I shouldn’t blindly follow others, especially those who want to lead society and people in a dark direction. As a writer that means to lead with my heart and do what I’m supposed to be doing, not to worry about what is selling, what others are doing, or how to make money off these people.

When I lead myself in the right direction, I might or might not be alone where I’m going. When I don’t engage in all the negativity that we are surrounded in our world, that bleeds into our homes, I become a role model to my family, friends, and society. To take care of myself not only leads me in a better direction while I learn from my mistakes. I guess that is where that card is trying to lead me to–an example to family, as an author and to myself. To do this as the person, I am. It’s easy to withdraw from the world and think none of that is my problem, but I believe that everyone is responsible for their actions, as am I. To accept responsibility for all your actions is what I consider Karma. To walk forward in whatever awaits is to lead, either just me or others it doesn’t matter.

I didn’t get the card I had hoped for this year. That one that would tell me to relax and play — not this time. It’s going to be a year to work and try a lot of new things. I’ll see where this all goes. There’s no resolutions for me, only acceptance of what is and what can be as I embrace leading on a journey of self-discovery.


Note: There will be a special edition blog Tuesday. Don’t miss it! I’ll have my January Newsletter out early this month, later this week. Check your email if you are subscribed.

Embrace your inner child by reading a good book. D.L. Finn