Category Archives: Blog Tour

“Where Spirits Linger” Book Blog Tour

The 2021 WordCrafter Paranormal Anthology, Where Spirits Linger, was released today – September 20, 2021!

Where Spirits Linger Authors with Kaye Lynne Booth, editor

“I hope you will stay with us and follow the tour to each blog stop to learn more about the stories within to picque your interest. Of course, I hope you buy the book, but each comment you make along the way earns an entry into a random drawing for a free digital copy of Where Spirits Linger, so you could be our next lucky winner!” – Kayne Lynne Booth

I’m excited to host the tour on Day 2 featuring Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s piece “Listen to Instructions.”

I’ll let Roberta tell you about the process she went through to write her story. Here’s Roberta:

~ ~ ~

The Location of “Listen to Instructions”

This year the WordCrafter short story challenge required a story built around a specific place. This was a new idea for me as my stories are usually built around an event or a character. Never before had I tried to write a story that focused primarily on the setting.

I went through my file of story ideas and came across a true South African haunting of a farmhouse in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape. The clip about this haunted house was only a few sentences long and involved a man who had stolen a large sum of gold coins. Following his death, the thief returned to haunt the house where he’d stowed the treasure.

This story interested me. I wondered if the ghost regretted stealing the money which led to his being trapped indefinitely in the nether world between life and death. Would the spirit take an opportunity of redemption if it was offered?

I wondered how any person who occupied the farmhouse and found the hidden money would feel about it? Would the finder keep the treasure, or hand it over to the state? How would the ghost react if his hidden horde was discovered?

From these thoughts and questions, my short story, Listen to Instruction, was borne.

About Stellenbosh

Stellenbosch is a university town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. The town is surrounded by the vineyards of the Cape Winelands and the nature reserves of Jonkershoek and Simonsberg.

Stellenbosch was established in 1679 by Simon van der Stel, the governor of the Cape. He granted land in the vicinity of Stellenbosch to interested farmers. Stellenbosh officially became a village in 1682 and in 1685 it became the Cape’s second magistracy, with an authority that extended for 25,000 square kilometres. It is the second oldest European town in South Africa.

The farmers build Cape Dutch houses with graceful gables and irrigation furrows for their lovely gardens.

In 1690, some of the French Huguenots settled in Stellenbosch and planted the grapes that turned the town into the centre of the South African wine industry. Stellenbosch became an important educational hub in 1859 when the Dutch Reformed Church opened a seminary. The University of Stellenbosch was established in 1918.

StellenboschWC-Aerial.jpg
Stellenbosh. Picture credit: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellenbosch

Thank you, Roberta, for the interesting information. Now, here is my review of the story “Listen to Instructions.”

My Review

I listened to ghost stories with my dad when I was a kid. Once a week we stayed up late because the ghost broadcasting didn’t start until 11:00 p.m. A perfect hour to cuddle up next to someone in case I got scared. I still hear a vibrating voice announcing the Midnight Zone.

If you enjoy ghost stories, you’re into a treat with the new release of Where Spirits Linger, an anthology with Kaye Lynne Booth, Robbie Cheadle, Stevie Turner, Enid Holden, Sharon Kretschmer, and Crysta Planko.

We hear the cliché “RIP” (rest in peace) when someone passed away. Do all the spirits rest when people passed away. Will they have unfinished business to cause them to linger?

In Where Spirits Linger, Roberta Eaton Cheadle writes about the spirit of Simon Pienaar, who didn’t cross over to the other side of the world. He broke into someone’s home one night, killed the owner, and stole his collection of antique Kruger coins. The police arrested Simon Pienaar and charged him with murder, but nobody found the treasure.

Jake bought the 19th-century house owned by Simon Pienaar despite rumors and gossips about the haunted house and all the stories behind it. He got a bargain on an auction, planned to renovate it over time, and wanted to live there while he did so.

He soon found out the restless spirit haunted him by asking for help. He ignored the chilling voice that invaded his dreams night after night but finally asked what the ghost wanted him to do. It was Simon Pienaar’s spirit asking him to do something with the antique Kruger coins he had stolen. He gave instructions to Jake to help him take care of his unfinished business.

How hard could that be to help a ghost put the closure in his business? It’s not as easy as it seems, especially for following Simon’s specific instructions. Roberta will let you know Jake shouldn’t have messed around with Simon.

Roberta’s “Listen to Instructions” is entertaining, so are the rest of the ghost stories. Highly recommended for an evening reading. I received a free ARC to do an honest review.

Ratings: Amazon Goodreads

Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s books

A Ghost and His Gold

After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summonses a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904.

Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle? 

After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lies in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behavior towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.

Through the Nethergate

Margaret, a girl born with second sight, has the unique ability to bring ghosts trapped between Heaven and Hell back to life. When her parents die suddenly, she goes to live with her beloved grandfather, but the cellar of her grandfather’s ancient inn is haunted by an evil spirit of its own.

In the town of Bungay, a black dog wanders the streets, enslaving the ghosts of those who have died unnatural deaths. When Margaret arrives, these phantoms congregate at the inn, hoping she can free them from the clutches of Hugh Bigod, the 12th century ghost who has drawn them away from Heaven’s White Light in his canine guise.

With the help of her grandfather and the spirits she has befriended, Margaret sets out to defeat Hugh Bigod, only to discover he wants to use her for his own ends – to take over Hell itself.

Purchase Roberta Eaton Cheadle’s books

TSL Books (paperback)

https://tslbooks.uk/product-tag/roberta-eaton-cheadle/

Lulu.com (ebook):

A Ghost and His Gold https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/robert-eaton-cheadle/a-ghost-and-his-gold/ebook/product-d858km.html?page=1&pageSize=4

Through the Nethergate https://www.lulu.com/en/us/shop/roberta-eaton-cheadle/through-the-nethergate/ebook/product-1qkz92jq.html?page=1&pageSize=4

Amazon US https://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Eaton-Cheadle/e/B08RSNJQZ5

Roberta Eaton Cheadle Author Biography

Roberta Eaton Cheadle is a South African writer and poet specializing in historical, paranormal, and horror novels and short stories. She is an avid reader in these genres and her writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough.

 Roberta has short stories and poems in several anthologies and has 2 published novels, Through the Nethergate, a historical supernatural fantasy, and A Ghost and His Gold, a historical paranormal novel set in South Africa.

Roberta has 9 children’s books published under the name Robbie Cheadle.

Roberta was educated at the University of South Africa where she achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honours Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. She was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000.

Roberta has worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and has written 7 publications relating to investing in Africa. She has won several awards over her 20-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.

Follow Roberta Eaton Cheadle at:

Website https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog https://wordpress.com/view/robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19631306.Roberta_Eaton_Cheadle

Twitter https://twitter.com/RobertaEaton17

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/robertawrites/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Eaton-Cheadle/e/B08RSNJQZ5

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Thank you for your visit and reading!

Have a Wonderful Week!

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Blog Tour – After the Fires of Day: Haiku Inspired by Kahlil Gibran & Alphonse de Lamartine by Cendrine Marrouat

I’m delighted to have Cendrine Marrouat on my blog today to celebrate her new release of After the Fires of Day: Haiku inspired by Kahlil Gibran & Alphonse de Lamartine.

Dear friends, please help me welcome, poet, photographer and multi-genre author Cendrine. She will share with you about the poetry form Haiku.

The Haiku: A Celebration of the Human Journey by Cendrine Marrouat

When I announced the upcoming release of After the Fires of Day: Haiku Inspired by Kahlil Gibran & Alphonse de Lamartine, people reacted very positively. They were also quite intrigued and kept inquiring as to why I had chosen the haiku as opposed to other forms of poetry to pay homage to those two amazing authors.

The haiku is my favorite form of poetry. It has been part of my life for almost two decades. I have written hundreds of them. However, it is not the reason why I opted for the haiku for this new collection. And this is what I would like to share with you today.

In the English-speaking world, when people think of the haiku, they may remember what they were taught in school: a short poem of three lines that follows the 7-5-7 syllable pattern. The seasonal reference (‘kigo’) and “cutting word” (‘kireji’) may be mentioned, but the obsessive focus remains on the 17 syllables. If your haiku does not contain those 17 lines, it does not qualify as such. This is wrong.

The haiku was invented in Japan. Japanese poets count in phonetic sounds or units called ‘on’, ‘onji’ or ‘morae’, which are different from English syllables. An “English syllable may contain one, two or three morae” to quote Wikipedia. In his excellent book titled The Haiku Handbook, William J. Higginson states that the 17 onji of traditional haiku are about 12 syllables in English. Other books talk about the number of words and recommend sticking to 8-12 words.

There is something liberating in knowing that you do not have to stick to a rigid syllable pattern when you write haiku. Your creativity is suddenly unleashed.

The haiku is an intimate form of poetry that goes beyond its syllable count. To write a memorable haiku, you need to understand the importance of conciseness and simple language, and how to leverage the kigo to evoke a specific mood. Every word counts!

A haiku does not just freeze a scene in time. It also implicitly reveals the author’s innermost feelings at that precise moment. As such, it tells a story about the human journey.

Ultimately, that’s what Kahlil Gibran and Alphonse de Lamartine successfully did with their writing. They were driven by a desire to awaken the human spirit. And that is what the haiku allows me to do.

Thank you for reading!

NB: Wondering who Kahlil Gibran and Alphonse de Lamartine are? Read my posts here and here.

Book Information

After the Fires of Day: Haiku Inspired by Kahlil Gibran and Alphonse de Lamartine by [Cendrine Marrouat]

Blurb

Originating from Japan, the Haiku has been a source of inspiration and comfort for people of all ages and from all walks of life for many years. This versatile poetry form is cherished around the world. Inspired by the timeless words of authors Kahlil Gibran and Alphonse de Lamartine, After the Fires of Day is a hymn to life, the emotion of the moment, and our connection to nature. Every haiku in Cendrine Marrouat’s collection is sure to stay with you for a very long time…

Formats: ebook and paperback 

Release date: September 7, 2021 

Availability: Everywhere books are sold, including Amazon, Kobo, Apple, Chapters-Indigo, Barnes & Noble, and FNAC. Readers are encouraged to support independent

Bookstores: https://creativeramblings.com/books/.

Website: https://creativeramblings.com/after-fires-day/ 

Trailer: 

Author Bio 

Cendrine Marrouat is a French-born Canadian photographer, poet, and the multi-genre author of more than 30 books. In 2019, she founded the PoArtMo Collective and co-founded Auroras & Blossoms with David Ellis. A year later, they launched PoArtMo (Positive Art Month and Positive Art Moves) and created the Kindku and Pareiku, two forms of poetry.

Cendrine is also the creator of the Sixku, the Flashku, and the Reminigram. Cendrine writes both in French and English and has worked in many different fields in her 17-year career, including translation, language instruction, journalism, art reviews, and social media.

Contact Information

Email: cendrine@creativeramblings.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cendrinephotography/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cendrineartist

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/cendrinemarrouat

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Blog Tour – Behind Closed Doors, a Collection of Unusual Poems by Robbie Cheadle

It’s my pleasure to have Robbie Cheadle on my blog today to celebrate her new release.

Dear friends, please join me to welcome Robbie and her new book Behind Closed Doors, a Collection of Unusual Poems.

I’ll let Robbie tell you about her book cover, the title, and the different aspects of the poems. Here’s Robbie:

~ ~ ~

The cover of a book and its title are both important selling points.

The cover needs to be eye catching, suit the genre, and hit at what the book is about. My previous poetry book is called Open a New Door, a phrase taken from the song Open a New Window from the musical production of Mame starring Angela Ladsbury and Beatrice Arthur.

I first listened to my mom’s record of Mame when I was a little girl of five. My mom had numerous records most of which were Broadway musicals, but Mame was always my favourite. I loved this song the best. It is rejection of the run-of-the-mill ordinary life and a quest for something new and exciting.

I wanted to retain the doors concept for my second poetry book, Behind Closed Doors, even though it had a different focus. The poems in this new book look at the various parts of my life and what effectively goes on behind those doors that are closed to social media and the world.

The poems are collected into the categories of In the Boardroom, In death, In my mind, In relationships, In lockdown, and In nature. I wanted a cover that would complement the idea of the many doors into people’s lives and souls so when I saw this cover of multiple multi-coloured doors designed by Teagan R Geneviene, I knew this was the one.

The doors in many different colours suited my own personal idea that the doors in peoples live come in different shares. Some are the yellow, pinks, and oranges of joy, the reds of love, the blues and greens of comfort and coolness, and the purples of sadness and depression.

What are your thoughts about the importance of covers? Tell me in the comments.

Thank you, Robbie!

Now, here is the book information

Book Blurb

What goes on behind closed doors: in the boardroom, after death, in the home, during lockdown, and in nature? This collection of poems, ranging from rhyming verse to twisted nursery rhymes, captures the emotions and thoughts people hide behind the masks they present to the world.

                                                                                          What thoughts are hidden

                                                                                          Behind her immobile face

                                                                                             Quite expressionless

                                                                                           Eyes cold and indifferent

                                                                                          Scrutinising me – hawk like

This book includes some of Robbie Cheadle’s spectacular fondant art and cakes.

My Review

I’ve read Robbie Cheadle’s first poetry book Open a New Door and loved it. I knew I would enjoy reading Behind Closed Door. I’ve also read Cheadle’s children’s books, a young adult fictionalized biography about her mother’s life, and her historical fiction. She is a prolific writer while maintaining her demanding full-time job and home-schooling of the two teenage boys during the pandemic.

Behind Closed Doors is a poetry collection with themes about the author’s complex emotions and thoughts on her cooperated world, her personal dreams, her family life as a daughter, wife, and mother, as well as her thoughts on the lockdown during the pandemic.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specializes in corporate finance. The poem “Climbing Cooperated Ladder” vividly portraits the harsh reality of the cooperated world. Many individuals give up their family and social life to meet the never-ending demands with no guarantee of success:

 “Sit in your office, juggling ideas and possibilities, while your friends watch movies, eat out, drink, and socialize, spending their weekends having a jolly good time.”

“There are no friendships in the corporate jungle Colleagues left to demise in this uncaring world.”

It reminds me of the headache, heartache, and disappointment during my ten years in administration.

I could relate to the poem “He Walks Away” that describes the mother’s joy, pride, and pain:

“She watched over him tenderly as he learned about life… her smile healed all wounds; her kiss cured all pain…

“It’s heart-wrenching to let go knowing he must… encounter setbacks and loss before success… but it’s the duty of a mother to set her son loose to fly alone.”

Cheadle’s poems about lockdown remind us how vulnerable life is. “One day I had freedom, the next, it was gone. How will this end? I find myself wondering, Will we take a big step backward in time fifty years or more?”

Cheadle’s Behind Closed Doors is a delightful hour-long short read, but the provoking thought will stay for a long time. I highly recommend this book to poetry lovers and non-fiction readers.

Ratings  Amazon Goodreads

Purchase Links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09BBR94NC

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Behind-Closed-Doors-Robbie-Cheadle/dp/B099C8R3T4

About Robbie Cheadle

Robbie Cheadle is a South African children’s author and poet with 9 children’s books and 1 poetry book.

The 7 Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie has also published 2 books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

Robbie has 2 adult novels in the paranormal historical and supernatural fantasy genres published under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. She also has short stories in the horror and paranormal genre and poems included in several anthologies.

Robbie writes a monthly series for https://writingtoberead.com called Growing Bookworms. This series discusses different topics relating to the benefits of reading to children.

Robbie has a blog, https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/ where she shares book reviews, recipes, author interviews, and poetry.

Robbie Cheadle’s social media

Website: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za

Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Robbie-Cheadle/e/B01N9J62GQ?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

TSL Books Author Page: https://tslbooks.uk/robbie-cheadle

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bakeandwrite

Virtual Book Blast: Laws of Nature by Jacqui Murray #newrelease #prehistoric fiction

I’m delighted to have my exercise buddy Jacqui Murray on my blog. Jacqui and I use Strava to track our exercise, cheer and give kudo to each other.

Today Jacqui will share with us about her new release Laws of Nature, book 2 of the Dawn of Humanity trilogy. Please join me to welcome Jacqui and help her celebrate the great success of her research-based prehistorical fiction.

Laws of Nature: A boy blinded by fire. A woman raised by wolves. An avowed enemy offers help.

On the right side of Jacqui’s blog, she has scheduled the publication of her next four books in 2022, 2023, 2024, and 2026. Have you wondered how she could keep up the schedule?

I asked her to share with us about her writing day, and here is her answer.

My Writing Day By Jacqui Murray

Much of my day is spent writing, either freelance articles, client reviews, guest posts, or working on one of my many fiction and nonfiction WIP. Any leftover time goes to marketing what I’ve written–trying to get the word out to as many people as possible. That includes outreach, responding to inquiries, interactions with fellow writers, and exploring new marketing channels.

Since I work out of my house, I like to break my day into three parts:

morning

afternoon

evening

I consign tasks to each portion of the day, stopping for lunch and dinner and a few breaks to pet the dog. Because I’m not writing to a deadline (as is required by agents or publishers), I don’t count words like some writing efriends. I count what I get done.

Here’s a rough list of tasks that I sprinkle throughout my writing week:

  • review for edtech websites I work with
  • updates on existing edtech manuscripts, books
  • a monthly article for #IWSG–the Insecure Writer’s Support Group
  • ongoing work on the next Man vs. Nature book
  • research for a future book
  • write about eight posts a week on my three blogs, WordDreams, Ask a Tech Teacher, and USNA or Bust
  • reviews of books I get from NetGalley and much less often Amazon Vine

Here’s what a typical day breaks out as:

5 am–wake up

5:30–read for fun, caffeinate myself, catch up on news with husband

6:30–answer emails and SM

9:00–take a walk; Miriam Hurdle (over at The Showers of Blessings) and I cheer each other on with an app she introduced me to called Strava

9:30–work on my next book

11–lunch

Noon–3:30–work on current ms, reviews for edtech websites or writing outlets

1 pm–coffee break–to perk me up!

3:30-5:00–reading for fun and research

5:00–dinner

5:30-7–Posts, marketing

Every 15-30 minutes, I take a break to walk around the house, check the yards, visit husband, or anything to get me out of my chair and moving.

If you’re curious about the daily schedules of other writers, here’s an article on the daily routines of twelve famous writers, one by a NYT best-selling author, and an interesting personal narrative by a cooperative writer.

Summary

In this second of the Dawn of Humanity trilogy, the first trilogy in the Man vs. Nature saga, Lucy and her eclectic group escape the treacherous tribe that has been hunting them and find a safe haven in the famous Wonderwerk caves in South Africa. Though they don’t know it, they will be the oldest known occupation of caves by humans. They don’t have clothing, fire, or weapons, but the caves keep them warm and food is plentiful. But they can’t stay, not with the rest of the tribe enslaved by an enemy. To free them requires not only the prodigious skills of Lucy’s unique group–which includes a proto-wolf and a female raised by the pack–but others who have no reason to assist her and instinct tells Lucy she shouldn’t trust.

Set 1.8 million years ago in Africa, Lucy and her tribe struggle against the harsh reality of a world ruled by nature, where predators stalk them and a violent new species of man threatens to destroy their world. Only by changing can they prevail. If you ever wondered how earliest man survived but couldn’t get through the academic discussions, this book is for you. Prepare to see this violent and beautiful world in a way you never imagined.

A perfect book for fans of Jean Auel and the Gears!

Book information:

Title and author: Laws of Nature

Series: Book 2 in the Dawn of Humanity series

Genre: Prehistoric fiction

Editor: The extraordinary Anneli Purchase

Available print or digital) at: Kindle US   Kindle UK   Kindle CA   Kindle AU  Kindle India

Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular prehistoric fiction saga, Man vs. Nature which explores seminal events in man’s evolution one trilogy at a time. She is also the author of the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers and Building a Midshipman , the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. Her non-fiction includes over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, reviews as an Amazon Vine Voice,  a columnist for NEA Today, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Winter 2022.

Social Media contacts:

Amazon Author Page:   https://www.amazon.com/Jacqui-Murray/e/B002E78CQQ/

Blog:                                        https://worddreams.wordpress.com

Instagram:                                https://www.instagram.com/jacquimurraywriter/

LinkedIn:                                 http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

Pinterest:                                  http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

Twitter:                        http://twitter.com/worddreams

Website:                                   https://jacquimurray.net

Thank you so much for your visit. We appreciate your generous comment!

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Welcome to Day 5 of the “SIR CHOC” Book Tour! @bakeandwrite @4WillsPub @4WP11 @RRBC_Org #RRBC

Welcome to Day 5 of the “SIR CHOC” Book Tour! Sir Chocolate Books – Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Caves story and cookbook

Giveaway:

(7) Paperback copies / 1 of each book in the series

(2) 15 Amazon gift cards

Please leave Robbie a comment anywhere along the tour for your chance to win one of these awesome prizes.

Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Crystal Caves story and cookbook introduces the Baked Alaska Dragon and the candy stripped Roc, two lonely creatures who live in the Chocolate Chip Hills on the other side of the Chocolate Mousse Swamp.

Readers also meet the fondant ghost and the marshmallow sheep. Something is making the Sugar Crystals in the cave melt and become soggy, and Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet must find a way to solve the problem.

“Inside the great cavern,

you’ll see a wonderful sight,

spectacular sugar crystals,

sparkle in the dim light.”

This book is a little different as it does not include recipes but rather instructions on how to make sugar crystals and racing cars, windmills, and aeroplanes out of biscuits and other treats.

How to make a chocolate clown

You will need the following:

A six pack of Cadbury’s Sweetie Pies;

Six square tea biscuits;

Six wafer ice cream cones;

A selection of smarties; and

Royal icing.

Use royal icing to attach the flat bottom of the Sweetie Pies to the tea biscuits. Attach the ice cream cone to the top of the Sweetie Pie using royal icing to form the pointed hat. Attach the eyes and mouth chocolate buttons as per the picture above.

If you would like to be more adventurous, you can add chocolate buttons to the hat for decoration as well as a pom-pom made of a round chocolate sweet.

If you would like to make the bigger clown as per the picture below, you will need a medium sized chocolate Easter egg for the body, two long chocolate bars for the legs, two shorter chocolate bars for the arms, and a chocolate square for the feet. Use royal icing to attach all the body parts and sit the clown up against a cold glass until the icing sets. Decorate using chocolate buttons or other sweets of your choice.

BOOK BLURB:

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet get sugar water from the Sugar Crystal Caves to make delicious goodies for their shop. Unfortunately something is making the crystals melt. What can Sir Chocolate do? Includes four lovely new recipes.

AUTHOR BIO:

Robbie Cheadle is a children’s author and poet.

The Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie has also published books for older children which incorporate recipes that are relevant to the storylines.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Robbie Cheadle

Website: https://www.robbiecheadle.co.za/

Blog: https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/

TSL Books Author Page: https://tslbooks.uk/robbie-cheadle/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bakeandwrite

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 schedule your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE. Thanks for supporting this author and her work!

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Poetry Treasure Blog Tour – Featuring Colleen Chesebro

It’s my pleasure to feature Poetry Treasure on my blog today. Poetry Treasures is an anthology of poems by a number of talented poets. During the blog tour, each of the poets is introduced.

The editors of Poetry Treasure have a treat for you:

Follow the tour and leave a comment at each stop for a chance to win one of three digital copies of Poetry Treasures to be given away. (Winners will be randomly selected following the end of the tour.)

Blurb

A collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on Writing to be Read in 2020. Open the book and discover the poetry treasures of Sue Vincent, Geoff Le Pard, Frank Prem, Victoria (Tori) Zigler, Colleen M. Chesebro, K. Morris, Annette Rochelle Aben, Jude Kitya Itakali, and Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Purchase Links

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Poetry-Treasures-Sue-Vincent-ebook/dp/B0933KSJR9

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poetry-Treasures-Sue-Vincent/dp/B093QLNGC5

Today I am thrilled to introduce poet Colleen Chesebro who is the contributing author. Please help me welcome Colleen and get to know her and her work.

Hello everyone! My name is Colleen Chesebro. I’m a prose metrist, which means I like counting syllables in my poetry. I worked in accounting as a bookkeeper for over twenty years, and that love of counting followed me into my poetry writing.

I wrote the poem, “The Weather Witch,” based off my love for all things magical, but there’s more to this story.

For years now, my husband has teased me, saying I’m a weather witch! We’re retired Air Force, and for many years we’ve traveled around the United States and various other parts of the world.

Every new place we settled in the weather acted strangely. For example, when we lived in Montana, the state was hit with the worst drought in decades. That continued until we left. I’ve heard from friends that the weather has now resumed a more seasonal pattern.

Last year we lived in Arizona. For over one hundred days the temperature in northern Buckeye, AZ soared to over 110-degrees F. The 119-degree F. days were too much for me! Now we live in Michigan… where the temperature has remained cool with a few mornings of frost well into the middle of May! You guessed it. My husband blames me. LOL!

If I was a superhero, I’d control the weather. Everyone needs a little magic in their lives. Think of all the possibilities—you could change the weather to fit your mood. I guess being a weather witch has some advantages.

This was a perfect day from last weekend when we visited with Dustin and Molly, are dear friends who live on the Grand River in Michigan. I want more days like this one! POOF! I guess being a weather witch isn’t so bad after all!

This poem is written as a double inverted nonet, twenty lines with a syllable count per line of 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1, 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 syllables which looks like an hourglass when centered on the page. I thought it resembled a tornado.

There’s a lot to unpack in this poem. I prefer the idea that we all have natural talents or powers that we can tap into to make the best versions of ourselves. All it takes is finding the good inside and projecting it outward.

“The Weather Witch”

My guiding light was a weather witch.

She taught me to mix the winds and

to call down the lightening.

Yet, I’ve seen her in rain

not utter a spell.

Her power was

natural—

bound by

trust

in

magic

and with the

understanding

that choice designed with

the use of elements

held no power over them.

Her strength lay with separating

the light from the darkness held within.

©Colleen M. Chesebro

Bio:

Colleen M. Chesebro is a Michigan Poet who loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly poetry challenge, called Tanka Tuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of syllabic poetry.

Along with JulesPaige, Colleen is also a co-editor of “Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse,” at wordweavingpoetryjournal.com. Submissions open May 15, 2021. The debut issue of this journal will publish in October 2021.

Colleen’s syllabic poetry has appeared in various other online publications. Recently, she created the Double Ennead, a 99-syllable poetry form for Carrot Ranch. Colleen’s poetry has poetry in various anthologies and journals including “Hedgerow-a journal of small poems,” and “Poetry Treasures,” a collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on “Writing to be Read” in 2020.

Colleen published “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry,” which illustrates how to write various syllabic poetry forms used in her Tanka Tuesday challenges; and a collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories called, “Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration,” dedicated to the Summer Solstice. She contributed a short story called “The Changeling,” in the “Ghostly Rites Anthology 2020,” published by Plaisted Publishing House.

Find Colleen at Word Craft: Prose & Poetry at wordcraftpoetry.com.

Find Colleen’s author blog at colleenchesebro.com.

Personal Links

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Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories by Denise L. Finn – New Release Tour

I’m excited to have Denise L. Finn on my blog to share with you about her new release Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories. She’ll also share with you about her love of nature, the forest where she resides, and the facts about the redwood trees.

Thank you, Miriam for having me and the fairies here today to celebrate “Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories” release day!

Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories is set in a place I adore. I have a deep love of nature and have lived in the forest for 31 years. Although, I visit the ocean often, as it still calls to me. I have considered living in the trees above the sea… maybe someday. Redwood forests have always felt magical to me, and anytime I can visit one, I do.

For Mother’s Day 30 years ago, I received a sequoia tree to add to our forest. It has grown faster than I expected, and with it comes that redwood/sequoia magic that is so strong in my story.

STUNNING Redwood National Park (Guide + Award-Winning Film)

Here are some redwood tree facts:

1. They can grow to over 200 feet tall.

2. They are believed to have been around in California for over 20 million years.

3. There are redwoods over 2000 years old still standing.

4. They are resistant to insects, fires, and rot.

5. There are three types of redwood trees: Dawn Redwood, Giant Sequoia, and Coastal Redwood (this is the one in my story.)

Fun Finn Facts:

  1. The forest sounds at night from foxes and mountain lions are chilling.
  2. I’ve driven through a giant redwood.

Blurb:

When reality and magic meet in the forest

It’s 1969, and twelve-year-old Daniel Burns is camping in the redwood forest with his family. Danny wants to listen to his music and read, but his family has other plans. S’mores around the campfire and stories end their first day. The family is sleeping soundly in their secluded tent when Danny wakes up and finds his sister, Colette, is missing. Assuming she went to use the outhouse, he goes after her. When he finds his sister, they discover there is a thin veil between reality and fantasy.

Two bonus short stories offer a glimpse into the magical world that finds Danny and Colette. These hidden beings not only share our world but have a role in protecting their forest.

Excerpt:

“I had a dream about them,” I replied before I could stop myself.

Colette was studying the treetops like she was hoping to find fairies.

Dad tossed me another marshmallow. “Tell us about it, Danny.”

I pushed the dirt around with my sneaker. “I don’t think—”

“Please! For me? Pretty please with sugar on top!” Colette’s eagerness was contagious.

“It’s just a dream, but I guess I could try to tell it like a story. You know, because we’re around the campfire and all.”

“Good idea! Thank you for sharing this with us.” Mom’s smile gave me the courage I needed.

“Well, okay, but don’t expect much. I’m not a writer like you.” I cleared my throat and finished my cherry Kool-Aid. The silence was heavy with expectation, which made my palms sweat, but part of me wanted them to hear this. So, I took a deep breath and started. “There is a forest where the fairies live in the trees. No one sees them except the squirrels and birds. Until one day, this boy and his family were camping in the woods. The boy went off by himself while wishing he had his tunes to listen to on his new radio. Bummed, he sat down below one of those giant redwood trees.

“He hung out for a while, watching two squirrels run up and down a tree. A nearby stream and a bird’s tune lulled him to sleep until a small branch hit his nose, waking him up. Rubbing his nose, he looked around and saw a bird directly above him. He shrugged and sank back against the tree and fell asleep again.

“Another branch hit him, startling him awake. This time there was no bird, so it had to be a squirrel. The sun had set, and the moon was rising. Soon it would be dark. He knew it was time to get back to his campsite, but he heard humming coming from above as he got up.

“He squinted and tilted his head back. All that he could see were needles, branches, and a darkening sky. He turned to head back to camp when a female voice began singing. It was beautiful, like he imagined an angel’s voice would sound, but he couldn’t understand the words. That’s when he saw the colors and thought they were dragonflies until they got within a few feet of his face. They were tiny, humanlike beings with silver wings. He almost fainted when the green one spoke to him.

“‘Hello . . .’ I reached out to her, and then I woke up, so that’s the end.”

Tree Fairies and Their Short Stories by [D.L. Finn]

Purchase Links:

Amazon

SMASHWORDS

Author Bio:

D. L. Finn is an independent California local who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 she relocated with her husband, kids, dogs, and cats to Nevada City, in the Sierra foothills. She immersed herself in reading all types of books but especially loved romance, horror, and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, surrounded by towering pines, oaks, and cedars, her creativity was nurtured until it bloomed. Her creations include adult fiction, poetry, a unique autobiography, and children’s books. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to all readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

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Thank you so much for your visit to support Denise and

her excitement of the new release.

We welcome your lovely comments!

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Amanda in Malta by Darlene Foster – New Release Tour

I’m excited to have Darlene Foster on my blog to share with you about her new release Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (An Amanda Travels Adventure Book 8). When Amanda turned twelve, she made a wish as she blew the birthday cake candles. Here she is with her wishes come true – traveling all over the world.

I was curious about writing the Amanda series, so I asked Darlene to share with you her experience.

Is it difficult to write a series?

Writing a series can be fun. I love getting to know the main characters, Amanda Ross and her friend Leah Anderson. But I worry that the stories might get too predictable. I know my readers expect some things to be familiar, but each book needs to come with something new to keep it fresh and entertaining.

Coming up with new settings is easy for me as I love to travel. I often travel with an Amanda adventure in mind, taking tons of notes and pictures to be referred to later when writing the story. Coming up with a storyline that is original and exciting is not always easy.

A few things that have helped me get new ideas:

● Hanging out with young people to learn what they get excited about. I get many of my ideas from young people.

● Watching TV shows and movies that feature kids, but not necessarily kids’ shows. I once got a great idea while watching Midsommer Murders!

● Reading lots of books in a variety of genres including the classics as well as recently published novels, both adult and children´s books.

● Reading newspapers and magazine articles. I clip and save interesting and bizarre stories and go through the stack of clippings once in a while. There is usually something that will pop out and generate a new idea or two.

● Listening to conversations in coffee shops, on the bus, on the street, on the beach – wherever. Conversations between adults, kids, or teenagers can inspire excellent ideas. I have become great at eavesdropping.

● Asking “what if” often. What if Amanda did something she knew she shouldn’t? What if a character said something they wouldn’t normally say?  What if she walked down that alley? What if…?. Sometimes a character has to do something out of character to keep it interesting.

● Making sure every book tackles at least one new problem or issue.

● Introducing intriguing new characters in each book. Even minor characters can create interest and keep the series from getting stale.

● Bringing back a character from a previous book. I introduced Caleb, Amanda´s classmate, in the New Mexico book. He was so popular that he has returned in the Malta book.

● Being consistent in the details can be a challenge. A good memory helps, as do notes. I had Amanda wearing glasses in the first book and I don’t think I mentioned them in the next two! I have a list of all the characters names to be sure I don´t accidentally change any.

My Review

The twelve-year-old Amanda is a world traveler who visited an exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean. It came as a surprise when she received a postcard from her best friend Leah asking her to come to Malta, hinting there was something wrong. She did not know how to get to Malta from Canada. Her friend Caleb and his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Sorensen, were going on a vacation in Malta and would like Amanda to come along.

After arriving in Malta, Amanda went to find the house according to the address from the postcard but was told Leah was not there. It was like in some detective story that a mystery boy slipped a piece of paper written with lipsticks into her pocket, urged her to try again. It turned out that Leah asked this boy, Max, to connect with Leah to meet at St. Lucian Tower. The Sorensens wanted to go to a museum. While they toured the cave, Amanda went to the Tower and saw Leah. Leah revealed that the people in the house where they stayed wanted her aunt to steal an ancient figurine of Sleeping Lady.

I find that Darlene’s book is educational for middle schoolers and adults. I followed the tour along and learned many interesting facts about this island.

· Ghar Dalam means ‘cave of darkness’ and It is over 500,000 years old. It holds evidence of the first humans on the island, such as Neanderthal teeth, from 7,400 years ago.

· The Falconry Center has many rescued birds. Maltese falcon is called the peregrine falcon, known for its speed, it can reach over 320 kilometers per hour or 200 miles per hour.

· the Knights of St. John built The St. John Cathedral in 1572. As each knight gained wealth, he and his family donated art and decorations. The inlaid marble graves showed many knights were buried here.

· The 1980 Robert Williams’ Popeye movie was filmed in Malta.

Amanda’s crime adventure weaved through the sightseeing and the historical facts made this reading interesting and enjoyable. I highly recommend this book.

Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady (An Amanda Travels Adventure Book 8) by [Darlene Foster]

The Blurb:

 Amanda receives a postcard from her best friend, Leah, and is surprised to learn that she is in Malta with her aunt. Reading between the lines, she senses Leah is in trouble. Desperate to help her, Amanda travels to Malta with her classmate Caleb and his parents.


Amanda is intrigued by this exotic island in the middle of the Mediterranean, full of colorful history, sun-drenched limestone fortresses, stunning beaches and fascinating birds. But…who is killing the protected birds? Who stole a priceless artifact from the museum? And why is Leah acting so strange? She couldn’t possibly be involved in these illegal activities, or could she?

Join Amanda and her friends as they visit ancient temples, an exciting falconry and the enchanting Popeye Village, as they try to get to the bottom of the mystery of the Sleeping Lady.

Be sure to read all the books in this exciting Amanda Travels series!
1. Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask
2. Amanda in Spain: The Girl in the Painting
3. Amanda in England: The Missing Novel
4. Amanda in Alberta: The Writing on the Stone
5. Amanda on the Danube: The Sounds of Music
6. Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind
7. Amanda in Holland: Missing in Action
8. Amanda in Malta: The Sleeping Lady

The buy links

Amazon Canada here  

Amazon UK here   

Amazon US here 

Barnes and Noble here 

Chapters/Indigo here  

About the Author

Darlene Foster grew up on a ranch in Alberta, Canada, where her love of reading inspired her to see the world and write stories about a young girl who travels to interesting places. Over the years she worked in rewarding jobs such as an employment counsellor, ESL teacher, recruiter, and retail manager, writing whenever she had a few spare minutes. She is now retired and has a house in Spain where she writes full time. When not travelling, meeting interesting people, and collecting ideas for her books, she enjoys spending time with her husband and entertaining rescue dogs, Dot and Lia.

Contact the Author at:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter

Twitter https://twitter.com/supermegawoman

Blog https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/

Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/darlene6490/

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Thank you for reading this post. We love to hear about your thoughts.

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Welcome to Day 9 of the 2021 RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 9 and the conclusion of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Nonnie Jules, who is also the Founder of RRBC & RWISA.  Take a peek at her writing below…

A LIFE ISN’T WORTH LIVING IF NOT IN SERVICE TO OTHERS

I’d like to begin by thanking two of my fellow RWISA Authors who were also on this tour, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko and Linnea Tanner, who both had the courage to write about, or reference the ills of our world, that many would like to keep deeply hidden.  I speak of hatred and systemic racism.  Again, thank you both for your courage to write with such substance and I hope that it is still resonating with all who read both of your pieces.  I am honored that your words are a continual ring in my ears.

The theme of this year’s REVOLUTION tour is A NEW YEAR – A FRESH START, and with that theme in mind, I’d like to share my thoughts on what a fresh start in this new year looks like for, and, to me.

My quote above, “A life isn’t worth living if not in service to others,” is what gives my life meaning and purpose.  RRBC and RWISA came to be because I didn’t see enough service being spread around the web when I came aboard.  I noticed a ton of selfish behavior, “me, me, and more me” attitudes, and a strong indifference to lending a hand to help the next person climbing after you, also reach the top.  I felt myself drowning in an ocean of “gimme,” and surrounded by a nation of takers.  In my mind, I had to do something.

With the inception of RRBC, the rules of the land were (and still are) that members support members.  Some came aboard and quickly embraced the concept, either because it was inherently part of their makeup, or because they realized it was the fastest route to gaining support for their own agendas.

And then, there were the others – the takers and the ones from the land of “gimme.”  They came aboard in droves – taking all that they could, and once they realized we were on to them, they quickly abandoned their squatter positions.  By the way, we do so appreciate their exits as they made room for the uber-supportive members I’ll reference below.

The members on our roster who are constantly being profiled, promoted, pushed, and honored, are the members who show, by their actions, that they are living in service to others.  They don’t make excuses, they make a way.  They don’t see a tweet and merely re-tweet it, they click the link first to see how they can support their fellow members even more and even better.  They don’t re-tweet only tweets with their Twitter handle included.  They don’t show up only when they are the ones being profiled, interviewed or whose book is being discussed. And their social media feeds?  Well, they are clogged with promotion of others! 

Their support doesn’t stop there.  These members consistently show up to support in a myriad of ways, including the following…

  • following along member blog tours, leaving comments and sharing the posts on social media
  • hosting fellow members on their blog tours, such as our “SPOTLIGHT” Authors
  • sitting in the audience of member interviews on our RAVE WAVES shows,
  • showing up to our book club discussions to support BOOK OF THE MONTH Authors
  • purchasing, reading and reviewing fellow member books from the RRBC & RWISA catalogs
  • sharing members’ RRBC AUTHOR PAGES and RWISA PROFILE PAGES to social media
  • sharing members’ books directly from Amazon, along with the purchase links and book covers
  • visiting members’ book trailers on YouTube, leaving comments and sharing to social media
  • following members’ blogs and websites and ensuring that they are active in these blogging communities
  • and even showing up to participate in club activities, to ensure that our organizations remain fluid and not stagnant and boring.

These are but a few ways that the supportive and active members of RRBC/RWISA ensure that they are exhibiting a life of service to others, especially on social media.  We are not an organization interested in supporting those who don’t support others.  If you show me that I’m not that important to you, then why would I go out of my way to place you on my special pedestal of support?  If you’re not purchasing, reading and reviewing member books here, then guess what, you will never find yourself in the BOOK OF THE MONTH hot seat.  Why would we tell others to run out and support you, when you don’t bother to show up to support them?  And by the way, showing up is more than just sending out tweets and re-tweets.  It takes so much more than that to create success.

2020 was a hard year for all of us, but 2021 rolled right in, giving us a clean slate to write new, more positive chapters in our life stories.  Lucky for us all, this new year opened the door wide for us to make positive changes.

So, today, I ask you, what kind of life are you living?  When we drop by to support you and we peruse your Twitter feed, will we see that you are in love with you, OR, will we smile when we see how hard you’re pushing someone else?   When we look out into the gallery of our RAVE WAVES shows and our monthly book club discussions, will we see your pretty smiley face, OR, will we see only the beautiful faces of those who typically show up with their amazing support?  Will you be counted among the many (who do nothing to support others) OR, will you be proudly counted among the few (who do more than their share to push others to the top?)  Where will you stand when the roll is counted?  With the givers or the takers?

Yes, it’s a new year, and also the most perfect opportunity for a fresh start!  If you have been straddling the fence, finding it hard to get down, take that leap of faith and jump right in … somewhere … anywhere you can make a positive difference in the life of someone else.  When you support others, you are supported ten-fold within RRBC/RWISA.

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution on December 31, 2020?  I didn’t.  I made an Intention, and that is, I intend to continue sharing and educating as many as I can on the importance of living a life of service.  Less selfishness and more selflessness will continue to be my mission’s slogan. 

I’ll ask once more, which road will you take?

Did you enjoy Nonnie’s writing?  Then please, help us support her and her work along this REVOLUTION tour! We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of her profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

Lastly, we ask that you support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

RWISA Profile

What Nonnie has to say about RWISA…

Check out Nonnie’s book…

OPEN, SHUT

Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

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Welcome to Day 6 of the 2021 RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! @JanSikes3 @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 6 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Jan Sikes, who is also RWISA Vice-President.  Take a peek at her writing below…

How Blogging Keeps Me Sane

As with each new year that rolls around, I view it as an opportunity to start with a fresh perspective and clean slate.

When I looked back on my goals for 2020, I found with some sense of satisfaction, I had accomplished almost all of them, despite the pandemic.

Some goals remain the same from year to year, such as clean eating, exercising, practicing meditation, being kind, and gentle with myself and others. I classify those as my permanent or ongoing goals. They never change.

Setting expanded goals for 2021 was quite different. COVID19 has affected us all. Not only in the way we socialize, but also in every other aspect of life, from how we shop to the way we promote our books.

The necessity for self-preservation has catapulted us into a virtual world. We order groceries online and have curbside pickup. We now visit with family via Zoom calls, and so much for getting out and attending book festivals to promote our books. That simply isn’t going to happen.

So, when I took an elemental look at how to market my books in 2021, I realized I needed to harness social media’s power. 

The most powerful tool I have for marketing my work is, hands-down, my blog. I am fortunate to have built a substantial following over the years, which works to my advantage now.

I want to share with you some of the nuts and bolts of this fabulous tool, as well as some of the things I’ve learned about the art of blogging. Hopefully, you will benefit from them as well.

One of the greatest joys in my life is promoting and uplifting others. Because of this, I am always happy to offer my blog platform to support others, whether they be authors or indie music artists. And each time I spotlight a new author or artist, I gain a handful of organic followers. It’s a beautiful equation that works every time. It is the classic win-win for everyone.

The first and perhaps most important aspect of a blog is the title you create. There are many reasons for this, but mainly it is because the title needs to be eye-catching. If it isn’t, many potential readers may scroll on by and never take a peek. I know this from experience. I subscribe to a lot of blogs, so my email inbox is flooded each day. The blog titles are how I decide which ones I will pass on or read.

Some of the best practices in naming your blog post are asking a question, offering a solution, a list of solutions, or just making it fun and quirky. One recent post I wrote for a blog tour was entitled “The 3 P’s of Writing.”

That title makes you wonder what the P’s could be. I had a lot of success with that post. Fun and quirky will get me every time. You can also offer a promise of something in your title, such as a “How To” or a giveaway.

Another super important thing to add to a title is your guest’s Twitter handle (when you feature a guest). Why? Because each time that blog is shared on Twitter, it will tag them. It serves as a timesaver, and keeps the guest in your loop. I have found adding that one simple piece to a blog title gets it shared at least fifty percent more than a title without a tag.

Hashtags are another great way to get more shares. For instance, when I post a blog advertising a new book release, I will add #NewRelease to the title, which increases exposure in the feed.  

Whatever your subject is, try adding a few hashtags to increase visibility.

Another super important detail, as a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club and The Rave Writers – Int’l Society of Authors, includes adding those handles and hashtags to the blog title when the content is relevant to the organizations. Again, it is proven to increase visibility and sharing.

Blog content can be about anything. I have found my niche, and although it is broad, it works for me. I blog about every aspect of the craft of writing, books I’ve read, feature guests, new music from indie artists, and all things spiritual, from meditations and Tarot cards to Runes. Those define me and my interests.

It’s good to brand yourself. Make a statement as to what you are about through your blog posts.

Once you publish a blog post, I cannot stress enough the importance of engaging. When someone takes the time to comment on your blog, please respond. Just as it is rude to ignore someone who is speaking to you in a physical setting, it is rude to ignore blog comments.

When I host a guest, I emphasize the importance of engaging and responding to comments. If my followers and I are taking the time and effort to promote you and your work, the least you can do is engage and respond. Most authors are outstanding in this area. Music artists, not so much. No matter how many times I say the words, “You need to engage,” they don’t seem to get it. I think the biggest reason is the fact that many music artists hate computers and don’t have a lot of tech savvy outside the recording studio. Nevertheless, they miss out on potential new music followers when they don’t bother to stop by.

These are a few of the basics; things I’ve learned through my experience of blogging.

Facing an ever-growing reliance on a virtual world in the days, weeks, and possibly years ahead, by fully utilizing my blog site, I will continue to grow and flourish despite COVID19.

My blog is the compass, my North Star, which helps me navigate the turbulent waters of the world in which we live.

See you there!

http://www.jansikesblog.com

RWISA Profile

What Jan has to say about RWISA…

Check out Jan’s book…

“GHOSTLY INTERFERENCE”

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Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

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