Category Archives: #RWISA

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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Welcome to Day 3 of the 2021 RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! @YvetteMCalleiro @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 3 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Yvette M. Calleiro.  Take a peek at her writing below…

EMERGENCE

The cocoon –
Formed because of a virus,
Reinforced by fear and anxiety.
Surrounded
Protected
Sheltered
Imprisoned

The incubation –
Agonizing silence led to loneliness.
My inner voice tormented
Until the tears flowed freely
And the salty river healed the soul.
Meditation led to self-reflection.
Acceptance
Forgiveness
Release
Self-care

Emergence –
The walls slowly crumble.
Timid to step out but
Resolved to join the world again,
To rise up and feel whole.
Resilience
Strength
Courage
Hope

The RWISA Revolution Blog Tour challenged its authors to write with this year’s theme in mind: A New Year – A Fresh Start. Immediately, I thought of a cocoon. A caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly is not an easy one. This past year has not been easy for any of us. Even though I’m used to being home most of the time, being isolated and fearful of getting COVID (or worse, giving it to someone I love) has crippled me at times. I spent this year working on my inner self. I took meditation courses and worked with my therapist to manage my anxiety better. I’m a constant work in progress, but I feel stronger and healthier today than I was a year ago. For that, I am grateful. RWISA (Rave Writers – International Society of Authors) asked us to ponder a few questions, so here are my thoughts.

What are your plans for the new year?

This year, I plan to continue being careful and cautious when out and about. I will continue to strengthen my physical, emotional, and mental well-being. I will nurture the friendships that held firm despite the distancing. I will continue to create memorable moments with my family. Without them, this year would have been much more difficult.

What are your goals?

I had hoped to write an entire novel during COVID since I was home so much, but my muse locked herself in her own cocoon and refused to cooperate. She, too, has burst through and has begun to share her mojo with me. With the help of my RWISA critique group, I am going through my final edits for a new novel. It’s a young adult novel with no connection to my current series. I will publish it at some point this year.

I am also writing Drake’s story once again. For those who have read my Chronicles of the Diasodz series, you know I’ve been working on this for a few years. He and I have had a bit of a difficult time in telling his story, but we are finding our way through. My goal is to finish writing his story this year. Then, I’ll use next year to revise and edit it before sending it out into the world for everyone to enjoy.

What will you do to contribute to the betterment of our society?

I believe in the energies of the world, and I choose to spread kindness, love, and laughter as often as possible. As a teacher at a middle school, I empower my students to be confident in their abilities and challenge them to be positive and productive members of their communities. I also post inspirational quotes on my Instagram. I have a separate Instagram that focuses on being proud of the beauty within. It’s been dormant for a bit, but I’m hoping to get it restarted. We need more positivity in the world, and that’s my little contribution.

How will you succeed in the midst and in spite of COVID-19?

One needs to define success in order to answer this question. For me, success is a day when I stay present in the moment. It presents itself as a moment where I notice my anxiety and allow it to flow down my mind’s river of worry without me. It’s when I make a student feel accepted and cared for or when my son sits with me at night to watch a show together.

I do not measure success by money earned or by a title. Instead, I measure success by the impact my choices have on those around me and on myself. As we continue to deal with COVID-19, any day where those whom I love are alive and well is a successful day for me. This year, I celebrate the little things because those are what matter most.

***

Did you enjoy Yvette’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 Yvette has to say about RWISA…

Check out Yvette’s book…

“BREATHLESS”

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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!

Welcome to Day 2 of the 2021 RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! @Jinlobify @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 2 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! We’d like to introduce you to an amazing RWISA member, Author, JOY NWOSU LO-BAMIJOKO

Take a peek at her writing below…

 A Light In The Tunnel!

I don’t know about the rest of you, but my new year started on November 3, 2020, when Biden was pronounced the winner of the presidential election. I went to bed that night early because I needed to be alone in prayer for God to rid America of the worst four years of this country’s political life. I did not want to see the results trickling in, especially as the first results did not favor Biden.

This has always been my practice. Even when the team I’m rooting for is playing, I never watch the game. I would rather wait for the end of the game to know the results. The live game always gives me something near to a heart attack. This was why I didn’t wait up to watch the results of the election as they came in. I wanted to wake up in the morning to the news that Biden had won!

It was with great trepidation that I woke up the next morning, November 4, 2020., to find out who won.  First, I turned my Television to CNN, and saw Van Jones in tears. I didn’t know why he was in tears, but I joined him. In my head, I had concluded that anything that would cause Mr. Jones to cry could not be good. Slowly, it started to dawn on me that his tears, my tears, were tears of victory. Biden had won! Glory to God for He had answered my prayers! I forgot my aches and pains and did a jive! What a glorious day it was!

For me, Biden’s win opened up for people of goodwill, many positive possibilities. The first thing I felt was that the gloom which hovered over everything sane, the sense of despair that dogged the last administration’s tenure, the fear about where all the damaging rhetoric was taking us, and the danger of the divide, had all dissipated. I felt the sun shining again. My hopes for the future of this great country returned. I knew that all would be well again.

When Trump threatened the results of the election by refusing to acknowledge defeat or concede, at first, I thought it was a passing whim. Somehow, deep inside me, I was strong in my belief that God had spoken. The deal was done. Nothing and no one could overturn the results of the election!

The funny thing about all this, is that while we were rejoicing here in America about Biden’s win, in Nigeria, some misguided individuals were carrying about banners of a Trump’s win. I couldn’t understand how the business of the American elections had become the business of Nigeria. Relatives from Nigeria started texting me to sympathize with me. A cousin from London texted to warn me about an impending war in America. I texted him back asking him where he would want me to run to. The cousin humorously replied, from frying pan to fire! That’s a Nigerian idiom meaning from bad to worse.

I remember that day very clearly. In fact, we were having a fun time on the RRBC chat forum when I turned on my Television and saw, in horror, Trump and his cohorts moving to the USA Capitol. Well, he promised to march with them, then he snuck away. I alerted the RRBC chat members who were still talking about everything mundane on WhatsApp. It was horrible! How could one man hold this country to ransom? Why was Trump trying to ruin my new year’s resolutions?

There is a saying that goes, our happiness is in our own hands. Then and there I decided that Trump or no Trump, this election was done. Biden won! God had spoken, and thanks be to God! The whole world, and I mean, the whole world was in jubilation!

Before Biden’s win, I prayed to God for him to win. After his win, I upgraded my prayer. This time, I prayed that the two outstanding seats in the Senate should go to the Democrats so that Biden would be able to do a good job for the country without being blocked by the Republicans. I still remember what they did to the Obama administration, so I prayed night and day for those two seats to go to the Democrats, and now that they have those seats, my prayers have changed again. I have started channeling my prayer for Biden’s safety and good health. I am sure he needs both. I’m sure you will all agree with me that he looks so frail every time we see him, and his voice sounds so tired when he speaks. May God sustain him!

This year is looking good already. I am able to write again. Last year was one of my worst writing years. I couldn’t write at all, and this had nothing to do with writer’s block. I could see my stories. Sometimes, I would jot somethings down, and then, that feeling of hopelessness … like the end was near, would overwhelm me. I would ask myself, why bother? Rather than write, I would sit and stare into space, and dream. Although I was not putting anything down on paper, I would rehash everything in my head.

With the country calmer now, my worries have started to melt away. I can now focus more and stay on course. I can’t believe that in just two days, I have written two blog posts. In short, I am back!

I am happy that Biden is on course, too. He is not allowing anything, to distract him. When the country is on course, we are all on course. I pray that God will help him to heal America and pull America back from the hole which the last administration had plunged it. America deserves better. We deserve better.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Did you enjoy Joy’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 Joy has to say about RWISA…

Check out Joy’s book Pregnant Future:

No One Knows What Tomorrow Will Bring

Pregnant Future: No One Knows What Tomorrow Will Bring by [Joy Lo-Bamijoko]

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 to 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!

Welcome to Day 1 of “THE LOST AND FOUND BILLY BATTLES” Blog Tour! @JHawker69 @4WillsPub #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 1 of “THE LOST AND FOUND BILLY BATTLES” Blog Tour! @JHawker69 @4WillsPub #RRBC #RWISA.

My dear friends and visitors, please join me to welcome Ron Yates to my blog. This is the first day of his blog tour. I invite you to click the link at the end of this post to follow the rest of his tour. I’m excited to announce the following giveaway.

GIVEAWAY:  (2) Complete sets of the Billy Battles trilogy.  For your chance to win, please leave a comment below!

blog tous schedule

mockup

Hi Ron,

Thank you for visiting my blog and spend time to tell us about you as a writer, the inspiration behind your books, and the tips and advice for newer writers/authors.

 

Q & A with Ron Yates (Part 1)

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

Probably when I was in the sixth grade. I loved writing stories, and I had a teacher (Mrs. Gooch) who encouraged me. My mother also bought me books and took me often to the library–a place that I found magical and magnetic. She often read to me, and I could “see” the story unfolding before me. When I could read myself, I began to devour everything I could get my hands on. Reading took me places I could not, as a young boy, otherwise go. As I used to tell my journalism students at the University of Illinois if you want to write well, read well.

What was your inspiration to write the Finding Billy Battles Trilogy?

I grew up in Kansas, and I was always fascinated by what life was like there in the 19th Century when the state was still relatively wild. At the same time, I spent a lot of time in the Far East as a foreign correspondent, and I was equally intrigued by what life must have been like in the 19th Century colonial period in places like French Indochina, The Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, etc. Then one day, I got the idea to blend the two using a character from 19th Century Kansas who goes to the Far East and other places in search of himself. During that search, he finds himself immersed in more peril and adventure than he bargained for.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a published author?

Try to write as much as you can from your own experiences. They are real and uncontrived, and if you incorporate those experiences in your fiction, your work will have a truthful ring to it. Beyond that, KEEP AT IT! Don’t let anybody (editors, agents, etc.) discourage you. At the same time, be willing to accept constructive criticism from those who have experience as authors, editors, agents, etc. Notice I said CONSTRUCTIVE criticism. Some people criticize just to be criticizing–or to be malicious. You must believe in yourself, your work, your vision, and your story. If you don’t, who will?

What do you think makes a good story?

A good story needs a strong plot and even stronger characters. Otherwise, it falls flat. The writer needs to be above all, a good storyteller. If you build a good story, THEY WILL COME, to paraphrase “Field of Dreams.” Make readers care about your protagonist. Make readers empathize, cry, and laugh with them. At the same time, keep them off balance. Don’t be predictable, and don’t be afraid to do terrible things to your favorite characters. Have you ever known anybody who has sailed through life without some turmoil, some pain, some suffering? I haven’t.

If your trilogy became a movie or a Netflix mini-series, who would be your first choice to play the lead roles?

Clint Eastwood as the elderly Billy Battles; Clive Owen as the middle-aged Billy Battles and Ashton Kutcher as the young Billy Battles. I would pick Saffron Burrows for Billy’s first love, Mallie McNab and Famke Janssen, for the widow Katharina Schreiber who Billy meets on the boat to the Far East. (Why these choices? These folks are all tall, like me. Billy is 6’3″ and Mallie is about 5’10,” as is the statuesque widow Schreiber).

Do any of your characters have qualities/characteristics that are similar to yourself?

I think Billy Battles and I are a lot alike. I mean, aren’t most novels a bit autobiographical? He is a restless sort. He enjoys traveling, going to new places, and experiencing new things. Like Billy, I couldn’t wait to get away from Kansas (though I love the place dearly). And, like Billy, I am a happy wanderer. How else could I have survived and thrived as a foreign correspondent for 25 years? We are both journalists. At the same time, he is a dependable guy who is loyal to his friends and to those he chooses to keep close to him. Above all, Billy respects two traits in people: Honesty and Kindness. We are alike in that way.

Tell us about your next release.

I am finishing my next book, which is a novel about foreign correspondents in Asia. It’s working title is Asia Hands: A Tale of Foreign Correspondents & Other Miscreants in the Orient. Here is a blurb about it:

A mysterious object of unknown origin hidden in the heart of an impenetrable S.E. Asian jungle. A covert alliance of dangerous people determined to keep it concealed. Treacherous secret agents. Betrayal. Assassination. Murder.                                        

It’s one hell of a story, and two foreign correspondents—one recently retired and the other approaching burn out—are on the scent.

Meet Cooper McGrath and Clayton Brandt.

They have just stumbled onto the biggest story of their lives—one that could have staggering ramifications for the planet and its people.

Now all they have to do is live long enough to tell it.

Will they meet their deadlines, or will they meet their deaths?

How do you develop your plots and your characters? Do you use any set formula?

I don’t outline my books, and I don’t write down plot scenarios. I just start writing and see where the story and my characters lead me. It’s a lot like life itself. We may have a goal in mind, but the route to it is often strewn with obstacles, surprises, and sometimes tragedy. I usually write 3,000 or 4,000 words a day, and I edit as I go. In other words, I may write a few paragraphs and then rewrite them within a few minutes of creating them. I don’t write what I would call a “First Draft.” When I finish writing a book, it is finished. I may go back and make a few tweaks with the plot here and there, or alter a little dialogue or some action by a character, but there is no second or third draft.

I know some authors who will write a first draft and put it away for weeks or months and then go back and look at it with fresh eyes. Alternatively, they may send it out to professional “beta readers” or “critiquers.” I do use beta readers, but I don’t put my writing away for weeks or months. Those strategies may work for some people. They don’t work for me. I guess it’s my journalistic training: see it, report it, organize it, write it and then move on to the next story.

If your publisher offered to fly you anywhere in the world to research an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go?

To Papua New Guinea. That is where a significant portion of my next book takes place–or should I say in the dense jungles of that still mostly unexplored country. There, in the forbidding and uncharted Foja Mountains, lurks an ancient mystery that two foreign correspondents are attempting to uncover.

(TOMORROW: Part 2)

BOOK BLURB:

The Finding Billy Battles trilogy tells the story of a remarkable man who is born in 1860 and who dies in 1960. For decades Billy lives an improbable and staggering life of adventure, peril, transgression and redemption. Then Billy mysteriously disappears. For several decades his family has no idea where he is or what he is doing.

Finally, with his life coming to an end, Billy resurfaces in an old soldiers’ home in Leavenworth, Kansas. It is there, when he is 98 that he meets his 12-year-old great-grandson and bequeaths his journals and his other property to him — though he is not to receive them until he is much older.

Years later, the great-grandson finally reads the journals and fashions a three volume trilogy that tells of his great-grandfather’s audacious life in the old west, as well as his journeys to the Far East of the 1890s—including French Indochina and The Philippines—and finally, in the early 20th century, to Europe and Latin America where his adventures and predicaments continue. One thing readers can be sure of, wherever Billy Battles goes trouble is not far behind.

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AUTHOR BIO:

Ronald E. Yates is a multi-award winning author of historical fiction and action/adventure novels, including the popular and highly-acclaimed Finding Billy Battles trilogy. His extraordinarily accurate books have captivated fans around the world who applaud his ability to blend fact and fiction.

Ron is a former foreign correspondent for the Chicago Tribune and Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Illinois where he was also the Dean of the College of Media.

The Lost Years of Billy Battles is the final book in the trilogy and recently won the Independent Press Award’s 2020 Distinguished Favorites Award. In 2019 it won Best Overall Book of the Year and the Grand Prize in the Goethe Historical Fiction Category from Chanticleer International Book Awards as well as a Book Excellence Award and a New Apple Award. The second book in the trilogy, The Improbable Journeys of Billy Battles, was published in June 2016. It won the 2017 KCT International Literary Award and the New Apple Award in the Action/Adventure category. The first book in the trilogy, “Finding Billy Battles,” was published in 2014 and won a Book Excellence Award and Laramie Award from Chanticleer International Book Awards.

As a professional journalist, Ron lived and worked in Japan, Southeast Asia, and both Central and South America where he covered several history-making events including the fall of South Vietnam and Cambodia; the Tiananmen Square massacre in Beijing; and wars and revolutions in Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Guatemala, among other places. His work as a foreign correspondent earned him several awards including three Pulitzer Prize nominations.

Ron is a frequent speaker about the media, international affairs, and writing. He is a Vietnam era veteran of the U.S. Army Security Agency and lives just north of San Diego in Southern California’s wine country.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

-Twitter   https://twitter.com/jhawker69

-Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ronaldyatesbooks/

-Website   https://ronaldyatesbooks.com/

AMAZON OR OTHER PURCHASE LINKS:

Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001KHDVZI/-/e/B00KQAYMA8/

Barnes & Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/finding%20billy%20battles/_/N-8q8

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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 his work!

 

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Book Reviews: My Maine: Haiku through the Seasons by Bette Stevens and A Soldier’s Children by Jan Sikes

My Two book reviews –  My Maine: Haiku through the Seasons by Stevens and A Soldier’s Children by Jan Sikes.

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My Maine

A Soldier's Children

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My Maine: Haiku through the Seasons by [Stevens, Bette]

My Review

In her poetry book My Maine: Haiku through the Seasons, Stevens showed the nature she experienced in the Pine State of Maine. The presentation of the book reminded me of attending a concert to watch the performance of the Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi’s violin concerti “The Four Seasons.” In each season, Stevens opened the curtain and presented the sights and sounds in the nature. For the taste, a lobster dinner was in order. The performance of each season retreated toward the end and invited the next season to come in; and the audience gave a standing ovation.

“Spring Awakening” began with the ice slowly melted, rivers and streams sang, to the birds, animals blossoms awakened, and ended with:

Standing ovation
Awaiting next performance
Tulip petals bow

“Summer Songs” began with a bright sun high in the sky, the energy of prancing creatures, dancing flowers, flapping birds, to delicious lobster dinners and ended with:

Restless autumn leaves
Sit, swaying in the background
To summer’s last song

“Autumn Leaves” began with the radiant rustling leaves, flocks went on the southbound journey, folks heaped up firewood, to harvest time, family gathering, and ended with:

Radiant leaves—now
Memories in our scrapbooks
Seasons travel on

“Winter Tales” begins with the frozen polar winds, Christmas time for family and friends, children enjoyed the holidays, to neighbors helped each other shovel the snow and ended with:

Tale of winter’s end
Written in morning shadows
Crocus petals rise

It was a great pleasure to be in the audience of Stevens’ well composed concerti. I still can see the seasonal colors and hear the joyful sounds. The author included her own beautiful photography, the interesting facts and symbols of Maine. Readers will enjoy this poetry collection.

Amazon and Goodreads Rating

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Bette A. Stevens

About the Author

Inspired by nature and human nature, author Bette A. Stevens is a retired elementary and middle school teacher, a wife, mother of two and grandmother of eight. Stevens lives in central Maine with her husband on their 37-acre farmstead where she enjoys reading, writing, gardening, walking and reveling in the beauty of nature. She advocates for children and families, for childhood literacy and for the conservation of monarch butterflies (milkweed is the only plant that monarch caterpillars will eat). The author is currently (2019) working on two poetry collections. MY MAINE: Haiku through the Seasons (Poetry & Photography Collection (2019).

Stevens’s children’s book, THE TANGRAM ZOO and WORD PUZZLES TOO! was first published in 1997 by Windswept House Publishing, Mt. Desert, ME; a second edition was self-published by the author in 2012. AMAZING MATILDA, Stevens’s second children’s book, self-published in 2012 won a 2013 Purple Dragonfly Book Award (Honorable Mention for Excellence in Children’s Literature – Ages 6 and older category) and also placed #9 on The 2013 Gittle List for Self-published Children’s Picture Books. Stevens has written articles for ECHOES, The Northern Maine Journal of Rural Culture based in Caribou, Maine. In 2013, the author published her first book for the YA/Adult audience: PURE TRASH, a short story of a boy growing up in rural New England in a family whose poverty and alcoholism mark him as a target for bullying by young and old alike. This short story is a prequel to Stevens’s début novel DOG BONE SOUP (KCT International Literary Award Top Finalist 2017). Stevens is currently working on two poetry collections. MY MAINE, Haiku through the Seasons (Poetry & Photography Collection/JUNE 2019).

Contact the Author

Website

Amazon

Goodreads

Twitter

Facebook

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A Soldier's Children by [Sikes, Jan]

My Review

The short story of A Soldier’s Children is a delightful and quick read. Jan Sikes depicted a fourteen-year-old Jenny who was assumed responsibility to run the household and care for her seven-year-old sister. Their mother abandoned them for more than six months. Their father was missing at war. Jenny worked part-time at an amusement park and took her little sister Emily along. Emily went missing and scared Jenny. The amusement park owner Mr. Park helped to locate Emily. Jenny learned to be careful making sure the safety of her little sister. After the summer, Jenny and Emily started school again. As Jenny watched other high school girls holding hands walking on campus, she wished to have lived a carefree life like those girls. The story came to a surprising ending.

I find this story and the characters believable. There are many children assumed responsibilities as adults due to the dysfunctional home with alcoholic or drug-addicted parents, or divorced parents. These children would be fortunate if they could beat the social system to keep their heads above the water or make a life of their own. This story is well written. Highly recommended.

Amazon  and Goodreads Rating

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Jan Sikes

About the Author

Multi-Award winning author, Jan Sikes, has been called a wordsmith by her peers.

She published four biographical fiction books about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love…True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories.

She also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.

She has published a book of poetry and art and nine short stories.

She is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, and the Executive Council at Rave Writers’ Int’l Society of Authors. She is also a member of the Writer’s League of Texas and Authors Marketing Guild.


Connect the Author


Blog   

Welcome to Day 1 of the “NO PEDIGREE” Blog Tour! @NonnieJules #RRBC #RWISA @4WillsPub

Welcome to Day 1 of the “NO PEDIGREE” Blog Tour! @nonniejules #RRBC #RWISA @4WillsPub

GIVEAWAYS:  (2) eBook copies of NO PEDIGREE & (2) $5 Amazon gift cards!  You must leave a comment on the author’s tour page  and any other stop along the tour to be entered to win.

I’m excited to host the Blog Tour for Nonnie Jules. Please read on to find out her amazing experience in writing this book “NO PEDIGREE.” She has wonderful insight and advice for your book writing!

 

Nonnie

Hi, and thanks for dropping in on Day 1 of my NO PEDIGREE blog tour!  I’m so grateful to Miriam for sharing her space with me today as I share how this story came about.

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THE ORIGIN OF NO PEDIGREE

On January 12, 2020, two words came to me in the middle of the night, by way of a dream.  Whatever dream I was engaged in at that time, paused for a moment, allowing me to sit up in bed, reach for my iPhone and type ‘NO PEDIGREE’ into my notes.  Mind you, because I’m an author, any thought that randomly pops into my head, has the potential to become another Nonnie Jules read.

The next morning, I rush into my office and create the book cover for NO PEDIGREE … again, I didn’t have the full concept of the story in mind at that time, but something was pushing me, almost forcefully, into the creation of the title and the cover.

Because my work schedule is so hectic between the editing work that I do with 4WillsPublishing and the two book clubs that I lead, the only way this book would ever see the light of day in 2020, was if I put it up on Amazon in a pre-order status;  and since it had been a while since I’d published last,  I was determined to do that immediately.

Now, you can put your book up on Amazon in a pre-order status without having the manuscript ready to go, but, I’m pretty sure you need a book blurb if you want any pre-order sales, so the next thing I did was stand in front of my computer to pound one out … and, if I must say so myself, it was (almost) perfect.  Let me tell you why.

I would assume that when most writers plan their books, the concepts are front and center in their minds.  Not so for me this time.  When I began to write this short story, I didn’t have any clue as to the direction it would go in.  I hadn’t given any thought to how it would begin, and I certainly had not any plans for the ending.  I decided that the blurb I had quickly pounded out, would serve as my compass.

For most of us, the story is written first, and then the blurb follows.  Working from the inside out this time, gave me a new appreciation for my backwards writing process.

When I’d get stuck in the writing, I’d return to Amazon and re-read that blurb.  I did this time and time and time again throughout the writing of the entire story.

This worked so wonderfully well for me, that I have decided to use this process going forward with all my future books.  Title, book cover, blurb – from those three very important elements, my stories will be born.

Faced with a self-imposed deadline of initially two weeks (what can I say, I like to challenge myself), I knew that I would have to steal the time to write, edit and proof this story many times over.  Due to many different and unforeseen circumstances, I ended up changing that release date, not once, but twice. Finally, it released on February 18, 2020 – later than planned, but still a lot quicker than it would have, had I not used this process.

My advice to you … the next time a story comes to you in or out of your dreams, don’t wait until you have the entire concept mapped out to begin working on it – that can sometimes take years.  Go on and dive right in, creating and designing all the other elements that will complete your book, and then let those elements serve as the tools you use to build a great read.  Many who know me, know that I’m an action kind of girl.  If I have an idea, I don’t want to sit on it – I want to act on it. I don’t like talking about things, I like doing things.  This can be you, too.

The moral of this story is, contrary to popular belief, sometimes you do have to put the cart before the horse.  The horse might be doing the pulling, but if not for the cart and the goods it’s carrying, what would the horse’s purpose be?  Even if the cart isn’t moving, it’s still housing valuable and precious cargo.

 

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BOOK BLURB…

Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, Baylee never quite fit in… anywhere. She was taunted and teased because her clothes had no designer labels, and spit upon because her only pair of shoes had holes in the bottom. The butt of many jokes, she was excluded from all social activities, sneered at by the parents of her peers after school as she waited for the bus, watching them drive away in their fancy cars; assaulted in the most unthinkable fashion.

Having been born to a white father and a black native American mother didn’t make things any easier. In fact, that circumstance made her life ten times harder – until the day she made them all stand up, take notice, and regret every ugly word and deed they had inflicted upon her.

 

 

Nonnie profile

ABOUT THE AUTHOR…

Hi, I’m Nonnie JulesPresident & Founder of RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {RRBC} and RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS {RWISA}.  As a writer who values the (polished) written word, it is my mission to help my fellow authors understand that their reputations as writers should be treated as rare treasure, and that the only way to be taken seriously in this business, is to ensure that your writing (no matter the forum) is impeccably written and well edited.  If not, you’re just another “Joe” with a pen who was the first to raise his hand when Amazon asked, “Hey, any old Joe out there wanna publish a book?  Don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be good and there’s absolutely no hard work involved.”

FYI:  If you don’t care what you put out into the world, you’re just a laughing stock in the literary community … and your name is “Joe.”

To learn more about Nonnie and how to connect with her, please drop in on her RRBC Author Page!

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Thanks for spending time here with me today, and Miriam, thank you so much, once again for having me on your blog!

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To follow along with the rest of the NO PEDIGREE blog tour, visit the author’s tour page.

If you’d like to schedule your own 4WillsPub tour to promote your books in similar fashion, click HERE.

 

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WELCOME TO DAY 1 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @NONNIEJULES

RWISA Revolution Tour Banner

 

Welcome to Day 1 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! We’d like to introduce you to an amazing supporter and RWISA member, Author, Nonnie Jules.

We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all 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.

 

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RWISA Profile

What Nonnie has to say about RWISA

NJ Revolution Banner

Nonnie has a new release coming out on February 17th and she’d love for you to check it out:

“NO PEDIGREE” 

No Pedigree by Nonnie Jules

 

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 us a comment below!

 

 

My Book Review of Letting Go into Perfect Love by Gwen Plano #RWISA #RRBC

My Book Review of Letting Go into Perfect Love by Gwen Plano #RWISA #RRBC

Gwen Plano Letting go

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Blurb:

Inspiring and unforgettable, Letting Go into Perfect Love is a riveting account of a journey through the terror of domestic violence to a faith that transforms all. As a college administrator, Gwendolyn M. Plano lived her professional life in a highly visible and accountable space–but as a wife and mother, behind closed doors, she and her family experienced unpredictable threat. The statistics are staggering–every 9 seconds in the United States, a woman is assaulted or beaten–but to Gwen, this was her secret; it was her shame. When her husband eventually turned his brutality on her son, she knew she could no longer remain silent.

Alternately heart-wrenching and joyful, this is a story of triumph over adversity–one woman’s uplifting account of learning how to forgive the unforgivable, recover her sense of self, bring healing into her family, and honor the journey home. Accompanied by glimpses of celestial beings, Gwen charts a path through sorrow to joy–and ultimately, writes of the one perfect love we all seek.  Continue reading……

 

My Review

In her book Letting Go, Gwen Plano recounted her two abusive marriages in honesty and courage. She married the first husband after he had a mental breakdown. The psychiatrist gave her hope that Bruce could recover. She married him intending to help him and saved him from being admitted. She couldn’t handle his outrage and filed a divorce. She married Ron six months after they met. There were signs of Ron’s disturbed behavior, but Gwen stated that she was in a fantasy world of young love. In the years to come, Ron uprooted the family on minutes of notice and moved across the country and even to Japan. After they came back to the US, he was getting more violent, demeaning and controlling.  He physically abused their young son when the baby was seven months old. When the daughter was sexually abused at age five by clergies and complained about that years later, Ron didn’t want to deal with it and wanted to move on.

During the twenty-five years of abuse, Gwen studied and taught. The workplace was her escape. The busyness kept them going for twenty-five years. At one point, she realized Ron made her feel “small.” In an abusive relationship, women kept the abuse in secret, fear the reporting results in more abuse. These women may fear of not being able to stand on their own feet.

The beginning of her book, Gwen conveyed her Catholic upbringing which demanded her obedience to the church rules and prevented her from divorce. Her family background formed her endurance of hardship without complaint. It was after her seeking spiritual advice and assurance to rid her fear that she filed for a divorce and was set free.

 

My Amazon and Goodreads Ratings

About the Author

Gwendolyn M. Plano, aka Gwen M. Plano, grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. Gwen’s academic background is in theology and counseling. Recently retired, she now lives in the Midwest with her husband and enjoys writing and travel.

Gwen’s first book is an acclaimed memoir. In Letting Go into Perfect Love: Discovering the Extraordinary After Abuse, Gwen bravely recounts a violent marriage and the faith that opened her heart to hope, to trust, and to awe. Alternately heart-wrenching and joyful, Letting Go into Perfect Love is a powerful story of triumph over adversity–one woman’s inspiring account of learning how to forgive the unforgivable, recover her sense of self, open her heart, and honor the journey home.

Gwen’s second book, The Contract between Heaven and Earth, is the first of her thriller series and is co-authored by John W. Howell, published in June 2018. Author Jan Sikes wrote that “The Contract is the perfect blending between the physical and unseen world with unbreakable bonds between human and spirit.”

The Choice: unexpected heroes, the second in her thriller series, was published in June 2019 and continues the story.

 

Other books by Gwen Plano

The Contract: between heaven and earth     The Choice: the unexpected heroes

 

Contact Gwen Plano

Website: http://gwenmplano.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Gwendolyn-M.-Plano/e/B00I5TAJ04?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gmplano

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