Category Archives: #RWISA

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 8 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @DLFINNAUTHOR #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

RWISA Revolution Tour Banner

Welcome to Day 8 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! We’d like to introduce you to an amazing supporter and RWISA member, Author, D. L. Finn.

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 D. L. has to say about RWISA…

D. L. Finn Revolution Banner

D. L. has a book she’d like to introduce you to:

“THIS SECOND CHANCE”

This Second Chance by D L Finn

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 and a “LIKE” below!

 

 

 

WELCOME TO DAY 4 OF THE #RWISA “REVOLUTION” BLOG TOUR! #RRBC @PEGGYHATTENDORF #RWISAREVOLUTIONTOUR

RWISA Revolution Tour Banner

Welcome to Day 4 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! We’d like to introduce you to an amazing supporter and RWISA member, Author, Peggy Hattendorf.

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.

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RWISA Profile

What Peggy has to say about RWISA…

Peggy Hattendorf Revolution Banner

Peggy has a book she’d like to introduce you to:

“SON OF MY FATHER”

Son of My Father by Peggy Hattendorf

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 and a “LIKE” below!

 

 

 

Welcome to Day 3 of the #RWISA “Revolution” Blog Tour! #RRBC @rijanjks #RWISARevolutionTour

RWISA Revolution Tour Banner

Welcome to Day 3 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! We’d like to introduce you to an amazing supporter and RWISA member, Author, Jan Sikes.

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.

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RWISA Profile

What Jan has to say about RWISA…

Jan Sikes Revolution Banner

Jan has a book she’d like to introduce you to:

“‘TIL DEATH DO US PART”

Til Death Do Us Part by Jan Sikes

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 and a “LIKE” below!

 

 

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.

 

NJ 5

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

 

 

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