Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Author Spotlight - Linda Mims

I am so excited to help you get to know this debut author.  Meet Linda Mims, a retired educator turned author.  That alone is reason for me to adore her. :-) Her novel will be the reason that you love her.  So, without further delay, here is a little information about Linda.

Linda Mims started creating tales in her head as a child. At age 12, she knew she was onto something when she sold a story to her grandmother for a quarter, but it was her dad’s more practical advice, to get a good education and find a real job, that she followed.
After retiring from her “real job” as an educator, Linda began her writing career as an indie author. The tale of The Neon Houses was born out of a careless comment that people had lost interest in reading. The joke was that decades from now we’d need to hold reading nights in neighborhood parks for citizens who wouldn’t be able to read.
Linda rolled that idea around in her head until it turned into a whole society of have-nots. Once the idea got rolling, she worked nonstop until she’d finished the first draft. Writing is now her real job!
LindaMims resides in a small suburban town 30 miles outside of Chicago, IL where she likes to cook, garden, and blog, sometimes simultaneously. She is married to her long-time love, has two grown daughters and one bossy, bichon-pom, Alexis.

I have downloaded The Neon Houses and can't wait to read it to review it for you all, but in the meantime, check out this review from another incredible author:

By Mary Schmidt on January 26, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition

By the middle of chapter one, I knew this book was different from mainstream futuristic novels. Mims’ wove a true unique read with an interesting plot and characters. I didn’t expect a chilling murder at the beginning, but this novel demands action and is quite gripping. A future Chicago and Gang Territory, those with money, and those who live in the ghetto – drug/crime lords, growing up on the street, and more makes this book believable, as I can visually see this entire novel in my brain. A book that garners this kind of a reaction from me garners five stars, especially when it is well-written. Mim’s characters spring to life in a futuristic socioeconomic environment and gave me pause to wonder just what Earth will be like in the late 2000’s. Well done Ms. Mims.

This book should be moved to the top of your list of TBRs. The cover alone is phenomenal! Here is the synopsis of the book:

Dr. Noel Kennedy hears screams inside her head, but the screams aren’t hers. While preparing for her annual end-of-summer barbecue, Noel hears her young friend—twenty-year-old Zarah Fisher—screaming for her life. However Zarah is miles away!
Noel knows the exact moment Zarah takes her last breath because Noel has a secret! It’s a secret that not even her husband Richard knows.
As the Deputy Chief of Schools of Gang Territory, Noel has perfected her life. She is a solid, middle-class citizen from New Chicago, Incorporated. New Chicago and Gang Territory have become vastly different societies since the early Urban Wars. Now, year 2087 finds New Chicago’s military-trained police determined to enforce laws that keep “gang people” out.
Harlem Pierce, a New Chicago police detective, has been warned to stay away from this case and he urges Noel to let it go. But a new killing involves Noel’s younger cousin and her boyfriend and links Noel to it in a startling way.
Who can Noel draw on? Must she turn to Warren Simpson—the menacing, treacherous boss of Gang Territory? Or … could he be the killer?
Check out this awesome book trailer for more information: https://youtu.be/_JrglVENUOs

While you are at it, follow her on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/boom_lyn

The tour is sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Author Spotlight - Jan Sikes

Author Spotlight - Jan Sikes

Happy Valentine's Day! I can't think of a better way of spreading love on this day than by sharing my love of reading and writing with you.  So, for this Valentine's Day, I am sharing with you a fellow author who has written several different books.  She is a member of Rave Writers - International Society of Authors (RWISA).  Join me in welcoming this amazing author of several novels and learn more about her in my interview with her.

      How long have you been writing?   The first thing I remember writing was a gospel song around         the age of eight or nine.

How many books have you authored?  5  

Please give us up to 3 titles? Flowers and Stone, The Convict and the Rose, Home At Last

Do you have a writing schedule?  I wish! I have such a busy life that too often my writing goes to the back burner. But…once I am moved and settled in my new place, I intend to change that and work on my story in some form or fashion every day. Wish me luck!

You’re a member of RAVE WRITERS –INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS (RWISA)Why do you think you were accepted into this exclusive group?  I’m an award-winning author and while  I’m proud of this recognition, I see tons of room for improvement in my writing. And, I think that is why I was accepted into RWISA – not because I have won awards for my writing, but because I hunger to continue to grow and learn the craft.

Modesty aside, what separates your writing from the millions of other writers in the world? We are all unique. And because of that, we each have a unique voice – way of expressing our thoughts with words. That is the one factor that separates any of us. I can’t tell a story like you and you wouldn’t be able to tell the story the way I do. I love this because it is what makes everything about the crazy world of writing so exciting, fresh and new!

If you could spend a day picking the brain of one author, who would that be? Taylor Caldwell Why? She wrote a historical novel in 1972 that totally changed the way I view world leaders, wars and the way decisions are made that affect countries. I would love to hear why she wrote this book, how she did her research and what it led her to discover.

Are you a die-hard INDIE writer who loves having complete control of your work, or, if you were offered a publishing contract today, would you sign on the dotted line? Although I love the freedom of being an Indie author, I would jump at a chance to sign a legitimate publishing contract. My sister is a traditionally published author (signed to a major publisher) and when I see all they do for her as far as marketing, I am envious. It would be nice to get paid, instead of having to pay for everything myself.

As an author, where do you see yourself in 5 years?  I know beyond any doubt, I’ll still be writing, but I also see myself getting more established as a teacher. I love presenting workshops to all levels of writers from children to adult. I learn so much that way.

What is the ONE tool that has been the most beneficial tool in the marketing of your books? Hands down, for me, public appearances. I sell more books by doing speaking engagements or through book signings. I love the one-on-one interaction with  potential readers.

Name one writer that you know of, member or non-member of RRBC, who you feel should be added to the RWISA Roster of elite members?  Mae Clair (in fact I am shocked to find that she isn’t already a member) Why? Her writing is superb, but as a person, she is one of the most supportive, encouraging and engaging RRBC members I’ve gotten to know.

What is the one piece of advice that you could share that would be most valuable for those aspiring to not only be writers, but those aspiring to be great writers? Never EVER think you’ve learned all there is to know about writing. It is an ongoing process and we should never stop learning!

Do you believe that writers who churn out several books a year are really putting out quality work?   It depends. I would say that answer could only be given on a book-by-book basis. I know some writers who put out three or four books per year and they are all amazing stories. On the other hand, I know some who are more interested in adding another title to their name than telling a great story or making sure it’s the best it can be.

If you had promised your fans a book by a certain date only to find that your book wasn’t the best it could be, would you go ahead and publish your book just to meet that self-imposed deadline and deliver as promised, or, would you disappoint your fans and shelve the book until it was absolutely ready? I would have to shelve the book.   No matter your reason, please explain why? To publish a book that wasn’t ready would only hurt me, not help. I would lose those reader fans quickly. Let me add, though, that I’d stay in contact with the readers and let them know the status of the book.

In your opinion, what makes a book “a great book?”  A character driven story that you can’t put down and that lingers with you long after you’ve read “The End.”

If you received a review of your book which stated that there were editing & proofing “issues,” what’s the first thing you would do?  First, I would contact the person who claimed there were editing and proofing issues to thank them for taking time to tell me and then I’d ask for specifics. And the second? If there were truly typos, errors or any other mistakes, I’d immediately pull the book down off the market, and go to work on the manuscript. 

Here is a little advice from Jan herself:

Don’t Fall in a Rut
We all have our own unique style of communicating, but as authors, do we let ourselves fall into a rut of using the same words over and over throughout our stories? I’d like to challenge all authors, new and old, to examine your wordage. Do you use “very, just, such, things or was/is/are/am” too often?
There are many reference books at our fingertips, and of course, a standard is the trusty Thesaurus. Isn’t it a wonderful handy tool to have right on your computer desktop? If you find a certain word or phrase that you get stuck using, do a search through the document and let your imagination and creativity explode by creating different and more descriptive ways of saying the same thing only better.
It is a constant goal to improve the quality, not quantity, of my writing. A well-written story that flows and draws the reader in is like stumbling upon a gold mine of emotion.  

Check out Jan Sike's latest book, which is currently FREE!

Home At Last by [Sikes, Jan]

Want to know more about her? Visit her here:

TWITTER HANDLE:  @rijanjks

Thank you for supporting our RWISA (RAVE WRITERS-INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF AUTHORS) Members!  Please follow and support the entire tour by visiting 4WillsPub.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Authors Helping Authors

When I was growing up, I always thought of my favorite authors as hermits, people who hid away in a dark room with a single lamp illuminating the masterpiece that they were creating.  It was an image of romanticism, mysticism, and loneliness.  And though I am sure there are many authors who are introverted and prefer their solace, many of us are actually quite social creatures.  When we write, we need our solitude, but otherwise we tend to enjoy being among the living and breathing.

When I first started writing with the intent to complete a full novel, I felt alone in the process.  Sure, I had my family and a few friends supporting me, but I was mostly alone.  Finishing the novel enhanced my loneliness in the writer's world because I could not seem to find a publisher for my novel.  My first two novels went unpublished because of the amount of rejection I received.

So, when I wrote my third novel, I decided that I would self-publish. At first, the journey was scary and very lonely.  I had to teach myself the process and was lucky to come across a few resources that helped me.  And soon, I had a published novel.  And then...nothing happened.  I had some sales, mostly from my family and friends, but I was stuck.

Marketing is not my friend. I have always had difficulty seeking attention from others.  I am the wallflower in the crowd, and I am okay with that.  The problem is that you cannot be a wallflower in self-publishing...unless you plant yourself in a garden.  And I did!

I came across the Rave Reviews Book Club somehow.  I truly don't remember the moment, but I believe the Universe put this club on my path because she knew that I desperately needed a community of authors and readers.  RRBC, as the members lovingly call it, is for all readers and writers. It's a book club, but it's SO much more.  We have become a family, and family supports one another.

One of the many things that I love about RRBC is that the members will purchase my book, read it, and write a very honest review.  I also purchase and read other authors' books and then write very honest reviews (you can see my reviews here).  Many of the books are free at times or are on sale for $0.99.  I have read some incredible stories that I never would have been exposed to had it not been for this club.  I have also received some great feedback about my own writing which only further enhances my craft.

Another amazing trait of this club is the vast amount of support that is given.  And this is where I found my garden.  I have a hard time promoting myself, but I LOVE to promote other authors.  I share what I read with my followers and I promote novels from other authors because book lovers deserve to know about the wonderful books that are out there. In turn, the other members promote my books to their members, helping me to reach other readers who may not usually have come across my novels.  It's a win-win for everyone!

Social media is a godsend for this sort of thing, and Twitter is my main venue. I have a pinned promotion at the top, which allows other authors to retweet that promo to their followers.  When I want to promote an author, the first thing I do is see if they also have a pinned tweet.  I don't always have a lot of time to search through their feed to learn more about their works, so having that pinned tweet at the top makes a huge difference.

Some authors change their pinned tweet often, which allows me to easily share a new view on their works with my followers. I am guilty of leaving my pinned tweet for too long and definitely need to work on updating it more often.  Still, a pinned tweet is so beneficial to those who want to help promote your works.  So, if you are an author and don't have a pinned tweet, you may want to consider creating one.  It could be as simple as a list of author links or a picture of your books with a link to your web site.

Since joining RRBC, my list of followers has grown like wildflowers, and purchases and reviews keep coming.  I have met the most amazing people and have added a few more names to my list of favorite authors.  I know now that I will never be that writer who is stuck in a dark room writing by the glimmer of a lamp.  I am an author who is basking in the sunlight surrounded by a garden of wonder.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Become a better you!

Every new year, many people create resolutions that they try to uphold all year long. Some people meet their goals and others give up after just a few days.  Many of you know that I set a goal last year to embrace change.  Change has always been very difficult for me, so last year I decided that I was going to find a way to stop resisting change.  And the Universe decided to throw a whole lot of change my way. Lol! It wasn't always easy (in fact, it wasn't ever easy), but I managed to learn to accept change in my life.

This year, I have decided to embrace the happiness within me.  What exactly does that mean? Well, I recently read a book called The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer. He talks about looking within and truly understanding who you really are.  In his book, he discusses how we are in control of our happiness. He says that we cannot find happiness in external objects.  So, this year, I am focusing on finding happiness within me instead of from external sources.  This is not going to be an easy task because it means shutting off the voice inside of me that is always trying to control situations, but I am empowered with enlightenment and will succeed. :-)

I've also begun a "movement" (I guess you can call it that) to help others embrace the beauty within them. I teach students in the tweens, and it saddens me to see how many of them have self-esteem issues.  So, I created Proud of my Beauty on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. I will be sharing memes that I find that encourage people to embrace the beauty within them.  If I can help even one person to realize that they are beautiful just the way they are, then it will be worth it.

Finally, the Rave Reviews Book Club is challenging us all to become better versions of ourselves.  I have already taken the pledge, and I hope you will join me in doing so.  There is a lot of bad in this world, and we may not be able to fix it all, but we certainly can make sure that we are making the world a better place by improving the energy that we share with others. Join me in this challenge here!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

New Year, New Books! :-)

Happy new year, beautiful people! It's an absolutely beautiful, sunny, warm day here in Miami, Florida! I could not have asked for a better way to start a new year. To make it even more wonderful, I am sharing with you several books that are either FREE or on SALE right now! You all know by now that I love to read, and I enjoy it even more when I don't have to pay much to do so. ;-)

So, while you start this beautiful new day of a happy new year, embrace your love for reading with these new books:

The One Enlightened, book two of the Chronicles of the Diasodz series, is just $0.99 right now. Many of you took advantage of getting The One Discovered, book one of the series, for FREE last week. So, here is an opportunity to get book two at a huge discount! The sale will end on January 7th, so get your copy now!

Crazy! Hot! And Living on the Edge! by Shirley Harris-Slaughter is FREE now until January 5th! I read this book and think it's something everyone should read (you can read my review for it here).  And since it's free, why not take a chance and download it?

Our Lady of Victory, also by Shirley Harris-Slaughter, is FREE now until January 3rd! Those of you who enjoy history, especially of our own country, will enjoy this book.  I've read this book as well and my review is here for you to read.

She Lights up the Dark by A.M. Manay is also $0.99 now through January 7th! I absolutely LOVE this series! She gave away the first book of the series, She Dies at the End, last week.  If you love vampires and fairies and werewolves, you will definitely want to read this. You can find my review here.

As I find out about more free/discounted books, I will let you know. In the meantime, check out my REVIEWS for other great books that you may want to add to your library. :-)

Friday, December 30, 2016

The One Enlightened is on sale!

Recently, I gave away The One Discovered, book one of the Chronicles of the Diasodz series.  If you downloaded the novel and have read it, please do me the honor of leaving a review on Amazon here.  I am hoping to reach 50 reviews soon, and when I do, I will have a giveaway. :-)  That being said, I want real and honest reviews.  Integrity is very important to me, so I don't want bogus reviews just to push up the numbers.

I know it takes a couple of minutes to write a review, and in this day and age where everything is rush-rush, sometimes we don't want to take the time to write a couple of sentences about a book that we've read.  I cannot impress upon you enough how very much it means to me (and other authors) that you do take that time.

These stories are a part of my heart; they are with me every day.  I dream about them.  I think about the characters (they speak to me all the time!). I write and write and write and then read and reread everything. LOL! I want it to be perfect for you, the reader.

So, when my stories are downloaded, I anticipate hearing the thoughts of my readers. I want to know whether they hated it, liked it, or loved it. I want to know if they rejoiced during the same moments when I rejoiced and if they became frustrated at the same times that I did.  Your comments and your voice are sometimes my lifelines, my motivation, when I am in a slump.  So, please take the few minutes and share your thoughts through a review. I truly do appreciate it!

And now, I want to share with you that I am starting the new year with a sale! :-) The One Enlightened, book two in the series, will be just $0.99 from 12/31/16 to 01/07/17! It will go back to its regular price of $2.99 on 01/08/17.  If you downloaded The One Discovered for free and haven't read it yet, I promise you that you will want to get The One Enlightened before the sale is over.  If you have read The One Discovered, then here is your chance to get the second book at a great discount!

I've place links below for each of the books.  They are in both ebook and paperback form (but only the ebook version of The One Enlightened is currently on sale).

The One Discovered: https://www.amazon.com/One-Discovered-Chronicles-Diasodz-Book/dp/1495338975/

The One Enlightened: https://www.amazon.com/One-Enlightened-Chronicles-Diasodz-Book/dp/1505907152/

The One Betrayed: https://www.amazon.com/One-Betrayed-Chronicles-Diasodz-Book/dp/1519799888

The One Revealed: https://www.amazon.com/One-Revealed-Chronicles-Diasodz-Book-ebook/dp/B01NBKJHIO

I hope you all have a safe and wonderful celebration of the ending of 2016 and bring in the new year with love and laughter! XOXO

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Free Books for the Holidays! :-)

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, beautiful people!

I hope you are all enjoying this time surrounded by those whom you love.  I see the pictures from my friends who live up north and are enjoying a white Christmas. I think of those warm fireplaces, that comfy sofa, and the cozy blankets, and immediately, I picture you curled up on that sofa with a book in your hands and a cup of hot cocoa on the table stand next to you.  So, this Christmas, I am gifting to you the first novel in my Chronicles of the Diasodz series. :-) 

For those of you who have not read it yet, The One Discovered is about a young girl who finds out that the responsibility of saving an entire race falls upon her shoulders.  It's a young adult fantasy series filled with friendship, love, loyalty, family, and twists and turns everywhere. ;-) It's a battle of good vs evil, where evil doesn't look all that bad.  So, once all of the presents are opened and the busy day turns into the calming night, curl up with this free copy of The One Discovered and lose yourself in a world of mystical adventure. You can purchase your free copy here: https://www.amazon.com/One-Discovered-Chronicles-Diasodz-Book-ebook/dp/B00I4L2Q40. 

The One Discovered will be free until 12/29/2016, so be your own Santa for the next few days, and share this gift with all of your friends and family! They will thank you! ;-)

And if you have already read my book (or if you are just a really fast reader), here are two more books that I've read that are also free right now:

She Dies at the End by A.M. Manay: This is a very cool vampire series that I am addicted to.  November Snow is the main character, and she can see into the future.  She is not a vampire, but the vampires are fighting over capturing her and using her for their own purposes.  It's fantastic, so grab it while it's free and share it with your friends.

Assaie's Gift by D.E. Howard: This is another great young adult paranormal book.  Kia is a descendant of the Goddess Assaie, and she doesn't know it until her mother tells her on her eighteenth birthday.  She is given a gift that Kia realizes can also be a curse.  It's a great young adult love story that you will truly enjoy. 

I've read both of these books, and you can read my reviews here.  Or you can just trust me and download them now. :-) They are free! What have you got to lose? ;-)  

I wish you all a wonderful holiday season.  May your troubles be less and your blessings be more, and may you fill your hearts and souls with the energies that matter: love, light, happiness, and love.  XOXO

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The One Revealed is now available!!!

I am thrilled to announce the official release of The One Revealed! This is book 4 in The Chronicles of the Diasodz.  If you haven't read the first three books, I would definitely recommend reading them first. You can find them here. If you have read the first three, then I know you have been eagerly awaiting this release! You can purchase this ebook on Amazon.  The print version will be coming soon.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the newest addition to the series. :-)

Here is the synopsis for The One Revealed (again, if you haven't read the first three, skip this so that you don't read any spoilers!):

Rafe has successfully rescued Sofia from his enemies and has brought her home.  He is excited about Sofia meeting their father and joining the Raizyns in their fight against the Diasodz.  Unfortunately, bringing Sofia home does not have the effect he had hoped for.  In the process of trying to bring his family together, he may have discovered a reason to tear them apart.

When Sofia awakens, she discovers that her life has been uprooted once again, and this time she is in more danger than she has ever been.  Sofia’s only focus is on finding a way to escape and get back to Ar’ch, but leaving Rafe becomes more difficult when she realizes that not everything is as it seems.

Damiana is furious when she learns that her daughter has been brought home.  Her plans to use Sofia as a secret weapon within the Diasodz compound is destroyed with Rafe’s meddling.  Despite the setback, Damiana knows that she still has the upper hand, but her control is tested when even more secrets are exposed.

Each of them believes that she/he knows who the true savior of their people is, but when the truth is revealed, how will they handle it?  And whose side will the savior support? The stakes have never been higher for the Raizyns, and Damiana plans to make sure that the savior is on their side no matter what it takes.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The One Betrayed is on SALE!

It's almost time to release The One Revealed, book four in the Chronicles of the Diasodz series! To pass the time, how about taking advantage of a sale! :-) The One Betrayed, book three in the series, is now just $0.99! The sale will run from today (12/5) through 12/11/2016! After that, it will return to $2.99.  So, grab your copy now, and tell all of your friends to read it before the next book in the series is released. You can purchase your copy here: https://www.amazon.com/One-Betrayed-Chronicles-Diasodz-Book-ebook/dp/B0191O1892/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1480988099&sr=8-1. Happy reading! :-)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

The One Enlightened is on Sale!!!

As we countdown the release of The One Revealed, I have decided to put The One Enlightened on sale for just $0.99 from today through 12/4/2016.  Last week, The One Discovered was given away for free.  Next week, The One Betrayed will be on sale.  This is a great opportunity to grab all four books and make a beautiful holiday gift set for your BFF book lovers! For more information on The One Enlightened, use this link: https://www.amazon.com/One-Enlightened-Chronicles-Diasodz-Book-ebook/dp/B00R0QI51I/ref=tmm_kin_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1480649297&sr=8-1