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:
A Review for THE NEON HOUSES
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:
THE NEON HOUSEShttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M8P63E3
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.
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
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!
Want to know more about her? Visit her here:
TWITTER HANDLE: @rijanjks
FACEBOOK URL: http://www.facebook.com/authorjansikesbooks
Author Spotlight - A.M. Manay
I have the pleasure of once again spotlighting A.M. Manay, an absolutely amazing author! When I first shared A.M. Manay with you all, I had yet to read her novels, but now I have read two of them, and all I can say is WOW! If you love paranormal, then you definitely need to read her books! I've posted my reviews below along with links to the books on Amazon. They are so good that they have even won a few awards!
by A.M. Manay
I absolutely LOVE this book! There's vampires and fairies and werewolves! Oh my! ;-) I was drawn into the story from the very beginning. November is a girl who can see the future, and she has already seen herself being buried. And then she meets the people who bury her, so she knows her fate is sealed! But the story - the journey - is awesome! The characters are so well-created! Each one is distinct and so easy to love or hate (or both...lol)! November's character is so much fun! She's sarcastic and doesn't think much of herself or her life, but she grows stronger as the book progresses to the point where she is incredibly brave and strong (though not always intentionally). ;-) The story ends in a cliffhanger, and I am a HUGE fan of cliffhangers. I knew something was up, but I had no idea that this twist was coming. Luka (the "bad" guy of this story) was brilliant with his little deception. If you like paranormal/fantasy, you definitely have to read this book!
by A.M. Manay
This book was just as awesome as the first book (She Dies at the End)! November has new challenges in front of her now, but she is smarter than she was before. She also has more patience with herself and more faith in those she cares about. Still, she is, for the most part, alone and has to find a way to save everyone from Luka's destructive plans. I loved how this book allowed us to see all of the characters that we fell in love with in book one through November's visions. I love the new characters who were added and hope we see more of them in book 3. I even loved the loss of some of my favorites (no spoilers). Some things just have to happen; I understand that. Not everything is as it seemed in book one (which completely thrills me since I love when authors throw upsetting twists into stories...lol!). As with book one, this one ends in a crazy cliffhanger, and I cannot wait to read book three! This series is so much fun, and I'm recommending it to everyone and anyone who enjoys reading paranormal/fantasy! You will fall in love with these books! :-)
If you like what you've read, then you should follow A.M. Manay at the following sites:
Author Spotlight - Marlena Smith
Marlena Smith is the proud Secretary of the Rave Reviews Book Club (#RRBC). She also runs her own website called Life As I Know It. She is a newly published author; she has her work published in Rave Soup for the Writer's Soul: An Anthology. She is an avid reader and shares her reviews with the world on her web site. She's a Christian woman with a giving heart and an energetic, positive outlook on life. If you like what you've read, then you should follow Marlena Smith at the following sites:
Author Spotlight - Jennifer Hinsman
It is my pleasure to introduce you all to Jennifer Hinsman, author of Souls: A Novel and Angel of Death. Here is a snippet about her novels:
Souls is the unforgettable story of Ann, and the painful death of her twin sister, Celeste. Ann sets out on a quest to find the killer of her womb-mate following the subsequent death of her parents and after depression nearly kills her. Ann finds herself in California seeking out a Hollywood producer as the perpetrator and while there finds her soul coming back to life when she meets a young actor, Tyler Peters. She cringes at the idea of dating someone younger and becoming a 'cougar', but she may be able to use him for his Hollywood connections. An astonishing electricity between the two turns to a passionate and deep love that is tested by an unpredictable twist that comes when Ann figures out who is behind her sister's death.
Angel of Death:
Friends from college, Tancy and Audrey love one another like family. They grew up in very different worlds, one poor, with absent, drug-addicted parents, the other with wealth and privilege. As roommater, they delve into the seedy world of escorts as they try to solve a cold case murder from Tancy's childhood. Chance meetings and twists of fate alter both their lives. Romance, steamy sex and danger await the women, as everything about the murder is uncovered. Shocking details emerge that change their lives forever and reinforces the bond of true friendship.
Both novels have rave reviews that you can read by clicking on the titles of the books. The books are free through Kindle Unlimited. You can also win a copy of them (plus $100) through the Spooktacular Giveaway that she is hosting right now. Enter here: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/2703c98f46/
If you like what you've read, then you should follow Jennifer Hinsman at the following sites:
Author Spotlight - Sandra Cox
Today, I have the honor of interviewing Sandra Cox, a wonderful author.
Sandra, tell us what inspires you to write.
Anything and everything...books, movies, walks, people.
You have a wide variety of books. How much research is involved in creating your stories?
It varies with the story. As you know, historicals take much more research than a book with a current setting. Though, every story requires some research: location, careers, weapons, etc.
How long does it usually take you to write a book?
It varies for me, sometimes a year, sometimes several months.
What authors influence you most?
The writers who have had the most profound influence on my writing are Nora Roberts, Stephenie Meyer, and Suzanne Collins. They are excellent storytellers.
I couldn't agree with you more. I think I already know the answer to this question, but for my readers out there, what is your favorite theme/genre to write?
YA fantasy or anything with paranormal elements.
That's why I click with you. That's my favorite as well. ;-) Which character is your favorite?
Whatever character I'm creating at the moment is my favorite.
I like that answer. I might have to borrow it in the future. A lot of authors weave parts of their own lives into their stories. Do any of your life experiences make their way into your novels?
If you are looking for it, you may occasionally find a vegetarian or someone who believes in animal rights in one of my stories.
When someone finishes reading your book, what do you hope they get from it?
I hope they feel like they've gotten a well told tale.
I know that every author hopes that his/her readers will leave a review after they've read the story. Do you read all of your reviews?
Like any author, I LOVE good reviews, but I don't read the negative ones. I mean...if I got a negative review, I wouldn't read it. :-) Ha. Yes, I have got them. And no, I don't enjoy them, though I do feel if someone has paid their hard earned money for my books, they are entitled to their opinion, even if it's not the one I would have hoped for.
What type of books were your favorite when you were a child?
I loved horse stories.
So did I! Do you have a job or career outside of writing?
I'm happy to say I'm retired. I worked for many years in secondary education. My last job was admin assist to the VP for Instruction at the local community college.
Lucky you. I'm still working, and it's in secondary education. :-) For those who visit my site who are aspiring writers, what advice would you give them?
Don't give up. Write because you love it. And if some days you feel depressed because of low sales, remind yourself that your story is up against over a million others, so any sale is a huge accomplishment.
You are so right! Well, we've got to wrap this up. Any last thoughts?
I've enjoyed spending time at your place and getting the opportunity to interact with all of your wonderful supporters. Thanks for having me!
It was my pleasure!
Sandra Cox writes YA fantasy, romance, and metaphysical nonfiction. She lives in sunny North Carolina with her husband, a brood of critters and an occasional foster cat. Although shopping is high on the list, her greatest pleasure is sitting on her porch, listening to the birds, sipping coffee or a latte, and enjoying a good book. She's a vegetarian and a Muay Thai enthusiast.
All of Sandra's books can be found on her Amazon Author Page. Here are the titles to her works:
Cats of Catarau Series
Sundial, Time Travel Romance
Queen of Diamonds, Romantic Suspense
Flower Gardens and More, Nonfiction
Power Stones, Nonfiction
Here's a little look into Love, Lattes, and Mutants:
Finding love is hard, even when you aren’t a mutant.
Like most seventeen-year-olds, Piper Dunn wants to blend in with the crowd. Having a blowhole is a definite handicap. A product of a lab-engineered mother with dolphin DNA, Piper spends her school days hiding her brilliant ocean-colored eyes and sea siren voice behind baggy clothing and ugly glasses. When Tyler, the new boy in school, zeroes in on her, ignoring every other girl vying for his attention, no one, including Piper, understands why...
Then Piper is captured on one of her secret missions rescuing endangered sea creatures and ends up in the same test center where her mother was engineered. There she discovers she isn’t the only one of her kind. Joel is someone she doesn’t have to hide from, and she finds herself drawn to the dolph-boy who shares her secrets. Talking to him is almost as easy as escaping from the lab. Deciding which boy has captured her heart is another story...
Learn more about Sandra and her amazing works:
Web site: http://sandracox1.com
Author Spotlight - A.M. Manay
Today, I have the honor of being a part of A.M. Manay's 3-Day Weekend Book Boost. I've downloaded her books, She Dies at the End and She Lights Up the Dark, and I cannot wait to read them. Her novels are the kind of books that I love to read, and I'm sure the readers of my novels will also love them. So, enjoy an inside look to Manay's books as she tells you about them.
In my second novel, She Lights Up the Dark, we are introduced to a community called Eden, where humans, fairies, vampires, and werewolves live honestly and in peace. The commune was created by Gul, an elderly former king among the fairies and widower to Queen Lilje. Gul eventually marries Raina. This letter sheds some light on the origins of this community as well as the close relationship between Raina and her mother, Ilyn's late wife Marisha. It would date from the late 18th century, a few decades before Marisha's untimely death. You can learn more about all of these characters by reading She Dies at the End, She Lights Up the Dark, and She Sees in Her Sleep, all available this weekend for only $0.99 each!
I hope this letter finds you content and well. My journey has been largely uneventful, though more rugged than I knew to expect. This is an untamed land. The fairy servants I brought along have served me well, and we have taken care to keep our contact with other wagon trains brief and seldom. I hope to send them back to you as soon as weather permits. I suspect, however, that once out of my sight, greed may call them to seek their fortunes on the frontier.
It is a beautiful country, with much for me to paint and draw, though treacherous for the mortals. We passed dead and dying migrants with some frequency along the trail. Thankfully, there have been enough hale and hearty human travelers to keep us in prey. The natives keep well clear of us. It seems they are aware of the danger we pose. There was no real trouble from the lycanthropes. They, too, are cautious on the road, fearing to be exposed to the ordinary people. We were and continue to be careful during the full moon.
Gul's band is small, but committed and growing. It is a strange sight, to see werewolves and fairies, humans and vampires, working together to put up a barn by moonlight. This evening, as I write, a fairy girl and a little cub are playing checkers by the fire, laughing together like brother and sister. I cannot believe my eyes. Mother, some of them even marry happily! It is quite astonishing.
You must never tell Father. He would burn the entire place to ashes.
Give my best wishes to Savita and the others.
All my love,
Book blurb for She Lights Up the Dark (November Snow Book 2)
A frightening vision stalks November, even in her grave . . . and things go severely sideways just as soon as she claws her way out of it.
Continuing the story begun in the well-received paranormal romp She Dies at the End, She Lights Up the Dark finds November Snow struggling to adjust to her new life as a vampire with none of the support she'd expected. Her nemesis Luka has plotted to isolate November and scatter her allies as he executes his plan to bring human society under his control. Her loneliness leads her to become emotionally entangled with a charming but likely untrustworthy fellow vampire.
When danger flares, November discovers that her psychic gift has expanded in a powerful and perilous fashion. Coerced into close company with her enemy, she fights to master her power and to uncover the secrets that may help her to save both her friends and the human world from being crushed under Luka’s boot. November is determined to stop Luka as his plan builds toward an unknown and deadly climax, but she may find that lighting up the dark comes with a high price to pay.
This books contains violence, some sexual content, and occasional profanity.
A short excerpt from She Lights Up the Dark (November Snow Book 2)
Raina turned from her canvas, a smear of blue paint on her cheek testifying to an earlier itch. "Ilyn's made another child? And lost the throne?"
"It seems so. Luka's finally made his move." Gul shook his head. "Marisha's only mistake, that one."
"I wouldn't say 'only,'" came her dry reply. "There's also me. What about William? What's he up to?"
"They know nothing of him, save that he's out there making trouble for his brother."
"Hmmph. I don't really know William. They found him after I left," Raina replied as she turned back to the painting. It was a landscape of a garden in the morning sun. It was quite beautiful, but there was something off about it, about the colors, as though she was painting a picture of something she had only heard about thirdhand.
"Apparently Luka's using a hider fairy to keep the girl from Ilyn," Gul said carefully. "A fairy who may well be my descendent — the sole survivor of that werewolf massacre a few centuries back."
Raina closed her eyes and put down her brush. "Well, s***."
"She's going to wind up all screwed up like the others. Emil's children never recovered after the wolves took them when they were young. He had to put them down," Raina said, growing more upset. "He's never been right since. And that boy, Philip . . . when Ilyn kicked him out and Marisha died, I heard he went all strange."
"I remember the stories," Gul replied.
"How could Luka take such a risk with his own kin?" Raina fumed. "Is nothing sacred anymore?"
"He really wants that girl, I suppose. And he likely hates Ilyn more than he cares about her." Gul's chest tightened painfully. He struggled to continue. "There's something else . . ."
"Oh, Christ on the cross," Raina sighed. "Spit it out."
"This girl, November, she's a demon, like Savita and Philip . . ." He looked down at his hands. "This demon girl once was Lilje," he finally continued. "I'm nearly certain of it. The way Pine described her eyes, and there are things in Lilje's book that sound like what is happening now."
Raina at last looked him full in the face and swore softly in a dead language. "You're going to go after her, aren't you?"
"I am honor bound two different ways, Raina. How can I not?"
"Helena will have a fit," Raina replied, placing her hand worriedly over her mouth.
"That she will. She won't be the only one."
"I guess I'd better pack light," she sighed.
"You're coming with me?" he asked, his face lighting up. "You said you'd never leave this place again."
"I can't very well let my husband go off looking for his dead first wife without me, now can I?"
In addition to her work as an indie author of paranormal fantasy, A.M. Manay is a former inner-city chemistry teacher, a singer, a yoga enthusiast, a Clerk of Session in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and a mother through domestic open adoption. She has a passion for increasing diversity in popular culture and for strong heroines who stand up for themselves, make their own decisions, and don't depend on romance as their reason for being.
Be the first to know about the release of the upcoming sequel as well as bonus material about your favorite characters by:
Checking out her website: www.ammanay.net
Signing up for the fan email list: November's News
Following the author on Facebook: facebook.com/ammanaywrites
Following the author on Twitter: @ammanay
Following the author on Instagram: instagram.com/a.m.manay
Following her Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/ammanay
Author Links for A.M. Manay
She Dies at the End: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0112S00KI
She Sees in Her Sleep: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B019EG1NWE
She Lights Up the Dark: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B01BQGGBMW
Fan email list: November's News
Amazon author page: amazon.com/author/ammanay
***The tour is sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.***
Author Spotlight - Kim Cox
I am pleased to share with you an amazing author who truly enjoys promoting other authors! Because of this, I hope you will take some time to read about Kim and check out a few of her FREE books! Her Lana Malloy series is a detective series in which the female private detective can communicate with ghosts! There are currently four books in the series. The first one, Haunted Hearts, is free on Amazon. The second one, Get Out or Die, is free via her web site. Give the series a try! I think you are going to really enjoy it! :-)
Author Spotlight - Rebecca Reilly
To start off this page, I want to promote the site that inspired me to create this page, the Rave Reviews Book Club. This group is open to readers and writers, and they are all about promoting and supporting great books. This week, they are spotlighting Rebecca Reilly, an author of five books! I've downloaded her novel, Into Dark Waters, and cannot wait to read it! As soon as I do, you will see my review of it on my Reviews page. Until then, get to know Rebecca and her novels a little more by clicking on her name above. You might just find another author to add to your favorites' list. :-)