Wednesday, March 23, 2022

#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 266 #Shadorma #ThemePrompt #fire #water @ColleenChesebro

Hello, beautiful readers! I wasn't sure I'd be able to participate in this week's #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge because I'm about to leave for a four-day camping trip, but an idea came to me and I ran with it. :-) 

This week's theme is fire and water. I chose the form of a Shadorma from Colleen's Poetry Cheat Sheet. This form has six lines with a syllabication pattern of 3-5-3-3-7-5. It doesn't state whether a picture can be used or not, so I chose to add one. Hope you like it! 


quench my thirst
or set me aflame
with your touch
my urges - please, don't leave me
drenched in cold water

Friday, March 18, 2022

#TankaTuesday #Poetry Challenge No. 265 #Ekphrastic #PhotoPrompt @ColleenChesebro #Ekphrastic #poetry #OsehShalom @kaddish_s

Hello, beautiful readers! Colleen Chesebro has presented us with another Ekphrastic photo prompt for the #TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge. This week's painting is Russian Dancers by Edgar Degas. You can learn more about the artist here. Colleen and Selma were intentional in picking this painting, and you can read about their reasons here.

When I look at this painting, I see joy, lightheartedness, and fun. I absolutely LOVE to dance. I am an extroverted introvert and don't like to have too much attention on me. When I get on a dance floor, everything else disappears and I just lose myself to the music. For me, there is an electric energy flirting with a caress of peace when I dance, so I wanted to focus on that. At the same time, these women are dressed so differently that it reminds me that although we are different, we are all one. 

So, here is what I came up with. I chose to go with a new form created by David [ben Alexander] from The Skeptic's Kaddish. He calls it the Oseh Shalom, and you can learn more about it here. It consists of 5 lines with a 7/9/6/3/4 syllabic pattern, ends with the word Amen, and is written about peace. So, here is what I created:

we dress with various flair
and dance to a myriad of beats
but our oneness shines through
embrace peace
and love - Amen

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

A Moment to Toot my Horn :-) #RRBC #RWISA #AwardWinningAuthor #readingcommunity #writingcommunity #bookawards

Hello, beautiful readers! I don't often focus on my accomplishments or recognitions. I prefer to shine the spotlight on others, but I've been recognized in a few ways this past year by RRBC and RWISA that have left me filled with gratitude, so I wanted to share them with you.

The One Chosen: A Diasodz Short Story was chosen as the Grand Prize Winner for the 2021 Nonnie Jules RWISA Supreme Book of the Year award. I am elated that so many of you voted for this story. I am honored that you love Valerie and Nolan's story and found it worthy of this recognition. Thank you to all who voted. Your support means the world to me. :-)

As part of the 2021 #RRBC RAVE Awards, I have received the following accolades:

This award brings me great happiness. I was chosen as the Most Supportive Member. This awards means so much to me because I love supporting other authors. I get great joy in sharing their books and their writing. But I'm not the only member who does this. In fact, that is what RRBC is all about - supporting and encouraging one another. So, the fact that the members voted me as most supportive truly means a lot to me.

I came in third place for Member of the Year. I find this a huge honor as there are so many members who participate and contribute to RRBC. Nonnie Jules has created an incredible organization, and it's a pleasure to participate in the myriad of events and contests she creates.

My book, HYPE, took third place for Book of the Year! This was a huge surprise for me because it hasn't been out very long. It's a story near and dear to my heart, and the response I've gotten from readers has been all positive. I'm thrilled that Cici's story is making an impact on the literary world (okay, it's not that well known yet, but I hope it will be one day). Her message is too important to keep quiet.

And finally, this blog won third place for the Best Blog Award. How cool is that! I share this award with all of you because your interaction with me encourages me to continue sharing my poetry, my books, and the poetry and books of other authors. So, thank you for being a part of my writing journey. 

If you'd like to see all the winners, you can watch the video here:

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Welcome to Day 6 of the #RRBC March "SPOTLIGHT" Author Blog Tour! #JoyMLilley @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org #FigsVinesRoses #RRBC #RRBCSA

Hello, beautiful readers! Today, I'd like to introduce you to a beautiful woman who is also a fellow #RRBC Author, Joy M Lilley. I'm honored to host her today as part of the RRBC March "SPOTLIGHT" Author Blog Tour.  After reading this post, please click on the link to follow her other stops. :-)

Chapter 9 Snippet:

    During the early years in Kent, he found his mind wandering from time to time back to Rose.  His thoughts troubled him, and he wanted to know how she was faring, and whether she was in good health. After about a year and a half following the move, he began returning to his factory. This was not out of the ordinary. As owner, it was expected that he would be checking in from time to time to ensure that all was running smoothly. Each time he visited the factory he made it his mission to seek out Rose. At first, he had difficulty finding her so he asked about her, disguising his interest by also enquiring about some of the other workers that he could recall.

         “She’s been poorly, sir,” said Jack, one of the foremen. “Not been in for a few weeks, now.”

         “Oh,” was his reply. “What is wrong with her?”

         “Don’t know, nobody seems to know. It’s a bit of a mystery. We did ‘ear that ‘er old man was badly ‘urt in a street fight, but don’t know what ‘appened to him. She’s not been about since that ‘appened, and I should think that she’s finding times ‘ard, sir,” the foreman continued.

        “Let me have her address. I must return something to her that was lent to me a while back,” Ralph lied.

         “Let me look it up in the register, and I’ll see if we’ve got it. Ahh, ‘ere it is. She lives at 24 Blossom Place in Stourbridge. If you do see ‘er, can you ask when she’s going to come back to work, as I shall ‘av to be replacin’ ’er if she don’t come soon.”

      “Yes, yes indeed. I will let you know what she says when I get back here,” Ralph replied, hurrying off to find Rose.

    His heart was beating so fast that he could not think clearly and had great difficulty finding the house. The walk was long and arduous. He was no longer a young man and felt the years catching up to him. This was the reason he did not want to waste any more time in his quest. When he finally came upon the address he had been given, he went straight to the front door and pulled the rope to ring the bell.

    Not usually a man to know fear of anything, he was afraid at this moment. Would she still be here? What had happened to her husband? Would she want to see him at all?

     When Rose answered the door, she could hardly believe her eyes. Although they had seen each other often in passing since he’d retired, they had no conversations apart from a few polite and standoffish greetings.

    It broke her heart when Ralph ended the affair, but she knew that no good would come of making any kind of fuss.

        “Well, fancy seeing you standing in me doorway. Where ‘av you been, and what ‘av you been doing?” she asked with a smile.



My pen name is Joy M. Lilley (aka Joy Gerken).  I am a writer and have been writing seriously since 2011 with seven books published to date. My previous career was as a trained nurse [R.G.N.] which I loved but it offered little time for me to write until my retirement.

I joined Rave Reviews Book Club (RRBC) almost 6 years ago and have been amazed by the friendship and support offered by all.

FIGS, VINES & ROSES was the first novel produced by me. I paid a considerable sum to have it edited at the time. This proved not to be adequate for a number of reasons.  Several folks in RRBC commented about the need for further editing, and when that number reached three people, I felt it necessary to do something about it.

It was recently re-edited by 4WillsPublishing.  Nonnie kindly offered to help me with the extra work at zero cost.  It’s been re-released on Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. If you took a stab at the first version, I would appreciate it if you would reach out to Amazon for the updated version and give it another go.  

I promote my work via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. I also pay for promotion. I am ever grateful for the amazing support given by the members of RRBC.

I enjoy audio recording short stories on my advanced home equipment, and I now offer voice-over work through Fiverr.


Twitter:  @JoyGerken 

FIGS, VINES & ROSES on Amazon:

Thank you for your support of this author.  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the RRBC "SPOTLIGHT" Author page on the RRBC site!

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

#TANKATUESDAY Weekly #POETRYCHALLENGE #CreateYourOwnPoeticForm #DropDrip @SyllabicPoetry @ColleenChesebro #poetrycommunity #poems #syllabicpoetry

Hello, beautiful readers! For Colleen's #TankaTuesday weekly poetry challenge this week, she has tasked us with creating our own syllabic poetry form. She specifically asked us to not use any version of a Japanese poem. Since I am just learning syllabic poetry, I'm hoping I abided by this rule. I checked here and here to make sure my form didn't already exist. 

I chose to create a poem that has one line of 1 syllable, two lines of 2 syllables, 3 lines of 3 syllables, 4 lines of 4 syllables, and ends with a 3/2/1 pattern. So, it looks something like this:


In my head, it looks like a large raindrop collecting on a ledge and falling once it's gathered enough weight. So, I'm calling this the Drop Drip. Lol! It is untitled. It should be paired with a picture but should be understood alone as well. And now, here is the first Drop Drip. :-)

(courtesy of @jplenio on Pixabay)



find your

dream catcher

rabbit’s foot

rainbow’s gold

four-leaf clover

falling star’s wish

anchor your soul

but set dreams free

pave your way



Are you interested in joining the fun? Click here.

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Birthday Book Sale! @smashwords #BookSale #FreeBooks #RRBC #readingcommunity #paranormal #yabooks #shortstories #novels

Hello, beautiful readers! This week, March 6 - 12, Smashwords is having their 13th Annual Read an Ebook Week Sale! Since my birthday is March 7th, I figured I'd add a few books to the sale as my birthday gift to you. :-)

There will be a ton of books on sale, but if you'd like to take advantage of my sale, head to my author page here. These are the books I'm discounting. Feel free to share this with your followers so they can enjoy the sale as well. Happy reading! :-)

HYPE is on sale for $1.49 (50% off)!

Breathless: A Short Story is FREE (100% off)!

The One Discovered (Chronicles of the Diasodz, Book 1) is always FREE, but it doesn't hurt to remind you. ;-)

Thursday, March 3, 2022

#TankaTuesday Weekly Poetry Challenge No. 263 @ColleenChesebro @SyllabicPoetry #TastetheRainbow-Color #Poetry #Green #Etheree

Hello, beautiful readers! This week, Colleen Chesebro asked us to create syllabic poems that focus on the color green. Yellow and green are my favorite colors, so I knew I would enjoy this week's challenge. As an extra bonus, she asked us to not only not use the word green but to pull upon the various meanings associated with green. So, I dug a little deeper and found a few tidbits to share with you.

There are so many shades of green. explains 15 different shades. The words that pulled at me were jade, myrtle, and provides many words for the color green as well as words associated with the term green, such as lush and envy.

I'm a big fan of color psychology, so that's where I started to brainstorm ideas for this poem. According to BournCreative, green is "the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy" and "is associated with meaning of growth, harmony, freshness, safety, fertility, and environment." Impact says the color green "evokes a feeling of abundance and is associated with refreshment and peace, rest and security."

I am a tree-hugger, through and through, so the words that my heart embraced took me back to last summer's road trip and walking through the forests. I chose to do an Etheree poem. These poems have a syllabic pattern of 10/9/8/7/6/5/4/3/2/1. 

(picture from @jplenio on Pixabay)


step away from life's hustle and bustle
let go of the need to do - just be
enter lush, magical forests
exhale your envy and angst
inhale earth's energy
be one with nature
embrace jade's gift

(picture from @JoshuaWoroniecki on Pixabay)

If you'd like to join in on the fun, check out Colleen's challenge here.

Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Jagged Feathers Blog Tour #NewRelease #Military #Romance #WhiteRuneSeries #RomanticSuspense #woundedsoldier #amputee #psychic @WILDROSEPRESS @JANSIKES3

Hello, beautiful readers! Welcome to the last stop on the Jagged Feathers Blog Tour. Today, I'm excited to share with you the newest book from an incredible storyteller, Jan Sikes! I have read many of her stories and have loved them all, so I have no doubt you will fall in love with her newest book, Jagged Feathers. This is book two in the White Rune Series. You can find the first book here. I'll let Jan take over from here as she shares with you a little bit about Jagged Feathers.

Thank you, Yvette, for inviting me to your blog site today to talk about my new book, JAGGED FEATHERS! I appreciate your generosity and support.

Besides having psychic abilities, Nakina Bird is also an empath. The dictionary says an empath is a person with the paranormal ability to apprehend the mental or emotional state of another individual. At the beginning of the book, Vann wants to take Nakina to the hospital because she is severely ill. But she objects vehemently without explanation. Later in the story, after being hit with a high-caliber bullet, she is hospitalized. Thankfully, she was wearing a bulletproof vest, or she would have died instantly. It is there she and Vann discuss why she avoids hospitals. I’ll let them tell you.


For many reasons, she (Nakina) hated hospitals. Not only did she deeply feel the agony, pain, and suffering of those inside, she vividly relived the horrific events that landed her there.

And she’d watched her parents not leave the hospital alive.

All those reasons were precisely why she’d objected so strongly to Vann’s insistence to take her to the hospital when he first found her in Cedar Springs.

Using every technique she knew, she tried to tune out the heaviness that surrounded her. Instead, she turned her focus to the positive.


Nakina closed her eyes. “Ever since I’ve been in here, I’ve felt all the pain, agony, and grief that these walls have witnessed. That was why I begged you not to take me to the hospital when you first found me.” She opened her eyes. “I can’t wait to leave.”

“I understand now. I didn’t then, but I do now.” Vann paused. “But you also have to admit that good things happen in hospitals, too. Like babies being born and diseases cured.”

She nodded. “Good point. I have to wonder why it is that I can only pick up on the bad things, not the good.”

“Who knows?” He stood and tucked the covers around her shoulders, then kissed a spot on her forehead that wasn’t bandaged. “Get some rest, sweetheart. No more talking for now.”


I found it interesting when Vann asked her why she could only feel the heaviness of those ill in the hospital but not the joys of those who get well or have babies. In studies conducted by psychologist John Cacioppo, participants were shown pictures of either positive, negative, or neutral images. The researchers then observed electrical activity in the brain. Negative images produced a much stronger response in the cerebral cortex than did positive or neutral images.

Some empaths will often go so far as to take on the physical pain of others. Have you ever experienced anything like this or know anyone who does? I’d love to talk about it and hear your theories. 



Vann Noble did his duty. He served his country and returned a shell of a man, wounded inside and out. With a missing limb and battling PTSD, he seeks healing in an isolated cabin outside a small Texas town with a stray dog that sees beyond his master's scars. If only the white rune's magic can bring a happily ever after to a man as broken as Vann.  

On the run from hired killers and struggling to make sense of her unexplained deadly mission, Nakina Bird seeks refuge in Vann's cabin. She has secrets. Secrets that can get them all killed.

A ticking clock and long odds of living or dying, create jarring risks.

Will these two not only survive, but find an unexpected love along the way? Or, will evil forces win and destroy them both?