Sunday, April 13, 2014

SPOTLIGHT Author - Janice G. Ross


RRBC JR
Janice G. Ross

Meet Janice G. Ross, Rave Reviews Book Club Social Media Director
and the author of Loving Nate.

Janice Ross was born in Guyana, South America and migrated to the USA in 1980. Although her citizenship certificate now reads the United States of America, she considers herself a citizen of the world. Sure she has not physically been around the world and back, but she’s travelled in her mind and dreams.

Janice is an author. She enjoys writing about social issues and personal experiences. Janice’s debut release was entitled Damaged Girls. She uses the three books in that series to detail the effects of different forms of abuse, discussing issues that are known to be taboo. Her next release, Jumping Ship, is a dedication to her country of birth and an introductory novella to the Island Hopping Series – due out in 2014. It’s poised to be a colorful and emotional experience of life, love and family. As of present, she is also a contributor to a short story collection – Just Between Us, Inspiring Stories by Women. And lastly, Loving Nate is a novella about the realities of losing one’s self to love.

Janice enjoys reading. And is drawn to stories with distinct characters that she can love or hate, characters she can form alliances with or characters that she can swear off and despise. She is also weak for a good cultural tale, preferably in the form of historical fiction. Janice loves to be taken off guard by clever language and settings.

Janice is also a devout supporter and promoter of other authors through social media. She hosts a weekly show, Cultural Cocktails, on the largest social radio network, Blog Talk Radio.


Book Description

Loving Nate is Leah's story of falling in love with Mr. Perfect. Leah falls fast and hard, losing all sense of reasoning. Love can do that to a gal, especially when the guy is as smooth as Nathan Moore. Loving Nate is about Leah's journey of falling in love, when she should have been standing in love. 

Author’s Note: 

I’ve decided to provide two very different endings to this novella. Have you ever made a decision and wondered whether or not it was the right choice? Or perhaps you made the right choice because you knew that the alternative would’ve been disastrous? This is my gift to readers. Regardless of Leah’s final choice, I wanted readers to be able to reflect on the possibilities.

Connect with Janice:
Website: www.culturalcocktails.com
Talk show: www.blogtalkradio.com/culturalcocktails

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Current Read
Angelia Vernon Menchan

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Monday, April 7, 2014

The Birthday Conundrum

The problem with birthdays is, they tend to make you older. The problem with not having birthdays is, well, I’m sure you can figure that out. Having birthdays, or not having them, one thing is for certain; no one is getting any younger. Profound, I know!

As you may have guessed, last week, I celebrated another anniversary of the day of my birth. (You really can only ever have one actual birthday).

My son called to wish me a happy birthday, and like many others, asked if I felt older – and that got me to thinking. I know, we’re all in trouble when I start the process of pondering these things! The answer to his question was no, I didn’t really feel older. I don’t really consider myself to be old. And that sometimes leads to problems.

How could that be a problem?

Well, I still think of myself as 20 years old, and still think I can do all the things I did then. And keep up the same life-style. There are still 24 hours in the day and I like to stay busy, oh, about 24 of them. My brain and body used to cooperate but lately, it’s a different story. Now, there is a war of sorts. My brain says, “Who needs sleep? Go for it.” But the rest of me has started objecting. So, while I may think I’m 20, at times my body feels like it’s pushing 80. That is definitely a problem.

So, I guess the full answer to the question is, I don’t feel older – it’s hard to feel older when you already feel 80!

But I don’t think I could change – even if I wanted to. For me, any amount of time spent sleeping, or some other passive activity, is time wasted – nothing gets done. I’m pretty sure no one on their deathbed ever said, “I wish I would have slept more.” No, it’s usually that they wish they had done more. And so, that’s what I’m doing – more. I’m told it’s unhealthy and may shorten my life, that I could run short of birthdays. That may be true. As I mentioned, that is one of the problems with birthdays - when they run out.

I guess if I have my choice I’ll go with just getting older. Somehow though, I don’t think it’s up to me. On one hand, I might see well over a hundred birthdays. Or, maybe I’ll be the first to say, “I should have slept more.”


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Current Read
Connor
by Dormaine G


SPOTLIGHT Author

Angelia Vernon Menchan
Soul Ties

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Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on Apple®, Amazon®, Barnes & Noble, Kobo®, Diesel Books®, and Smashwords®, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com



Monday, March 31, 2014

Spotlight Author Bette A. Stevens


REPOSTED FROM THE BLOG of Janice G. Ross
(Please join me in welcoming this week’s Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author Better A. Stevens.)
HEART-TO-HEART from author Bette A. Stevens
Find out why I wrote PURE TRASH & read an excerpt!
As a baby boomer that grew up in an average middle-class family in America during the 1950s and 1960s, poverty was not something I had to dwell on or even think about as a child or as a teen. For me, poverty was a hidden concept.
As an adult, I learned what living in poverty was like from friends and acquaintances that grew up in this invisible (to me) world―one where being poor was an accepted part of life for those who lived it. I became intrigued by some of their stories. They didn’t want to be there or ask to be there. It was just their lot. It was a tough way to grow up, but they made the most of what little they had. Some didn’t realize that they were poor, until someone from an upper class pointed out their obvious lacks. Some thought they were pretty well off, even a bit superior, when they met someone who had less. Some even took opportunity to lord their newly-discovered social superiority over those less fortunate. Regrettably, this ill-conceived notion of being superior to others continues to exist throughout the rungs of society’s class-based ladder.
As an elementary and middle-school teacher (since retired), I was an eye-witness to the direct effects of poverty’s aftermath on kids. What hit me the hardest was the way those who were among the haves would ignore, belittle or bully the have-nots. Don’t be disheartened, though. I’ve seen students, teachers, counselors, librarians, volunteers, administrators, parents, as well as church group and other community members who have made and are still making a difference in the lives of the poor and “different” among us.
As a reader, I can’t begin to count the lessons I’ve learned from reading historical fiction—life lessons. As a writer, I hope to advocate for children— to raise awareness of the plight of children living in poverty today. That’s why I wrote PURE TRASH. I believe that caring readers can make a difference, too.
I started with a short story that could be used in the middle-school and high school classroom, so that young people today could take a peek into poverty in the past. This short story is a prequel and appears in the novel I’m working on right now.
SUMMARY: Experience the joy of a carefree Saturday and the blistering pain of feeling not quite good enough as you hop on a bike and ride into town with two delightful young boys who find adventure at every turn. Shawn and Willie Daniels live in the woods with no indoor water or plumbing. Dad spends most of his hard earned money on beer. Prejudice, class division, alcoholism, poverty, injustice, and bullying are cleverly woven into this 1950s adventure short. PURE TRASH is a prequel to the author’s upcoming debut novel.
PURE TRASH
Short story EXCERPT:
By Bette A. Stevens
BIKE
Saturday morning. I could see a patch of sunshiny, bright blue sky peeking out through the torn curtain as I yawned good morning to my little brother. Willie was six. I was nine. No school, I thought, as I smiled and plotted our course for the day. Sometimes I wished Saturdays would last forever.
“Good morning sleepyhead,” Mum said. She smiled at me as I stretched my way into the kitchen. “Get yourself dressed, Shawn. Run out and split some firewood and bring it on in. I’ll fix you some hotcakes.”
I slipped on my overalls, grabbed the ax from behind Mum’s rocking chair and headed straight for the outhouse. Sometimes I wished we had an indoor bathroom and hot and cold running water like most folks did. I had to go bad. Didn’t know if I’d make it. Whoopee, I managed to hit that darned two-holer just in time. I always liked to use the hole where Dad sat. It was warm from the morning sun shining through the crack in the door. I whistled as I thought about what a great day this was going to be. Willie and me were going to ride our bikes into town, and I was sure we’d find some empty bottles, maybe enough to buy some soda pop. Willie loved his Coca-Cola. The birds chattered back and forth in the maple branches that hung down over the old two-holer as I sat and thought. Sun streaked across my lap. It was going to be a great day.
I split the wood just the way Mum liked it done. Stacked it in the kitchen near the cook stove, grabbed the pails and headed out to the well to haul in water for the day. Mum had laundry to do and baths to get ready for us tonight. Yes, it was going to be a great day all right.
Chores were all done and Mum’s hotcakes were waiting for me by the time I finished up outside and sat down at the table. Willie finished his breakfast in a flash and ran off to watch TV with Dad.
“Gee, Mum, can we go now?” I asked, as I gulped down the last forkful of hotcakes smothered with maple syrup that Mum boiled down from this winter’s sap.
“Now, Shawn, you be careful. Willie hasn’t gone out on the roads much, so you let him ride ahead of you. Keep a good eye on him. You hear?”
“Sure, Mum,” I said as I headed for the living room to get Willie.
Dad sat in the big brown chair, feet propped up on the worn hassock. Beer bottle in hand, all he heard or saw was his TV. It was Saturday, and Dad loved his baseball. Though I knew he’d find time to take us boys to do some fishin’ later—after he got good and drunk he’d be able to hold his mouth just right. Dad always said that you had to ‘hold your mouth just right’ or the fish wouldn’t bite. He’d have enough beer in him by the time we got back so he’d be ready to catch his limit. The games should be over by then. We’d run down to the brook, walk out into the cool swirling water and catch some trout or brookies for supper. Yes, it would be a great day all right.
“Come on, Willie,” I said. “Let’s go!”
Willie nearly knocked me down as the two of us raced for the door. Mum reminded us to be careful. “Yes ’um,” I hollered back. We jumped on our bikes and pedaled hard up the driveway.
Mum said it was three miles to town. I kept my eyes on Willie as we pumped up the first hill. We coasted down the other side with the cool wind brushing our faces, ready to head up the next hill.
“Pull over, Willie,” I hollered when we got to the top of Andover.
Andover was the biggest hill we’d have to climb. We both stood up on our pedals as we started the climb. The turnout in the pines at the top of the hill was the perfect spot to find empty cans and bottles on either side of the ridge. I never did understand why anyone would just throw those bottles out like trash. But I was sure glad they did. Stark’s General Store paid cash, two cents each, and we thought we were rich every time the clerk handed us our reward in real money.
Pedaling up the half-mile hill was a lot of work, but it was worth it, and not for just the empties. Flying down the other side gave me the best feeling in the whole wide world. I guess that’s how that old chicken hawk feels when he soars above the pines at the edge of the field out back of the house.
Once we reached the peak, we plopped our bikes on the ground and threw ourselves onto the soft, damp bed of leaves at the edge of the woods. It was so peaceful. My mind wandered into the sky and I dreamed about the ride down the other side and the 10 cent Orange Crush I’d buy at Stark’s General Store.
“Hey, Willie,” I finally asked, “did ya bring the slingshot?”
“Sure did, Shawn. Whatcha wanna shoot today?”
Willie’s brown eyes looked as big as Mum’s pan fried donuts and his smile pretty nearly filled his round face as he jumped right up from his leafy bed and hovered over me like a bear.
I helped Willie make that slingshot out of rubber bands I’d sliced from one of the old inner tubes piled out by Dad’s rusty Ford Roadster. That Ford had headlights on top of the fenders and the “old jalopy,” as Mum called it, was just rottin’ away out back of the two-holer. We broke a crotched limb out of the choke cherry bush to use for the handle. I tied the rubber band and the handle together with string from one of the flowered chicken feed sacks that Mum used to make her house dresses. That string was real strong and I was good at tying knots. Willie was proud as a peacock when it came to showing off that slingshot.
“How about we find some old tin cans and pile them up like a tower?” I asked Willie. “Better yet, let’s both make towers and see whose gets knocked down first.”
“Yes, siree!” Willie hooted as he made a mad dash to grab as many of the rusty cans as his chubby arms could hug together at one time.
We played on that hill, building at least a hundred towers. All shapes and sizes, some looking like castles. Every now and then we’d take a shot at a passing squirrel or chipper. It was a great day, all right. We found more empties than ever. This was the first sunny day in a long time.
The sun was high over the trees across the road before we piled the last of our empty bottles into the huge chicken-wire basket I’d made for my bike last fall. Willie’s bike had a regular basket, but it didn’t hold much. We ran back to grab a few more and stuffed as many as we could into our overall pockets. I shoved the last two down the front of my shirt and tucked it in good and tight.
We were off! What a feeling. Flying into the wind, I could see Willie’s hair whirling in a hundred different directions while my own whipped around my ears and face. Mum would sure take the scissors to the two of us tonight. Then we’d hop into the big metal washtub filled with steaming water from her cook stove. That bath would feel good, too.
Brakes, bike tires and a cloud of dust announced our arrival in the gravelly sand covering Stark’s parking lot. I was feeling like David right after he conquered the giant Goliath. That’s when I looked up and spotted Mr. Wentworth pointing over at Willie and me from his brand-spankin’ new 1955 Ford pickup. That red truck shined just like the candied apples Mum made for us kids in the fall. I could hear his deep-throated laugh as he stared at us boys from across the lot.
“There’s Eddy Daniels’s boys, regular chips off the old block,” I heard him telling Tom Matthews, the town barber.
*****
PT Cover slant
You can find out more about Bette’s perspective on poverty and prejudice in her guest post on author MCV Egan’s bloghttp://ishistorytheagreeduponlie.blogspot.com/2013/10/poverty-prejudice-yesterday-today.html

Monday, March 24, 2014

Window Of Opportunity

Telemarketers can be annoying – to say the least. They call at the most inopportune times. All right, I’ll admit it; any time they call would be an inopportune time for me!

Thanks to the Do Not Call list, these days, I don’t get a lot of these calls. But before that welcomed list came about, telemarketing calls at my house were frequent – sometimes two or three a day. I’m not sure why they thought I’d be such an easy mark; I have never and will never buy anything from a telemarketer.

As I said before, telemarketers are annoying and simply hanging up on them wasn’t nearly satisfying enough. So, I usually tried to find ways to have fun. There are many ways to do this. Since a telemarketer is also a salesman, who drive me insane, they generally won’t shut up long enough to realize no one is listening. I’d lay the phone down and go do something else – just to see how long they would ramble on. I think the longest one went somewhere around twenty minutes! Or, I would engage them in conversation as if I were interested, let them tell me everything about their product – and then hang up. I had a few other methods of dealing with them too and what I tried to do was get them to hang up instead of me. That’s easier said than done.

One day, shortly after my wife and I bought our first house, a call came in from someone selling windows. I told the guy he’d called just a few days too late and that I’d just recently purchased fourteen windows. (I didn’t tell him they came with the house). I thought that would get rid of the guy but no such luck. He wanted to know what company I’d purchased my windows from and if I was happy with them because, he said, his company’s windows were far superior to any other. He added that I would still save money on heating and cooling if I were to purchase fourteen more new windows from him!

“So, you want me to just throw away the other windows I bought?” I asked.

Oddly enough, that’s exactly what he suggested! I hung up.

A few months ago, even though my number is on the Do Not Call list, I got a call from... yep, someone wanting to sell me windows for my house. I thought I’d try the same routine. This guy had a new solution for me. “We will buy your old windows if you purchase new ones from our company and have us install them.”

Really? I perked up!

The guy had already quoted me a price for my new windows so, I told him I’d be willing to make such a deal – and gave him the price I would be charging for my windows. Of course, my price was higher than his – by a lot. Hey, I’m entitled to make a profit aren’t I?

The guy on the phone said that wasn’t the way it worked, that the seller doesn’t get to set the price. Since when? I’m pretty sure that’s the way the free market system works. And hadn’t he, the seller, set the price for the windows he wanted me to buy? I said as much, to which he again replied that wasn’t the way it worked.

“So, you’re telling me you get to set both prices? Hardly seems fair.”

This time, I won. The guy hung up. But not before mumbling something about me being impossible to reason with. Hmm. Maybe I’ve found a new calling. My window of opportunity. I could become a telemarketer!


Current Read
Connor
by Dormaine G


SPOTLIGHT Author
Bette A. Stevens
Pure Trash

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on Apple®, Amazon®, Barnes & Noble, Kobo®, Diesel Books®, and Smashwords®, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com




Monday, March 17, 2014

My Healthy Diet

I didn’t eat much candy as a kid. Not that my parents didn’t allow it or anything, I just didn’t really like candy that much. I’d rather have real food – a steak, for example.

However, my wife is different. She could live on candy, and frequently does. And, after being married to her for more than half of my life, I seem to have developed a bit of a sweet tooth. Maybe it’s just that since she has candy around the house, I eat it. It is faster and more convenient than fixing a meal!

Still, I’d rather have a steak. That’s more healthy, right? Maybe not, as it has been a problem in the past.

One day, a lot of years ago, I woke up with a nagging pain in my lower right leg. Throughout the day it got worse, so much that it made it difficult to walk. My ankle was swollen, very inflamed, and extremely SORE! A severe case of gout, according to the doctor. For those who might not know, gout is a form of arthritis and it occurs when high levels of uric acid in the blood form crystals and then accumulate around a joint, usually in the feet or ankles. Certain foods, high in purines, contribute to the problem. In my case, the gout was most likely the result of eating too much red meat. Too much red meat? I wasn’t aware that was possible!

The cure was simple, I was told. The best way to stop gout was simply to limit my intake of red meat; otherwise, it would continue to flare up from time to time. Well, it took me about two seconds to realize that apparently, I was going to have periodical problems with gout for the rest of my life. Yes, I’ll admit I’m a little stubborn. Did I mention I like steak?

The good news is, that was my one and only experience with gout. Oddly, it never returned, and yes, I continued to eat red meat – and probably a lot of other foods that are known to cause gout. (I never really bothered to find out what they were). I’m not the health conscious type; I just prefer to eat what I like.


Well, all this writing about food has now made me hungry. But, that will be remedied shortly, as in a few minutes; I’m meeting my wife for lunch. I don’t know what she is having – probably candy. Me, I think I’ll have a steak.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Rave Reviews Book Club

Featured Selection
African Me & Satellite TV
by Jo Robinson


Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on Apple®, Amazon®, Barnes & Noble, Kobo®, Diesel Books®, and Smashwords®, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Establishing A Writer's Platform - Just My Two Cents by Nonnie Jules

This week, I am happy to host a guest blogger, a friend of mine, Nonnie Jules. Nonnie is an author, and a pretty good one too! You’ll want to check out her books listed below. But first, take a few minutes to read this post. You’ll see she is a very energetic and passionate writer! And now, here’s Nonnie...


Today is the first day of my two week-long  “JUST MY TWO CENTS” Blog Tour and I’m kicking it off with one of my FAVORITE people, Bruce A. Borders.  Next month will mark the anniversary of my burst onto the social media scene and during that time, I have published three REALLY GOOD books and have learned so very much about the industry.  Although I’ve been a writer for most of my life (actually, I was born one), I only just became a published author in 2013.  Some might say “In that short amount of time, what does she know?” Well, I’m here to tell you that “SHE” has learned a lot!  “SHE” has taken the time to hone her skills in the writing department as well as her knowledge.  “SHE” has taken the bull by the horn and run full speed ahead in building her author platform and establishing herself in the writing industry.  “SHE” is making her name KNOWN.
On each stop of my tour, I will give you my TWO-CENTS on a particular topic from the writing industry.  I hope that what I am imparting, you will take, mull over, and then act on in the best interest of YOU.
With that being said, here is JUST MY TWO CENTS ON…
ESTABLISHING A WRITER’S PLATFORM

We, as  writers, write/blog about many different things.  We blog about our family and friends, exercise, politics and even the food we eat.  But, unless you’re a family therapist, a fitness guru, a politician or a foodie, none of these are your platforms UNLESS they are all you speak about, the majority of the time.
Many writers pop onto the scene and want the world to know them as being “good in everything” and although there is a strong possibility that they are, readers don’t care to know this.  Readers want to think that they are reading material from EXPERTS, and in the minds of most, we can’t be EXPERTS at everything.  So then, you need to establish a writing platform.
I actually have two main platforms and they are CHILDREN & SUPPORT (although I must admit that I’m pretty good at writing about a multitude of things).  If you were to mention my name to any number of people and ask:  “What is her platform?” They would, nine times out of ten, give you the two that I’ve just mentioned, and in the exact order that I mentioned them.  WHY?  Because these two areas are what I write about, talk about and live the most. 
So, my two-cents to you today, is to begin establishing your writer’s platform.  What is it that you’re most passionate about?  What is the one thing you’re actually KNOWN for?  That could very easily serve as the medium you need to establish your credibility with your new-found platform.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

NONNIE Jules grew up loving books and everything about them. She has traveled the world, jumped out of planes and climbed many mountains, all thanks to the wonderful world of literature. She lives with her husband and two daughters on a very quiet strip of land in Louisiana, where red dirt roads and pick-up trucks go hand in hand. She is the Author of three great reads at present:  "THE GOOD MOMMIES' GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS," 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can't Help But Love!; "Daydream's Daughter, Nightmare's Friend" (a novel);  and "SUGARCOATIN' IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN' IS FOR KIDS!" Nonnie is also Founder and President of the widely-known Rave Reviews Book Club, as well as being a sought-after book reviewer with a strong "eye" for perfection. 

She continues to write from many different genres and hopes to teach and touch minds and hearts alike with her very unique style of writing.  She loves positive feedback on her writing and personally responds to each and every email.  Nonnie can be reached at nonniewrites@yahoo.com, on Twitter @nonniejules, and do follow her blogs WATCH NONNIE WRITE! {nonniewrites.wordpress.com}  and ASK THE GOOD MOMMY {askthegoodmommy.wordpress.com}. 

Nonnie's feet are firmly planted in her two most important platforms: Parenting & Support, where she continually invites the masses to join her.
















BUY LINKS:
"THE GOOD MOMMIES' GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS," 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can't Help But Love! - www.amazon.com/dp/B00CP62056;    www.createspace.com/4355124  





BUY LINKS:
"Daydream's Daughter, Nightmare's Friend" - www.amazon.com/dp/B00GLM2VVM;   www.createspace.com/4386308






BUY LINK:
"SUGARCOATIN' IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN' IS FOR KIDS!" - www.amazon.com/dp/B00IRIA0I4


Monday, March 3, 2014

I Actually Paid To Live There

To quote an old song, “I don’t like spiders and snakes.” So, it’s really odd that I moved in with them - yet, that’s what I did.

The trailer I rented, out in the country, had sat empty for months. And by empty, I mean no humans occupied it. During that time, word had apparently spread through the varmint and critter communities that a “grand hotel” was seeking tenants. And they had come in droves – if spiders and snakes travel in droves. It didn’t take long to discover why the snakes had come; the prospect of a smorgasbord in the form of an endless supply of fresh, plump mice must have been very enticing.

The first thing I did was empty three cans of raid on the place. Then, I set out poison for the rats and mice. Once their food supply had dried up (somewhat), the snakes moved on to greener pastures – but not before I’d killed a bunch of them! I really don’t like snakes.

In case you’re thinking that made all things better in the trailer, let me assure you, it didn’t. First, the place was filthy, so much so, that cleaning did little to help. And it was tiny. At 8 x 24 feet, it was even smaller than My First Apartment, which I wrote about last week.

Although, one positive feature that stood out was the keyless entry. It wasn’t designed that way but the landlord had lost the key and was of no mind to replace it. “Just don’t lock the door,” was his advice. I’m not sure why I thought anyone would think anything inside the run-down tin box was worth stealing, but I felt it was important to lock my door. And did so. However, I didn’t waste a lot of time trying to pick the lock – a well-placed kick next to the latch popped the door open astonishingly well. I was 19 and didn’t really worry about causing any damage – but then; I’m not sure how anyone would have been able to tell.

The carpet had once been a deep shag with a nice design – but by the time I moved in it had become more of a dingy-colored mat. Then, there were the windows. Not a single one of them closed and most were broken. But even with the coming winter, which in Wisconsin means cold, as in sub-zero temperatures, I didn’t see the condition of the windows as much of a problem – not with the numerous holes of various sizes in the walls and floor. When the wind blew, the snow came right in. The propane furnace didn’t have a chance. It ran constantly and in three days the tank, a big tank, which I’d just filled, was empty.

Some days, my brain actually functions in an efficient manner, and this being one of those days, I quickly determined that at nearly $100 a tank, heat was something I could not afford. I’d already turned the thermostat down to 50 degrees and still the furnace would not shut off. I considered just not filling the tank but I needed gas for the stove. So, I came up with an “ingenious” solution. This solution involved a candle placed beneath the thermostat with a sizeable piece of tinfoil stuffed around it to hold the heat. That did the trick; the furnace did not kick on.

Of course, that presented a new problem of the water freezing up. But that was easily remedied by pulling the fuse to the water heater and shutting off the water. Conveniently, someone had run a pipe, with a heat tape wrapped around it and a separate shutoff, from the well into the tub. Unfortunately, the tub didn’t drain – even in the summer. To avoid going outside and turning the water on and off, I’d fill a big pan of water for washing up, cooking, and cleaning. The drawback was that if I didn’t use it right way, it froze. Every morning, I’d put the pan on the stove and convert my ice back to water – then I could make coffee. When I got home after work, I’d heat it again if I needed water for anything else. Yeah, it was a bit chilly in the place.

But I wasn’t entirely without heat. My waterbed, set up on the floor I’d reinforced, did an amazing job of keeping the frigid chill out of the air – as long as I stayed in bed with my head covered up. Seriously though, it did warm the ambient temperature in the trailer some. Not enough to melt the ice in the pan – but some. I did survive the winter – obviously, only to have the “icebox” magically transform into an “oven” a few months later.

Why did I put up with all of this? Well, I’m not sure. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that rent was only $100. Or, maybe it was simply because I was 19 and in a weird sort of way it was entertaining. I don’t know.

A few years ago, I took my kids to see the place and the trailer was gone. I felt a little like Squanto returning home from England as I stared at the empty field full of nothing but tall grass.

One last thing: this post really should have been titled, “What A Remarkable Woman My Wife Is,” because this trailer is where I lived when we got married. She moved in – and never once complained! Although, until now, I’m not sure she knew about the snakes!


Rave Reviews Book Club

Featured Selection
African Me & Satellite TV
by Jo Robinson

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on Apple®, Amazon®, Barnes & Noble, Kobo®, Diesel Books®, and Smashwords®, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com


Monday, February 24, 2014

My First Apartment

It wasn’t much, but it was home. My first home, after moving out of my parents’ house; an upstairs apartment that I rented for $130 per month. A studio apartment.

As studio apartments go, it wasn’t bad. The place was clean, sort of, with fresh paint and appliances that worked – almost all the time! Out of the seven light bulbs, two of them weren’t burnt out, a problem I solved by quickly purchasing more light bulbs. But I couldn’t do anything about the unique smell, an odor that lingered even after I scrubbed everything with bleach.

Although it was small, (200 sq. ft) it did have four rooms – a kitchen, living room, bedroom, and bathroom. Okay, the bedroom was actually a closet that my bed fit into perfectly, and a bathroom isn’t usually counted as a separate room, I know. But a four-room apartment sounded far more impressive than a two-bedroom one. The one window allowed me to see the outside world – in the form of a picturesque view of a grand old brick building just five feet away. Between the two buildings was a walkway that led to the back stairs.

Of course, there were neighbors, and in a college town that meant students and, you guessed it, parties – not a good fit for a guy who had to get up at 4 a.m. to go to work!

There were five apartments in all – above a row of storefronts on a side street. Access to the apartments was a big wooden door with a thick pane of glass, situated between two of the stores. The door was locked after 10 p.m., and to open it, a four-digit code had to be entered on a number pad. Or, as I soon discovered, a good hard pull worked just as well. Since that was faster, it was my preferred method of entry. Not exactly secure. But then, there would have been no point. The door for the alley entrance was propped open twenty-four hours a day. All anyone had to do was go through the doorway, side step the water heaters, and climb the narrow staircase.

At least the door to the apartment itself had a lock – with a key. And, yes, it worked. Of course, if I ever forgot my key, all I needed to do was walk around to the window – it didn’t lock.

The place sounds rather horrible but, at the time, I didn’t consider any of its “problems” an issue. Back then; it didn’t even seem that small.

I only lived in that apartment for a few months before moving to Wisconsin – wedding bells were calling my name. Yes, I took my light bulbs with me, eventually installing them in my new home – a trailer. And let me just say, it’s a good thing I hadn’t had a problem with the condition of my former residence because this trailer made the apartment look like a mansion! Perhaps I’ll tell you about that next week.

Rave Reviews Book Club
Current Read
African Me & Satellite TV
by Jo Robinson




Bruce A. Borders


Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books, including: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and The Wynn Garrett Series. Available in ebook and paperback on Apple®, Amazon®, Barnes & Noble, Kobo®, Diesel Books®, and Smashwords®, or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. Bruce A. Borders also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com

Sunday, February 16, 2014

In The Spotlight

You may have noticed over the last couple of months, my blog has included a small blurb from the Rave Reviews Book Club - the current Featured Selection and the weekly Spotlight Author. This week, I am honored to have been named the Spotlight Author! As a part of that, several bloggers have hosted me on their blog - a great opportunity to expand the reach of my books. Below is the short blog I wrote for those who hosted me. I thought I’d re-post and share it here.

My name is Bruce A. Borders, author of criminal fiction books. I guess you could call me a professional dreamer - or a schemer. Either one fits.

As a young boy, books always fascinated me. The stories they told were so captivating, so spellbinding. The further I got into a book, the more absorbed I became - and the more questions I had. I wanted to know the what, where, who, and when, of the entire story. But the question that most intrigued me was the “how.” I found it utterly fascinating how everything connected, how seemingly impossible situations were resolved, and especially how things always worked out. With the right explanation, even the strangest puzzle can make sense.

Eventually, I progressed to devising my own conundrums - and then solving them. Things like how to rob a bank, how to gain access to a high-security building or escape from one, or how to get away with murder. This was all hypothetical of course. I never actually wanted to do any of these things. The thrill was in figuring out how they could be done.

Obviously, none of the adults in my life were impressed by my newfound interest. Everyone seemed to agree this “daydreaming” would serve no useful purpose in life. One teacher even told me my pastime was dangerous and unhealthy; that anyone with this sort of mentality would probably end up being a criminal and doing time in prison.

For some people, his prediction could have been right; I can see how it could happen. And, I suppose I could have used his words of warning as an excuse to follow a crooked road to a life of crime. But, I didn’t. Instead, I became a writer.

Rave Reviews Book Club

Featured Selection
Daydream's Daughter, Nightmare's Friend
by Nonnie Jules

 Daydream's Daughter, Nightmare's Friend

 Rave Reviews Book Club


Bruce A. Borders
 Over My Dead Body

Bruce A. Borders is the author of more than a dozen books. Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, The Journey, Miscarriage Of Justice, and other titles, are available as ebooks on Apple I-Pad®, Amazon Kindle®, Barnes & Noble Nook® and Sony Reader®, Kobo, Diesel Books, and Smashwords. His books are also available in paperback at most online retailers or at www.bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com. The popular Wynn Garrett Series Books are now available on Barnes And Noble® at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/?series_id=867526 Bruce also serves as the Vice President of Rave Reviews Book Club http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Rave Reviews Book Club SPOTLIGHT Author



Please join me in welcoming Rave Reviews Book Club,
Author SPOTLIGHT Margo Bond Collins.

The Joy of Online Book Clubs
by Margo Bond Collins
In addition to writing novels, I teach online courses in college English—primarily writing classes. This means that almost all of my work is done from home. I tend to be more introverted than extraverted, so generally, I’m happy with my current job situation.
But I used to teach traditional college classes, and I miss discussing books. I miss discussing the characters and their motivations, the way a plot moves, the wording an author chooses. I miss interacting with other people about the novels that I love to read.
And this is why I love belonging to online book clubs like Rave Reviews: it allows me to talk books with other people who love to read! And in this case, I love discussing books with other indie authors; it gives me the opportunity to discuss how they deal not only with reading, but with writing and with marketing, too. I belong to a lot of book clubs online, but Rave Reviews is quickly becoming my favorite.
Read on for a sneak peek into my new release, Fairy, Texas, and my first novel, Waking Up Dead, both published by Solstice Shadows Publishing—then swing by Rave Reviews and join us for a great discussion!
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 Fairy, Texas

Fairy, Texas Blurb:
Fairy, Texas. A small town like any other.
Laney Harris didn’t want to live there. When her mother remarried and moved them to a town where a date meant hanging out at the Sonic, Laney figured that “boring” would have a whole new meaning. A new stepsister who despised her and a high school where she was the only topic of gossip were bad enough. But when she met the school counselor (and his terminal bad breath), she grew suspicious. Especially since he had wings that only she could see. And then there were Josh and Mason, two gorgeous glimmering-eyed classmates whose interest in her might not be for the reasons she hoped. Not to mention that dead guy she nearly tripped over in gym class.
She was right. Boring took on an entirely new dimension in Fairy, Texas.
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Excerpt
Fairy High could have fit into one wing of my old school. The three-story, red brick building looked like it had been around for at least a century—it actually had carvings over two of the doorways that read “Men’s Entrance” and “Women’s Entrance.” I was glad to see that none of the kids paid any attention to those instructions.
“Counselor’s office,” I muttered to myself. At least I wasn’t starting in the middle of a term—though given the fact that there were fewer than 500 students in the entire high school, I didn’t think I was going to be able to go unnoticed, even in the general bustle of the first day back from summer vacation.
I walked through the door marked “Men’s Entrance,” just be contrary, and faced a long hallway lined with heavy wooden doors. The spaces in between the doors were filled with lockers and marble staircases with ornate hand-rails flanked each end of the long hallway. Students poured in behind me, calling out greetings to each other and jostling me off to the side while I tried to get my bearings. None of the doors obviously led to a main office; I was going to have to walk the entire length of the hallway. And people were already starting to stare and whisper.
God. I hated being the new kid.
I took a deep breath and stepped forward. I made it halfway down the hall without seeing anything informative—all the doors had numbers over them and many of them had name plaques, but neither of those things did me any good since I didn’t know the name or office number for the counselor. I was almost getting desperate enough to ask Kayla, but of course she was nowhere to be seen.
I turned back from scanning the halls for her and caught sight of the first adult I’d seen—and almost screamed. As it was, I gasped loudly enough for a guy walking past me to do a double take. The man standing in the open doorway was tall, over six feet, and way skinny—so emaciated that it looked like you ought to be able to see his ribs through his shirt, if his shirt didn’t hang so loosely on him. He had white hair that stuck out in tufts, thin lips, a sharp nose, and pale blue eyes that narrowed as he watched the kids walk past—and all the kids gave him a wide berth without even seeming to notice that they did so. He stood in an empty circle while students streamed around him in the crowded hallway.
But none of that was what made me almost scream.
For a moment, just as I’d turned toward him, I could have sworn that I’d seen the shadow of two huge, black, leathery wings stretched out behind him.
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 Waking Up Dead


Waking Up Dead Blurb:
When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, when she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex, she went to Alabama. Now she’s witnessed another murder, and she’s not about to let this one go. She’s determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up dead in Alabama?
_____________________________________________
Excerpt
When I died, I expected to go to heaven.
Okay. Maybe hell. It’s not like I was perfect or anything. But I was sort of hoping for heaven.
Instead, I went to Alabama.
Yeah. I know. It’s weird.
I died in Dallas, my hometown. I was killed, actually. Murdered. I’ll spare you the gruesome details. I don’t like to remember them myself. Some jerk with a knife–and probably a Bad-Mommy complex. Believe me, if I knew where he was, I’d go haunt his ass.
At any rate, by the time death came, I was ready for it–ready to stop hurting, ready to let go. I didn’t even fight it.
And then I woke up dead in Alabama. Talk about pissed off.
You know, even reincarnation would have been fine with me–I could have started over, clean slate and all that. Human, cow, bug. Whatever. But no. I ended up haunting someplace I’d never even been.
That’s not the way it’s supposed to work, right? Ghosts are supposed to be the tortured spirits of those who cannot let go of their earthly existence. If they could be convinced to follow the light, they’d leave behind said earthly existence and quit scaring the bejesus out of the poor folks who run across them. That’s what all those “ghost hunter” shows on television tell us.
Let me tell you something. The living don’t know jack about the dead.
Not this dead chick, anyway.
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Buy Waking Up Dead:
Paperback from these booksellers:
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 About the Author
 Margo Bond Collins is the author of a number of novels, including Waking Up Dead, Fairy, Texas, and Legally Undead (forthcoming in 2014). She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.
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Connect with Margo
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy
Be sure to add Fairy, Texas to your Goodreads bookshelves:https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19502285-fairy-texas

Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18428064-waking-up-dead

Previous SPOTLIGHT Authors:
SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR #2:  Katie Hayoz
SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR #1: Jennie Sherwin
And...
The Rave Reviews Book Club Current Selection:
Daydream's Daughter, Nightmare's Friend
by Nonnie Jules
 Daydream's Daughter, Nightmare's Friend