Rave Review Book Club and U…me



A few months ago, The Rave Review Book Club was recommended to me by one of my followers on twitter ( Author Promotions) so I checked it out. What I found was a group of authors that had come together to support each other and get the word out about their books. So I joined and found it is a good support group. As part of the joining, you agree to read and support other members books. Right now, they are having a recruitment drive so all you authors out there, check it out at this linkhttp://bit.ly/1ehcJqu. 

 http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/blog-recruitment-day/  You will find the support your writing needs to become more successful. I have found that including this on my tweets #RaveReviewBookClub gains me more re-tweets after joining the club. Drop by and check it out, you will find the same level of support I enjoy. They have author spotlights, #PUSHTUESDAY where they tweet an author to get extra attention to their authors. Give it a go, I think you will find it enjoyable.

For those readers out there that have not written a book, there is always room for you as well. The only requirement is that you review the book after you read it regardless of where you purchased the book. Everyone has to review four books a year as part of the membership requirements. 

Talk back, I’m Listening like always to you!

Guest post-Kate Houghtaling-halflight

This is the writing I have spoken about, clearly demonstrating the confusion, panic and frustration of a young person growing into an adult. She has a way with words.   

Content for “The Way Things Start”

These moments—these ups and downs, pitfalls and leaps of faith— they’re what stories are made of. These are the memories that will last a lifetime, changing, growing, molding, fading, until finally they are whispers upon the wind, dead laughs and cries mingling with the dust. It was like something out of a book rife with life and love and adventure, the sort of thing you could be proud of.
But I was only filled with terror when I first came to my senses. I was only aware of the thrumming of my heart and the pain in my chest that was growing with every still second. I felt ashamed and horrified and proud and confused, all in one barrel of emotion. The wave of it was overwhelming, and trying to escape it seemed impossible.
When enough sense could dictate my muscles to flee, I managed as much with far less grace than I hoped for. Tumbling, tripping, and falling, I created a small comfort-space where the breathing seemed a half-choke easier. Truly, I had no rational reason to be so upset, but something in a location half between my head and my heart said it was the right thing to do.
After a stretch of time that could’ve been hours or miles long, things around me began to move like nothing had ever been amiss. I was stuck in an ice age mindset, observing the flow and purpose of bodies around me. These terror-filled parts are fleeting, but the residue spoke clearly: I wanted out.
From there, I played a wholly unfamiliar game. Everything seemed to have a role: my thoughts, my face, my hands, my eyes, my smiles, my words, and every other bit of everyone else. There were some good times, and a fair share of bad times, but it was time and I couldn’t complain. Sometimes it hurt, the way plans and things fall apart, but hope was always this burrowing monster chewing at my weaknesses. I could always hope it would go right.
But somethings I don’t understand myself. Some actions I don’t know how to justify, some choices seem impossible to have been chosen any other way. And yet the pain still is there, hidden between the lines and the sounds and the gentle movements that can be so hard to read. There’s no running away from something an inch from your face.
And yet when the warmth fades and the night comes harsh and fast, it’s not easy to give up what you once had. Even if it hurt. Even if it didn’t make sense. The acridity of a vice doesn’t make it any less gripping and consuming.
So with tired eyes and thumping hearts, we set upon a journey to either wreck something too fragile to survive on its own, or to nurture it into something real and living and powerful.
But that’s all up to us, and that’s the part that scares me the most.
With the passage of time, I find that forgetting is the easiest part of life. It’s so simple to let go and ease into a false sense of newness and clarity. Reality will dictate time after time that we are never truly free from our pasts and the memories that haunted us never really do stop. Remembering is a natural function of our brains and though it can hurt and it can wound, remembering can be a healing process to remind us that we are who we are because of who we had once been.
In these stages of trying to tack things down and being stuck in the middle of two very distinct decisions, it’s easy to see the pleasure in ignorance and forgetfulness. Casting issues aside is a great way to avoid change, but when you’re facing the same old road and something foggy and shrouded in mystery, sometimes the excitement of adventure can block out the fear instilled in you as a child.
But what is worse: staying on the familiar, slightly more worn path of normalcy, or creating something as you go—forging new ways in light of new evidence? I wish that this decision could always be made by someone else. A hand in the dark moving me one way or another; the denial of an application that forces a different outlook; even the harsh, blatant rejection from the other party.
Simply said, this does not occur in the natural, likely world. Maybe it can be a part of the way you make decisions, but in the end freewill is just that: things you do and decide yourself. Pain is not always avoidable, and change is one of the most frightening, heart-constricting pains we know, but sometimes you can find solace in the freshness of a new start. Some changes are exciting with the small doses of adrenaline jolting through your system, yet I see in front of me not a remake of the old road, but a whole new one branching out, reaching to take my hand.
Am I brave enough to take the reins on my journey, or does this path simply refuse to be assisted by others? Is there a way to know for sure how it’s supposed to feel? Are the butterflies wriggling through my body supposed to feel like a swarm of gnats beating against my bones? I was never one to like the monsters to begin with, but I’d be willing to accept them over the fear-like shakes that tell me decisions aren’t always made to be fun.
Sometimes going with the flow feels more like standing still.
There’s something inescapably definite about anything that puts a smile on your face. Even if you’re ashamed a second later or years later, you can’t deny that little rush that made you instantaneously react with glee. When you’re happy and it just falls onto your lips as if by the flick of a paintbrush, it’s so real. It’s unstoppable and irresistible. Catchy and attractive.
When you find yourself so caught up in your own dizzying cheer, it’s easy to overlook so many other things. Different, previous priorities fall to the side; dwelling in those memories takes over; best of all, a glowing beauty seems to cover the very earth. It’s such a wonderful process of temporary heaven, and it makes any day seem like a success.
But the fallout from this hurts more than you could ever guess. How are you supposed to just wave that off, dismiss it like a small accident? Sorry, I didn’t mean to spill your coffee. Sorry, I didn’t mean to be so happy.
It’s just impossible to explain and cover up and pretend like it was nothing. You just can’t. And when you seem to be doing roller coaster flips with your state of mind, people will notice. Maybe they won’t want to take the long dip beneath the earth, and maybe the screaming heights and breath-stealing loops will be a little too much, but they’ll watch. Trust me on that one.
Maybe you’re not the biggest attraction in town, but it’s hard to blend when some of these huge twists and turns feel too large to be yours. But when it is, and you can own up to it, you’ve hit a mellow point. Casualness. A nonchalant greeting, slightly poor memory, a hesitance to admit too much. That’s okay. It’s better than the pain and the guilt and the remorse you feel towards yourself. Feeling bad for that gushing happiness hurts more than the initial sulking and waiting and figuring out.
How can you calmly give up bliss—whether imaginary or real—for complacency and shallow emotion? If you perhaps thought of a few things to add in here, well, you’re wrong. You could say diligence, determination, discipline, slight masochism— but’s that’s not it. You simply do not, will not, cannot do this with success. It’ll always be there, a small, gentle rolling of memories in the very back of your mind, far enough to be a rare thought, but still there nonetheless. 
One friend to keep company, from now to the end, will always be your doubt. Trust this feeling. It’s one of the realest reality checks you own. Doubt will keep you from diving in headlong, keep you from being too foolish, too gullible, and practically save your life. Just let the doubt sink in for a moment and retrace a few steps. Plot the map from there to now. Do things line up? Or are there discrepancies that shout foul play?
These are serious things to consider when slamming into a mouthful of post-glee pavement. Brace yourself. That’s all there really is to it. Nothing more can be prescribed to ease the pains or erase the past. It’s life and life doesn’t stop for you to cry it out and continue along in the background. Life demands you to be the front and center of everything, so bring it on. Show your tough side and bite a few knuckles to keep your focus on what matters. You. Making it out alive.
Background Info on “The Way Things Start

This piece is incredibly close to my heart because I originally wrote it out for myself and then decided to share it with others. I tend to do the kind of writing where I address myself as the reader and basically yell at myself for the choices I make and the things I do. This one might be hard to read between the lines on, but it details the progression of my state of mind from a starting point, to where I am now. Because a girl can’t give away all of her secrets, I’ll describe it like so: this is the aftermath of going from not knowing someone who was on the fringe of my life, to sharing a secret with said person who’s not really a friend, but actually a co-worker, all in one warm, foreign night. Regardless of my experience, I’d like to think that it’s the kind of writing that other people can find meaning in. There’s fear and doubt, curiosity and happiness, and, like always, I add a good dose of misfortune and well needed self-advice.


Talk back, give me your thoughts on the works of this young lady. I’m listening and hope this gives you insight into the heart of this young lady, hopefully, it will make you understand your growing teenager. As the years go by, we adults sometimes forget the turmoil of becoming your own person and an adult. This should help you understand why so many teenagers take their own lives because they are not strong enough to emerge from the confusion without help.  

Imagination, blocked, channeled or roam free.


Most people block their imaginations when they become adults. Others, channel their imaginations into new ideas and products. Writers of fiction allow their imaginations to run free making for the more interesting stories filled with unique books that captivate the readers. What do you do?

My older brother, when someone asked “where do I come up with my stories?” he replied. “He has always had an active imagination while we were children.” Which is true, but when I became an adult to support myself and my family, I always put it on hold (blocking it) to focus on making a living and climbing the corporate ladder in management. Once in a while I would release it, coming up with unique solutions to a problem I encountered. I found my imagination disliked being channeled or blocked, so I started writing. That made my imagination happy and I stayed in a good mood. 

My sister in law asked, “Where do you come up with your stories and characters?” I laughed it off but later thought, “Some characters are my alternate ego wanting to take part in my stories. Others are based on people I know or have met during my long working career, and now.” The settings of my stories all took place in my head, all I have to do is transplant them from my mind to the computer (or paper). I find the less I try to control my imagination, the better the story becomes.  In “A Stranger comes Crawling” I had the original plot then turned my imagination loose. The story became better and better. The book, “A Need for Lightning” that I was writing at the time triggered my release of my imagination, allowing my stories to have unique concepts and events.  I stopped writing “A need for Lightning” to write “T.T. Gristman” and “A Stranger comes Crawling“. To me, when my imagination starts forming a book, I write it down even though I might not write the whole story. I place it on a back burner until such time my mind is ready to go back to it once again. How do you come up with your stories?

Talk back, I’m listening.   



Inner Visionary Verses – Personal Intuitive Insights #3

The truth be known.

The Well in the Garden

Wednesday 7th May 2014

Personal Intuitive Insights #3

There is a well of wisdom in all of us and it waters the garden of our spirit. Each garden is planted with seeds of many varieties but each seed is a mere grain of truth. Truth comes from knowledge that feeds the well from many sources; therefore it is not always a black and white matter. We all learn our lessons from a different perspective – no two views can ever be the same because we are all consumed with our own motivations, drives, passions and rationale. In this way… truth may have its own agenda for each of us but grows with wisdom through both experience AND innocence. These are the words I feel compelled to share today.

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When you blog, is anyone reading them?

When you blog, is anyone reading them?


Most blogs have illuisions of half the world reading what they write. Some are read by a lot of people, but very few comments appear. If one does, be sure to reply so the reader will know you heard what they had to say about your blog or blog subject. I know when I first started, I saw the comments but was slow or not at all to respond. Anyone that takes the time to comment should be appreciated with a response. Now, if they just like your post, then no response is required. If your blog is re-blogged, that is great. Your blog is now in front of a whole new group of readers. The only problem with that is you don’t normally see the comments made on re-blogs, or what the re-blogger had to say. Sometimes, you get lucky and if you are using WordPress blog, you do see their responses. On blogger (Google+) they usually allow you to see what was said on re-blogs. I try to respond to them as well as the re-blogger.  I still have not found a way to link my two blogs except through Networked blogs. 

Have a great day, talk back, I’m listening! 

Inner Visionary Verses – Personal Intuitive Insights

When the creative juices start flowing, this is what can happen.

The Well in the Garden

Inner Visionary Verses - personal intuitive insights

Sunday 4th May 2014

Personal Intuitive Insights

Awakenings can take on many forms but all awakenings require awareness, which is Light, literally as if a light bulb is switched on – illumination of the situation. And what is the situation? Today I feel as if the universe is speaking to me. I can feel it deep in my body, a vibration, like a pulsing of a frequency that switches on and off. It’s always been there but today I feel like it has meaning, purpose – a message that speaks of beginnings, transitions and the start of an expanding bubble of energy, and that energy is will, intention, choice, action…let the will of heaven flow through action. These are the words the universe brings to me today.

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The Silver Clock


The Silver Clock is the first chapter of Tom’s Tales.  A young boy called Len goes searching for conkers and ends up in a clearing in the woods, called Greenbank Meadow. That was where he first met Old Tom, an encounter that was to change his life.


“I nearly turned back the first time I saw him sitting on the tree trunk. I was only twelve and I didn’t expect to meet anyone in that place. I got a shock to be honest, and I was afraid of him at first. He looked a bit strange, really thin and gaunt, with short cropped hair, balding on top. He was a tall man with bright, shiny eyes, hollow cheeks and a funny-looking nose, which appeared to be somehow split in the middle. And he wore dark green trousers with striped braces and a black waistcoat. As I came through the trees into the opening, Old Tom was puffing on his pipe. He soon spotted me, though.

                ‘Hey there, little fella. Come and sit down here. Nice and comfy this old tree.’ I hesitated and didn’t know whether to run or do what he said. But I didn’t want to be rude to an old man, so I walked towards him, slowly. I was looking at him all the time as I walked. Something drew me to him, odd though he was. I couldn’t really say why.”


This was the day that Tom told Len the story behind Molly’s mysterious silver clock, a story that sent a shiver down Len’s spine.




Colin Albin – Brief Bio


Colin Albin was born in the great city of Liverpool and lives with his wife Doreen in Cheshire, their two grown-up children having now flown the nest. Colin has worked his way through several career incarnations – mainly in HR, recruitment and careers guidance, but also in pastoral work and inter-faith dialogue. His interests include reading, writing, jazz, classical music, hill-walking, swimming, Pilates and football (Liverpool).

His interest in football probably saved his life when he had a cardiac arrest on March 10th 2013. On a normal Sunday he would have been out in the countryside with his walking group. Instead of this he went to Anfield to see the Liverpool Vs. Spurs match with his son, who rallied help within 3-4 minutes and therefore prevented both brain damage and death (the permanent form!). Two wonderful people provided CPR and mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and the paramedics gave him 5 shocks with a defibrillator in order to restart his heart. Despite being technically dead and in a coma for 2 days, he is now still alive and kicking with the aid of an ICD implant and various medication. Following a period of recuperation and reflection, Colin decided to sell his business and focus on his writing.




Tom’s Tales – Synopsis


Tom’s Tales is a short novel comprising a collection of tales of the unexpected, mysteries which have no easy or rational explanation. The story unfolds in the context of a relationship between a somewhat strange character called Old Tom and a young boy called Len, who goes to Greenbank Meadow looking for conkers. Len is so fascinated by the unusual tale the old man tells him during that first encounter that he returns, week after week, hoping to hear a new story. As the weeks pass by, Tom and Len get to know more about each other and develop a surprising and mutually beneficial friendship. It becomes apparent that they have far more in common than might have been expected. They both look forward to their short meetings with an increasing sense of anticipation and consider these times to be the highlight of their week. Len develops a love of stories and books from the old man, and over time this transforms his life. Each of Tom’s tales has a surprising ending. But there are also some twists and turns in store for the reader as the book comes to its conclusion. Life is certainly full of surprises.
His book can be found at this link 

Talk back as always, we’re listening. Another fine blog by my guest. I hope you enjoyed it and will take a look at his book.