#RRBCSpotlightAuthor Blog Tour #RRBC (@mbiermanauthor) Mark Bierman!!

It is my pleasure to welcome to my blog, a Member of Rave Reviews Book Club, Author Mark Bierman. He is in the spotlight today from the Spotlight Author Blog Tour. Here is his story…


Tell Your Story

Imagine, if you will, two scenarios. I will not delve into any more detail in this brief introduction, other than to say that both are set in a prison.

Here is the first:

Steven, the young correctional officer, raced after his fellow officers as they charged through the open doorway and onto the prison range. T Block had exploded into a battlefield. Fifty inmates were bent on sticking and slicing each other with shivs fashioned from the metal pins stolen from the exercise machines in the gym. The sharpened pins weren’t the only weapon of choice, for in the mix were toothbrushes with razor blades melted onto their handles, chunks of plexiglass, glass, and metal window trim. All with hair-splitting edges. Oh, inmates are a creative and stealthy lot. There are thousands of ways to die in prison.

Into that fracas, Steven ran. For him and the others, there was no other choice. Two of their fellow officers were trapped down there. The melee had broken out while the pair were conducting a routine patrol, and with only the defence of hands and wits, their situation had turned dire. The same applied to the Steven, others had grabbed the limited supply mace. No guns were allowed on the range, they were far too dangerous.

T Block was split into two levels. The upper tier, three feet wide, stretched over one-hundred feet in length, and was lined by open barred cells on one side, with a four-foot-high “safety” railing on the other.

The bloody skirmish was largely concentrated on the bottom level, and most of the troops, understandably, went in that direction. But blades were also swinging up stairs and several uniforms were interspersed among the prison blues worn by the clientele. Steven followed John, an experienced officer, onto the top tier, and into sheer madness.

For those on T Block that day, there was no sanctuary, no corner or nook was devoid of violence. The air was thick with hatred and fear, though not impermeable to the cries of agony and the sting of mace. Everywhere, weapons found their targets, blood spilled, and the century-old- limestone walls recorded every act.

A large inmate broke free of the others and had run upstairs. Steven watched the approaching inmate and knew he was in for a fight. The powerful man lived downstairs, so his intentions were obviously not good. The officer knew he couldn’t let the man pass.

“Get back downstairs!” Steven yelled several times

The orders went unheeded.

This was going to be a fight. But would the inmate choose his fists or a knife?

Now sandwiched between a pair of combating inmates, and the charging human moose, Steven had seconds to make a determination that could possibly kill him and others. He wished for time to at least slow down, as he prepared a defence. His old friend, the internal survival coach, the one who’d kept him alive in other incidents shouted a familiar warning. Watch his hands! No weapon yet! But if he reaches for his pocket or the waist band of his jeans . . .!

A scream, came from what seemed inches from behind Steven, it was followed by a heavy thud on the limestone floor, twelve feet below. Someone had been thrown over the railing, Steven knew it without even looking. Would he be next? Would he soon feel the blade or the point of a shiv as it penetrated him?  He wanted to turn around, but he couldn’t. Faith was needed. Enough to believe that his fellow officers would be there, that they would have his back. Danger was coming straight for him. The world became a tunnel that encompassed only the charging inmate.

This reaction too, was familiar. It was the body entering ‘fight’ mode. It was the body doing what it needed to survive.

Here is the second:

The two inmates squared off. From fifteen feet away, Janjak raced to close the distance. He tripped over soiled men and spilled waste buckets. The curses of fellow convicts were ignored. His vision morphed into a tunnel that encompassed only the combatants. Watch their hands! Almost there. Hands! Hands! Something flashed. Knife! The Haitian launched himself as Frantz pulled the weapon from his waistband. Shoulder met chest in a violent collision. Frantz cried out as he was tackled onto a stained mattress.

 

Notice any similarities? You might ask what books did I glean these excerpts from? Or perhaps you may think they are from the same one.

Well, to tell you the truth, the second scenario is from the first chapter of my novel, Vanished. The first is a page taken directly from my life. I changed my name to Steven, for this story.

Now, obviously I survived that experience and many others over the years, and while I personally am happy about that fact, that isn’t the point of this blog.

What I hope you will take away from this, is that you will be encouraged to tell your own. I hope you realize that all us have valuable life experiences that are unique. We can, and should, use them in our writing.

I don’t know about you, but there is no English Degree in my background. I am no expert in literature, or even everyday writing. One thing I do possess, what everyone has, is real life experiences. So, please don’t allow yourself to be convinced that you have nothing to offer readers. You have a life!

 

*  *  *

VANISHED, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E4CZHIO/

9781483448121_COVER.indd

Blurb:

Tragedy . . . heartache . . . how much more can Tyler Montgomery and John Webster take? This missions trip, the “healing” one, has only added fresh layers of pain. Construction of an orphanage in Haiti’s northwest . . . yes. But a doomed rescue operation, human traffickers, human anomalies, extreme personal danger . . . risk of death? They hadn’t signed up for those.

 

*  *  *

BiermanPhoto

Author Bio:

Born and raised on a farm near Brockville, Ontario, Mark’s childhood consisted of chores, horseback riding, snowmobile races, fishing trips to local lakes, and many other outdoor adventures. He was, and remains, an avid reader of many genres.

Transitioning into adulthood also meant moving from the farm into large urban areas that introduced this ‘country boy’ to ‘big city’ life.

Drawing on his many experiences as a private investigator, and later, a correctional officer, Mark combines his unique experiences and imagination to create stories and characters.

 

Follow Mark online!

Twitter:   @mbiermanauthor

Facebook: Facebook

Website:  markbierman.com

 

Posted in Guest Blog, Spotlight Authors | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

#RRBC #RRBCTreatReads DAY 2 Mary Adler @MAAdlerWrites

“Greetings!  Welcome to the 2nd RRBC “TREAT” Reads Blog Hop!  These members of RRBC have penned and published some really great reads and we’d like to honor and showcase their talent.  Oddly, all of the listed Winners are RWISA members!  Way to go RWISA!

We ask that you pick up a copy of the title listed, and after reading it, leave a review.  There will be other books on tour for the next few days, so please visit the “HOP’S” main page to follow along.

Also, for every comment that you leave along this tour, including on the “HOP’S” main page, your name will be entered into a drawing for a gift card to be awarded at the end of the tour!”

 

MARY ADLER PIC

Author, Mary Adler

 

 

Book: IN THE SHADOW OF LIEShttps://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K7WYTSU/

 

In The Shadow of Lies by Mary Adler

Book Blurb: Richmond, California. World War II.  Marine Lieutenant Oliver Wright comes home from the war in the Pacific injured and afraid his career as a homicide detective is over.  But when an Italian Prisoner of War is murdered the night the Port Chicago Mutiny verdicts are announced, and black soldiers are suspected of the crime, the Army asks Oliver to find out the truth.

 

He and his canine partner Harley join forces with an Italian POW captain and with a black MP embittered by a segregated military. During their investigation, these unlikely allies expose layers of deceit and violence that stretch back to World War I and uncover a common thread that connects the murder to earlier crimes.

 

In the Shadow of Lies reveals the darkness and turmoil of the Bay Area during World War II, while celebrating the spirit of the everyday people who made up the home front. Its intriguing characters will resonate with the reader long after its deftly intertwined mysteries are solved.

 

 

Twitter: @MAAdlerWrites

Posted in "TREAT" Reads Blog Hop | Tagged , , , , , , | 21 Comments

The Meghan Markle Phenomenon

In case you haven’t heard of Meghan Markle, she is an American who married the Prince of England, HRH Prince Henry (Harry) Duke of Sussex. She became the Duchess of Sussex. Meghan is a mixed race woman of color who is very accomplished in her own right. Her father is white and her mother is black.

She grew up in a separated home where both parents were hands-on in raising her. She went to the best schools and went on to graduate from a University with a major in political science and a minor in theatre. She pursued an acting career that finally paid off by the time she hit her thirties. She was living in Toronto where her hit show “Suits” was filmed. She got married to her longtime boyfriend after seven years of dating. It lasted 2 years because of the geographical distance between them; and they got a divorce.

During her growing up years she was shaped to be aware that she was blessed to have a place to stay and food to eat. Her mother took her to soup kitchens and they helped to feed the hungry. While she was working on the set of “Suits,” she would make arrangements to have leftover food brought in for the actors, taken to a soup kitchen or homeless shelter so it would not go to waste. She was born to be a royal.

She met Harry through a blind date set up by a friend to both of them. They got married and the rest is still to be written.

The one thing that is playing out is the race card and the mistreatment she has endured by the British press. They made up lie after lie against her for the sole purpose of destroying her character and Harry’s if they had to. The monarchy only has one rising star and that was the heir, Prince William, who will one day be King. So, her relationship with Prince Harry was doomed. She had no right coming into the royal family and becoming so popular. They were not going to have that. They hounded her and nitpicked everything she said and did. It took the famous interview with Oprah to shed light on their side of the story. This after four years of constant tabloid lies and made-up fabrications.

It was explosive!

But the thing that bothers me more than anything is how they treated Meghan. She was bi-racial, beautiful, smart, amazing and she loved charity work. That is what attracted Harry to her especially since he was getting ready to take his place on the world stage. The timing could not have been more perfect.

He said, “The stars were aligned when we met…”

Looking at Meghan took me back to an incident that happened in my life when I was working for a temp agency. My assignment was Hiram Walker, based in Canada. They moved some of their staff to the United States and I got a job there through Kelly Services. It was in the early nineties during a time after I was laid off from my newspaper gig after thirteen years of service. Affirmative Action was over and now, more people of color were either losing their jobs or working like me through an agency. I saw nothing but young people being hired at these temp agencies because corporations or businesses were not hiring them outright. These temp agencies provided the benefits that the companies used to be responsible for. That was an eye-opener for me.

As I was saying, I started working at Hiram Walker and a whole slew of black folks were hired at the same time. It looked like they were looking specifically for blacks to fill numerous new positions. I was an assistant to one of the managers and my work area was set out in a staff pool. I encountered this beautiful, bi-racial (black) young woman who came over to assist me in getting my computer to perform correctly. She showed me what the problem was and fixed it. I was so grateful for her help and was struck with how polite and warm she was. Unfortunately, I didn’t remember her name. I didn’t get the chance to really get to know her.

But I started to notice that she was not being treated well by the management. It got so bad that one day she was just gone. They had not even allowed her back in to get her belongings. The temp agency had to retrieve her things. To this day I don’t know what happened, and nobody was talking, but she clearly was under some kind of stress which I was able to observe at times. I never understood it.

I do believe that the good white folks there were behind it. After all, they ran the company. I never understood how she could be treated so poorly without having done anything that would warrant such abuse. I never was able to reconcile what happened to her but I never forgot it.

Seeing Meghan Markle so mistreated reminded me of that person and over the years I wondered where she was and if she was okay. I wished I had gotten an opportunity to really get to know her.

My point of all this is the phenomenon of Meghan and people like her. Mixed race, beautiful, poised, smart, amazing and above all kind. The young woman I knew was all of these traits. What did they have in common? The black in their blood. I saw movies of mixed race women who couldn’t be accepted in the white world. They had to live a lie to survive because of the mistreatment they got. Is it the white man’s guilt of what he did to the black race? The raping of black women produced this mixed blood and maybe they couldn’t stand it. Or they couldn’t own it. They wanted to be a pure race. They certainly were not going to claim this new breed.  So, create a climate of blame and victimization to soothe their guilty conscience.

Maybe what I am saying is too raw for anyone to accept. But I had to admit, there was something wrong with the picture that I saw at Hiram Walker. Meghan Markle’s picture is equally troubling. They will say, that the monarchy has to be protected and that is the excuse they will use. But we (the public) know better. We are on the outside looking in with clear eyes. Beauty and grace are usually to be praised. In Meghan’s case, it wasn’t. They preferred the awkwardness of Kate Middleton and Prince William to the poise and grace Meghan and Harry represented. Maybe they had no choice. Maybe they did.

In the name of Her Majesty the Queen.

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Welcome to Day 6 #RRBC MARCH “SPOTLIGHT” Author Blog Tour!!! Author, Robbie Cheadle! @bakeandwrite

Open a new door, a collection of poems

BLOG POST:

My mind’s eye is a freestyle poem. I fell in love with freestyle poetry through reading the poems of a good blogging friend of mine. Prior to reading hers, I had never attempted this form of poetry although it is popular. Freestyle poetry is free from the limitations of regular meter or rhythm, but not completely, as it still needs to have a musical flow.

About My mind’s eye

I wrote this poem in response to a discussion with my circle of friends about whether any of us would change anything in our lives if we could go back. I have this discussion some thought subsequently and concluded that, although everything in my life is not perfect and I have my ups and downs like everybody else, my life is good enough. I would not change it as who knows what unexpected knock-on effects such change would result in.

My mind’s eye

I reflect on my life

through my mind’s eye

Inspecting

Seeking

I open secret drawers

rummaging through

their hidden contents.

My childhood

A time of happiness

Innocence

and laughter.

My teenage years

I gently probe

Pulling out memories

Like old clothes

from the cupboard of time.

I run my eye over them

looking for rents,

tears and wrinkles.

Choices that impacted

on the elastic band of my life

liked pulled threads.

My eye moves on

My early twenties

Books, university and classes,

career decisions,

boyfriends and jobs.

Time then seemed stretched

Passing slowly

Each moment full and rich.

My wedding

A wonderful day

Happiness so evident

It lies like a fog blanket

over these memories.

Buying our home,

Building our careers,

and then

our babies

those perfect little beings.

Time speeds up

the elastic band

pulls tight

almost seeming to double back on itself.

I close my mind’s eye

A sigh of relief escapes my lips

There is nothing I would change

Everything is as it should be.

BOOK BLURB:

Open a New Door is a poetic peep into the life of poet, Robbie Cheadle, who lives in South Africa.

The book is divided into four categories: God bless Africa, God bless my family and friends, God bless me and God bless corporates and work. Each part is sub-divided into the good, the bad and the ugly of the two poets’ experiences, presented in rhyming verse, free-style, haiku and tanka, in each of these categories and include colourful depictions of the poet’s thoughts and emotions.

The purpose of this book of poetry is encapsulated in the following tanka and haiku poems:

What drives me to write?

To share my innermost thoughts

The answer is clear

It’s my personal attempt

To make some sense of this world.

Inspiration blossoms

Like the unfurling petals

Of the Desert Rose

AUTHOR BIO:

Roberta Eaton Cheadle has published nine children’s books under the name of Robbie Cheadle. She has branched into writing for adults and young adults and, in order to clearly separate her children’s books from her adult books, is writing for older readers under the name Roberta Eaton Cheadle. Roberta Eaton Cheadle has published two novels for YA and adult readers and has contributed to seven anthologies.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:

Robbie Cheadle

Website

Blog

Goodreads

Twitter

Thank you for dropping by to support Robbie along her tour.  To follow along with the rest of her 7-day tour, please visit the “SPOTLIGHT” Author forum on the RRBC site and don’t forget to pick up a copy of her book above!  Lastly, we ask that you LIKE and SHARE this post, as well as the “SPOTLIGHT” Author page, to your social media, to enhance Robbie’s support!

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How The Professionals Handle Negative Book Reviews #RRBC @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA

RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB

If you follow my blogs, you should know by now that when I post, there will always be a lesson to be gleaned from each post.  This one will be no different.  By now you should also know that I don’t sugarcoat things.  I’ll leave that to those who don’t know how to appreciate a world of truths. 

We’ve all been there … on the dirty end of a negative book review. And although negative book reviews cut some deeper than others, they all leave us with a special feeling – the need for a good cry, or they might even give us a hearty chuckle – that’s if you don’t feel that reviews “define” you, which clearly they do for some.

RRBC was founded almost 10 years ago because of a strong need for a place to go and get truly honest reviews of your books;  a place where…

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I, Too, Remember Emmett Till #BlackHistoryMonth

The Long and Short Stories of Life

I close this Black History Month with a long quote by the late Sen. John Lewis. His words have stirred my own memories of Emmett Till.


Emmett Till became my generation’s poster boy to accompany our parents’ lectures on what could happen to black children who misbehaved while on summer vacation to our Southern relatives. That despoiling of a black child’s innocence would carry over into all of our early interactions with whites. Even today, multi-millionaire entertainers, athletes, senators and a president admit that they’ve given their kids “the talk”.


Emmett Till’s mother, Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley, became the poster mother for what would balloon into legions of black mothers whose children were, and still are, senselessly killed in America for being black.


Emmett Till and his mother Mamie Elizabeth Till


America is a country of civilized, educated people who blatantly deny evidence of racial disparity, bias, and discrimination. That tells…

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Welcome to Day 9 of the 2021 RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! @NonnieJules @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 9 and the conclusion of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Nonnie Jules, who is also the Founder of RRBC & RWISA.  Take a peek at her writing below…

A LIFE ISN’T WORTH LIVING IF NOT IN SERVICE TO OTHERS

I’d like to begin by thanking two of my fellow RWISA Authors who were also on this tour, Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko and Linnea Tanner, who both had the courage to write about, or reference the ills of our world, that many would like to keep deeply hidden.  I speak of hatred and systemic racism.  Again, thank you both for your courage to write with such substance and I hope that it is still resonating with all who read both of your pieces.  I am honored that your words are a continual ring in my ears.

The theme of this year’s REVOLUTION tour is A NEW YEAR – A FRESH START, and with that theme in mind, I’d like to share my thoughts on what a fresh start in this new year looks like for, and, to me.

My quote above, “A life isn’t worth living if not in service to others,” is what gives my life meaning and purpose.  RRBC and RWISA came to be because I didn’t see enough service being spread around the web when I came aboard.  I noticed a ton of selfish behavior, “me, me, and more me” attitudes, and a strong indifference to lending a hand to help the next person climbing after you, also reach the top.  I felt myself drowning in an ocean of “gimme,” and surrounded by a nation of takers.  In my mind, I had to do something.

With the inception of RRBC, the rules of the land were (and still are) that members support members.  Some came aboard and quickly embraced the concept, either because it was inherently part of their makeup, or because they realized it was the fastest route to gaining support for their own agendas.

And then, there were the others – the takers and the ones from the land of “gimme.”  They came aboard in droves – taking all that they could, and once they realized we were on to them, they quickly abandoned their squatter positions.  By the way, we do so appreciate their exits as they made room for the uber-supportive members I’ll reference below.

The members on our roster who are constantly being profiled, promoted, pushed, and honored, are the members who show, by their actions, that they are living in service to others.  They don’t make excuses, they make a way.  They don’t see a tweet and merely re-tweet it, they click the link first to see how they can support their fellow members even more and even better.  They don’t re-tweet only tweets with their Twitter handle included.  They don’t show up only when they are the ones being profiled, interviewed or whose book is being discussed. And their social media feeds?  Well, they are clogged with promotion of others! 

Their support doesn’t stop there.  These members consistently show up to support in a myriad of ways, including the following…

  • following along member blog tours, leaving comments and sharing the posts on social media
  • hosting fellow members on their blog tours, such as our “SPOTLIGHT” Authors
  • sitting in the audience of member interviews on our RAVE WAVES shows,
  • showing up to our book club discussions to support BOOK OF THE MONTH Authors
  • purchasing, reading and reviewing fellow member books from the RRBC & RWISA catalogs
  • sharing members’ RRBC AUTHOR PAGES and RWISA PROFILE PAGES to social media
  • sharing members’ books directly from Amazon, along with the purchase links and book covers
  • visiting members’ book trailers on YouTube, leaving comments and sharing to social media
  • following members’ blogs and websites and ensuring that they are active in these blogging communities
  • and even showing up to participate in club activities, to ensure that our organizations remain fluid and not stagnant and boring.

These are but a few ways that the supportive and active members of RRBC/RWISA ensure that they are exhibiting a life of service to others, especially on social media.  We are not an organization interested in supporting those who don’t support others.  If you show me that I’m not that important to you, then why would I go out of my way to place you on my special pedestal of support?  If you’re not purchasing, reading and reviewing member books here, then guess what, you will never find yourself in the BOOK OF THE MONTH hot seat.  Why would we tell others to run out and support you, when you don’t bother to show up to support them?  And by the way, showing up is more than just sending out tweets and re-tweets.  It takes so much more than that to create success.

2020 was a hard year for all of us, but 2021 rolled right in, giving us a clean slate to write new, more positive chapters in our life stories.  Lucky for us all, this new year opened the door wide for us to make positive changes.

So, today, I ask you, what kind of life are you living?  When we drop by to support you and we peruse your Twitter feed, will we see that you are in love with you, OR, will we smile when we see how hard you’re pushing someone else?   When we look out into the gallery of our RAVE WAVES shows and our monthly book club discussions, will we see your pretty smiley face, OR, will we see only the beautiful faces of those who typically show up with their amazing support?  Will you be counted among the many (who do nothing to support others) OR, will you be proudly counted among the few (who do more than their share to push others to the top?)  Where will you stand when the roll is counted?  With the givers or the takers?

Yes, it’s a new year, and also the most perfect opportunity for a fresh start!  If you have been straddling the fence, finding it hard to get down, take that leap of faith and jump right in … somewhere … anywhere you can make a positive difference in the life of someone else.  When you support others, you are supported ten-fold within RRBC/RWISA.

Did you make a New Year’s Resolution on December 31, 2020?  I didn’t.  I made an Intention, and that is, I intend to continue sharing and educating as many as I can on the importance of living a life of service.  Less selfishness and more selflessness will continue to be my mission’s slogan. 

I’ll ask once more, which road will you take?

Did you enjoy Nonnie’s writing?  Then please, help us support her and her work along this REVOLUTION tour! We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of her profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

Lastly, we ask that you support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

RWISA Profile

What Nonnie has to say about RWISA…

Check out Nonnie’s book…

OPEN, SHUT

Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

Posted in RWISA REVOLUTION TOUR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Welcome to Day 8 of the 2021 RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! @KarensStories @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 8 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member and the 2nd graduate of RWISA University, Author, Karen Black.  Take a peek at her writing below…

THOUGHTS ON TWO THOUSAND TWENTY

Who could have imagined the changes that last year brought to us all? Like so many, I’ve read more than one book that told a tale of life during a pandemic. Scary stuff to be sure, I never expected that fiction would describe so much of that which became reality.

New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday celebration; the end of a chapter and the start of the next one. It is the time to get over mistakes, mishaps, or misfortune that might have littered the past year, and plan for a positive future, with fresh energy and new goals. On December 31, 2020, I looked forward to putting the past year behind.

Like the dealer in a poker game, the universe has a deck of cards. Life deals us each a set of circumstances different from those of everyone else. Some of us are happy with what we face, and some of us aren’t. In 2020, we were all in the game, but against the odds, everyone got cards from the same suit, the pandemic. No one was happy about those cards, but we didn’t fold. Each of us is playing the hand to the best of our ability, with all of us pursuing a different goal on the road to individual victory.

As the new year got underway, and life as we knew it became more difficult, I thought about what two generations before me endured just to get through day-to-day living. From 1914 through 1919, World War I was being fought. As if the war wasn’t enough, the Spanish Flu arrived in 1918, and added to the misery. Back then, the recommendations were much the same as today: wear a mask, avoid crowds, stay home if you exhibit any symptoms, don’t get close to others, adhere to quarantines, etc.

Can you imagine going through the past year with limited medical treatment available, and without takeout, home delivery, curbside service, internet access and twenty-four-hour video entertainment? I can’t. Last year was difficult, but the conditions in 1918 were devastating.

The quarantines and shutdowns affected each of us differently, and we are all aware of the myriad of negative effects. But some good things have resulted, too. Hiking, bird watching, fishing or feeding ducks and squirrels are a few pastimes that took the place of a social network that was substantially diminished. Away from the office and into the outdoors, people found a new appreciation for parks and game lands and the overall benefits of being closer to nature.

With people spending more time at home, often alone, the pet adoption rate has risen. Many are experiencing the companionship of a furry buddy for the first time. They not only discovered the delight of a four-legged roommate, but provided homes for thousands of animals who might otherwise have died.

For some, socializing has been limited to those living in the same household, which means there is more interaction among family members. Rather than telling each other how you spent the day, you spend the day doing something together. Relationships are being rediscovered and people are getting to know each other a little differently.

What scientists learned about COVID and ways to protect against it will help in future research against a variety of diseases that find their way into our lives. Vaccines are becoming available, and before long will be easily accessible. The pandemic will pass, but I will remember that there was some good with the bad.

 Looking forward to the new year, my goal is to dwell on the positive. I’ll keep looking for silver linings, even those that might be a bit tarnished. In the game of life, I think that’s all I’ll need for a winning hand.

***

Did you enjoy Karen’s writing?  Then please, help us support her and her work along this REVOLUTION tour! We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of her profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

Lastly, we ask that you support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

RWISA Profile

What Karen has to say about RWISA…

Check out Karen’s book…

“TREACHEROUS LOVE”

***

Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

Posted in RWISA REVOLUTION TOUR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Welcome to Day 7 of the 2021 RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! @pat_garcia @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 7 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Pat Garcia.  Take a peek at her writing below…

THE GOAL, THE PURPOSE, THE  CONTRIBUTION, AND COVID19

Among the books that I have placed in collection boxes on my iPad, Don Quixote by Miquel de Cervantes is sitting in my favorite collection box. I read it for the first time in the print version of my first year at University.  It impacted my belief system, turned my way of thinking upside down, and challenged me to get my act together and do what I had been called to do.

Later, the song  To Dream The Impossible Dream that is so widely well-known from the musical Man of La Mancha, based on the Don Quixote, had me believing that I could take my experiences and reach what I saw them as the impossible star after I had failed at that particular moment in my studies and had been put on academic suspension for a year after my sophomore year.

During the year of my expulsion, Don Quixote worked on my imagination. I saw windmills in the form of words pouring into stories even though I had entered the dark night of the soul––the unknowing of not knowing where I was headed.  I got a job working for Gracewood State School and Hospital for the mentally and physically disabled. The children at Gracewood awoke that lively, precocious, impish, and headstrong child I had buried deep within me. Today, that child in me is still living. A year later, after my academic suspension, I returned to the University and completed my first college degree with honors.

My father asked me, after I had graduated, what took me so long? I never answered him because I didn’t know then, and I still don’t know.

I thought of this incident when RWISA extended to me an invitation to become a fellow member among such an elite group of writers.

My goal has always been to be the very best writer that I can be. To write all the books, I am carrying within me and leave behind a legacy for others brought up in environments like mine. To give them the courage to step out there and try to reach his or her impossible dream.

This is a long-term goal. It ends when I die. My purpose will be fulfilled, and the legacy must stand on its own. The plan I have keeps me faithful to myself. It can’t be broken down into one year, five years, or even ten years. It is active until I expire.

The long-term goal influences my daily interactions with people. Having been blessed to write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and sing, I can help others. I’m not looking to get rich, but I want to be able to help children and women in war-torn regions. I wish I could sponsor them all, but that is probably unrealistic. So, I do what I can and support as many as I can. The sponsorships will grow as I grow.

As COVID19 started last year, the organization that I sponsor through expected me to stop the donations until COVID19 has passed over. I didn’t think that was the best solution and continued my sponsoring.  Each month I get a kick out of knowing that I am making a difference even though it is small.

Another important thing for me is getting people to open their eyes to see what is real and not accurate. Especially in these times, we need to recognize in our hearts that the world is not black and white. It is multi-colored, and it was created that way. This is the generator behind my purpose. I write Romance, Romantic Suspense, and Women’s Fiction with a tad bit of fantasy. My characters are flawed, hurt, sometimes disillusioned, but they always find the connection to love and acceptance. They learn to cope with their idiosyncrasies and the idiosyncrasies of others without trying to change people.

Through COVID19, my characters are teaching me lessons that I am storing up for new books.

My two friends from my allegory, The Child and The Prophet, will tell you in their own words below.

The Child lay on the lily pad singing a song as the ocean waves quietly moved her further on her destination. She’d forgotten how long she had been trying to get to the white house where her car was park.

“Prophet?” she called out to the figure that had suddenly reappeared again. He was preparing her a delicious seaweed lunch.

“Yes, Child?”

“How long now?”

The Prophet glanced up at the sky.  Dark, blue, the cumulus clouds were moving quickly above them. “Why do you want to know that, Child? Any particular reason?”

The Child’ frowned. “I just think it’s taking a mighty long time.”

The Prophet snorted. “Don’t worry, Child, you’ll make it. That’s undoubtable.”

“Prophet?”

“Yes, Child.”

“What does undoubtable mean?”

“That’s something you’ll find out later.”

RWISA Profile

What Pat has to say about RWISA…

Check out Pat’s book…

TURN THE LIGHT ON

***

Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

Posted in RWISA REVOLUTION TOUR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Welcome to Day 6 of the 2021 RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! @JanSikes3 @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 6 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Jan Sikes, who is also RWISA Vice-President.  Take a peek at her writing below…

HOW BLOGGING KEEPS ME SANE

As with each new year that rolls around, I view it as an opportunity to start with a fresh perspective and clean slate.

When I looked back on my goals for 2020, I found with some sense of satisfaction, I had accomplished almost all of them, despite the pandemic.

Some goals remain the same from year to year, such as clean eating, exercising, practicing meditation, being kind, and gentle with myself and others. I classify those as my permanent or ongoing goals. They never change.

Setting expanded goals for 2021 was quite different. COVID19 has affected us all. Not only in the way we socialize, but also in every other aspect of life, from how we shop to the way we promote our books.

The necessity for self-preservation has catapulted us into a virtual world. We order groceries online and have curbside pickup. We now visit with family via Zoom calls, and so much for getting out and attending book festivals to promote our books. That simply isn’t going to happen.

So, when I took an elemental look at how to market my books in 2021, I realized I needed to harness social media’s power. 

The most powerful tool I have for marketing my work is, hands-down, my blog. I am fortunate to have built a substantial following over the years, which works to my advantage now.

I want to share with you some of the nuts and bolts of this fabulous tool, as well as some of the things I’ve learned about the art of blogging. Hopefully, you will benefit from them as well.

One of the greatest joys in my life is promoting and uplifting others. Because of this, I am always happy to offer my blog platform to support others, whether they be authors or indie music artists. And each time I spotlight a new author or artist, I gain a handful of organic followers. It’s a beautiful equation that works every time. It is the classic win-win for everyone.

The first and perhaps most important aspect of a blog is the title you create. There are many reasons for this, but mainly it is because the title needs to be eye-catching. If it isn’t, many potential readers may scroll on by and never take a peek. I know this from experience. I subscribe to a lot of blogs, so my email inbox is flooded each day. The blog titles are how I decide which ones I will pass on or read.

Some of the best practices in naming your blog post are asking a question, offering a solution, a list of solutions, or just making it fun and quirky. One recent post I wrote for a blog tour was entitled “The 3 P’s of Writing.”

That title makes you wonder what the P’s could be. I had a lot of success with that post. Fun and quirky will get me every time. You can also offer a promise of something in your title, such as a “How To” or a giveaway.

Another super important thing to add to a title is your guest’s Twitter handle (when you feature a guest). Why? Because each time that blog is shared on Twitter, it will tag them. It serves as a timesaver, and keeps the guest in your loop. I have found adding that one simple piece to a blog title gets it shared at least fifty percent more than a title without a tag.

Hashtags are another great way to get more shares. For instance, when I post a blog advertising a new book release, I will add #NewRelease to the title, which increases exposure in the feed.  

Whatever your subject is, try adding a few hashtags to increase visibility.

Another super important detail, as a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club and The Rave Writers – Int’l Society of Authors, includes adding those handles and hashtags to the blog title when the content is relevant to the organizations. Again, it is proven to increase visibility and sharing.

Blog content can be about anything. I have found my niche, and although it is broad, it works for me. I blog about every aspect of the craft of writing, books I’ve read, feature guests, new music from indie artists, and all things spiritual, from meditations and Tarot cards to Runes. Those define me and my interests.

It’s good to brand yourself. Make a statement as to what you are about through your blog posts.

Once you publish a blog post, I cannot stress enough the importance of engaging. When someone takes the time to comment on your blog, please respond. Just as it is rude to ignore someone who is speaking to you in a physical setting, it is rude to ignore blog comments.

When I host a guest, I emphasize the importance of engaging and responding to comments. If my followers and I are taking the time and effort to promote you and your work, the least you can do is engage and respond. Most authors are outstanding in this area. Music artists, not so much. No matter how many times I say the words, “You need to engage,” they don’t seem to get it. I think the biggest reason is the fact that many music artists hate computers and don’t have a lot of tech savvy outside the recording studio. Nevertheless, they miss out on potential new music followers when they don’t bother to stop by.

These are a few of the basics; things I’ve learned through my experience of blogging.

Facing an ever-growing reliance on a virtual world in the days, weeks, and possibly years ahead, by fully utilizing my blog site, I will continue to grow and flourish despite COVID19.

My blog is the compass, my North Star, which helps me navigate the turbulent waters of the world in which we live.

See you there!

http://www.jansikesblog.com

RWISA Profile

What Jan has to say about RWISA…

Check out Jan’s book…

“GHOSTLY INTERFERENCE”

Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

Posted in RWISA REVOLUTION TOUR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Welcome to Day 5 of the 2021 RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! @LinneaTanner @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 5 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Linnea Tanner.  Take a peek at her writing below…

DANCE OF SOULS

Universal souls dance together

One takes the lead as another follows

Lifting our hands in unison, we twirl into a cloud

Floating high, the sun warming our faces

Yet we can fall as rain, our souls in free fall


Souls metamorphose into fluttering butterflies

Wrens chasing us, snapping their beaks to devour us

We abruptly shift flight and transmute into foxes

Leaping and snatching songbirds into our jaws

Our souls melding, singing, and clapping in rhythmic dance


Memories twist our fibers into rope

Past voices connect to the depths of our essence

Summoning ancestral souls, we embrace their power

Mortal and divine moving together toward light’s truth

Past, present, future merging as one in the dance of souls

One would think that authors had more opportunities to write in 2020 with social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic. Creative processes would enhance in cocoons of isolation. Instead, I struggled as an author to finish my fourth book in the Curse of Clansmen and Kings series. At times, the significance of events in 2020 overwhelmed me. I found myself grieving the loss of my lifestyle and the ability to interact closely with family and friends. Yet, the unsettling period made me reconsider the theme of my book and replot several scenes. Some would call this a writer’s block. I considered this a sign that the story needed to be transformed into a tale that resonates with readers.

Last year was a time of reflection for me as contrasting forces in juxtapose sometimes maintained balance in our chaotic world. As everything locked down at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, air quality improved globally. With the threat of global warming from carbon emissions, oil demand fell rapidly in 2020 as governments closed businesses and restricted travel due to the pandemic. Automakers, foreseeing a more profitable future, began to develop electric cars in earnest. The revolution of new technology and vaccines provided hope that humans could reverse the ill effects of climate change and virulent disease.

As white supremacy groups inflamed fear and hate through their rhetoric, anger over racial inequities ignited widespread protests demanding change. As an invisible virus took control over our lifestyle, corrupt politicians grasped for the illusion of power. But still, when people learned they had voted in a unifying leader to replace a divisive president, a dance of joy erupted on the streets.

In essence, Charles Dickens summed up the year 2020: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”

What resonated most with me last year are universal truths in past civilizations are similar to modern-day times. Disease, warfare, and accidents wantonly take the lives of rich and poor, young and old, and male and female. Without the ability to control what happens in their lives, people often turn to superstition and conspiracy theories to explain what they can’t understand. In the Roman Empire, slaves were treated as property and abused without rights, similar to what the United States experienced before the Civil War. Lust for power corrupts absolutely. Yet, power is nothing but an illusion that one surrenders to another.

As I reflected on the unsettling events in 2020, it became clear to me that I needed to transform my work in progress in the series to capture the theme that opposing forces often provide insight into what we must do to achieve our dreams. Only in the depths of our darkness can we see the light and view the world with a new lens—a revolution that explores new possibilities.

I’m inspired to explore new forms of writing and balance my life by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. So that I have the vitality to create, one of my goals is to adjust my diet and exercise three to five days per week. I want to stay connected with family, friends, authors, and the community through phone calls, e-mails, and Zoom for my emotional well-being. Hopefully, by the end of summer, I’ll be able to participate in live events where I can chat face-to-face with readers and other authors. I’ll continue to expand my knowledge by reading various books, researching topics that support my writing, and traveling to locations in my books (stretch goal, whenever it is safe to do so).

My primary goal as an author is to release my latest project at the end of 2021, hoping that the story will resonate with readers. The characters will experience a gamut of emotions of love and hate, compassion and retribution, and corruption and virtue. They must decide from a range of possibilities on how they will move toward their destinies. One of the subplots, based on the impact that Black Lives Matter had on me, is that a warrior grieving the loss of his murdered wife finds redemption and love by aiding a female slave to escape her brutal predicament. Another goal is to draft a novella that will be a prequel to the first book in the series.

I want to transcend my writing into other realms and become more focused. One of the beneficial aspects of being in a writer’s support group such as RWISA is that other authors inspire and support each other. As a result, I would like to explore the possibility of composing poetry, short stories, novellas, different genres, and nonfiction. As a member of RWISA, I wrote my first short story in 2020 but plan to write more in 2021. Most of all, I’d like to expand my support for other authors by hosting blog tours and reviewing their books. We all succeed as authors when we support each other in a dance of souls.

***

Did you enjoy Linnea’s writing?  Then please, help us support her and her work along this REVOLUTION tour! We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of her profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

Lastly, we ask that you support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

RWISA Profile

What Linnea has to say about RWISA…

Check out Linnea’s book…

“APOLLO’S RAVEN”

Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

Posted in RWISA REVOLUTION TOUR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Welcome to Day 4 of the 2021 RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour! @WendyJayneScott @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

Welcome to Day 4 of the RWISA “REVOLUTION” Blog Tour!  We’d like to introduce you to an amazingly supportive RWISA member, Author, Wendy Jayne Scott, who is also RWISA President.  Take a peek at her writing below…

HAPPY DANCE

In March 2020, with only a few days warning, alongside the rest of New Zealand, I was plunged into total lockdown. Saying this was a surreal experience is an understatement. As none of us knew how long this altered state would last, what this meant for our jobs, or the financial or health repercussions. We’d become entangled into the twilight zone of Covid-19. UNPRECEDENTED, screamed from the headlines alongside worldwide body counts and estimated infection rates. No compass existed to guide us out of the pandemic fog shrouding our futures. We were confined to our specified people bubbles.

Teddy Bears sprouted up window ledges and letter boxes, a sign of hope and solidarity, signalling to passers-by that even though 2 meter distances and masks now ruled our physical world, we were together in our hearts. I remember gathering, with my son, at the end of our driveway, in the predawn, to pay homage to our fallen ANZAC soldiers. Dawn parades were cancelled for the first time in 104 years. The haunting bugle tone of ‘The Last Post’ filtered from an unseen neighbour’s gateway and shivers resonated along my spine.

During lockdown, I had a choice of how I would respond to my altered reality. Black voids of despair, conspiracy theories, and fake news plied for my sanity. Yet, sunlight glistened on the tall summer grasses in my yard, my son’s laughter trickled on the breeze, and my dogs’ tails wagged like helicopter rotors, ecstatic to have their human pals home 24/7. So, I chose to focus on becoming a healthier and happier version of me, and a positive role-model for my son.

Fast forward to February 2021, New Zealand is no longer in lockdown, but our borders are heavily restricted, and the new media buzz words are QUARANTINE and VACCINE. Uncertainty looms like a bloated storm cloud. Fears of further job losses and financial ruin taint our summer days. Staying positive is harder to maintain under this sustained assault of negative news.

Changes are happening. Although, I fight against the dismantling of my comfortable world, my will alone doesn’t curb the tidal jetsam from Covid-19, so I must adapt to this foreign landscape.

Since lockdown, I’ve embraced personal development, focusing inward, aware that I may not be in a position to influence external circumstances, but I can take responsibility for myself. Being positive is easy when life is rosy, yet it is how I react when life is battering away at my defences that define me as a person.

Here are my top tips for positivity:

  • Express your gratitude every day for what you do have
  • Show and tell your loved ones how much you care for them and hug them (if you can)
  • Use your creativity!!!! Keep feeding your creative addictions
  • Resonate with nature by strolling on the beach, sniff garden flowers, or listen to birdsong
  • Smile more, at everyone, this is the right kind of contagious! If a mask hides your mouth, then smile through your eyes!
  • Be kind, laugh, and dance – play music that lifts your spirit

So, smile, and join me in singing and dancing into the light.

***

Did you enjoy Wendy’s writing?  Then please, help us support her and her work along this REVOLUTION tour! We ask that you click on the author’s RWISA Profile below and visit all of her profile pages – some offering more insight into the member and others showcasing the author’s talent.

Lastly, we ask that you support this member as well as the host of this blog, by sharing this page and the author’s profile pages across all your social media platforms.

RWISA Profile

What Wendy has to say about RWISA…

Check out Wendy’s book…

“FEEDERS”

***

Now, we’d like to give you a chance at some of this awesome promotion for yourself!

Have you written that book or short story you want the whole world to know about? Are you looking for a great way to promote your creative endeavors? Perhaps you’re seeking to add some prestige to your body of work! If this sounds like you, we invite you to come on over to RAVE WRITERS – INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS, otherwise known as RWISA.

At RWISA, we invite and accept into membership only the very best writers the Indie community has to offer.

If your work is exemplary and speaks for itself, stop by the RWISA website today at RaveWriters.wordpress.com and find out how you can submit your sample of writing for consideration.

We’re an exclusive bunch but we’d love to have you join us!

NOTE:  If you’re looking to improve your writing while taking another route to membership into RWISA, while you’re at the site, visit RWISA UNIVERSITY!

Thanks for dropping by and don’t forget to leave the author a comment below!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the tour’s home page!

Posted in RWISA REVOLUTION TOUR | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments