Tag Archives: Spotlight Author

Dealing with Writer’s Block #RRBC

As a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club, I get the opportunity to host some wonderful authors on tours. I particularly enjoy the posts where they teach us something about the craft of writing. Today, welcome A.M. Manay who is here to discuss Writer's Block.

Bashing Writer's Block by A.M. Manay

I don't know about you, but sometimes I just get stuck. I do some outlining before I begin writing a new book, but I really only have bare bones when I get started. Sometimes characters have their own ideas of where things should go, and it takes some thinking to work it out. Sometimes I can't quite pick out the right path to the next peak in the narrative. I suspect most of us have at least some experience with writer's block. I'd like to share with you some of the strategies that have worked for me in the past.

1) Take a Break

There is value in allowing yourself to take a few days or weeks off to allow your mind to recharge and your energy to return. I hit a mental wall about 3/4 of the way through writing She Lights Up the Dark (November Snow Book 2). I gave myself a few weeks over the Christmas holidays to rest and let my mind wander. Somehow, my tangled thoughts worked themselves out, and in January, I was ready to bang out the last 4 or 5 chapters with no problem. There is value in rest.

2) Write something else

Do you have an idea for a short story, poem, blog post, or new series? Take a few hours to explore it and get the juices flowing. Sometimes that is enough to shake things loose on the original project.

3) Write out of order

You have an idea for a cool scene, but your narrative isn't quite there yet, or you don't know quite where to put it? Write it anyway. It will help you clarify your thoughts and help keep the process fun rather than tedious.

4) Try fan fiction

Do you have a favorite book, movie, or television show? Write a story set in that universe. Maybe you won't be able to use it for anything, but you never know what images, personalities, phrases, or arcs you might come up with that you can incorporate into your “real work” later.

5) Talk it out

Sometimes describing your dilemma to a spouse, friend, or fellow writer can make the solution just appear before your eyes. Writing can be such a solitary pursuit. There is value in community, especially the kind of community we have here at the Rave Reviews Book Club.

The next time you're staring blankly at the screen, I hope this list will give you a little push in the right direction. Do you have any tricks of your own for combating this scourge? Share them in the comments!

In addition to her work as an indie author of paranormal fantasy, A.M. Manay is a former inner-city chemistry teacher, a singer, a yoga enthusiast, a Clerk of Session in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and a mother through domestic open adoption. She has a passion for increasing diversity in popular culture and for strong heroines who stand up for themselves, make their own decisions, and don't depend on romance as their reason for being.

Author Links for A.M. Manay

Website: www.ammanay.net

Blog: http://ammanaywrites.blogspot.com/

email: author@ammanay.net

Facebook: facebook.com/ammanaywrites

Twitter: @ammanay

Instagram: instagram.com/a.m.manay

Fan email list November's News: http://eepurl.com/bzCa9r


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#RRBC SPOTLIGHT Author, Micki Peluso!!

As a member of the Rave Reviews Book Club, I occasionally get to showcase some awesome authors here. Today Micki Peluso is here to talk about her personal journey, and her book The Whippoorwill Sang. Take it away, Micki.

Facing My Fear of Public Speaking

I have always had a fear of public speaking and being the center of attention. That said, while other authors may enjoy the thought of speaking in front of strangers, for me it was about as much fun as facing a firing squad. My local Red Hat Ladies Club cajoled (forcefully pushed) me into doing a speech and book signing at a local restaurant. Panic set in as all kinds of catastrophic phenomena settled in my gut like a bag of cement.

The day arrived way too quickly but I’d gathered a few helpful hints from other writers. One told me to picture the audience naked. Well, I tried that first and now have a fear of naked people. Red Hat Ladies are not in their youth. Another good idea was to speak while focusing on only one person. That seemed logical since the room full of faces made me dizzy. The woman I chose began to twitch after ten minutes or so, broke into a sweat and finally got up and rushed from the room. I survived and relaxed when sitting at a table and signing my books during the luncheon.

The president of the Red Hat Ladies Society, called to tell me we were going to do a local cable TV spot in a few days. I considered packing fast and heading out of town. But there was no way I could avoid it. They were trying to help promote my book, which was a generous thing that deserved my thanks, not my cowardice. The morning of the live interview, I awoke to an attack of allergies, body aches, a sick stomach and every other ailment my subconscious mind could conjure up. I put on a false bravado and drove off into my worst nightmare. My husband, daughter and I got lost finding the place, in spite of Tinkerbell, our sarcastic GPS system. I was sure I’d get a reprieve at that point. Then a kind man gave us directions and I soon walked up the steps into my personal ring of fire.

The TV host had invited three other women to sit at a table much like the television show, “The View.” All had suffered a criminal loss of some kind. As the camera man called out, “Three, two, one,” it felt like I was having an out of body experience. I could see my husband and daughter in the small audience reserved for friends and family. That didn’t calm me as both can be my harshest critics. I avoided looking at the TV screen showing us live. God must have heard my morning prayers because I became completely detached from myself throughout the half hour program.

My family assured me that I gave a calm, cool and professional performance. I remember nothing, except for the blessed words, “Cut, we’re off the air.” Whew! I did it and my book was displayed on the screen, along with the interview. I’d helped fulfill my death bed promise to my dying daughter, Noelle, 26 years ago. I breathed a sigh of relief, quite proud that I’d faced my fears, thinking I’d never have to do this again. But no . . . .

The MADD organization I’d recently joined asked me to speak to one of the local school PTAs, as a victim of a DWI related death. I managed that due to the caring audience, many suffering losses of their own. I sold books at the PTA to interested parents, as we exchanged similar stories. Becoming involved in their losses changed my terror to empathy, making it a bittersweet evening. Will I ever get used to public speaking? I don’t think so, but I’ve learned to interact with my audience which helps make it an more enjoyable experience.


Micki Peluso began writing after a personal tragedy. This lead to a first time publication in Victimology: An International Magazine and a career in Journalism. She’s freelanced and been staff writer for one major newspaper, written for two more and has published short fiction and non-fiction, as well as slice of life stories in colleges, magazines and e-zine editions. Her first book was published in 2012; a funny family memoir of love, loss and survival, called, . . . And THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG which won the Nesta CBC Silver Award for ‘Writing That Builds Character’, won third place in the Predators and Editors Contest and first place for People’s Choice Monthly Award. This book is close to her heart since it’s a deathbed promise to her dying child. It has the humor of ‘Cheaper by the Dozen,’ with the heart of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird. Some reviewers liken her writing to a cross between Erma Bombeck and Harper lee. She has over a dozen short stories in ‘Women’s Memoirs’, ‘Tales2inspire’, and ‘Creature Features’. Two of her short horror stories were recently published in an International Award winning anthology called “Speed of Dark.” She is presently working on a collection of short fiction, and slice of life stories in a book collection called, ‘Don’t Pluck the Duck’, due to be released in late 2017. Her first children’s story, ‘The Cat Who Wanted a Dog’ will be released in June of 2017. Author Peluso is a multi-genre and speculative writer who plans to tackle novels next.


To learn more about Micki Peluso, or to purchase her book, …AND THE WHIPPOORWILL SANG,

please visit:

Twitter: @mickipeluso

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AndTheWhippoorwillSang

Website: http://www.mallie1025.blogspot.com/

Email: mallie1025@aol.com


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Meet Joy Lo-Bamijoko #RRBC

Joy is one of the most supportive members of the Rave Reviews Book Club. Nobody deserves this spot more than she does. She’s the one who’s always sharing our efforts on Twitter and other social media. Welcome Joy to Entertaining Stories.




Voices of Four Igbo Women

An Excerpt:

Nwanyi Di Mma (The Beautiful Woman)

Twenty years later, Ify is back in Port Harcourt, a professional woman. She first visits Diobu market, her childhood training ground. She remembers the old Diobu market as an open camp where sellers of all types of merchandise sold their goods. They made their shades from corrugated iron sheet or large umbrellas. There were no toilets. The waterside next to the market was used as the public toilet. Now the market has been completely rebuilt with concrete and permanent stalls, clean public toilets with attendants, and parking spaces for cars. She has returned to Port Harcourt ten years after her studies of cinematography at the School of Cinematography at Cinecittà in Rome. Port Harcourt is the city where she grew up. Port-Harcourt has always been a very clean city, known as the garden city of Nigeria.

She is still walking through the market when she stops short at the used clothes stalls. She hears a familiar voice and turns to look at the owner of the voice. She sees a chubby woman selling the clothes. This woman somehow reminds her of Miss Nelly, her third-grade teacher at the Baptist Day School. Miss Nelly is the only teacher of her elementary school that she still remembers very well. She walks past this lady several times and looks at her. But this lady is chubby, with sleepy eyes and faded skin. She does not look anything like Miss Nelly, though she must have been pretty in her younger years. But her voice sounds familiar when she speaks.

The Miss Nelly she knew was tall, fair in complexion, and very beautiful, the picture of the woman that every young girl wants to be. The woman in the market is the complete opposite of what Miss Nelly looked like, but her voice is the same. Ify decides that this woman, who looks tired, with curved shoulders, cannot be Miss Nelly. Her Miss Nelly could not have such dull eyes with heavy bags under them or lifeless and wrinkled skin. She could not wear old faded clothes or have such faded complexion. This woman looks like someone who has aged prematurely, like some of those women in the village who fade into old age very quickly after marriage and many children.

Her Miss Nelly had a quiet and calm disposition. Ify was ten years old when she was in Miss Nelly’s class, so she remembers how easygoing Miss Nelly was. No one took Miss Nelly seriously even when she was angry. Little things in life made her happy. She did not have enemies, and yet she was surrounded by people who took advantage of her good nature. She had clear bright eyes that seemed to smile all the time, and she twisted her fingers when she was embarrassed.

Miss Nelly was her childhood idol. How could she end up like this? Ify remembers her as a soft-spoken and kind teacher whom every student loved. Her legs were slightly curved, with a dimple in the middle of the inner side of her right leg. As a kid, Ify admired that dimple and wished that she had one like that. She poked her finger into her right leg and hoped it would form a dimple. Miss Nelly had dimples also on both cheeks when she smiled. She always walked with pride, the picture of a lady who would go places.

At the time Miss Nelly taught Ify, teachers still practiced corporal punishment. Some teachers came to school with canes on their belts, or they just swung canes as a warning to students that they will use it, and that always kept the students in line. Miss Nelly never used the cane. She just made her students love her, and she knew and called them by name, also using endearing words like “sweetie,” “love,” and words like that to address them. She had a knack for remembering names. Ify competed with the other students to make her happy.

“Hello, Miss Nelly,” Ify hears someone say, bringing her back to the present. Ify makes a double turn to the direction of the voice. She sees another familiar face from where she is at that corner store outside the market. The person is sitting four tables away from her, and Miss Nelly is walking out of the market with provisions. She looks like maybe she is on her way home to cook for kids.

“Chuchu! How many times will I tell you that the name is now Mrs. Imo?”

Speaking is the same lady that she saw at the market, so she is really Miss Nelly.

“I will never call you that,” Chuchu says, teasing the lady. “You will always be Miss Nelly to me.”

Ify watches as the two crack more jokes and then watches Miss Nelly walk away. Can this chubby, fat lady be her Miss Nelly? No, she shakes her head still puzzled.

She has been away from Port Harcourt, her old school town, for twenty years. She has come back to see what the Biafran Civil War has done to her town. The war has indeed changed Port Harcourt. Her house at Bende Street is no more. The whole of Bende Street, and the timber market at the end of it, are now part of a new layout in downtown Port Harcourt. Everything has changed. A huge concrete embankment lines the ocean shore where she used to go with other children to catch frog fish left behind by the ocean as it retreats. Port Harcourt is on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean, and the ocean retreats completely at noon, leaving dry land and struggling fish behind. The children used to jump in with baskets to catch the fish. If a child strayed too far into the ocean’s dry bed, that child would be swept off by the ocean when it returned at 2:00 p.m. Many children lost their lives that way. The return of the ocean was so swift that even grown-ups could not outrun it. They either knew how to swim or would be carried off by the ocean.



Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

Joy Nwosu was born in Enugu, Anambra State of south-eastern Nigeria. Her parents were Charles Belonwu and Deborah Nwosu. She is the fifth in rank of the seven children of her parents. Joy was born into a music family.

Joy, now retired, was a music teacher, trained in Santa Cecilia, Rome, and obtained her Ph.D. in Music Education from the University of Michigan, USA.

She has written and published extensively on national and international scholarly journals, magazines, and newspapers.

Her short story I Come from Utopia was published in African Voices, Spring/Summer, 2007, pg. 18, and her first English novel; Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women was published in 2011, and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Book Contest in 2012. She has also two books published in the Italian language.

Joy is a trained musician, and taught music for 35 years. She writes, performs, and record folk songs.

Her new book: The Legend of the Walking Dead: Igbo Mythologies, which has just been released, is a journey into the mysteries of life and death of the Igbos of Nigeria. She loves reading romances and mystery stories.


http://sbpra.com/joylobamijoko/ Mirror of Our Lives …..

http://sbprabooks.com/JoyNwosuLoBamijoko/ Legend of the Walking…

Buy Mirror of Our Lives…Amazon Link:


Barnes & Noble Link


Link to my Blog:jinlobify.Com

Face BookLink: https://www.facebook.com/joy.lobamijoko

Link to my LinkedIn Book Add: http://goo.gl/fT1P2O

Trailer: Mirror of Our Lives: Voices of Four Igbo Women


Twitter Handle:@Jinlobify


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Meet #RRBC Spotlight Author Kim Cox

You guys have read my posts about the Rave Reviews Book Club before. This club is all about helping and promoting authors to new readers. This week the club’s Spotlight Author is Kim Cox. She’s here to tell us all about writing a Paranormal Mystery. Take it away, Kim.

Writing the Paranormal Mystery

What enticed me to write a paranormal mystery series? Why did I want to write a series about a psychic female private investigator who could communicate with ghosts? What contributed to my interest? I get ideas for writing from everywhere and everyone, but I never use specifics from the instances and persons around me. However, all things spark ideas for totally unrelated subjects.


A while back my husband and I were talking about cloning. Not sure where the conversation started, but we were wondering about how a soul comes into play in the overall scheme of this process. Does the cloned person even have a soul? Well, the what-ifs started and I have a futuristic, science fiction book on the back burner, meaning that I have an idea about one that I want to write. So, I added some thoughts about cloning to a file, and I’ve downloaded some books about cloning for research. Anyway, this is insight into how my mind works and where ideas can come from because of a simple conversation.

My reading passion has always included all types of mysteries, and since I started writing, I’ve wanted to write a series about a female sleuth, private investigator. As far as psychics and mediums, they fascinate me along with the ghosts they communicate with. I’ve heard numerous stories about ghosts from family and friends. I’ve come to believe that the state of Ohio is full of them. By the way, I would love to hear from others who live or have lived in Ohio about this.

I grew up watching “Shock Theater” for goodness sake. For those who don’t know, “Shock Theater” came on late nights on Friday in the 1960s and 1970s. These shows featured zombies, vampires, werewolves, Frankenstein, swamp monters, and probably other things I can’t remember right now.

I remember during one episode about zombies, my brother, David, had a large glass of milk and two or three banana sandwiches. I think he was around sixteen or seventeen at the time. We were watching this show where a man was running from the zombies saying, “Feet don’t fail me now,” and David laughed so hard that he spat milk and banana sandwich all over the floor. Tears were streaming from his eyes and he was rolling all over the furniture.

As a teenager, I had a friend who swore they had a ghost named Oscar (not sure if this was the name he gave them or a name they gave him, although, I believe it was the latter) living in their house. He would do odd things—move objects around or write on a steam-covered mirror in the bathroom but he was never mean or scary. Once, I remember hearing them say that Oscar may not be a man after all, because one night the entity climbed into bed my friend’s brother.

This friend lived in a small town in eastern North Carolina, but Oscar had followed or hopped a ride with them back from a place in Ohio where they’d lived during the summer. I don’t remember the name of the town or anything else about it.

Then there was my husband’s aunt who told me numerous ghost stories about houses she’d lived in near Dayton. She’d seen many apparitions over the years and for the life of me, I can’t remember any specific stories except one about her seeing this filmy, translucence spirit which seemed to be more of a residual haunting where the ghost went about their normal routine as if they were still alive.

All of these stories have fascinated me over the years and that fascination manifested itself into the stories in the Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery series. Not any stories I’ve heard specifically but portions of things in them sparked ideas. I can only think of one specific thing I may have used and that’s the writing on the mirror in Get Out or Die. These stories have contributed in part to me wanting to write about ghosts, psychics, mediums, etc.

After my first book, “Haunted Hearts” was written, television shows such as “Ghost Whisperer” and “Medium” began to air and my interest only grew. I loved those shows and hated it when they stopped showing them.

The Lana Malloy Paranormal Mystery Series


In the LANA MALLOY PARANORMAL MYSTERY SERIES, Lana Malloy is a psychic, private investigator who is on a mission to help the dearly departed even when they don’t realize they need help. With each book, Lana’s psychic abilities grow. As she’s pushed to new limits, she learns she’s capable of much more than she knew.

In book one, HAUNTED HEARTS, Lana sets out to solve her first case—the twenty-year old cold-case and double murder of her great aunt and her great aunt’s fiancé. If she succeeds, they’ll spend eternity together; if she can’t, they’ll be stuck as Haunted Hearts. With the help of the ghosts and a new love interest, she is able to find the murderer.

In book two, GET OUT OR DIE, the success of Lana’s first case has spread throughout the local Charleston area and her business is booming. At one pro-bono job, Lana helps a widow communicate with her late husband where she learns of a frightening new ability—an ability that could give the next spirit, an angry ghost, the upper hand if she’s not careful.

In book three, THE WEDDING CRASHER, Lana is on her honeymoon in Gatlinburg, Tennessee when she learns that a reoccurring vision about an abducted woman took place in nearby Knoxville. This case takes her hiking up mountainsides and trekking through rough terrain to find a madman before he can harm this young woman.

In the fourth book, CHRISTMAS CRUISE, Lana boards a cruise ship haunted by dead women who were brutally murdered. While aboard the ship Lana has an experience that mentally injures her. Once she recovers, she’s more determined than ever to find the murderer.

Coming up next, book five, HAUNTED BY HER PAST: Lana is faced with the task of helping, Jena, a domestic abuse victim to escape the ghost of her dead, abusive, ex-boyfriend.

Other Books Coming In This Series

In book six, DEMI’S SERIAL CASE, the town of Charlestonhas a serial killer and Demi requires Lana’s assistance. Demi is Lana’s best friend and a police detective. Lana helps Demi profile the killer who is believed to be a copy-cat killer (copying another serial killer’s modus operandi) of the man who has been in jail for about five years.

In book seven, DEATH COMES CALLING, Derek, Tony’s brother has moved back to Charleston after living in the middle east and Africa, treating serious injuries while associated with the organization, Doctors Without Borders. A ghost that died in his care begins to haunt him.

Book eight is of yet untitled, but the idea is that shortly after Demi is promoted to Police Captain, she will be involved in a shootout that leads to her being charged with murder. Lana will need to find the truth in order to save her friend. The problem, the dead spirit isn’t talking and he’s the only one that knows what truly happened.

About Kim





Kim Cox is an author of Paranormal, Mystery, Suspense and Romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chain saw artist husband, their West Highland White Terriers–Scooter and Harley, and a Yorkie mix, Candi. Kim is published in novels, short stories and articles.

Sign up for Kim’s Readers List for exclusive information, new releases, contests, giveaways, and free books.

Visit her at the following sites:

Author’s Website: http://www.kimcoxauthor.com

Blogs: Kim’s Musings, Kim’s Author Support Page

Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/kimcox

Social Media locations:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kimcoxauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KimCoxAuthor

Google: https://plus.google.com/+KimCoxAuthor/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kimcox

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kimwrtr/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimwrtr


Suspicious Minds

Betrayal, Revenge, and Hidden Identity

In the city of Boston lies a story of betrayal, revenge and hidden identity. Ryan Donatelli, posing as Thomas Randolph, sets out to avenge his sister’s death, even if it means using Sam Southard’s daughter to do it. After all, Ryan is sure Sam’s responsible.

Natalie Southard is determined to keep her family business out of the hands of known crime boss, Nick DeMarco. After her father is killed, Natalie and Ryan are forced to run for their lives. But, will they live long enough for their hearts to heal once everything is revealed?



Filed under Writing