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Angelia Vernon Menchan shines brightly in THE AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT!


It is a pleasure to host author Angelia Vernon Menchan as RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB SPOTLIGHT AUTHOR at 4writersandreaders blog this week. Angelia is currently featuring two books from her SOUL TIES DUO. You’ll find out more about them at the end of her post. So, sit back, relax and travel along with the author as she shares how her writing journey began. Welcome Angelia Vernon Menchan!

Angelia Vernon Menchan’s Publishing Journey, The Beginning Chapters

Angelia Mechan

Angelia Vernon Menchan, author of THE SOUL TIES DUO: “Soul Ties are real and life lasting so choose ‘who’ carefully.”

My journey to publishing has been an interesting blessing. My goals in life were always to be a counselor and author. By age 36 I had accomplished the counseling, however, the author journey would not begin until almost fourteen years later unless you count the yearbook articles.

My early adult years were filled with traveling with my military husband, raising our sons and creating careers for myself. Writing at that time would not have worked for me because I knew it would have taken my focus off things that were more important, my family. That is only indicative of my life and everyone must choose what works best for them and how.

However in 2004 when my youngest started college I started writing and the stories flowed like lava from a busted volcano. Many I gave away, others I entered in online contests and got favorable reviews. But actually publishing did not occur to me until I wrote an eighteen page short story that really excited people, that story has spawned eight full length books and as many short story spinoffs. The writing journey began by simply writing and deciding without any advice to publish. (This isn’t recommended for the faint of heart.)

For four months I wrote fast and furiously and decided to vanity publish after some research. I know, I know, but seeking a publisher never crossed my mind. I started my first business at thirteen so “do it myself” worked for me. Anyway I plunked down my five hundred dollars and my baby, Black’s Obsession was born. I was an author! Ha, hold up, wait a minute. No I wasn’t, I was a writer who had thrown together a book and gotten it in print. I joined yahoo groups and it didn’t take long before I was disabused of my notions of being a real author. I actually received 3s and 4s as reviews but it was clear it was sloppy and many made no bones about saying it, not necessarily to me but I heard it loud and clear. Instead of being offended, I listened and made some changes. But before that could fully occur a strange thing happened, local readers paid their fifteen dollars and loved the book. There were components that they especially loved, such as an African-American man who completely loved a woman and didn’t care who knew it and was as flawed as could be but loved his community and was about positive growth. That heartened me enough to continue because with all of its flaws the books were selling, I was being invited to book clubs and events and was having conversations with readers about my work. I just knew I had work to do and was willing to do it.

I incorporated my company, MAMM Productions, started surrounding myself with those who were honest and supportive at the same time. By that I mean, they assisted me but didn’t fool me into thinking I had all the answers. I hired a publicist and those who could whip my books into shape and I was on my way. I also have an aside, which is probably most helpful to new authors, once you accept that not everyone is going to support your work and that every book isn’t for every reader, you have covered a major hurdle in your life. Please accept that if nothing else.

For the next several months while working on my second book I had to make changes. Online was not working for me, it was too much talking and pontificating, so I decided there was no way I would spend my time like that. I was an African-American writer with African-American stories living in a city with 350 thousand African-Americans! It was time to take my show on the road. From 2007 to 2010 I published eight books and traveled my state and the surrounding states selling my work and gaining readers and relationships. I barely went online during that time, that wasn’t my focus or my concern. When I first knew this was working for me was going to The Zora Neale Hurston festival, people bought my second book, Love Stories of People I Have Known and they also took my card and soon after started calling me. It was rejuvenating and encouraging.

Of my travels another mission was born, many found me a storyteller and funny and soon I was being asked to not only show up and sell books but people were actually asking me to talk about the things I was writing about, including teen issues, mentoring, marriage, community involvement and the list goes on. I was no longer a writing publisher, I had become something else that continues to bless my life and my writing work. While on the road, I sold a lot of books but I grew weary. It was exhausting considering I still had a very demanding career as a Budget Analyst. In my next segment of my publishing journey I would like to talk about bringing my career back online and learning to change when change is needed.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE AUTHOR and her many books at Angelia’s Amazon Author Page

THE SOUL TIES DUO  “Sex is not qualified to do the work of love, it just isn’t.”

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Visit Angelia’s blogs:

 

Follow Angelia Vernon Menchan’s RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB SPOTLIGHT TOUR all week at http://ravereviewsbynonniejules.wordpress.com/spotlight-authors/

 

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MEET “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR: Bruce A. Borders


Bruce A Borders-AuthorMeet author Bruce A. Borders and read an excerpt from his latest suspense novel “INSIDE ROOM 913”

 INSIDE ROOM 913— “Thrill Ride From Start To Finish…”

RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR, Bruce A. Borders was born in 1967 in Cape Girardeau, MO. Bruce’s childhood years were spent in a number of states, including Missouri, Oregon, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
During his high school years, Bruce was a member of the football, basketball and track teams, involved in various non-athletic activities such as school yearbook production and photography, and won numerous awards for his artistic creations. Bruce Borders graduated Valedictorian in 1984.

While in school, Bruce held three part-time jobs—a store clerk, a janitor, and a dental technician, working about 60-70 hours per week. After graduation, he became employed full time as a dental technician. Other jobs have included restaurant manager, carpenter and grocery store cashier. For the past sixteen years, he has worked as a commercial truck driver, logging more than two million miles.

At the age of fifteen, Bruce decided to become a writer. He began by writing songs, news articles and short stories. Eventually, books were added to the list. Over the years, he continued to write and currently has a catalog of more than 500 songs, numerous short stories and over a dozen completed books. Bruce writes on a variety of subjects such as fictional novels of legal issues and westerns. Titles include: Inside Room 913, Over My Dead Body, Miscarriage Of Justice, The Journey, and in The Wynn Garrett Series – Mistaken Identity, Holy Terror, Remote Control, Judicial Review, Even Odds and Safety Hazard.

"Thrill Ride From Start To Finish..." ~ Michael Carrier (Reviewer)


“Thrill Ride From Start To Finish…”
5-Star Review~ Michael Carrier


Excerpt from
“INSIDE ROOM 913”

“I see we are on video,” Cynthia said, eyeing the camera mounted in the corner up near the ceiling.

“Oh, yeah,” Janet said with a dismissive wave of her hand. “The cameras are only on the first level. And there aren’t very many of them. Only four, I think. They watch the main doors and the lobby area. I never really think about them.”

The idea of being filmed while she worked was slightly unsettling to Cynthia. Not that she had anything to hide necessarily, she just felt awkward knowing someone could be watching. It was good to know the surveillance didn’t cover the entire building.

“You won’t even notice them after the first couple of days,” Janet predicted.

Cynthia wasn’t so sure and found herself continually glancing up at the ceiling, self-consciously straightening her hair and fixing her clothes any time she caught sight of one of the cameras. As if the tension of starting a new job wasn’t enough, now she had one more thing to worry about. And then there was the ever-talkative Janet, of course. The upside of that was, since Janet liked to talk so much; it should be easy to find out anything and everything about Room 913.

The slightly ditsy aide may have been a chatterbox, but she was right about one thing, the service elevators definitely were slow. Real slow. And a little scary. The jerky motion and periodic clinking noises reminded Cynthia of an old wooden roller coaster. The kind that was notorious for falling. She grimaced, hoping they didn’t suddenly start racing down some unseen track.

At least they didn’t ride too far at any one time, stopping on each floor with Janet going up and down the hall, blabbing away, rattling off the names of the tenants along with their room numbers.

“Should I be taking notes?” Cynthia asked with a half-worried frown.

“Nah,” Janet told her. “There’s really not that many people here. You’ll learn their names – eventually. Even if you forget, they will remember you. Most of them anyway,” she laughed. “There are a few who have trouble remembering their own name. But almost everyone here is normal – as sane as you and me.”

Deciding to reserve judgment on just how sane Janet was, or was not, Cynthia wisely kept silent.

Oddly, she noticed, many of the doors on the lower levels were open but as they moved on to the higher floors, most of the tenants’ doors were closed. She mentioned her observation.

“The upper stories are hotel residents who can pretty much manage on their own,” Janet explained. “While the lower floors are for the assisted living. They like to use us to run errands and other things. Nothing too strenuous. We might take out the garbage, vacuum, hang a picture on the wall, type a letter, find their meds, or anything else they have a problem with. We’ve even been known to help wash the dishes on occasion. So, you’ll spend most of your time on the first three floors. That’s the people we assist the most. Ha! I guess that’s why it’s called assisted living, huh?”

“Probably,” Cynthia agreed.

“Oh! Did they tell you,” Janet said, “about the guy in Room 913?”

“Sort of, but not really. Only that we were not to go inside – or talk to him.”

“It’s not so much that we’re not allowed,” Janet said. “We can’t. The door hasn’t been opened in years, and even if you try to talk, he won’t answer you.”

“So, you’ve tried?” Cynthia asked. Then she almost laughed out loud. Of course Janet had tried, the girl couldn’t stop talking.

“I’m not admitting to anything,” Janet said.

Cynthia grinned. “Seriously though, the guy never comes out?” Her inquisitive side was taking over.

“No. I heard he hasn’t been out of that room since the day he was put in there way back in the sixties.”

The sixties? Just how old is he, anyway?

“I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I do know he hasn’t been out since I came to work here.”

“Does the man have a name or is he just the guy in Room 913?”

“Oh, I’m sure he has a name,” Janet laughed. “But, I don’t know what it is. Come to think of it, I don’t even know if I’ve ever heard it or not. I don’t remember if I have.”

Probably too busy talking, Cynthia was thinking.

“Everybody just calls him the guy in Room 913. Even Mrs. Kirkwood. You’d think if anybody knew his real name, she’d would. She’s been here for longer than I’ve been alive, like twenty-five years or so. Actually, longer than that probably. I used to think she owned the place but I don’t really know.”

Cynthia held up her hand, trying to stop the incessant chatter long enough to get in another question. “If the guy, whoever he is, hasn’t been out of the room, and no one has seen or heard him in all these years, how do we know he’s even alive? I mean, how long can he survive without basic things like food, new clothes or,” she made a face, “soap?”

Janet was chomping at the bit, eager to answer, but strangely waited until Cynthia had finished. “He is alive. We deliver a tray of food every single day and it always gets eaten. We pick up the empty tray the next day. Come on,” she urged. “Let’s go up to the ninth floor and I’ll show you.”

As they headed back to the elevator, the girl continued her banter. “We also deliver other things he needs, like razors, stamps, and envelopes – all sorts of things. Oh, yeah,” she added, “and soap!”

“How do you know what he wants if no one is allowed to talk to the man?”

The elevator was making its slow ascent as Janet explained. “He leaves a note sometimes, with the empty tray.” She went on, relating more unimpressive details of mostly useless information.

At the risk of opening a verbal Pandora’s Box, but wanting to find out as much information as she could, Cynthia waited for Janet to take a breath. Quickly then, she asked, “So how did Mr. Man In Room 913 end up here? And who pays his rent? He can’t have a job. So, is he some rich guy? And isn’t someone, somewhere, missing him? Somebody out there must know who he is. No one ever visits him? Doesn’t he have any family?”

Janet gave her a sideways look and frowned. “You sure ask a lot of questions. You training to be a private eye or something?”

“No,” Cynthia said, wondering why Janet seemed so hesitant all of a sudden. “They are just normal questions that anybody would have, I would think. Aren’t you a little curious?”

“Well, no. Not really,” Janet said. “Most of what you asked I already know.”

“You could share some of your vast knowledge,” Cynthia said pointedly. The sudden tight-lipped behavior seemed totally out of character from what she had seen in the short time since meeting Janet.

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Thank you Rave Reviews Book Club for voting me this week’s “SPOTLIGHT” AUTHOR! And, a huge thanks to all the members who agreed to host me on their site! ~Bruce A. Borders

Thank you, Bruce, for guest posting and sharing this gripping excerpt from INSIDE ROOM 913 with us here at 4writersandreaders. I‘ve already got your novel OVER MY DEAD BODY in the queue on my kindle. What a great excerpt from INSIDE ROOM 913.  I’m heading over to Amazon right now to download my copy. Readers, I know you’ll want one too—just follow any of the links below, grab your copy and start reading. And, please leave us a comment below. Bruce and I would love to hear from you! ~ Bette A. Stevens

INSIDE ROOM 913

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00EZZOH2S

Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/inside-room-913-bruce-a-borders/1116894465 

Smashwords https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/354707?ref=BruceABorders

Sony https://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/bruce-a-borders/inside-room-913/_/R-400000000000001119674 

iTunes http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/inside-room-913/id705782049?mt=11&uo=4

Kobo http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Inside-Room-913/book-Gl7mhSHMlEaw344JW7YjaQ/page1.html?s=l47AMsNTcUurHRDYJUAVtQ&r=1

Connect with Bruce:

@BruceABorders

http://www.facebook.com/BruceABordersBooks

http://bruceabordersbooks.weebly.com

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5752197.Bruce_A_Borders

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NAFTA leaders put saving monarch butterfly on trade pact’s agenda – McClatchy DC News – The Sacramento Bee


“Our governments will establish a working group to ensure the conservation of the monarch butterfly, a species that symbolizes our association…”

Two monarch butterflies mating

via NAFTA leaders put saving monarch butterfly on trade pact’s agenda – McClatchy DC News – The Sacramento Bee.

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WWF: North American Leaders Rightly Commit to Protecting Monarch Butterfly Migration NorthumberlandView.ca


Many of the factors contributing to the declines in monarch populations are having a similar impact on other species, including wild and managed bees and other pollinators crucial to food production.

Many of the factors contributing to the declines in monarch populations are having a similar impact on other species, including wild and managed bees and other pollinators crucial to food production.

READ ALL ABOUT IT AT via http://www.northumberlandview.ca/index.php?module=news&type=user&func=display&sid=27048#.UwasboVnPWi

Monarch Migration Map

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What the 3 Amigos should really talk about today: monarch butterflies


What the 3 Amigos should really talk about today: monarch butterflies – The Globe and Mail.

monarch30lf1The magic of the monarch migration from Canada through the U.S. and on to Mexico (and then back north over multiple generations) continues to be in existential jeopardy.

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Intellectuals Urge Leaders from ‘The Americas’ to Protect the Monarch Butterfly


Maine Author/Illustrator Bette A. Stevens advocates for children, childhood literacy and Monarch butterflies.

Maine Author/Illustrator Bette A. Stevens advocates for children, childhood literacy and Monarch butterflies.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter referred to Monarch butterflies as ambassadors to The Americas.

What will today’s leaders do?

On Wednesday, February 19th, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, U.S. President Barack Obama and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper are meeting in Toluca, Mexico to discuss such matters as economic competitiveness, trade investment, entrepreneurship and security. A letter to these three leaders has been signed by more than 150 intellectuals, including Nobel literature laureate Orham Pamus, U.S. environmentalist Robert Kennedy Jr. and Canadian author Margaret Atwood, noting that the Monarch population has dropped to the lowest levels since 1993 when recording monarch data began. They are urging the three leaders to devote part of their meeting to discussing ways to protect the Monarch butterfly. (Modesto Bee 02-13-2014)

In my own efforts to advocate for these amazing and near threatened creatures, I penned the poem, A Monarch’s Dream, based on my children’s picture book: AMAZING MATILDA: A Monarch’s Tale.

Find out how you can help protect our Monarch Butterflies at http://makewayformonarchs.org/i/#

Wikipedia:

The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a milkweed butterfly (subfamily Danainae) in the family Nymphalidae. It is perhaps the best known of all North American butterflies. Since the 19th century, it has been found in New Zealand, and in Australia since 1871, where it is called the wanderer.[3][4][5] It is resident in the Canary Islands, the Azores, and Madeira, and is found as an occasional migrant in Western Europe and a rare migrant in the United Kingdom.[6] Its wings feature an easily recognizable orange and black pattern, with a wingspan of 8.9–10.2 cm (3½–4 in).[7] (The viceroy butterfly is similar in color and pattern, but is markedly smaller, and has an extra black stripe across the hind wing.) Female monarchs have darker veins on their wings, and the males have a spot called the androconium in the center of each hind wing.[8] Males are also slightly larger than female monarchs. The Queen is a close relative.

The monarch is famous for its southward late summer/autumn migration from the United States and southern Canada to Mexico and coastal California, and northward return in spring, which occurs over the lifespans of three to four generations of the butterfly. The migration route was fully determined by Canadian entomologists Fred and Norah Urquhart after a 38-year search, aided by naturalists Kenneth C. Brugger and Catalina Trail who solved the final piece of the puzzle by identifying the butterflies’ overwintering sites in Mexico. The discovery has been called the “entomological discovery of the 20th century”.[9] An IMAX film, Flight of the Butterflies, tells the story of the long search by the Urquharts, Brugger and Trail to unlock the secret of the butterflies’ migration.[10] There is evidence that eastern North American populations of the monarch butterfly migrate to south Florida and Cuba.[11]

RELATED ARTICLES

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MEXICO CITY: Writers ask for monarch butterflies’ protection | News | Modesto Bee


MEXICO CITY: Writers ask for monarch butterflies’ protection | News | Modesto Bee.

Extreme weather trends, loss of habitat and agricultural policies cited as contributors to decline of monarch butterflies.

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