#RWISA “RISE-UP” TOUR, DAY 5, P.T.L. Perrin, @ptlperrin #RRBC #RRBC_COMMUNITY #RWISARiseUp

P.T.L. Perrin

WHEN THE WORLD WAS FORCED TO A STOP

…it immediately created a toilet paper shortage. No restrictions had yet been put into place the day I went shopping at Walmart. As always, the items I needed were available. I loaded my cart and headed for the paper aisle. Wait! What the heck happened? A single pack of toilet paper sat on the otherwise empty shelves, left there, most likely, because of a tear in the packaging. I grabbed it. The paper wouldn’t spoil because the package was ripped.

Two women, one elderly and one a younger version of her, stopped in shock, just like I did. I couldn’t help myself. Tears filled the older woman’s eyes, and I had to do something. I handed her daughter the pack, fully expecting to find one somewhere else. Besides, we were okay for a while. How could Walmart, of all places, be out of TOILET PAPER? And why THAT item and no others?

In the coming weeks, when nary a roll was to be found anywhere, I fantasized about the hoarders having to eat it. Roasted TP. Grilled TP. TP Soup. TP pie. I hoped they choked; until I realized that some of them might be families with kids, and they’d be up the creek without a paddle if they hadn’t bought it all up that first week. I began to wish them well and decided to order some online. The next available delivery date was sometime in June, in two months, but it wasn’t guaranteed. A friend suggested I search Amazon for a bidet.

Having lived in Italy in the late ‘60s, early ‘70s, I was familiar with bidets, simple low basins separate from the toilet with shower nozzles that sprayed upward. Back then, they were a place to float toy boats, complete with a fountain in the middle. I did not know their true purpose until I was much older and no longer living there. We had plenty of toilet paper back then.

The bidets I found online ranged from a hand-held sprayer, which can double as a cloth diaper cleaner (for those with babies who still use cloth diapers), to a seat attachment that requires no aiming. It appears that the sprayer might take some practice in order to avoid a wet bathroom. But then, if you turn on the no-aiming-required spray without your rear end covering the inside opening of the toilet seat, you could give your ceiling a wash. At least you could with the Italian ones. Amazingly, the guaranteed delivery date was in three days. I clicked the button, quite satisfied with myself.

Neighbors drive to a local farm, where a box of fresh veggies is placed in their trunk, and they drop some off at our front porch. Other neighbors are busy sewing facemasks for a local nursing home. I gave them some colorful fabric and a treasure trove of elastic left over from my long-ago sewing days. Kids ride their bikes in the quiet streets, six feet apart from each other most of the time. Couples walk holding hands (come on…they live together!) and greet other walkers, keeping their distance and using their ‘outside’ voices. Everyone asks everyone else, “How are you doing? Need anything?”

The air smells fresher, the office is gradually getting cleaned out, and my tennis-pro husband burns off energy doing yard work and cutting the hedge shorter and shorter. By the time this is over, it’ll be six inches tall. We’re finally using up the canned goods in the pantry, at least those whose expiration dates are newer than July 2015.

The worst part of this for most people is the loss of jobs and income, although we’re all hoping it’s temporary. We hope to scrounge enough to pay the mortgage for the next couple months, until the tennis courts open and people take lessons again. Younger people with families at home are worried, including our children with their families. Some can work from home, others cannot.

The systems that should facilitate what the government has done to ease the burden are broken and scrambling to find fixes. When this happens again, hopefully in the far distant future, they should be prepared, and the process should run smoother. The same goes for medical supplies and personal protection equipment. There were no stockpiles when this virus shut us down. After this, there will be.

We pray for the sick, that they will recover, and for those who’ve lost loved ones. We pray for those who are feeling the pain of lost income, especially those with young children. We pray for the teachers who have poured themselves into making lessons their students can do from home, and we pray for the parents of those students. We pray for the homeless and the prisoners who have little choice in anything. We pray for Bill’s mom in a nursing home, and for all those who live and work there. We pray for doctors, nurses, hospital staff, first responders…everyone helping others though this.

We were both sick in January, and so were some of our kids and grandkids. Could it have been this virus, this invisible scourge, that made us miserable for a while and then left us to recover? Perhaps. Perhaps many people have had it unknowingly and are now immune, with antibodies that can help someone who is seriously ill to recover. In time, we may all be tested, and then we’ll know for sure.

For now, we practice social distancing. We stay home and catch up on things we’d been meaning to do for the last twenty years, and thank the good Lord we have a home to shelter in. We follow the rules, not to protect ourselves, but to protect the people around us, known and not known, just in case. We are witnessing the spirit of the people who live here, who, when faced with calamity, reach out and help their neighbors. We have never been prouder to be Americans than we are right now.

The bidet arrived right on time. It looks nice in its box, which will remain closed until we run out of toilet paper, an unlikely issue with our kids and neighbors watching out for us. Neighbors, if you run out, we have some to share. I want to try that bidet.

Now about those toilet paper hoarders…

Thank you for supporting today’s RWISA author along the RWISA “RISE-UP” Blog Tour!  To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the main RWISA“RISE-UP” Blog Tour page on the RWISA site.  For a chance to win a bundle of15 e-books along with a $5 Amazon gift card, please leave a comment on the main RWISA“RISE-UP”Blog Tour page!  Once you’re there, it would be nice to also leave the author a personal note on their dedicated tour page, as well.  Thank you, and good luck!  

#RWISA “RISE-UP” TOUR, DAY 3, JAN SIKES, @JanSikes3 #RRBC #RRBC_Community #RWISARiseUp

…and we think we have it rough! Jan Sikes writes about her amazing Mom who lived through unthinkable hardship, teaching her daughter how to live and love.  Read more about this wonderful author here.

Don’t miss this video!

RWISA: RAVE WRITERS - INT'L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS

2020 RWISA RISE UP TOUR BANNER

DEPRESSION SOUP

by Jan Sikes

She stood in a line her head bowed low

There was nowhere to run, no place to go

With clothes that were ragged

And shoes that were worn

There were millions just like her

She wasn’t alone

America’s Great Depression had stolen their homes

Took its toll on their bodies

Tried to squash their souls

But she squared her shoulders, raised her eyes

Fierce determination replaced her sighs

She’d fight to survive, that much was true

Although many times, she’d be sad and blue

Someday there would be plenty

But for now, she was caught in a loop

She held out her bowl

For another serving

Of Depression Soup

Born in Missouri in 1917, my mom, Marian Edith Clark, learned about hardships at a young age.

Her mother, my grandmother, Sarah Jane, was sickly. The household chores fell on my mom’s shoulders when she was…

View original post 1,420 more words

Welcome to day 2 of the #RRBC #RWISA #RWISARiseUp Blog Tour!

Meet D. L. Finn, whose poetry captures what many of us feel about how this pandemic is affecting our lives.

D. L. Finn’s Poetry

MISTY MOUNTAIN MOMENT

It flows quietly on a breeze

Covering the landscape in its presence.

The world simplifies at that moment

While the mountain mist intensifies.

Its threatening chill keeps us indoors

Watching…

Waiting…

Worrying…

How long will it eliminate color from our world?

Yet, we’re securely tucked away inside.

We have a full stomach.

A place to sleep… others don’t.

Some live outside in this mountain mist

Trying to survive.

We offer what we can… from a safe distance.

As we head back to our protected lives

Suddenly, we get a glimpse past the monochrome.

Then we remember that a dreary gray mountain moment

Does not subdue the light that shines within all of us.

GONE

Gone is my freedom as I shelter at home.

Gone is abundant supplies; I must get in line to shop.

Gone are family gatherings, events, and appointments.

Gone is the income from those deemed non-essential.

Gone is the guarantee they will be helped.

This is all replaced by a new world.

Where procuring toilet paper is a reason to celebrate.

Where putting my wants over someone’s safety is a priority.

Where people risk their lives to save others.

Where people do without, perhaps for the first time.

Where learning how to make what used to be available.

Yes, so much has changed and is gone—for now.

My hope is this new insight and caring…

Stays long after everything that is gone, returns

And things go back to a new compassionate normal.

STORM

A storm tore through our world unseen

But we felt its presence as hospitals filled.

We tried to wash it off and hide from it

Yet, it kept coming.

Finally, we headed into the storm shelter

Only venturing out for food…

Unless we were needed to fight this storm.

So many heroes raced into the chaos

Sadly, some did not make it back home.

While the rest of us waited in our safety

Grateful for what we had

Worried for what we did not.

Here we wait for that sunny day

When the storm fades away,

And we return to normal again

Armed with a new understanding…

Of how fragile our existence is.

Something the wise won’t ever forget.

#RRBC Member of the Month #RRBCMOM @KarlJMorgan #RRBC_Community

Meet fellow SciFi author Karl Morgan! He’s the Rave Reviews Book Club Member of the Month.

IN HIS OWN WORDS:  “I love science fiction and fantasy! As a normal, breathing human being, I have my own ideas about how and why we are here. I also have my views on why evil and good exist in this world. Put all of that together and I am blessed to have the chance to share my words with you, my readers.

“Writing continues to be an adventure for me. Each story refines my skill and allows me to delve into different aspects of my personality and to better define my world-view. But please do not think that makes me special. We are all on our own adventures, and hopefully, each of our lives allows us to learn and grow. If you are interested in stories that will challenge how you see the universe around you, my books might be right up your alley. Expect the unexpected.”

Read more, and be sure to pick up one of his books!

via #RRBC Member of the Month #RRBCMOM @KarlJMorgan #RRBC_Community

Interview with an Angel Author

Meet my friend T.K. Lawyer, the award-winning author of the popular Paranormal Romance series, THE GUARDIAN LEAGUE.

T.K.’s Angels are members of the Guardian League, whose purpose is, you guessed it, to guard and protect the humans in their charge. What if some of those angels fell in love with their human charges?

Welcome, T.K. It’s my pleasure to have you here today to share with us more about yourself and your writing. You write what you love with a realistic twist. Your heroes are angels. Can you share what you mean by realistic?

 In most Paranormal Romance stories I’ve read, the angels do battle elsewhere, in worlds solely created by the author. But the Angels in the Guardian League are different; they all come to Earth and fall in love here. 

 These Guardian Angels all find their fated mates while conducting work on Earth.  For every Angel there is a mate and sometimes the mate is human.  For all of the angels in the Guardian League series, their mates are human and they must learn to adapt and grow with their human. 

 They do ordinary “human” things to capture the love of their mate like: going out to a restaurant, watching a movie at the local theater, and meeting up at a night club.  Some of the outings presented in the books are unfamiliar to the angels, and to read their reactions and interactions during the strange “human” situations they are presented with is sometimes comical but always fun.

I have always imagined our guardian angels to be powerful warriors, but you take the concept of angelic guardianship much farther. What inspired you to write about such sexy angels?

Honestly, I adore angels.  I love them and I wondered what if?  A book I read by Felicity Heaton called “Her Dark Angel” opened my eyes to the possibility of an intimate relationship with an angel.  I processed the book wondering if an angel would even consider the concept, and I kept going back to intent.  With angels, it’s all about intent and love and if the intent was to have a loving relationship with a being whether it be human, alien or angel, I don’t see why that wouldn’t work. 

If the possibility existed where a powerful, protective, guardian angel could fall in love with a human being and do human things with them, I don’t think the answer would be no.  After all, angels are all about love and they truly want human beings to experience peace and happiness.  I think angels would welcome the opportunity of this type of partner/relationship if it was possible and available.  Love and intimacy shared with a being that wholeheartedly loves us?  It would make for such great possibilities, too.

 Just think of it–forming an intimate relationship with an angel that loves you completely, is loyal and will never do anything to harm you, plus is gorgeous, charming and attentive to your needs?  Wow–I just described the perfect man!  (wide smile) I think most of us would jump at the chance to have one of these beings in our lives, permanently.  I know I would definitely be in that long line.

I love that your female characters are, as you put it, curvy. Why not sleek and slender, as are most women in romance novels?

Yes, I noticed that and that’s why I decided to go in an opposite direction and write about women like me.  Almost all of my female protagonists are curvy, plus-sized females and I love this because we all deserve love too. 

I wanted to pair these females with gorgeous, strong, protective men because you almost never see this in books.  I also wanted my readers to not only be able to identify with the feelings and emotions experienced by my female characters as they learn the truth about the men they are dating, but also to be able to picture themselves in the book, to know that it is okay to have a generous amount of extra on them and that all women deserve love no matter what their outer looks may be.  I stress in my books it is the inside that captures the attention of these stellar Guardian Angels and that outer looks only bring an extra bit of sexiness, fun, and bounce in the eyes of the angels. 

Your heroes are strong, powerful, possessive alpha males who know exactly what and whom they want. The women they fall in love with are indecisive and full of self-doubt. How does this difference create tension in your stories?

Tension is created when two beings have differences of opinions.  Angels have never lived as human beings so they do not know the depth of all that we go through.  However; Angels have purpose and in my books, all of my Guardian Angels know exactly who their mates are as soon as they lay eyes on them.

 But, as human beings, we are not so sure.  For the most part humans are skeptical–it’s because of all the adversity we have to put up with.  Our skepticism is a survival skill but angels do not have this skepticism. They do have exorbitant amounts of patience and are willing to wait for the one they love because time is meaningless in their world. 

Human beings are complicated and indecisive, at times, and the ones in my books test their angels in different ways; however, angels being steadfast, honorable and patient are the best match for these humans.  As they say, opposites attract but the fact that angels are so flexible and eager to meet the needs of their mates makes them perfect for the human they chose.

You recently released the final book in your Guardian League series; Orion. What can you tell us about the story without giving too much away?

Each one of my Guardian Angels deals with a different theme in their book.  Orion finds his fated mate by accident, and when he approaches the council to request guardianship of her so he can be close to her, he never imagines he would find himself face to face with a former Nemesis:  Mercury.   Not only does Orion have to work alongside Mercury to guard their mutual charge, named Zoe, but he has to battle Mercury for Zoe’s affection, too, for both of her guardians are in love with her.

Are you planning another series? Can you give us a little hint?

Sometime in the near future, I plan to tackle another five book series.  This one will tell the stories of the Council and their origins.  I have hinted at the council members in my books and named one specifically, and I thought it would be a great idea to actually tell their stories and how they became council members.

Thank you so much for joining us today, T.K. Lawyer. Where can our readers find you and your books?

Thank you so much for hosting me.  I had fun answering your questions and I hope your readers enjoyed reading my answers.  I absolutely love my fans and readers and, as you know, I love talking about angels or really anything paranormal related!  I attend book fairs throughout the year and am active on social media. 

Readers can find me at these sites:

 https://www.amazon.com/author/tklawyer

https://www.foundationsbooks.net/our-authors/k-p/t-k-lawyer/

https://www.facebook.com/tklawyerauthor

https://tklawyerauthor.wordpress.com/

Meet My Friend LAURA VOSIKA, Author of the Time-Travel Historical Fiction Series: Blue Bells Chronicles

When I first read The Blue Bells of Scotland, I was immediately caught up in Laura Vosika’s fascinating story of two men, identical in looks, who suddenly switch places.  Shawn Kleiner, a famous and spoiled musician, finds himself transported seven hundred years in the past. At the same time, Niall Campbell travels seven hundred years forward, to our present.

Laura develops her characters beautifully through all the books, including those surrounding the men and with whom they have relationships. I’ve read them all, and eagerly await the release of The Battle is O’er. In fact, I may have been first in line to pre-order it and cannot wait to read it.

Laura is as interesting as her books, and it’s my pleasure to have her with us. Thank you for joining us, Laura!

Tell us about your background. How did you get your start in writing, and how long have you been writing?

I grew up in the military—a great way to live if you look at the positives. You meet lots of people from lots of backgrounds. You learn about the world and other people and that there are a wealth of ideas and ways to live well.

On the down side, it’s easy to end up a bit rootless when you’re always the new kid in school. But there are always books. Whether I would have been a great reader anyway, I’ll never know, but there was certainly plenty of time to read in the summers we had just moved, before school started.

I started writing at a very young age. I tried a few poems when I was eight (and it’s probably just as well they’re long lost!) At nine, I was writing short stories and ‘binding’ them to put on the classroom’s book shelf. At ten, I was starting my first novel. 

When was your first book published, and how many have you published since?

Blue Bells of Scotland was published on September 11, 2009—wow how time flies! Then came the second book, The Minstrel Boy, then The Water is Wide, and Westering Home, all in The Blue Bells ChroniclesThe Battle is O’er is my fifth novel.  I’ve also published Go Home and Practice, a musician’s record book, and Food and Feast in the World of the Blue Bells Chronicles: a gastronomic historic poetic musical romp in thyme, a collection of scenes from the novels that features over 200 recipes, the majority from medieval sources, along with history, stories, poems, and songs associated with the scenes.

How much does your background influence your writing?

A great deal, I’d say. I spent my earliest years in Germany, visiting castles and medieval towns, driving in the Alps, going down into the salt mines, camping in England where we once pitched our tent (with the sexton’s permission) just outside an ancient cemetery. When we lived on the east coast, we went to many historic sites. History has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember, including medieval history. 

Then there’s the music. The Blue Bells Chronicles centers on Shawn Klein, a famous classical trombonist. This is my background. I majored in music, on trombone, and for a time freelanced with various types of orchestras and chamber playing — so Shawn’s world is one with which I’m well-acquainted. Like Niall, the medieval Highlander, I also play harp. 

What inspires you to continue writing?

The letters I get from readers, telling me how they love the books and are eagerly awaiting the next one, are very uplifting and keep me going faster than I might otherwise. But to me, writing is something I can’t NOT do. I’ve been writing stories almost since I was able to write. Niall and Shawn are, in a sense, very real, and I can’t NOT write their story. 

I can attest to that, being one of those readers eagerly awaiting the next one! Aside from your fans, what is the best thing about being a writer?

Apart from the thrill of bringing worlds and people to life–the connections I’ve made with other people; the people I’ve met as a result of writing. I’ve met people literally all over the world whom I would never have known otherwise; and some I’ve become friends with, whether that be other writers or readers. 

What is the worst thing?

It’s not exactly a steady stream of income and there are no benefits; like healthcare and paid vacation.

What is your single best piece of advice for aspiring authors?

Find a writer’s group to join. Get feedback on your writing.

Why do the events of the past matter to us today? Why do we keep reading about the past?

We learn from the past. Every age has its wisdom and every age has its follies. A recurring theme throughout The Blue Bells Chronicles is the contrast of eras. Niall thinks very little of Shawn or his time–and Shawn has equally negative views of both Niall and his century. But as the story progresses, Niall learns there are some good things to be had in the modern time, while Shawn comes to realize that his society also has its flaws, and that maybe, while we’ve improved many things, we’ve also thrown out some good ideas and some wisdom. 

 When we read about history, we’re learning–both from what an age did right, and from their mistakes. Apart from that, we’re learning some great stories!

Laura, it has been a pleasure chatting with you. I understand you have an event coming up. Would you share a little about that?

I’ll be doing an ‘author takeover’ on Facebook, March 24 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. I’d love to have you and your readers join me. Here’s the link: Author Takeover with Laura Vosika

Thank you so much! And thank you for this excerpt from your new book The Battle is O’er. Click here to pre-order the book, and enjoy the excerpt. More of Laura’s links follow.

 

Cover LV BO front

EXCERPT FROM THE BATTLE IS O’ER

“You know these tunnels?” the chief asked.

“I know them well,” Shawn said tersely.

You’re in your time. That had been Amy, as he led her, too, seven hundred years later, just months ago in July, through these same passages. A chill shot through him, wondering if Niall might be down here. He had seen just a glimpse of him, as he burst into the chapel, just a glimpse of his best friend, his brother, knife raised, looking at Simon, as he faded away. Yes, he, too, would be in these passages, searching for Simon in his own time.

“How do you know them?” Clive asked. His light played over the dirt floor.

“Watch carefully,” Shawn returned. “There’s a side passage opening up. He could be hiding there.”

“How do you know them?” Clive asked again.

“I told you,” Shawn said irritably. “I spent a good part of two years here.”

“You were only gone a year.”

In the close passage, Shawn spun. “Do you not get it? There’s a medieval madman down here—maybe—who will kill you. He’ll have his knife under your ribs and through your heart in the blink of an eye, if you’re not paying attention! Could we maybe have our coffee klatch later?”

In the shadowed light of the labyrinth, Clive’s face remained passive, his eyes dark. He nodded, and spoke to the chief. “Guard the exit. I’ll go with Kleiner.” Before his boss could object, he pushed ahead in the cramped tunnel, saying over his shoulder, “You’re needed at the precinct.”

LINKS

WEB SITE: www.bluebellschronicles.com

BLOG on MEDIEVAL HISTORY: http://bluebellstrilogy.blogspot.com

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/laura.vosika.author

TWITTER: www.twitter.com/lauravosika

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