UPDATE: Book Review Awards – Authors in the Running So Far

OK, looks like we are going through with this thing!!

Thank you for your feedback and suggestions. Based upon which I’ve decided that yes, we are going to do this!

First thing’s first, I am getting a logo made. Something simple but nice which I’ll outsource from Fiverr. BUT, if any of you do logos for free, like, let me know. I am not trying to spend a whole bunch of money. I love you but I am not rich so, like, help a sista out.

For now, here are the authors who are currently automatically drafted into the contest due their 5-star ratings on this blog. More authors will be added to this list as I read and review their books. Remember, to be part of this contest means that you must receive a 5-star rating from me. Excellence is priority.

We are just in the preliminary stages so there’s not much information about this yet but please go ahead and read the initial post HERE for a general understanding of what this is about. Remember, we are still in the planning stage but if you have more ideas or would like to sponsor, be my guest. You may as well say it’s September so we only have a few months to plan and I want this to be a group effort!

The Authors in the running so far have been hand-picked from the books I’ve read, reviewed, and awarded 5-stars going back to 2015 on this blog. Naturally, I can be the only judge since I have read and reviewed all of these books.

To add your name to this list, register your book HERE for review consideration. (I am reaching my limit and will be closing the registry very soon! Don’t wait.)

All reviewed books count whether I bought it or not so if your book is on sale I can also purchase it. If your book is currently 99 cents or free, let me know so I can grab it.

Especially if you got a FREE sale going on. (Keep that “I’m not rich” part in mind)

Let me know. If I agree to read your book, review it and award the read 5-stars, you are automatically drafted into the contest.

As you all know, I am stingy with my five-stars (lol) which means making this list makes you EXTRA special. I have only been reviewing for two years but I decided back then that I would not give out 5 stars like it’s candy. If five stars is the highest rating then excellence is priority before I give it out. Authors who make this list are thus truly deserving.

Currently, my 5-star authors are:

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Christa Wojo. for “SICK”

Alexander McCabe for “A Tale of Three Cities”

Linda G. Hill for “All Good Stories”

Anna Kopp for “Rise of the Chosen: Lifeblood Series Book 1 ”

JL Hunt for “Beautiful Boy, Beautiful Girl”

Stevie Turner for “Waiting in the Wings”

Gigi Sedlmayer for “Talon Come Fly with Me”

Deborah Ann Dykeman for “To Thee I’m Wed”

Pamela D. Beverly for “The Love Labyrinth”

JA Owenby for “The Truth She Knew (The Truth Series Book One)”

James Fant for “Coed”

Again, we are only in the preliminary stages of this event so I don’t have much information yet (you’re helping me with that, right?) Briefly, here’s what’s going on:

I am organizing a Virtual Book Review Award event for authors who have received 5 star ratings from me on this blog. More will be added to this list as they come in but I will be cutting it off at a certain number as not to overwhelm myself. I’ll be going back over my reviews for these books and  ultimately choosing one grand prize winner who has excelled in all areas.

(1) Book Cover Design (2) Editing (3) Plot/Movement Strength, (4) Thought Provoking (5) Characterization (6) Authenticity / Believable.

The winning author will receive a tangible award from me. Not a badge, not a blog award, and not a certificate but a tangible award they can display at home. What is it? I don’t know yet. Stick around though.

 

UPDATE: An additional update is that I will choose three finalists who will have an opportunity to present a guest post on this blog on their inspiration and motivation behind their book. It is their last chance to convince me why they should win. I can’t wait to see ya’ll battle it out. This is gonna be fun.

 

Now, I am going back to brainstorming. As you all know, I am getting ready to go on vacation but when I return, I’ll have all the details laid out as to how this event will run and when.

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Writers Wednesday – The Men with Blue Eyes: Chapter 4

Chapter 4:

Missed the first three Eps? Click on the links below:

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3


Byron brushed the lint from his uniform as he approached the home of his last client of the day. Walking up the steps of the beautiful home in the well-groomed neighborhood, he knocked on the door and looked down at his paperwork.

“Yes?” The door swung open and a woman smiled back at him.

“Good afternoon ma’am my name…”

Byron paused, mesmerized. The woman had the most beautiful blue eyes he’d ever seen. They had to be contact lens. He could look right through them. They were lovely against her milk chocolate skin. He cleared his throat. A woman had never had him so caught off guard.

“My name is Byron Fisher with Guaranteed Insurance Co. We have you listed here as requesting a return visit.” Byron held up a hand, “I know. I’m not the guy from last time but you were on my route so I thought I’d stop on by and see which plan most interest you”, he smiled.

“Oh yes”, said the woman.

She could see in more than one direction as she read Byron’s energy. Her eyes were cameras quickly processing her environment. They zoomed in on the car coming up the street, the lady walking her dog on the corner and the mailman who was late again. Even the candy wrapper in the cracks of the concrete.

Byron’s biography flashed against the screens that were her eyes. It told her he was single with no children and plenty of money to spend. He was also an orphan as a child and moved around a lot before enlisting in the military. After the army, Byron got into the Insurance business. Life never looked better. Well, almost never. The woman smiled. She saw his weakness too, his hurt.

He was in love once. Some lawyer woman he couldn’t have because she dated his friend. The woman’s eyes flashed. She was digging. The chief warned of digging. It required the use of too much energy but she had to know. So, she dug, and her eyes were claws that pierced his skin for secrets. It was safe. At least now. He couldn’t feel anything. At least not yet.

Byron wiped at his brow, frowning at the sudden wave of heat on his face.

The woman smiled, the flashing red dots on the screen of her eyes signaling the passion emanating from the man in front of her. He wanted her. This would be easy. She stopped digging before he fainted in broad daylight. The chief wouldn’t have that again.

“So very nice to meet you”, the woman said, “I am sure we can find something that I like. Please, come in.”

Byron smiled as he walked into the home of the beautiful blue-eyed woman. He couldn’t believe his luck. Some women were easy. Maybe he’ll get her to sign off on more than just papers. He smiled and her blue eyes flashed as she closed the door behind him.

***

“Aliens?”

“Look, laugh all you want. I’m not crazy.”

Erica composed herself, “I’m sorry girl. You sound like you believe it and if you believe I do too but…”

“Then you don’t believe me.” Tina got up from the sofa and walked over to the window of Erica’s downtown office. Downtown Chicago was one of the most beautiful places in the country.

Erica put her notepad to the side, “OK. Let’s entertain this for a moment. You gotta think about how this is going to sound. Your nephew died in a drug deal…”

“…it wasn’t a drug deal”, interrupted Tina turning around. It pissed her off that people were still saying that.

“Hold on, let me finish. Far as they know it, your nephew dies in a drug deal and everyone else flees the scene. You take leave from work to raise Keisha’s kids, your remaining nieces and nephew who by the way aren’t really your nieces and nephew…”

“Erica…”

“No, no, let me finish. You take them in after winning a custody battle with their Dad after he couldn’t prove stable residency and their drug addict mom gave you permission to have them. And now everyone involved in the case you tried, people Ronnie was involved with, have gone missing. Top this all off with your claim that Aliens killed Ronnie and abducted everyone at the Warehouse.”

Tina nodded. It did sound phony when you said it out loud. She sat back on the sofa, resting her head on the pillow behind her.

“I’m not saying I don’t believe you but you a lawyer girl. You of all people should know this ain’t gonna stick,” said Erica.

“So, what am I to do then? I can’t keep taking these pills. It’s driving me crazy.”

“Listen, you need these pills so you can do your job without seeing little blue men walking around.”

“That’s not funny E.”

“Seriously, here’s what I think. Here’s my professional opinion…”

Tina smirked, “Now you wanna be professional?”

“Don’t be in my office judging me”, laughed Erica, “I’m the one with the pen.”

Tina laughed.

“In my professional opinion, I think you should see if you can find a connection between those who were abducted and people who may be working with these Aliens or whatever. They gotta be working with somebody or they wouldn’t be able to do anything without being seen.”

Tina sat up, “They look like men though. That’s how they can move about without notice. It’s not like in the movies. The only way to tell is their eyes and sometimes not even then.”

“Still, they gotta be working with normal, everyday people too.  Find those people.”

Tina looked at Erica and bit her lip. It was a start.

“Meanwhile,” Erica stood and walked over to her desk and tore off a piece of paper. She walked back to the sofa and handed it to Tina, “get it together.”

Tina rolled her eyes and took the prescription, “I don’t need it.”

“Yes, you do. Even if it’s just in case.”

***

Tina thought deeply about Erica’s words on the drive home. She did have her wheels turning. Who could be involved in something like this? Az did say it was a cover-up. Reaching for the folders, Tina scanned the names again: Antonio, Brandon, Chareese, Sidney, the two officers, Emmanuel.

Hmm. Someone is missing.

Tina tapped her fingers against the steering wheel, thinking back to the days they used to hang out. Her close ties to everyone abducted did make her look to be involved so she had to be careful or she would lose the case for sure. Antonio, also known as Popeye and Brandon, also known as Tree, were best friends. Chareese, one of her best friends, dated Brandon and was pregnant with his baby and Sidney, the journalist, was also a close friend of hers. Not to mention she went to school with Ja’mella, the woman who accused the men of the rape. All of this had been kept on the low.

Tina searched her thoughts, remembering their card games and get-together. Though she knew them all personally, she wasn’t real tight with the men and the women had gone their separate ways until the case united them.

“Black.”

Tina gripped the steering wheel. Black was Antonio’s insurance agent friend known for his complexion. She had forgotten all about him. His real name is Byron something, but that name’s not in the files. That must mean he wasn’t taken. Finally, something good.

Tina turned the car around and silently prayed Black was at home.

Writers Wednesday – Chapter 3: The Men with Blue Eyes


Chapter 3 – The Office

Did you miss the first two Chapters? Start Here and Here


Tina balanced her Caramel Macchiato flavored coffee, car keys, and purse as she entered the office. Lawyers sat at desks answering phones and shuffling papers. They formed their own groups as they spoke in multiple conversations. The office was chaotic already and Tina’s team were already huddled around her partner’s desk. Frederick, “Freddy” Johnson saw her come in and nodded.

“Hey,” he said as she sat her things down at her own desk next to his. Tina swiveled in her large office chair and turned the computer on.

“What we got?” she said sipping her cup, her eyes catching a figure in the distance.

Oh no. Tina’s hairs stood up on her neck and arms. That was him again. The same man from the club. She was sure of it.

Freddy waved his hand in her face.

“Earth to Tina. Everything alright?”

“Yea, I’m good.”

“You sure? I can get someone else on the case. If it’s too early…”

“No”, interrupted Tina. “I’ll be fine. What do we have?”

Freddy turned to the pile on his desk. “We got seven people, all reported missing within the last 24hours.”

“And they’re all connected to the Ja’mella case?”

Freddy handed Tina a vanilla envelope, “Yep.”

Tina crossed her legs. Sidney’s face stared back at her, the Journalist from the case. She pulled out another file and Chareese face smiled back at her, Brandon’s girlfriend, one of the men accused of the rape. Nicknamed Tree for his large size, she remembered his public arrest at the Soccer Field. They got off. Was someone out for revenge? She paused, remembering that Chareese was pregnant. She pulled out another file.

“Who is this man? I don’t remember him being involved.”

Freddy walked over to Tina’s side and peered down at the documents. The face of an elderly man stared back at him. His eyes scanned down to his name. Freddy pointed, “Emmanuel Jackson. Sidney Jackson’s father.”

“So, they’re taking relatives too now? This doesn’t make any sense. What’s he got to do with it?”

“Apparently, enough”, said Freddy walking back to his own desk.

Tina took another sip of her coffee and shivered. She was the attorney in that case and had successfully got the two black men acquitted. Could she be next?

“Did anyone see anything?”

“We can check the testimonies of the families, see where everyone was last seen.”

Tina’s body stiffened at the figure in the distance.

“Tina?” Freddy looked behind him. “What’s up?”

Tina snapped out of it. She had to remember no one else could see them.

“Nothing”, she said sitting the folders on the table, “the testimonies sound good. I want a full report on every single person, where they spent their last hours, where they work, everything.”

“You got it” said Freddy picking up the phone. Tina used the opportunity to walk away, loosening the collar around her neck.

“Is the air on?”

Freddy was already on the phone and ignored her question. It was burning up or maybe it was just her. She entered the women’s bathroom, closed and then locked the door behind her.

I’m losing it.

She splashed cold water on her face and pulled the bottle of pills from her purse.

“I wouldn’t say so”, said a voice as she popped open the bottle. The white tablets fell into the sink.

“Shoot”, she said, scrambling to catch them before they all went into the drain. Now she had to convince Erica to give her another prescription. She only caught two.

Her blood raced, hands grew sweaty and the hairs stood up on her neck and arms, her knees wobbling. She couldn’t turn around or look up so she kept her eyes on the drain.

“What do you want from me?”

“I am not one of them. Well, I am but I am here to help.”

They sounded just like men. Not robotic like people thought or in the movies. It still didn’t change anything.

“You don’t help people, you murder them. What do you want from me? Have you not destroyed my life enough?”

“Listen, I know where they are. The people who are missing. I know where they took them. Most of all, I know why. Give me a chance and we can work this together.”

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Tina lifted her head to face the man in the mirror standing behind her. He looked human except for his blue crystal eyes reminding her that he was not her friend. He was one of them. And they killed humans. She thought of her nephew Ronnie and tears filled her throat, courage reaching her eyes.

“First off, we are not friends so stop acting like you can just pop in and out of my life. Secondly, I will never work with you.”

“You are acting like I killed Ronnie.”

“It’s your kind ain’t it? Same difference.”

“Listen, the government is trying to cover up the truth. Give me a chance and I’ll explain. We can be partners.”

“What? Why would I work with you? I don’t even know your name.”

“My name is Azbuga, meaning Strength, but you can call me Az.”

Tina shook her head, “Whatever.”

“Everyone has a job. Just like here. Ours is to watch over mankind. So, that’s what we are. Watchers.”

Tina turned around to face him. She thought Az was attractive for an alien, though she didn’t know what he really looked like. The 7ft being was clothed in Hispanic skin with black hair and thick, black eyelashes. He wore blue jeans and sneakers which made him look normal. His blue jean jacket covered the white t-shirt. Except for his crystal blue eyes, he could be mistaken for a normal, Hispanic looking man. A very tall man. Tina wondered what his true image was. Maybe he’s a fire breathing dragon.

“Why should I believe you?”

Az dug into his right hand and his skin gave way to his fingers like clay to the hands of a child.

“Eww”, said Tina, watching until he pulled out a coin.

“You can see for yourself”, said Az, extending the coin.

“I’m not touching that.”

“It’s the only way to get in touch with me. Whenever you need me, hold it in your hands and think of my name.”

“I still don’t know how this proves anything”, Tina folded her arms.

Az pointed to the symbol on the coin, “Just like we have jobs, we also have symbols. We’re the watchers so the eye is ours. CBS, the back of the dollar bill, camera’s everywhere. All us.”

“So where were you? Huh? Where were ‘The Watchers’ when…” Tina’s voice trailed off as tears filled her throat.

“Not all Watchers are good. Some fell. We were supposed to watch you not…not harm you. Some of my brothers came down and did things with humans that were not right for them to do and now they’re just trying to cover their tracks. But not all of us are bad, Tina.”

“You didn’t answer my question. Where were you when Ron…”

“Everything alright?”

The coin fell to the floor and Tina froze. She had not checked the bathroom stalls coming in. She picked up the coin and put it into her pocket.

“Amy. Hi. Yes, everything’s fine,” Tina stumbled over her words, her arch enemy staring her in the face. Amy walked over to the sink and turned the water on. Her dark chocolate skin and dred loc’d hair pulled up in a pin. The woman washed her hands, cutting her eyes at Tina.

“Alright”, she said smirking.

Dammit T. Now you know she talk too much. Of all the people to screw up in front of, it had to be Amy.  This would be all over the office by tomorrow. Tina looked around the bathroom. There was no sign of him.

“Why is the door locked?” asked Amy unlatching the door.

Shoot. I’m definitely not thinking straight.

Tina shrugged and swallowed the pills in her hand dry as Amy rolled her eyes on the way out the bathroom. Tina washed her hands and straightened her clothing on the way out the door. She stopped when she heard murmurs.

“I’m serious. The girl was in there talking to herself. I told you she wasn’t ready to come back”, said Amy.

“She’s grieving. Give it some time”, said Freddy.

“Well, she can grieve on her own time.”

Tina rolled her eyes and shook her head. It hadn’t even been two minutes and Amy was already talking.

I bet that coffee cold as hell now too. Damn. Today is not my day.

Part 2: My Author Interview/Convo. w/ Nadine Tomlinson

I haven’t the chance to inform you that part two of my 2-Part interview with Nadine is now available. Check out the transcript to our convo at the link below.

Nadine says: “The second and final part of my conversation with @yecheilyah. I learned so much from this amazing writer. And she’s hella funny, too. Thanks, EC, for sharing your wisdom and experiences with insight and humour. You’ve inspired me to tell the undiluted truth through my stories.”

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR CONVO. Or click on the link below.

https://www.nadinetomlinson.com/yecheilyah-storytellers-interview-part-2/


Yecheilyah is an Independent Author, poet, and blogger. Her latest Historical Fiction novel, Renaissance: The Nora White Story, is available now on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes. Learn more at yecheilyahysrayl. com

The PBS Blog on Amazon

PBS

Next month will mark three years that I’ve been blogging. I am also dangerously close to the 2,000-subscription mark (8/18…I keep track of it because WordPress won’t remind me since I signed up with a different blog. It therefore only alerts me to that anniversary, not when I started  PBS but I digress, you didn’t need to know all that….).

To celebrate, I am trying out Amazon Kindle for blogs. This means that if you really enjoy this blog and would like to see it grow, even more, you can now support The PBS Blog with a paid subscription. (It’s only 99cents a month and your first 14 days are free). You can also rate this blog and review it.

The advantage is that my blog posts will be delivered to your Kindle device instead of you having to click through to the email. Additionally, you can access my content even when you are not online. You can now take The PBS Blog with you.

(Plus, I finally wrote the third Chapter of The Men with Blue Eyes which I’ll be sharing soon. I am thinking of turning it into a novella. Nothing big, just something fun to put out there. Showcase my Sci-Fi side. Who knows. I’ll let you know).

For those of you who have been subscribed and active with this blog for the past three years, you can help by leaving a review on Amazon. This is a unique and exciting experience as your reviews are specifically as it pertains to this blog and my writing on it. What do you love the most about The PBS Blog? Why do you stick around? Why do you share/reblog my posts on your social media? Why do you comment and stay engaged? There must be a reason and if there’s a reason, there’s a review in you!

Here’s the link.  Again, go ahead and drop a review for me!

https://www.amazon.com/The-PBS-Blog/dp/B0746P8SJL

(I am unusually excited about this…lol)

P.S. Hold your stones. This is something new I am trying for myself. It may work or it may not. In either event, I won’t recommend it until I’ve tried it. What you choose to do is your business. I’ll let you know if I have to unenroll. The program is still in Beta so I’ll leave it at that for now.


Yecheilyah is an Independent Author, poet, and blogger. Her latest Historical Fiction novel, Renaissance: The Nora White Story, is available now on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes. Learn more at yecheilyahysrayl. com

“Yecheilyah Ysrayl is a gifted story teller. I love the way she weaves history into the story line of Nora’s life as she finally escapes home and searches for her dreams. I also enjoyed the way her parent’s past interjected throughout, giving you hints of what has made Nora the young woman she is.”

– Deborah Ann

We Feel

Image Credit: Unsplash

We think and we feel and leak emotion in black ink in hopes to build bridges of commonality with others. Those who aren’t afraid to feel. To admit that last night had us hungover in our own feelings and that we sought to heal on paper. So, we sat there. Knee deep in tears from thoughts that marinated too long. The liquid-shaped hurt that rose from someplace we vowed to keep hidden for fear feeling wasn’t allowed. And still, we slipped up and let our thoughts hit the page where readers are left now to sit and mourn thoughts accidentally left on WordPress readers because someone left us a cracked smile. A “LOL” that came out just as twisted and crooked as reciting letters instead of coughing up a belly of laughter. You see, we don’t expect you to understand. You text in a language only your computer understands. For us? We cry out loud, dripping puddles of emotions we miracle into coherent sentences. For those of us who aren’t afraid to bleed real on the page. We feel.

Her

stock-footage-silhouette-of-a-woman-standing-on-the-shore-and-thinking-about-something

I’ve grown an extra set of eyes just to catch the shadow in her walk. Micro-managed every detail of her smile, every light in her footsteps, and every scar in her heart. I stalk her intentions and pick out pieces of glass that may have found themselves in her thoughts when the levees poured over when the skies darkened and there was no light; when the glass broke. I scan her body with the intrigue of a man caught lusting for the first time. You see I need to make sure that her back is not bent, that her shoulders are sharp, and her head held high. I am intrigued with tasting her words before they exit her mouth, and I refuse to release my stare from the interior of her mind. I understand that my ways can be likened to that of a stalker but tell me, is it too much to zoom into her soul every morning to make sure that she smiles? Is it too much to hover over her sleeping eyes and find my way into her dreams? You see I have to make sure that she’s not distracted by destruction. I can never stop watching this woman’s ways and monitoring her heart. If I am to be of assistance to anyone it starts with her because she is me.