#RRBC Back-to-School Book & Blog Block Party

August 27, 2016

Blog Party 1

 

 

 

LOCATION: Southern New Hampshire, USA, EDT

# of PRIZES: 4
*2 audio books: The Christmas Thief
WINNERS: JOY NWOSU LO-BAMIJOKO & NATALIE DUCEY
*1 ebook: Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey
WINNER: C. S. BOYACK
*1 ebook: Light Love Rituals: Bulgarian Myths, Legends, and Folklore
WINNER: HANNAH HOWE

You are nearing the end of the RRBC Book & Blog Party. We hope you’ve had a pleasant time and have met a lot of wonderful, talented authors. If you’ve missed any, here’s a link for you to go back and visit the others:

Rave Reviews Book & Blog Block Party Lineup

While you’re here, please leave a non-spam comment on this page for a chance to win one of the above prizes. Contest ends midnight CDT, August 27, 2016. Winners will be drawn by RRBC and announced shortly after the contest ends.

Want to learn more about Ronesa? Check out her RRBC Spotlight interview.

Welcome to
The Land of Bulgaria

mystical_emona_add_V1MYSTICAL EMONA: SOUL’S JOURNEY

We’d like to start you off with what inspired “Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey.” Henry James once said, “It takes an endless amount of history to make even a little tradition.”

So, while the main theme of the story is soul mates finding each other after centuries apart, the book unveils much more than a love story. It’s a story about the modern Bulgarian people and their culture. The book introduces readers to ancient Thracian customs and rituals that have survived through the ages. As one reviewer stated so beautifully: “The relationships are handled with loving care as the story weaves a tapestry of ancient myths and traditions, mingled with the world of today.”

MYSTICAL EMONA:
An RRBC Book of the Month Selection

In addition to these traditions, the wild beauty of a real village called Emona was the inspiration behind this book. This secluded, mystical place located on the Black Sea, its people hidden from the eyes of the world, is filled with history and a soul of its own – from being the legendary birthplace of Thracian king Rhesus, who fought in the Trojan War, to being the site of a fortress during the Middle Ages.

Interview with Bulgarian National Radio: http://bnr.bg/en/post/100485397/mystical-emona-where-ancient-legends-are-still-alive-to-this-day

Love Light Rituals

LIGHT LOVE RITUALS: BULGARIAN MYTHS, LEGENDS, AND FOLKLORE

Bulgarians take pride in their heritage and culture, which is rich in colorful folklore and traditions. The nation practices more than ten thousand rites from a person’s birth through his death. Many of these date back to an era when people both feared and worshiped nature. In the process of writing Mystical Emona: Soul’s Journey, I found myself asking “Why?” on numerous occasions. Why did people do the things they did? Those “whys” resulted in further research. What were the origins of these customs and rituals? What did they mean?

What I discovered was an overlap of pagan and Christian beliefs. Many customs originated in the days when Thracians inhabited the area that is now modern-day Bulgaria, Greece, and Turkey. So much of the material I read said Bulgarian traditions had Thracian origins, but few articles delved into what those Thracian beliefs actually were. So I continued digging.

This book is a summation of many months spent researching. Al­though I did search for reliable sources to validate the claims articles made, Light Love Rituals is not meant to be a scholarly document. Nor is it an exhaustive study of rituals. Its purpose is to provide readers with a glimpse into Bulgarian culture. It’s information I found interesting and wanted to share, so other people could take the same journey to discover the way others live and believe.

The following, among many other traditions, are part of the cultural heritage thriving in the Balkans today. The book will take you on a journey to discover some of these unique festivals.

  • Illuminated by the light of the full moon, a woman in a long, white robe holds an icon while she dances in a trance over burning coals. The mystical music of a shepherd’s pipe plays in the background.
  • Women dressed in colorful outfits dance in a circle, then pass through an enormous wreath made of magical healing herbs.
  • Wild spring flowers decorate the hair of young girls. Laden with baskets filled with colorful Easter eggs, the youths travel from house to house singing about health and prosperity.
  • Men clothed like wild animals with colorful, scary masks parade around a village. Attached around their waists, giant bells resound, announcing their arrival. The men jump and yell to scare away evil spirits.

These rituals have survived thousands of years and have been practiced by Bulgarians, Greeks, and other European. They have been transmitted from generation to generation. Some of these stories and rituals may seem silly, but the fact that they survive today is a testament to just how strong the forces of nature and love are. We encourage you to follow us on this blog tour to discover more about these people and their wealth of traditions and beliefs.

Praise for LLR: This is a charming and interesting book. I was hooked from the start. Our author takes us on an interesting journey to the heart and soul of Bulgaria. The details in this book made me feel as if I was in this ancient and marvelous country. There are instructions to make crafts and, being a story teller at heart, I loved the anecdotal passages. There is also a charming collection of delicious recipes. I loved the illustrations. I thought they added to the excitement and energy of each of the customs. This book will appeal to a wide audience from children to grandparents whether you are from Bulgaria or not. It’s educational, fun and very entertaining. I recommend it highly.

Interview with Bulgarian National Radio: http://bnr.bg/en/post/100570702/anelia-toncheva-the-magic-of-bulgarian-folklore-changes-bulgaria-s-perception-abroad

BABA TREASURE CHEST series of short stories / coloring books for children and adults

The Christmas ThiefThe Miracle StorkBorn From the Ashes

 

 

 

 

After writing these two books, we turned our pen to lighter fare: children’s books. These, too, have Bulgarian customs woven into the story. Although we say these short stories are for children, they are really for the entire family–in the tradition of Bulgarian storytelling, where grandparents preserve customs and pass on traditions to their grandchildren. And they are more than stories. They are activities and coloring pages to provide further entertainment for the entire family.

Interview with Bulgarian National Radio: http://bnr.bg/en/post/100638950/the-christmas-thief-or-tales-from-babas-treasure-chest-with-anelia-toncheva

Do You Like Mermaids?

Mermaids Around the WorldWe have two additions to our collection that will be available soon

Mermaid’s Gift, short story and coloring book, part of the “Baba Treasure Chest” collection.

Mermaids Around the World, an adult coloring book with 26 lovely designs by the talented Nelinda. Each page has the name of the mermaid, her origin, and a tidbit of information about her.

 

***

Thank you for visiting. We hope you have learned a little a country many people are unaware of. Please be sure to leave a  comment by the end of today, August 27, 2016, for an opportunity to win one of our prizes.

All of our books are available on Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, & Smashwords. Discounts are available on the paperback versions of MYSTICAL EMONA, LIGHT LOVE RITUALS, and THE MIRACLE STORK. Contact us for discounts on the others.

 

Connect with Us

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

https://www.facebook.com/MysticalEmona/

https://www.facebook.com/BabaTreasureChest/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ronesa_Aveela

Where to Find Our Books

Amazon: http://viewAuthor.at/Ronesa-Aveela

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/%22Ronesa%20Aveela%22

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/ronesa-aveela/id1088547343

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/search?query=Ronesa%20Aveela&fcsearchfield=Author

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/aveela

The Heartbeat Thief

The Heartbeat Thief Blitz Banner

 

May 12, 2015

We have the honor of hosting AJ Krafton as she begins a tour of her new release The Heartbeat Thief, a fantastic book that begins in the late 1800’s. Here’s a little insight from AJ about tea time.

Time for Tea: Victorian Tradition and its Place in THE HEARTBEAT THIEF

Victorian tea time wasn’t always a thing.

Tea has been around for thousands of years. In many cultures, it was customary to share tea with company. Tea was ceremonial, a sacred part of social law.

In England, mealtimes evolved to include two main meals: breakfast and dinner. Dinner became an evening phenomenon, which was held after the work day. In the case of the upper classes, dinner was an event that lasted hours into the night. Afternoon meals tended to light and on-the-go and had no real structure.

What we’ve come to know as “tea time” began with Duchess Anne of Bedford. Anne experienced a “sinking feeling” around three or four o’clock and would ask her maids to sneak her tea and pastries, since supper wouldn’t come until much later in the evening. At first, she had tea alone but eventually the practice was expanded to include her close friends.

Thus, a tradition was born and tea time became a thing.

Less food, more talking

Victorian tea time carried on the tradition of offering tea to guests. Tea was served in wide-mouthed shallow cups (nothing like our 16 ounce paper cups from the coffee shop). That way, tea could be sipped without waiting all afternoon for it to cool (or blowing on it, which could lead to sloppy accidents). Tea time became synonymous with company and socializing and was, in itself, a social event.

And Victorian events were elegant, spectacular things.

It was customary to have tea in the parlor or garden. It provided a chance to show off the hostess’s best china and linens, as well her abilities to command the skills of her kitchen staff.

Tea served not only to quiet the rumblings of a belly, it was food for the social soul. Dishes were customarily light and easy to eat without worry of a catastrophic mess. Eating was a dainty dance in itself.

Tea sandwiches, cakes, scones, biscuits, candies and nuts were usual fare for low tea (named for the low tables around which guests gathered—think “coffee tables” in the living room). I found a website with loads of recipes here: http://whatscookingamerica.net/HighTeaRecipes.htm I refer to it often when I’m looking to create a special little something.

Trays of snacks were laid out so guests could serve themselves. Affluent hostesses could afford an elaborate tea service such as http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/736x/f9/4a/f8/f94af81ddcca5b29c0fc64c386e2d8bd.jpg

(By comparison, my tea service looks like this: http://www.adagio.com/teaware/triniTEA.html Not quite as shiny J but it makes a perfect pot, every time.)

The overall goal of these tea parties was to ensure that guests enjoyed themselves so thoroughly that they completely lose track of time, ensuring the hostess’s graceful place in the hearts and esteem of all invited.

Senza and her Tea

In The Heartbeat Thief our heroine, Senza Fyne, took much comfort in the ritual of tea time. Despite her longer-than-usual life, she never lost her affinity for a well-set tea. It connected her to precious memories of family and friends and times long gone by. Here’s a brief excerpt from The Heartbeat Thief, in which Senza prepares tea for company for the first time in a very, very long time.

 

The Heartbeat Thief

The tea kettle hissed, the steam building up to a whistle. She plucked it off the heat before it could reach full shriek. She didn’t like noise. She’d become far too accustomed to quiet and stillness. It had been ages since she made tea, a proper tea with a full service and decorative sugars. She’d missed the routine.

Grandmother had always taken three lumps of sugar in hers. She’d preferred a Darjeeling, earthy and fragrant, over the milder Assams and startling Keemuns that Father would bring home. Darjeeling, she’d insisted, was an expression of liquid divinity. If you could taste the earth, you could touch the stars. Be one with everything.

Senza blinked, stirring herself from the hazy memory. Grandmother had always told her to live in the moment. Senza seemed only to live in the past.

Wrong moments in which to live.

She rubbed her temple with the bend of her wrist and spooned tea leaves into the pot. Funny that he’d procure a tea service for her in this rustic shanty, a proper set with a silver empress tea strainer and matching sugar and creamer pots. Odd that he’d provide a service for two people, especially since she’d always been completely alone.

Senza arranged the service on a broad silver tray and arranged a spread of biscuits onto a saucer, next to a plate of cucumber and spread cheese sandwiches. A small bowl of candied fruits completed the tea. All had been conveniently located in the small pantry, as if she’d shopped the list on her own.

Stepping back, she surveyed her work. Grandmother would approve. A good host always saw to the tea herself, taking every pain to ensure her guests lost track of the time of day.

Hefting the tray, she carried it into the front room, still startled by its shocking transformation. A small but cozy fire blazed in the simple brick fireplace, near to which an unfamiliar tea table stood. Hand-embroidered flowers trimmed the edge of the linen, matching the elegant bunch of flowers that topped a grey ceramic vase.

 

Senza enjoyed a small tea in that scene, but I love this post here http://www.thethriftygroove.com/2010/05/victorian-tea-party.html because it shows a full elaborate spread that Senza would really have enjoyed. Now, THAT’S what I call a happy tea time.

Perhaps the next time you’re experiencing a “sinking feeling” you’ll treat yourself to a cup of Darjeeling and a cinnamon scone and have a happy moment to yourself (or, better yet, with a friend). There’s no reason to let go of the past when it’s full of sweet traditions like tea time. No wonder Senza Fyne never surrendered her fondness for the practice, even as the years took everything else away from her, bit by precious bit.

For more images of tea time and the book THE HEARTBEAT THIEF by AJ Krafton, visit https://www.pinterest.com/demimondeash/the-heartbeat-thief-by-aj-krafton/

Heartbeat Thief

The Heartbeat Thief by A.J. Krafton
Publication date: June 12th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Haunted by a crushing fear of death, a young Victorian woman discovers the secret of eternal youth—she must surrender her life to attain it, and steal heartbeats to keep it.

In 1860 Surrey, a young woman has only one occupation: to marry. Senza Fyne is beautiful, intelligent, and lacks neither wealth nor connections. Finding a husband shouldn’t be difficult, not when she has her entire life before her. But it’s not life that preoccupies her thoughts. It’s death—and that shadowy spectre haunts her every step.

So does Mr. Knell. Heart-thumpingly attractive, obviously eligible—he’d be her perfect match if only he wasn’t so macabre. All his talk about death, all that teasing about knowing how to avoid it…

When her mother arranges a courtship with another man, Senza is desperate for escape from a dull prescripted destiny. Impulsively, she takes Knell up on his offer. He casts a spell that frees her from the cruelty of time and the threat of death—but at a steep price. In order to maintain eternal youth, she must feed on the heartbeats of others.

It’s a little bit Jane Austen, a little bit Edgar Allen Poe, and a whole lot of stealing heartbeats in order to stay young and beautiful forever. From the posh London season to the back alleys of Whitechapel, across the Channel, across the Pond, across the seas of Time…

How far will Senza Fyne go to avoid Death?

Purchase:
(the first two days of release will be selling at 99cents)
 _________

Writing about a beautiful lady deserves beautiful words, and that’s exactly what AJ Krafton has accomplished with The Heartbeat Thief. Senza Fyne will rob you of more than your heartbeat; she’ll steal your heart.

Ronesa Aveela Review:

I received an advanced copy of this book for an honest review.

True to its word, “The Heartbeat Thief” is part Jane Austen, part Edgar Allen Poe. The author revives the best of the style of writing found in the classics: the introspect of characters, lovely allusions comparing characters to nature and life, beautiful alliteration and prose. Mixed with this is a deep foreboding of death, a macabre sensation that follows Senza throughout the story. AJ Krafton not only tells you a story, she makes you experience it with your senses. You can feel the fog moistening your skin as Senza wanders around London. You can smell the city’s decay. You can hear the clatter of horses against the cobblestones. And your own heart will anguish along with Senza as she despairs about life–and death–in an era when a woman’s beauty guaranteed her a well-matched marriage, even more than her wealth.

This story put me in a dilemma. I wanted to read it slowly to savor the sensation of the words on my mind–each and every of the author’s carefully selected prose, filled with so much imagery and symbolism. But I also wanted to hurry and finish it to discover every new adventure Senza experienced. Would the “heartbeat thief” be discovered?

If you want a toss-away book that just tells you a story, go to a grocery store checkout line. If you want a story that makes you think, one in which you can appreciate the words as much as the story, one that leaves you pondering life–and death–this is the book for you. You won’t be disappointed.

tqJKOwsnAUTHOR BIO:

AJ Krafton is the author of New Adult speculative fiction. Her debut The Heartbeat Thief  is due out on Kindle in June 2015. Forthcoming titles include Taking’ It Back  & Face of the Enemy. She’s a proud member of the Infinite Ink Authors. AJ also writes adult spec fic as Ash Krafton. Visit Ash at  http://ashkrafton.com

 

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)

Signed copy of The Heartbeat Thief

Ends June 25th, 2015.
Click link to enter a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Spotlight Blog Tour – April Adams

March 13, 2015

Please welcome the Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author for March 2015, April Adams. April is the Author of “Shattered”.

Emotion, the Seventh Sense

Good profile picTaste, touch, sight, sound, smell, intuition, and emotion. Every single scene should have a good mixture of these things. Smell is often overlooked in writing, but emotion is sometimes nonexistent! On the other hand, too much emotion ruins a scene.

In my first draft of Shattered, there was a scene where Glenn was furious. I had originally written this scene as follows:

“No!” Glenn shouted, tossing the scroll into the fire. I lunged forward a little bit, my hand outstretched to snatch it back, but it was aflame in seconds. “No I tell you!” His long fingers grabbed the fabric around Gable’s neck and pulled hard, bringing them nose to nose.

Gable laughed like fingernails on a chalkboard. “Oh? You would bring about the destruction of the entire world?” he stared back at his brother, completely nonchalant.

“I will not surrender her to your care. Not for every life in this realm.” Glenn growled.

“Wait, what?” I asked, realizing what he had said. “What did that paper say?”

Gable reached up, pried Glenn’s furious hands from his clothing, smoothed his shirt and turned to me. “It said that under the authority of Ambius the wise you are hereby ordered to accompany me to him at once, there to discover what you must do.” He answered.

“No!” Glenn roared again, turning from him to me, his look changing from venom to kindness. “I will not let you go with him.” He whispered forcefully, taking both my hands in his and falling to his knees in front of me. His blue eyes held no hint of tears, only determination. I searched his face and found nothing but what he wanted me to see. He thought Gable a danger to me, and he would not leave me to his care.

“Glenn Elambil.” Gable said, rising to his feet with a drunken wobble and sucking in wetly through his lips. “For disobedience to the Watcher of the Eastern Lands I hereby place you under arrest.”

“No!” I said to him, defiance rising into my throat.

Glenn squeezed my hands and winked at me. “Yes.” He said, affecting defeated tones. “I have burned the words of the Watcher, and must be brought before him.” He explained to me, resigned. Then he smiled, and my heart skipped a beat. “Which means, I believe, brother,” he turned and directed this last to Gable, “that I’ll be coming with you.”

But that’s a little too much emotion. So, I tweaked it to this:

adams“No,” Glenn said in a voice like steel, tossing the scroll into the fire. I lunged forward slightly, my hand outstretched to snatch it back, but it was aflame in seconds. His long fingers grabbed the fabric around Gable’s neck and pulled hard, bringing them nose to nose. I was shocked by this sudden escalation and pressed myself into the back of my chair.

Gable laughed like fingernails on a chalkboard. “Oh? You would bring about the destruction of the entire world?” He stared back at his brother, completely nonchalant.

“I will not surrender her to your care,” Glenn said, matter-of-fact.

“Wait, what?” I asked. “What did that paper say?”

Gable reached up, pried Glenn’s hands from his clothing, smoothed his shirt and turned to me. “It said that under the authority of Ambius the Wise you are hereby ordered to accompany me to him at once, there to discover what you must do,” he answered.

“No,” Glenn said again, turning from him to me, his look changing from cold steel to kindness. His eyes were honest. He thought Gable a danger to me, and he would not leave me to his care. I felt a cold chill tingle down my spine. Gable didn’t strike me as a good man, but I hadn’t thought him dangerous.

“Glenn Elambil,” Gable said, rising to his feet with a drunken wobble and sucking in wetly through his lips, “for disobedience to the Watcher of the Eastern Lands I hereby place you under arrest.”

“No!” I said to him, defiance rising in my throat, standing in objection.

Glenn winked at me. “Yes.” He stood with rounded shoulders, affecting defeated tones. “I have burned the words of the Watcher, and must be brought before him,” he explained, resigned. Then he smiled, and my heart skipped a beat. “Which means, I believe, that you’ll have to take me with you.”

You can see the difference for yourself. Don’t be afraid to write emotion, hust don’t make it too “drama club” like I did in that first draft. Yeesh. First drafts are the worst!

 

Find me online!

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/April-Adams/e/B00CHRCD8G
Twitter: @apriladamsnovel
Facebook:   www.fb.com/apriladamsnovel
Website: www.writerapriladams.com
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/apriladamsnovel

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