Wednesday, December 16, 2015

This book is B.O.S.S.

The second of the IA series blew my mind, I’m still thinking about it a week after reading it. My impatient wait for the sequel to IA: Initiate paid off and then some... IA: B.O.S.S. is one of those reads that I couldn't put down. I became thoroughly engrossed in the storyline from page one, and as revelations came to light, I was increasingly drawn in and held within the pages.

Winston paints a clear portrait of life in the Exclave and the challenges and harsh realities that Naz faces. Naz is a quirky thirteen year-old boy, trying to make it in foster care with his much adored sister Meri—his first priority is always his sister, but he also manages to juggle school, therapy, basketball, and a job all while delving deep within himself to discover and test his many emerging and amazing talents/abilities. He is a hard worker, fighting against the odds, and he is determined to make a better life for his sister and himself…something most thirteen year olds shouldn’t have to deal with, but the reality is that many do. Naz does this all while still displaying what a thirteen year-old really thinks and how they approach the world…he is a laid back guy with his eyes wide open and can be a bit flighty, but he is also passionate about the things that are important to him. Life in the Exclave, for Naz, is much like a game of chess and the references to the game throughout the book are both ironic and in some cases poetic.

This book is touching but it also had a lot of very raw moments that for me were total jaw-droppers.  I think I felt every possible emotion from this read and even shed a few tears. I loved how IA held different meanings throughout the book, depending on the situation. Many of the questions I had from the first book were answered in such a way that I didn’t see coming, but they also left lingering questions which leaves plenty of opportunity for Winston to knock another one out of the park... I can hardly wait :)

Monday, December 7, 2015

40 things about turning 40

As I take time to reflect on the first forty years of my life, I am in awe of the things I have done and the things I have learned. Here is my list, in no particular order.

  1. Kids have it bad nowadays. There is so much crime in this overly-populated, overly-entitled world. Trusting anyone is near impossible...but do it anyway.
  2. My childhood wasn't as bad as I thought at the time...I am grateful to have been an eighties kid. I learned how to take care of myself and make my own way in the world, without the support of technology.
  3. My body aches when I wake up in the morning and I still, after forty years, hate mornings. I live in the north and truly believe that we shouldn't have to rise until the sun does...nine is a respectable time to wake, but it still sucks. There is no winning on this topic...mornings are my nemesis.
  4. I've been unwanted, ill, beaten, broken, depressed, molested, hated, lied to, cheated, cheated on, betrayed, disrespected, dis-empowered, and abused. I survived it all and I've learned some invaluable lessons! I am stronger than any of the assholes who tried to bring me down!!!
  5. I swear. A lot! And I will keep on swearing :) It isn't wrong if it makes the point...
  6. I have zero patience, tolerance, or time for shitty people. I have a big mouth and I use it! Life is too precious to waste on those that treat me or my peeps like crap.
  7. I've been worshiped, loved, appreciated, empowered, trusted, blessed, needed, and wanted. This has been a wild but awesome ride.
  8. Life isn't worth living if you don't make the effort to enjoy and embrace it.
  9. I spent ten years in an abusive relationship with a drug addict and nearly died from depression. I didn't believe I could make it on my own, but I broke free and took charge of my life as a woman and a mother. I am awesome!
  10. After kissing a few too many frogs, I found my prince.
  11. I swore that I would never get married...I got married (to the love of my life and my soul mate, so it's all good).
  12. I've been a vet assistant, horse trainer, bartender/waitress, counselor, wedding planner (even though I despise weddings), event planner, fighter and advocator for those with disabilities and most recently...an author--I have dreamed of this day...
  13. As a child, I wanted to be a secret agent or a police officer. I 'm glad I didn't pursue that dream...no one should ever give me a gun. I would totally go vigilante with it!
  14. I am a mother, a wife, a friend, a confidante, a role-model. I am me :)
  15. I have more secrets held in my vault than I ever thought possible, but they will stay there. I am one hell of a great secret keeper! No one likes a rat...
  16. I am a dreamer, but still firmly grounded in reality.
  17. I have a over-active and often dirty sense of humor and it's sometimes inappropriate, but I laugh...that's the point.
  18. I love my mom. I didn't like her for a long time, but I grew up.
  19. I love my dad. I've never actually met him, but he's in my heart...
  20. I love my step-dad. He put up with all the crap I dished out as a teenager and still loves me...he definitely earned the title of DAD.
  21. I love my boys--all three of them. Two came from me and one is a hostage... Motherhood is a game-changer and the BEST accomplishment of my life.  Sometimes my heart is so full of love and awe for these precious angels that it literally feels like I will die from it. They have taught me what love and life is all about. In their eyes I am a hero, protector, provider, friend, snuggler, cookie maker, and they trust me with their lives--I would die for them, happily. It's like the minute you give birth a switch is flipped and any loneliness and selfishness you may have had disappears. I didn't know love until I had my first baby. I guess it doesn't happen like that for everyone, thus all the shitty moms out there--WAKE UP LADIES! YOU'RE MISSING OUT!!!
  22. You're never too old to make your dreams a reality. Go for it!
  23. Starving yourself is stupid, gorging yourself is greedy and your waistline will pay the price. Moderation is the easiest diet ever!
  24. Reality tells a tale about a life filled with mistakes...some that I learned from, but all of them shaped me. I am exactly where I am supposed to be and it feels so good!
  25. Depression isn't something you snap out of! It's real & overwhelming, but you can come back from it, stronger.
  26. Age is just a number. Some days I feel like I'm 20--others...the number doesn't go high enough to be humanly possible.
  27. I'm fierce and loyal to the point of ridiculous. Hurt my loves and you'll be dealing with a whole lot a cray-cray!
  28. Milestones are momentous but little things make a life: hugs, love, kindness, a good book, wine & conversation...
  29. I can't hold my drink like I did when I was 20. Mixing alcohol isn't as cool as it was when I was 19...now it's just dangerous with evil consequences. I still haven't learned my lesson :) #GimmeaGoodBookandaGlassofRed.
  30. Pining over someone who doesn't love you back isn't romantic. It's stalking and masochistic. Move on, there is so much more to life. Reciprocated love is the only way.
  31. My body has changed in many ways and sometimes does the strangest things. I still live well, but acne never really goes away. Never sneeze with a full bladder...Appreciate your health...you never know when it will fail. Live well & love yourself, so that you can stay the fight!
  32. Fight for what's right. Silence doesn't create change. Be loud!  
  33. Choices are like the stars in the sky...limitless. If one doesn't work out, pick another.
  34. Cruelty doesn't garner respect, but kindness, peace, and love will.
  35. Empathize: remember...it could be you. Help & respect those in need EVERYDAY...
  36. What seems like a huge deal today will be no biggie tomorrow.
  37. My verbal filter has holes in it...
  38. Respect the environment. We can't survive without it. Plant trees, don't litter or pollute, RRR, etc.
  39. Tell your family & friends you love and appreciate them, often. Everyone wants to feel needed...encourage honesty.
  40. Sharing my birthday with my first baby is awesome...His life is the best gift...each day is a present and you never know what you'll get--open it and be thankful :)
I have learned so much on this amazing journey. Each day is a gift and a blessing. Thank you to everyone for making this life so awesome.

Forty and Fabulous :)


Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving etc.

First and most importantly: I am not an American, but I'd like to wish all my American friends, followers, fellow authors, and readers a wonderful holiday weekend. With all the horrible things that have been going on in our world, it is imperative that we find time being thankful for the many blessings in our lives. I always look at things like this: "It could always be worse." Be blessed and be safe. XX

Second...I'm working on it: I am far past my original publication deadline for Floozies and Fallout. Life is busy, especially with two kids, a full-time job, and two puppy additions. That being said, it really is on its way. Editing is a monster time killer, but I want it to be perfect before release, so....just sometime around Christmas, it will be released. Sweet Vindication will be released early in 2016 and Remi Wild has a new romance coming out soon...

Third: Yes, I know I have shirked my blogging duties...I will try to be better. Stay tuned for 40 things about turning 40

Good things are happening, but they take time, and I am only one woman. Thank God I'm indie and don't have a publisher breathing down my neck.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Puppies...

As I struggle to get my next book ready for release, I am chasing and being chased by two new additions to our family--Rottweiler x Bernese Mountain Dog puppies.

I had forgotten how much work little critters could be, but they're adorable, so I'm hooked. I may neglect my writing duties for a bit, but it's for a good cause...If you need me, come find me on Twitter of Facebook--I'll answer between naps :)

Gondells' Quest



***I was given a copy of this book from the author but decided to purchase this book via KOBO, so that I can read it again***
When in the mood for an epic fantasy read, I expect to be taken away, absorbing every detail as if I were there. I love a lengthy well-written adventure, the kind that you simply can't put down even though you have things you should be doing. Everyone loves a good adventure and Gondell's Quest delivered and then some.

First, I love Gondell. He is a predictable little gnome,content to go about his life fishing and living a quiet life, never expecting his existence to be of importance to anyone. It is his desire for fish that leads him down a path he didn't expect. Gondell is surprised to learn, via a naughty little fairy, that he is the keeper--the key to winning an impending war.

It was nice that the hero in this story is a gnome and not the usual elf or fairy and there were several different creatures that were new to me. The Guild, an unlikely combination of Elf, Ogre, Dwarf and Nymph partner with a Ghul, and race to rescue Gondell from the clutches of the dark Lord as they struggle to maintain good over evil.

The character development is impeccable and gives the reader insight into the characters intentions, emotions and thoughts. You won't get spoilers from me...you just have to read to find out.

Overall I give this book an easy five stars, for many reasons: the story and character development were on par with what I expect from an epic fantasy--to be engrossed in every aspect of the adventure, the story-line was extremely well-written and professionally presented, and even though it was a long read, the mystery kept me turning the page and left me wanting for more. This book had me from the second I previewed it and it is representative of such great adventures as what Tolkien brought to us. It is exactly the type of read you would snuggle up with on a cold winter night and I will most likely read this book again and again. I look forward to reading the second part of Gondell's Quest and learning how it all plays out.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

I loved this book!

I love this cover. The game of chess signifies a great deal about this book. Before I made it through the first page, I was hooked. The writing style is relaxed and edgy all at once, and the writing is skilled, as if written through the eyes of Naz and Cory. Mystery builds slowly, maintaining curiosity throughout. I must admit that I don't read a lot of YA or sci-fi, but with this read, I felt compelled to speak up for it. I was wowed from the start and when I finished, I wanted more!

If you like sci-fi, YA, paranormal with a dystopian feel, this is a definite read. I have passed this read onto my teenage son and he loved it!

I hate reviews that give away too much, but I will give away a little...

Naz is a quirky teenager, with a resilience that shines through as he struggles to cope with life in the Exclave (a dystopian-like ghetto), sleep-walking, strange voices, and gang activity. His attitude to certain events reminds me a lot of my teenage son...non-committal about some things, but crazy passionate about others. His relationship with his sister Meridian is well-conveyed and adorable. His character is strong as are all the other characters in this book, even Tone the African Grey. Life in the Exclave is described in such a way that each scene feels like your moving through a movie.

The story bounces between Naz and Dr. Cory Anderson, creating an interwoven plot line that spoke to the power or the mind and mind-control. I'm still hanging and need to read the next book in this series, soon!

***** STARS

The Unseen Face

As a person, all too familiar with the black claw of depression, I was impressed by Joannes Rhino's ability to appropriately convey the hellish impact mental illness can have on an individual and how it effects loved ones.

When I previewed this book, I was struck by the flawless writing and decided that I needed more. I was given a free pdf by the author, but decided to upload it to my tablet via Kindle Unlimited. I give credit where it is due and this author is amazing!

Joannes Rhino is a brilliant author who has created a believable and remarkable work of prose. This is a beautifully written book that effectively conveys the world of James Maddox, a person suffering from depression. His world is darkened by the loss of his Emily, and James is both grieving and stuck in a depressive grief process, but it's not that simple...the story develops into much more with unexpected twists that kept me guessing and turning the page.

This author clearly understands the complexity of mental illness, whether it is well-researched or from personal experience. His descriptive prose describes James' world in such a way that invokes emotion from the reader. I couldn't put this book down, and had a lump in my throat as I read it. This is truly one of the best indie literary masterpieces that I have read.

***** STARS

Thursday, October 22, 2015

My first blogged book review...

In short, I haven't posted a review to my blog prior to today. That will change from this point forward--indies need all the help they can get and i am a reader first, so I'd like to support the authors I read in every possible way. I will tweet and share everything I do via Twitter and Facebook, so it seems logical to start posting my opinions here.

Victoria Browne and I connected via a Goodreads discussion group. I checked out her books, read the previews, and immediately wanted to read them. Victoria sent me a free copy of Third Time Lucky: the Honey Trap to review and the rest...well see below:

Rating of *****

***Disclaimer--sort of*** I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, but when my tablet glitched, I went and downloaded it for free to my Kobo reader. THAT is how much I adored this read!

I haven't read a lot of chic lit, but this is by far the best one yet. From the first page, I became glued to the story of Sarah and her friends. The sassy brit humor kept me giggling as I read on. Browne creates a believable world in which most women can relate to--we all worry about men and careers and we all have a close circle of gals who love and support us and sometimes hurt us. Sarah's group of friends are there to support her as she struggles with a double-betrayal. She lives the next portion of her life trying to prove herself, while trying to conform to an ideal she doesn't really want.

The story plays out in such a way that you think it's going to go one way and then BAM it completely changes path and leaves you guessing and demanding more. The last half of this book was impossible to stop reading, and the ending wasn't at all expected. I need more! This read is romance, suspense, mystery and humor all bundled into one perfect little package. It's fresh, witty, well-written and formatted and the cover is first class! I highly recommend this book.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Light at the end of the tunnel

I have taken a break from writing to catch up on some much needed escape/reading. I am very interested in dipping my toes in new works and stepping into new genres, but I have to say this: for every ten crappy books I barely make it through one chapter on, a gem falls out of nowhere, and I am wowed. I thank Twitter for this.

Social media has made it easy to sift through the glut of books to find the ones that are worth reading. I appreciate this as a reader because it saves me money and time. I love reading reviews, and I depend on a good rating to help me decide if the book is worth my time.

Look to the twitter feeds for good recommends.
Feed an author, leave a review :)

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Last night my bestie dragged me out into the world after not seeing each other in months. We do that--we live our busy lives and then connect like we just saw each other yesterday. I am an introvert, so it is rare that I feel the need to surround myself with anyone but those near and dear. A night out was just what the doctor ordered. We laughed, we drank, we laughed, we ate, we laughed until we cried...it was awesome, and I can't wait for our next night out.

Today, I feel refreshed and ready to take on the final edits of Floozies and Fallout. I have been procrastinating on this for two weeks--really procrastinating--here is a list of things I did to avoid this part of the process: complete home spring cleaning, rearrangement of furniture, garage sale (two weekends in a row), gardening, dusting, playing with my birds, veggin on the couch with my cuddle partner, and anything else I could find to prioritize ahead of final edits.

I don't know why I am avoiding this, but it seems like when I am about to finish a writing project, I become really anxious/nervous. I don't know why. I know my book isn't a piece of crap, but still...

So that's it for my blog post (yet another avenue for procrastination). I am not posting here until I finish :)

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Reviewers needed

Is it bad that I don't have a topic to discuss? I have no idea what to write today...accept this: I have been trying to squeeze in writing time and am getting behind. I am hoping to still meet my deadlines, but my brain is so scrambled from the craziness that is my life that those deadlines may be a stretch. I am looking for reviewers for my next couple of books.   I WILL NOT pay for reviews but you can read for free. If you're interested, inbox me or let's share some books at

Cheers

Friday, September 11, 2015

Changed my mind...

I came on here today, hellbent on ranting about the shitty (Sorry, I swear when I am mad) state of our society. But writing about it only serves to piss me off more. So, in light of the fact that it is Friday (hooray!),  I move to send a positive note to the world and a special request...Challenge per-say...
1. Do something kind for someone you don't know: open a door, help someone with their groceries, throw down a compliment about a stranger's clothes, cut your neighbors lawn...you get the picture. Do it for someone else, not for yourself.
2. Sit back close your eyes and be thankful for living--that's right living--all of it: the good, the bad, the ugly, the almost unbearable. You're alive and you've made it this far. EMBRACE the air flowing through your lungs or the sun on your face. If it's raining, welcome the opportunity to open a book or take a much deserved soak in the tub (I'd probably nap).
3. Tell someone close to you how much you appreciate them. You won't believe the joy this can bring to someone. People need to feel appreciated. It sounds hard, but once you start the words just roll off your tongue.
4. Don't judge others for any reason. Nothing is shittier than feeling like someone is looking down on you. Be prepared to be judged--that's life--shake it off and move on. Who cares what ANYONE thinks.
5. Donate to a charity. ANY charity. RESEARCH is everything and many breakthroughs are close at hand. If you can't donate, VOLUNTEER. Volunteers are the heart of every charitable organization. It will also fulfill you in ways you couldn't imagine.
6. MOST IMPORTANTLY: take care of these two things:
OUR PLANET:  recycle, reuse, pickup that bag someone tossed onto the ground at the park, don't litter, pollute, or hunt for sport--how much fun would it be to be on the receiving end of that game?
YOURSELF: Respect your body, eat healthy, exercise, meditate, give love, accept love, and fight for what is right!

That's all for today. I feel better already!


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Floozies and Fallout Cover Reveal

I am buried in the madness of back-to-school preparations and editing my next big novel. I am so in love with the cover for book two in the Third Eye P.I. series. Hope you like.
Release date to follow...hoping for October 1st, but I can't promise...

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Not to whine, but the whole social media marketing thing takes up a ton of time. I had no idea it would be so crazy. The shocking thing is that I absolutely love every second of it. I am learning so much and connecting with some unbelievable readers, authors and resources. Each step of this journey is a learning experience and so exciting!
The one thing I dreaded--the bad review--happened, and I didn't get upset (I fully expected to cry). I must have had my big girl panties on as I read it. Even though it was a two star review, the input that I received from the reviewer was appreciated, and I fully intend to take her words to heart. I almost feel like you get the most honesty from a bad review. Most days I walk through life delighted with the good reviews, but aside from the gratitude and good vibes, never really take them to heart. That one bad review taught me more than twenty good ones.
I can't say enough how much I truly appreciate the entire process, and I am so happy that I'm #doinitindiestyle :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

New cover for Under Orion's Belt and I have to say, even if it comes off snotty, I have outdone myself. LOVE IT! That's right people, I design my own cover art. I have heard this is taboo in the writing world, but who knows a book better than the author? Plus, I love the process...

Floozies and Fallout is on the way, even after sitting on my ass for two weeks and literally doing nothing. I am ahead of schedule, so it looks as though it will hit the internet world by October 1st. I shouldn't brag. It's bad juju. As I write this, I realize that two weeks from now, I'll be whining that I am behind again.

Third Eye P.I. and Cheekinis & Chocolate have officially detached from KDP Select and will be available soon at most online eBook retailers. Can't say that I was thrilled with the whole KDP Select experience, but I had to give it a shot. Cheekinis and Chocolate will be free. Enjoy and please leave a review...

Exciting things coming soon :) I can't wait!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I'd like to talk about the Tuesday that feels like a Monday....Monday has always been my nemesis. I have never been nor will I probably ever be a morning person. I have enough trouble getting it together on any given day, but Monday always seems to be the hardest day. My brain literally doesn't come alive until after I've ingested enough caffeine to rouse a horse. That being said, the adrenaline caused from realizing I've arrived at work and forgotten my dog outside (I do this a lot) and my cell phone on the kitchen counter (like every other day...) can also get me moving. Thankfully, I realize this quickly and only live five minutes from work.
The point of this is, I wonder when I will ever be one of those people who gets out of bed without hitting every last snooze option and actually has their shit together. Some days I arrive at work looking like I walked through a tornado (thank God my boss loves me). I lay in bed at night and fantasize about getting up when the alarm goes off, the first time, and making breakfast while having all this time to prepare for the day ahead of me. The next morning always arrives and I ALWAYS put up the same fight...Let's just call today, Tornado Tuesday :)

Thursday, August 6, 2015

In the background my husband shouts, "Leave mom alone. She's blogging about how rotten her children are and how awesome her husband is."
True story. I have a full house and it is impossible to get a moments peace at the best of times, but I wouldn't have it any other way. I have committed to blog at least once a week which is a lot considering I also need to squeeze edits in there somewhere. I am a full-time mom, with a full-time job, trying to make her dream of writing come true.
Well, guess what? I did it. I wrote my first book and am now working on two and three. I don't know how I managed to find the time, but I can honestly say that I am blessed to have the support of the one person who always has my back--my awesome husband.

Monday, August 3, 2015

I fooled myself into thinking that on my two weeks off I would actually get some work done. Haha. Don't know what I was thinking...lesson learned. Floozies and Fallout is close to heading off for first edits, but at the rate I'm going, it won't hit market until October. Needless to say, I will be very busy once vacation is over.

"Tomorrow is another day--I'll think about it tomorrow." Yes, I love Gone with the Wind. It is the only novel that I have ever reread and do so at least once a year. Love it!

Life is good, and I refuse to be a recluse author. I have two young boys who keep me busy and are my top priority, as they should be. I have to admit that taking an actual vacation and not doing any work is actually really difficult, but I am trying. I am learning to embrace each day as it comes. However, I am now totally freaking exhausted and need to get home. You know you've had enough vacation when your actually counting sleeps until you  get home.




Friday, July 24, 2015

Today I received an interesting email. Apparently there is a porn star named Ravenna Young out there. Just to clarify, I am not a porn star, nor am I a porn star that changed careers. Lol.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Welcome to my Blog. I am indie author Ravenna Young. This is my first blog and hopefully a stopping point for my readers. As I develop this blog, I will keep you up to date with news and releases.

Some things you need to know about me:
  1. I have a dirty mind, but I use it for the greater good. A work without humor, in my mind, is boring...I hope you laugh.
  2. I am indie because I'm a control freak--but in a fun way. True story.
  3. I love to write, but I refuse to limit myself to one genre. This is why you will see my work under pen names. I don't want my mom reading an erotic romance that I have written...I think I'd die or she would...not sure which. Please check Remi Wild's page out on this blog.
  4. I read a lot. I am always open to new work, so feel free to recommend something to me.
  5. Ask me anything! If I don't answer, you crossed a line :)
My first book Third Eye P.I. is available on Amazon Prime until August 13th, then it will be on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBook, etc. I publish through Smashwords, so you can download any format you need from there. 
Sweet Release is a dark short that is part of the Little Dark Shorts series...stay tuned for more.
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