Autographed Books and Paypal Link

I have a personal Paypal link now! If you want autographed copies of A Bottle of Glass Hearts, Gem, or Lucent Sylph, you can send me $10 per book with a note saying which you want.
Or you can support my caffeine addiction that helps me write. 😛 😀 Seriously! People actually used to tip my computer geek husband through his personal website and Reddit and “support his caffeine need.” Haha! Stranger things have happened!
 
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FINALIST!

Finalist!Just got really good news! I got what’s technically 5th place in a contest!! Lucent Sylph made “Finalist” in the Reader’s Favorite Award Contest!!

Readers’ Favorite recognizes “Lucent Sylph” in its annual international book award contest, currently available at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012LWE1AY.

The Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest featured thousands of contestants from over a dozen countries, ranging from new independent authors to NYT best-sellers and celebrities.

Readers’ Favorite is one of the largest book review and award contest sites on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the “Best Websites for Authors” and “Honoring Excellence” awards from the Association of Independent Authors. They are also fully accredited by the BBB (A+ rating), which is a rarity among Book Review and Book Award Contest companies.

We receive thousands of entries from all over the world. Because of these large submission numbers, we are able to break down our contest into 140+ genres, and each genre is judged separately, ensuring that books only compete against books of their same genre for a fairer and more accurate competition. We receive submissions from independent authors, small publishers, and publishing giants such as Random House, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, with contestants that range from the first-time, self-published author to New York Times bestsellers like J.A. Jance, James Rollins, and #1 best-selling author Daniel Silva, as well as celebrity authors like Jim Carrey (Bruce Almighty), Henry Winkler (Happy Days), and Eriq La Salle (E.R., Coming to America).

“When the right books are picked as winners we pay attention. We will be spreading the word about Readers’ Favorite.” –Karen A., Editor for Penguin Random House

Readers’ Favorite is proud to announce that “Lucent Sylph” by RJ Conte won the Finalist Award in the Fiction – Short Story/Novela category.

You can learn more about RJ Conte and “Lucent Sylph” at https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/lucent-sylph where you can read reviews and the author’s biography, as well as connect with the author directly or through their website and social media pages.

Almost 200 Followers – and a Lucent Sylph Award!

5star-shiny-hr Lucent Sylph!It is with the greatest pleasure that I get to announce…

This week, Lucent Sylph won a Readers’ Favorite Five Star medal!!  Such high praise from the group of editorial reviewers over at Readers’ Favorite!  The new Lucent Sylph covers will be going up soon with new medals on the front.  Woot woot!

To read Lucent Sylph for free, go here!

On top of that, this blog has almost hit 200 followers!  I’d like to give a gift to the 200th follower – an ebook copy of all of my books!  That’s a $16 value!  The entire RJ Conte collection!  Share this post with friends, and maybe some of them will win the whole shebang.

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I’d also like to announce that my new novella, a Christian romantic comedy about a quirky young woman and the guy she hits while driving drunk…

is in editing stages!!  Thanks to a coaching session with Janeen Ippolito, and thorough edits from Desiree Williams, I hope to have this story out to you in a few weeks!  SQUEAL.

2D

A Memory About Family

But he could read minds. He had to have known about his destiny all along. No one could keep a secret from him. Why didn’t he turn himself in?

“Because I was protecting my parents.”

I spun around. Gem stood at my open door. His gaze pinned me.
“What do you mean?” I asked. So much for get-to-know-you chitchat!
“No need for chitchat, Miss Punicello. I know you already.” His voice was flat and matter-of-fact, as if patiently explaining a complicated concept to a child.
I said nothing.
“From almost birth, I had an understanding of what I was meant to do for the world. My parents were afraid because I was gifted, and they worried about whether or not I was the next Omnicron. They were really scared at the thought of giving me up, and my mom panicked inside every time she wondered about it. So I hid my magical gifts from the moment I was old enough to understand them. They didn’t know. They weren’t at fault.”
“But… they were imprisoned –”
“They weren’t. Instead of making The Savior Omnicron look selfish and deceitful, Tuson worked with the national justice system to pretend to ‘do away with them,’ but instead they helped my parents go into hiding. The world needed to make an example of them for show.”
I sputtered. “What? Your poor parents! That’s terrible! People are judging them falsely!”
– Gem
On Amazon HERE
(and out in A Bottle of Glass Hearts, releasing on February 14, 2018!)
 
Thoughts of Blaine’s mother always came with thoughts of his stiff, traditional father, his serious lips a constant thin line. It was as if James T. York always feared originality and spontaneity would burst out and humiliate him one day, so he kept his thoughts firmly tied in the back of his throat. Growing up, it was hard to get the man to say more than three sentences a day, and they tended to be always the same like a stuck old-fashioned record: “Thank you for the coffee” (always black), “Supper was delicious, my dear,” (always after having finished his entire plate), and “How was school, Blaine?” (to which “Okay, Dad” was always the answer).
Blaine’s mother had named him – the woman was bursting with creativity that was slowly and lovingly stifled under her husband’s stick-in-the-mud heavy monotony. So she cooked. Baked. Broiled. And sautéed. And she was pretty darn good at it too. Her confections could have won her a spot in a top bakery. But those masterpieces were created for the York family mouths only, to Blaine’s dismay.
The day he had announced he wanted to be a hairdresser, his mother’s eyes had sparkled without surprise. He had been playing with her graying wiry strands since they were blond and springy. He had kept her looking glamorous for years.
But his father’s eyes had blinked in horror. “Isn’t that a job for women?” had been the expected dark-ages reply from James T. York, banker and owner of three navy blue suits and two gray ties.
“I’m an artist, dad. It’s an art. And I really love people.” Blaine threw out a chuckle as if he didn’t care. But he did. Confrontation wasn’t his strong suit, and he wanted the fight to be over before it began. “I already have enough for school and you don’t have to spend a cent.”
Blaine had kissed his mother’s wet cheeks, moved out, and, a thousand practice hours and a license later, teamed up with Marguerite, a schoolmate. She had a steady military boyfriend and an inheritance from a beloved grandmother, and so she offered him a partnership strings-free. At that point, even James T. York saw Blaine was committed. The day his father came in to Upper Cuts for his standard Ivy League cut was the day Blaine felt he had arrived.
– Curls for Rae
(in A Bottle of Glass Hearts, releasing February 14, 2018!)
 
“Please! Don’t hang up on me! I want you to come home!”
My cry echoed hollowly as the dial tone stung my ear. Dropping the receiver, the burning hit my eyes with a hellish fervor. They stung until the saltwater tears poured out to douse the fire behind my vision.
She wasn’t coming home. My beautiful, lovely, one and only teenage daughter. Lost to me, she refused to leave the sin and return. Repenting and begging for forgiveness wasn’t on her rebellious bucket list.
Was this the fifth time I wept today? The constant falling of life-water onto my face did nothing to assuage my heart. Like a bandage that would not stick, the tears failed me, but still, they would not cease.
Drained with grief, I stumbled back into the room where my husband lay sleeping, and crawled under the heavy quilt. Wrapping myself securely, I crouched near his warm body, trembling with the shivering sobs. Chill seeped in through the sheets. Would I ever be able to set a firm chin of resignation to this issue of my precious baby daughter?
– His Bottles of Tears
(in A Bottle of Glass Hearts, releasing February 14, 2018!)
 
“When we are first born out of a moment of deep adoration, our mother sends us away in our infant state, choosing, at birth, that we will be the saviors of our families. We chrysalize like your butterflies, and, in just over a year, we mature into the adults you see now. Your atmosphere hits our full-grown hearts, and we feel that we are starving. This sent us to find you human to keep us alive. Those that are not sold quickly despair and die.
– Lucent Sylph
On Amazon HERE
(and in A Bottle of Glass Hearts, releasing February 14, 2018!)
 
She flung it. Threw it from her with the might of a thousand starwarriors before her. The hot ball of gas spun and sputtered, flying end over end. It whirled toward the densely ebony being only a few light years from her, its ugly hide filling the entire span of a galaxy.
– Aine, Starwarrior
(in A Bottle of Glass Hearts, releasing February 14, 2018!)
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A Bottle of Glass Hearts!

Introducing you to my FIVE short stories compilation!!

My little burning glass hearts include:

Gem
His Bottles of Tears
Curls for Rae
Aine, Starwarrior
and Lucent Sylph!

This compilation will be published, for $2.99, on Valentines’ Day!  February 14, 2018!

I had original art – concocted up in my head, and made a reality by the lovely, amazing, talented Julia Mae Busko.

So today I’m introducing you to this cover (and the main characters of each below)!!!

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This is going to be a collection of the most heart-warming, tear-inducing, emotion-ridden, lovely little jewels I can think up. CanNOT wait to share with you!


Now about the main characters for each story!  

In “Gem,” the main character is SOLEIL PUNICELLO:Soleil Punicello
She is ESFJ, motherly, sweet, innocent, and optimistic. The story starts out with her receiving a prestigious high-clearance job being a caregiver for her planet’s Omnicron – the telepathic, telekinetic genius child who is going to save the planet with the power of his mind.

 

prayIn “His Bottles of Tears,” the main character is an unnamed fifty-something MOM who is struggling, devastated, and wavering in her understanding of God’s sovereignty and goodness. The story starts out with her pleading with her prodigal young adult daughter to come home.

 

In “Curls for Rae,” the protagonist is BLAINE YORK:3d4b761149fb19f50eaeb12ddd2d83e5
He is ISFP, sensitive, artistic, romantic, and empathetic. The story starts out with him, a New York city hairdresser, being intrigued by a mystery woman who comes in for a styling each week, and sits in his chair and cries.

 

Milky Way. Night Sky With Stars And Silhouette Of A ManIn “Aine, Starwarrior,” the protagonist is AINE:
She is competent, determined, and self-sacrificing, a galaxy-sized starwarrior who fights intergalactic monsters to protect planets around her.

 

In “Lucent Sylph,” the protagonist is LUCAS THISSEL: He is ISFJ, introverted, sensitive,Lucas quiet, and studious.  He is trying to find his purpose in life, motherless, and with a cold, angry father. He wants to avoid the alien pets people are collecting at all costs. These “pets” thrive on the perfect balance of love from their owners, and Lucas is scared about his own hidden emotions.

 

Stay tuned for this short story compilation, arriving on Amazon on February 14th!!

Libera Boys Choir, a Blurb, and Gem!

The blurb for “Gem” as well as the song that inspired it!

 

From the bestselling author of Lucent Sylph comes a new story about a friendship in an unlikely place: between the child savior of a dying planet and his handler.

The planet of Topha is breaking into pieces and the next core earthquake will crack the planet into oblivion.

But God has sent generations of Omnicrons: children born with advanced brain abilities, telepathy and telekinesis – children who will be called upon to literally hold the planet together with the power of their minds. Few Omnicrons survive the core quake.

Twenty-five-year-old Soleil is hired to be a motherly caretaker for this year’s Omnicron, the precocious and brooding eleven-year-old named Gem. She finds herself drawn to the doomed child. Will Gem survive the task ahead of him? Can Soleil heal his heart in the meantime?

 

Threadbare

12232782_539219216245779_6251484058513023387_oToday we have authoress Bethany A. Jennings, professional editor, creator of the popular Twitter game #WIPjoy, and one of my very best friends!  (That last part is most important, of course.)  She got her start editing by practicing on my books, and MAN is she good.  She has edited ALL of my books (which you can find here!) except Dashwood Avenue and Angel-Lover, which were written in the dark, sad pre-Bethany-as-bestie period of my life.  *wink*  She says her favorite book of mine is my free short story, Lucent Sylph, because of the “symbolism and beautiful themes of love and sacrifice.”  ❤  (She did a great job editing that one too!) You can find her editing services here: http://simmeringmind.com/editing-services/

But finally this talented editor and beautiful friend of mine got to publish her own short story!  This beautiful, fantastic little tale is full of loss, hope, excitement, and sacrifice, and I highly, highly recommend it.  Get your own copy of Threadbare today for only a buck!

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Premise: What happens when your gift turns against you?

All her life Bess has known the magic streams around her, waves of power she can draw from to wield the gift of magical threads. Now the youngest member of a team of Anchors, she helps protect the city streets from Drifters—energy thieves who prey on the life force of ordinary humans.

But when a battle leaves Bess’s threads in an irreparable tangle, she is faced with an agonizing choice: sever her threads and lose her magic forever—or be slowly consumed by her own power.

Now for a fun interview with Bethany!

1. Who was your very first imaginary friend as a child?

I don’t remember the ones I had as a young child (if any), but as older kids my sister and I invented “imaginary boyfriends” for ourselves. (Here’s hoping she doesn’t come after me for admitting this online! Haha!) Mine was Mark, hers was Gilbert – and Mark and Gilbert apparently existed purely to make invisible mischief (and occasionally dance with us). We used to pretend they were riding in the back of my dad’s truck, or climbing on rooftops – all kinds of crazy antics we narrated to amuse ourselves during boring lulls in traffic or dull days.

2. Who is your favorite artist?

Oooooh, that’s hard, because I love so many! Of historical artists, I love the pre-Raphaelites, but don’t have a single favorite – although my favorite painting is The Lady of Shalott by John William Waterhouse, which is special to me because I memorized the Lady of Shalott by Tennyson in school as a teen. Of contemporary artists online, I really like Sandara (a DeviantArt artist).

3. If you could have any magic ability what would it be? 

Teleportation! I’d love to be able to travel anywhere in the blink of an eye and visit loved ones near and far without the time and expense of regular travel. Also, I could get after my kids faster. 😛

4. Who is your writing hero and who is your spiritual hero?

Can I say C.S. Lewis for both? I adore the way that man thought and wove his spiritual musings into his stories. My writing is not much like his, and I don’t agree with him on everything, but I still love what he did with writing and how God used Him to spread truth and beauty through fictional worlds.

5. Tell us about your next story. 

Dragon Lyric is a dark, intense fantasy short story about a young bride who discovers that she has actually married a shapeshifter dragon – and is determined not to become his prey. It’s very different from Threadbare and more adult than YA, but it contains some of the same themes of hope and fierceness in the face of despair. I hope to complete my first draft soon!

 

Congratulations, Bethany Jennings!!

 

Pretty Pictures of Leading Ladies!

Thank you for rejoicing with me over this miraculous pregnancy!!!

I’ve got more exciting news for you guys soon, but today I want to share what I’ll be doing on my Facebook author page all month.  July marks my thirtieth birthday as well as my 10th anniversary of being a published author.  My first book, Dashwood Avenue, turns ten years old!

Therefore, I’ll be running sales and doing fun facts all month on the Facebook page.  Make sure you like the page so as not to miss a thing.  🙂

Also, I created a collage of my leading ladies (or love interests) in my books.  Posting it here to entice you to read these girls’ stories.

You can find all of my books (Vivien’s story coming soon!) on Amazon.com by clicking right HERE.

RJ's Leading Ladies

Learn a New Martial Art with Bensin!

Hello to all!  (Read all the way to the bottom for a giveaway.  I entered!)

I have been making a ton of new author friends these days.  Networking has been a joy and a mind-broadening thing for me as I learn from “the greats” in both my publishing house, Cleanreads.com, and well as with other independently published “Indie” (self-published) authors.  Now that I am both traditionally published as well as have Indie books, I am considered “hybrid.”  Yeah, I’ve been learning all new lingo too.  😉

One of the amazing women I’ve met and befriended this year, is an American working at a Annie Douglass Limaschool in Taiwan, and has lived multiple places around the world.  She tirelessly promoted Lucent Sylph for me this past year, even inspiring some of her students to read the book!  Her name is Annie Douglass Lima. Doesn’t she just look cool?  🙂

She is a sweet, very polite woman (Haha, Annie! ;-)) who is gracious, well-spoken, and, of course, an excellent author.

Her first book, The Collar and the Cavvarach, re-imagines our modern world with slavery still in place.  It’s a fascinating and sobering look at what it would be like if we were enslaved in today’s society.  The main character, Bensin, is a martial arts expert (in the Annie-inspired fighting style called Cavvara shil.

The first book was sweet and like slice-of-a-different-kind-of-life that made me think of warm bread straight out of the oven (I always imagine books that I read and write as foods, usually desserts.  :-P)  Bensin’s Coach is a male ESFJ, as well, so that was a major plus for me!  The end gets especially exciting when Bensin is focused on freeing his little sister from a life of slavery, indentured to take care of a baby in a house that treats her with 12321454_10209189877929813_5691195618476333666_nneglect.  My youngest daughter cosplayed as Bensin’s sister Ellie for a contest this month.  😀  She wrote the sign, and really got into her role.  😀

The Collar and the Cavvarach was a great PG family-friendly book, for like ages 12+, and I enjoyed it a ton.

In the YA sequel, The Gladiator and the Guard, however, Annie takes the story and the stakes up a notch.  Because of an injustice, our poor Bensin is sentenced to be a gladiator.  I haven’t finished the book yet, because I have the immense pleasure of beta-reading for the author, and just going through the book and writing my thoughts to her as I go – like a conversation between friends (Squeal!  I’m so blessed!)  But I can tell you this book is a PG-13 with more intense action and excitement!  What I love most is seeing all of the characters grow.  Poor Ellie (now I picture my own daughter!), Coach and his Conscience (Yes, the Conscience is practically another character  😉 ), and Bensin go through temptations, attitudes, failures, and moral dilemmas.  I am dying to see what happens at the end!

If you like arena-game stories of survival and courage and character growth, please check out the entire Krillonian Chronicles series by Annie Douglass Lima!  

The Gladiator and the Guard

To whet your appetite, here’s an excerpt:

Ian was overseeing the glads in his ten while they sparred on Monday, and Bensin

had just successfully disarmed Fifty-Five, when they were interrupted.

“Riddior wants to see Fifty and Fifty-Eight,” a guard announced to Ian.

Their trainer nodded, apparently not surprised. “Go,” he told Bensin and Fifty.

Bensin started to unbuckle the shil he was wearing, but the guard stopped him

with a shake of the head. “You’ll need that. Bring the cavvarach too.”

They crossed the large room, skirting the other tens’ training zones. Bensin and

Fifty glanced over their shoulders every now and then to see where the guard wanted

them to go. Guards never led the way in the arena; they always made glads walk ahead.

They don’t trust us not to attack them from behind.

At the other end of the room, a group of about twenty glads had gathered in

front of the training manager. The tall Skeyvian was laughing and joking with them like

no one else in the arena ever did. Riddior was easy to get along with.

“So,” he said, when Bensin and Fifty had joined them. “You’re all here because

you’re the best of our best at cavvara shil, and you’re going to get to prove it to the world

next Sunday.”

Instantly, a knot formed in Bensin’s stomach. I’m not ready to fight again. Sure, he

had been taking some sort of herbal concoction every day — down from twice a day at

the beginning — that was supposed to hasten the healing process, and it did seem to be

working. True, when he had been summoned to the clinic last week, Doc had taken

another X-ray and announced that his rib was back to normal. It didn’t hurt anymore

when he stretched or breathed deeply. His concussion symptoms were long gone, his

nose was better, and the wound on his face only really hurt if he tried to smile too wide.

But he hadn’t found many things to smile about, so that wasn’t a problem.

Still, Bensin didn’t feel ready to pick up a cavvarach again and face possible death

and dismemberment out on the sand.

Annie Douglass Lima spent most of her childhood in Kenya and
later graduated from Biola University in Southern California. She and her
husband Floyd currently live in Taiwan, where she teaches fifth grade at
Morrison Academy. She has been writing poetry, short stories, and novels since
her childhood, and to date has published twelve books (two YA action and
adventure novels, four fantasies, a puppet script, and five anthologies of her
students’ poetry). Besides writing, her hobbies include reading (especially
fantasy and science fiction), scrapbooking, and international travel.

Connect with the Author Online:

Email: AnnieDouglassLima@gmail.com