Welcome to Day 2 of the REIMAGINING NEON Blog Tour! @boom_lyn @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @RRBC_RWISA @4WillsPub @4WP11 #TheNeonHouses #RRBC #RWISA

The REIMAGINING NEON Tour banner

GIVEAWAYS:

(3) $10 Amazon Gift Cards

Please leave Linda a comment below, or along any leg of the tour to be in the running for one of her awesome prizes!

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LOVE YOUR CHARACTERS:  GIVE THEM A SERIES

I didn’t intend for my story to be a series. I’d read the stats about wider sales, greater interest, etc. when an author writes a series, but I didn’t think along those lines until I’d finished editing the last chapter. Suddenly, I was thrilled. This was a sexy, intriguing mystery and I could end it in such a way that it could be the beginning of a series.

You don’t know (well, you probably do) the times that I’ve had to say goodbye to characters I absolutely loved. The author had made them smart, good-looking, cool, compassionate people who I’d invested time in and who I considered friends. I could see the pages spiraling toward the end, and I wanted more time with them. Imagine my glee when I turned the final page and found the link to Book Two. The story continues!

There’s something awfully important that anyone writing a series should do. Always, always, always have book two ready, or close to ready, before you publish book one. I failed to do that and lost a lot of readers and momentum for book number two. Readers always want more of a good thriller or they want the next installment in your series.

While I didn’t write a series, I did just release The Legend of Ethni LeDoux, The Beginning, an installment that takes place before THE NEON HOUSES. It features Ethni Ledoux.

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THE NEON HOUSES Blurb:

What would you do if you were the daughter of a cult hero who boasted a past full of exciting, colorful exploits?

Suppose the thing that made your mother a cult hero was also inside you.

Now, imagine spending your whole life trying to hide it—until you shared the heart stopping death of someone close to you.
Supposed that death brought you face to face with the gift of the neon houses.

New Chicago and its neighboring town, The Southland, are vastly different worlds in circa 2087, but Dr. Noel Kennedy is an expert at navigating both worlds. As the Deputy Chief of Schools in The Southland, Noel has perfected being a solid, middle-class citizen. Not even her husband, Fredrick Kennedy, truly understands what she is.

When Zarah Fisher, Noel’s young protégé, is murdered on a deserted street in The Southland, Noel knows the exact moment Zarah takes her last breath. Though miles away, Noel feels the girl’s terror, and hears her anguished screams inside her own head because of an inheritance that has left her with extraordinary gifts.

Can Noel find justice for Zarah without risking it all?

Murder, mayhem, and suspense abound in this action packed page-turner. More than a mystery, The Neon Houses thrills the reader with scenes of a futuristic 2087. Autoplanes, body planes, and flying buses are the norm. Robots and androids cook, clean, and serve the affluent, while dystopia lurks just around the corner.

The Author’s social media:

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Website

Amazon Author Central

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Meet Linda Mims:

LINDA MIMS

LINDA MIMS is a writer, a dreamer, and an educator, who hails from a quiet village just south of Chicago. Her stories are mainly about urban characters who are engaged in mystery and mysticism. Her hope is that while entertaining and informing, she’s also sending the message that humans aren’t that different and all each of us want is a better world.

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To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the AUTHOR’S TOUR PAGE on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HEREThanks for supporting this author and her work!

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A Terrible Day in Casualty @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11

On one unusually quiet Sunday afternoon, as a newly trained staff nurse, I, along with a group of other nurses and docs were sitting, chatting away about nothing in particular.  As time went on, I heard a distraught voice call out for help.  At that time, it seemed that all my colleagues had disappeared on tea, smoke, or toilet breaks, so I was all alone.

I rushed to the open door to find a mother walking alongside her child, who appeared to have one end of a red oil can sticking in his neck/throat, while the other end was sticking out of his head.  While I ushered them on deeper into the hospital lobby, the mother began explaining that the child had been running with the can in his hand, when he fell – the spout went in one end of his neck and straight through his head and out onto his skull.

I shouted to the mother to stand still with her child, while I rushed to fetch a wheelchair, then sat the mother down in it, with her child on her lap. The little one was fully conscious and whimpering, but amazingly, appeared not to be in too much pain.

Within what seemed like moments, the casualty department filled with consultant pediatricians, anesthetists, doctors, nurses, Uncle Tom Colby, and all.

The child went speedily into theatre (surgery), had the item removed, and was put on strong antibiotics.

At the end of that shift, I went home and poured myself a large brandy.

Later, I heard from a colleague who worked on the kids’ ward of the hospital, that every major blood vessel had been missed during the child’s fall, except for one small vessel that had been damaged.  His hospital stay lasted only about 4 days.

Someone was really looking down on that family, that day.

THE SHOWS: MEMORIES OF THE REVIEWS @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11

I never considered myself a director of stage and medics production. This was in the 60’s and 70’s and known as REVIEWS. But I found myself being roped into this very job.

We had a lovely hall with a fully equipped stage attached to the hospital.

We were a group of nursing friends who were young and energetic, so, a few of us dreamt up skits and songs to be sung with dance routines and the like.

We were lucky to be able to rope in many consultants and doctors to join in the fun and games.

The host was a porter from the hospital, and a comic, to boot. He was excellent with his introductions and many jokes. One show (of which there were six in total), was when he played the part of the now disgraced, Gary Glitter. He made the high-heeled shoes that the singer stomped the stage in, and with the help of his wife, he produced the garish costumes he wore.

This act went down a storm.

My father was roped in by me, and we spent hours laughing when he and 4 junior doctors dressed up as fairies and were taught to dance. We managed to get hold of a choreographer named Barbara, and she and I became firm friends. She worked amazing wonders with these left-footed men.

My dad was an English teacher and wrote many of the sketches that were well-received by the audiences.

An Ear, Nose & Throat (ENT) Consultant, a local G.P., and two other doctors, comprised the panel of a T.V. show called TRUE OR FALSE. The host needed to establish which explanation for the held banner was the correct one.

It was to the audience’s delight when the hospital’s famed ENT Consultant displayed the word BRONTISAURUS, pronouncing it BRONTI SORE ARSE.

My lifelong friend and nursing colleague, who is soon to move in with us for the short term, as she is in the throes of moving house, responded to the challenge of being a stripper. The band played as she peeled off piece by piece of her many items of clothing, and bravely stripped down to a Basque-type black and red garment.

We had a takeoff of Iddi Armin. The marvellous chap acting out this part, came onto the stage and shouted at the head of nursing, “Iddi Armin, I’m in!  Move over, white trash!”  This would be considered politically incorrect for today’s audiences, but back then, it went down a storm.

In response to my farewell post to Queen Elizabeth @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11

One of my readers recently shared an article written by Janille Griffiths, in response to my farewell post to Queen Elizabeth.   I thought I’d share my response in the form of a blog post, in hopes of enlightening others, as well.

Uji Anya, Assistant Professor of Language Acquisition at Carnegie Mellow University tweeted, “If anyone expects me to express anything but disdain for the Monarch who supervised a government that sponsored the genocide that massacred and displaced half my family, and the consequences of which those alive today are still trying to overcome, you can keep wishing upon a star.”

She garnered many likes for this tweet.

She obviously has reason to feel the anger that she shared.

Perhaps we need to consider the words of Mathew Smith’s message that people are not thinking specifically about Queen Elizabeth, but rather the British Monarchy as an institution, and the relationship of the monarchy to systems of oppression, repression, and forced labour – particularly African exploitation of natural resources and forcing systems of control in these places. People are responding to a system existing beyond the Queen herself.

Great Britain has little to be proud of in regard to that of colonialism and the shocking treatment of slaves from the Caribbean and further afield.

Consider that Barbados recently removed the Queen as their head of state, and others are certain to follow.

I shall finish by saying that many countries fail in having an exemplary history when it comes to their treatment of certain people.  Let us hope that as the years have changed and brought forth more acceptance for those who are considered different, that these countries are continuing to change for the better, as well.

What are your personal feelings and thoughts on Queen Elizabeth and the British Monarchy?  Do you feel as strongly as the person who shared her feelings in the tweet I mentioned above?  If so, why?

A NEW RECRUIT’S TERROR – @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11

It was on a busy night shift, on the male surgical ward of the first hospital I’d ever worked in. Still enrolled in my nursing training, I was nervous about everything.

That night, I was working with a male nurse and a female auxiliary nurse; both a good deal older and far more experienced than me.

The ward was full and very busy that night; but not too busy for the male nurse {Tommy} to start telling all sorts of scary tales that sent me into a bit of a spin.

Out of all the stories he told, one stands out all these years later.  The story of Mr. Danny Wright. Danny was a charge nurse, and, in those days, he was known as simply “Mr.”

Tommy told us that Danny Wright had decided to play a trick on the new porter.

A patient had died, so the nurse in charge called the porters’ lodge to ask for the porters on duty to come and take the body down to the morgue, known as Rose Cottage.  One of those porters was the new recruit.

In the meantime, Danny Wright zipped down to the morgue, laid down on a slab, and covered himself with a white sheet.  Unbeknownst to the porters, the very live patient was collected from the ward, and transported to Rose Cottage.

While the porters were opening the door to enter the morgue, Danny Wright began slowly sitting up from the slab that he was on.

“Have you got the time please?” he asked.

Terrified, both men dashed away, screaming, leaving the corpse sitting at the door to the morgue.  Danny Wright could hear them screaming to each other as they ran away asking, “What the hell was that?”

The newly recruited porter left the hospital that night never to be seen again.

After hearing that story, I was petrified that some prank or other was going to be played on me, being a new recruit myself.

Fortunately, it never was.

Have you ever been scared straight by a prank?  If so, did the memory of it stick with you years later as mine has?

Rest In Peace, Our Queen @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11

I wanted to share with my American friends at RRBC, my deep sadness of the death of our Monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, on 8th September 2022.

An early memory that I have of this splendid lady, was when as a schoolgirl, aged eight years old, we were all marched up to a street in Folkestone, to see the Queen returning from a trip abroad, by boat.

 As she sat in her open carriage waving to us kids, I well recall how beautiful this young woman looked with her perfectly applied make-up and lustrous outfit. I cannot remember who was with her.

In later life, I was asked if I would be prepared to go to one of the Royal Garden parties, held each year for those who had given service to the community. It was my nursing role that would have afforded me this honour. I went through the vetting process; did I have any I.R.A. connections, and other pertinent questions were asked.

 I always maintained that I was paid for the job I performed, therefore, I was no more deserving than the next individual who also served others. Anyway, I purchased an outfit in readiness for the trip – one that I can still get into thirty years later. In the end, I was not to be the nurse selected to go to Buckingham Palace.

I did not mind as I was delighted for the girl who was chosen.  She was a close colleague of mine.

Tonight, I think about how much I would have loved to have seen this amazing Mother, Grandmother, Great Grandmother and our Queen, up close.

R.I.P. H.R.H. QUEEN ELIZABETH 11   

Joy G.

A Memory From 1965 @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11 #Nursing

What does one write when you have no idea of what to write that will be of interest to anyone?

Well, today I decided to have a go at it by beginning my nursing history series.

The beginning of my career started in 1965.  I had a strong desire to care for people, and nursing would enable me to do so.

Another reason I went into nursing was to remove my two-year-old son from the influences of my over-doting mother-in-law.  She was spoiling him rotten, and as a result, he was becoming a very naughty little boy.

The hospital where I began my training was close to my home, which we shared with my first husband’s mother.  Because she lived with us, it was difficult to keep my boy out of her clutches.  Fortunately, the hospital had a nursery, at a cost of two shillings a week.  This would enable my boy to be looked after in a different, more improved environment.

The training was tough.  I was only twenty years old and not long out of secondary education. My ability to learn and retain still existed, which was also helped by my strong desire to succeed.

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My training lasted three years.  I also worked part-time during that time – 28 hours a week.  I did well.

I was a night nurse and one of my memories of being in that position was the endless counting we had to do of all the bed linen, towels and bed socks.

One night while on duty, a night Sister rushed up to me and said, “Get down to Accident and Emergency right away!”

I dashed down the stairs to find a scared father standing in the corridor with a white, limp baby flopped over in his arms.  A Sister took the child and placed him in my arms, while she stuck her hand down the child’s throat and pulled out part of a baby’s dummy, which was blocking its airway.  When we walloped the child on the back, and to our relief, he began to yell.

The father stood there looking shocked and perplexed at what he had just witnessed.  I walked over to him and touched his arm.

“Tonight, your baby was saved by our lady in blue,” I said.

The sister, whose name was Nancy, and I became firm friends. Her nursing skills never failed to amaze me, and it was with great sadness that I learned of her death last year.

What memory stands out most to you from your early career years?  I would love to hear all about it.

A Hole in The Ground @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11

“Yes,” he said, “we really must use the water in that tank for watering the garden. We have a hose-pipe ban coming in soon.”

This has been one of the driest Summers I can recall.  Winter saw less water than usual.

The ground is rock hard, so you can imagine what it’s been like for a husband with a heart condition, to have to dig holes, four feet down to find one of the outlet pipes from the house guttering. Once this project is finished, this will connect to the amazing pumping system he has created.

My husband built this house that we have lived in for the past sixteen years. There is no main drainage, as it is semi-countryside. We have a sewage treatment plant about seven feet in depth, and a rainwater tank containing 9000 gallons. We have talked about utilising this tank for so long to water the garden.

The work has been long and arduous, conducted in the heat waves we are currently experiencing.  We now have holes all over our lawn, where pipes have been sought.

My dear husband dug the first hole in the wrong place, although he didn’t dig too deeply. Today he came into the kitchen and excitedly said, “I have found one of the pipes!  It was just about two inches from where I first dug a week ago.”

“That’s great news,” I replied, relieved that this heavy work would be coming to an end.

Has your spouse or significant other ever gotten into a project such as this one?  I’d love to know how you handled it.

A Thoughtful Process @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11 #Cancer #RRBC

A lady I was acquainted with many years ago was a consultant dermatologist at the hospital where I  worked.

Her skin was like porcelain, almost translucent. Her mantra was always to never let your skin be exposed to the sun.

She was white and very attractive, turning the men’s heads where ever she went.

She lived alone, and on rare occasions spent some time in London with a mutual friend.

Sadly, I learned that at the young age of fifty, she died of stage 4 bowel cancer.

How and why I kept asking, should one so young, so careful with her knowledge attained through her working life about the dangers of too much exposure to the sun, be unfortunate enough to have her life end this way?

Was it because she paid more attention to her skin than to her dietary intake?  Did loneliness play a part?  Was she simply unlucky?  Or, was it just an act of God?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

Introducing… #JoyfulPussycatTales & #SpyAndVillain @JoyGerken @RRBC_Org @4WillsPub @4WP11

Introducing my latest two short stories!

The first is SPY AND VILLAIN, a short story mystery drama.

Spy &amp; Villain by Joy M. Lilley

This is a story of love and sadness. Told by a wheelchair bound middle aged woman. She finds herself handicapped after a tragic accident when a car mounts the pavement out of control.

Spending many hours looking out of her front room window, she believes that skullduggery is going on in the house across the street. The couple who lives there, have recently moved in. One day while people-watching from her window, she is certain she sees the man hitting the woman.  When she runs into the woman soon after the event, her face is covered with bruises, and she is furtively trying to avoid her.

 Our heroine is so convinced of violent behavior going on in that house, that she badgers her own husband until he takes notice.  Her nagging leads to arguments between them, as he tells her “Not to be such a nosey cow.”

The plot gets even more complicated, eventually culminating in the truth coming to light.

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The second book, JOYFUL PUSSYCAT TALES, tells of the writer’s rescued cats from the past and present.

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(Cover design by 4WillsPub)

Sophie Swipe made us smile over her antics with the Grandchildren.

Billy Pink-Nose was a beauty with black silky fur, and a brilliant pink nose, a boy who often got into mischief.

But the three that are still living with the writer and her husband, are 13-year-old, Lucy, 10-year-old, Molly, and 7-year-old Lilley.

Their stories are delightful, full of fun and frolic, cuddles and entertainment.

I hope you get a chance to read these quick tales, and a review would be welcome!