THE THINGS KIDS SAY
Happy Mother's Day!
May 15, 2016
In this issue:
FROM THE MOUTHS OF BABES
RICHMOND'S READERS REHAB
Indie Life Magazine
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Life With A Special Needs Brother .......................4
We've Got The Books .............................................5
From The Mouths of Babes ....................................6
Hidden Scars ..........................................................7
Happenings in The Indie Community ..................8
The Artist's Touch S.H. Pratt ................................9
Diversity in The Indie Community ......................10
Social Media Marketing 101 .................................11
This Month On The Books .....................................13
Those Moments ......................................................14
Finding Bobby's Voice/At My Mother's Keyboard .....16
Poetry Corner ........................................................17
Why I Chose Self-Publishing ...............................18
Richmond's Readers Rehab - What Happened? ...19
A Penny For Your Thoughts .................................20
In This Month's Issue...
Life With a Special needs brother
Hello. I’m Raven and sister to a special needs brother. Jim was born in 1958 with what the doctors then diagnosed as brain damage. Based on what we know today, he would be considered severely Autistic and Asperger.
As a child, I remember Mom telling stories of how the doctors wanted them to place Jim in an institution and forget about him. My parents stood their ground and said no. They took him home and did their best to raise him as they would any other child.
For the next few years, they would take him from doctor to doctor for tests. Each doctor told them the same thing, “institutionalize him, he’ll never learn”. After once such visit, Mom said Jim was really quiet on the way home. She asked him what was wrong. He looked at her and said, “The doctor is wrong. I can learn”. From that point on, my parents did everything in their power to find a school for him.
And he was right, he learned how to potty-train, clothe himself, and feed himself. He taught himself to read my books I had as a child. (I am two years younger.) I remember him crying as I would go out to get on the bus for school because he couldn’t go and it broke my heart. I wanted my brother to go to school too.
Then, shortly after I started second grade, my parents found a school with classes for children with disability. We moved from Marion, Indiana to Huntington, Indiana. My brother and I would walk to school each day. I made sure he got to his class, then went to mine.
In those days, we could walk home for lunch, so I did, making sure my brother got home safely, as he only went half-days. One day, while walking home, some boys came up behind us, spitting at him and calling him names. Even at seven years old, I was very protective of him. I got angry and got between him and the boys, making sure none of their spit hit him. I yelled at them and told them to leave my brother alone. My brother, however, never said a word. He just walked on with tears streaming down his face, which made me even madder, because they made my brother cry.
That was my first lesson in how people who are different were treated and I never forgot it. I spent the rest of my childhood defending my brother from those who were cruel. To this day, I get up on my soapbox anytime someone says something about the disabled and really get angry when the word retarded is used as a derogatory insult or joke.
We didn’t stay long in Huntington, and before the school year was over, we moved again. I finished second grade in my third school for the year, then that summer, we moved again to Indianapolis. With the help of our parents and other parents of disabled children, a school was created for just them. Mom helped with lunchtime and Jim thrived. He learned so much there with other kids who were like him. No more taunts or cruelty. After several years, he learned all they could teach him and he now spends his time learning what he can from shows, books, and magazines.
We are both adults now (obviously), and things have gotten better, but there’s still a long way to go. My brother still gets dirty looks when we go out, but not like it used to be. As a tattooed woman, I get just as many dirty looks as he does, but I just smile sweetly and stare them down for both of us. It breaks my heart to see there are still so many who regard those with “special needs” in a derogatory manner. It is my hope, with time, hearts and minds are changed.
Until then, I have picked up where our parents left off, taking care of my brother. I have been his caregiver since 2010 when our mother died. (Dad died in 2009, six months earlier.) We’ve had our challenges, and I’m sure we’ll have more, but have settled into a routine that gets us through the day. I don’t mind taking care of my brother. In a sense, I have been doing so since the day I was born.
By Raven Williams
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"This spinach tastes a little ugly."
~Courtesy of Josefa Curtin~
From the Mouths of Babes
I always pronounced Tangerine "Trampoline" when I was younger.~Courtesy of Emily E Sheppard~
Earlier today I looked out the window to see six year old and five year old out in the field. I turned to three year old daughter.
Me: Why are your brothers in the field?
Three year old: They are on a field trip.
After holding in my laughter, I sent my lovely daughter to get her brothers from their "field trip".
~ Courtesy of Frances Gamble~
Where to start? When Ellie was little, she used to mispronounce words in the cutest way, like gymnaskicks for gymnastics. And, when a cat we took in from the shelter turned out to be evil incarnate, it took a great deal just to get him back in the carrier. Once safely there, four-year-old Ellie leaned down, pointed her finger at him and said, "You blew it!"
~Courtesy of Barb Lieberman~
A few nights ago my 3-year-old son ran into my bedroom in the middle of the night screaming like he was being chased by something. I was woken up by not only my son screaming, but my husband's as well. It's no surprise I returned their screams with my own. After all, you don't expect your husband to be screaming at 3am while a small body runs at you. I jump up and scoop my son in my arms to try to calm him. I realize quickly that my son must have had a bad dream, which has started recently. Holding him tight, I carried him to his bed. He was still apprehensive and wanted to sleep in my room. While I would love for him too, he is a kicker and that's never fun. I tuck his comforter around his tiny body and I tell him that his favorite stuffed animal, Pikachu, would protect him if anything were to happen. He looks up at me, with a huge grin, and replies "Oh! YEAH! DUH! Pikachu would just use thunderbolt on those bad guys." He closed his eyes, and I swear he was asleep before I even shut the door. Normally, it's a fight to get him to sleep alone after a bad dream. If I would have known it would be that easy, I would have said that months ago.
~Courtesy of Alisha Webster~
This ain't no shit, there we were ‘bout to die, it’s been f*cked up ever since, have you seen my brain? Oh there it goes, I put my pants on my head this morning…
~ Of a mouth of a child at heart
~ Jason Prete~
Momma, are we going to to buy itims. Son? What did you say items? Yes momma, that's what I said itims!
~Courtesy of Lw Michelle Author~
From my momma, God rest her soul- she always said " you look like an angel - when you're sleeping."
~Courtesy of Lw Michelle Author~
"This spinach tastes a little ugly."
~Courtesy of Josefa Curtin~
I grew up in the 70’s & 80’s. While in elementary school, I was proclaimed “Hyperactive” by more than one doctor. We were not medicated then and my mother and grandmother’s cure was simply to “keep me busy,” which generally meant chores so I took to books. I read anything I could get my hands on and harassed my sister when she was not harassing me. I was nine when we found out she had hearing problems and began having surgeries to replace the tubes that kept falling out. I was the oldest but only two years separated us, so I checked books out of the library to teach myself sign language. I never got past learning to sign the alphabet but I figured it would have been something. She never got to that point though and once grown, was able to have the problem permanently repaired.
I was nearly fifteen when my brother was born with Tetralogy of Fallot and at three days old had open heart surgery to repair the valve that had not formed correctly at birth. In the mid-eighties the success rates and expected lives of these children varied greatly and most needed additional surgeries. We were fortunate in that as he grew, the repair they had made continued to work and grow with him and he’s never needed more than a balloon angioplasty to stretch the surrounding area slightly. But that was our introduction to special needs; we had to make sure he did not get overheated, did not hit his chest, did not get stressed, etc… We carried doctor notes when we went on family vacations to reduce our wait in lines to keep him from standing in the sun too long and that was our first introduction to the prejudices that sometimes follow a person with special needs; you could not tell he was “sick” by looking at him and most shirts covered his zipper, the long scar in the center of his chest. “He has a heart problem” became a regular part of our vocabulary and all the explanation we would give.
Fast forward a few years, my sister and I both married sailors in the US. Navy like our father had been. Our father retired in the early 90’s and in the mid-nineties, my husband was medically retired following a nervous breakdown that caused him to eventually be diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. This time I was thrown into the world of researching, explanations, and arguments about strange things that made sense to no one but the person fighting for something. We were fortunate in that he got more of the obsessions than the compulsive rituals but it was still invasive. One of his earliest obsessions was a deep-seated concern that the toilet would be left open and our cat or dog would jump in and drown; one of his dachshunds growing up had jumped in their toilet and survived but needed help getting out, so he began to lower the lid and knock on it.
This was fine, most of the time. But knocking late at night or when the house was quiet began to wake and/or startle me so I placed a post-it on the lid that said, ‘Lid is down, don’t knock.’ With work, his was able to touch the note instead of knocking on the lid and his doctor said that was exactly what we needed to do and I had my first successful foray into behavior modification. He has always been a collector though, and we would often get strange looks when we are out shopping and he would see something he “had to have” and it was not in the budget or we devolve into an argument when I started putting things back to accommodate this new obsession/compulsion because, ‘It might not be here when we come back.”
When he was medically retired, we moved to Tampa to stay with my parents while we worked to get back on our feet. Eventually, I found a position as a paraprofessional, aide, with the school district and began working with special needs kids. My first year in the district was with physically impaired children, but then I switched schools. I was applying for a position with children who had SLD, Specific Learning Disabilities, EBD, Emotional Behavior Disorders, and even some who were SED, Severe Emotional Disturbed. Under the SLD label, at the time, were also those on the Autism Spectrum. I was sent to classes to be trained to restrain these children when they lashed out to keep them from hurting themselves or others and to transport them to “safe areas” when they had “meltdowns.”
I worked at schools that were in affluent neighborhoods with numerous parent volunteers. Working with these children showed me the prejudices and misunderstandings in our society very quickly when one of my kids would have an issue in the cafeteria at breakfast or lunch, or on the playground at recess. Concerned about keeping them from running or lashing out when we were outside the classroom often meant having to restrain and move quickly but our kids looked perfectly fine until something “flipped their switch” and then the eyes of those around widened and students were ordered away as quickly as possible.
More than once I heard statements such as, ‘I don’t know what I’d do if my kid was like that.’ Or ‘How terrible.’” And even worse, about ‘The kinds of homes those kids must come from…’
The worst was probably, ‘What’s wrong with him/her?’ They did not ask quietly, and the stares and comments did nothing to help our students calm down. I wanted to scream back at some of them, ‘“You’re not helping.’ I never did of course, but even walking through the halls I would hear parents talking. ‘That’s the one I was telling you about the other day.’
We were still allowed to hug our kids then, and they all knew I had them waiting if they needed one.
About eight years after my husband’s first nervous breakdown, I went to school to attain my own teaching degree and earned my bachelor’s about four years later. I had majored in regular elementary education with the intention of taking the test to become certified in special education but they had changed the rules on me while I was in school and everyone had known me as an aide. I had continued working while in school, and those that interviewed me invariably looked at my work history in the district and stated they had nothing in ESE, Exceptional Student Education, for me at the time. I continued working as a substitute teacher while looking for a position. I was a favorite sub but no matter what I did, I was seen as a Special Needs Teacher. Finally, the district and state came back around to the testing to certify positions and I took a long-term temporary position as an ESE teacher, but it was too late to earn enough points to renew my certificate and I left education after fifteen years.
I learned a lot in that time, though. I was the one with the large bag on field trips with behavior charts, books, first aid kits, and even some games to keep my kids occupied. I learned to watch for their triggers and help them to avoid them. I heard other teachers say, ‘I don’t want my kids on the bus with ‘those’ kids. Why do they have to come?’ Or ‘But what can they get out of it?’ And more.
There were times it seemed as if even other educators had given up on them but you know what? They were still kids with hopes and dreams for their future; they just faced a few extra challenges. Every once in a while someone would ask me if I was ever afraid of my kids and my answer was always, ‘No, they’re just kids. It’s regular Ed that scares me; I know my kids’ triggers or I can learn what sets them off, I never know what will set off one of the ‘regular Ed’ kids.’ My husband and I never had kids; my students were “my kids” for the time they were with me and I was as protective of them as any parent would be. I still believe they taught me as much as I taught them.
News flash: They are kids. They are people. They have lives. Most of the time they seem “normal” because their scars are hidden, but they are there and they make the ordinary day extraordinary at times.
IMAGE PROVIDED BY FREEPIK
by Cassandra Johnson
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I love women. I’m not ashamed to admit that making a beautiful woman come is my main goal in life—one that I accomplish night after night. Women are as drawn to me as I am to them. I don’t get turned down. It’s not a brag, just a fact. At least it was a fact. Until I met Quinn—the one woman who didn’t fall for my easy charm. Now, I have to have her. She may not want to get close, may not want to admit that I turn her on and can give her a night that she’ll never forget, but she was mine the first moment I saw her. Eventually, I’ll have her beneath me, my hands in her hair, and my name on her lips. It’s what I do. I’m the Panty Whisperer.
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What's going on?
Current happenings in the indie world
The Artist's Touch by S.H. Pratt
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Clarice “Rissa” Daniels leaves a successful acting career in Los Angeles for the comforts of home and her family in Olympia, Washington. Embracing a simpler life without what she calls “an overabundance of testosterone” that she’d dealt with in California, she works to recover and rebuild her life without the “Hollywood craziness”, away from the toxic presence of her ex-boyfriend, and far from the paparazzi. When a walk in the park drops her into the lap of Spencer St. George, she finds herself drawn to his quiet, unobtrusive demeanor, but Rissa quickly realizes that there is much more to the bespectacled middle-school art teacher.
Spencer St. George prefers the quiet life far from the hassles created by his family. Known as “Saint” to his students, he creates his own sense of peace with a paint brush while standing behind an easel. When Rissa Daniels crashes headlong into his life, Spencer is sent reeling. Unsure of her intentions, but drawn to her gregarious personality, he finds himself stepping out from behind his easel and daring to hope for more than his quiet life.
As Spencer and Rissa grow closer, the mysterious history between their two families threatens to destroy them. Met with righteous reticence from his family and stubborn pride from hers, the couple sets out to discover the events that turned their families against each other. As the past begins to surface, the present becomes dangerous, creating an uncertainty that could bind Spencer and Rissa together… or drive them apart forever.
With Rissa being stalked and Spencer’s uncle certain their lives are in danger, the couple races to discover the truth while fighting their frustration with their families, who refuse to tell them the secrets of the past that haunt the present and affect the future. With every passing day and each new discovery, Spencer and Rissa grow closer until Rissa’s stalker becomes larger than life, forcing Spencer to reevaluate their relationship and his place as a St. George.
Knowing that they will never be free from the dark menace that hovers over them without taking matters into their own hands, Rissa and Spencer make a decision that will forever change the future of their relationship. Long-buried secrets come to light, long-dead ghosts resurface, and long-festering wounds are re-opened with the hope that the ghosts will be able to rest in peace and the wounds can heal. Together, Spencer and Rissa face their fears head-on in the hope that their actions will stop their families’ pasts from destroying their future.
“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.” - Maya Angelou
Diversity, as defined by We Need Diverse Books:
Diversity includes (but is not not limited to) LGBTQIA, people of color, gender diversity, people with disabilities, and ethnic, cultural, and religious minorities.
Last time I spoke about what I was doing to help authors write more diversity in their books by creating The Kaleidoscope: Readers and Writers of Diverse Books. But authors are only one side of the issue.
I have been in the indie blogger community going on 4 years now, and I’m sad to say that the majority of the blogs I follow post little to nothing about books with diversity. Many of those blogs have the majority of their focus on indie books, and I pointed out in my last article about how it isn’t an easy task to find diverse books in the indie community.
After working with other members on my blog, we put together a 2016 Diversity Challenge.
In this, we challenged everyone reading to start paying attention to the characters in the books. How many of them can be labeled as diverse?
It was not our intention to make people completely change their reading habits. Instead, we were hoping that they would make a conscience effort to try and add more diversity in the books they both read and promoted on their blog. What we really hoped would happen is that the blogger would try to read at least 1 book with some form of diversity each month.
But this is not something just limited to bloggers.
This world is not one dimensional. It is full of all sorts of flavors of people. If you follow Indie Authors and Book Blogs and only participate on Confession Thursdays, just open your eyes to the other active people on those days. How many of them are gay? Transgender? How many different races are there? What about the members with disabilities? Any other religions featured there that are non Christians? I’m pretty sure each of them would also like to find stories in which they could relate to the characters.
That is exactly what the point of all of this is. The world is full of so many different types of people, and that is beautiful. It is okay to be uncomfortable with learning new things. But it is also so very rewarding to do it anyway.
If you’re like to see what my blog’s diversity challenge looks like, you can check it out HERE.
For this month’s recommendation I am going with The Mind’s Eye is a Young Adult historical paranormal romance by K.C. Finn. The main character, Kit, has Juvenile Arthritis, and the people around her aren’t walking on eggshells because of her disability. Kit’s life isn't over because she can't walk. Nor do they try everything to force a miracle so she's "normal".
Except, it was so much more than that. She's psychic. And even more than that, it's World War 2 and she wants to help with the war efforts - even if she doesn't want to tell people about her powers.
I was not expecting this book. I mean, I had some idea of what was going on... but I was not prepared for the feels. There was one part where I was actually terrified to continue reading, but also unable to stop reading. You know those parts of a story where you know either something either fantastic or horrible is about to happen? That. I shan't say which, because spoilers. But my heart was pounding in my chest and also, tears happened.
There's a whole lot going on in this story, but even so it read quickly and easily. I had no idea this was over 300 pages when I read it, because I devoured it.
GOODREADS | AMAZON
THAN I THOUGHT IT WOULD BE."
by Courtney Whittamore
FACEBOOK - INSTAGRAM - TWITTER - WEBSITE
Congratulations! You have finished your book, fulfilling a goal many aspiring authors still yearn to reach. Armed with your precious manifesto, it is now time to release your book baby into the world. It would seem that sharing your work with others would be the easiest portion of your journey, considering the discipline, time, and energy it took to bring your initial idea to fruition. However, it doesn’t take long to discover this assumption to be false. With the mounting empire that is social media, it can be difficult to find your voice among thousands of promising authors, much less have that voice be heard. This realization could easily be enough to quell your ambitious spirit, but paying heed to such a thought would be a disservice to both yourself and your future readers. While mastering the digital realm can take a little time and a lot of patience, it is not impossible to stand out in a unique and memorable way.
I have been operating on Facebook since my college years, but it wasn’t until 2013 that I really began to delve into the business aspect of the site. I started a personal blog while I was still working as a professional theatre actress across the United States as a way to keep friends and family updated on my travels. This is something many of my co-workers did as well, so I often read their posts as a means to form a template for my own site. While reading a college’s tales of the trade, I noticed they had a widget for their blog’s Facebook page and immediately investigated. I quickly created my own page for my blog, thus birthing the beginning of my online social media presence.
Creating a following was much harder than I thought it would be. Even though I continuously posted content, sometimes sharing multiple original entries a day, I still struggled with building a following. I spent hours finding the perfect design template for my blog. I wrote pieces that were full of humor and originality, and I shared them on my personal page so that non-fans could still read my posts. But no matter how much effort I put forth, my following remained stagnant. Looking back, I now see my fatal flaw, which was investing all my time into the creation of the site and its content, rather than nursing the platform itself. This is also something I see many members of the publishing community struggle with as well. It is not enough to produce a book and haphazardly share posts highlighting you book, leaving the entries alone after hitting “post”. Just as you poured your heart and soul into your book, you must also place a piece of your creative spirit in your social media endeavors. Recognizing this is the first step toward approaching your online presence as an extension of your work, instead of just another place to talk about the work you’ve already done.
When I moved on from my personal blog and created my current website, The Moral of Our Stories, I knew I had to change my approach to social media. Because I had shifted from promoting stories about myself to promoting stories generated by others, the success of this site became so much more important to me than my first attempt at blogging. I began to read books about how to generate a large following in a small amount of time and worked tirelessly to put their tips into practice. While some of them certainly helped, it was also the relationships I had begun to form with other bloggers and authors that really began to shape my social media success.
As The Moral of Our Stories grew, so did my bravado for trying new things. I had enough of a following that I felt comfortable branching out into new aspects of social media; because if I failed, I still had Facebook to fall back on. Branching out into Instagram and Twitter have been the two best ideas I have made thus far in my business to date, and there are plenty of social media marketing statistics to prove why these ventures were successful. Most specifically, it was my presence on Instagram which ignited the attention of many authors and publishers, getting my name and the name of my website out in the open. Here are some statistics I found to be most helpful when first adding more visual media to my posts.
Researchers found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80 percent.
46 percent of marketers say photography is critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies.
Content with relevant images gets 94 percent more views than content without relevant images.
This alone was enough to motivate me into generating unique images specific to the purposes of my website. Although it seemed daunting to create and post relevant visual content daily, I knew it needed to be done in order to expand my business. In the first few months of this expansion, I participated in a photo challenge on Instagram. The challenge listed themes for one picture a day for an entire month. This alleviated the pressure of trying to come up with ideas all on my own, and it held me accountable for my posts, or lack thereof, since I was participating in the same challenge with other bloggers I knew. After those first few months, I was able to come up with ideas on my own and was well into the habit of either taking a photo daily or taking several photos at one time in order to have enough to post until I could do another shoot. This penchant for discipline has lead to my Instagram growing from 100 followers to nearly 1,300 followers in the matter of three month’s time.
Social media is a world all its own, filled with complexities and patterns it takes time to figure out. Learning to utilize the benefits of social media to spread the word about your books instead of seeing it as the evil overlord threatening to shatter your dreams is the first step to creating a successful online persona. Remaining true to yourself, sharing truthful and creative content, and trying new things will only take you further in your journey to success. You also have a helpful tour guide, who is determined to try everything out there, to give you helpful tips along the way through this article. Nothing is impossible, which is something you have already proved by writing your books. To all the days here and after. May they be filled with fond memories, happiness, and laughter, and may you share them all on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
*The statistics included are from HERE.
*The last two sentences are an old Irish toast I embellished to fit the article, and soon to be made into a graphic and put on merchandise sold on my website.
Courtney Whittamore has never met a form of social media she didn’t like. When her nose isn’t stuck in a book or she isn’t seeing the world through the lens of her trusty camera, Courtney can be found working on her website, The Moral of Our Stories, which she founded in 2014. With the initial intent to review books, her website quickly grew from a small book-review blog, to a full-service business, focusing on the social media management and promotion of authors, as well as offering a complete range of editorial packages. In the last two years, she has had the pleasure of working alongside dozens of authors. Whether forging paths to notoriety on all platforms for her clients, or polishing the storyline of a fantastic book, she is always looking for innovative ways to create and promote the publishing community. Courtney recently began to utilizing her love for photography, capturing hundreds of images of books, which are mainly featured on her wildly successful #Bookstagram account (@courtneysmorals).
Many thanks to Peter Bedgood for contributing
to this month's issue!
During my short time blogging, I've noticed so many issues in the indie book community. Some of these matters we allow to continue because we don't fight it. This month, Amazon's return policy really struck a nerve with me. The issue is an easy fix, because it doesn't only hurt us, but it hurts Amazon's sales as well. I believe that this could be our first step in making the system fairer for both the reader and author. After all, what author is going to continue writing if the readers don't respect their work enough to actually purchase it without returning it? I know I wouldn't work on a project for months, or even years, if my audience would just steal the final product from me. In case you haven't realized the truth, reading an ebook and returning it is stealing. You are robbing an author's art and precious time.
In this digital age, readers don't realize how many authors rely on ebooks sales. There are so many books floating around that people normally don't buy paper books. If you did, I'm sure you would run out of room very quickly. I've heard from multiple readers, why do they charge so much for ebooks? It's not like it costs them anything. They're wrong; Each story has cost hours of the authors life, not to mention editing, proofreading, and even cover art. Being an author isn't cheap.
Let's face it, If you read a book and return it you are damaging our indie community. You may be thinking, 'I'm sure it doesn't happen that often. My one return won't hurt them.' but it does! I've talked to some authors that see it as a slap in the face. Buying each book in a series and returning them after they're read, one by one. I can easily see where they're coming from. I don't think I've talked to a single author that hasn't had this issue. Authors depend on their sales - This is their job. They don't even get the full sale price, and on top of that, the return rates are climbing every day. It's almost like some readers need a reminder that amazon is a store and not a library.
If you want some change, there are many things you can do. First, you can email Jeff at amazon directly(email@example.com), you can sign the petition linked below, and you can share your thoughts on the subject as well. If you can't afford to buy the book, Request it to be put in your local library. That is another way to help indie authors. Together we can come together to make real change for the betterment of all of us.
Click here to sign the petition!
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Alisha started The Bohemian Housewife in late 2014, and has been book blogging ever since. She has had the honor to work with many big publishers and amazing authors in her short time blogging. If she isn't spending time with her family, you can find her reading, writing, or on the track training for her next run.
The Moral of Our Stories
A review from Courtney Whittamore
by Tamara Grantham
Everyone has a vague understanding of fairytale lore. Whether it includes fairies, elves, dwarfs, or species like them, tales of such creatures have permeated literature for centuries. These stories have largely been dismissed as works of a superb imagination. Having the world we know and the world we dream of intersect has always been unfathomable. Until now.
Olive is what those from Faythander, an enchanted land of sorts, would classify as a “half-breed”. Being born of both elven and human decent, Olive is the only being to retain cognition in both realms. While it is possible for the inhabitants of one realm to cross into the next, they cannot carry their memories back with them to the land of their origin. Usually one visits the other realm while in their sleep or as a small child. Unlike everyone else, Olive is not only able to cross over from one kingdom to the next whenever she wants through her magic mirror, she can carry her memories from each plane with her. So when catastrophe strikes and her link to Earth Kingdom and Faythander is the cause, it falls upon Olive alone to save both realms from utter disaster.
This story is full of originality. From the fanciful creatures to the lands they inhabit, each detail is perfectly planned to serve the purpose of the plot. The intricacy with which the tale is weaved is stunning, and that mastery does not go unnoticed by the reader. Tamara Grantham has penned and exquisite work that is just as unique as her characters. The way she combines the different factions of Faythander and describes the reality in which they exist is intriguing. She has successfully combined fanciful beings that have never been paired together before, and the result is a story that will stick with you far after the final page is turned. There are so many components to this story, and at times I was worried that some details would go unresolved as there were so many important occurrences. I was thrilled to find that not only where each of these details addressed, they were resolved in the most unpredictable of ways. A feat of this magnitude is quite impressive and does not happen often. Grantham should be thrilled with what she has accomplished and continue along this path of elite storytelling. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars. Everything about this book is so imaginative, and it makes me wish I could peek into Grantham’s mind. I have not been so anxious for the next book to be released in a series of this genre in a very long time.
There are moments when, as a mother, I’ve sat back in utter shock, wondering how on earth did I get to this point? Did that just happen? Did I really just say that?
“Don’t lick the wall.”
“Don’t lick the cat, he doesn’t like it.” (Never mind the notion of… eww, gross!)
“Stop playing naked baseball in front of the mirror and get in the shower.”
All mothers have these moments… all parents, really. It’s a unique sensation and mildly frightening when you realize you’ve just had one of those moment. But as I sit contemplating the moments in the last sixteen years in which I’ve been there, done that, I wonder about my own mother. Her years of raising children must have been rife with these moments as she was certainly generous with the ‘mother’s curse’.
I am in awe of my mother. At the age of twenty-two, she had her first daughter, her shadow… The Little Mama. Two years later, she had The Instigator, followed by The Boss two years after that. The Rebel came around two years after The Boss and finally, after another two years came The Baby, who proved herself to be The Unsettled One when I eventually usurped the title of The Baby eleven years later. However, The Boy separates myself and The Unsettled One, arriving eight years after the First Five. Yes, my mother had five darling little girls, two years apart in age, all with intensely strong personalities, and all possessing above average intelligence. To say she was outnumbered is an understatement.
If you only take into consideration the First Five, you’d have to wonder at her sanity. Because The Boy and I were raised in an entirely different atmosphere – The Little Mama, The Instigator, and The Rebel were grown and starting families of their own and The Boss was on her way out when The Boy and I arrived. The Unsettled One was the only one of them still at home. I recall stories about the First Five that would turn the average person’s hair white.
For instance, the stories of the bathroom. This room had its share of action and I don’t mean the sort of action the room is intended for, although I’m sure there were plenty of those actions that sent my mother over the edge. I’m talking about the times when my mother would find the shower curtain rod bent beyond repair because The Little Mama used it for chin-ups. I’m talking about The Little Mama and The Instigator playing together in the bathroom… when they saw a young man from the neighborhood, they attempted to get his attention. Their method: The Little Mama shoved The Instigator’s head through the glass, shattering it and making an unbelievable mess. So much for playing.
Or stories of the kitchen. As it always seems to be with small spaces and too many over-powering personalities, a great deal of fighting occurred (still does in all reality). No one is ever clear on the circumstances that lead to The Unsettled One hiding from the others on the top of the refrigerator. But they are all crystal clear in their assertions that The Boss only wanted to get The Unsettled One down. Her method for doing so: throwing teaspoons at The Unsettled One until there was blood flowing freely from a cut over her eye. Or perhaps the stories of The Rebel getting the mumps but refusing to admit that she was sick. She decided to prove her health by eating a pickle… I believe my mother carried her back to bed after she passed out.
Or even the stories of the bedrooms. Five little girls, two bedrooms for them. On good nights, there were giggles late into the night. On bad nights… no one will say. I think I’m grateful. But the story that gets the most rolling eyes and shaking heads? That belongs to The Rebel and The Unsettled One. They loved jumping on the bed… loved it, a lot. The two of them would jump on the bed until it actually broke. The last count I got from The Rebel was that they’d broken at least ten beds, some more than once, and The Boy’s crib.
People often wonder why my mother went grey so early in life. As much as I was never an angel, nor was The Boy, he and I agree that the First Five cost our father all of his hair and greyed our mother’s. With a span of twenty-two years between me, The Baby, and the eldest, The Little Mama, and a full forty years of raising children from birth to the age of eighteen, even our mother can’t argue that the first twenty-eight were the least dull.
by S.H. Pratt
New York City, Late Summer 2009
Like many single women who reside in the city that never sleeps, Micah Foster has had numerous encounters with undesirable men that make her want to renounce love. Just when she’s on the verge of calling it quits in her quest to find love and a sustainable relationship with a Dominant man, her friend Kisa requests her company for a girl’s night out at Spanxxx, a local fetish club. Both Kisa and Micah are seasoned submissive players in the BDSM lifestyle. Micah has been involved in the scene since her early twenties, but she has yet to meet a Dominant she meshes with and takes seriously. Now, at age thirty, she continues to search for a connection that repeatedly eludes her. Under duress, she crosses paths with Dominant Rick Thomas. Unusual and dire circumstances bring the pair together, and he’s exactly what Micah has been searching for.
The Sweetest Taboo is aptly titled. It’s an unconventional erotic love story that provides a different perspective of a relationship involving D/s and BDSM. The reader will follow Micah and Rick’s journey from beginning to end. You’ll laugh, you’ll be turned on, and most of all, you’ll find yourself cheering for their love.
*Disclaimer* If rough sex, an interracial pairing (Black woman/White man), D/s, and BDSM are of no interest to you, you should bypass this story. Intended for a mature and kinky audience. Recommended for adults 18+.
-Click the cover to purchase!-
"Did you tell them about me?"
A whisper on the breeze shook me out of my pleasant reverie. I bit my lip and prayed that it wouldn't start here.
Not here in the middle of a boring, sunny day where routine was adventure and silence was precious.
I tasted blood and forced myself to take a deep breath, find a focal point.
Keith told me to always find a focal point, and even though he was gone I still listened.
I swear the lady on the bench next to me could smell the fear leeching from my skin. I pictured my fear as a tiny metal ball, sitting in a dark chasm within my soul. I closed my eyes and breathed. I can do this.
The park was tranquil, such a contrast to the depth pulling within me. The lady was nice, I could be nice too.
I curled my toes inside my sneakers and flexed my calves.
My ribcage hurt trying to contain the beat of my heart. I held it in. I could do this, I'm strong, I'm calm, I'm...again... that shiver of awareness as it awoke, cold ice coated my pale skin...the darkness was present even in the light.
"Did you tell them about me Sydney? Your dirty little demon, I breathe as you breathe..." It whispered from the darkness, and the sun almost faded from my sight.
I bit my lip once more, to contain my tremor and garner control once more.
I had to remember I couldn't let me guard down.
A pretty day at the park was a luxury that so many around me threw away on a whim. I squandered everything I had to drink in the serenity and prayed it could evanesce the turmoil of It. It wanted control, and I wanted control. When would this fight ever be over?
I wondered if the lady next to me was really nice, as she seemed. Or was she fighting like me? Conflict in a smile, and pain in laughter.
At least when It was my friend, I wasn't so alone...and I felt the query once more, "did you tell them about me?"
As It faded, I pasted a smile on my face, stood, stretched, and continued my morning run. Keith would be the last one that would die because of me.
I would never tell anyone about It again. I can wash blood from my hands, but it will forever stain deep inside. It wants to be noticed, and I simply want to be forgotten.
by C. Dougherty
Many believe that when a child has Autism, they are retarded. (This word is just harsh and hateful.) My experiences with my son, Bobby, has shown and proved that he has magic for the world to see. The day that Bobby was diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum was the day my life changed forever.
Before Bobby was diagnosed, he had talked at an early age of ten months and crawled at five months. As a family, we didn’t think anything of him being behind, we thought we were blessed with having an overachiever. However, life dealt us a card that threw my husband and me for a loop.
Bobby became withdrawn from his speech and his older sister, Krissy, spoke for his needs. We were told by his pediatrician to make sure Krissy didn’t speak for him—let’s face it our older children love to be the parent any chance they get, when it comes to their younger siblings. Every day we told Krissy not to talk for him, and every day we would get a little attitude from our independent spirit; with her head shaking and snapping back, “Well how else is he going to get what he wants?”
If that wasn’t the icing on the cake—the next day when I was picking Bobby up from the babysitter’s, she told me he couldn’t hear behind him. I was speechless. That same night, at home, I dropped a toy piano behind his back to see if he would react, get startled, or speak. Nothing happened… no response… no voice… What was I supposed to do? How can Bobby not hear?
This is where the journey began. He passed his hearing tests with flying colors. Waiting for more testing, the trouble began. Bobby became angry trying to communicate what he wanted, whether it was a snack or toy. Every time I gave him what I thought he wanted, my emotional little boy would bang his head against the cabinet or scream and kick while he was on the floor—having meltdowns.
I cried myself to sleep at night, wondering how can he make it and will he even be accepted in today’s society for who he is?
This is where a miracle happened. Early intervention got involved and it was a blessing in disguise. Bobby’s therapist, Hilary found A-typical traits that were similar to autism. She recommended we do further testing with our child to figure out what type of delay he had.
From that day forward, the diagnosis was confirmed –giving us more hope. We were able to have more therapy such as ABA (applied Behavior Analysis) and speech, along with occupational. Bobby’s voice was still lost, but we were able to communicate with him in different ways, by using pictures and simple sign language. However his temper was still unpredictable. When Bobby was upset or angry, his meltdowns were to the point he could hurt himself or his sister.
One day, driving to Bobby’s doctor appointment in Boston, I had to pull over to the side of the road. I couldn’t take much more of this disorder. Bobby being delayed, parents looking at him like he’s from a different planet, my husband stating he never wanted a retarded son (he, of course, wasn’t hating Bobby, he hated the disorder but hearing those words, crushed me). By this point we were on the verge of divorce.
I broke down and cried. My hands were banging the steering wheel and my head ended up resting on it; not caring if my kids saw my tears. What I didn’t expect was a small voice speaking to me that wasn’t Kristen’s. “Don’t worry, Momma, St. Peter is with you.”
I gently turned to see Bobby smiling at me. The most beautiful angelic smile I have seen from a child. He uttered gently, “He’s with you now.”
For a child with Autism, he understood more than I would ever comprehend.
At that moment, another miracle happened. Our family’s, including my husband’s, faith returned to us. Don’t get me wrong, we still have our ups and downs. We went through hell and back. And there will always be obstacles, but that’s life.
But Bobby’s voice and his undying faith in humanity, keeps me going.
Finding Bobby's Voice
BY Ariel Huckabee Stagg
by Ellie Lieberman
If you ask my mother, I’ve told stories from the moment I could talk. She will tell you I learned how to write so I could write my stories on paper. The truth is, she had a bigger role to play than she’d ever admit. I became an author at my mother’s keyboard.
Late into the hours of the night, I’d sit behind her armed with a hairbrush (it was part of the deal) and ready-to-listen ears. Amidst the blue glow of the screen and the hum of the monitor, she’d read what she typed the night before. So engrossed I’d become in the tales she wrote, lost to the imagination she built word by word, she’d often have to remind me to continue brushing her hair and threaten to cease reading, often in the middle of a sentence, if I did not.
“What happens next?” would often be my response when the letters I followed with my eyes came to an end. She didn’t know any more than I did. What strange and mysterious ways the muses worked with my mother. Off to bed I’d go until the next night. As my head hit the pillow, her fingers were already dancing across the keys, lulling me to sleep.
There are things we do when we’re little to emulate those we look up to. We put on their clothes and laugh as they pool around our feet. We try on their shoes for size and want to be just like them, our heroes. And, for me, my mom has always been my hero. Her cape came in the form of pens and notebooks and keyboards, the way she wove a tale, constructed beauty out of the nothingness of a blank page, and planted inspiration in not only my life, but in every life she comes across.
I’ve come a long way from the six year old enamored and falling in love with the written word. I now have two books published, am blossoming into the role of “author” and have watched my mother grow as well. The truth behind my writing career, and any career I might have in the future, is I couldn’t have done it without her.
At My Mother's Keyboard
by T.E. Ridener
Did you enjoy putting that knife in my back?
Did you like watching me bleed?
Why the hell did you do me like that?
Was I a mission you had to succeed?
I told you we’d be friends forever,
But that’s not what you wanted at all.
You took my kindness and destroyed it,
You probably laughed as you watched me fall.
Sometimes I wish I could tell people the truth about you,
I wish I could make them see the things I’ve seen.
But you’ve convinced them you’re a saint, the sweetest of them all,
And you’ve wiped your bloody blade to make it clean.
But it’s still stained with my trust and my heart,
And I hope that haunts you at night.
You were cruel and so vile and so careless and mean,
Yet people hold you in a certain light.
You killed me that day, with your actions and words,
And I vowed never to trust anyone like that again.
Seeing your name and your face still hurts to the core,
But I know you will get yours in the end.
I’ve been here before.
A purposeful maneuver then.
A move to disregard me.
Now, I’m sure it was an accident.
I’m hoping it was an accident.
I want to believe it was.
You went ahead without me.
The project continuing on a different path.
While I continued as it was.
Until I remembered what you said.
And then I found the truth.
Am I even supposed to know?
by Ginna Moran
Proceeds from the sales of these items help ILM stay in business, which means we can continue to bring you great content every month. Click the pictures to see more information on each item.
Why I chose self-publishing
I have spent the last ten years writing novel after novel and querying over 500+ agents and editors. While I’ve had interest from agents for several of my novels, they always ended in rejection.
In 2010, after attending a local writers’ conference in San Diego, California, I came so close to accomplishing my dream of being published. Three editors from the top publishing houses requested to read the novel I was querying, and I could already imagine my books on the shelves of my favorite bookstores. I had never been so excited in my life. Ultimately, they passed on my novel due to having current authors with similar stories. After being rejected so many times, I considered giving up writing altogether. I thought maybe I wasn’t meant to be an author.
I was wrong, though.
After taking a two year hiatus from writing from 2011 to 2013, the idea for my debut novel, Destined for Dreams, came to me, and the story refused to leave. My mother-in-law, who’s a crossover author, encouraged me to try the indie route like she had before she was picked up by an agent. And I thank her every day for it. After hiring a small team of people to help in the production of my book, I released Destined for Dreams at the end of 2014.
Every doubt I carried about writing didn’t matter anymore. My book was published, and I controlled everything. Self-publishing restored my love for writing; because my stories were out there, and people could enjoy them like I had.
It opened the door to a wonderful community of writers and extraordinary readers and bloggers. It changed my life. Even on the bad days, on the days where those negative thoughts of rejection sneak into my mind, I can look at my books and smile. Becoming an independent author helped me reach my dream. I wouldn’t change my decision for anything.
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For the indie author,
by an indie author.
Contact on Facebook for
The indie community has always seemed like such a wonderful place to be, and it still is in many ways, but recently something happened that shook our tiny world to the core; a romance author disappeared after allegedly scamming others out of thousands of dollars.
Book events are meant to be fun – an opportunity to meet authors and tell them how much you love their books, and to reunite with the friends you’ve made on the wonderful world wide web. The last thing anyone expected was to be deceived, and worse – cheated out of their hard-earned money.
Lauren Calhoun is a romance author with a little over 1,300 likes on her Facebook page (currently). She has been an online presence for the last year and from reading the bio on her author profile, you wouldn’t think she was the type of person to do this.
Sadly, however, it has happened and it’s getting media attention. As reported by NBC12, the event, Richmond’s Readers Rehab, was scheduled to take place on April 30th, 2016 in Richmond, Virginia, with 55 authors in the line-up and all proceeds were to be given to HONOR THE SACRIFICE – a charity that helps soldiers.
But instead of these authors and their eager readers finally meeting on a day meant to be fun and relaxing, they were left scratching their heads and wondering why this happened.
“RRR was to be my first big multi-author event,” romance author KL Montgomery said. “I was angry and disappointed of course. And I felt stupid.”
Miss Montgomery lost $150 through the scam, and she’s not alone in feeling cheated.
“She seemed so professional. At times she seemed unorganized, but she told me this was her first time coordinating an event. That made me a little nervous, but I thought everyone needed to start somewhere, so I gave her a chance,” said romance author Allie Able, who is out a whopping $650. “I tried to reach out to Lauren about five times, from the time I received the last email, until I finally gave up and realized I had been scammed. It made me angry. It made me feel like I had been used and it made me feel jaded. I put my trust in someone and it is very sad that trust was broken.” I’ve been in correspondence with 15 of the authors who were supposed to attend RRR, and emotions are still running high for all of them.
“This was meant to be one of my first events. I've never been to Richmond, VA so my wife and I thought it would be a good road trip for the family,“ said Douglas Esper, author of A Life Of Inches. “The Richmond event was still a go in my mind up until a couple of weeks ago. Several authors began asking about ticket sale numbers and if they could help promote in additional ways. When Miss Calhoun admitted the tickets sales were much lower than expected, authors started backing out.”
"I don't know the organizer, but I do know event planning and it's harder than people think,” said author Danielle Allen. “There's a lot that goes into it and you need skills in organization, marketing, budgeting, risk assessment, problem-solving, etc. Event planning can be a huge undertaking and some people go into it thinking they are going to make money off it.”
PRO TIP: you are more likely to NOT make money with your first event. – Danielle Allen
“As an organizer and more importantly, as a fellow author, trust was violated. Lying and stealing to avoid the problem was horribly misguided and wrong,” Allen continued. “And to be clear, I don't believe she went into the situation with the intention of scamming us. I don't know for sure, but I think she thought she could spend the money and then make it back on the back end with ticket sales.” “I signed up for this event for two reasons. Back in the fall, author Danielle Allen and some others threw a really great event in Richmond. I attended as a reader and loved the camaraderie,” said author Kelly Eadon. “I did not do an appropriate amount of research into Miss Calhoun. At the time, she was co-hosting with an author who is known and respected.”
“It was quiet until February, when Lauren started panicking on the Facebook boards, saying she didn't have enough readers and might not be able to afford to throw the event. I think that's when we all realized she had no idea what she was doing,” Eadon continued. “Authors began to pull out, but the table deposits were non-refundable even if the author pulled out. I'm local and I didn't want to lose my money, so I decided to tough it out and help her throw the event. She told us she was locked into a contract with the hotel and owed them some $5,000. A few other authors and I got involved in promotion, etc. Honestly, I felt bad for her and wanted to keep her from being on the hook to the hotel for that amount.”
One of the authors called the hotel and asked about the reservation for the room to be used for RRR. The hotel told that author they had received $1,000 as a down-payment. Eadon said the rest of the money had been due in February and Calhoun never paid it.
“I called her to confirm this, and found both of her phone numbers (one she had given me, and one she'd given the hotel) were out of minutes,” Eadon added. “I then messaged her on Facebook and asked her to account for the table fees, since I knew she hadn't used them for the hotel like she'd claimed. Two to three hours later she sent an email claiming her family had been threatened and she'd contacted the police, who had advised her to cancel the event.”
Miss Eadon knew Calhoun’s address so she contacted her local police department, and the surrounding police departments, who confirmed she (Calhoun) had never filed a report regarding the threats.
“I immediately filed a police report in Chesterfield, where the event was supposed to be held and where I had been, when I paid my deposit on PayPal. She hasn't returned any of their calls. I also contacted NBC12 and Diane Walker responded and ran the
piece you've seen. She also tried to make contact with Lauren with no luck.”
I also reached out to Lauren to get her side of the story, but she never responded to my emails.
“I don't know if she planned the event thinking she'd make money off of reader fees and be able to pay for the event even though she'd already used our money, or whether it was her intent to steal the money from the beginning. But after she failed to pay the deposit in February she continued to take money and to lie about the event.”
While most of the attending authors are upset about their money being taken, they are even more disappointed over the fact that the proceeds were meant to go to such an important charity.
Eadon informed me that authors were going to donate gift baskets, and friends of hers were going to sell raffle tickets for the baskets. All the proceeds would be donated to HONOR THE SACRIFICE. She also told me Panera had donated a bread for a year certificate since it was a charity fundraiser.
THE SILVER LINING
Since news of the RRR scandal spread far and wide within the indie community, good-hearted event coordinators have stepped forward, offering free tables and admission to those who have been affected.
On April 30th, a new event took place and it was free of charge. Called ‘RVA Romance Readers,’ it was coordinated in a hurry by some of the authors who had been scammed.
Other event organizers are reaching out to anyone who may have fallen victim to RRR, including UTOPiACON2016, which is taking place June 22nd-June 26th. If you email them with your ticket/receipt/reservation number, you will receive free admission. Sassy in Jacksonville has also offered free admission and/or free tables to anyone who emails their reservation/ticket/receipt number. This event is taking place on June 4th.
All in all, the indie world isn’t too different from the rest of the world. It takes all walks of life to create what we have here, and sometimes a few bad apples try to ruin the pie. When something like this happens, we will always band together to turn a negative into a positive. It’s what we do. It’s who we are.
In closing, I would like to leave you with some advice from Jas T. Ward.
“We, as authors must have the accountability and pressure put on ourselves to check out events and the organizers behind it,” she says. “We must start considering ourselves, our writing efforts and activities to support that as a business to support and sell a product - our books and ourselves.”
Ward adds, “Ask for references. Ask for backgrounds. Ask what other like-oriented ventures they have been involved with. If, at any point, they give excuses, promises, or refuse, that is not a wise business decision. And not worth the risk. We, as authors, must stop allowing ourselves to be used and scammed. When we do that, incidents such as this one will become less rather than more.”
Rise from the ashes, my fellow authors and readers. Do not let what has happened discourage you or frighten you away from future events. They can be so much fun and you will walk away with memories that will last you a lifetime. Do not let this one thing, albeit terrible, prevent you from getting out there and connecting with your readers and ‘friendies.’
I sincerely hope this article helps raise awareness and spreads knowledge, but most of all, I hope it inspires you all to keep moving forward.
*We would also like to thank everyone for their overwhelming response, offering to share their experience with RRR. We are so sorry we couldn’t include everyone’s input, but we appreciate it greatly. You are all amazing and awesome. Keep on keeping on!
HONOR THE SACRIFICE
SASSY IN JACKSONVILLE
By Tonya Ridener
RICHMOND's READERS REHAB
A Penny for Your Thoughts...
As a reader, my go-to for readers block is re-reading a favorite book/series.
- Sandra Ely
As the owner of Rebecca's Bibliogal Book Review, I find myself dealing with this issue a lot. I have 2 ways to deal with Reader Block. Sometimes I reread an old favorite, other times I go rogue and read something I would never pick under normal circumstances. Sometimes a different genre wakes you up and gets your brain excited again.
When I have reader's block, it's normally because I'm stressed. So it helps me to take a hot bubble bath and pick a book I'm in the mood for. One I can get lost in. (Usually they are books I've read.)
- Zara Lethallan
When I get restless with reading I like to go back to the books I've loved, I can spend months just rereading great novels. Not only does the writing fulfill me, it's like visiting with old friends. This can recharge me and I'm ready for new stuff again.
- Jo Dawson
I read what I call mindless books, usually vampire violence or shifter sex. Short stories that take No reading, or concentrating on, that aren't review books. That are not complicated and do exactly what they say on the tin.
- Debbie Attenborough
How To Overcome
Nika (Book 1)
By Ms D.H. Gibbs
I read Nika twice within four days and enjoyed every bit of it! I fell in love with the story, it grabbed me quick in the beginning. Once I found out this was going to be a series I squealed a little bit because I just can't wait to see what it has in store for me!
Click here to see more
The Night Stalker (Book 2)
by Robert Bryndza
Read this book in three sittings and was blown away by the fiery lead detective Erika Foster. This book has everything I could want.
- Sean Talbot
Click here to see more
The God of Chaos has taken over the kingdom. King Shill has heard a prophecy of his demise. In order to keep his throne, he will cause pain and suffering to the families in his kingdom. He will hunt down any child before they can grow old enough to overthrow him.
Cyra is now hunted by the soldiers for her magic. Ambara is running from his past. Princess Vanhalla dreams of the day she will marry her prince and rule the kingdom. The gods' war has their paths tightly intertwined as they journey toward an end no one is able to stop.
Whether you're looking for reviewers, beta readers, or a cover artist, we've got you covered! Classifieds are $1.
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