Support for Indie Authors

Guest Blog by Missy Sheldrake

The Keepers of the Wellsprings Series

I’m excited to announce that the third book in the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, Call of Brindelier, is now available on Amazon! If you haven’t read the previous books yet, read on for a super-quick crash course.

When I started writing this series, I really wanted to tell a story that was rich with fantasy, but not overly dark or mired with war and violence. I wanted to show the light side of fantasy: the cheerful, magical, uplifting side which I always drink up whenever it emerges in a story, and which always seems to be so fleeting in fantasy tales. I wanted to tell a story that would capture the hearts of young and old alike. Don’t get me wrong, my books aren’t void of conflict and evil. They tell of uncomfortable moments. There is violence and wickedness, but it’s those moments in my stories which are the fleeting ones. In the pages of my books, you will find fairies, Mages, Paladins, Elves, Dreamwalkers, Princes and Princesses, and even dragons. You’ll travel through a world rich with magic and wonder.

In Call of Kythshire, you’ll learn all about Cerion, a seaside kingdom which has celebrated peace for over a century. You’ll meet His Majesty’s Elite, a guild that is the right hand adventuring team of King Tirnon Plethore, and you’ll join Azi Hammerfel, a young squire who has grown up within the guild’s halls, through disappointments and triumphs. By her side is Rian, her childhood friend, an Apprentice of the Mage Academy. You’ll meet Flit, a fairy from Kythshire, who is as tricky as any fairy you might imagine, but has a depth of character and a sense of purpose uncommon for a typical fairy. You’ll see her world unfold, and feel the evil threat of Sorcery that looms, waiting to destroy it. You’ll learn a little about the Wellsprings, but not too much, for their existence and workings are a well-protected secret. (Click here to read an excerpt from Call of Kythshire.)

In Call of Sunteri, you’ll meet the strong-willed slave boy, Tib, who makes his first appearance as he escapes from the grips of Sorcery in the desert continent of Sunteri. He has help crossing the vast oceans to reach Cerion, but he doesn’t realize it at first. A mysterious being speaks to his mind, controlling his thoughts and making suggestions to ensure his own survival. In the meantime, Azi has been given the task of escorting the Prince of Cerion and his wife-with-child to the lakeside Kordelya Castle as the prince faces suspicion and ridicule after the events of Call of Kythshire. But a darker force emerges from the Dreaming, whose wicked intent is to use any means necessary to escape its prison and claim the magic of the Wellsprings for his own. In this book, you’ll see the devastating effects of the overuse of magic, and what it does to the Wellsprings and the creatures who thrive around them. (Click here to read an excerpt from Call of Sunteri.)

In Call of Brindelier, a dark force looms, more powerful and destructive than any threat Azi and her guild have yet faced. You’ll follow Celli, a scrappy street fighter, as she is enticed into the grips of a powerful Sorcerer. You’ll watch Tib come into his own as he sneaks through the streets of Cerion, uncovering the darkness while also working on a mysterious project. You’ll follow Azi on a quest set by Princess Margary to find proof of Brindelier, a city in the clouds which is the key to all of the Wellsprings in the Known Lands. But Margy is not the only one interested in Brindelier. A dark force has been gathering, poised to claim it for their own. Control over the Wellsprings hangs in the balance. (Click here to read an excerpt from Call of Brindelier.)

This series is appropriate for all ages, but I recommend 13 and up due to some violent themes. There is no sex, swearing, or excessively graphic violence in the Keepers of the Wellsprings. Throughout the series, you’ll encounter daring sword fights, violent magical moments, and a few quick deaths.

Call of Brindelier, the third book in the Keepers of the Wellsprings series, is now available on Amazon.  This weekend, I’m offering book one of the series, Call of Kythshire, for free, and book two, Call of Sunteri, for just 99 cents. Click here to download your ebooks while they’re on sale!


The Blurb

Onward to Brindelier…
A selfish prince on trial for treason. A beloved princess hiding a talent for forbidden magic. The race between Dawn and Dusk to claim Brindelier, a hidden city in the clouds with a promise of ultimate control over the source of power in the Known Lands: The Wellsprings. Azi and Rian are back! The newly-betrothed couple once again find themselves drawn into the plots of fairy-kind, bestowed with gifts of new titles and strange, powerful abilities. A threat is revealed; one which Flitt insists is worse than anything they have yet faced. Is she referring to the gathering of Sorcerers who call themselves the Circle of Spires, or is a darker, more sinister force at play? Tib knows. He’s seen the might of the Dusk firsthand. The fates of Cerion, Kythshire, and all the Known Lands hang in the balance in the third installment of the Keepers of the Wellsprings series: Call of Brindelier.


Call of Brindelier Excerpts

EXCERPT ONE - AZI

“What is it exactly,” I pause and think hard, making every word count, “you really need me to do in regards to this rare purpose, which is so important you’d whisk me here against my will in the midst of a battle that could very well mean the end of peace in my kingdom and possibly the deaths of people I’m sworn to protect?”

“Whoa,” her eyes go wide as I come to a stop right in front of her. “That was brilliant. Really brilliant. Excellent question. See, you just had to focus, that’s all.”

“Flitt.” I press my hand to my brow. My head is starting to ache from frustration.

“Don’t hate me. I can’t answer it,” she says with a cute little shrug and an impish smile.

“What?” I can’t help it. I lunge at her. She’s too fast, though. She pushes off from the grass and flies up out of my reach. “So help me!” I shout up at her. “You’d better stay up there, I swear!” I glare up at her and then realize her mistake in putting distance between us. Instantly I think of Rian. I start to feel the shimmer around me and then she dives into me, pinning me to the ground.

“Don’t,” she pleads as she straddles my chest. She’s surprisingly heavy for a fairy. “I was just playing. Don’t go. I can’t answer it, but I can show you something else.”

“Get,” I shove at her, “off!”

“Uh uh,” she shakes her head. “You have to promise to stay. It’s important, Azi. Really important. World changing important. Things are happening that never should happen. Bad things. Wicked things. Worse than Sorcerers. Worse than Jacek. Really bad.” She leans over me with her hands on my shoulders and her rainbow-colored ponytails spill forward, tickling my face. “Really, really bad. Please. Do you promise?”

“Worse than Jacek?” I look up at her.

“You can’t answer a question with a—” she stops herself at my death glare. “Worse than Jacek,” she whispers. Her eyes sparkle with tears and change from blue to red to silver. This close I can see she has no pupils, just orbs of ever-changing light that shimmers softly and unpredictably. I’ve never seen them so clearly, never been so drawn to them.

“I promise,” I say, tempted by the familiar tingle of magic rising inside me. I want to see what she’s seen; I want to know what’s in a fairy’s mind. 

EXCERPT TWO – TIB

I want to be annoyed by the magic. I want to hate the excess of it. There’s no reason for it except to show off. I can’t help but admit it, though. It’s kind of impressive. 

When we reach the tower, the stone wall shifts and opens magically. Of course there aren’t any doors. Why would there be? Rian brushes his fingers along the stone as we go in. He’s really impressed. I bet he’s going to write it all down when this is over. Make a book of it for their ridiculous libraries.

Inside the tower, it’s dry and warm. The walls are adorned with colorful silks and tapestries. The circular entry is larger than I expected. It’s a little confusing. The energy is bright and overwhelming. It’s embedded in the stone. It pulses in the air. Power. Might. Majesty. Protection. Knowledge.

Otherwise, the place is dusty and full of cobwebs. Shelves and shelves of moldy books line the walls behind the coverings. Books and tubes and glass vials and stacked clay pots teeter and lean against each other. I sniff. Sea air. Must. Incense. Behind Rian, Shush blows out a wisp of fresh air that sends the white smoke swirling away.

“Master’s downstairs,” Loren says. His voice echoes up into the rafters and a passage opens up across the entryway. It glows with a merry orange light to welcome us. 

The stairway down is lined with glass walls as thick as my arm. Loren takes this for granted. He jogs off down the steps without a glance, but Rian and I can’t help but stop and stare. Through the glass, a world stretches out before us. The depths of the ocean. The surf plunges above, bubbling and churning. 

Waves scoop up the sandy seaweed bottom and push it down again. It’s like a field. A drifting, rhythmic meadow. Colorful fish swim past in schools of red, orange, and yellow. Creatures like I’ve never seen cling to bright pink and green stones. They wave long tendrils with the motion of the sea. Shells of every color catch the light of the spiral staircase which shines through the glass.
I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s simple. Pure. Beautiful. I had no idea there was a world like this under the ocean. I can’t tear my eyes away. I press my hand to the glass as a dolphin races past us, chasing a group of purple fish with long, flowing fins. It’s not just the sight of it that interests me. It’s the simplicity of it. There’s no magic out there. Not in the sense I’ve known it. It’s perfect all on its own.

EXCERPT THREE - CELLI

I nod my agreement and he smiles at me. I want him to keep smiling. I want to be his favorite. I never want to make him scowl.

“This is Dub,” he says after a long pause. It takes me a moment to realize there’s someone else here. He’s been lurking against the wall all this time. He steps out of the shadows as Quenson introduces him.

He’s in his twenties, maybe, lean and strong, and dressed all in leathers like me, except they’re black. His face is coarse with whiskers, and one eye is covered with a patch. The most remarkable thing about him, though, are all the knives. I can count at least a dozen strapped to his torso, his belt, his arms, and his legs. I wonder how many others he’s concealing.

His one good eye looks me over like Quenson did. Except when he does it, it makes me uncomfortable. I square my shoulders and cross my arms and raise my chin, trying to seem bigger. Tougher. He smirks, but doesn’t say a word.

“Go.” Quenson says.

Before I have time to think, Dub leaps at me, his knives flashing. He swings and I duck and roll away. He throws a blade, and I somersault and narrowly dodge the attack. His knife clatters and skids across the floor. I tumble to grab it and another one of his blades slices my sleeve as it whizzes past. I don’t know why, but this guy is serious. He means to kill me.

With Dub’s knife tight in my grip, I charge him. He’s nearly twice my size but I don’t care. If he wants to kill me, I’m going to make it difficult. He’s ready for my attack though. As I swing to stab him, he sheaths a knife and grabs my arm, twisting it painfully behind my back. He’s strong, but I’m a fighter. I elbow him hard in the ribs and kick him between the legs until he doubles over. That makes him loosen his grip on my arm, so I spin and punch him hard in the face. His nose cracks and he curses.

Quenson’s laughter somewhere to the side of the room is a musical sound that echoes up to the high-domed ceiling and back down again. It reminds me of how much I want to please him. It makes me fight harder.

Dub is furious. I punch his jaw and he growls and grabs my wrist again. With his free hand, he draws another knife from his endless supply. He overpowers me and shoves me against the wall, pressing my hand against the stone. His good eye is dark with madness. He raises the knife. He’s going to drive it through my hand, pin me to the stone with it.

I struggle to break free. I kick and swing and squirm, but he’s too strong. He thrusts the blade forward. I can’t escape him. He’s won. I brace myself for the strike and gasp as his empty fist smashes into my hand.

“Enough,” Quenson says. 

Dub growls in frustration and throws my hand down. I open my eyes in disbelief to see the Sorcerer standing several paces away, holding Dub’s knife between his thumb and forefinger with a look of disgust.

“Such rudimentary, primitive things,” Quenson scoffs as Dub retrieves the weapon and shoves it into a sheath at his thigh. He wipes at the blood that trickles from his lip and sneers at me.


About the Author

Missy Sheldrake is an author/illustrator who has been conjuring images of fairies in one form or another since she was very young.

The wind in the trees and the rich scent of forest earth are her most treasured sources of inspiration, and on most mornings you will find her wandering the wooded paths, dreaming of the next adventure she hopes to put to the page.

Missy was born in Connecticut and attended Western Connecticut State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Art with a concentration in painting and illustration. Even then, in her free time, she was writing. She moved to Northern Virginia several years ago and lives there now, on the outskirts of Washington D.C., with her true love and their son. She published her first novel, Call of Kythshire, in March of 2015 and intends to keep writing as long as the fairies allow it.


Guest Blog by Robert Eggleton

Silly Symbolisms in Speculative Fiction 

Historically, speculative fiction has fueled social activism, debate, and the adoption of evolving or devolving social policy depending on one’s values. In 380 B.C., Plato envisioned a utopian society in The Republic and that story represented the beginning of a long string of speculations: ecology, economics, politics, religion, technology, feminism….

The impact of speculative fiction on world view and politics was especially potent in the 1960s when Ellison, Aldiss, Herbert and others wrote about the stuff that many American teens at the time were reflecting upon – social and political issues at a tumultuous time. Protests against increasing militarism during the Vietnam War were fueled by the writings of Ellison and Vonnegut. Speculative fiction back then was more than escapism, as evidenced by Ursula Le Guinn, who is commonly attributed with coining the term, “social science fiction,” winning both the Hugo and Nebula awards in 1970.  

Speculations sparked by artists in every venue have at least a subliminal impact on each of us, an impact that transcends our own prejudices, traditions and belief systems. Popularized as genre fiction with a huge fan base, the Harry Potter stories were more than simple escapism, even if the messages slipped in through side doors. For example, Harry was a civil rights activist. In freeing an enslaved House Elf, be became a positive role model for zillions of adoring fans, thereby propagating a value that could potentially impact how the average citizen of several countries considers the current refuge crisis.

Rarity from the Hollow is speculative fiction written in colloquial voice that satirically and comically addresses the (1) need to improve systems for the prevention of child abuse, not only in America, but world-wide; (2) duty to internationally recognize that war trauma can cause PTSD for which veterans, out of respect for their service and irrespective of which side of the battle, deserve mental health treatment; (3) moral obligation to research the medicinal use of marijuana for the treatment of mental health problems as an alternative to pharmaceuticals produced by big drug companies; (4) advantages of creating economic options for workers living in impoverished communities to enable self-sufficiency.

Of course, on the other hand, maybe it’s just another goofy science fiction story.

Author proceeds have been donated to child abuse prevention. Children’s Home Society of West Virginia was established in 1893. Currently, it serves over 13,000 children and families each year. http://childhswv.org/


About the author:

Robert Eggleton has served as a children's advocate in an impoverished state for over forty years. He is best known for his investigative reports about children’s programs, most of which were published by the West Virginia Supreme Court where he worked from 1982 through 1997, and which also included publication of models of serving disadvantaged and homeless children in the community instead of in large institutions, research into foster care drift involving children bouncing from one home to the next -- never finding a permanent loving family, and statistical reports on the occurrence and correlates of child abuse and delinquency. Today, he is a recently retired children's psychotherapist from the mental health center in Charleston, West Virginia, where he specialized in helping victims cope with and overcome physical and sexual abuse, and other mental health concerns. Rarity from the Hollow is his debut novel and its release followed publication of three short Lacy Dawn Adventures in magazines: Wingspan Quarterly, Beyond Centauri, and Atomjack Science Fiction. Author proceeds have been donated to a child abuse prevention program operated by Children’s Home Society of West Virginia. http://www.childhswv.org/ Robert continues to write fiction with new adventures based on a protagonist that is a composite character of children that he met when delivering group therapy services. The overall theme of his stories remains victimization to empowerment.

Purchase links: 

Author Contacts:


Blurb:
Lacy Dawn's father relives the Gulf War, her mother's teeth are rotting out, and her best friend is murdered by the meanest daddy on Earth. Life in the hollow is hard. She has one advantage -- an android was inserted into her life and is working with her to cure her parents. But, he wants something in exchange. It's up to her to save the Universe. Lacy Dawn doesn't mind saving the universe, but her family and friends come first.
 
Rarity from the Hollow is adult literary science fiction filled with tragedy, comedy and satire.
 
“The most enjoyable science fiction novel I have read in years.” —Temple Emmet Williams, Author, former editor for Reader’s Digest
 
“Quirky, profane, disturbing… In the space between a few lines we go from hardscrabble realism to pure sci-fi/fantasy. It’s quite a trip.” —    Evelyn Somers, The Missouri Review
 
. "…a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy…what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse…tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…profound…a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy." -- Awesome Indies (Gold Medal)
 
“…sneaks up you and, before you know it, you are either laughing like crazy or crying in despair, but the one thing you won’t be is unmoved…a brilliant writer.” --Readers’ Favorite (Gold Medal)
 
“Rarity from the Hollow is an original and interesting story of a backwoods girl who saves the Universe in her fashion. Not for the prudish.” —Piers Anthony, New York Times bestselling author
 
“…Good satire is hard to find and science fiction satire is even harder to find.” -- The Baryon Review
 
Comfort Zones: Please note that there is a mention of a child having been murdered in this novel, by the meanest daddy on Earth. However, there is no scene and she plays a comical and annoying ghost most of the story. Here's a finding by Awesome Indies about the first edition to help you decide if this novel is too far outside of your comfort zone: “a hillbilly version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, only instead of the earth being destroyed to make way for a hyperspace bypass, Lacy Dawn must…The author has managed to do what I would have thought impossible; taken serious subjects like poverty, ignorance, abuse, and written about them with tongue-in-cheek humor without trivializing them…Eggleton sucks you into the Hollow, dunks you in the creek, rolls you in the mud, and splays you in the sun to dry off. Tucked between the folds of humor are some profound observations on human nature and modern society that you have to read to appreciate…it’s a funny book that most sci-fi fans will thoroughly enjoy.” http://awesomeindies.net/ai-approved-review-of-rarity-from-the-holly-by-robert-eggleton/  The early tragedy feeds and amplifies subsequent comedy and satire.
 
Please also note that the character mentioned above (Faith) is a victim of sexual abuse. Sexual content in the novel:

  • While the protagonist occupies the body of an eleven year old, she is the product of genetic manipulation by Universal Management for millennia;
  • Lacy Dawn began her trainings via direct download into her brain five years before the beginning of this story, so she has been fed information about every known human subject, including biology, reproduction, economics…for years before readers are introduced to her (ET involvement is an opening chapter reveal);
  • Her best friend, Faith, as a sexual abuse victim, has a sad and unhealthy awareness of sexuality;
  • The android has no private parts, "not even a little bump," and is much less mature emotionally than Lacy Dawn throughout the story;
  • There are no sex scenes in the novel and only references, including the disclosure about Faith's victimization by a reference and as a flashback with no scenes;
  • As the android pursues humanity and starts going through an accelerated human development stage, he never develops any actual sexual interests but does try to kiss Lacy Dawn on the cheek once;
  • Lacy Dawn vows not to have sex for the first time until after she is married -- a traditional and now unusual family value;
  • She is fourteen years old when the novel ends and has typical teenage interests but remains untouched, not even a first real kiss;
  • There are normalized sexual references and innuendos between Lacy Dawn parents after their romance was rekindled -- the father was cured of PTSD and the mother's self-esteem improved, in part, because she got new teeth as part of the deal to save the universe;
  • But, the above sexual references are presented as puns, nothing on screen, and are milder than most romance novels that I've read, such as by Nora Roberts.  

Piers Anthony, best selling fantasy author during the '80s and '90s, found that my novel was “…not for the prudish.” Kevin Patrick Mahoney, editor of the once noteworthy site, Authortrek, found that my story was, “…not for the faint hearted or easily offended….”   An early voice in the first chapter speaks about things that no child should know. It is that of a traumatized child – a voice most of us never listen to, or want to hear, but in real life is screaming. I'm a retired children's psychotherapist. The language and concepts in this story are mild in comparison to some of the stuff that kids have said during actual group therapy sessions that I have facilitated over the years. By child developmental stage, it is similar to the infamous early adolescent insult in E.T.: “penis breath.” It is tame in comparison to the content of the popular television series, South Park, which has been devoured by millions of teens. My story does include marijuana smoking, but that subject has been frequently broadcast in the news as state move toward legalization, when legislation is introduced, or debates emerge. Except for a scene involving domestic violence in the third chapter, there is no violence or horror -- no blood, guts, gore, vampires, or werewolves. The “F word” is used twice, but the all other profanity is mild colloquialism. Rarity from the Hollow is a children's story for adults with a HEA ending like a romance novel.


Rarity from the Hollow Excerpt, Chapter 2,  

Recess

……Designated to be consolidated, the school received little maintenance except to reduce liability. The playground had a chain link fence with vines growing through the diagonals, squeaky swings so loud that everyone on recess had to holler, and two teeter-totters with splinters that targeted fresh butt. Only one improvement had been added during the last three years of consolidation controversy.  Pieces of shredded car tires were put under the monkey bars to cushion falls.  
    During recess, the teachers smoked cigarettes behind the corner of the brick school building. It was a designated smoking spot so that students wouldn't be exposed to bad influence. Consequently, the playground was without adult supervision.      
    "Why do you want to feel angry so often?" Lacy Dawn (the eleven year old protagonist) asked Faith (Lacy Dawn’s best friend and classmate).
    "Why not?"
    "It messes up your digestion and gives you the farts."
    "I like to fart – silent and deadly," Faith said.
    "I've noticed."     
Lacy Dawn moved toward the gang hanging out under the monkey bars. They were older kids who lived on the hard road and who had parents who had been employed before the coal mine shut down. They still thought they had money.  
    "My dad got a call about a job in Cleveland. What do you think, Lacy Dawn?  Your mommy was born there. Is it cool? Will I meet Eminem?" the tallest kid asked.
    "Does your daddy still hit your mommy when he gets drunk?” Lacy Dawn asked.
    "Sometimes, but what's that got to do with Cleveland?"
    "Everything."
    The tall kid grabbed the monkey bars and went to its end. His tip-toes touched the shredded tires. It was easier because the ground was several inches higher than before the shreds had been laid. Nobody acknowledged the achievement and all awaited his response. “When we get to Cleveland, I'll stand up to him. I promise," 
    "You'd better or she'll know," Faith pointed at Lacy Dawn.  
    "I know."
 The tall kid sat on the rung that had broken off his front tooth two grades before.
    "Why'd you tell him that?" Lacy Dawn whispered in Faith's ear. "I ain't got that kind of magic yet and you know it. I can only see inside people when they’re right in front of me. Cleveland’s a long way off and, besides, Eminem’s from Detroit."  
    Faith shrugged.    
    "My mom and dad don't ever hit me. Sometimes, I wish they would.  I do stuff so they will, but it don't ever work," the next tallest kid in line for therapy disclosed.
    "Parents use different styles of redirection. Yours use guilt." Lacy Dawn said.
    "Yeah, I cut myself once. See. It helped a little, but I would really appreciate a switch every now and then."
    "Don't fetish,” Lacy Dawn said. “Relax. You're a good kid and your parents want switched, too. It's not your daddy's fault that the mine shut down. He feels guilty about not being a good provider and gets rid of it by giving it to you." Lacy Dawn kissed the scar on the kid's arm above the bottom of his shirt sleeve.  
The crowd went "Ooohhhh…" when the scar seemed to fade.
    "You're a good doctor, Lacy Dawn," echoed the crowd. 
    "Next!" a kid who lay on top of the monkey bars above the gang yelled.
    "Give me your shit, Ronny,” Lacy Dawn instructed. “But, don't you ever say anything bad about Faith ever again. I'll vex you into eternity. You've been giving her a hard time since the first grade. It ain't fair."
    "Sorry,” Ronny said. “I'm just so sad all the time. I take it out on anybody that will react and she's an easy target – fat and ugly."
    "Next year, she'll be hot. She'll give you a hard-on that won't go down for days. You'll regret every mean thing you ever said to her."   
Faith moved into position to punch his exposed belly.
    "I already regret everything," Ronny said, “everything.”  
    "Your parents thought if they taught you how to predict consequences of your behavior you would exercise self-control. You learned it too good and now you go over and over every little detail. Before you do something mean, just take a few slow, deep breaths and you won't hit anybody anymore. Then, you will have less regret. When you stop being mean, I'll help you fix your depression. But, if you ever say one mean thing about Faith again, I'll let her kick your ass like it's never been before," Lacy Dawn said. 
    "My mommy don't do nothing but watch soaps," a girl in the second said.
    "Mine too," three smaller children gathered for wisdom.
    Cigarette smoke formed a cloud that floated from around the corner of the building. Only one female teacher still had a husband and he had been jailed for manufacturing meth after their house caught on fire. It was another tidbit of conversation during an extra-long recess disallowed by the State Board of Education. Recess was the most productive part of the school day because of Lacy Dawn's magic way of helping others.  
    "I wish I had a husband," the only male teacher employed by the school yelled loud enough for the kids to hear above the squeaky swings. 
“There goes Mr. I’m Gay again,” a boy said.  
“He’s so boring,” another said.  The crowd nodded.
    "I wish I could fix my own family," Lacy Dawn whispered to Faith.
    "It's a kid's job to help her parents and any kid who don't ain't much of a kid and maybe don't even deserve to live!" Faith yelled louder than Mr. I’m Gay.  It was her daily speech to classmates.  
    The school bell rang to return to the classrooms. Another fifteen minutes was left before compliance was expected. Several kids gathered tighter around the monkey bars to try to get attention from Lacy Dawn. The healthier ones played more or less organized dodge and kick ball games in opposite corners of the playground. 
    Like the center on a football team’s front line, Faith tried to look mean by grimacing and folding her arms. It was a body-guard-like role so the others used her as an avenue to Lacy Dawn by lining up. A first grader pulled down her shorts to show a blue bruise on her butt. Faith rolled her eyes and turned away. A fourth grader opened his mouth and pointed inside but Faith didn't look. A girl in the fifth who sat beside her in class pointed to her crotch. Tears streamed. Faith winced for a moment but screened her out by turning her head. Not today, Britney. Lacy Dawn only has so much magic at any given time. She needs to recharge. Everybody has issues and tissues. You can be first tomorrow.
A fight broke out in the far corner of the playground.  The games stopped and the kids rushed for the better entertainment.   Lacy Dawn and Faith followed to get a good place to watch.  The teachers saw the action and either returned to the building or gathered behind the crowd to bet on the winner.  
    "She called my mommy a HO," a second grader with a bloody nose accused a sixth grader and swung air.                
    "But she is. My daddy told me.  I didn't mean to make you mad," the sixth grader tried to maintain a distance by stepping back. "I'm sorry. I don't even know what it means."
    "A Ho is a person who has a lot of indiscriminant sex," the smartest girl in school except for Lacy Dawn said to show off. She put on her headphones and walked toward the school to prepare for the next spelling bee, which would include the word “indiscriminate.”  
    Faith picked up the dodge ball and beamed her in the back of the head. 

The Ghost of Christmas Book Blast

Ghost of Christmas Book Blast

Happy Holidays! Tis the season when once again, the good folks over at Support Indie Authors are hosting another free book event. On Saturday, the 19th of December, forty authors will be offering more than fifty books in a wide variety of genres absolutely free! What better way to de-stress, decompress, and take a well-deserved break from the hustle and bustle of the holidays than to curl up with a good book? Once again, all of the free books will be listed on the official Book Blast website

As is our tradition, each of the authors participating in the book blast has told us a little about themselves. Each name links to the author’s Goodreads profile, so feel free to give them a follow if you like what you see. Below are interviews for ten of the forty participating authors. At the end of this post are links to three other blogs with the additional thirty authors. Please be sure to visit each and thank you for continuing to #SupportIndieAuthors


What is your name?

Ann Livi Andrews

What genre or genres do you write in?

Superheroes

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Nice

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

The life of a superhero is not all glamour and fame. The truth is that they just want to live as close to normal lives as they possibly can, and they’ve found a man who they believe can offer that to them. Not only does he promise to find cures for their “powers,” but he offers a retirement plan as well!

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

My mother and I make trays and trays of Christmas cookies and candies every year, but my favorite is probably the fudge or the chocolate covered peanut butter balls. In addition, no Holiday Season is complete without white almond bark covered oreos, homemade snickerdoodles, and my mother's homemade sugar cookies (the best EVER!)

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

My grandmother always used to give to the ASPCA, so that would probably be mine as well. I've always had a heart for animals and it breaks every time I see an animal purposefully neglected or injured. https://www.aspca.org

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: www.annliviandrews.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AnnLiviAndrews

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

Other: https://www.pinterest.com/annlivi/


What is your name?

Charles Freedom Long

What genre or genres do you write in?

Science Fiction

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Nice

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

A jihadist trained for a suicide mission on the moon, begins to question his own beliefs when he falls in love with a coworker, a cat-like bipedal alien named Quenby and realizes that he must choose between his mission or love. At once a poignant human/alien love story, a science fiction thriller, and a foray into the realms beyond the veil called death, this novel explores the questions of what is truth, the power of love, and what lies beyond this present life.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

Curling up with my three Maltese dogs in my lap.

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

The Salvation Army. I never pass by their little red baskets without putting something in. http://www.salvationarmyusa.org

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: http://www.charlesfreedomlong.com/


What is your name?

Marie Johnston

What genre or genres do you write in?

Romance

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Nice

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

Cassie Stockwell's one night stand throws her into a world of wolf-shifters, their Guardians, and the menace out to destroy them all. It's up to Jace Miller to keep her safe and convince her he's worth more than one night - he's worth forever.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

Candy Cane Cookies

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

Goodwill http://www.goodwill.org

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: mariejohnstonwriter.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mjohnstonwriter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Marie-Johnston-593148834163855/?fref=ts


What is your name?

B.B. Wynter

What genre or genres do you write in?

Fantasy

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Naughty

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

A story of magic, monsters, cabbage-fairies, jester-pirates, earth born Gods and fated love.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

I can only list one? Oh no, now I have to make choices :( !

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

The National Autistic Society - http://www.autism.org.uk

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: bbwynter.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/bb_wynter

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


What is your name?

Shannon Reber

What genre or genres do you write in?

Fantasy, Teen & Young Adult

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Only a Sith thinks in absolutes.

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

 My books are young adult fantasy. Two are swords and sorcery, the other a dystopian future with a powerful female MC.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

Nothing is underrated in my world, but lemon sugar cookies are a MUST!

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

A local group called Union Relief which gives Christmas presents to kids whose families can't afford them.

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: www.authorshannonreber.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ShannonArtWrite

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Shannon-Reber-1450668291923946/


What is your name?

M. Ray Holloway Jr.

What genre or genres do you write in?

Science Fiction, Religious, Paranormal

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Naughty

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

 "The Picture of the Ghost" is a novellette about a team of ghost hunters that get it all wrong. "Gretchen's Shoot" is about two sisters have to work through a serious misunderstanding. "The Empath" is about a young man with a amazing ability.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

Wassal. I am always so pleased when someone offers it to me. I need to learn to make it.

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

Big Brothers / Big Sisters www.bbbs.org

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: http://mrayhollowayjr.blogspot.com/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ray.holloway.77


What is your name?

CB Archer

What genre or genres do you write in?

Fantasy, Erotica, Humor & Satire, Elfrotica

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Naughty

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

Do the novels you read contain naked elf protagonists, magical sex powers, steamy Minotaur orgies, and no regard for the fourth wall? If your answer is no then perhaps you are reading the wrong novels. *Contains m/m content and vigorous monster banging.*

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

Stocking Stuffing (Giggle)

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

The Ovarian Cancer Society of Canada

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: www.annalsofgentalia.wordpress.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cb_archer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/people/CB-Archer/100006197627949


What is your name?

Christina McMullen

What genre or genres do you write in?

Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Dystopian/Apocalyptic, Teen & Young Adult

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Only a Sith thinks in absolutes.

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

The Eyes of The Sun offers action, adventure, a little bit of romance, and a whole lot of genetically enhanced vampires. Kind of Like Life is a YA sci-fi thriller with one hell of a twist. And Going Green is the most lighthearted romp through the zombie apocalypse you will ever read.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

I really like fruitcake and I can't figure out why it's got such a bad rep.

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

There are so many great charities, but one that sticks out is Hope for Paws. This is an animal rescue based in Los Angeles that finds and rehabilitates animals that are suffering either on the streets or in kill shelters. They also document every step of the way and host videos that would make even the hardened of hearts cry. Check them out at http://www.hopeforpaws.org

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: http://mcmullenwrites.blogspot.com

Twitter: Twitter.com/mcmullenwrites

Facebook: Facebook.com/mcmullenwrites


What is your name?

D.E. Morris

What genre or genres do you write in?

Science Fiction, Mystery/Thriller

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Nice

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

Join the adventures of alien scientists Quigbat and Zort, with their accidental companion from Earth, Marcy. "Aliens in the Gift Shop" follows their first and disastrous science mission to Earth. "Aliens and the Race to Earth" continues their exploits as the three try to save Earth from a deadly weapon.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

Peppermint Mocha

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

World Vision provides child sponsorship and humanitarian relief for the poor and needy of the world. www.worldvision.org

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: http://www.authordemorris.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/author_demorris


What is your name?

Quoleena Sbrocca

What genre or genres do you write in?

Literary Fiction, Historical, Time Travel

Have you been naughty or nice this year?

Only a Sith thinks in absolutes.

Tell us a little about the book(or books) you are offering.

Time travel is a naturally occurring phenomenon. Every four and five years, invisible, time travel doorways open and close. Any person or creature caught within the magnetic, gravitational pull awakens incoherently to a future world.

What is your favorite underrated holiday treat?

I think holiday treats are pretty much on even footing, but my favorites are fruit pies, especially my mom's peach cobbler. It's my all-time favorite. The holidays are that much more grim without it.

In the spirit of giving, tell us about your favorite charitable organization.

The Dawn Saves Wildlife campaign. It's the only brand I buy. http://dawn-dish.com/en-us/dawn-saves-wildlife

Where can readers find out more and connect with you?

Website: http://www.quoleenasbrocca.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/QJSbrocc 


Check out additional interviews!

Alp's Blog

Amanda's Blog

Shoshanah's Blog

All SIA Wants for Christmas

Riley Amos Westbrook

 

I already have it all. A good woman, a loving family, and amazing friends to share my journey with.


BB Wynter

1. I wish for a giant Christmas stocking with a hunk inside, still alive; might need some air holes in there.

2. An upgraded bionic body, with eyes that work and change colour like Christmas lights.

3. And a fancy hat. If the hat is able to dance and sing, even better. 

Actually forget the live hunk. I want a designer, looks human, robot hunk, that just requires an hour to charge up and is invincible, but also has superhero powers and eventually turns evil, and takes over the world as ultimate robot hunk emperor and then I end up being his human slave, and start the beginning of a revolution, but I’m torn between his awesome good looks and the good of humanity.


VM Sawh

1. Life sized MechaGodzilla from 1975, with the disco eyes and the snazzy soundtrack.

2. I want Daft Punk to throw a house party and TRONerize my house.

3. I want glass floors with a pool full of luminescent jellyfish beneath it, this way when I go to sleep the water and the squishies make my room have Northern Lights.


Ann Livi Andrews

1. I want a never ending supply of Titos. I mean, I promote them all the time. It's the least they could do, right? RIGHT?? 

2.  I want to never have to sleep again. Think of all the books that I could write and all the indie books that I could read! And the SIA website would be updated every day! And and. . .yeah. 

3. Once, just once, when I go in for my yearly check up at the doctor, I'd like her to say "You know, we've decided to try a new therapy, just as an experiment to see how it will affect your overall health. Considering you have no listed allergies, we'd like to you step into our KITTEN ROOM!!!!" Where there are furry and cuddly kittens playing and being adorable and I can stay as long as I want! 


Christina McMullen

1. I want to see true peace in the world. I want an end to war, famine, poverty, injustice, and inequality. Barring that:

2. I want an army of fifty-foot tall killbots who will help bring about the end of war, famine, poverty, injustice, and inequality by uniting the entire planet under my firm but benevolent rule. Barring that:

3. One day out of the year where I can do what I want, eat what I want, and ignore the grown up responsibilities of the real world and travel into the fictitious realm of my choice without repercussions.


Dwayne Fry

1. Harmony for those without it

2. Healing for those without it

3. Hope for those without it


GG Atcheson

1- Indie paperback books

I already have quite a few displayed on my bookshelf and I am proud of them all so my goal is to acquire more this year. 

2- A trip to my hometown.

Last time I went to Montreal was in 2007 so I think I'm overdue. I might not recognize my son the next time I see him.

3- Finish my work in progress. 

It's about time I go back to work on it. LX isn't too happy about having been set aside for so long. 


Tony Deeney

1) A space trip to the moon.... please.... please.... I REALLY want to stand on the moon.

2) A book! Yes, a book: a book with ALL the answers! That'd be very, very cool.

3) Once I have these, I'll settle for family time around the table with roast turkey! I am not greedy... ;)


Ellison Blackburn

1. An all-in-one time travel, geo, world shut off, mobile remote control built into my phone (as well as a replacement phone)

2. A 1970s sansui direct drive turntable and all original release Pink Floyd vinyls in mint condition.

3. Theo James.


Melissa Jensen

1. A Kindle.

2. My story ideas to magically appear on my laptop requiring absolutely no effort on my part what so ever.

3. An all expenses paid trip to London. 

Thanksgiving Blog Post

Why the SIA Mods are Thankful for SIA


What I like the most about this fabulous group is that we can all be ourselves. There's no need to wear a mask, unless it's Halloween of course. We can ask questions and expect honest answers without the complimentary snarky replies that too often plague other groups. And not only there's always someone ready to help but it's probably the most well-behaved group on the planet! I'm dead serious. So what more can a moderator ask?  

-GG Atcheson-


This group has helped me a ton. Seriously, I don't know about the rest of you all, but when I first stumbled across this group, I was floudering. Trying to find a way to get the word out about my books, without breaking any of the unwritten "rules" of publishing.
Needless to say, I managed to break almost all of them anyways.

Pumpkin.jpg

But that's okay! This group has been like a rock under my feet, keeping me steadied on the right course. I've met lots of new authors, and read some amazing books.

Ann was my first friend from here, the one who started it all. I asked her one day if she would like help with the group, and then BOOM! it exploded.

So my first Goodreads friend was made in this group, the first of many in a long line now. I welcome them all, because it's the people in our lives that keep the world going round. I welcome new friends, and hope you all find your own here.

-Riley Amos Westbrook-


"The SIA has provided me a safe place to meet individuals I can relate to, who understand all that encompasses being an indie author, from its good points, to its struggles and through this group I’ve been able to learn so many things about being indie, things I didn’t know before.

If I ever have worries, come into difficult situations in regards to being an author, or just want to chat with like minded people, I have somewhere to go."

-BB Wynter-


"Being a member of Support for Indie Authors is giving me a chance to see a positive community grow. I joined when we were still in the lower hundreds of members and now it has grown to nearly four thousand! It's wonderful to see a community of people come together to
be supportive and offer one another advice and guidance, especially when the main goal is a positive one - to get more great books out there!

Without Support for Indie Authors I would likely not have found the books of some of my current favorite authors. Back when I was younger and was only dreaming of being an author, I used to have visions of one day meeting my literary heroes and having dinner with them. But, now I communicate with some of my current favorite authors almost on a daily basis!

I have learned that the myth that Indie Authors can't write a decent book is unfounded and ridiculous. I've read some wonderful and amazing books by members of this group."

-Dwayne Fry-


"I confess that I joined Goodreads as another place to promote my first book.  I soon  joined a group, “Sci-Fi, fantasy and speculative Indie Authors Review.”   Where I discussed my book cover, blurb and free sample with other authors, in a “better reads” project.  I actually stumbled into SIA by following another author’s comment in a group thread and I joined the group just to “put my tuppence in.”

I haven’t looked back.  I quickly found a whole  community of self published authors, sharing their experience, talking about writing, editing, publishing and promoting.  All things that while exciting, the new author can find intimidating, if not overwhelming. 

The content in the threads within the group was varied.  One day there would be a thread discussing that ‘unease’ I felt, facing the dark material that came out of my own head in parts of my book.  The next there would be a thread discussing British English versus American English and not just ‘grey’ or ‘gray,’ ‘colour’ or ‘color,’ but nuances in the local understanding of the word.  Then people would share experiences of paid adverstising or goodread giveaways and so it continued.  

Of course as you share with people over the net you build friends.  These may be ‘internet friends,’ physically a world apart, but there is value in that for a lone author.

SIA is a site where you can discuss problems that you are having, problems that may lie in store for you and problems you can avoid. What more could a beginning author ask for?

Thank you SIA.  Thank you SIA members."

- Anthony Deeney -


"Why am I grateful for the SIA? Why wouldn't I be? Being a full time indie author is tough. At times it can be overwhelming. And more often than not, it's lonely work. Having an amazing resource like this group is not something I can take for granted.

Yes, I am constantly amazed by the wealth of knowledge our contributors are willing to share with one another. Nothing makes me happier than knowing something I added helped someone else. But some days... Some days I just need that reminder that I am *not* alone. That others out there share the same joys as well as the same frustrations that I do.

That, more than anything, is what I am grateful for. The virtual 'break room' where I can go when I need to stop being alone in my own head. I won't say that you guys keep me sane (I am an author, after all), but you contribute to my well-being."

- Christina McMullen -


So much has happened in so short a time, it’s hard to really put it in perspective.  Since February of this year, I’ve been a part of something much bigger than myself. As a lifelong loner who avoided groups and group activities like a bagful of angry bees, this is all very new to me. 

With the world of publishing seeming like a veritable minefield of negativity and rejection, I struck out solo, with guitar and katana in hand, hoping the trek would lead to treasure and not get me killed in the process. 

So imagine my surprise when a stray comment on somebody’s Twitter leads me to make a connection with someone who would go on to change everything. You see, this lady had a few interesting books under her belt, which she’d managed to write while having a family, no less. She had a plan, a wild and crazy-in-that-raccoon-left-out-in-the-sun kind of endeavour. Not only was she going to start a posse of fellow wanderers, but darn-tootin’ she was gonna hitch up those wagons and start a caravan off to Authortown.

Eyeing the road ahead and thinking she was just a bit ambitious, I asked her what that was going to be. 

“It’s going to be a safe place,” she said, “somewhere where all the people like us could find support and encouragement.”

“Ain’t no such place,” I said, to which she smiled. 

“That’s because I’m going to put together a team to build it,” she said, “you want in?”

I spin the chamber on my Self-Defence Mechanism ~ the revolver I call Cynicism. 

“Are you sure you want to do this?” 

You could fall flat on your face. And I don’t want to make that trip.

“It’s not going to be easy, I know. But I think it could make a difference. Who knows how many other wanderers are out there. This could be their home. A place for them to share their stories. To laugh and cry and grow. Maybe one day, we could put up signs, build a railroad to our town. Then the world would come to us. Because we’d have the best tall tales to tell.”
I squint at her.  She really believes it. But do I? 

I look out at the desert. Mighty lonely out there for a Cowboy-Ninja, even with my Cynicism. All it does is keep me from caring, from trying. It’s an excuse.

So I holster it. 

And bring out my katana. It gleams in the sunlight and sends a sliver across her face. It’s polished and clean, the handle bears my initials: V.M.

“V.M. Sawh,” I put my hand out, which she shakes, “pleased to meet ya. How can I help?”
That was almost 1 year ago. 

I sit back in my chair, overlooking the town that many hands built. There are other sheriffs here too: a Wizard named Fry, a Bouncing Artist named BB, a Strongman named Riley, and a Cranky Killbot named Christina. Every day they manage to make me smile. And they are there to guide me home anytime I feel like I’m back out in the desert, hopelessly lost. They are some of the most interesting people I have ever met. They too came to help build the town and manage the people.

The bustling streets are full of eager authors, walking, skipping or dancing by. Some have thunderclouds over their heads, some - rainbows. Each tells a story that makes me feel. Every now and then, I lend a helping hand, when it’s asked for, sometimes when it’s not.  The people, these writers, pick themselves up out of the mud and dust. They persevere. They grow. I learn from them all the time and I think I’m a better man for it.

Railroad’s built now and I’m damned proud of it.. We’ve got people hopping on the train, leaving the town for bigger and better things. New visitors are arriving every day, booking rooms and asking to stay. Everyone is welcome. We’ve got a sign up at the entrance to town: Support Indie Authors.

Even though sometimes I linger in the shadows, and barely make my presence known, I know all I have to do is reach out and say hello, to know I’m no longer alone.

And that’s why I’m thankful to be a part of the S.I.A.

- V.M. Sawh - 


I'm not even sure how to follow that up. Comment below if you want to pressure VM and the other SIA mods to continue with this chapter series on the SIA Mod's Western Journey. 

As for me, there are a lot of reasons why I'm thankful for the SIA. There are far too many for me to list them all out, so instead, I'll just focus on the one big point. 

SIA is a place where thousands of individuals strive to eradicate negativity. 

That's it in a nutshell. Planet Earth is a highly negative place. Sure there are areas where you can go and smile, joke, and laugh, where dreams and ambitions are still encouraged, and can openly show warmth and affection towards others, but they are becoming few and far between. Even at family gatherings it seems near impossible to be yourself and feel accepted.

So that's what I set out to create. A place where you can be you and not be afraid of the consequences (unless of course, "you" is a highly negative and vindictive critical personae who likes to berate others).  Support Indie Authors is a place where you can ask questions, seek advice, and have friendly and constructive  interactions with other indie authors. We encourage you to dream big, take risks, laugh with others about mistakes that we've all made, and grow as an author. 

So thank you. You're brave, encouraging, kind, and are working to become the best author you can be. We couldn't do any of this without you. 

- Ann Livi Andrews - 

Support for Indie Authors Code of Conduct

The world is full of opinionated people. Everyone has their own ideas of what should be and what shouldn’t be. And those opinions stray into every possible topic ranging from politics to religions to (wait for it) the world of self published authors. 

Yes, even us Indie Authors are subjected to a variety of personal opinions. From our covers and titles to our blurbs, plot, and formatting, everyone seems to think that they have a better way to do it - a way that could solve all of our “problems.”

These personal opinions come up often within our quickly growing support group. In fact, the majority of our time as moderators is spent ensuring that conversations stay positive and constructive. As such, I wanted to take a moment to discuss the word “Support.”

At SIA, we use the term solely with a positive spin. We view being an Indie Author as an exciting adventure. Consider yourselves the chivalrous do-gooder off to save a world from certain doom. SIA is the strange wizard with the long white beard saying “It’s dangerous to go alone, take this. . .” We want you to have the resources you need WHEN you need them (not after you’ve already published three books and are looking back wishing you knew then what you know now.) We’re not the stingy salesman charging you an arm and a leg for a magic formula that will make you an overnight success. We’re not the weird enchantress who only speaks in riddles. 

Confused yet? Just give me a minute - it’s been a long week. 

We want to help you. That’s why we’ve continued to build up Support for Indie Authors and are currently working on expanding to other forms of social media as well as to our own website. So let’s look at what is helpful and what is not helpful:
 

Please don’t mistake my tone for anger. Why is it that we assume (not just on this particular topic) that the entire world must like and dislike what we like and dislike? Just because you’re not fond a cover doesn’t mean that someone else won’t think it’s amazing. 

Please try to remember as you scroll through our topics and discussions that we are a support group. We are here to offer resources, tips, advice, and above all, encouragement. We’re a Support Group in all senses of the term. Being an Indie Author is tough work. There are blood, sweat, and tears involved. We’re here to offer you a tissue, a cup of tea (or coffee or vodka or wine), and share some funny cat pictures with you so you can get out a good chuckle every once in a while. 

The world is a tough place guys - we all need funny cat pics once in a while. Try to remember that each author’s book is just as important to them as your book is to you. Treat it with the respect that you’d want someone to treat your book with.