#BeQuotable…Day 4…Family

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The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.  - Pope John Paul II

“The great danger for family life, in the midst of any society whose idols are pleasure, comfort and independence, lies in the fact that people close their hearts and become selfish.” ~Pope John Paul II

 

Children’s Charity Blog Hop—Wild Cards…National Children’s Cancer Center

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Wild Cards Cover

Wild Cards

Wild Cards is a book dedicated to Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers with a Supernatural/Paranormal flare. You will find a variety of stories so it won’t be hard to find something you and your children will like. From stories about the Grim Reaper, a dragon rider, three wishes, a witch, a man without a face, a house on a haunted street, the making of a villain and much more there is plenty for everyone. 100% of this books proceeds will go to The National Children’s Cancer Center. This book is all about the kids! Here are the awesome Authors and we couldn’t have had such a great cover with the art work by Don Semora.

Ronald Griffin’s Biography:

Ronald Griffin is a 31 year old Author who grew up in Georgia and still lives there today. His current writing style includes paranormal fantasy and horror. He has been writing since he was 9 years old when he wrote a Tiny Toons Adventure skit for his class and it was well received. From there, he was absorbed with writing about Superhero’s but once high school hit, the supernatural started calling him, especially the werewolves. This is where his latest The Blood Lives Saga was born. You can either find him locked away in his writing cave or at his local Cracker Barrel where he supports his fantasy genre reading habit. His Author idol is the husband and wife writing team Ilona Andrews. He has thoroughly enjoyed their magic series novels and feels encouraged that they are from his same state. When not writing, you can find Ronald spending time with his daughters (ages 3 and 9) and his son (age 7). He can be found spending time making precious moments with them and hopefully passing along his writing bug to them.
www.bloodstainedsaga.com

Gabrielle Lee Hughes’s Biography:

Gabrielle Lee Hughes is an inspiring new author. For fifteen years, Gabrielle has been writing short stories, poetry, and just finish her first novel, The New World: The Last Resistance. She is currently looking for a publishing company to fit her first novel’s needs. She is also currently working on her second novel, The New World: Dawn of a New Age. Gabrielle currently lives in Georgia.

Mark Mackey’s Biography:

Mark Mackey, living in Chicago, started writing during the late 1990’s when he submitted a simple poem to a contest which was later published in an anthology. In addition he has won two screenplay awards, one for the short screenplay Horror in the Woods, and one for the feature Length screenplay A Tale of Two Girls, both in the book Four Screenplays volume I. Also he has written several books in the process of being edited and three short stories published in three different anthologies.

T.G. Reaper’s Biography:

T.G. Reaper, aka Thom Futrell is the award winning, bestselling author of EMPTY GRAVES, MEAT PUPPET, NIGHT SONGS, DRIPPINGS along with over twenty anthologies and magazine articles. He lives near Jackson, Michigan with his wife, two daughters and two cats.
http://thetombofthereaper.blogspot.com/

David R. Bennett’s Biography:

I am an author from Houston, Texas. I am what I would call a freaky fiction writer. I write strange tales in all realms of fiction. I am a bonafied Star Wars geek who cannot wait to see the range of movies put out by Disney starting in 2015.

Jeremy Rodden’s Biography:

Jeremy Rodden considers himself a dad first and an author second. He is the author of the middle grade/young adult Toonopolis series of books that takes place in his cartoon universe. He also edited, contributed to, and published The Myth of Mr. Mom, a non-fiction series of essays by stay-at-home dads.
www.toonopolis.com

Laurie Treacy’s Biography:

I’m a wife, mom of three really good kids and various pets, an active reader and book blogger. Movie and music fan. I love frogs, frozen Goobers, anime and haunted places. I’m also a Whovian. I love paranormal, fantasy, urban fantasy, dystopian and contemporary romance. I initially started out writing YA, but I’ve also started writing for adults. My NaNoWriMo book this year is a New Adult paranormal. I find this genre exciting.

Jodie Pierce’s Biography:

Jodie Pierce is married to her hubby, John who gave her a storybook happily-ever-after. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio but traveled to Brasil when she was 16 years old as an exchange student and she continues to travel the US with her hubby. Jodie started writing as a teenager and even wrote for her schools’ newspaper and yearbook.
She has had a fascination with vampires since they were introduced to her as a child so she’s had a long history with them. It wasn’t until she started reading the Anne Rice vampire books in college that she was truly inspired to stop writing sappy teen romance stories and focus on the vampires she loved. You will find some of her experiences from Brasil in her stories. Many of her stories have historical or researched facts as she also enjoys research and learning about new places.
She has published four short novels (Eternal Press), a short story in “Midnight Thirst 2”, an anthology (Melange Books), has five self-published books (with 3 more charity anthologies by the end of 2013). She’s published her first charity vampire anthology book with various Authors named In Vein, where all the proceeds of the book went to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. She loves helping out other new Authors, runs blog hops and Facebook events for them to help market them. She has her own small publishing company named Vampirical Lyrical Publishing where she takes on new Authors and helps them see their creations come to life. She’s always busy with the next great vampire story as her mind is non-stop and even plagues her dreams. She’s co-manager of the Facebook Supernatural Writer’s Group where they put together 2 charity books a year where all proceeds will be donated to a special charity.

Buy Link:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Cards-Anthology-Jodie-Pierce/dp/1494268795/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386819838&sr=1-5&keywords=jodie+pierce

This is a great book you’re sure to love. Recommended reading ages are young adult but adults alike are bound to find some great stories by these great Authors. Pick up your copy today!

Charity Blog Hop—Children of the Night…National Children’s Cancer Center

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scared boy in bed=new (1)

Children of the Night

Children of the Night is a fantastic book for Elementary School age children. With essential children’s lessons and good old fashioned Supernatural/Paranormal stories, this book gives you something for everyone. The children will enjoy the stories and the parents will enjoy the lessons in some of the stories. With stories about sharing, helping your parents, staying awake in class and never talking to strangers all will give you the opportunity to discuss these lessons with your children. Other stories like a Christmas mouse, Halloween night and a witch also provide enjoyment for the children. 100% of this books proceeds will go to The National Children’s Cancer Center. This book is all about the kids! Here are the participating Authors:

Ronald Griffin’s Biography:

Ronald Griffin is a 31 year old Author who grew up in Georgia and still lives there today. His current writing style includes paranormal fantasy and horror. He has been writing since he was 9 years old when he wrote a Tiny Toons Adventure skit for his class and it was well received. From there, he was absorbed with writing about Superhero’s but once high school hit, the supernatural started calling him, especially the werewolves. This is where his latest The Blood Lives Saga was born. You can either find him locked away in his writing cave or at his local Cracker Barrel where he supports his fantasy genre reading habit. His Author idol is the husband and wife writing team Ilona Andrews. He has thoroughly enjoyed their magic series novels and feels encouraged that they are from his same state. When not writing, you can find Ronald spending time with his daughters (ages 3 and 9) and his son (age 7). He can be found spending time making precious moments with them and hopefully passing along his writing bug to them.

www.bloodstainedsaga.com

Tara Fox Hall’s Biography:

Tara Fox Hall is an OSHA-certified safety and health inspector at a metal fabrication shop in upstate New York. She received her bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a double minor in chemistry and biology from Binghamton University. Her writing credits include nonfiction short stories, flash, short and novella-length horror stories, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. Her horror stories have appeared in Deadman’s Tome, Flashes in the Dark, Ghastly Door, The Halloween Alliance, Black Petals, SNM Horror Magazine, Microhorror, Dark Eclipse, Cemetery Moon, and various anthologies, including the recently published charity works Fear (Vol. 1) and Shifters. She also coauthored the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers – Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010). She is the author of the paranormal fantasy Lash series and the paranormal romantic drama Promise Me series. Tara divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chain sawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.
WHY: I’ve loved vampires since I saw Frank Langella in the first “hot vampire” version of Dracula years ago. That love intensified in my later teens with The Lost Boys, and reading Interview with the Vampire, along with anything vampire I could get my hands on. But I wanted more than the evil monster chasing young virgins; more than the sweet, misunderstood handsome fanged stranger that becomes the perfect mate for the woman who captures his heart after so many lone centuries. I wanted a vampire so well-crafted in detail that I could believe he was real. I wanted something different to happen in the story, other than girl becomes vampire, or vampire becomes dust. I wanted passion, tragedy, romance, suspense, action, and the haunting sweetness of poetry and song floating on a soft night breeze. So I penned my own vampires.

www.tarafoxhall.com

Ann Snizek’s Biography:

 Bio: Though her childhood was spent moving frequently, Ann Snizek is originally from Vermont and now lives in Virginia with her family. As a home-schooling family, Ann and her husband have tried to nurture the love of books in their children and now their grandchildren — always encouraging their imaginations.

Ann actively promotes literacy in her community, organizing and facilitating a creative writing club and then quickly adding volunteer tutoring and English as a Second Language (ESL) instructor at her local adult learning center.

Loving all aspects of writing, Ann started Snow Flower Enterprises (dot) com, and its divisions, to help other independent authors reach their goals.

www.annsnizekauthor.blogspot.com

Mark Mackey’s Biography:

Mark Mackey, living in Chicago, started writing during the late 1990’s when he submitted a simple poem to a contest which was later published in an anthology. In addition he has won two screenplay awards, one for the short screenplay Horror in the Woods, and one for the feature Length screenplay A Tale of Two Girls, both in the book Four Screenplays volume I. Also he has written several books in the process of being edited and three short stories published in three different anthologies.

www.goodreads.com/author/show/4901919.Mark_Mackey

Christina Mercer’s Biography:

Christina Mercer, author of Tween/Teen Fantasy Arrow of the Mist, writes fiction for children and young adults. She was a semi-finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest, she took Writer’s Best of Show at the SCBWI California North/Central Regional Conference, and she won an Honorable Mention in the 21st Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. Christina enjoys life in the foothills of Northern California with her husband and sons, a pack of large dogs, and about 100,000 honeybees.

www.christinamercer.com

Jodie Pierce’s Biography:

 Jodie Pierce is married to her hubby, John who gave her a storybook happily-ever-after. She lives in Cleveland, Ohio but traveled to Brasil when she was 16 years old as an exchange student and she continues to travel the US with her hubby. Jodie started writing as a teenager and even wrote for her schools’ newspaper and yearbook.

She has had a fascination with vampires since they were introduced to her as a child so she’s had a long history with them. It wasn’t until she started reading the Anne Rice vampire books in college that she was truly inspired to stop writing sappy teen romance stories and focus on the vampires she loved. You will find some of her experiences from Brasil in her stories. Many of her stories have historical or researched facts as she also enjoys research and learning about new places.

She has published four short novels (Eternal Press), a short story in “Midnight Thirst 2”, an anthology (Melange Books), has five self-published books (with 3 more charity anthologies by the end of 2013). She’s published her first charity vampire anthology book with various Authors named In Vein, where all the proceeds of the book went to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. She loves helping out other new Authors, runs blog hops and Facebook events for them to help market them. She has her own small publishing company named Vampirical Lyrical Publishing where she takes on new Authors and helps them see their creations come to life. She’s always busy with the next great vampire story as her mind is non-stop and even plagues her dreams. She’s co-manager of the Facebook Supernatural Writer’s Group where they put together 2 charity books a year where all proceeds will be donated to a special charity.

www.thevampirequeen1.weebly.com

Buy Link:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Children-Night-Childrens-Charity-Anthology/dp/1494314940/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1386819838&sr=1-4&keywords=jodie+pierce

Check out this special book, you’re bound to find something fun. Recommended reading ages 5-10 so read with your kids, nieces, nephews, grandkids and loved ones!

“Within A Mile From Home”…#SoundtrackSunday

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I grew up in the Mountains of West Virginia. My hometown was just a blip on the map but it was warm and comfortable. I was raised in the arms of Mother Nature and the songs of my summers were rooted in my Irish heritage. In those days, I yearned for change. Instead of appreciation, I stared, in spite, at the steady streams and felt smothered by the hills. My hometown was so small and I felt so big. I, somehow, wanted to be more than the place I came from.

So, I traveled. With every new beginning, I became something more than myself but I never became something new. Instead, I found myself clinging more tightly to my everything I had run from. I searched for the faces of my hometown in the moon, stars and above. I listened for the sweet sounds of my grandmother singing; her Irish voice ringing clear in the wind.

The further I am from my beginnings, the harder I search for them. Eventually, it has become a reminder of everything I have lost…and gained. No matter where I go in life, or how many new beginnings I may have, I am always “Within A Mile of Home.”

The grittiness of my Irish Heritage, the soft blow of the mountain wind, and the rhythm of my Uncle’s guitar…these are all things that are so ingrained within my soul that they can never be removed. Yet, I have removed myself from them. In doing this, I have become a hybrid of the world. The rhythms of all the places I have been and every person I have loved adds to the foundation that was built during my childhood. I replace my bluegrass roots with the punk rock of my rebellious spirit. It’s the same rhythm but at a different pitch. I am the same soul but with a  different song. I’m “Within a Mile From Home” but still so far from it.

Flogging Molly is a perfect example of this…they are so traditionally Irish with a punk rock twist. It is impossible to limit their music to just one genre. Like me, they are hybrids of the world. Still, they remain true to their roots. I love this band, and this song because it reminds me that in all my twists and turns in life, that I am never far from being the person I was at the beginning…it reminds me to stay true to myself and never turn my back on the place from which I came….

“Don’t turn your back on me, don’t ever let me down.” 

I hope this is a promise that I always keep.

almostheaven

A Little More Distraction…#GoldenGlobes

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On the heels of the Golden Globe Awards, my social media pages are blowing up with lists of the best and worst dressed, shocking moments, and award recaps. I’m both excited and repelled by this.

I am excited because I’m American and I love celebrities. I read People Magazine, follow my favorite’s updates on Twitter; the whole nine yards. Everytime I watch an episode of New Girl, I walk the line between wishing I was Zooey Deschanel and wishing I could marry her (oh, come on…she’s gorgeous, smart and talented!).

I once milled over the idea that today’s celebrities are held in the same regard that the Greeks and Romans held their gods and goddesses. In fact, it’s possible that the archeologists of the future might just discover a collection of People Magazine, restore them and mistake our celebrities for gods and goddesses. I chuckled at the thought of our future selves constructing an image of our society from our “holy books”. It was a fun idea to ponder, for a while but then I spit it out as quickly as I conceived it. It seemed like such an unpopular opinion…it seemed so wrong.

Still, I can’t help thinking it. It lurks like a shadow in the back of my brain and whenever I’m undulated with Celebrity news, it jumps back into the forefront. The idea waves it’s hands in my face and begs for acknowledgement. So, today, I gave it just that.

Let’s face it…Celebrities are our gods and goddesses.

We read their fables and parables in the tabloids; using it as an example for our children. I can hear parents all over the world exclaiming: Look at the Miley Cyrus…doing The Twerk all over the place…that Miley, she’s in trouble…Becky, you don’t want to be like that…No guy will ever take that Miley Cyrus seriously…

We applaud their successes; awarding them with awards made of gold (all that’s missing is the frankincense and myrrh)

We fashion our lives after them; gobbling up any piece of clothing or breakfast cereal that emulates them or is endorsed by them.

We ignore their mortality…to us, they are not normal, average people. They are demigods and we are redeemed somehow when given the chance to meet them…we scream for the opportunity to just touch the hem of their garments.

When we are faced with their mortality, we sob collectively and hold candlelight services in their honor, just like they were old friends.

What’s wrong with this? We aren’t the first society to create our own deities. We may not even be the first to create them out of real people. Of course, there is a lacking moral component but in 21st Century America, who questions that, anymore?

I guess my real problem with it is the pay-grade. Maybe it’s because I’m hopelessly poor myself; maybe it’s because I loathe materialism; or maybe it’s because I hold things like food, safety and freedom in such high regard but I have a real problem with the Hollywood actor’s salary, as compared to that of a farmer, policeman, or a soldier. We are taught, through the process of capitalism, that the higher a good or service’s value, the higher the price for it is…so why are celebrities some of the highest paid in our society?

For the purposes of the argument, I’m going to compare celebrities against soldiers (because it’s the one that hits closer to home for me). The fact is that you can interchange any occupation that supports our society in the place of “soldier” and my logic will make sense. 

So I ask myself this question: What is it about the services provided by celebrities that makes it more valuable than the services provided by a soldier? Do we value entertainment more than safety and security; more than freedom? 

No, certainly not. That would be indulgent and ungrateful…there must be some other reason for the pay discrepancies. I ponder this for a while, as I browse pages and pages of breaking news and Hollywood gossip. Then, it dawns on me.

It is not the entertainment that we hold in such high regard, is it? It’s the ability to set in a darkened movie theatre or our living rooms for 30 minutes to 3 hours and just shut everything off. It’s watching the young teen actress spiraling into a dark hole that allows us to dissociate from our own problems. It’s about breaking down with grief when we have lost a celebrity because we just need an excuse to cry…or because we feel like we’ve lost a part of ourselves.

Maybe we have lost a part of ourselves.

What does it say about us that we would pay more for a little distraction that we’re willing to pay for our own freedom?

How broken is our society that we need constant distraction and discourse just to navigate everyday life?

And how do we dig ourselves out of the hole we’re in when our heads are buried in the sand? 

I’m just a single mother and aspiring author with a blog; I do not claim to be a visionary or seer (although I would like to be). I do not claim to have all the answers to these questions. I mean, I have my own answers to these questions but it’s not the answer that’s important; it’s the ability to stand up and ask them that really matters. At the end of the day, each and every one of us will have to answer these questions for ourselves before we can even begin to heal as a whole.

Why I’m Glad That I’m Poor…

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For those of you who know me, this will come as no surprise but I just realized I am extremely poor. I’m not talking middle class America poor, either. I feed a family of 6 on $28 a day. That’s $4 per person. I can’t remember the last time I actually bought an item of clothing and it’s a miracle every month just to get the bills paid. I’m not sure, yet, why this is noteworthy enough for my blog but its what is weighing on my mind right now so I’ve decided to write about it.

Don’t get me wrong, this is not a feel sorry for me, sob and give me pity post. I know how I got into this situation and I blame nobody else for it by my own self. I also want you to know that it’s not because I’m too lazy to work, either. My husband works…he’s gone most of the time, leaving me here at the house with 4 children (ages: 11, 4, 3 & 3). We are not a dual income family because daycare for my youngest three (who will all start school next year) is somewhere around $450 dollars a week. So, I stay home with them and we make it solely off his income.

It’s one of those things that doesn’t usually plague me, either. I suppose the reason is because I have spent most of my life being poor. I grew up poor and my dad busted his tail working for promotion after promotion until he raised us out of poverty. Maybe this is the reason why my financial standing isn’t even a present thought in my mind, most of the time.

It isn’t until I’m reminded how poor I am that it occurs to me. Usually, its when a friend asks me to meet her for lunch or go out to dinner. Then, my brain begins to calculate and I decide that I would have to go without toilet paper for a few weeks before I could actually afford to attend. Those are the moments that I actually feel poor.

Still, I decline by saying I don’t have a baby sitter or some other socially acceptable excuse. It’s not that I don’t want to admit to her that I don’t have the money, it’s just that people don’t like to hear how poor somebody else is. I mean, seriously, are you going to enjoy your $20 steak if you know a friend of yours is scraping change to buy toothpaste?

I’m telling you now that I genuinely don’t care that I’m poor. Money just isn’t that important to me. Not having teaches you not to want and so I don’t yearn for new things or worship shiny objects. In fact, there are a lot of reasons why I’m thankful for my poverty.

  • I can’t buy people’s respect, I actually have to earn it. For this, I have to be a genuinely good person.
  • I can’t buy my children’s love and I can’t spoil them. So, I know we will have a strong bond and they will learn to appreciate the things they have.
  • I can’t spoil myself, which helps keep me grounded and I find myself more satisfied with the things that I have
  • I will never forget where I came from because every time I can’t sign my kids up for a sport or activity, I imagine the look in my mother’s eyes when she couldn’t do the same.
  • Because of this, I appreciate the sacrifices my parents made for me.

Out of all the reasons why I’m glad to be poor, the most profound is the way it makes me view the world. I recognize need in others. Not just in a financial sense but in a soul-aching manner as well. In fact, I see more need in those with money than those without.

I truly feel that poverty is a soul building exercise. Poor people have to connect with people, not things. So when I see somebody decked out in designer clothes and diamonds, I peer beyond the outer layer and most of the time, (but not always), I see something missing within that person.

Like I said in the beginning, I didn’t really know where I was going with this. I hope you’ve gotten something out of reading it. Hell, I just hope you actually read it all. I will leave you with one final note. When somebody asks why I write, I hope I never tell them it’s for the money. That is why I am releasing the ebook version of my novel for under $5 in January. I write for my soul; because I feel the need to share stories. I write to be heard and I write because it’s the only thing that I’ve ever wanted to do.

 

NaNoWriMo 2013 with children!!!!

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I am 26 years old with 4 children…my husband is working away and I am penning my first novel…in a month!!! I must be crazy, right? Maybe just a little bit. A little background about my family: 

My stepdaughter is 11 years old, my son is 4 years old and my twin girls are 3 years old. I am a stay at home mom and things can get hectic! Finding space to focus on my novel was my biggest concern when I started this challenge. There are moments when I step away from a character development scene and settle a dispute. When I come back to my computer, it takes me a minute to regroup and finish writing. 

They have been really great about letting me have “my” time when I need to write as long as I reciprocate. If I spend an hour reading with them and then tell them I need some time to write “mommy’s book” later, they usually agree. In fact, they get involved. 

The twins aren’t really interested in what I’m doing with the novel but they set in my lap and try to sing their abc’s as I write.

My stepdaughter is my number 1 fan! She has been a huge motivation to me; asking me daily what my word count is and giving me her opinion on the flow of my passages. It’s given me the chance to teach her a little about English and writing (she’s very mathematically inclined but struggles in ELA). 

My four year old is getting into it, too. Today, I was working on a bit of my novel and sat down beside me with his coloring book. It was the kind that has letter tracing activities in it. I gave him a pencil and he sat there for while tracing his letters. I looked at him and smiled. He said “I’m writing!”

Of course, as I am writing this I am setting at 11,000 words on Day 6 (shout out!) and they are at their grandmother’s house. Tomorrow when I enter tantrum land during an important plot point, I might change my mind about all this! 😀

 

If you want to know what I’m writing, check out my leanpub page: https://leanpub.com/darknesswithin

Or my Wattpad page: http://www.wattpad.com/story/9531077-darkness-within