Jump to content




FIRST FIVE FRENZY with Moe Ferrera of BookEnds Literary

  Posted by Amy Trueblood in Amy Trueblood's Blog, 09 October 2015 · 12 views

      If you’re like me, you toil for hours editing and fine-tuning the first pages of your manuscript. You look at the first lines to make sure they are compelling and tight. You examine the next few paragraphs hoping your MC’s voice is already taking hold of the reader.   The First Five Frenzy […]



Book Talk & ARC Giveaway: SHALLOW GRAVES by Kali Wallace

  Posted by bigblackcat97 in Writer, Writer Pants on Fire, 09 October 2015 · 16 views

My book talks are coming at you from a librarian, not a reviewer. You won't find me talking about style or craft, why I think this could've been better or what worked or didn't work. I only do book talks on books I liked and want other people to know about. So if it's here I probably think it won't injure your brain if you read it.

Breezy doesn't remember dying, she only knows that a man dug up her shallow grave, and when he touched her dead wrist to pull her body from the ground, she knew instantly that he was a killer. Death has given her a gift - the ability to know with a touch whether someone else has taken life. It's an odd talent for someone who doesn't know they died themselves... even if there is a dark pattern of bruises around her neck that won't fade.

Breezy can't die - she's tried. She's got a list of the different methods she's put herself through after being pulled from the dirt, only to discover that forgetting death might be easy - finding it again is going to be complicated. Her search for answers leads her to other beings like herself, monsters hiding in plain sight, their human form disguising what they really are.

But monsters aren't the scariest thing the real world has to offer. A group of people know they exist, and will stop at nothing to eliminate their kind. Breezy's new gift teaches her quickly that the difference between the good guys and the bad guys isn't always obvious, and that the word monster can apply to just about anyone.

a Rafflecopter giveaway



WRITER….The Musical!

  Posted by mlebleek in Bleeker Street, 08 October 2015 · 26 views

When my kids are being really loud in the car, maybe bickering or just being intentionally obnoxious, I make them listen to my music instead of more kid friendly entertainment I usually suffer through. Sometimes when they have kindled my wrath I just flick on the radio but usually we listen to musicals. For the past few weeks we’ve been listening to WICKED. And because my kids have been particularly ornery recently, we’ve been listening to A LOT of WICKED.

As I’ve listened to this score approximately a bazillion times I realized something—the story of WICKED could easily be rearranged to tell the story of a writer. With just a few title changes and TONS of imagination this classic musical has transformed, in my mind, into a new musical.

Please bear with me as I take you through my new and not really improved (just different) musical: WRITER.

*No One Mourns the Writer (No One Mourns the Wicked)

How does everyone’s writing dreams start? With a love for writing—for creating. But even before you put pen to paper or fingertips to keys, there are always those naysayers who try to tell you that writing is not a good career—that you’ll never make it—that you aren’t good enough. (Yes, I messed with some of the lyrics of these songs)

Yes, goodness knows,

writers’ lives are lonely.

And goodness knows,

Writers cry alone.

Nothing is easy for the writer,

They reap only what they’ve sown.

My Agent and I (The Wizard and I)

At some point, you realized that you might have a talent for writing. This song is about fantasizing about following your dream (and succeeding).

Did that really just happen?

Have I actually understood?

This weird quirk I’ve tried

To suppress or hide

Is a talent that could

Help me get an Agent

If I make good

So I’ll make good

When I get an agent,

Once I prove my worth,

And then I’ll get an agent

What I’ve waited for since,

Since birth!

And with all his agent-y wisdom,

By my looks, he won’t be blinded

Do you think the agent is dumb?

Or, like teenagers, so small-minded?


He’ll say to me,

“I see who you truly are –

A girl on whom I can rely!”

And that’s how we’ll begin

My agent and I:

Once I’m with an agent

My whole life will change

‘Cuz once you’re with an agent

No one thinks you’re strange!

No father is not proud of you,

No sister acts ashamed

Everyone has to love you

When by an agent, you’re acclaimed

And this gift or this curse

I have inside

Maybe at last, I’ll know why

When we are hand in hand –

My agent and I!

Dancing through a Draft (Dancing Through Life)

Writing your first draft– the fun, the euphoria, the overwhelming feeling that you have this whole thing figured out.

Dancing through a draft

Skimming the surface

Gliding where the plot is smooth

The story’s more painless

For the brainless

Why think too hard?

When it’s so soothing

Dancing through a draft

No need to tough it

When you can sluff it off as I do

Nothing matters

But knowing nothing matters

It’s just draft

So keep dancing through…

What Is This Feeling

Reading that first draft and realizing…you just might be a fraud.

What is this feeling,

So sudden and new?

I felt the moment

I laid eyes on you.

My pulse is rushing,

My head is reeling,

My face is flushing.

What is this feeling?

Fervid as a flame,

Does it have a name?



Unadulterated loathing.

For your plot,

Your voice,

Your prosing.

Let’s just say – I loathe it all!

Every little error however small

Makes my very flesh begin to crawl

With simple utter loathing.

There’s a strange exhilaration

In such total detestation

It’s so pure, so strong.

Though I do admit it came on fast,

Still I do believe that it can last.

And I will be loathing, loathing you

My whole life long!


Finding your perfect critique group.


You’re gonna be popular!

I’ll teach you the proper ways

To give advice and praise

Little ways to tweak your prose

I’ll show you what websites to visit

How to write your kisses

All my secrets I’ll disclose

To be popular!

I’ll help you be popular!

You’ll hang with the right cohorts

You’ll get lots of support

Know the slang you’ve got to know

So let’s start

‘Cause you’ve got an awfully long way to go…

Don’t be offended by my frank analysis

Think of it as manuscript dialysis

Now that I’ve chosen to become a pal, a sis-

Ter and adviser

There’s nobody wiser

Not when it comes to popular—

I know about popular

And with an assist from me

To be who you’ll be

Instead of dreary who-you-were… or are…

There’s nothing that can stop you

From becoming populer—lar…

Defying Gravity

Deciding it is time—you are going to put yourself out there and query. Can’t change too much in this song. It is perfect as is!

Something has changed within me

Something is not the same

I’m through with playing by the rules

Of someone else’s game

Too late for second-guessing

Too late to go back to sleep

It’s time to trust my instincts

Close my eyes and leap!

It’s time to try

Defying gravity

I think I’ll try

Defying gravity

And you can’t pull me down!

I’m through accepting limits

’cause someone says they’re so

Some things I cannot change

But till I try, I’ll never know!

Too long I’ve been afraid of

Losing love I guess I’ve lost

Well, if that’s love

It comes at much too high a cost!

I’d sooner buy

Defying gravity

Kiss me goodbye

I’m defying gravity

And you can’t pull me down

I’m Not That Girl

REJECTION. It is inevitable. You take that leap and put yourself out there and at some point you will face rejection.

Don’t dream too far

Don’t lose sight of who you are

Don’t remember that rush of joy

He could be that boy

I’m not that girl

Ev’ry so often we long to steal

To the land of what-might-have-been

But that doesn’t soften the ache we feel

When reality sets back in

Don’t wish, don’t start

Wishing only wounds the heart*

I wasn’t born for the rose and the pearl

There’s a girl I know

He loves her so

I’m not that girl…

*Love that line!

One Short Day

Writers’ conference!! It really is a little like taking a trip to the Emerald City.





















Finding someone who believes in you (agent, publisher or readers) and your story and finally reaching the dream of publication.


They called me “Wonderful”

So I said “Wonderful” – if you insist

I will be “Wonderful”

And they said “Wonderful”

Believe me, it’s hard to resist

‘Cause it feels wonderful

They think I’m wonderful

Hey, look who’s wonderful!

Thank Goodness

The surreal feeling when you finally reach your goal, you are published, and then life continues on and you realize that as wonderful as achieving your dreams is—it is not a destination.

That’s why I couldn’t be happier

No, I couldn’t be happier

Though it is, I admit

The tiniest bit

Unlike I anticipated

But I couldn’t be happier

Simply couldn’t be happier

(spoken) Well – not “simply”:

(sung) ‘Cause getting your dreams

It’s strange, but it seems

A little – well – complicated

There’s a kind of a sort of : cost

There’s a couple of things get: lost

There are bridges you cross

You didn’t know you crossed

Until you’ve crossed

And if that joy, that thrill

Doesn’t thrill you like you think it will

Still –

With this perfect finale

The cheers in the valley, who


Wouldn’t be happier?

So I couldn’t be happier

Because happy is what happens

When all your dreams come true

Well, isn’t it?

Happy is what happens

When your dreams come true!

No Good Deed

There are always critics! Even with all the ups there are also downs in this job. Between struggling sales, bad reviews or less than favorable blog posts—sometimes it feels like all your hard work is for nothing.

No good deed goes unpunished

No act of creativity goes unresented

No good deed goes unpunished

That’s my new creed

My road of good intentions

Led where such roads always lead

No good deed

Goes unpunished!

For Good

In the end—it is all worth it. All the hard work, the ups and downs, the wonderful relationships you build through the process of writing a book—it is all For Good.

I’ve heard it said,

That people come into our lives

For a reason

Bringing something we must learn.

And we are led to those

Who help us most to grow if we let them.

And we help them in return.

Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true

But I know I’m who I am today

Because I knew you.

Like a comet pulled from orbit

As it passes a sun,

Like a stream that meets a boulder

Halfway through the wood.

Who can say if I’ve been changed for the better

But because I knew you.

I have been changed for good.

So–did you enjoy my new musical? It might not be the next Broadway hit, but I sure had fun thinking through those songs while forcing my kids to listen to my music. Hope you enjoyed it too. Any songs that represent how you feel about writing? Let me know in the comments!



The Final Chapter for From the Write Angle

  Posted by Jemi in Just Jemi, 05 October 2015 · 54 views

If you haven't heard yet, my friends and I over at From the Write Angle are lowering the curtain over at our blog. It was a tough decision, but it's time. We've all gotten busy, busy, busy, and we're not able to commit to the time needed to keep the blog strong. If you haven't read the final post, it's a good one, and in the comments many of our contributors are doing updates about then/now.

From the Write Angle started in 2011. In some ways, it seems eons ago, in others, only a heartbeat or two.

It's natural to look back and to look ahead during a time like this. I haven't sent out a single query or published a single book in that time. I know to some that would seem inconceivable, but it's true. So, what have I been doing? Working on my craft. I'm a hands-on learner, so I've been writing and trying and learning. And improving.

While I may not have my stories out in the real world yet, I'm SO much closer to having a product I'll be proud to share.

My buddies over at From the Write Angle are a large part of that. So many talented writers who are so willing to share and help out others! I've already bought and read at least a dozen books by my fellow FTWAers and I'm looking forward to many more.

It's been a very good ride at FTWA, and I'll miss the regular contact with my colleagues and my new blogger buddies, but I know we'll all keep in touch.

Have you been part of a group blog? It's such a great way to grow and learn and share! 



Interview with Audiobook Narrator Cris Dukehart

  Posted by Jean Oram in The Love Bug Blog, 04 October 2015 · 37 views

Who is the voice behind the audiobook version of Champagne and Lemon Drops? Cris Dukehart!

She graciously allowed me to interview her and here’s the behind-the-scenes scoop on narrating an audiobook as well as what it was like immersing herself in Blueberry Springs as she recorded Champagne and Lemon Drops.

Cris Dukehart

Who was your favourite Blueberry Springs character?

EEEP! That’s so HARD! What is that saying? That picking a favorite character is like picking a favorite child?

CrisDukehartHeadshotNOW… if you had asked my favorite character to VOICE… that one’s a little easier. Ever since I was cast, in 4th grade, as one of Cinderella’s evil stepsisters and after a brief but VERY dramatic period of grieving and lamentation at NOT being cast as the sweetly chirping, lovely (BLONDE!) heroine, realized how much more FUN it was to PLAY BAD… to rip a dress to shreds without consequence (EVEN TO CHEERS)… to walk with an exaggerated hip sway and nasty sneer (knowing that after the show Cinderella was coming over to spend the night)… to give mean looks and be applauded for them rather than promptly deposited in time out… I have, more oft than not, positively celebrated the antagonist.

It follows then, that my favorite characters to voice (so far) in Blueberry Springs are Mandy, our gal Beth’s perceived nemesis and Oz’s mother, Angelica.


Do voices just ‘come to you’ when you are preparing to narrate or is there research you find you need to do?

Oz_ChampagneandLemondrops2Both, sort of. Part of my process as a narrator is to “pre-read” the story. I’m not really reading for content in those first moments, but rather for clues to voice and character… I’m sort of researching within the story itself. I gather and horde, like some hobbitty thing, any and all textual hints from the author, scribbling each character in a note pad as well as their history, appearance, habits and traits. And then, when I have a chance, I pick the author’s noggin. 😉

If a character has a lisp or chews gum… is bold or hesitant… has a back story that will sound in their voice or is, in Mary Alice’s case, the wonderful sage-like busybody everyone adores… these things are as integral to me in developing a character’s voice as the actual textual clues of timbre and tone and depth.

Accents, particularly those of places I have yet to travel to, often find me youtubing, or calling hotels and libraries in the area (if it isn’t a fictional location) and even, in some cases, enlisting the assistance of one of a few websites designed for dialects of the English language, or a dialect coach.


Briefly, what is the process of recording an audiobook? I know you do a read through of the book before you start. What sort of notes do you make for yourself to help along the process of recording the book?

Oz_ChampagneandLemondrops3Yes, there’s the pre-read where I make notes on characters and voices as well as any words or concepts I am unfamiliar with…

Then I set up my gear (audiobooks require different recording settings than say… commercial audio… due to the varied tones, and volumes and voices required in an audiobook…)

I go put the tea kettle on for my “Throat Coat” tea (I sip it through the read to help with voice fatigue), grab a Granny Smith apple from the fridge (a small nibble helps with mouth smackiness and icky noisy sounds that my lips, teeth, and gums make… noises I was, prior to spending long hours talking into an extremely sensitive microphone, blissfully unaware I made but that I am now HYPER sensitive to… BLE-ARG) … put on my “quiet clothes” if I am not already wearing them (it is ASTOUNDING how LOUD some shirts are and jewelry… FORGET IT!) and hole up in my little padded room to talk to myself for a few hours. (*giggle*snort*)


How long does it take to create a 9 hour audiobook?

ChampagneLemondrops518KIt typically takes me a ratio of 2:1 to record… give or take a bit… so for every 1 hour of audio, equates to 2 hours in the booth, accounting for stumbles and voice cracks, stomach grumblings, small children howling “MOOOOOM, I NEED…”(well… you name it… when I get in my booth, they need it), and any other myriad noises that interrupt recording.

After I record, there is a whole process of audio magic that happens, where the audio is reviewed, edited, mistakes are caught, I re-record the mistakes and then there is “mastering” and quality control… all of it, I would estimate, adds up to somewhere between 5-7 hours/1hour of finished audio.

So… if my math is correct (and it should be because I am using a calculator (giggle*snort*), that’s about 63 hours for a nine hour audiobook.


Do you keep a file of the ‘samples’ of the different book voices? How do you remember what everyone sounds like?

I do keep voice files, though I didn’t (even though it was recommended by any number of experienced narrators) always. One time of having to go back and listen to 18 HOURS of a story, with notepad in hand, in order to “remember” characters in a first book… for a sequel, cured me of THAT SILLINESS!

Oz_ChampagneandLemondrops4Now, for each book, I make short recordings of each character saying their name as well as speaking a few lines so if and when a sequel happens, I can refer to the files rather than listening to 18 hours before recording.

As for remembering voices while recording… generally when I’m recording, the story plays out in my head as it might on a screen (I just happen to be all of the characters)… snort… THAT sounds like ALL SORTS of work related psychosis, doesn’t it? (laughing)… Like my friends down the street, my sisters, or my children, the characters in the book I’m narrating typically talk all day in my head… like they do for an author I think. They, and the author, provide a running dialog that is sometimes so real to me that upon exiting the “dead quiet” isolation of my booth I am astounded to find that I am still in my little post-it note cottage in rural Pennsylvania and not in coastal France, or Canada, Texas, some as yet undiscovered planet or world or ANYWHERE, USA.


Did you have a man you were rooting for—Oz or Nash—in the story?

Oz_ChampagneandLemondrops1Which chapter? Or even… which page?

(ACK! I am SUCH a fickle fanny!)

For much of the book, I was Team OZ…

I am all about redemption… OH and HANDS!!!

You can tell a world… an absolute WORLD… about a fellow from his hands… and I loved the references to Oz’s.

But… Well… that Paris vacation with Nash… what gal DOESN’T like a little “je ne sais quoi”?

A little “sweep me away” romance?

Plus and also too, I really believe that when a door appears to close, it is only to allow another, more suitable, more DESIRABLE one to open. I really LIKED Nash but… well… he was never really SUITED for our gal Beth… not really.

That door, for him is closed… but… well… there is someone for him though… I feel certain. 😉 (and SQUEEEE if I get to narrate their STORY!!!!)


What did you like most about Beth?

Oz_ChampagneandLemondrops5Beth was REAL.

If she was conflicted, she didn’t pretend otherwise… she invited us into her conflict and perhaps even LARGER… into her resolution process… and she made no excuses for either. It was refreshing and, I felt, inspiring.

In addition, Beth and I share a love of the happily ever after… the fairytale. And I absolutely appreciated that when Beth’s fairytale turned on its end… after consideration and a little fumbling about, she rewrote it to suit.


Thanks so much for inviting me to your blog… and to Blueberry Springs.

Take a listen to Cris Dukehart narrating Champagne and Lemon Drops!

Listen to the entire book:

Amazon US
Amazon UK


Psst! Not an Audible member? You can get the first book free when you sign up for a free trial membership.

Not your speed but still want big savings? Snag the ebook on Amazon, THEN upgrade to audio for only a few dollars more! The two are Whispersynced–read and listen and your devices will remembered where you left off!


Loved it? Leave a review! Both Cris and I love getting online reviews on our work–it really helps us out. Thank you!

The post Interview with Audiobook Narrator Cris Dukehart appeared first on Jean Oram.



IN THE SHADOW is here!

  Posted by Joe Stephens in My Train of Thought, 02 October 2015 · 39 views

Charlie Gesell's amazing cover!
I hope you aren't getting sick of hearing about this because I'm not sick of writing about it. Fair warning: I probably won't be for a few weeks--or months! It's partly because this is a new book and the excitement of launching a new story out into the world and seeing how everyone likes it is thrilling. But it's also partly that I just feel really good about this book. I feel like I've come a long way as a writer since Harsh Prey. Not to say that wasn't a good book, but, as with any skill, thoe more you practice, the better you get. And also, I just really feel good about the new character of Jenn Bezaleel. I think she's going to add a dimension and layer to the storyline that just wasn't there before. I hope you agree.

So, in case you haven't picked up a copy yet, here are the four ways you can get one:

The back cover

If you want to order a paperback online, there are two choices. Either one will cost you approximately the same, but the first is the one I prefer you use for a very simple reason: economics. If you use Createspace, you're buying directly from the printer, which means I get a bigger slice of the pie. If you are used to Amazon or just don't want another account, then that works too. If your preference is an ebook, then Amazon is the place to go too. The link above takes you to the page that allows you to choose either format. You'll eventually be able to get them at the other online retailers, though that's not true quite yet. It takes a few days for that stuff to cycle out.

The author

The third way is to go to J & M's Used Books on Blizzard Drive in south Parkersburg. They always carry my books and will be glad to sell this, as well as the other two, to you at the same price. It's easy to find. As you're going up Blizzard toward South High School (from the KMart end), it's in the little plaza on the left, beside the antique store.

The fourth way is the most fun for me and that is to walk up to me and hand me $10 in exchange for a book. That's more fun for you too because you don't have to pay shipping for the handing-over process. Plus, we get to actually talk to each other and I can sign your book for you. There's no link to click and not account to set up. It's just money-book-sign-smile-talk-laugh-bye! Of course, you can have me sign it if you buy the paperback online or from J & M's too, but in that case, you bring the book and hand it to me. I don't hand you money. That would be counterproductive. If you don't see me regularly, then mark October 17 on your calendar. I will be doing a reading and/or signing somewhere in the greater Mid-Ohio Valley area sometime that day. I promise I'll give you more information than that soon.

And once you finish this one, it's just another month or so before more Shalan fun appears in your inbox (assuming you're on my mailing list) with the prequel novella, "Harry and the Redheaded Angel."  It's the perfect way to usher in the holiday season. And speaking of holidays, have you thought about how all three parts of the Shalan trilogy would make an amazing Christmas present? I hope you'll consider it.



Books I Read: September 2015

  Posted by Mia K Rose in Mia K Rose | Forsaken Illusion, 02 October 2015 · 16 views

In total, I managed to read eleven (11) books in the month of September this year. I’m only including the ones I finished reading during that month, and not ones I may have started. One paperback, two hardbacks, and the remaining were on Kindle. Seven YA, 2 MG and 2 Adult (though I’m sure some […]




Posted by Quiana Kyles in The Silent Whispers Movement, 02 October 2015 · 162 views

Hello, all 2,241 viewers! I, just stepped out of the creative lab just to give you guys a heads up as to what's been going on in my world of creative expression!

I'm, just so excited with this news! I, currently have a crowdfunding crusade running to generate money for the production of the film "His Voice, His Movement".....Ok, we'll without taking you way back to the stone age I'll just give you the mini version of how this all got started...Logically, everybody knows that the Jackson dynasty started in the Mid-west! Yet, there has never been a tribute to the legacy of MJ and how he influence those within the windy-city. Through, this creative film I will honor that legacy. The, following will be some information on your contribution and how your efforts would be valued..

DARE II DREAM levels consists of 6 and at each level your contribution varies and so does the perks you get! From A mere heartfelt thank you in cyberspace to a t-shirt and keepsake with film logos on it rest assure your input is warranted....
Here, is the link to get more background info on the film and dream cast!http:/Attached Image /igg.me/at/HIS-VOICE-HIS-MOVE-CHI16

Anyone, who has ever dreamed bigger then your current surroundings listen up! Your, dreams matter and you've got what it takes to ignore those people who don't support your purpose for your life.....Stay, the course and the dream will soon become a reality!

See, you at the box office!


Hidden Voices: How Being a Teen in the At-Risk School System Almost Silenced Me

  Posted by SC_Author in SC Write--Writing, Publishing, and Harry Potter, 30 September 2015 · 51 views

We've got another #WriteInclusively guest post. It's incredible. Buckle down, you all. Take it away, Kara.
Education is important. We spent a good amount of our lives in some type of school or class and then still learn long after we’ve grasped that shiny diploma and thrown our cap in the air. We learn not just about math, science, art, and history, but also social interaction, self-image, and confidence. We are held to standards (whether that be getting A’s, behaving in class, or getting on the basketball team) and expectations (going to college, graduating with honors, getting that scholarship) that can shape the way we think and we feel.

I went to a high school for at-risk kids.

There were a lot of us thrown in there by the public school systems that didn’t want to take the time or the effort to help us through whatever problem we were having. There were a lot of problems. Many kids grew up in bad families, in bad neighborhoods, in gangs. Others were children of illegal immigrants or young, single mothers who lived under the poverty level or were even drug addicts. Some of us, like me, had autism or other “emotional and/or behavioral disturbances” and the public school system decided that it would be easier to send them away than tailor to their special needs. We were a potpourri of different races, genders, sexualities, backgrounds. You name it.

The school system didn’t want to deal with us; honestly, they probably didn’t have the budget to. But neither did the at-risk system we went into. It’s advertised by concerned social workers as a place where you can be accommodated to your needs; in reality, we all were blurred together. To them, our problems were all the same, our stories were all similar, and our voices all didn’t matter.

Many of our voices were silenced in that school.

In a normal high school, you probably expect the textbooks to be up-to-date, the classes to be adequately challenging, and the teachers to have a degree in their area of expertise. We didn’t have that. Our textbooks (if we had them) were fifteen years old, the classes were dumbed down to the point where I was learning fifth grade level English and Math in twelve grade, and our teachers only had special education degrees and no outside education on the subjects they taught. As I quickly found out, those teachers could get nasty if you happened to know more on a subject than they did. I was personally removed from class, mocked by teachers, and set up by myself because I corrected my teachers when their facts on government, or literature, or even math, my worst subject, were wrong. When I asked my counselor at the school why my teachers seemed to hate me, she said: “It’s not that they hate you; you just intimidate them. You’re smarter than them and they don’t like it. That’s not how it’s supposed to work here.”

But, while that was a factor in our silent voices, you may be surprised to know that it wasn’t the main reason for the silence.

There was a terrible secret about that school all of us students knew: You were expected to fail. In a normal school, if you hit below a certain level of grades, you might be put on academic probation, you might be talked to by a counselor. In this school, none of the above happened. No one cared. The main mindset was that we were a group of future dropouts, criminals, and leeches on society that they had to watch. We weren’t going to go anywhere.

When we filed into school, going through a security system similar to the ones you’d find at an airport, they didn’t see us as human students. They saw us as statistics. They saw the black criminal and the white drug addict. They saw the violent teenage boy and the emotional teenage girl. They saw the pregnant whore and the gangbanger father. The illegal immigrant and the child of a family that couldn’t afford the cat-food they called lunch. And slowly, we began to conform to those statistics. Because when someone says you’re broken, or stupid, or dangerous, or irredeemable enough times, you begin to believe it. Slowly, we were molded into the mindset they had for us. Our voices, once loud, were getting softer and softer.

We were told not to expect college. We were pressured to attempt workshops that specialized in getting us “experience” that had many of us working half the school day at odd jobs for no pay instead of attending classes we “didn’t need”. Behind our backs the teachers and aides would make comments on the kids; how they would never go anywhere. They would mock the turbulent relationships the students formed with each other. We were compared to dogs doing tricks for treats when we behaved.

The environment of belittlement and negativity that surrounds at-risk children is dangerous. It cuts off many voices that don’t fit the White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Heterosexual Rich Male ideal. It makes us, the victims, feel like our stories are not important because why would anyone want to listen to us if we are just going to fail? Many of us internalize the negativity until we truly believe our stories are not worth anything.

But they are.

We were a diverse, living, feeling group of teenagers whose stories were shocking, terrifying, and maybe even heartwarming. There are thousands of us in your towns and cities whose experiences are as different as snowflakes and like snowflakes, are looked over when spread apart, but unable to ignore when banded together.

This problem goes deeper than schools and teachers, it goes deeper than report cards and minimum wage jobs; it goes deep into the norms and constructs of our society where a single role and stereotype is held as the be-all, end-all. These social constructs that teach us that because we are from problem backgrounds we are unclean, unwanted, and undeserving feed into an endless cycle that perpetuates the feelings of inadequacy and our often violent lives.

Look closer at us and you’ll see that the “black criminal” is actually incredibly smart and wants to be an engineer, the “white drug addict” has abusive parents and trust issues that he covers up with weed and pills, the “violent teenage boy” was terrified because he was about to leave the school he’d come to rely on, the “emotional teenage girl” had autism and could write wonders onto a page, and the “pregnant whore” resolved to be a better mother than her own while the “gangbanger father” that impregnated her was risking his life to escape his gang and take care of his new family.

Before we learn to #WriteInclusively, we must also learn to #ThinkInclusively about others and ourselves. We must not negate the importance of our own stories or fall prey to a society that waves away uncomfortable, unsettling viewpoints as “something we don’t talk about.” We must learn to see the worth in every story. Especially those that tend to go unheard. Many of the voices from my school are silent now; I don’t know what happened to the kids I’ve been around for so long. Honestly, I don’t think their stories are any brighter than mine is. But right now, I’m the one talking. That needs to change. We need to realize that everyone’s voice deserves to be heard, whatever the expectations put in place. Those expectations must always be defied.

Kara Barbieri is a nineteen-year-old graduate from the Illinois at-risk school system and a Sociology major at her local community college. She is currently seeking representation and enjoys writing about kickass pirate queens, huntresses, and other diverse, complex women. She has Autism, likes goats, and can write wonders onto pages. She can be found on twitter at @Kara_Barbieri.

Kara is one of my close friends, an incredible person. I'm so so happy to have her on this blog. THANK YOU so much for sharing your story.

Everyone: PLEASE comment and discuss. Share this on Twitter. Thank/talk to her on Twitter. Be sure to engage and discuss, that is one of #WriteInclusively's main goals. What did you think?

If you want to get more involved with the Write Inclusively campaign and be up-to-date with it, sign up for the newsletter. We do not email much - in the last 10 months, only two emails have gone out.




The Final Chapter

  Posted by From The Write Angle in From The Write Angle Blog, 29 September 2015 · 45 views

by all of us

It is not with sadness, but melancholy, that we at From The Write Angle announce we are disbanding, inter-marrying and moving into condominiums.

Wait, that was Doonesbury.

We have only been the imaginings of an autistic boy looking into a snow globe. … No, that was St.Elsewhere.

The war is over – nope, M*A*S*H.

We can’t continue because we’ve been jailed for criminal indifference.  We haven’t, that was the characters of Seinfeld, but maybe we should all do a little time for that offense.

What we’re trying to say is, we are moving on.

From The Write Angle began in 2011 on the premise that we are often best helped, not by those who have reached the top of the climb, but by our peers just a rung or two ahead of us. As a collection of writers at different levels on the ladder, we offered our thoughts from our point of view, our angle.

But our angles have changed. Each of us has kept to our own climb, which now takes us away from this blog.

For our readers who have journeyed with us, thank you. We hope we have helped. For those who have just found us, we leave behind these articles not as sage advice, but just clues, hints, of how we got where you are now, with the hope that they will guide you toward a better tomorrow.

And we wish that your success will one day inspire others.

In the comments of this post each of the contributors to From The Write Angle, past and present, will write a little something about where they were when they joined us, and where they are now. After that, the automatic lights will go out. This blog will be dark.

But as soon as someone walks through the door, the lights will click on.

If you are a budding writer who has stumbled on this anew, please keep posting comments. We’ll be listening. 



October Events

  Posted by Deb Borys in Debra R. Borys, 23 September 2015 · 43 views

I can’t believe October is almost here, but I’m loving this fall weather. If I can just pretend winter snows and cold aren’t right behind autumn, I can be a happy camper. I’m also happy about a couple of events … Continue reading



Extraction and Rebellion E-Books On Sale for $2.99 - Spread the Word to Win Prizes!

  Posted by Stephanie Diaz in Stephanie Diaz, 21 September 2015 · 64 views

Hey guys!! I'm resurrecting this blog to make a very special announcement...

As you may have already heard, Evolution, the third and final book in the Extraction series, went on sale on September 8th! The series is officially complete! You can buy your copy of Evolution on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple iBooks, Book Depository, or at your local indie!

To celebrate Evolution's release, my publisher has put the first two books in the series -- Extraction and Rebellion -- on sale for only $2.99 each for all e-book formats! This sale will only last for a limited time, so snatch up your copy now! ***And read on to find out how to win prizes by spreading the word!***

Buy Extraction for only $2.99:

Buy Rebellion for only $2.99:

Because I am super grateful for you guys for all you've done for me, I've decided to launch a special giveaway to coincide with the e-book sale. Help me spread the word about the sale on social media and you will be entered to win:

- (1) signed hardcover copy of Evolution,
annotated with behind-the-scenes facts and series secrets (limited edition!)
- (1) limited edition LEGO Clementine model
- (1) limited edition LEGO Logan model
- signed swag

This contest is open internationally. How do you enter to win? There are several ways (Which means you can earn more than one entry! But no more than 1 entry per option):

On Instagram:
Post the Extraction series e-book sale picture (see above), link to my Instagram account @StephanieEDiaz, and tag it #BookBargain.

Alternately, you can re-gram my Instagram post from here.

On Tumblr:
Reblog my tumblr post from here.

On Twitter:
Tweet the following message: DEAL ALERT! Grab e-books of 's EXTRACTION and REBELLION for only $2.99 each for a limited time! 

Alternately, you can retweet my twitter post from here.

On Facebook:
Post the Extraction series e-book sale picture on this page, link to either this website or one of the books, and tag it #BookBargain.

Alternately, you can share my facebook post from here.

The book sale will last for one month, but I will be selecting one winner for the giveaway on Monday, October 5th to receive the grand prize. Again, this contest is open to everyone, whether you live in the U.S. or otherwise. Thank you so much for helping me spread the word!



THE MIRRORMASTERS Has Found a Publishing Home!

  Posted by Lora Palmer in Lora Palmer's Blog, 18 September 2015 · 69 views

I'm so excited to announce that I have signed the contract with Clean Reads (formerly Astraea Press) for my debut novel, THE MIRRORMASTERS! Clean Reads publishes books free of profanity, graphic violence, or explicit intimacy--a mission I'm proud to become part of. More details will be forthcoming, but the release will be ebook first. 

It's been quite a journey to reach this point! Over the past few years on and off, I queried MIRRORMASTERS. A couple years back, I submitted to Astraea Press following a full request from a Savvy Authors pitch opportunity. It didn't work out at that time, but I kept querying, revising, getting feedback from beta readers, more revising, and more querying. And then, following #pit2pub in July, two of my pitches were favorited by Stephanie Taylor, owner and Editor-In-Chief of Clean Reads, and my full manuscript was requested. After doing a little dance of joy, I submitted again, noting that I'd made substantial revisions since my previous submission, and a few weeks later, I woke up to a lovely email that included a contract!

Thank you to everyone at Novelty Fiction, AQC, QueryTracker, WriteOnCon, and everyone who has generously offered their time and feedback, and knowledge of the publishing industry!  You've all been so wonderful, supportive, and a tremendous help! 



Cover Reveal for DARKEST DAWN

  Posted by Michelle4Laughs in Michelle4Laughs: It's in the Details, 11 September 2015 · 36 views

I am super excited to share the amazing cover for DARKEST DAWN, the first book in a new series by Author Katlyn Duncan. DARKEST DAWN releases next week on September 17th and is available to pre-order now!

In addition to the reveal of this gorgeous cover, the reveal includes an eBook giveaway for one of the author’s previously released titles. Be sure to head down to the Rafflecopter for a chance to win after you’ve checked out the cover!

The Cover Revealed!

Author: Katlyn Duncan
Release date: September 17, 2015
Publisher: Carina
Format: eBook


One desperate journey for the truth

Returning to Willows Lake eleven years after her mother’s tragic death, Sloane Baker knows she will finally get the answers she needs! She always suspected that there was something more sinister at the heart of the accident that claimed her mother’s life, but a cryptic note could be the key to her past…

Two lives changed forever

The small town has always seemed safe to Brianna Taylor – until a mysterious new girl arrives who looks exactly like Bri! Now everything Bri knew has been thrown into question and Sloane’s arrival has changed the world of Willows Lake forever.

Strange things are happening in Willows Lake. But when they turn deadly, Bri and Sloane must find a way to save each other or risk losing everything they hold dear…

Pre-order it:



About Katlyn Duncan


Katlyn Duncan was born and raised in a small town in western Massachusetts. Her overactive imagination involved invisible friends, wanting to be a Disney Princess and making up her own stories. Her bibliophile mom always encouraged her love of reading and that stayed with her since. Even though she works full time in the medical field Katlyn has always made time for books, whether she is reading or writing them.

Katlyn now lives in southern Connecticut with her husband and adorable Wheaten Terrier and she is thrilled to finally share her stories with the world.

Find her:


The Giveaway

There is a blast-wide giveaway for...

  • ONE (1) eBook copy of any one of the author’s backlist titles in Mobi or PDF format.

**Giveaway ends on September 17th at 8:00 AM Eastern. There will be ONE winner**

Enter in the Rafflecopter below...

a Rafflecopter giveaway



New...Well, everything.

Posted by DebsBlueRoses in Ramblings and Hand Cramps, 10 September 2015 · 68 views

Well, it's been 3 years and 2 months since I've posted in this blog! That's because, obviously, I had a blog which I linked, and I still do. BUT, it's under a new name and link, which I've connected here.

Also, if you are still following this blog (bless you) and haven't clicked over to what is now The Write Mage at Blogger, I was published at the beginning of this year by Cactus Heart Press! It was a great way to start my year, and I hope it's only the beginning. :smile:

I also have a new pen name, which, as it's the one I was born with, I plan on keeping, and that is Debra Renée. I no longer felt McKellan fit me, though I still love the series from which I borrowed it. My new non-pen also is who I am, and while I will always feel like Deborah is the name of an 80-year-old woman, I am happily embracing it. :wub:

Oh! And right now, I'm doing Pitmad, and I have two favorites on my MS I've been working on since before I joined AQC, and I must thank the people here, because I knew nothing of the ins and outs after you write "The End" for the first time until I came here.


Southern Cargo Packers and Movers in Airoli

Posted by southernmovers in southernmovers' Blog, 14 August 2015 · 171 views
Packers and Movers in Airoli and 1 more...

Packers and Movers in Airoli Navi Mumbai
Packers and Movers in Airoli
Expert packers as well as movers India primarily based businesses have focused team associated with specialists that has diligent individuals, specialist packers & movers, trained owners, along with dispatchers. Consequently it is certain that having a appropriate moving company inside India you'll have a safe and sound and also content new house purchase practical knowledge due to the fact your own things end up being managed carefully in addition to transferred to your new place safely in time.
For more info visit us at Southern Cargo Packers and Movers

Attached Thumbnails

  • Attached Image


Author Interview at Books and Ladders Blog

  Posted by LucidDreamer in LucidDreamer's Blog, 10 August 2015 · 80 views

Thanks to Jamie at Books and Ladders blog for this interview! http://booksandladders.blogspot.com/2015/08/author-interview-vicki-weavil.html    



mulberry messenger bags may be together

Posted by gamomu sewas in Luxury Trends, 07 August 2015 · 86 views

Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart Didn Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart were rumored to have secretly confirmed they were a couple mulberry briefcases sale to Oprah but it looks like this may have just been another rumor.
On Wednesday, Pattinson and Stewart representatives were suppose to have confirmed and validified the duo as being in a relationship to http://www.mulberrybagsale.com/ Oprah or soE! Online reported.
However, the problem is that now other sources show that Gossip Cop has mulberry tote sale done it own research on the issue and found that nope, there were no mysterious off camera reps confirming anything to anyone.
Gossip Cop cited the contradiction between a statement Kristen Stewart made earlier this week to mulberry clutch Elle magazine where she said, would never cheapen my relationships by talking about them, Mulberry Bags Outletand the supposed confirmation that she was with Robert Pattinson.
Futhermore, Gossip Cop stated: mulberry messenger bags may be together, but one thingGossip Cop Mulberry Bag Saleknows for a fact " after spending a good part of the day working on this " is that NO reps ever confirmed it to Oprah.
That scenario never happened, and when asked mulberry satchel outlet whether Oprah got the scoop offcamera because she simply had to know, a rep for the talk Mulberry Bagshow queen tells Gossip Cop its not true. They really don need to explain anything to any of us but I still like to know.


Mom's Favorite Bread and Rolls Recipe

Posted by BakingMom1234 in BakingMom1234's Blog, 28 July 2015 · 70 views
Bread, Rolls, Moms, Hot Bread and 3 more...

Mom's Favorite Bread and Rolls Recipe My mother made this recipe for many years for our family when we had a holiday or special meal. This is my favorite recipe for rolls or bread.

5-6 cups White Lily or King Arthur Flour
2 pkg Yeast
½ cup Sugar
1 ½ tsp Salt
1 stick Margarine, melted
1 ½ cups hot tap water (110 degrees F)
2 Eggs
Cooking Oil
Combine 2 cups of flour, yeast, sugar and salt in large mixing bowl. Stir well and add butter. Add hot tap water and beat with paddle attachment approximately 2 minutes. Add eggs and 1 more cup of flour. Beat on high speed until thick and elastic (about 1 minute). Change over to bread hook and add enough remaining flour to make dough that leaves the side of the bowl.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead 5-10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and towel. Let rest for 20 minutes.
Punch down and shape into 2 ½ dozen rolls or bread loaf dipping in oil before placing into pan. Cover with plastic wrap and towel. At this point, you can refrigerate for 2-24 hours. If you are baking without refrigeration, let rise until double. After refrigeration, let rise until double.
Bake at 350 degrees F until done. Bread will sound hollow when done.


I'm a Southern Gal Living in the Deep South Mississippi

Posted by BakingMom1234 in BakingMom1234's Blog, 28 July 2015 · 168 views
Deep South, Live Oaks, Palm Trees and 4 more...

I Love Living in the South – I’m a Southern Gal

Why do I love living in the Deep South? In one word “atmosphere” is why I love living in the South. The atmosphere is unique and charming. The large Live Oak Trees are so beautiful with their sprawled out branches and welcome shade. Long flowing palm trees lined up and down the white sand beaches.
Flowers are blooming year round bringing color and beauty when winter dumps snow and ice in the north. Everyone waves at you even though they don’t know who you are. Good manners are how we do it with a smile. People are genuine in the deep south and do what they say they will do.
Sweet Tea – – Speaking of sweet tea, this quintessentially Southern drink is made by brewing tea, adding lots of sugar, and serving it over ice, lots of ice. I like my tea with lemon.
Southern women are strong and high spirited. Southern women really are magnificent creatures, and I am certainly proud to be one. Southern Women are brought up with a very strict code of conduct and natural manners. We are polite, respectful, intelligent, loving, kind, generous and delicate.
“Y’all” is soft and inclusive and oh-so-lovely when uttered in a slow Southern drawl. It’s a linguistic gem that Southerners sprinkle into pretty much every conversation. Darling is a word that is long and drawn out and so nice to hear.
What I love most about the Deep South is cooking the Deep South way. I have collections of my mother and grandmothers favorite and famous recipes. We just know how to cook. We are experts at frying chicken golden crispy and dripping with Crisco or Lard. Rich pies with fresh blackberries or sweet strawberries from the vine in a delicious Crisco pie crust topped with fresh dairy whipped cream and Blue Bell Vanilla Ice Cream. Jams, Jellies and marmalade canned to perfection ready to spread on made from scratch fluffy hot from the oven buttermilk biscuits. Fluffy dumplings with chicken and a side of garden green beans cooked with ham hock. We are experts cooking up a meal of kale greens with fried pork chops and homemade apple sauce with a side of hot from the oven corn bread.
But, I also love to eat at the local restaurants that serve Fried chicken, Biscuits and gravy, Shrimp and grits are one of my favorites, Pulled pork, Cornbread, Brisket, Mac and cheese, Catfish Po boys, Beans and Rice, Moon Pies, Boiled Peanuts, fresh Gulf Shrimp, Fish and $5 a dozen Oysters, Sweet Potatoes and Sweet Potato Fries. You can have a cookout and bonfire on the beach or a wedding.
Farmer’s Markets are open year round selling all types of Plants, Bakery goodies, Local Honey, Vegetables, Fruits, Pralines and Sweet Potatoes.
Summer in the South is like living in a sauna, which means you don’t need any expensive spa treatments to clear your pores. Your skin never gets dry, which helps stave off wrinkles. Once you wipe off the thick layer of sweat, you’re met with the most lovely, glowing skin you’ll ever see in your life.
The Deep South grows on you and before you know it, you are in love with the easy going Southern life.

Attached Image
Attached Image
Attached Image
Attached Image
Attached Image
Attached Image
Attached Image

Attached Thumbnails

  • Attached Image
  • Attached Image

  • 943 Total Blogs
  • 41,618 Total Entries
  • 715 Total Comments
  • George X Crowhurst's Blog Latest Blog
  • George X Crowhurst Latest Blogger

2 user(s) are online (in the past 15 minutes)

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

Bing (1)