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Monthly Archives: May 2013

Cover Reveal: “Antithesis” by Kacey Vanderkarr

Hey everyone!

I am so excited to reveal this latest cover reveal for Kacey Vanderkarr’s new book: Antithesis, courtesy of Inkspell Publishing. I know it will be a great read! The book comes out on July 21!

 

Blurb:

My name is Gavyn.

Liam doesn’t care that I only have one arm. He actually likes my red hair and freckles. I might forgive him for kidnapping me.Antithesis Cover

My name is Gavyn.

I lost my Liam. I’ve lost them all. And now it’s my job to make sure they don’t show up again.

My name is Gavyn.

I had a life with Liam, but he couldn’t give me what I need. Then I killed his father. I don’t expect he’ll forgive me for that.

My name is Gavyn.

 

About the author:

Kacey Vanderkarr is a young adult author. She dabbles in fantasy, romance, and sci-fi, complete with faeries, alternate realities, and the occasional plasma gun. She’s known to be annoyingly optimistic and listen to music at the highest decibel. When she’s not writing, she coaches winterguard and works as a sonographer. Kacey lives in Michigan, with her husband, son, crazy cats, and two bearded dragons. Visit http://www.kaceyvanderkarr.com for more information.

author

Twitter: @kacimari

Blog: www.kaceyvanderkarr.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kacey-Vanderkarr-Young-Adult-Author/128956043852072

 

 

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Posted by on May 20, 2013 in Cover Reveals

 

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Book Review: “Dwarf” by Tiffanie DiDonato & a Personal Reflection

Hate is a very strong word in the English language, and there are very few things that I hate in life. Peas are at the top of the list, but that’s another story for another time. But the one thing I hate the most is labeling.

I hate the word “midget.”

I hate the term “Little Person.”

And I hate the name “dwarf.”

As a girl born with achondroplasia, I refuse to define and segregate myself with that community and with those labels. I am merely a girl who is short.

Yet a couple of months ago, I browsed through the biography section at my local Barnes & Noble, and the word “Dwarf” caught my eye. I pulled it off the shelf, and after reading the back cover synopsis of Tiffanie DiDonato’s book Dwarf: A Memoir of How One Woman Fought for a Body and a Life She 13542771Was Never Supposed to Have, I knew I had to buy it, and I’m glad I did. I was meant to read this book not just because I could relate to her struggles growing up, but because people like Tiffanie serve as a positive role model for those who struggle to believe that life does get better in the long run with the concoctions of determination, patience, and tough love.

Tiffanie paints a very honest and detailed account of her life. She was born with a rare type of dwarfism called diastrophic displasia, which causes malformation of the joints and cartilage. As a young child, surgery became an integral part of Tiffanie’s life, beginning with her feet and joints in order to stand and then more bone-lengthening surgeries to extend her legs, thighs, and arms.

One can stupidly say the surgeries were all about looking good, but it wasn’t the case for Tiffanie. We are all guilty of taking the little things (no pun intended) for granted. There are some people that abuse some words in order to gain satisfaction for themselves. For instance, the word “independence.” Some people may interpret that word as a way to move out of their parents’ home. In Tiffanie’s case, the word “independence” meant having a normal life and doing things for herself. She didn’t want to rely on other people because she was just as strong and able as everyone else. She yearned for independence and always found ways to assist herself, even though sometimes they didn’t work to her advantage. The milk incident comes to mind. (Hint: read the book.)

Tiffanie’s mother, who was a military nurse, embraced her daughter’s lifelong goal of being independent. You can say at times, she acted like a drill sergeant when it came to pushing Tiffanie to reach her short-term and long-term goals. However, I fully understood her mother’s motives. Tiffanie’s mother was very supportive in her daughter’s decisions. Her tough love pushed her daughter to believe that she was no less than any normal sized person in the universe. Mrs. DiDonato always believed in her daughter’s full potential to be whoever she wanted to be. In my opinion, that’s how good mothers raise strong, empowered daughters. Mrs, DiDonato, I salute you. 🙂

Tiffanie’s bone-lengthening surgeries were indeed painful, and her recovery was difficult. But according to her, the fight with her doctors, the surgeries, and the struggles were worth it because she grew 14 inches, as a result. At 4’10”, she found the independence that she so craved. She’s also found her happily ever after with her normal-sized husband and adorable baby boy.

At times, the story becomes somewhat graphic when Tiffanie describes what she had to endure growing up. She underwent physical and emotional pain, but she used them to her advantage to belittle the negativity that surrounded her. Because of her decision to undergo the surgeries, she has been criticized as being “a disgrace to the dwarf community,” which I vehemently disagree.

This is a story about a woman who doesn’t like to be labeled. Like me, she doesn’t let her condition define who she is as a person. She is not a midget. She is not a little person. Contrary to the book title, she is not a dwarf. And for crying out loud, she wasn’t born with a disease. She is just Tiffanie, plain and simple. She is a source of inspiration that anything is possible as long as you believe in your dream.

Personal Reflection

This book really touched my heart. There were many moments where I had to stop reading because my eyes welled up with tears. I felt Tiffanie’s pain and anger. Fifteen years ago, I wrote an essay called “Someone Special.” In it I wrote about my own struggles as a short person. Though it was brought to my attention as a young child, I never opted to undergo multiple bone-lengthening surgeries. Like Tiffanie, there were a few ignorant people who told me that I was born with a “disease,” luckily they weren’t doctors. My parents taught me at a young age that my condition was nothing more than a gift from God, and that I am perfect in his eyes. It took me a long time to believe it, but I do. I didn’t choose to be short, but I am. I have my moments of sorrow, but I’m resilient. I wish we lived in a perfect world, but we don’t.

Through it all, I have fought to maintain a normal life and have learned to adapt. Do I still get stares from people whenever I’m out and about? Of course I do, though mostly from children. But I’ve learned to be like Victoria Beckham, put my oversized shades on and tune them out.

In addition to thinking about my own struggles growing up, I realized how far I’ve come. I can do many things on my own, and I’m amazed. I hope to follow in Tiffanie’s footsteps and find my happily ever after someday.

However in the meantime, I will continue to find my way by taking things one day at a time and being just Rosie. 😉

 
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Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Book Reviews

 

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Cover Reveal: “Losing Hope” by Colleen Hoover

I am so, so excited that the cover of  Colleen Hoover’s new book “Losing Hope” has recently been unveiled.

I am at the edge of my seat to read this book, but as usual, I, like many of her dedicated fans, have to wait until it comes out. Don’t worry, ladies! According to Goodreads.com, the book is expected to come out on July 9. Mark that on your calendars!griff3

“Losing Hope” is a follow-up to “Hopeless” and is told in Dean Holder’s point-of-view. In “Hopeless”, Sky Davis left no secret unearthed, no feeling unshared, and no memory forgotten, but Holder’s past remained a mystery.

Still haunted by the little girl he let walk away, Holder has spent his entire life searching for her in an attempt to finally rid himself of the crushing guilt he has felt for years. But he could not have anticipated that the moment they reconnect, even greater remorse would overwhelm him…

Sometimes in life, if we wish to move forward, we must first dig deep into our past and make amends. In “Losing Hope,” Hoover, a New York Times bestselling author, reveals what was going on inside Holder’s head during all those hopeless moments—and whether he can gain the peace he desperately needs.

This passionate story has melted thousands of hearts. If you haven’t read “Hopeless,” I recommend you read that first before you read “Losing Hope.”

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2013 in Cover Reveals

 

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A Mother’s Day Post: The Gifts My Mother Gave Me

For the past 30 years, I always believed I live in two separate worlds. There’s my American world, which includes my friends, my job, my errands, and my graduate education. Then there’s my Italian world, which basically consists of my family and my household.

I owe a debt of gratitude to my parents for giving me this Italian world, which includes of all of us speaking the Sicilian dialect to one another, my father watching Italian soccer games and variety shows at high volume, and my mother cooking up multiple delicious meals that could feed a football team. Mmmm, Sundays are the best because the aroma of her signature tomato sauce always permeates the entire house.  Out of the way, Giada! haha!

This Sunday is special, of course, because it’s Mother’s Day. Today is one of the few times in the year that my mother will not indulge in one of her favorite pastimes. Yep, you guessed it: Dad and I are taking her out. 🙂

In writing this entry, I could not help but think back to three weeks ago when I celebrated my 30th birthday. It was a wonderful occasion, and once a year, my mother writes words of encouragement and love to me in her native tongue.  This year’s milestone was much a celebration for her as it was for me. I was blessed that she got to share in the moments of joy with me and my family and friends.

When I think about my mother, I see an adventurer who left her small village in Sicily with her father to come to America and begin a new chapter of unexpected blessings. I see a trailblazer whose world was shattered after finding out that her eight-month-old daughter had a major physical condition, but still found the hope and courage to give her baby the love and normal life she deserved. I see a warrior who has overcome obstacles of her own and manages to get up every morning to do her daily activities without complaint. I see a confidante who will drop whatever she is doing to give a listening ear to a family member or a friend. Finally, I see a teacher who has taught me to deeply appreciate my sense of self and gave me a love of telling stories. To this day, she always reminds me to take things one step at a time, that anything is possible as long as I put my mind to it, and that what God gave me was not a physical condition but a gift.

There are many more adjectives that I could describe my Sicilian mother, but the most heartfelt thing that I can say is that she is the bestest of my best friends. She is extraordinary. I am who I am today because of her (and dad, of course), and the life lessons that she has taught me. Life hasn’t always been roses (I did inherit her stubbornness … haha!), but words cannot express how proud I am to be her daughter. Her gifts of originality and possibility are life lessons that I will forever hold dear in my heart. I hope I can be as good of a mother to my child someday as my mother is to me.

So to all the biological mothers, adoptive mothers, foster mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, godmothers, and mothers-to-be, I wish you a very special and happy Mother’s Day!!! I hope you all have a wonderful day. You all deserve it! We are who we are because of your unconditional love, guidance, and support. We are forever grateful for everything you do and have done for us. Thank you so much for being the adventurers, the trailblazers, the confidantes, and the teachers in our lives.

 
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Posted by on May 12, 2013 in Personal

 

Cover Reveal: “Secrets of the Moon” by Kristy Centeno

Here’s the latest cover reveal courtesy of Inkspell Publishing. Introducing Kristy Centeno’s YA novel Secrets of the Moon. The book will be released on July 7.

Synopsis: 

Teenager Marjorie Emery eluded death. As she struggles to get her life back on track, she believes her efforts are paying off. Yet, when a black dressing, unfriendly, and incredibly handsome hottie walks into her classroom, she’s forced into a tailspin. Marjorie has no idea how much his presence is going to shatter what little tranquility she’s achieved.Secrets of the Moon.v3-Final.v3 (1)

Kyran Rousseau’s gloomy nature has a name, one that is potentially fatal under the right circumstances. His family harbors secrets and does everything to protect Kyran. While, he does’t want to ruin Marjorie’s normal life, love has a way of changing his plans.

Falling for Kyran is the least of Marjorie’s worries. With a faceless threat hunting her and a boyfriend who’s as dangerous as he is good looking—how can Marjorie and Kyran keep all hell from breaking loose before it’s too late?

 

About the Author:

As a child, Kristy Centeno used to lose herself in an imaginary world by the means of a good book. Now that she’s all grown up, she gets to create her own fictional realms and make them come to life in ways that most readers might not expect.Kristy Centeno

Writing has always been a passion of hers but she never had the opportunity do so until now. After trying out numerous options, she realized that writing was what she loved the most and so she decided to give it a shot. As it turns out, her very active imagination helped her achieve her goals of creating believable plots with some ordinary, and some not so ordinary characters that move the stories along in one way or another.

As she keeps achieving her dreams of becoming a published author, she divides her time in between four children and a very understanding husband.

http://kristycenteno.com

http://booksbycenteno.com

www.twitter.com/KrissyGirl122

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2013 in Cover Reveals

 

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An open letter to the CEO of Abercrombie & Fitch

A/N: This is my response to comments made by Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Mike Jefferies about not wanting overweight women to wear his brand.

Dear Mr. Jefferies,

You disgust me. After reading your comments about hating fat girls in this article, I am wholeheartedly offended and appalled. You have not only offended me, but you have offended every young girl who has struggled or is struggling with their weight. You have offended every young girl who is battling with low self-esteem because they feel threatened by these “beautiful, skinny” girls that you so target in your stores.

It took a lot of balls (even though yours are shriveled up like prunes) for you to declare that fat girls will “never be part of the in crowd” and that  you “market cool, good-looking people” and that including fat people in your market demographic would make your clothes undesirable.

Now, I understand you don’t carry XL and XXL clothes in your stores and the comments you made were probably strictly business, but you are sending the wrong message out there to fat and curvy girls who try their damndest to be the best that they can be. You have no right to belittle every fat and curvy girl in this country. How dare you? How dare you be such an inconsiderate, heartless monster!! Did you inject too much Botox in your puny brain the day you gave the interview?

Now, I am not your typical customer. I have never bought a single piece of crap in your store nor do I want to now. Yes, I understand that there’s a fight against obesity, but your comments make matters worse. Your comments about only going after the “attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends” will make girls go into downward spiral of depression, excessive peer pressure, and unhealthy consequences. By saying that, you are encouraging fat and skinny young girls to not eat very much. Your comments are encouraging diseases like bulimia and anorexia. Is that really how you want your business to be portrayed?

Let me tell you something about fat girls. Number one, I am one of them and proud of it. I have always struggled with my weight. I have been teased at times because of my weight and height. It hurt my feelings, and it took me years to finally accept myself as a beautiful person. Number two, fat girls are just as pretty, if not more beautiful and sexy, than skinny girls. There are fat girls that have great attitudes about life, are confident about themselves, and have plenty of friends. Fat girls are just as attractive as skinny girls. There are female celebrities (i.e.: Rebel Wilson, Melissa McCarthy, to name a few) who are the epitome of the fact that true beauty doesn’t come from the outside, it comes from the inside. Let this be a lesson to every young girl out there: there’s nothing wrong with a little junk in your trunk!!

Clothing stores like yours should highly encourage girls with different body shapes and sizes to feel good about themselves, not exclude them because of their appearance. Appearance isn’t everything. A&F is not supposed to be a clique. Your comments are a classic case of discrimination, and it’s mind-boggling that in the 21st century, we have to deal with ignorant people like you (who are supposed to be beacons of hope and positive role models)  say stupid stuff. You make me sick.

I don’t know if you’ve had a scarring moment in high school that made you feel totally worthless or if you were actually part of the popular in crowd. Frankly, I don’t give a shit about your past. But Mr. Jefferies, you don’t know what’s like to be a woman. We women stick together. We are powerful, we are strong, and we are smart. We are force to be reckoned with.

In the words of Lady Gaga:

“There’s nothin’ wrong with lovin’ who you are, she said, ’cause He made you perfect, babe. So hold your head up, girl and you’ll go far. Listen to me when I say. I’m beautiful in my way. Cause God makes no mistakes. I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way. Don’t hide yourself in regret. Just love yourself and you’re set. I’m on the right track, baby. I was born this way.”

I don’t expect you to apologize for your comments. No matter what you say, I can guarantee  people are going to boycott your store. I know you will never read this open letter. But if you ever do, let me give you the two pieces of advice: if you want to help the fight against obesity, leave it to the experts and put your money where your mouth is.

Unsincerely yours,

Rosie

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2013 in Random Thoughts

 

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Cover Reveal: “Deadly Gamble” by Shirley Kennedy

Today’s post is a new cover reveal and description courtesy of Inkspell Publishing. Be sure to check out Shirley Kennedy’s new book “Deadly Gamble.”

Cover Blurb

When attractive Kristi Andrews is hired as Assistant Marketing Director at the Parthenon hotel/casino Deadly Gamblein Las Vegas, she’s focused on succeeding at her new job. But from the very first day, strange events occur:  a deadly escalator accident—the strange death of a candle shop owner—a psychic’s warning that the Parthenon is doomed AND IT’S ALL KRISTI’S FAULT.

 

Shocked and  baffled, Kristi must determine if she could be responsible for the mysterious, evil presence that seems to haunt the hotel. She’s aided by a man she’s just met—famous western historical author, Mike Garvey. Attracted to Kristi, Mike goes one hundred fifty years back in time to draw upon his knowledge of old Las Vegas and the Santa Fe Trail. They are the key to a puzzling mystery which Kristi must solve if she wants to save not only the Parthenon but the entire Las Vegas Strip from total disaster.

 

About the Author:

Shirley Kennedy wrote and published Regency romances for several years for both Ballantine and Signet.  She switched genres to write a wagon train romance. When struck with what she called “a great idea” about a haunted casino in Las Vegas, she was compelled to abandon both  Regency England and the Old West to write Deadly Gamble.

Born and raised in Fresno, California, Shirley has lived in such diverse places as Denver; Houston; shirley kennedyTorrance, California; Bogota ,Colombia; and Calgary, Alberta, Canada where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Sciences at the University of Calgary.  She worked as a computer programmer/systems analyst for several years before she went back to her first love, writing.

Shirley lives close to her two daughters in Las Vegas Nevada. Brutus and Sparky, her two editorial assistants on the furry side, love to nap in the sunshine next to her computer while she produces her next novel.

See Shirley’s web site at www.shirleykennedy.com

 

Her published books include:

Heartbreak Trail, Camel Press

Three Wishes for Miss Winthrop,  Signet

Lady Flora’s Fantasy, Signet

The Irish Upstart,  Signet

The Selfless Sister,  Signet

The Rebellious Twin, Signet

The London Belle, Signet

Lady Semple’s Secret,  Ballantine

 

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2013 in Cover Reveals

 

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