“Synanon Kid Grows Up: A Memoir Of Learning To Live Outside The Synanon Cult” by C.A. Wittman

Synanon Kid cover

Synanon Kid Grows Up: A Memoir Of Learning To Live Outside The Synanon Cult

by C.A. Wittman

Genre: Memoir & Biography/Women/YA

FREE at time of posting! Kindle Unlimited!

“Commune shopping,” my mother, Theresa, called it as if to imply some sort of fun. But I wasn’t fooled. One shopped for shoes, clothes, and groceries, not insular bizarre private societies to devote years of one’s life to.

After spending almost five years of her childhood in the Synanon cult, Celena has developed a deep longing and desire for normalcy, to live in a house with her mother, attend public school, and meld into the plainness of mainstream American life.

In October 1981, Celena’s longtime wish to leave the commune is finally realized, and one cold fall morning she departs by bus from the rural property in Marin with her mother, stepfather, and stepsister to start their lives anew. Yet right from the beginning, ideals of how and where to live clash within their small family. While Celena and her stepsister yearn for a nuclear home, their parents are on the hunt for the next utopia.

Money is tight and tempers are hot as the four try to navigate the challenge of what it is to be a family while attempting to survive in a society that rewards individualism over collectivism. For the first time, Celena is made aware of what it means to be black in a white world, sometimes struggling with a level of invisibility that she was not prepared for. Longing to belong somewhere, she develops the fierce desire to return to Los Angeles and the African American communities she came from.

As Celena grows into a young woman, her existential angst has her questioning God’s existence and taking a hard look at materialism and the values of the American mainstream culture that she once idealized. Over time, she learns to embrace the counterculture lifestyle of the Santa Cruz community that she and her family have settled in. Through her stepfather’s role as a drug counselor at the Sunflower House rehab, she comes to have a deeper understanding of what the Synanon cult was all about and why people initially became attracted to the commune.

This is the story of a young woman’s search for identity while coming to terms with her past as a Synanon kid.

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“Icefall (The Clearsky Chronicles Book 1)” by Walt Stone, Mica Stone

Icefall cover

Icefall (The Clearsky Chronicles Book 1)

by Walt Stone, Mica Stone

Genre: YA/Thriller/Science Fiction

99¢ at time of posting!

In the equatorial strip of Earth’s only habitable land sits the island of Cerebus. Their ruling council has governed what remains of the world since the Icefall. Now their stronghold is in jeopardy; to maintain power, they must quash a centuries-old plan to shatter the ice cloak blocking the sun. But rebel forces based on impoverished Earthland have infiltrated the fortress and are intent on completing the mission to save the frozen planet… no matter the cost.

Genetically engineered Odessa is headed for her first MEDcadet assignment on Earthland until she witnesses Cerebus security murder her anatomy professor. Inexplicably linked to the crime, she finds herself on the run for her life, a fugitive marked for death.

Reynal Krolik’s STEM education sets him apart from most Earthlanders but also makes him a threat, as does his role in the rebellion. When he answers Odessa’s cries, his actions put the insurgency at risk. Suddenly he’s a target with a price on his head.

With no choice but to join Rey on his quest, Odessa’s torn between loyalty to her leaders and newfound sympathy for the rebels. Soon, everything Rey and Odessa thought they knew is called into question—Who can I believe? Who can I trust?—while Earth’s fate hinges on the life-and-death choices they make.

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“Because I Said So: Parenting and Family Life Humorous Short Stories (My Life … MOM? Book 1)” by Michelle Hoppe

Because I Said So cover

Because I Said So: Parenting and Family Life Humorous Short Stories

(My Life … MOM?! Book 1)

by Michelle Hoppe

Genre: Parenting & Family Life/Motherhood/Humor

1.99 at time of posting!

Do the words “What’s for dinner?” make you cringe? Are you tired of one-word answers from the teenager in the house? These hilarious stories are a laugh-out-loud look at everyday life. From “A construction company…what were we thinking?” to “My Big, Fat Tongue,” you won’t be able to put this one down.

Because I Said So! by comedy author Michelle Hoppe is a look into the ups and downs of raising a family, while attempting to become an author. Take a peek into the family life of the Hoppe clan and discover how Michelle turned everyday life into delightfully funny stories.

Michelle was blessed with the ability to view life through rose tinted glasses. Unlike Claire Tomalin, who said “My life was a sort of series of random disasters,” Michelle’s life, with her twisted sense of humor and a madcap home crew, is more a series of random “by the seat of your pants motherhood”.

Growing up, Michelle loved to read books by Erma Bombeck; books like If Life is a Bowlful of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits and Motherhood taught her to look for the humor in life. Michelle’s favorite Erma quote “When humor goes, there goes civilization!” seemed like a call to action, so this comedy autobiography is her contribution to the continuation of mankind, oops…personkind!

This hilarious book contains humor about family life, motherhood, and parenting, and is sure to keep you laughing from beginning to end.

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Fibromyalgia & ADHD

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Fibromyalgia is a complicated illness. The experts still aren’t sure exactly what causes it or how to cure it. But researchers discover new correlations every day and develop clues about the nature of the illness. The more recent interesting finding from researchers is a possible link with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnoses in young people, which leads to a later diagnosis of fibromyalgia in children instead. If you’re not sure how these can be related, read on for the details.


A medical company called EpicGenetics developed the first FDA-approved blood test for fibromyalgia in 2012. The test, called the FM/a test, only requires a single drop of blood. The FM/a test evaluates white blood cell production and looks for abnormalities that indicate fibromyalgia.

The company found that 80 percent of people under the age of 19 who received a positive test result for fibromyalgia were previously diagnosed with ADHD. A later blood test revealed that the accurate diagnosis was instead fibromyalgia.


Both ADHD and fibromyalgia are little-understood diseases. When young children experience issues like chronic pain, it may cause them to act out and misbehave. This misbehavior can be disruptive at home and at school.

The symptoms of ADHD and fibromyalgia in children can have some similarities. That can make the two difficult to diagnose without further testing. Some of the shared symptoms often present in both ADHD include fibromyalgia are the following:

  • Chronic pain
  • Difficulty with concentration and attention
  • Cognitive dysfunction
  • Problems with finding words

The brain chemicals involved in ADHD and fibromyalgia are also similar. Some of the brain chemicals in both ADHD and fibromyalgia are dopamine, serotonin, and noradrenaline. Researchers believe that irregular dopamine regulation causes the same problems with cognitive functions in both fibromyalgia and ADHD.


It can be a very big deal when children get diagnosed with ADHD. An ADHD diagnosis affects the type of education a kid receives, which means that a false diagnosis could cause young people to get special education services when they aren’t needed. Being labeled with ADHD can shape not only how a school sees a child, but can also affect how the child sees themselves.

Medications used to treat ADHD can be damaging if taken by people who don’t need them, especially young people whose bodies are still developing. Most medications for ADHD, including Ritalin and Adderall, are stimulants. These drugs carry some health risks on their own, especially if there are undiagnosed heart problems. These drugs are also often abused by young people. Taking these medications should be a carefully considered decision for young people with ADHD. Use extra caution with these medications if fibromyalgia could be a possibility.


Fibromyalgia is a difficult illness to understand. But even for those who are familiar with the symptoms of fibromyalgia in adults, they may not be able to recognize them in children or young people. That’s because the symptoms of fibromyalgia often look different in young people than in adults. Some of the symptoms of fibromyalgia in children and teens include the following:

  • Symptoms may begin after a physical trauma, surgery, or psychologically stressful event.
  • They may complain of nonspecific, widespread pain. The pain is usually on both sides of the body and below the waist. The symptom generally lasts for at least three months. Parents may mistake the pain for general “tummy aches” or even growing pains.
  • Children may have regular headaches. These often occur every day and don’t respond to standard treatment.
  • They may have sleep problems. Problems include difficulty falling asleep or not sleeping long enough.
  • They may also have leg pain, which can be a contributing factor in sleep problems.
  • Children may also experience sadness or worry, even to the level of depression and anxiety.

It’s important to take these concerns seriously when children and teens have any of the above symptoms. Seek medical and psychiatric evaluations when problems continue. Don’t dismiss the child’s complaints as being all in their head. Problems could be related to undiagnosed fibromyalgia.


EpicGenetics is using their test to identify fibromyalgia in children, adults, and the elderly.  Those who test positive for fibromyalgia are then referred to participate in a study. The study, conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, will be focused on the use of a vaccine called bCG (bacillus Calmette-Guerin.) The inexpensive vaccine is used worldwide to fight tuberculosis. But it may also have anti-inflammatory benefits which can be helpful in treating fibromyalgia.

Having an accurate diagnosis is important for a lot of reasons. If you or someone you love was diagnosed with ADHD when younger but have the symptoms of fibromyalgia, consider getting the test. You may be able to help others if you participate in the study, too.


The preceding article is from RedOrbit.com and posted here for sharing purposes only. No copyright infringement is intended.

“Captured by the Pirate Laird (Highland Force Book 1)” by Amy Jarecki

Captured by The Pirate Laird

Captured by the Pirate Laird (Highland Force Book 1)

by Amy Jarecki

Genre: Historical Romance/Medieval/Scottish

FREE at time of posting!

Wed by proxy to a baron old enough to be her grandfather, Lady Anne trudges up the gangway of a galleon that will deliver her into the arms of a tyrant. Crestfallen, she believes her disastrous life cannot get worse—until she awakes to the blasts of cannon fire.

Facing certain death, Anne trembles in her stateroom while swords clash and the chilling screams of battle rage on the deck above. When a rugged Highlander kicks in her door, she prays for a swift end.

But Laird Calum MacLeod has a reason for plundering the ship—and it’s not a stunning English lass. With no other choice, he takes Anne to his crumbling keep on the isle of Raasay and sends a letter of ransom to her husband. In time, Anne grows to understand MacLeod’s plight and finds it increasingly difficult to resist Calum’s unsettling charm—until the baron sends a reply agreeing to terms.

Ripped from passion that will be forever seared into their souls, will Anne and Calum risk everything for love?

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Song Lyric Sunday | “Every Year, Every Christmas” – Luther Vandross

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Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

This week’s theme is season.”


I have four CDs I don’t have to wait until Christmas to play. Luther Vandross’ 1995 This is Christmas is one of them.

The song I put on repeat the most? Every Year, Every Christmas.

Co-written by Vandross and Richard Marx, the song is about a man and woman agreeing to meet at a certain time and place on Christmas… and she doesn’t show up. Yet, the man returns every year, hopeful this will be the year she comes. Of course, she doesn’t, but it’s Luther Vandross singing, so I’m good. 😀

The single enjoyed moderate success, reaching number thirty-two on the R & B charts, but the album went to number 4 at both Billboards Top Holiday Albums and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and was certified platinum. It’s also a steady seller throughout the Christmas season.


See my Song Lyric Sunday selection for FeliciaDenise.com!


Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Every Year, Every Christmas

I don’t know how love could do this to me
I’ve waited and waited for someone I never see
But I’m so sentimental, and I’m so hopeful you’ll be there
So, here I am every year, every Christmas
I’ve wished for you in my heart and in my head
And I got my answer that first moment that we met
And, oh yes, I believed you as you told me, as you said
You’d be here every year, every Christmas
There must be a lesson for me to learn
If you don’t trust in love, you’ll get nothing in return
Why should I be lonely, don’t tell me it’s right
I have my pride, but I’d rather be with you tonight
So much emotion, it’s driving me mad
But I’ll take my chances with these feelings that I have
And I’ll come back to this same corner where we met
And I’ll be here every year, every Christmas
Mere words can’t explain the pain and the fear
‘Cause oh, I wonder, yes, I wonder are you gonna leave me standing here
Today’s almost over, but I don’t want to leave
Has my heart made a fool out of me?
My friends gather round me with holiday cheer
They say to forget you, to let you go ’cause you’re not here
Well, I can’t keep explaining what they’ll never understand
And why I’m here every year, every Christmas
I return every year, every Christmas
I come here every year, every Christmas


Compiled from Genius Lyrics, Google, Wikipedia, and YouTube.
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