#Spotlight M.L. Tarpley, author of “Maylie and the Maze”

Maylie Banner

I’m happy to welcome author M.L. Tarpley to Nesie’s Place today! She writes Tarpley 1stories of adventure, friendship, and fun that transport kids to amazing places across the world. She is also an award-winning journalist and world traveler. Besides writing and traveling to over a dozen countries, her other interests include hanging out at cool coffee shops, listening to vintage records, going on adventures with her family, and researching dead people in her family from long ago (*cough* it’s called genealogy). M.L. lives in Louisiana with her husband and son.

Maylie and the Maze is her debut novel. For more information about her, visit www.mltarpleybooks.com

M.L., in Maylie and the Maze you have a ten-year-old protagonist who dreams of being an author, and she has a twin brother who just wants to cause trouble. They’re traveling with family through Europe, so I know there will be an adventure. What was your inspiration for the story? Are you a twin?

Great question, but no, I am not a twin. When the character of Maylie came into my mind, she just came with a twin brother (lol). Maylie and Camden are loosely based off my oldest niece and nephew who both turned ten this year. They are only five months apart in age and therefore we tend to think of them as twins. I actually sent the illustrator photos of them to model the characters after them. They’re pretty proud of that fact and love that I used them as inspiration. I also dedicated this book to all my nieces and nephews. 😊

Maylie 3DThe inspiration for the actual story is to show kids that you can go after your dreams no matter what roadblocks stand in your way. Throughout this series, I want kids to have a chance to travel the world through fiction and along the way learn a bit. I’ve tapped into my own first-hand experiences from traveling to over a dozen countries and filtered them through Maylie’s eyes.

In this instance, the story is set in England, particularly at Leeds Castle in southern England. The castle is absolutely gorgeous! It’s known as the “loveliest castle in the world” for a reason. And it’s nearly 1,000 years old. Isn’t that amazing?!

According to the official Leeds Castle website, it has been a Norman stronghold, the private property of six of England’s medieval queens, a palace used by King Henry VIII, a Jacobean country house, a Georgian mansion, an elegant retreat for the rich and famous, and today, it is one of the most visited historic buildings in Britain.

There’s not just a castle but a hedge maze and over 500 acres of gardens, parkland, and wildlife. There are also a host of activities and attractions including falconry demonstrations, a dog collar museum, zipline and Segway tours, playgrounds, miniature golf, and more.

Do you have a favorite character in the story?

I have to say Maylie first of all because there is so much of me within her. Me from when I was ten. Me now. Subtle things. I even read my diaries from when I was her age to get into my head then and to remember what all I cared about and observed. It was so interesting and funny too! I’m so glad I wrote in diaries and kept them all these years.

What is your work schedule like when writing a book?

I work full-time as a newspaper reporter and photographer and I’m also a wife ML Closeupand mom, so I have a pretty busy schedule. I usually squeeze in my writing time on my lunch breaks, during naptimes and late at night. I am a night owl, so it works out well I think. I write most nights from about 8 to 11 p.m. When you want to write, you just got to make the time for it.

When did you write your first book?

I was age 12 when I wrote my first novel. I had written a lot of short stories before then. That novel was a great learning tool for me, and it showed me that I could, in fact, write a novel. I am not going to tell you it was a very good first attempt, but it was an attempt, which is the important part. If you don’t start writing, you can’t get better. I didn’t start working on another novel thought for ten years. I was busy writing essays and short stories for school and then papers and news articles in college. But when I was 22 I started dabbling in writing fiction again. I started taking writing classes and attending conferences and reading books on the craft of writing fiction.

Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?

I am self-published. I actually started my own publishing imprint this year to publish my books and later on books for other people. The publishing process has a large learning curve, but I really love the complete freedom I had to make my books the exact way I envisioned them to be.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I love to travel the world with my family (or just around Louisiana where I live). Obviously in 2020, I haven’t been able to travel much, so I have done so through fiction and TV/movies. I also love genealogy research to learn more about where my ancestors came from. It’s so fascinating!

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? 

I wanted to be either an actress or a writer. I knew one day I wanted to be a published author and maybe a journalist. I can say I’ve done a bit of all three. I have done community theater. I am a journalist and now I am a published author. Hooray!

What’s your next project?

I’ve written the next book in the series and will start working with the illustrator soon on it. It will publish in Spring 2021. I am currently writing the third book, which will release Fall 2021. I am also working on a picture book series and have the idea for a chapter book series stirring in my mind.

I also recently published a non-fiction book called Young Writer’s Kit: A Guide for Young Writers that teaches kids how to write fiction and includes a fun genre matching game, writing prompts, and more. It’s a companion to MAYLIE AND THE MAZE and is currently available for purchase on Amazon.

Do you have any advice for new authors?

Make sure to read the genre you are writing to get a feel for how it’s done. Also don’t talk down to kids. Tap into that kid that’s still inside of you and how you would have reacted to what you’ve written. Invest the time to learn the craft of writing. Read craft books like Writing the Breakout Novel by Donald Maass or Writing Irresistible Kidlit by Mary Kole. Do writing prompts. Practice. To do anything well we have to put in the time and effort. Writing is no different.

Thanks so much, M.L. and thanks for leaving us this short excerpt from Maylie and the Maze.

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“What’s with all the paper?”

Maylie sighed. “I’m trying to write a story to submit to my favorite magazine. But—” She swept her hand out. “—as you can see, it’s not going very well. I can’t finish a story. I try and try, and I just can’t. Something’s wrong with me.”

Her aunt smiled and put an arm around her shoulders. “May, there isn’t anything wrong with you. Don’t give up. You’ll get there. Photography wasn’t easy for me when I started either.”

Maylie couldn’t imagine it being hard for her.

Aunt Layla had an incredible job as a photographer for international travel magazines. She was always going on worldwide adventures.

And she was the reason Maylie, Camden, and their grandmother, Sue, who they called Grandma Suey, were going on a summer-long trip across Europe as her aunt covered photo assignments.

Maylie frowned. “No way. I’m sure you’ve always taken amazing photos.” She pointed to her

wall at a framed photo of African lions lying under a tree and another one of the shining Eiffel Tower. “You’re famous!”

And it was true.

Her aunt was famous. Her photos from across the world were published in dozens of magazines. She’d even been interviewed on television.

Her aunt rolled her eyes. “Not always. I had to do the work, prove myself as one of the best, and take a lot of bad pictures first.”

She sat back and studied Maylie. “You remind me of myself, May. You always have. There’s a curiosity within you and a determination to follow your dreams. Keep at it. When I was serious about taking the kind of photos that people wanted to publish I traveled to Europe for the first time, and it helped inspire me. It could do the same for you.”

Inspiration? That was what Maylie needed. And she had to prove herself and write not only a good story but the best one.

Maybe her aunt was right, and their trip would somehow help her. She smiled. “Thanks, Aunt Layla.”

“You’re welcome.” She bumped Maylie’s arm. “Maybe we’ll have a little fun along the way too.”

Maylie hid a grimace. Her aunt’s version of fun—mountain climbing, scuba diving, and chasing wild animals on a safari—didn’t match hers. She shuddered thinking of hanging upside down off cliffs, getting bitten by a shark, or mauled by a lion. No, thanks!

Her aunt must have seen the fear on her face.

“I’m not taking you to the jungle or under the ocean, Maylie. It’s only Europe. In fact—”

She stood and pointed to a spot on the huge world map stuck to the wall that she’d given Maylie last year on her ninth birthday. “—we’re starting here—London, England. One of my favorite cities in the world. It’s the first European city I ever visited. You’re sure to find inspiration there too.”

Maylie looked around her room at everything familiar and comfortable. She petted her cat. The thought of leaving her best friend, Sarah, and even her little sister, Jayna, fluttered her insides.

“But I’m not brave like you, and I’ve never been anywhere. What if everything goes wrong?”

Her mind raced to its place of twirling, swirling what-if scenarios that her best friend liked to call her “extreme zone.”

London might not be the danger her aunt usually faced, but what if there was a plane crash, or she got hit by a bus, or their train was robbed?

She imagined being tied to a railroad track by an evil grinning man with a curled moustache like she’d seen in a cartoon. How would she survive that?

Maylie felt a hand on her shoulder and looked up to see her aunt’s subtle smile. “It’s going to be all right.”

She helped Maylie up and with a grin said, “Finish up here, then let the adventure begin!”

You can also see M.L. read chapter one!


Maylie cover

Title: Maylie and the Maze

Blurb:

Will Maylie’s dream be crushed by her own imagination?

Ten-year-old Maylie Montes’s dream is to become an author, but she has a problem. She can’t finish a story. Not a single one.

Her second problem is Camden, her annoying twin brother, who is determined to ruin their summer traveling through Europe with their famous photographer aunt and spunky grandma.

The first stop is England where a castle and maze, a new British friend, and a lot of weird words await Maylie—but the first item on her itinerary is to learn how to write, so she can finally finish a story. However, this goal may land her a one-way ticket home after her writing targets her brother in a spooky story involving a nighttime maze full of monsters. And Camden has his own plans, leaving Maylie to wonder if her imagination has actually become a reality.

Genre: Middle Grade (Realistic Fiction)

Target Audience: Grades 3-7

Maylie and the Maze trailer


~ Connect with M.L. Tarpley Online ~

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#Spotlight Sam Stea, author of “The Edge of Elsewhere”

Science-fiction, climate change converge in thrilling debut novel seeking to rediscover Earth’s beauty in wake of disaster.

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania Bridging the generational and cultural divide, physician Sam Stea’s debut novel imagines new solutions to the greatest global crisis of our time: climate change. “The Edge of Elsewhere” (Sept. 8, 2020), is a thrilling science meets climate-fiction adventure that follows refugees from the not-too-distant future in a race against time.

In a world reeling from ecological collapse, Abbey Lane’s waking life is a bleak routine. Between protecting her asthmatic older brother, Paul, and scouring gloomy ruins of  Princeton with her best friend, Max, Abbey’s world couldn’t be more different from the technicolor eden she imagines in her dreams. But after discovering an old scientific notebook in the ruins of Princeton University, the trio find themselves in a world and a time they could never have imagined: New York City, 1971. There, they rediscover the beauty of the natural world, and meet a tragic music legend whose fate may hold the key to Earth’s destiny.

Born from his experience in the health care industry and his passion for literature, film, and music, Stea crafts an earnest coming-of-age story about the resilience of the human spirit in the wake of the most extreme circumstances.


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Q & A with Sam Stea

  1. What inspired you to write “The Edge of Elsewhere”?

“The Edge of Elsewhere” was inspired by my need to lend my hand to the climate crisis, which I see as the greatest health issue of the 21st century. With my busy medical practice, I cannot serve as an effective climate activist. But I can write. In my free time, I write. And I know the power of a good story.

  1. How has your work as a physician informed you as a writer?

Each patient is locked in their own story. I don’t know the end, but I can, I hope, impart something to them — call it wisdom or simply keeping them human along with myself along the way. But to see them rise from the ashes! That is something. A patient getting a long-awaited transplant. Or someone recovering from critical illness. The hope and despair, frailty and strength — these simple things I see in them inspired me to write this book. It is mostly written for them, my patients.

  1. What role do you think health care providers should play in addressing the climate crisis?

Health care providers need to lead us out of this climate mess. We must serve as the bridge between the hard climate scienctists and the public. We still retain the public’s trust — for now.  I cannot understand this disconnect and cognitive dissonance. Not acknowledging the climate crisis for what it is, a growing existential threat to human health and survival, goes against everything physicians have sworn to uphold.

  1. What do you think future generations will think about our actions on the climate?

Future generations will curse us if we fail to act, if we fail to break out of our simple, blissful complacency. In “Elsewhere,” we (those alive in the here and now) are called “sleepwalkers,” the seemingly ignorant and apathetic masses whose lack of action is incomprehensible to their grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

  1. What do you hope readers take away from “The Edge of Elsewhere”?

That they can see things differently, cherish the simple things, like clean water, a flock of birds, sunlight, or a cool breeze. If they can hold their children and think about their future just a bit more, that’s what I hope for. It’s all up for grabs right now!


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IT IS THE YEAR 2079. Fourteen-year-old Abbey Lane dreams in colors that don’t exist anymore. Her life is a drudging routine of protecting her asthmatic genius older brother Paul from dust, and scrounging the ruin of the world with her best friend Max. But when they discover an old notebook in an abandoned university, possibilities open she never imagined. The three set out on an adventure into the past–to 1971 New York City and beyond. Along the way they rediscover nature, eat pizza, become hippies and befriend a tragic, legendary musician who may hold the keys to Earth’s destiny–if only they can save him!

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Sam SteaSAM STEA is a practicing physician, proud husband, and father of a wonderful son and daughter. Some time ago, Stea took a simple and deliberate step back from the complexities of life to see himself in a much bigger picture, within a context of past and future, within the balance of the human species with nature, and with what is truly lasting beyond one’s own years.

His great hope is that others in health care, physicians, nurses, therapists of all kinds, scientists and administrators, and young people everywhere will join him in his fight to better inform the public that climate change is the greatest imminent health challenge humanity has yet to face.



#Spotlight “Tennessee’s Whiskey (The Whiskey Collection Book 1)” by L. Loren

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Grad student, Patricia Woods finds herself on the brink of homelessness. Needing a job that pays immediately, she reluctantly sets her sights on the local redneck bar where the bikers are notorious, and the tips are flowing.

All she wants is to make a little cash to pay her way through school, but what she finds is so much more. Her dream of finally having a family to call her own is just beyond her reach.

Single father, Weston Daniels, has built a nice life for him and his five-year old son. After escaping the “family business” all he wants is the peace and quiet of the south, and an occasional romp with a nameless woman.

He has a change of heart, when a beautiful African American woman dressed in orange bombards his bar. When his past catches up with him, he is faced with choosing between her life and the happiness he desires.

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The Heroine

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The Hero

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About L. Loren

Bestselling author, L. Loren holds a Business Management Degree from the University of Mount Olive. As a former call center supervisor, her desire to write lay dormant for years, until she found the courage to live her dream. She is currently based in Birmingham, AL with her loving and supportive husband.

L. Loren created her own brand of erotic romance that she dubbed LoveRotica – Love stories with an edge of sexy. Her catalog of sexy stories is self-published and available on Amazon.

Her stories and poems have appeared in various anthologies, publications and literary journals. L. is also the curator of the Love is Color Anthology, available for free on Smashwords.

Follow her on Social Media

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Blog  |  Pinterest 

  Goodreads  |  Amazon Author Page

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Happy Hour

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#Spotlight “Notes on Love” by K.L. Shandwick

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Notes On Love

Synopsis

What if, for one brief moment, life gives you one special connection?

A connection that has the potential to last a lifetime but, due to circumstances beyond your control, inevitably comes with an expiration date.

When Gray Dennison and Hettie Lawson had an exclusive, mind-blowing relationship during Gray’s final weeks as an international student in Miami, he had thought Hettie was perfect in mind, body, and soul. But when he headed home to the UK their affair ended as abruptly as it started. This left a distressed Hettie without closure.

Years later, life was more complicated, Gray was successful, and when found himself back in Miami, his thoughts returned to his carefree days in college, and the girl he had never really forgotten.

˃˃ Standalone,
˃˃˃ Genre: Romance, Rockstar Romance, New Adult and College, Contemporary Romance, Women’s Fiction
MATURE CONTENT

This story contains sexually explicit material, mature subject matter, and is intended for individuals over the age of eighteen.

You can download your copy here @ mybook.to/notesonlove

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Social media links

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https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7581125.K_L_Shandwick

https://mewe.com/i/klshandwick

https://allauthor.com/page/klshandwick/

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/k-l-shandwick

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NOL teaser

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#Spotlight “The Stella Trilogy” by Yecheilyah Ysrayl

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Stella: Between Slavery and Freedom

In book one, Cynthia McNair and her boyfriend, Alex, express some racist feelings toward blacks. They visit Cynthia’s Grandmother Sidney McNair, who recounts the story of her ancestor, a slave named Stella Mae. Cynthia has no idea of her African ancestry or how deep this rabbit hole goes.

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Stella: Beyond the Colored Line

In book two, we dig deeper into the McNair family’s legacy. Named after her great-grandmother, Stella has a very light complexion, causing her to be the tease of her classmates. Unable to find solace among her African American contemporaries, Stella finds it challenging to adjust to a world where she is too light to be black. After The Great Depression of the 1930s forces Stella’s family to move to Chicago, a conversation with Aunt Sara provokes Stella to do something that will dramatically affect not just her life but the life of her children and grandchildren.

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Stella: The Road to Freedom

Book three follows Stella’s son Joseph after a fight with his brother compels a young Joseph to leave his mother’s house and join his friends for a trip to Atlanta for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee’s (SNCC) second conference. Excited to live life on their own, Jo and his friends have left school and the lives they were living for a chance to become part of the movement. With no money and virtually no plan, the seven friends, three black and four white, set out for the road when they are stopped by a racist cop who makes them exit the car. The teens are unaware that a mob of Klansmen await them at the New Orleans bus terminal. Find out in the third installment of the Stella Trilogy how Joseph and his friends discover the hard way that freedom has never been free.

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#Spotlight “Penelope Still Picks Suzie” by Christine Bialczak

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Penelope is able to see past many differences in her friends and learns that friendship is not about judging others. Penelope wants other children to see that behaviors are not characteristics of who a person is and that being a friend is what is really important.

Amazon

Paperback

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From the author…

I have worked many years with children who suffer emotional disturbance due to poverty, abuse, mental illness. These students were out-placed in the clinical day school I was a teacher at. I know that the parents of the typical kids could not stand that there was that “one kid” who disrupted everyone. So I wrote this book to teach kids that you can still be friends with “that kid”.

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About Christine Bialczak

Christine Bialczak was born on November 2, 1971 and was raised in Christine BialczakConnecticut. She has been a Special Education teacher and hopes to move into an administrative position utilizing her Administrator certificate. Her family means the most to her. Christine will always remember the support she received from her late husband Bob, her son Joseph, who passed on way too early, and Lindsay, her rock, her best friend, and her daughter. Christine also has support from David, from her other family members, from past and current coworkers/teachers, and from friends. Her goal is to introduce characters that enrich children’s lives and ignite a fire to learn more, increase knowledge of the world around, and be creative. Christine is an animal lover. She has owned dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rats, hamsters, cockatiels, chickens, roosters, and tropical fish. She loves to travel and learn about other cultures, sews, draws, designs jewelry, cooks, and has many other interests. The Penelope series was inspired by the birth of her great-niece Penelope, having written the first book on the night Penelope was born. The Joey series was inspired by her son who was so brilliant, so kind, and such a special person to everyone that knew him. Christine can’t wait to interact with her readers through various series, poetry, and other publications.

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

Twitter

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#Spotlight “Sycorax’s Daughters: A Horror Anthology”

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Thought-provoking, powerful, and revealing, this anthology is composed of 28 dark stories and 14 poems written by African-American women writers. The tales of what scares, threatens, and shocks them will enlighten and entertain readers. The works delve into demons and shape-shifters from How to Speak to the Bogeyman and Tree of the Forest Seven Bells Turns the World Round Midnight to far future offerings such as The Malady of Need. These pieces cover vampires, ghosts, and mermaids, as well as the unexpected price paid by women struggling for freedom and validation in the past.

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Editorial Reviews

“This anthology is historic in its recognition of women of color writers in a genre that usually doesn’t know what to do with us.”  —Jewelle Gomez, author, The Gilda Stories

“The daughters of Africa always have been beset by horrors on these shores. This groundbreaking anthology of stories and poems courageously explores and deconstructs horror tropes of monsters, spirits, curses and death through the experiences of African-American women shaped our shared history.  My love for horror began with my mother, the late civil rights activist Patricia Stephens Due, who taught me that art could be a healing way to confront and give coherence to our more dangerous passages in life. That is the essence of this volume. Contributors to Sycorax’s Daughters range from established authors like Sherée Rene Thomas to newcomers, all of them writing with passion and power to delight, inform and intrigue you—oh yes, and to haunt you, body and soul.”  —Tananarive Due,author, My Soul to Keep

“Shakespeare stole Sycorax’s point of view from the world. Sycorax’s Daughters draws that perspective to the fore, allowing Black women to explain themselves, and the evils they have experienced, to the delight of readers who are ready to hear.”  —Book Riot

Sycorax’s Daughters is imaginative, lyrical, intelligent, beautiful, and terrifying. The editors, Kinitra Brooks, Ph.D., Linda D Addison, and Susana Morris Ph.D. chose powerful stories, poems, and novel excerpts. When you read them, you step into another world. Within these pages, monsters receive fresh and startling retellings. Vampires aren’t tired, Transylvanian Princes. They are far more deadly and erotic. Mermaids are outcasts among their own kind, demons require vengeance, monsters prey upon males (and wear interesting footwear), paranormal detectives investigate, and ghosts seek to leech off the living. I’ve read many anthologies. Most have included big name horror authors. None of these previous anthologies thrilled me as much as this one. I kept expecting to find a lump of coal among the gems. I never found one. I don’t think you will either.” —Natching T. Kassa, horroraddicts.wordpress.com

Sycorax’s Daughters is an anthology displaying the deep creative minds of a group of knowledgeable writers and recent to the genre women writers of color. Wonderfully written and crafted, this anthology is a new classic. A mixed bag of poetry and short stories, these woman writers present a gift to us, the reader of tales of things that go bump in the night or rise up from a mist in the bayou during the witching hour. Women Griots of darkness they are. I once wrote that the black experience in horror is a dual track in that we as a people enjoy the genre in all of its forms but also from a historical view suffered it. This anthology enforces my view. It also bridges the work and legacy of Jewelle Gomez, Tananarive Due, and the immortal L.A. Banks. Edited by award-winning author Linda D Addison, Kinitra Brooks Ph.D., and Susanna Morris Ph.D. with added editing by Wei Ming Dariotis Ph.D. Forward by Walidah Imarisha and introduction by Ms. Brooks.” —James Goodridge, horroraddicts.wordpress.com

 

Contributing Authors

Tiffany Austin

Tracey Baptiste

Regina N. Bradley

Patricia E. Canterbury

Crystal Connor

Joy M. Copeland

Amber Doe

Tish Jackson

Valjeanne Jeffers

Tenea D. Johnson

R. J. Joseph

A. D. Koboah

Nicole Givens Kurtz

Kai Leakes

A.J. Locke

Carole McDonnell

Dana T. McKnight

LH Moore

L. Penelope

Zin E. Rocklyn

Eden Royce

Kiini Ibura Salaam

Andrea Vocab Sanderson

Nicole D. Sconiers

Cherene Sherrard

RaShell R. Smith-Spears

Sheree Renee Thomas

Lori Titus

Tanesha Nicole Tyler

Deborah Elizabeth Whaley

L. Marie Wood

K. Ceres Wright

Deana Zhollis

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#Spotlight “Penelope Still Picks Suzie” by Christine Bialczak

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Penelope is able to see past many differences in her friends and learns that friendship is not about judging others. Penelope wants other children to see that behaviors are not characteristics of who a person is and that being a friend is what is really important.

Amazon

Paperback

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From the author…

I have worked many years with children who suffer emotional disturbance due to poverty, abuse, mental illness. These students were out-placed in the clinical day school I was a teacher at. I know that the parents of the typical kids could not stand that there was that “one kid” who disrupted everyone. So I wrote this book to teach kids that you can still be friends with “that kid”.

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About Christine Bialczak

Christine Bialczak was born on November 2, 1971 and was raised in Christine BialczakConnecticut. She has been a Special Education teacher and hopes to move into an administrative position utilizing her Administrator certificate. Her family means the most to her. Christine will always remember the support she received from her late husband Bob, her son Joseph, who passed on way too early, and Lindsay, her rock, her best friend, and her daughter. Christine also has support from David, from her other family members, from past and current coworkers/teachers, and from friends. Her goal is to introduce characters that enrich children’s lives and ignite a fire to learn more, increase knowledge of the world around, and be creative. Christine is an animal lover. She has owned dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rats, hamsters, cockatiels, chickens, roosters, and tropical fish. She loves to travel and learn about other cultures, sews, draws, designs jewelry, cooks, and has many other interests. The Penelope series was inspired by the birth of her great-niece Penelope, having written the first book on the night Penelope was born. The Joey series was inspired by her son who was so brilliant, so kind, and such a special person to everyone that knew him. Christine can’t wait to interact with her readers through various series, poetry, and other publications.

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads

Twitter

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#Spotlight “Deena’s Deception (Westward Home and Hearts Mail-Order Brides Book 6)” by G.S. Carr

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Deena Lyon has stolen many things in order to survive, but stealing someone’s identity is a new low even for her. She needs to escape a notorious criminal. Overhearing a conversation between matchmaker Mildred Crenshaw and one of her mail-order brides provides the perfect solution. Deena hightails it to the Dakota Territory pretending to be a mail-order bride until she figures out a way to save her hide.

Asa Grantt needs a mother for his daughter and a wife to help around the farm. He’s already had his heart ripped out by his first wife, so he isn’t looking for love. When the woman claiming to be his mail-order bride barges into his home, full of life and makes his barbwire encased heart stir, he can’t help wondering what happened to the plain, safe woman he’d been corresponding with for the last six months?

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#Spotlight “Where Dreams Merge (Jasmine Cottage Book 2)” by Maureen Driscoll

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The second book in the Jasmine Cottage Victorian Romance series follows Grace Moore as she matches wits with writer Carter Beckett, the Earl of Wainwright.

Grace Moore has avidly followed the career of Carter Beckett, who pens pieces for a London newspaper. Never shy to contradict him, she has sent him several letters about his work. What she didn’t expect was for the man himself to visit the country not far from where she lives, even more handsome in real life than his pen and ink picture in the paper.

Carter Beckett is restless. He is attempting to write a novel, but the words simply will not come. However, once he meets the lady who has been his most outspoken critic, he realizes he has finally found his muse. Once the two begin writing letters to each other through alter egos, love of the written word turns into the love of a lifetime.

WHERE DREAMS MERGE is the story of two people reaching beyond their day-to-day lives to find love. This book contains explicit language and graphic sexual scenes. If you don’t like sex with your books, this one isn’t for you, though the author hopes all readers end up with their soul’s mate.

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