#BookTour “Black, White and Gray All Over: A Black Man’s Odyssey in Life and Law Enforcement” by Frederick Douglass Reynolds

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 Nonfiction

 

Date Published: August 18, 2021

From shootouts and robberies to riding in cars with pimps and prostitutes, Frederick Reynolds’ early manhood experiences in Detroit, Michigan in the 1960s foretold a future on the wrong side of the prison bars. Frederick grew up a creative and sensitive child but found himself lured down the same path as many Black youth in that era. No one would have guessed he would have a future as a cop in one of the most dangerous cities in America in the 1980s—Compton, California. From recruit to detective, Frederick experienced a successful career marked by commendations and awards. The traumatic and highly demanding nature of the work, however, took its toll on both his family and personal life—something Frederick was able to conquer but only after years of distress and regret.

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About the Author

Frederick Douglass Reynolds is a former Compton police officer and a retired LA County Sheriff’s Homicide Sergeant with a combined 32 years of experience working some of the worst areas of Los Angeles County. He retired in 2017 with over seventy-five commendations including a Chief’s Citation, five Chief’s commendations, one Exemplary Service Award, two Distinguished Service Awards, two Distinguished Service Medals, one city of Carson Certificate of Commendation, three City of Compton Certificate of Recognition, one city of Compton Public Service Hero award, one California State Assembly Certificate of Recognition, two State Senate Certificates of Recognition, a County of Los Angeles Certificate of Commendation, one Meritorious Service Award, two City of Compton Employee of the Year Awards, and two California Officer of the Year awards. He lives in Southern California with his wife, Carolyn, and their daughter Lauren and their young son, Desmond. They have six other adult children and nine grandchildren.

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#BookTour “Playing Doctor; PART TWO: RESIDENCY: (Blundering along with imposter syndrome)” by John Lawrence

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playing doctor book cover

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About the Book

Title: PLAYING DOCTOR; PART TWO: RESIDENCY: (Blundering along with imposter syndrome)

Author: John Lawrence

Ready to learn how (not) to be a doctor?

Well, neither was John.

John’s adventures in medical training continue with this insightful, often hilarious, self-deprecating medical memoir of bumbling into residency with a severe case of imposter syndrome. This second part in the series brings John’s unique, irreverent and candid med-school storytelling to the world of residency training.

Initially, John penned email blasts while being held captive on-call nights. His descriptions of the escapades, mishaps, disorder, and terror that surrounded his training, led several friends to enquire if he has broken into the hospital pharmacy. Eventually, someone asked to publish the stories, so John replied that he’d write down the whole adventure of becoming a doctor from medical school through residency.

Purchase Links

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EXCERPT

My very first patient on my very first day in the ER was a young woman with a severe headache. When I entered the room, she was moaning on the exam table with the lights turned off because lights exacerbated her headache. I spoke calmly and quietly to not make her head feel any worse, “Hi Nancy, my name’s John, I’m one of the doctors here today. I understand you have a headache?”

She attempted a brief, small smile for my compassionate efforts, “I’m having the worst headache of my life…feels just like a migraine…,” her smile replaced by a grimace of obvious pain.

That phrase however, worst headache of my life, is a catchphrase that medical students have been trained to respond to like Pavlovian dogs, drooling with excitement (and in my case, fear), because they were the words patients typically used to describe the pain associated with a hemorrhage in their brain.

I did a rapid battery of physical exam tests, and quickly went to discuss this potentially fatal headache with the attending physician.

My attending for the day was a fantastic doctor and great guy: always very relaxed and instructive, who appeared more likely to be crafting micro-brew in the ER office, while lecturing about existential philosophy in between poetry jams, than saving lives. I was very concerned about the patient and just blurted out, “I’d like to order a stat head CT to rule out a subarachnoid hemorrhage for this patient.”

“Stat” sounded kind of cool to say in this, my virgin, and quite emergent, ER case.

The attending appeared nonplussed, awaiting further explanation without any reaction to my urgent use of the word “stat.”

So, I blundered on, “This patient, Nancy Beckstead, twenty-seven-year-old woman, here with a chief complaint of a headache that she describes as… (drum-roll please) the worst headache of her life (dramatic pause… but still no reaction from the attending). Uh…the headache woke her early this morning…”

“Did you say Nancy Bankstead?”

“No. Beckstead.”

“Nancy’s a frequent flier here. Every Saturday. Just don’t give her any narcotic drugs.” And then he went back to casually reading his newspaper.

What? I was shocked. My patient was probably going to die; I wasn’t worried about pain meds—although, I did need a plan to treat her pain because, well, doctors are supposed to help relieve their patient’s pain. But I still needed to figure out what to do.

“So, don’t order that stat CT?” I asked.

The attending shook his head at either my silly re-use of the word stat, or more likely, my inability to grasp that Nancy was a big fat liar.

“No. Tell her to follow up with her doctor this week.”

I sulked out of the office, while the carefree attending turned back to his bagel and morning newspaper, calmly calling out to the nurses’ station, “Barbara, can you pull a recent

DOPL on Miss. Bankstead?”

I returned to Nancy, tiptoeing back inside the dark, quiet room, and politely asked her what medicines she had used for headaches in the past that had helped. Amazingly, all of them happened to be narcotics—the exact same medications I had just been instructed not to give to her.

I suggested a non-narcotic pain medicine.

She was allergic to it.

I suggested a different non-narcotic pain reliever.

Remarkably, she turned out to be allergic to every single non-narcotic pain reliever ever available in the world. I told her about a brand-new pain medicine that did not have the opioid effect of narcotics—but she was allergic to that one too.

Amazing.

Turned out she was a complete medical anomaly, and allergic to every class of pain medication except narcotics. Now what was I going to do? She was in pain, and the only medicines that helped were narcotics.

We were in a serious conundrum. Fortunately, Nancy was quite helpful and forthcoming about telling me that she didn’t even like taking pills, but in the past, when she absolutely needed something for pain, a medicine that she thought sounded something like, “Perk-o-sot?” had worked really well.

And regarding following up with her doctor, unfortunately, he was out of town all week, so her care, her well-being, her only chance of breaking the horrific migraine pain cycle, was left in my caring hands.

I returned to the attending’s office to inform him of Nancy’s allergies, and her doctor being out of town all week. My medical career was now reduced to playing messenger boy and patient envoy.

The attending tossed his newspaper aside, strode back to Nancy’s room, flipped on the lights, and loudly announced, “Hi Nancy, we’re not giving you any narcotics today. Anything else?”

She left the ER two minutes later walking upright, and not appearing to be in any pain.

I was shocked. She had barely been able to lift her head ten minutes before. She had lied right to my face!

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Author Bio

John LawrenceJohn Lawrence was born in New York, grew up England, and attended Georgetown University where he told his career advisor that the only thing he did not want to be was a doctor. He subsequently survived medical school and residency training in Utah.

John was not the typical medical student, sneaking out of the hospital whilst on-call to audition for television shows; writing film scripts (also available on Amazon!) and overcoming imposter syndrome. He went on to work as a doctor for 20 years in both traditional western medicine and functional medicine.

John’s varied non-medical resume includes river rafting guide, ski race coach, bagel baker, screenwriter, film director, and expedition doctor climbing Kilimanjaro with Olympic Hall of Fame athlete Chris Waddell.

Links

Visit the author’s website: https://johnlawrencewriter.com/

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#Excerpt “Blessed to Have Been Abandoned: The Story of The Baby Box Lady” by Monica Kelsey

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The Story of The Baby Box Lady

Date Published: April 9, 2021

Publisher: MindStir Media

She went from being ABANDONED, to saving abandoned babies.

Poignant, brutally honest and triumphant; Blessed to Have Been Abandoned is the true story of Monica Kelsey, the founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes. Follow Monica’s story as she discovers the secrets of her painful beginnings, the painful journey of her birth mother, wrestling with being abandoned as an infant, yet being given the gift of an amazing forever family. Watch as Monica’s personal struggle births the vision for a national organization that is saving the lives of abandoned infants across the United States.

A heart wrenching yet ultimately victorious story, Blessed to Have Been Abandoned will take you through the pain, struggle, valleys and mountain tops of Monica’s life, all of these pointing to the amazing hand of God. A testimony to God’s faithfulness and His plan and purpose, this book will encourage your own heart and help you find purpose through pain and we trust it will bring Glory to God, the Author of each one of our complicated, messy and inspiring journeys.

Praise

“Monica Kelsey’s Blessed to Have Been Abandoned: The Story of the Baby Box Lady is an uplifting inspirational story of how one woman answered God’s call on her life, transforming her difficult beginning into a mission to protect the most vulnerable among us in her home state and beyond. It’s exactly the kind of story we need. Highly recommended!” -J.J. Hebert, #1 bestselling author

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EXCERPT

INTRODUCTION

Love your story and share your testimony, with confidence, because God, Himself, wrote it, and though there are areas and seasons that we wish we could avoid or re-do, the scriptures declare that all things are working together for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28).

The following pages are my story. The pain, struggle, valleys and mountain tops, all of these pointing to the amazing hand of God. My story, similar to your own, is riddled with questions: “Why”? “Why me”? “Why now”, or perhaps “Why not now”? Questioning the providence of God is a part of being human. Asking the tough questions about where He was in the midst of pain and struggle and why He allowed the difficult seasons of our life is common to most of our lives.

If I have learned anything in this amazing adventure called living, it is that God is bigger than my questions, fears and suffering! He can handle your real emotions, and He is ALWAYS there… present, with you. He will never leave you or forsake you. He will never abandon you.

My hope is that by sharing my journey, by inviting you to walk alongside me, that you will be encouraged to see the hand of God in your own journey.

If you are just starting out, be encouraged to never give up! If you are in the middle of a valley or a season of suffering, be strong and courageous! If you are approaching the winter of your journey, look back with clear eyes and give thanks for the One who wrote your story and traveled with you the entire way.

You see, it boils down to perspective. If we focus on our circumstances, it will be devastating. But if we keep our focus on JESUS, we can walk through whatever life brings. Allow Him to use the darkness for good. He will. Do that and not only will you experience God in ways you would never have otherwise, but you will see Him move and use your journey for His glory. And friends, there is nothing more satisfying than doing what we were created for – bringing glory to Him. Joy, peace, comfort, and rest are found there. So whatever mountain you’re facing, keep your eyes on Christ and rest in His grace and grip. There’s no safer place to be.

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About the Author

Monica Kelsey is the founder and Executive Director of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, a 501c3 non profit whose mission is to prevent infant abandonment and give mother’s in crisis a safe, legal and completely anonymous option of surrendering their unharmed newborn. Monica’s personal story of being abandoned at birth by a teen mom who had been raped and hidden away for her entire pregnancy propelled her to speak on behalf of babies like herself as well as her birth mother who desperately needed a safe option. Monica is also a firefighter/paramedic and knows first hand how important first responders are to state Safe Haven laws.

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Amazon

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#Excerpt “When I Was Her Daughter” by Leslie Ferguson

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Memoir

 

Date Published: November 12, 2021

Publisher: Acorn Publishing

Seven-year-old Leslie has a serious problem: someone is trying to kill her.

She must fight to save herself and her little brother from the stark realities of living with their mother’s raging psychosis. To evade the evil Russian spies her mother believes are after them, they forgo sleep, speak in whispers, and live on the run. Her mother searches for hidden listening devices, writes rambling manifestos about the impending Communist takeover, and attempts to kill herself and her children to protect them from rape, torture, and murder at the hands of the government. Controlling the chaos seems impossible—Leslie rebels, which only angers her mother, but when she obeys, terrible consequences follow.

Eventually, the police place Leslie and her brother in foster care. Freedom from her mother’s paranoia and violent tendencies offers the young girl a glimmer of hope, but she plummets into despair under the oppressive weight of abusive, alienating homes. All seems lost until a teacher intervenes, risking everything to bring Leslie to safety, to show her the redemptive power of trust and patience, and to prove unconditional love is possible, even without the bond of blood.

When I Was Her Daughter is a raw, honest account of one girl’s terrifying childhood journey through madness, loss, and a broken foster care system, where only the lucky and most resilient survive.

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Excerpt

 

CHAPTER 1

Summer 1980

Age 6

My earliest memory is of drowning.

Mom squints and smiles at me. Holding my hand, she guides me into the ocean. I’m on my tiptoes and intoxicated with excitement. I want her to take me out so I can float like a buoy. The cool water lifts me up, makes me weightless under the blasting summer sun. Mom tells me, “Not too deep,” but I pull her toward the horizon, where all I can see is water and sky.

I’m six years old, wearing my pink and white floral two-piece with the ruffles over the chest and across the hips. The water’s surface rises under my chin like a blanket, and a lukewarm chill trickles along the back of my neck.

Auntie Philys and William wade at the shoreline behind me where the water rushes in and tugs at the land. Auntie’s polyester pant cuffs are rolled up, so I know she’s expecting to get wet even though she can’t swim. William is only five, and he can’t swim either. The sun makes the top of his blond head shine.

My aunt’s ragged voice rings out. “Help! I can’t swim!”

When I look back to the shoreline, I see the surf has knocked her down, and the water and sand take her, as if with fingers, into the sea. Like an overturned beetle, Auntie kicks at the air. Then, William falls, and the whitewash yanks him into the surf, too. I’m thinking I should go back and save them, but when I turn toward Mom to tell her, water gushes into my mouth and floods my ears with its whoosh, glomp, whoosh, and then I’m like a bundle of clothes in a washing machine. I don’t understand the thick scent that fills my nose—mushed strawberries mixed with salt. My eyeballs sting like a burn, but I keep them open. I need them to find the light because that’s where the surface is.

Mom lets me go. I inhale ocean and flail around for her—a hand, a body, something to anchor me. I’m slammed into the sea floor. It’s a scratchy, sickening drag along the bottom before I’m tossed again and tumbling. I strain toward the surface, teaching myself how to survive already. Something scrapes my thigh. Mom’s fingernails? No, her ring. The yellow topaz one with the prongs that stick up like needles. I reach for her but come up empty.

***

I open my eyes after drowning to see Jesus looking down at me. He holds me in his arms, carries me to my towel. Seawater drips like honey from his long, brown hair and beard. The sun behind him creates a halo around his head.

William lies on a towel on his belly, whimpering. I rest my hand on his trembling back.

Jesus leaves but returns soon, carrying Mom. He leaves again, and when he returns, he has Auntie Philys in his arms. He lays her gently on a towel.

“You’re an angel,” Mom says, her breath heavy like sadness. “You saved us. An angel sent straight from heaven. What’s your name?”

“It’s Jesus, Mom,” William says.

Jesus laughs. “I’m Dan. Just glad I was here.”

“Where did you come from?” Mom says. “The beach is practically empty except for those two fucking lazy excuses.” She points to a man and woman sitting as still as mannequins in low chairs about fifty yards away.

“I was just out on my board,” Jesus says. “The undertow took you.”

Mom’s mascara streaks her cheeks, and her short auburn hair sticks to her temples and forehead. “Damn Communists.” She shakes her head. “They’re everywhere.”

Auntie squints. “Roberta, knock it off.” She coughs into her hand, then gropes around the towel for her purse. “I need my glasses. And a cigarette.”

I sink into my warm towel, floating on being alive. I look up, but Jesus is gone.

“Lazy bastards!” Mom shouts and shuffles through the hot sand toward the lounging couple. “Kids are drowning, and you just sit there?”

They ignore her, staring straight ahead in their sunglasses. Maybe they are mannequins. Or Communists, whatever that is. Auntie puts her hand on Mom’s arm, but Mom kicks sand at their legs before giving up.

Towels over shoulders, we drag ourselves to the car. Boiled hotdog and coconut suntan lotion smells replace the scent of drowning. Soaring seagulls let squawks fall from their beaks. A cloud-gray bird lands at the edge of the sidewalk to peck at breadcrumbs.

We drive home in Auntie’s Ford Mustang with the fuzzy white dice hanging from the rearview. Lungs small and tight, I fall asleep and dream about how staying close to the surface keeps me safe.

On the sidewalk in front of our Paramount apartment, I turn the crotch of my swimsuit inside out to release clumps of sand. I should have died, but instead, I feel how soft the sand and I are, and how hard, too. I’m mad at the ocean for tricking me, for being so inviting when all it wanted to do was swallow me.

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About the Author

Leslie Ferguson is an accomplished educator, editor, and writing coach. As a youth in foster care, she dreamed about becoming a teacher. She earned her credential at the University of Redlands and returned to her alma mater to teach advanced English before obtaining a master’s degree in English literature and an MFA in creative writing from Chapman University. Her work has been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. A member of the San Diego Memoir Writers Association and the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild, Leslie is a repeat performer at So Say We All’s VAMP! and Poets Underground. She lives in the greater San Diego area with her husband, where she binge-watches coming-of-age character dramas and reminisces about her glory days as an All-American basketball player and collegiate Hall-of-Fame athlete. When I Was Her Daughter is her first book.

Visit the author online at LeslieFergusonAuthor.com.

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#BookTour “Clipped” by Adrienne Alitowski

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Memoir

 

Date Published: November 4th 2021

Publisher: Acorn Publishing

Clipped is a quirky memoir about a new mother whose desperation to get her baby to sleep catapulted her into becoming an inventor and a small business owner—just before the world fell apart in 2008.

As a full-time mother and entrepreneur, Adrienne Alitowski rolled out her invention, blankyclip®, to retailers across the country, including over thirty stores in the Buy Buy Baby national chain. LA Parent Expecting and Kids Today both made blankyclip a “Top Pick.” The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded her three utility patents and a trademark. All that fabulous glory aside, Adrienne also learned what it’s like to fly halfway around the world to a Chinese factory and to be pregnant, throwing up on the street just before an investor meeting. These experiences led her down a path to write this memoir about sticking to your vision and being open to finding gold in the muck.

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EXCERPT

Having a baby at my age—or any age—ends your life as you know it. But Gary and I had been married for seven years, together for eleven, and we wanted children.

It was 2003, and I was thirty-seven. Since my body wasn’t going to be endlessly fertile, it was now or never. I couldn’t imagine it being never. So I became a mother, and my life did change in every way possible. Thirty-seven years of making myself the priority. Of planning my days around what I needed. Of sleeping. And suddenly I was spending many hours of all my days pushing my baby around neighborhood streets in his stroller.

Eli was a baby who needed to be moving, or he wouldn’t sleep. Getting those crucial naps in meant staying in motion and keeping him in a safe little cocoon that I made by hanging a blanket over the stroller.

Which brought me to the next oh-so-fun dilemma: How did I keep him in this safe little cocoon when his blanket kept falling off the stroller? Or if I managed to pile enough stuff on top of the stroller to secure one end of the blanket, then the other end would fly in and hit his face. And wake him. An extra annoyance came when the blanket fell and hit the street and ended up under the wheels, getting streaked with dirt.

Clearly, what I needed was a clip that would “hold a blanket fast to any model stroller, car seat or carrier but won’t pinch little fingers! True security at last,” as L.A. Parent magazine would say some years later. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Before nausea and prenatal vitamins entered my life, I worked as an actress mostly. If you were paying attention, you might have seen me on Beverly Hills 90210, Just Shoot Me, Everybody Loves Raymond, and 18 Wheels of Justice. Although the odds of succeeding in the entertainment industry are infinitesimal, there was nothing I wouldn’t try. I performed a one-woman show; I produced a show, GlenMary, GlenRose: Women Do Men, with celebrity actresses as a fundraiser for breast cancer research; and I directed a short film that played in festivals from Sarasota to Santa Cruz. I thought that if I just held on to that pant leg of life with all my might, my tenacity and fearlessness would land me a juicy role on a must-see sitcom, and my problems would be over. I devoured trade magazines like Variety and the Hollywood Reporter. I went to seminars and networking breakfasts to learn tidbits that might help me get that next job. I auditioned for anything and everything. I said I played the cello, which I hadn’t done since high school, and that landed me a job “playing” in a Don Henley music video (the music was prerecorded, thank goodness). My point is, I was determined, and I loved pursuing an acting career.

But when I went on my first nauseous, pregnant audition and pretended I wasn’t pregnant, I could smell—like a poopy diaper under a brand-new onesie—the writing on the wall. And when I dropped off my newborn at a friend’s house and ran to audition for a commercial (which I actually booked), it felt wrong to desert him and his needs and be focused back on mine. Without my permission, my priorities had shifted. I was now in the “I’m a mom and it’s not about me anymore” phase of life.

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About the Author

Adrienne Alitowski invented, patented, and manufactured blankyclip®, a stroller accessory. She sold blankyclips nationally in Buy Buy Baby as well as in many boutiques across the country and around the world. As an actress, she performed on Broadway and toured with the National Theatre of the Deaf. Her television credits include Will & Grace, Just Shoot Me!, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Beverly Hills, 90210, among others. She produced and co-wrote her one-woman show, Just Tell Them You’re From Scarsdale, which she performed in New York and Los Angeles. She created, produced, and performed in the celebrity benefit Glen Mary Glen Rose: Women Do Men, in Los Angeles, which raised funds for breast cancer research as well as awareness about the lack of diverse roles for women. She is the mother of two and lives in Los Angeles with her family. Clipped is her first book.

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#ReleaseBlitz “When I Was Her Daughter” by Leslie Ferguson

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Memoir

 

Date Published: November 12, 2021

Publisher: Acorn Publishing

Seven-year-old Leslie has a serious problem: someone is trying to kill her.

She must fight to save herself and her little brother from the stark realities of living with their mother’s raging psychosis. To evade the evil Russian spies her mother believes are after them, they forgo sleep, speak in whispers, and live on the run. Her mother searches for hidden listening devices, writes rambling manifestos about the impending Communist takeover, and attempts to kill herself and her children to protect them from rape, torture, and murder at the hands of the government. Controlling the chaos seems impossible—Leslie rebels, which only angers her mother, but when she obeys, terrible consequences follow.

Eventually, the police place Leslie and her brother in foster care. Freedom from her mother’s paranoia and violent tendencies offers the young girl a glimmer of hope, but she plummets into despair under the oppressive weight of abusive, alienating homes. All seems lost until a teacher intervenes, risking everything to bring Leslie to safety, to show her the redemptive power of trust and patience, and to prove unconditional love is possible, even without the bond of blood.

When I Was Her Daughter is a raw, honest account of one girl’s terrifying childhood journey through madness, loss, and a broken foster care system, where only the lucky and most resilient survive.

~~~

About the Author

Leslie Ferguson is an accomplished educator, editor, and writing coach. As a youth in foster care, she dreamed about becoming a teacher. She earned her credential at the University of Redlands and returned to her alma mater to teach advanced English before obtaining a master’s degree in English literature and an MFA in creative writing from Chapman University. Her work has been published in numerous literary magazines and anthologies. A member of the San Diego Memoir Writers Association and the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild, Leslie is a repeat performer at So Say We All’s VAMP! and Poets Underground. She lives in the greater San Diego area with her husband, where she binge-watches coming-of-age character dramas and reminisces about her glory days as an All-American basketball player and collegiate Hall-of-Fame athlete. When I Was Her Daughter is her first book.

Visit the author online at LeslieFergusonAuthor.com.

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#BookTour “The Last Stop” by Patricia Street

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Memoir

 

Publisher: Acorn Publishing

Date Published: October 19, 2021

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The true story of a son’s battle with addiction and a mother’s struggle with loss.

David is only fifteen years old when he first feels morphine flow through his veins after his foot is crushed in the hydraulics of a Bobcat. From that moment on he chases the feeling for the rest of his life. Alcohol, marijuana, cocaine – he goes through drugs like candy, but it isn’t until he finds heroin that he is satisfied.

Through his personal correspondence and essays, David’s story unfolds as he goes from being an average American kid who loves sports, racing around on his skateboard, and writing stories, to being a heroin addict. His heartbreaking journey deepens as he takes his family with him down the dark and dangerous road of heroin addiction.

In 2014, David loses the battle, leaving his mother, Pat, to cope. Grieving a death from addiction is two-fold. After already losing her son to addiction, Pat has to find a way to grieve his death.

The Last Stop reveals intimate and detailed scenes of living the life of an addict and explores the mistakes and ways for families who love the addict to cope. David’s story gives hope for families immersed in the life-altering aspects of active addiction and empathy for those left behind when recovery stops being a choice.

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~ Guest Post ~

10 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer – Organize materials

  1. Take time to think about what you are writing
  2. Allow the words to come
  3. When the words don’t come, do something else
  4. Write when the words come, even in the middle of the night
  5. Be kind to yourself
  6. Read
  7. Review written work on hard copy, take time away from the screen
  8. Question yourself
  9. Be open to suggestions
  10. Remember to eat, stand, and stretch.

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About the Author

In late 1999, Pat learned that her son, David, who was 25, had become addicted to heroin. Her life was changed forever. For the next fifteen years, David rotated in and out of active addiction, recovery, and relapse. In August of 2013, David was diagnosed with vertebrae osteomyelitis caused by his drug use, and at the age of 39, he lost his battle with addiction.

Wanting to help other moms who are living the nightmare of addiction with a loved one, Pat gathered the emotional courage to compile her son’s story, The Last Stop, with his short stories, poetry, and essays.

Addiction changes the addict and those who love the addict. Pat is a different person today, but she still enjoys a good book, a lively tennis match, the clicking of Mah Jongg tiles, weaving baby blankets, and long walks with her little terrier mix who rescued her two years ago.

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#ReleaseBlitz “Clipped” by Adrienne Alitowski

~~~

Memoir

 

Date Published: November 4th 2021

Publisher: Acorn Publishing

Clipped is a quirky memoir about a new mother whose desperation to get her baby to sleep catapulted her into becoming an inventor and a small business owner—just before the world fell apart in 2008.

As a full-time mother and entrepreneur, Adrienne Alitowski rolled out her invention, blankyclip®, to retailers across the country, including over thirty stores in the Buy Buy Baby national chain. LA Parent Expecting and Kids Today both made blankyclip a “Top Pick.” The United States Patent and Trademark Office awarded her three utility patents and a trademark. All that fabulous glory aside, Adrienne also learned what it’s like to fly halfway around the world to a Chinese factory and to be pregnant, throwing up on the street just before an investor meeting. These experiences led her down a path to write this memoir about sticking to your vision and being open to finding gold in the muck.

~~~

About the Author

Adrienne Alitowski invented, patented, and manufactured blankyclip®, a stroller accessory. She sold blankyclips nationally in Buy Buy Baby as well as in many boutiques across the country and around the world. As an actress, she performed on Broadway and toured with the National Theatre of the Deaf. Her television credits include Will & Grace, Just Shoot Me!, Everybody Loves Raymond, and Beverly Hills, 90210, among others. She produced and co-wrote her one-woman show, Just Tell Them You’re From Scarsdale, which she performed in New York and Los Angeles. She created, produced, and performed in the celebrity benefit Glen Mary Glen Rose: Women Do Men, in Los Angeles, which raised funds for breast cancer research as well as awareness about the lack of diverse roles for women. She is the mother of two and lives in Los Angeles with her family. Clipped is her first book.

Contact Links

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Instagram

~~~

Purchase Links

Amazon

B&N

~~~

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~~~

#BookBlitz “Blessed to Have Been Abandoned: The Story of The Baby Box Lady” by Monica Kelsey

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The Story of The Baby Box Lady

Date Published: April 9, 2021

Publisher: MindStir Media

She went from being ABANDONED, to saving abandoned babies.

Poignant, brutally honest and triumphant; Blessed to Have Been Abandoned is the true story of Monica Kelsey, the founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes. Follow Monica’s story as she discovers the secrets of her painful beginnings, the painful journey of her birth mother, wrestling with being abandoned as an infant, yet being given the gift of an amazing forever family. Watch as Monica’s personal struggle births the vision for a national organization that is saving the lives of abandoned infants across the United States.

A heart wrenching yet ultimately victorious story, Blessed to Have Been Abandoned will take you through the pain, struggle, valleys and mountain tops of Monica’s life, all of these pointing to the amazing hand of God. A testimony to God’s faithfulness and His plan and purpose, this book will encourage your own heart and help you find purpose through pain and we trust it will bring Glory to God, the Author of each one of our complicated, messy and inspiring journeys.

Praise

“Monica Kelsey’s Blessed to Have Been Abandoned: The Story of the Baby Box Lady is an uplifting inspirational story of how one woman answered God’s call on her life, transforming her difficult beginning into a mission to protect the most vulnerable among us in her home state and beyond. It’s exactly the kind of story we need. Highly recommended!” -J.J. Hebert, #1 bestselling author

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About the Author

Monica Kelsey is the founder and Executive Director of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, a 501c3 non profit whose mission is to prevent infant abandonment and give mother’s in crisis a safe, legal and completely anonymous option of surrendering their unharmed newborn. Monica’s personal story of being abandoned at birth by a teen mom who had been raped and hidden away for her entire pregnancy propelled her to speak on behalf of babies like herself as well as her birth mother who desperately needed a safe option. Monica is also a firefighter/paramedic and knows first hand how important first responders are to state Safe Haven laws.

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Purchase Link

Amazon

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#BookReview “Hysterical Memories” by Eugene Wallace

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4/5 Stars!

At times heartbreaking and harrowing, Hysterical Memories also offers up a bit of humor… even if purely unintentional.

From early childhood through middle-age, Eugene suffers a laundry list of life’s indignities including, domestic violence, bullying, alcoholism, substance abuse, prison, and homelessness.

While not an Indian Jones-type adventure, Eugene’s story is one of a transient lifestyle. When he’s released from prison after a rebellious youth, his travels will take him across much of the UK and its surrounding countries, taking jobs in the kitchens of low-level dives and five-star restaurants alike to survive.

The son of a schizophrenic mother with an evil streak and an abusive father, Eugene is hindered by his own struggles with mental illness and depression. While there were doctors and clinics always willing to dispense pills and rehab, Eugene never received a solid foundation of support, and all too soon was on his own again, in an alcoholic daze moving from job to job.

Though not a challenging read, Hysterical Memories is thought-provoking as it shows how easy it is to fall through society’s cracks and go from mental illness to crime to hopelessness.

However, despite the weird friendships, psycho bosses and landlords, and even manic episodes and suicide attempts, Eugene always managed to land on his feet and was able to complete college with a chef certification. Kudos to him!

Enjoy!

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About Hysterical Memories
Memoir

Date Published: May 2021

Here is the story of a man’s life that has been riddled and ruffled with emotionally unstable personality disorder, a known mental illness. Despite spending a considerable part of his life at various rehabilitation facilities, Eugene’s life was largely marred with crazy-bound incidences. He was a convicted drug dealer with a history of violence. His case was so bad that he even attacked his dad with a claw hammer. He was everything you could think of when it came to drugs and crime. However, from the lowest depths of a mentally unstable man, Eugene rose to become one of UK’s finest chefs of all time.

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Purchase Links

Amazon

B&N

Bookshop

Publisher

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RABT Book Tours & PR

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