Thursday, October 20, 2016

Getting to Know Anonymous by Crissten Shadow

Getting to Know Anonymous

Barbara is ready to ace her last year in high school. She was confident nothing could go wrong. She is serious, dedicated and extremely cautious of the popular students. Besides, she is also having fun being the elusive writer called Anonymous. After a certain article was published by “Anonymous”, Barbara never thought her life would take a whole different turn. 

Brandon is a popular student not only because he is good at sports, but because he is smart, considerate and the kind of guy every girl wants to date. He falls into the role as Barbara’s tennis coach. Little did he know, that 1) She was totally hopeless at tennis and 2) Barbara’s teacher had just assigned her to a new assignment – to get invited to the dance by Brandon. 

When the two meet, it wasn’t love at first sight.

Buy links

About Crissten Shadow

Crissten Shadow had the urge to write ever since she first picked up Enid Blyton books at the age of seven. Her first attempt started when she was 12 years old. An ardent reader of not only Enid Blyton, she grew up reading mysteries to science fiction and romance. Her favourite romance series are historical masquerades. 

She is involved full time in the aviation industry and travels widely. Writing is her hobby, among others. Being a missionary is also a priority for her. In her free time, she conducts writer’s workshop for young adults. 

Her series of publication also includes juvenile-mystery book that was published in 2009 and she will be releasing the next series soon.

Connect with Crissten online:

Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Okefenokee Expeditions of 1875 (A Newspaper Capers Book) by Marsanne A. Petty

The Okefenokee Expeditions of 1875

In early 1875, Charles Pendleton and George Haines made an exploratory trip into the swamp, which was considered a great wasteland until then. Their short trip was enough to fuel their interest and kindle the interest of fellow Americans and The Atlanta Constitution quickly picked up the adventure, publishing a long term series about the Spring expedition.

Read an excerpt:
When Clinch county was surveyed off into lots, this section was considered worthless, and hence nothing but district lines have been run, and the land is the property of the state, in common with the Okefinokee swamp. Still there are some good lands in spots, and there are settlers on it. For a distance of five miles we traveled on a narrow ridge of land lying between the Okefinokee and what is known as Indian Swamp. The indication of game is so plain here that Uncle Ben and myself resolved to go in advance of the wagon and “drive” along the swamp for deer. We walked several miles, but having no dogs, we failed to “jump” anything. As we were about to give up and resume our seats in the wagon, we saw a drove of hogs flying for their lives. 
“Are those wild hogs, Uncle Ben?” said I. 
“No – guess not – they “wind” a bear.” 
“Don’t you suppose it is on their trail?” 
“No telling; a hog can smell one a mile, and no sooner smelt than Mr. Hog is off in the other direction. They will sometimes run five miles before they stop.” 
We walked on some distance and kept one “eye skinned,” but saw no bear. We halted for the approach of the wagon and resumed our seats, which felt very comfortable. 
We had scarcely gone three hundred yards before Uncle Ben commanded a halt, and exclaimed in an excited but under tone, “yonder’s a bear, see ‘im – see ‘im?” I gathered my gun and made in the direction he pointed though I did not see him. Uncle Ben was soon up with me and said that he had disappeared behind a large cluster of gallberry bushes just on the edge of the swamp, that perhaps he had lain down there if he did not smell our scent. We approached the spot cautiously, but to our disappointment, bear had gone. We saw where he had been engaged in pulling up palmetto buds, and after pulling off the tender buds had thrown them down. At this season of the year they subsist mainly on this, and a species of wild grape which grows in great abundance in the Okefinokee swamp. Of the habits, etc., of this species of bear, I will speak more at length in a future letter. 
I mounted my position in the wagon and Uncle Ben walked ahead for the purpose of selecting a suitable ground for camping as night was near closing in, and it was apparent that we would not reach the Suwanee. In this immediate vicinity there had evidently fallen heavy rains within a few days past, as the ground was getting very wet and the ponds full of water – very unlike the section we had traveled through. Just as we were in the act of halting, two fine deer bounced up near the wagon and brought a shrill sniff of the nostril and then vanished in the darkness to westward. Our old boss said that they would not go far, and that as soon as the moon began to rise that they would be feeding, and that he and I must go fire hunting for them. We soon had a blazing fire on an old pine log, and Frank busy getting supper. While this was being done, Uncle Ben was busy arranging for the hunt. He cut a fat lightwood pole about six feet long and four inches thick, and split one end into splinters, and put it into the fire. Just before the moon began to rise we started out. Uncle Ben, after taking good notice of the stars led the way with the pole bounced on his shoulder – the burning end behind. I followed close behind with Boone’s gun, well loaded on my shoulder. My own was left behind because it had been damp during the day and I was afraid it would fail to fire – and the axe was in my left hand. He walked slowly and cautionary, turning from one side to the other, swinging the fire in a half circle in order to keep it always behind his head. We had gone about a quarter of a mile when he stopped suddenly and gazed into the darkness ahead. I at once concluded that he “saw eyes” and so he did, for he motioned for me to step ahead, and as I did he showed me a pair that looked like two coals of fire. He whispered that we were not near enough and that I should temporarily resume my position behind. A few yards further and he beckoned me ahead. I obeyed his summons and I saw much more plainly the glaring eye-balls ahead. I leveled my gun and was in the act of fire when they disappeared. My hopes fell, but my comrade assured me that he would not go far. We went on about two hundred yards and Uncle Ben found the eyes again. This time we were afraid to venture as near as we did before, and I had to content myself with a shot at fifty yards. At the crack of the gun I staggered back against my friend and could hear nothing but a continued roaring in my ears. I thought that Tamp Fender’s mule had kicked me, or also that one of Jupiter’s thunderbolts had struck me on the shoulder. Uncle Ben caught me, but without stopping to see what was the matter was, ran on to yank, so he calls it, the wounded deer. I had loaded both barrels of the gun rather heavily, and being unaccustomed to its tricks, I cocked both hammers in order to get a second shot in case the deer did not get off too rapidly, and when I pulled one trigger both hammers fell simultaneously, and the result was a severe “kick,” skinned lip, two teeth knocked loose, and a headache for twenty-four hours. Uncle Ben failed to get to the scene of the action in time. Though I had shot the deer down, and blood was seen on the grass, it recovered enough to escape in the surrounding darkness. 
We returned to our camp and found the boys anxiously awaiting our return. They had heard the terrible explosion, and Boone amused at the prank his gun had played on me. He said it was an old trick. After this I used my own shooting iron exclusively, and was more fortunate, as I will subsequently show.

About Marsanne Petty

My name is Marsanne Petty, and it might be a sin... but I'm a researcher through and through. I chase obscure topics into the end of oblivion and compile what I find for all to read. Sometimes my family thinks I'm crazy, but my dogs are good with it. If you want to follow me down the rabbit hole, check out my author page at If you want some great oddities in your own mail box, shoot me an email at

Monday, September 12, 2016

Paris Kisses and Christmas Wishes (Love on Kissing Bridge Mountain #5) by Linda West

Paris Kisses and Christmas Wishes

Funny, engaging, heartwarming and unique! You will love this story from beginning to end! Humorous, clean and wholesome, this love story is filled with tender moments and hilarious events all centered around the Christmas obsessed town of Kissing Bridge Mountain. 

Kat O’Hara is an author that can’t write. Her excuse for why she is not finishing her opus, is because she needs to visit Paris first, so the ending of her book which is set there, can then be authentic. It's a perfect excuse for the girl that lives in denial. Kat works as a waitress on Kissing Bridge Mountain where everyone is obsessed with Christmas and happily ever after. Kat's tons of fun, especially since she’s gained thirty pounds after her longterm boyfriend left on his internship. Between trying to dupe her boyfriend into marrying her and hiding her true self on Skype, Kat laments her lack of passion and drive.

When Kat agrees to teach the Adult School Diet Class,despite the fact that she herself is thirty pounds overweight, she meets an international visitor from India that challenges her way of life. Together they form a pact to lose the weight they each want to lose to achieve their goals.

Kat is a super funny, easy going white trash girl. She is also slightly mentally challenged and a heck of a beer drinker.

Raj is a blue blood aristocrat snob fleeing the bonds of his responsibilities in India, and his arranged marriage to a woman he barely knows. 

Along the way the unlikely couple forms an undeniable bond that connects them against all odds.

When Kat’s love life breaks apart, she learns that sometimes the things you are looking for are not always where you think.

A side splittingly funny, heartwarming, and delightful read! I laughed so hard my husband kept asking me what I was reading. The inhabitants of Kissing Bridge are adorable. I wish I could give it 10 stars!”
S.Stevens - Kindle Good Books

About Linda West:

Linda West was born in Buffalo and now lives in LA. She used her small town as an inspiration for Kissing Bridge Mountain, and she had more fun writing this book than any thing she has ever written! Linda is a manifestation and law of attraction expert and has many books on empowerment and living your dream life. Go see her tools and books at

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Feel Good Now! The Power of Belief, Faith, & Understanding of Your True Self by Melissa Huff

Feel Good Now!

While there's no perfect way to use the Law of Attraction, new author Melissa Huff brings to you her new book, Feel Good Now! Learn to love yourself again. Learn how to shape your future as you see it. I want you to believe in yourself again!

Available for Pre-Order - Click on the picture

About Melissa Huff

Melissa is a person you will love to know. She's from Texas and very much a Texas girl. She's passinate, artistic and wants everyone to just feel better!

Monday, September 5, 2016

Awaken With Gratitude by Hillis Pugh

Awaken With Gratitude

Awaken With Gratitude is a collection of true-to-life moments and personal perspectives threaded together in a series of internal commentary. These observations create a new awareness of self. Each theme allows a deeper understanding of how gratitude runs thru every aspect of every day in each moment creating a cohesion. Gratitude is more than an attitude, it is the path to feeling good, the path of acceptance, and the path of least resistance.

About Hillis Pugh

A visionary with an authentic soul, Hillis Pugh’s journey has been one of enlightenment, resolution and inevitability. An inspiring writer, poet and intuitive consultant, he uses his gifts to propel readers on how to build self-confidence and explore their own journey of finding gratitude in everyday matters. But Hillis would not have been able to inspire others in this way had he not first examined himself – through introspection, truthfulness and the willingness to change.

Hillis Pugh is the author of Awaken With Gratitude a blog and book of channeled inspirational stories and original poetry. The blog and book engages questions and provides answers on how we can open our minds to experience the gift of gratitude in every waking moment of our lives. The author believes that gratitude allows the flow of love and abundance into our lives when recognized. The clairvoyance of his writing allows him to flow freely from within, thus coining a sanctuary to channel messages of love, light and appreciation with readers along the journey. His personal and shared experiences continue to aid others to seek light and accept the joy in which they were born into.

In the last eight years, Hillis read and studied other spiritual thought leaders such as Michelle Count, Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith, Neale Donald Walsh, Gregg Braden, Esther Hicks, and other like minds, Hillis’ views on life expanded and slowly incorporated them in his writings. By understanding the underline message in all of the teachings Hillis was drawn too, there was one thing constant, you can create your own life.

A customer service rep., graphic designer, and operations manager by trade, philanthropist by nature, Hillis Pugh has become recognized as a poetic voice of self-reflection, spirituality, thankfulness, sensuality, mindfulness and transformation. By honoring his ability as a change-agent who demonstrates giving gratitude to life-in- action is what inspires him to write. Through a variety of philosophical expressions and profound emotions Hillis has learned how to be transparent with his work in order to share freely with the world. By practicing gratitude in his own life, he has become an unforgettable example for others to shadow.

To connect with Hillis Pugh’s work visit

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Mindfulness Mandalas! An Adult Coloring Book by Kimberly-Ann Debling

Mindfulness Mandalas

Art therapy to reduce stress, remain calm, truly relax & create art. Adult Colouring Books have recently become popular for good reason - they allow us to take a moment to be calm, still and relaxed. In today's stressful world this is more important than ever! Mandalas have long been used as a method of meditation and as a symbol of wholeness. They are pleasingly symmetrical and contain both complex and simple shapes to focus on. In Mindfulness Mandalas! An Adult Colouring Book there are 12 mandalas paired with little phrases to help you focus on yourself and your life. Each page is blank on the back and has room to cut the page from the spine so that you can frame your completed artwork. Remember... You don't have to stay within the lines!

About Kimberly-Ann Debling

1. I'm currently 37 weeks pregnant and during my pregnancy, I was diagnosed with cancer. I realised that even though I'm now in a hugely stressful situation I had been more stressed and anxious in the past under less 'socially valid' reasons!

It made me really think about the way we deal with stress and how creativity helps so much. I feel that any creative pursuit is sometimes hard unless we're naturally good at it, or have practiced since childhood. Don't sing unless you have a good voice, don't paint unless you're an artist, don't woodwork unless you create sellable items, don't play an instrument unless you're stage-worthy! At what age do we tell kids that its not right to do creative things unless they're already a pro?! 

I've always been interested in stress-relieving activities due to my previous life as an Air Traffic Controller, so I wanted to combine a few things that I've always loved to bring myself calmness - art and mindfulness. 

2. My art journey has always tended towards the 'design' end of the spectrum. I'm passionate about packaging design (someone has to be)! But a lot of my joy was creating surface pattern and computer-drawn vector designs to include within the graphical elements. I just love how a beautiful pattern in combination with great typography, a barcode, and an ingredients list can become a real physical item that gets on shelves and in customers' hands! 

3. My book is deliberately simple, but the things that make it a little different from your average adult colouring book are: 
     - it is not too thick that it is overwhelming - there's actually a good chance that you will finish all the pages. I always feel a sense of waste when I see too many un-coloured pages! 
     - it is printed on one side only so that if you use pens the bleed through doesn't ruin the next page, my medium of choice for colouring is often alcohol based pens so this was a huge factor for me. 
     - each page consists of a mandala plus a mindful phrase or saying to focus on. I wanted there to be a definite focus so that the 'mindful' part of the colouring has a special place for each page. 

4. I'm obviously in awe of some of the more famous colouring book artists, but I also love Lichtenstein, Mucha and Dali. Mucha is probably my most obvious influence. I'm working on another book which will be a coulour-in diary but this time hand-drawn, I can see lots of Mucha-inspired elements creeping in! 

5. I have a Midori style notebook/diary system and one of my inserts is devoted to notes and sketches. I sketch all the time but often away from home so most of my sketches are in biro! I rarely refine the sketches as I work directly on the computer either in vector or bitmap form. I love that if something doesn't work I can shift around elements to play with different arrangements. I get very obsessive so I often have to tell myself to just stop! I love working with clients and I make it clear to them that all feedback is positive. I usually love the finished design after feedback much more than the initial drafts. 

6. How has the cancer affected your life? Actually, I really feel that being diagnosed with cancer has improved my life dramatically. It sounds crazy I know. For 5 weeks or so I had no details so became really introspective about so many things. My own mortality, the way I feel about life, how I feel about my husband, the kind of parent I want(ed) to be to my child. I was put into the very best care and when the doctor told my husband and I that my prognosis was excellent and that I would be treated with light therapy (essentially I have fancy sunbed sessions twice a week) we felt like we'd won the lottery. Before all this I was your standard person who had ups and downs and rushed through life either doing too much or wasting time. Now I really do enjoy every moment and no longer tell myself that its 'rushed' or 'wasted'. My husband and I are so much stronger in our relationship. I work with clients better. Even my designs seem better to me now that I don't critique myself so much! I'm so much happier now that I could cry - those 'silver linings' really do exist. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Read an excerpt from Touretters by Chris Mason & Members of the TS Community


Tourette’s Syndrome is a hereditary condition that causes acute, uncontrollable muscle spasm (ticcing) and uncontrollable verbal outbursts in more than 250,000 people in North America. It is one of the least known, least understood, most undiagnosed and misdiagnosed conditions in North America today. It affects all races and ethnicities. There is no known cure, though therapies and some medications have been known to lessen its affects. Some conditions lessen as people age and some worsen.

Here for the first time is a collection of short stories written by members of the Tourette’s community –Touretters- People living with it and their family members who support them. This collection was the idea of Chris Mason, who collected the stories and who also has Tourette’s. Many of the authors have chosen to remain anonymous. Sensitivity to TS has lagged behind the perception of those with other debilitating conditions. The stories are touching, powerful, maddening, and filled with enough lessons to begin to enlighten us all about Tourette’s Syndrome.

Read an excerpt:

With The Blink Of An Eye

I came into this world by way of c-section, as an eight pound baby boy, after my mom had endured twenty difficult hours of labor. The doctor who delivered me left a scar on my temple, when he accidentally squeezed the forceps that he used to pry me from my mother’s womb, too tightly. It is a mark that has not gone away. Neither have the two disorders that have plagued me for most of my life.
I had never heard of Tourette Syndrome when I was diagnosed at age twenty. I started having symptoms of it at the age of six. For the fourteen years in between I wondered what was wrong with me and why I wasn’t like other people. When I was diagnosed I now I knew why I shrugged my shoulders, blinked my eyes many times in a row over and over, swallowed, jutted my arms out to the sides, grinded my teeth, bit my fingernails so far down until they bled, bit the insides of my cheeks until they bled, cleared my throat, grunted, stuttered, scrunched up my face, coughed forcefully, etc. Tourettes was the reason. I didn’t want to do these things, but my mind made me.
I had never been very good at studying before, but I had always been able to when I really put my mind to it. During junior year that was even impossible. The first time I sat down at my desk to do homework that year I absolutely could not do it. It started with me becoming distracted by everything in and around my desk each time I sat down to do homework. I tried doing it at different times and in different parts of the house, but nothing worked.
About a month later I also began having horrible symptoms of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. OCD first showed itself in me in the form of making me think about making lists and being obsessed with certain numbers. When it began, an idea would pop into my head. Then, I would spend the next two or three hours writing down everything I could think of that was related to that subject. If I started thinking about cars, for instance, I would get out a piece of paper and write down every make and model of every car I could think of. If I started thinking about professional basketball teams, I would jot the names of every team and players on them, until I couldn’t think of anymore. No topic was off limits. Whatever came into my mind would be written down on paper and consume my thoughts for hours.
Later on I became obsessed with numbers. I started counting up to whatever number was my new favorite each time I did a daily activity. Most people would do things, like brushing their hair, until they thought it looked good. I had to brush mine well past that. Even if my hair looked good, I had to continue on. I would get stuck on a number for months. Then, all of a sudden, I would become obsessed with another number for several months. The numbers were always odd and consisted of having the same number multiple times. The numbers 77, 111, and 333 were some of my favorites. If the number that I was stuck on was 111, for example, I would make sure I did every daily activity I did during that time, no less and no more than 111 times each time I did them. Things like brushing my teeth, brushing my hair, and running my hands through my hair while shampooing it, each had to be done exactly 111 times. It had to add up to exactly 111, or it didn’t feel right. If I ever miscounted I had to start over and count again. I knew that it wasn’t normal and that it would have sounded crazy to anyone I told, but I couldn’t help it. I didn’t know why I was doing these things, but I had to do them. My mind made me.
Halfway through that school year, after having had the horrible obsessive thoughts, where I made lists and obsessed over numbers, another variance of OCD appeared. Up until then I had either made lists or obsessed over numbers. I had done one or the other and had never done both of them at the same time. During the middle of the school year both of them combined to make to make my life a living hell. I would begin by getting a thought in my head, just like I had done before. I would then start making a list and I would not stop thinking about that topic until I had written down as many items as the number that I was obsessed with at the time. It was easy to think of more than the number I was obsessed with, especially when that number was low. When the number I was obsessed with was a high number and a topic that I did not know much about entered my brain, I was in deep trouble. Many times, when that happened, I would be up until the early morning hours, trying to think of enough things to write down on my paper. If I thought of them I would go to bed. If I couldn’t think of them I would stay up until I did, sometimes all night. If I just tried to forget about my list and go to sleep, thoughts about the list would overwhelm me. At that point I would have to get up out of bed and work on the list until I was finished or until it was time to go to school. There were many times, after staying up all night, where my brain would be so exhausted that it would just shut off. That was the only time I ever got a decent amount of sleep for three years straight. I would usually forget about making the lists while I was at school or when I was doing things that I enjoyed. I pretty much only made lists when I was bored, alone, or doing something I didn’t enjoy. I made lists and obsessed over numbers in the same way, every time I was in any of those three situations, every day for three years. I was constantly having obsessive thoughts, or thinking about having obsessive thoughts.
I am now taking medication for both disorders. I will probably be on medication for life. The medication gets rid of the tics, but it also has many side effects. I am constantly tired and groggy and I can’t think straight. The best way to describe being on this medication is that it is like having a bad hangover. I have had that hangover every second of every day for the past twenty-three years. When I tell people what it was like before I started taking medication and what my life is like now almost everyone tells me that it sounds like being on medication is worse than not being on it. Those people cannot possibly comprehend what it was like have thoughts and feelings of doing things I didn’t want to do and thinking about things I didn’t want to think about every waking second of every day. Unless those people have lived as I have lived and walked in my shoes there is no way they can come close to understanding what I have been through and what I go through every day.
Even though I have had a very hard life I still have hope. I have a lot of hobbies. I have taken singing lessons with a few different instructors and they have each told me that I show promise. I have also come up with a number of inventions, that I know have never been thought of before. I have been told promising things about many of them too. I have also written the lyrics to a number of songs, which have been recorded by a professional, although, not well-known, musician. I have also been told that I am good at writing stories and poetry.
Even if none of my hobbies ever make any money or if I never have a great job, I will be okay with the way my life has turned out. I have been a swim coach and swim instructor for over twenty years. That means that I have taught over two thousand children how to swim or swim better. I have been a volunteer soccer coach for twelve years, which means that I have taught over two hundred children how to play soccer or play it better. I may be being na├»ve, but that’s well over two thousand kids whose lives I have had a chance to influence, and teach things that they will always remember. I don’t care what anyone else thinks except me and I think that is priceless.

About Chris Mason

My name is Chris Mason. I live in San Francisco, CA. I have Tourette syndrome and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. This is a new edition of my first book. My first book (Touretties) was published in 2011. It is an anthology that includes twenty-one true short stories, including my own, about people who have or have a family member who has Tourette syndrome and its associated disorders. My autobiograpy (What Makes Me Tic: Living With Tourette Syndrome) was published as an ebook in 2013. I have also written a children’s picture book that includes four stories, written in the authors’ own words, about what is like having Tourette syndrome as a child, which will be published later this year. I have also written a full-length non-fiction book about my experiences coaching youth soccer, which will also be published later this year. I am currently working on two other children’s picture books and my first work of fiction, which I am hoping to have published next year.