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VBT – Nothing Is Predictable

TourBanner_NothingIsPredictable

Nothing Is Predictable
by Adalina Mae

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GENRE: Autobiographical Novel – Memoir – AutoFiction

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BLURB:

Zara is eight years old, her father, in a drunken rampage, accidentally shoots himself dead.

Her childhood memories leave her struggling with romantic attachments and hinder her from developing healthy relationships.

Seeking answers, She meets a monk for wisdom, and a gypsy for insight.
The journeys Adalina Mae takes us on are interspersed with heartbreaking moments as well as hilarious escapades.

This is life and nothing is predictable. The story keeps you on your toes and offers mysteries to solve.

Why does Zara have recurrent nightmares of her last night with her father?

Why does she struggle with love?

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EXCERPT

“Run sweetheart, hurry, run! We will hide in the neighbor’s storeroom, he can’t find us there,” Mom whispered as we ran for our lives away from home hoping Dad would not find us. We entered the storeroom beside our neighbor’s old cottage. It was dark and moldy and infested with rats. From a distance, we could hear him following us and approaching.

I cried silently with my eyes shut, fearful about what was going to happen. That dreadful monster is back, what damage is he going to cause tonight?

“Shhh, don’t cry, he won’t find us here, we’ll be okay darling, don’t worry,” Mom whispered as she held me tight to comfort me, yet I could see in her eyes she was not convinced.

“Where are you? You think you can hide from me! I’ll show you who the man of the house is! You’re taking my daughter away from me, I’ll show you woman!” Dad shouted, his voice approaching closer and closer.

He was so drunk he didn’t realize Mom was only running to safety. He thought she was taking me away from him. How on earth do you come to that conclusion? His footsteps stomped louder, as he walked toward the storeroom where we were hiding.

“Where are you? How dare you run away!” his voice projected from outside the room.

And then, BANG! The wooden door was flung open and it bounced off the wall.

“Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” I screamed so loudly I can still hear the echo of my voice.

I was eight years old.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links

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Adalina Mae is the author of the published novel Nothing Is Predictable and soon to be released Nothing Can Last Forever.

After leaving the corporate world of management, she decided to pursue her lifelong passion to write.

She’s also a lover of movies and hopes that her novels become a motion picture.

Adalina wrote Nothing Is Predictable to inspire optimism and positive thoughts, reminding us we are strong and can overcome life’s challenges. Particularly those who suffered childhood trauma like she has.

She is determined to spread the inspirational message of her story.
Her life’s incidents have taught her that,

Nothing Is Predictable and Nothing Can Last Forever.

Website: www.adalinamae.com

Book stores Link: http://bit.ly/bookstoreslink

Amazon only link: http://bit.ly/buybookfromamazon

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/goodreadsbooktitle

Book Trailer: http://bit.ly/ILoveThisStorySpecialEdition

Facebook: http://bit.ly/AdalinaMaeAuthorFacebook

Instagram: http://bit.ly/AdalinaMaeAuthorInstagram

Twitter: http://bit.ly/AdalinaMaeAuthorTwitter

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Adalina Mae will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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VBT – Conch Shell Confessions

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About the Author

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Dax Marie was five or so, when the man that she would otherwise call, “father” gave Dax her issues. What’s the medical terminology for that? Oh, Daddy Issues! For nearly the whole of her life she has tried to deny this grave medical condition and up until about seven years ago, she was doing alright. By no means was she swimming through the world with ease, but she did like a’ight (that’s hood talk for alright).

It was not until sometime in high school when she discovered her self-diagnosed condition. Sigmund Freud (you may have heard of him, he’s like a coke-head genius) told Dax (in a text book) that she has Penis Envy. Poor thing, she was absolutely flabbergasted!

“Me, Dax Marie? Associated with male genitalia?” she thought to herself.

So, it was then and there, her junior year of high school that she knew what

she was destined for…MEN.

Dax’s latest book is the memoir, Conch Shell Confessions.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | YOUTUBE CHANNEL

About the Book

Title: CONCH SHELL CONFESSIONS
Author: Dax Marie
Publisher: Author House
Pages: 202
Genre: Memoir

Conch Shell Confessions

BOOK BLURB:

This is a book about love: hunting it, chasing it, losing it, tripping, and falling into it.

And yes, it’s a book about sex: hunting it, chasing it, losing it, tripping from it, and falling onto…ahem…it.

But more than anything, it’s a book about self-discovery, navigating the learning curve of adulting, and learning the kind of tough lessons that only come when you have to pick yourself off the floor, block a guy’s phone number (for the second time), and clean some curious stains off your dress.

I dove headfirst into love and sex, and for better or worse, they have taught me that sometimes you just need to try the world on for size to really understand what it is you want and learn who you are. So here’s my experience in the world of men.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Excerpt

Epigraph

Because lord knows I need one.

    Ladies, this is a book about men (or maybe they could be more accurately defined as boys…little boys). So, if you have ever found yourself with the wrong guy (or guys as I have mistakenly done), I am so sorry. If you have ever had to deal with heartbreak, frustration, or immaturity due to boy-kind, I would like to apologize for their actions, too, because lord knows they never will. Can I do that? Just apologize for the inferior gender like that? Oh well, I’m going to anyway.

    The dating struggle is real, and I feel your pain. Know that you don’t stand alone in your dating of dipshits and DEFINITELY know that I understand (and that it’s okay) if sometimes you’re the dipshit because of the men you choose for yourself. As some cliché somewhere once said, you live and you learn. So let’s start making our way towards finding ourselves and learning about love. Oh, the happy struggles of vagina-hood.

    Some of you men out there might be worried that you’re going to show up in these pages. Some of you will be right––but not to worry my sweet boys, I have changed your names to ones that I find more befitting of you. So if you don’t like it, I’m sorry, but you shouldn’t have been so deserving of such colorful nicknames.

VBT – Voice for the Silent Fathers

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Voice for the Silent Fathers
by Eddie K. Wright

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GENRE: Memoir

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BLURB:

In his memoir, Eddie shares his story of becoming a father at 18 years old who realized his son was showing ‘stereotypical’ signs of being gay while still in diapers. Spending most of his adult life engulfed in the street gangster/hip-hop culture where this subject was not only hushed but deeply frowned upon, he gives us the voice for what’s been kept silent for far too long, confronting almost every aspect of this taboo topic. It took years for him to silently accept his son’s homosexuality himself, regardless of all the signs. When his son was five years old, his favorite color was pink and there was nothing Dad could do about it. By the age of fourteen; he was an internet sensation, dancing on YouTube building his fan base to guarantee his success when performing as a drag queen a few years later. Eddie addresses the questions most are scared to ask; Was there anything I could do to stop my son’s homosexuality? When did I know my son was gay? What made him that way? Parents will find comfort in reading that Eddie admits that his son’s feminine behaviors embarrassed him and he seriously contemplated abandonment, a choice that too many fathers feel they have to choose.

He shares witnessing the desperation in the eyes of fathers, from all walks of life, who have pulled him aside, away from listening ears wanting to know the answers to these frequently asked questions, agonizing the possibilities that their son might be gay.

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EXCERPT

Intro Excerpt:

“Was there anything I could do to stop my son’s homosexuality? When did I know my son was gay? What made him that way? I’ve witnessed the desperation in the eyes of fathers, from all walks of life, who have pulled me aside, away from listening ears, wanting to know the answers to their questions, analyzing the possibilities of why their son might be gay, some weren’t even sure that their sons were gay.

Mothers seem to be more liberal about their son’s decisions to choose what makes them happy in life, and most importantly, “who” they share their lives with. However, for fathers, nine times out of ten, the topic is taboo. Especially the fathers who I’ve met in Federal prison or on the opposite end of the spectrum working with celebrities in the entertainment business.

I can tell you this though, I never thought I would write a book and never a book on a topic like this, but life is funny that way. I found myself raising a son at 18 years old; I was still a kid myself, with a baby boy headed down that taboo highway. I was confused, frustrated, and angry at the world. “Why me?” I often thought in those early days… “Why has life thrown me this crazy curve ball?”…

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

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First time author Eddie K. Wright is a fitness trainer, Yoga instructor, spiritual motivational speaker and an inmate at a federal prison. His personal transformation upon realizing the Universal laws and love of life, supports his conviction in his “Gangster to Guru” book series. The premier release “VOICE FOR THE SILENT FATHERS” details the struggle and inner conflict with being the parent of a homosexual child in the day, and a known connected gangster at night. Overcoming his “No son of mine” mentality, by realizing the true meaning of unconditional love wasn’t easy, but his deep insight, heartfelt honesty, and ‘laugh to keep from crying’ attitude, makes for a humorous read for anyone touched by this issue which means it’s for everyone!

Visit my Voice for the Silent Fathers website: http://voiceforthesilentfathers.com
Subscribe to my blog: http://eddiekwright.com
Friend me on Facebook: http://facebook.com/eddiekwright
Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/eddiekwright
Follow me on Instagram: http://instagram.com/eddiekwrightauthor
Follow my Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Eddie-K.-Wright/e/B01F4CM97A
Follow my GoodReads author page: https://www.goodreads.com/EddieKWright
Favorite my Smashwords author page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/eddiekwright
Follow my Google+ profile: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108458666961975685042
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMPvPZ_UeY9yUkNsFZrPUuQ
Visit my Gangster Turned Guru Series website: http://gangstertoguru.com
Visit my Publishers website: http://mwrightgroup.com

BUY LINK: The Book will be FREE During the Tour at Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/614454

Thoughts from a reader

These delicate father son issues, so implicitly captured in Eddie’s writings, are relevant to a broad spectrum of societal issues beyond the “No son of mine” father of a gay man experience.  In fact, the book gets to the real substance of human conflict which is our inability to accept and appreciate difference. The key word here is appreciation.  The book offers an opportunity to consider acceptance in a way that extends grace, honor, support and recognition.  When we are ungrateful, we are critical, blaming, and we use forms of rejection.  Eddie’s experience of coming to the acceptance of his son provides hope for healing; a more practical response to conflict that allows dignity, respect and honor which overcomes criticism, blame, bigotry, and ultimately rejection.  ~G. Holmes~

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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Eddie will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Author Eddie K. Wright
Voice for the Silent Fathers

Topic: author’s choice of topic of choice

Can I really be at peace? Do I really experience the joy and happiness, evading a large majority of the free world while I’m in prison?
Maybe I’m delusional, fooling myself because I’m afraid to face the reality I’ve created.
For over 13 years, I’ve been locked up in a United States Federal Penitentiary. For almost 20 years, my mind was imprisoned with a gangster mentality, resulting in a 45 years sentence. Ouch!
Obviously, I had a lot of inner issues.
We all do.
I finally reached that stage of my life when I desired a change. Some might have thought that it was too late.
I was already charged under the old crack laws, with a mandatory minimum of 25 years for a non-violent offence.
Change for what?
“That ship sailed,” is what the nay sayers would claim. But it’s never too late for God.
Hold up! I’m not about to start bible thumping indoctrinated verses. That’s not what the Gangster Turned Guru does.
I’ll tell you God is real and your thoughts are the things of creative power, attracting the experiences of your inner thinking.
Now it took time and a process to gain this realization of truth. I was filled with doubt and anger, not wanting to accept any personal responsibility. But that’s the easy way to deal with our faults, blame others or fine something to distract us from reality. That’s the destructive pattern of thinking which resulted in the turmoil I’ve gotten all too used too.

Finally reaching the point where I had to try something new, I choose to figure this whole God/life thing out.
That’s exactly what the Gangster Turned Guru did, and I’ll tell you this, the fact that your alive means God has a meaning and purpose for your life. But it’s all up to you to make the choice to start receiving the blessings that you deserve.
There is a Universal Life Principal that works the same for everybody. Some are aware of how the principal operates, but most are not. In my ignorance, I misused the highest power I possess, the way that I think.
We are immersed in and surrounded by a creative energy that operates according to principals and laws that attract the sum total of what we think and believe.
That’s how life works.
Currently, your life is in the condition, weather good or bad, functional or dysfunctional, based upon God’s Universal Principals and laws. With mathematical precision, the manifestation of God’s expression is brought about through us in our independent application of how we think.
To experience happiness, and peace, with the abundance of life, we must think happy and peaceful thoughts.
The law will attract all that’s needed to correspond with the concrete idea we desire to attract. As long as the faith in God’s laws and principals remain in your heart, life will work for you, as you learn to trust and work with life.
It’s really that simple.
I’m in an environment that most would consider hell on earth, yet it’s not my outer conditions that dictate how I feel and what I experience. I choose to be conscious of my thoughts and emotions, knowing and understanding the power have in shaping my future.
Each day I wake up with an attitude of gratitude for life. I appreciate the hot clean water flowing from my sink, the electric lights illuminating my cell, the Colgate tooth paste to clean my mouth, the Vaseline lotion to moisturize my skin, the clothes I wear to work out in the gym and of course my first steaming cup of black coffee. These are a few everyday things to be grateful for that are easily ignored by most.
My appreciation for the small things, keeps me in tune with God, allowing the bigger blessings that are headed my way.
I’ve experienced the power of faith, trust and belief. I discovered the laws, learned how they work and applied them to my life.
I’m optimistic and expect positive results, even during moments that seem chaotic. I continue to trust in the law of good and somehow, some way, things always work out.
Being the first father to ever write about the relationship of having a gay son, came with an extra sense of responsibility to be able to get the message of what it means to love unconditionally, especially as a father.
I didn’t know the “how” to get my book published and spread the word. I relied on my faith first, that somehow “Voice For the Silent Fathers” would be brought to your attention.
Anyone reading this has just experienced evidence of God’s Universal laws… I’m grateful for that too!
Thanks for your support.

Book Spotlight – Eating From The Cherry Tree

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Title: Eating From The Cherry Tree
Author: Vivien Ella Walden

Pages: 290

About The Book

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EATING FROM THE CHERRY TREE is a dynamic, unique and totally revealing memoir of one of the most notorious and successful ‘madams’ the UK has seen in recent years. The book is inspired by Vivien Ella Walden’s unique life experiences that lead up to and behind her brothel doors. Within a short time she becomes famous for her skills and able to afford whatever she desires within a world of scandal and naughtiness, corruption and suffering, sadness and exhilarating happiness. Images of a complex girl emerge from this incredibly frank account. An account of a girl raised in a loving working class Jewish family who ran from her heritage, bared her perfectly formed derriere and partied with the elite and famous. She takes on many guises and titles, while mixing with gangsters, politicians, film stars, musicians and artists. Names of the rich and famous sprinkle this book. They all knew of her industry, it was not unlike theirs. This is an amazing book, telling a story of prostitution that has never been told in such explicit detail before. It will reach inside the heart of all those who admire absolute honesty on a subject many consider taboo.

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Blurb:

“Good sex is the ultimate life experience. An orgasm felt deep inside that can be held on to until your quivering body and brain explode is an art in itself. Does this ultimate pleasure have a price?  Of course, but doesn’t everyone in some way pay it?

There are lessons I have learnt that I have a need to share.  Of how it is possible to descend into the abyss of sexual exploitation and emerge smelling of roses.

Reliving the truth has proved harder than I had thought, the flood of imagery amazing. I am swamped by visions, swept away and catapulted backwards into memories of childlike innocence. Did I delve into things I shouldn’t have as a child?  Indeed I did.

Images of a complex girl have emerged, who ran from her heritage, bared her perfectly formed derriere and partied with the elite and famous.  Gangsters, politicians, film stars, musicians and artists, they all knew of her industry.  Being a stripper, call girl, hooker, or madam, you have to know how to dance to the music, be a good actress, stand up to the toughest, deal with the law and paint your own picture for all to see.

Entering into a life of ‘commercial sex’, be it on the stage, a brothel or bedroom, the most important skills are learning the art of negotiation, self esteem, and know how to seduce a man completely, keeping him intrigued, before and after the clothes come off.

Every woman has different roles to play in pleasuring a man. But the ‘working girl’ who is skilled in her art is the one to be held on a pedestal.  For she is the one who makes it possible to keep those home fires burning.”

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The theory of the Cherry Tree:

  • Dreaming that you see a cherry, indicates that you are to find love.
  • To dream that you eat cherries, predicts that you have damages ahead or that you will be involved in intrigue and competition.
  • To dream of unripe cherries, is a sign of problems ahead.
  • To dream that you picked cherries, predicts that you have profits ahead, joy and happiness in the family will also come.
  • A cherry blossom is a sign of hopes realized.
  • The cherry blossom symbolism is a very significant symbol of power, typically it represents a feminine beauty and sexuality and often holds an idea of power or feminine dominance.

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About The Author:

Vivien Ella Walden was born in Salford Manchester UK. Raised in a loving working class Jewish family she ran from her heritage, bared her perfectly formed derriere and partied with the elite and famous while taking on many guises and titles.

With the death of her first husband she took on his mantle and grew to become one of the UK’s most successful ‘madams’ within a world of scandal and naughtiness, corruption and suffering, sadness and exhilarating happiness.

‘After all these years, I am still involved in the process of self-discovery. It’s better to explore life and make mistakes than to play it safe. Mistakes are part of the dues one pays for a full life’.

Vivien Waxman.

Links:

Amazon.  MyBook.to/CherryTree
Visit Amazon’s Vivien Ella Walden Page.
Twitter. Vivien Ella Walden @vivienwalden
Goodreads Book Page
Goodreads Author Page

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VBT ~ Leaving Shangrila

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Leaving Shangrila: The True Story of a Girl, Her Transformation and Her Eventual Escape
by Isabelle Gecils

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GENRE: Memoir

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BLURB:

Leaving Shangrila: The True Story of A Girl, Her Transformation and Her Eventual Escape by Isabelle Gecils, is the captivating memoir of a charmingly complex heroine.

Isabelle paints a colorful world as she tells the tale of how she forged her own path in the midst of turmoil. The story, set in Brazil where she grew up, is populated with fascinating characters, both good and bad. From a narcissistic mother to her perpetually flawed lovers to three resilient sisters, Leaving Shangrila’s motley crew make for an endlessly intriguing storyline.

Leaving Shangrila begins with young Isabelle, trapped in a hellish world. Surrounded by lies, manipulation, and abuse, Isabelle is desperate to escape the adversity of this place. Filled with tremendous strength and an unyielding drive to survive, she begins her journey toward freedom and self-realization. Through the trials and obstacles along the way, Isabelle goes back and forth to balance who she is with what she must do to survive.

With themes of perseverance, self-reliance, and the resilience of the human spirit, Leaving Shangrila: The True Story Of A Girl, Her Transformation and Her Eventual Escape highlights the important character traits one discovers on the path to finding their self. Truly empowering and inspirational, readers everywhere will relate to this coming of age story.

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BOOK EXCERPT

My entire class staged a school play, except that, unlike everybody else, I watched it rather than act in it. Joining the theater troop required almost daily rehearsals at one of my classmates’ lavish colonial homes near school. I was not invited to join the group. They already knew I would not come.

At the school grounds, my classmates cracked jokes about what happened during their afternoons together. They perched on one another as they traded stories and exchanged hugs. I heard about the English classes they took after school, their boat trips around the bays of Rio de Janeiro, the excited chatter that accompanied field trips I was never allowed to join. When the entire class decided to spend a lightly chaperoned weekend in Cabo Frio, a town with white, sandy beaches and coconut trees lining the boardwalks, my jealousy meter spiked. For two months, that is all anyone talked about. Since I did not even receive an invitation, nobody spoke with me.

I felt lonely observing them. I longed to be as adored as were the two most popular girls in my class: Isabela and Flavia. Isabela, despite the discolored white spots all over her skin due to type 1 diabetes, was the reigning queen. The boys swooned over Flavia, two years older than the rest of us although she repeated third and fifth grade due to her poor academic performance.

I observed these two girls, searching for what it was about them that made them special. Yes, they were both beautiful. While their beauty may have helped with their popularity, it surely was not the main factor, as there were other pretty girls too. I decided that what they had in common, what nobody else had, was that they were the best athletes in my class, even perhaps the best in all of the school.

Isabela and Flavia were always the ones everybody wanted to have on their team and as their friend. They were either team captain or the first pick. They seemed to try harder than everybody else. So I thought that if I truly focused on sports, then I could be just like them. If only I could excel on the handball field—as girls did not play soccer, despite the madness surrounding the most popular sport in Brazil—then maybe, just maybe, my social standing could change too. I made a plan. One day, I would be just as great as these two. One day, I would be chosen first.

At the beginning of each week, the P.E. teacher assigned two captains. They, in turn, each picked a team for the week. We played handball on Tuesdays, volleyball on Thursdays. And every week, for the past three years, I was the captain’s last, grudgingly chosen pick. I knew why. Had I been captain, I would have chosen myself last too.

I did not score any goals in handball. My throws were either too weak or out of bounds. Knowing this, my team did not bother passing the ball to me. I spent the game playing defense, barely succeeding at blocking the other team’s powerhouse players as they demolished the team I was on. When an opponent charged towards me dribbling the ball, I got out of the way. In volleyball, I removed my thick glasses for fear they’d be broken, and as a result, I could not see the ball coming to hit me in the face.

I did not particularly enjoy playing sports. However, to change my standing in the team-selection pecking order, I practiced with a purpose. During games, I became more aggressive. I wore my glasses. I reached for the goal, whereas before I simply stood on the sidelines. I blocked more aggressively too—even if it meant pulling my opponent’s shirt or hair—no matter that this often led to a penalty against my team. During these early weeks, I returned home with two broken eye glasses, earned a couple of red cards, and made my teammates angry.

At home, after completing my homework, I begged my two sisters to play ball with me. They did play, but not for long. When they grew tired, I threw the ball against the wall, attempting to increase my arm strength. When my arms felt tired, I ran around the farm to increase my speed and reflexes by dodging a pretend ball. At night, as I drifted to sleep, I prayed silently so that my sisters would not hear me plead: “God, please, make me be chosen first.”

As weeks turned into months, I became quite adept at catching the ball as it ricocheted from the wall towards me. I was no longer chosen last. That horrible fate was bestowed on a shy and almost as awkward classmate who had the extra disadvantage of being overweight, which slowed her down compared to me; I was slight and scrawny. Yet, despite months of effort, I did not score any more than before, did not throw the ball any harder or more accurately, and hardly touched the ball at all. Since I often increased the penalty count with my new, more aggressive tactics, the coach had me sit out whenever there was an odd number of players.

A year into this futile attempt, I felt a deep sense of disappointment but realized the foolishness of pursuing an utterly impossible dream. Maybe one had to be content with their lot in life, I concluded. Any attempts to try to change who one was, or what one wanted, were futile. Feeling defeated and deflated and knowing that, despite any effort, the sports court was not a place for me, I talked myself out of my goal. I stopped practicing in the afternoons. I removed my glasses again during games. I accepted that I was not meant to be popular and that the world where my classmates lived did not belong to me.

I hated my life. I hated going home where there was nothing to do and nobody to play with. I hated how different we were—with our round house, with our religious meetings, with our inability to do anything other than go to school. Not knowing what to do to change any of it, I returned to my routine, finding friendship in books and getting all my validation from my grades.

Two months later, I felt sick.

My head and muscles hurt; my nose was running; and I coughed uncontrollably. I barely slept. My mother suggested I stay home. No matter how sick I felt, I would never choose to stay home with my stepfather lurking around. Anywhere was better than home. Despite my illness, I dragged myself to school that day. It was a Tuesday, which meant handball day. That morning, I walked to the handball court, hoping my swollen eyes and drippy nose would help me avoid playing at all.

“Coach, I am sick,” I said with narrowed eyes. “Can I sit out the game today?”

“Being sick isn’t enough reason not to play,” the P.E. teacher said, not even bothering to look at me. “So, go play.”

Although students never questioned the decisions of a professor, I protested feebly.

He dismissed me again, treating me as a little pest who could not be taken seriously.

“Here is what you will go do,” he told me. “Your team needs a goalie. Go defend it,” he said, pointing towards the goal. The regular goalie was also sick that day, but unlike me, she had the good sense to stay at home.

Off to guard the goal post I went, grateful at least that I did not have to run or be pushed around on the court. I hoped that a strong team defense would prevent me from having to exert much effort. My teammates groaned and shook their heads in disbelief as they saw me standing in front of the goal, mumbling that the team had already lost. The opposing team congratulated themselves before the whistle blew. “This will be easy,” they bragged within earshot, ensuring I knew they considered themselves to have already clinched victory. Having me guard the goal was the same as having no goalie at all.

A surge of anger and despondency bubbled up within me upon hearing their snickers. I felt tired of always being at the bottom of the totem pole, tired of feeling ridiculed and different. I puffed my chest as if this would make me larger, ignoring how painful it felt to take deep breaths.

My team’s defense did not keep its end of the bargain. The balls from the opposing team flew towards the goal at unreasonable speeds, from what appeared to be impossible angles. Yet, I blocked them out. I blocked every single ball that came towards me. I shielded that goal as if my life depended on it. At the end of the game, my team won by a landslide.

Not used to the taste of victory, I did not distinguish the elation I felt from the confusion at this unexpected turn of events. My dumbfounded classmates looked at me as if they saw me for the first time, trying to make sense of what had just happened.

They, and I, were in awe.

My feat as the goalie made the gossip circuit and by the following week, despite some lingering doubt about my abilities, I was picked third in the line-up. I had jumped seven places in one week! This was better than an improvement; it was a major victory!

At the sound of the whistle, the players moved. I tried to concentrate. Not feeling as angry as I did the previous week, my confidence waned even before the game started. But I wasn’t playing for the game. I was playing for my dream, my rank in the social pecking order, and my desire that for once, people would pay attention to me.

Nobody pierced my defense of the goal. My team won again.

Two weeks later, the captains planned the team selection for the school’s annual Olympic Games. The teams played together for two months in preparation for the week-long competition, held at a sports complex where all the parents—and the large, extended families that most Brazilians had—watched the games. The Olympics was the talk of the school.

My class split the girls into teams; these teams would play both handball and volleyball. The P.E. teacher selected the team captains. To my utter surprise, Isabela was not one of them. Thus, there was a possibility that Flavia and Isabela, the two best players, could be on the same team together. And that, I was sure, would lock in victory for whichever team they were a part of. I hoped that I would be chosen, even if last, to the better team. It was obvious to me that the opposing team would have no chance and would simply be crushed.

There was an air of excitement and nervousness at the school playground as the captains readied themselves to make their picks. Flavia was one of the captains. Ana Cristina, a strong but not stellar player, was the captain of the opposing team. After a coin toss, Ana Cristina was first to select players.

“I want Isabelle,” she said pointing at me.

She clearly meant Isabela, with an “a”, and not me, with the French spelling of a name most Brazilians did not get right. It made no sense to me that she would have chosen otherwise. So I did not budge.

“You heard her, Isabelle,” the coach said, tapping me on my shoulder. “Hurry up and move to Ana Cristina’s side.”

I was too stunned to hear the loud murmur emanating from the cluster of the other girls at this unexpected choice. This could not be right. I thought Ana Cristina had been crazy to select me. This choice guaranteed that Flavia would pick Isabela next. Ana Cristina’s team would be decimated. No team could win against the two stronger players.

I looked at Ana Cristina with panic in my face and shook my head. “Don’t do it,” I whispered. “Pick Isabela first.”

She looked at me, puzzled.

“Why?” she asked

“Get the next strongest player. Don’t let them be on the same team. Worry about the goalkeeper later!” I stated, with a modicum of desperation in my voice.

She stared at me with a serious frown on her face and gestured impatiently, beckoning me.

“Isabelle, just come over here.”

As I walked, she spoke loudly enough for all the other girls to hear. “If I do not choose you, Flavia will. Then my team will not ever have the slightest chance. Nobody can score when you are defending that goal. You are the most important player here and the one I want on my team.”

Still stunned, I moved next to Ana Cristina as the selection continued until all girls were sorted into teams. Once I got past my horror that we would now face Flavia and Isabela together, I remembered my wish made months earlier, the one I gave up so easily, about being chosen first. Yet, even in my wildest dreams, I had never expected that it would happen during the most important and visible athletic event of the school year. I felt an unfamiliar feeling of elation fill my chest. I felt I could burst. A broad smile spread across my face. I went home, screaming with joy: “I was chosen first! I was really chosen first!”

And for the first time in my life, I believed I was good at something.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_LeavingShangrila

Isabelle Gecils grew up in Shangrila, a remote farm in a lush jungle in Brazil. But who really knows where she hails from? Her immediate family hailed from 6 different countries: France (dad), Egypt (mom and grandma), Turkey (grandpa), Lithuania (grandpa) and Poland (grandma).  There is a freedom in belonging nowhere and everywhere at the same time.
Leaving Shangrila is the story of Isabelle’s journey from a life others choose for her to one she created for herself. To support the writing of this memoir, Isabelle completed the Stanford Creative Nonfiction Writing certificate program. She currently lives in Saratoga, California, with her husband, four sons and two territorial cats.
Isabelle_gecils@yahoo.com
www.Isabellegecilsauthor.com

LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/IsabelleGecilsAuthor/
@IsabelleGecils
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RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

Isabelle Gecils will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Enter to win a $30 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

https://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/05/vbt-leaving-shangrila-by-isabelle-gecils.html

Book Blast ~ Good Morning Diego Garcia by Susan Joyce

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Good Morning Diego Garcia
by Susan Joyce

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GENRE: travel adventure/memoir

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BLURB:

When Susan and Charles receive a letter from Cyprus friends, now in Taiwan, they get a chance to help crew a sailboat from Sri Lanka across the Indian Ocean. They have no clue what to expect. Susan reminds Charles she isn’t a good swimmer. He tells her a life jacket will do the trick, and convinces her it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. A must-do travel adventure. They say goodbye to friends and family in sunny California, fly to New York and on to India, arriving the day the Indian government has issued a state of emergency. And then onto the boat, and into the ocean. In monsoon season. With no charts.

In this true-life travel adventure, Susan keeps a journal and record her bizarre thoughts and telling dreams. A real life thriller, Susan’s monsoon-season journey is about discovery and spiritual realization—one dream at a time.

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BOOK EXCERPT:

Ch 2
Downward, we dove through a dark blanket of clouds. All belted in for a smooth landing.

As we neared the ground, the clouds cleared. We crossed a crowded expressway with bumper to bumper afternoon traffic. I could see passengers sitting in cars waiting to move forward. Touchdown was seconds away.

Without warning, the craft groaned and shuddered. Flaps shifted. Engines roared. In an instant the aircraft pitched sharply and climbed skyward with great speed.

Items tumbled from overhead bins as the plane shook violently in midair.

I gripped Charles’s arm.

The plane made a sharp turn to the left and the ground fell away.

Below us, I saw a huge orange ball of fire erupting on the runway.

“Oh my God,” I said, gripping Charles’s arm tighter.

The fire sent black smoke billowing into the air above a twisted, burning plane.

“No survivors there,” Charles said, craning his neck to see what was happening on the ground.

A few minutes later, the sound system crackled and the captain announced, “As you’re aware folks, we’ve had to abandon our final approach to land on runway 221. We’re lucky to have missed a major disaster. Eastern Air Lines Flight 66, a Boeing 727, was struck by lightning on its final approach to JFK,” his voice cracked, “and has crashed on the runway. Eastern was the plane landing in front of us. If we had arrived a split second before the Eastern plane, ours would have been the plane struck. We’re lucky to have been second on the approach path.”

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Born in Los Angeles California, Susan Joyce spent most of her childhood in Tucson, Arizona and returned to LA as a young working woman. Inspired as a child by postcards from her globe-trotting great aunt, Susan left the United States at age 20 to see the world.

She planned on being gone for a year, but ended up living her 20s and 30s in Europe and the Middle East. As a Jill of all trades, she worked as a secretary, freelance writer, taught computer classes, wrote songs, and became an accomplished artist while writing her first children’s book, “Peel, the Extraordinary Elephant.”

An award winning author and editor of children’s books, Susan’s first adult book in her memoir series, “The Lullaby Illusion–A Journey of Awakening” is a travelogue of the politics of Europe, the United States, and Israel during a twelve year ‘roller-coaster’ period of her life and an adventure of survival through friends and sheer determination.

The Lullaby Illusion was awarded
* Readers’ Favorite 5-Stars and the 2014 GOLD Medal Winner, Non-Fiction–Travel in the 2014 Readers’ Favorite International Book Awards.
* Honorable Mention Prize Winner–2014 Stargazer Literary Prizes

Her second memoir, “Good Morning Diego Garcia” is about her adventure from India and across the Indian Ocean in monsoon season in 1975.
Available for pre-order: http://www.amazon.com/Good-Morning-Diego-Garcia-Discovery-ebook/dp/B017S0ZXP6/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Read more about Susan’s life adventures at: http://susanjoycejourneys.com/
Stop in and say hello to Susan here: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSusanJoyce/?fref=ts

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Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:

http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2016/01/book-blast-good-morning-diego-garcia-by.html

Book Tour ~ Mothering Through Bipolar by Rebecca Moore

Enchanted Book Promotions

About the Book

Title: Mothering Through Bipolar
Author: Rebecca Moore
Genre: Memoir

Mothering Through Bipolar

Mothering Through Bipolar is Rebecca’s journey of living with Bipolar Disorder while raising a family of seven children. She takes her readers on an adventure through depression, mania, legal issues, relationship problems and other difficulties. Rebecca offers her readers encouragement, comfort and support; always with a message of hope.

Author Bio

Rebecca Moore has been diagnosed with everything from Postpartum Depression to Bipolar Disorder. Rebecca enjoys writing about surviving her journey through mental health and likes to help others who have been there as well. She is a strong Mental Health Advocate for parents living with mental illness. Rebecca is also the CEO of her nonprofit organization, Bipolar Parenting Foundation. She also runs a column on PsychCentral called Bipolar Parenting. Rebecca lives in Northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and seven children.

Rebecca Moore
We must break down the wall of shame society has built for us” – Rebecca Moore in Mothering Through Bipolar

Links

Website
Facebook

Twitter

Buy Mothering Through Bipolar:
Amazon
Barnes and Noble

Book Signing – Robert P. Mitchell

BOOK SIGNING

Robert P. Mitchell, author of Tales Of A Tenacious Tenor, will be having a book signing at the Monroe County Library, (Hughes Library), Stroudsburg, PA on Saturday April 18th, 2015. From 10:00AM til 3:00PM

MAP

Bob’s amazing story of how movie idol Mario Lanza inspired him to sing, and the road he traveled to realize that dream.

From Central Pennsylvania to the opera stages of New York, Bob overcame many obstacles to realize his dream. 
It’s an inspiring story for all dreamers and doers, those who have the courage to follow their inner voice, and make their singing voice as rich as it can be.

If you are in the area, don’t miss it!

Tales Of A Tenacious Tenor

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