*** New Release! ***
in the Queen City of Charlotte, North Carolina on October 15, 2016. The book signing
will be held at the Marriott City Center in downtown Charlotte from 10am
This is the perfect opportunity to meet over 100 bestselling authors from all genres! You can find more information on the Marriott by going here.
our Monster Mash! We will be throwing an epic after party to end our night!
Dress in your best costume and get ready to mingle with authors and readers!
A cash bar will be provided at the party.
to attend Carolina Book Fest 2016, they can be purchased here: http://bit.ly/carolinabookfest2016tickets
Carolina Book Fest Authors! Check out http://www.carolinabookfest.com/attending-authors
to learn more about them!
Today I am thrilled to welcome Elizabeth Roderick, a colleague from Limitless Publishing, with her thoughts on some complex issues having to do with diversity. Please make her feel welcome and leave a comment.
The Politics of Writing Diversity
Note to readers: I use the term “neurodiverse” in this piece. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, it refers to people generally called “mentally ill”. I prefer “neurodiverse” for reasons I will explain in the article. Thank you for reading.
Writing is a complex art. Words can be interpreted in so many different ways, depending on the background, culture, and experiences of the person interpreting them. We have to be aware of this, especially when we touch on emotional subjects such as diversity. However, if we have political concerns in the forefront of our minds—if we are walking on eggshells trying not to offend anyone—we run the risk of self-censoring, of watering down our characters and stories so that they lose their vibrancy and impact. They become soulless sermons that exist only to convey a moralizing message, and lose the beauty of art. I am going to explore how to find a balance when writing diversity.
I’ll start out by telling you about myself. My name is Elizabeth Roderick. I’m the author of many diverse books, and am myself a diverse person. I have a novel published, a racially-diverse LGBT romantic thriller titled Love or Money. I also have a series contracted, The Other Place Series, which is about a young woman trying to kick heroin and get her life together, and a young schizophrenic man attempting to make it as an artist. The first two installments of that series are set to release on May 31, 2016 and July 5, 2016.
My personal diversity is neurodiversity. I’m very high-functioning, but I have suffered from bouts of psychosis since I was a teenager, and have had a series of doctors and psychiatrists diagnose me with every letter in the alphabet.
So, now that you have some idea where I’m coming from and what my “expertise” is, let’s get to the subject at hand. Continue reading The Politics of Writing Diversity: Guest Post by Elizabeth Roderick
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
The author’s ability to draw you into the story and keep you asking questions is what really shines in this novel. From the first line, “I was broken…” you are frantically turning pages to find out why Raine is broken. The characters are wonderful and real-life—people you can easily relate to and the friendships are deep. We should all be so lucky to have such great people in our lives!
This is such a British book, and seemed wonderfully exotic to my American mind. I loved all the hints of life in London and the British racing circuit. Such fun!
I’ve discovered a wonderful new author and look forward to the rest of the series. I highly recommend this book!
I received an ARC in return for a fair and honest review.
Footsteps thundered behind me, forcing me to run faster as my vision began tunnelling. Bouncing off the walls as I rounded corners, I attempted to trace my steps back to the exit through the labyrinth of hallways.
I could hear the footsteps growing louder, as if Nadine was right on my heels, but I couldn’t look without losing my rhythm.
Abruptly, I was jerked to a stop by a hand on my wrist. I spun at the touch, flinging my back against the wall with a scream. My movements were too fast to take anything in.
“What the f*** are you doing here?” The voice that snarled the words was not Nadine’s. Even full of malice I could never forget his tone. Despite that, my brain was no longer thinking logically.
I raised my hands instinctively to shield my face, the line between reality and my memories blurring. The brightly lit corridor was too tight and darkness encroached from every corner.
I was back in the alley. The rough bricks bit into my spine as I cowered into the building praying I could make myself invisible.
“No, not again,” I whimpered, my hands shaking. “Please, not again.”
In my mind they were coming at me, closing the distance.
No matter how tiny I made myself they could still see me.
“Don’t hurt me. Let me go!” White-hot panic rose in my chest, consuming me and fuelling the memory. Everything felt so similar, I wasn’t even seeing what was really in front of me.
(Love Always #2)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: May 26th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
They say time heals all wounds.
What a load of bull. It’s been four years, and Kate’s voice still echoes in my mind.
Every. Damn. Day.
I numb her memory when it taunts me. In college, I drown her out with booze and easy lays. I can’t do what she asked
I can’t let her go.
Not even when Lia shows up, freaking ripping what’s left of me to shreds. Caring about someone isn’t worth the deadness that follows after they’re gone. I didn’t ask for this. Didn’t ask for her.
And I sure as hell didn’t plan to miss her when she walked out of my front door.
Now, if I want to keep her, I have to straighten myself out and earn her. I can’t screw this up.
Because if I do, I’ll lose more than just Lia.
I’ll lose my life.
She wrote her first book in junior high and loved every second of it. However, she couldn’t bring herself to share her passion with anyone. She packed it away until one day, with the encouragement of her husband, she sat down at the computer and began to type. Now, she can’t stop.
When not writing, d. is usually curled up with a book, scrapbooking, or doing yet another load of laundry.
Along with her incredible husband, she lives in small-town Iowa with her four adorable children and their dog, Peaches.
“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. A man who never reads lives only one.” –George R. R. Martin, A Dance with Dragons
Here’s an excerpt to tempt you:
It takes me an hour to get to the cemetery. After Mom and Liam died, I never stepped foot here. Not until Kate convinced me to come. It had been one of her five wishes. One through three I’d done because she was with me. Because I loved her. I promised her number four, so I followed through. Number five, though?
Number five is impossible.
I come here often now—day, night, whenever I need to be close to her. Even in death, Kate draws me in. To this place where she’d only trodden once when she was alive.
I grab the three bouquets of flowers from the passenger seat and swing the door open. When Kate brought me here four years ago, I barely managed to get out of the car. Now it’s easy.
Too fucking easy.
I don’t even think about coming anymore. It’s automatic. Routine, like my nightly shots of whiskey.
It shouldn’t be like this. In three short years I lost the three people I loved most. Death sucks, and I’ve had my fill.
I slam the door closed and tread over the grass. The three identical stones jut up from the ground, and even when I’m here after dark, I don’t have a problem seeing them. They’re etched into my memory.
The idea to have Kate buried here beside my mother and brother was entirely mine and entirely selfish. The Browdys had asked me to help with her funeral arrangements, and other than the time of the graveside service, this had been my only request. This way she’d be close to me.
Shade from the elder tree casts a shadow over them. I stand inside its cover from the sun, facing the cold memorials. These pieces of granite have no real connection with the people they were.
Hell, they didn’t even pick them out. Didn’t see them, yet their names, dates of birth and death are etched into them as if they’d been owned by those they claim to represent.
Cemeteries—these stones—aren’t for the dead.
No, they’re for the living.
My gaze trails over the Celtic symbols engraved at the center of each one. Identical to the tattoos inked into my body. Faith. Brotherhood. Hope.
My eyes linger on Kate’s as they usually do, and the memory of when I’d given her the trinity heart necklace pours over me.
“It’s the Celtic symbol for hope. Now you’ll always know where to find it,” I’d told her.
Damn. I’d given it to her so she’d think of me whenever she needed me, but really, it was I who needed her.
I take a deep breath to hold myself together. I lost everything the day Kate died.
I rake a hand through my hair and shut my eyes. Out here, away from everyone, I don’t have to pretend that I have a fucking clue how to live without her.
Out here, it’s just me.
In front of Kate’s gravestone, I lower myself to the ground, dropping the flowers at my side. My chest is empty, yet somehow, it hurts. It’s the same damn thing year after year—aching to see her smile at me just one more time. One more and I’d be satisfied, I tell myself.
I know it’s a lie because one more smile from her would never be enough. I need to touch her, run my fingers over her warm skin and protect the hell out of her.
But I’m a failure. I had the power within me, in my blood, to save her, and I failed.
I can barely see the inches in front of me as I break down. Four years ago, my father sat here with me and told me the pain would never go away, but it would lessen over time.
What a load of bullshit; the pain has only grown.
“I miss you so damn much, Katie,” I say even though she can’t hear me. And that thought kicks me in the gut as much as anything. No matter what I say to her now, she’ll never know any of it.
I slide my fingertips over her name: Kathryn “Katie” Browdy. Seventeen short years on this earth and I only had her last months. They were the best months of my life.
I sit with her until the sun begins to send streaks of gold over the horizon. Even though Kate would be disappointed, I need to pick up more liquor before I head home. I have to have something to get me through this pain.
A gust of wind rustles the dead flowers I left on their graves last week. I scoop them up and replace them with the fresh ones I brought. Daisies for my mother, some generic flowers he wouldn’t give a shit about for Liam, and red roses for Kate.
Always red roses for my Katie.
“Love you, Mom,” I murmur, fanning out the daisies in the vase beside her headstone.
Then I move onto Liam’s. “Take care of my girl, man,” I tell him, then I remember how I’d taken care of his. “But if you touch her, I’ll fucking kill you.”
I squat down and lay Kate’s roses at the base of her stone. There’s nothing I could say to her that I haven’t already said a million times. So I settle for the words I couldn’t say until just before she died. “I love you, baby. I’ll always love you.”
And yesterday the bird of night did sit
Even at noon-day upon the marketplace,
Hooting and shrieking. When these prodigies
Do so conjointly meet, let not men say,
“These are their reasons. They are natural.”
For I believe they are portentous things
Unto the climate that they point upon.
-Shakespeare, Julius Caesar
Writers tend to look at things a little differently than many folks. This universal truth was brought home to me yesterday as I spent the day with my best friend, who is also a writer. It started as we headed out for a day of antique/thrift shopping when we spotted two wood-paneled station wagons pass us, very close together.
“Huh, what are the odds of that?” asked my friend. Seriously, you just don’t see those anymore.
“Well, it’s clearly a sign,” I replied. “This will be an auspicious day, I’m sure.”
After the first antique shop, we decided to stop by a New Year’s open house party, hosted by some of her friends.
“Get a picture of that! Quick!” my friend yelled, pointing out the passenger window past me.
“A picture of what?” I replied, puzzled.
There it was, sitting on the ground right under a street sign. Now, everyone knows owls should not be sitting on the ground in the middle of the day, so we went to the party, fully prepared to execute the Great Owl Rescue of 2015 as soon as we begged a large box from the party hosts. Thankfully, the owl was gone when we returned, and I like to think it simply decided to go home. I am banishing all visions of it being carried away in the jaws of a large dog. I just can’t go there.
The story does not end there, however. As we continued to shop, bent on finding treasure squirreled away on a dusty shelf, we started noticing owls everywhere. I would be innocently looking for yet another teapot or some reasonably priced Fiestaware, when there it was: some damned owl knick-knack staring at me. And then another. And another. I stopped counting at 27.
The entire rack of owl salt-n-pepper shakers at Bed, Bath and Beyond (my friend lovingly refers to it as Bloodbath and Beyond) was really over the top.
I was curious and faintly alarmed, so I Googled owl portents. Death, of course. I thought so, but I wanted to be sure. Actually, while many cultures do view owls as evil harbingers of one kind or another, there are a few that see them as signs of fertility (not that I want that, either!) or good luck. The Greeks thought they accompanied wisdom, which I could definitely use.
So, all in all it was an interesting start to my new year, but what struck me most was that my writer friend and I immediately jumped to the most fantastical conclusions. Most people, the ones who don’t make up stories for a living, would just think, “Huh. That’s a lot of owls in one day.”
On a brighter note, we did find the treasure of the year:
Fantastic, I know!
“Anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.”
― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
This is a quote that helps me get through those days when I just feel like I have a snowball’s chance in hell of ever getting published.