Books You Should Read – The Definitive List

A great way to organize your “must-read” list, from Nicholas C. Rossis

Nicholas C. Rossis

stack_of_booksI’ve seen hundreds of book lists: Books you should read before you die; Books that should be on your book shelves (hopefully you’re still allowed to take them out and read them); The best books of the 20th centuryBooks that your children should read … you can see where this is going.

I have to admit that in terms of lists, I am not doing that well.  In the “how many of the books you should have read by now. Yes, you!” quizzes popping daily on the Internet, I probably reach a score around 50%.  I always imagine my highschool librarian scowling at me, as I’ve read a lot, but apparently not the ‘must-read’ types of books.  And I have to confess, I have forgotten quite a lot from my earlier reading.

To be fair, school can do that to you: you read so much…

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Why posting about fruit is insulting to women: DO NOT PARTICIPATE in this year’s “Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign”

A feminist’s analysis of this year’s “BREAST CANCER AWARENESS campaign”: the reasons that I’m not participating and I’m telling all.

Call me a “spoilsport,” if it makes you feel better. I am frustrated and unwilling to “go along” with this year’s “Breast Cancer Awareness” Facebook “campaign” (and anywhere else it’s trying to occur) for these reasons:

1) Men also get breast cancer. They usually die from it sooner and more often precisely because there is very little “awareness” about males’ getting breast cancer;

male breast cancer

image from takboprintipe.wordpress.com

2) A “cuteness” factor of a zillion does NOTHING to help fence-sitters, if there even are any: how could there be, when 1 in 4 women gets breast cancer? Who could be “unaware” of it mystifies me;

incidences of all cancers 2013

from http://www.cancer.org, “Estimated New Cancer Cases* in the US in 2013. Estimated New Cancer Cases* in the US in 2013. Cancer Incidence Rates* by Sex, US, 1975-2009”

3) Waste of time, networking, and energy. I see nothing in any of these “campaign” solicitations that has a call to action, a place to donate for cure research, or ANYTHING but cuteness and “don’t tell the men.”

All this, for what?

BC colors facebook-win2

image from gerson.org

4) BREAST CANCER IS NOT SEXY, just because it afflicts one’s breasts. This year, it’s fruits. Each fruit is supposed to signify the poster’s MARITAL or RELATIONSHIP status. As if the entire campaign weren’t insulting enough to the intelligence of adult women, THIS is the type of device it uses every year. One year, it was some lame statement that was supposed to indicate unusual places that we like to have sex, but really was about where we put our PURSES (I don’t even carry a purse 90% of the time; bad for my back and shoulder). Another year (see above), our bra color or underwear color or other such nonsense.

It’s all supposed to be pseudo-titillating and sexual, which is another gripe I have.

So, I’m blowing its cover, here. Tough rocks, cutesy women.

I’ve had too many friends and relatives DIE of this horrible disease to find it at all cute or funny, anyway.

Here is what “feminism” actually means.

Feminism

With this information in front of you, how could you NOT be a feminist? You can have fun; some things can be cute. I have an excellent sense of humor. But some situations require serious ACTION.

Here is the disclosure/invitation post:

“Hi Ladies , so here it is that time of year again when we try to raise awareness of breast cancer through a game. It’s very easy and I would like all of you to participate. Two years ago we had to write the color of our underwear on our wall. Men wondered for days what was going on with the random colors on our walls. This year we make references to our love life status as a flavor. Do not answer this message, just post your word on your wall AND send this message privately to all the girls on your friends list. Blueberry is for single, Pineapple is for it’s complicated, Raspberry is for I don’t want to commit, Apple is engaged, Cherry is in a relationship, Banana is married, Avocado is I’m the better half, Strawberry is can’t find Mr.Right, Lemon is I want to be single, Raisin is I want to get married to my partner. Last time the underwear game was mentioned on TV, let’s see if we can get there with this one. Copy and paste this message into a new message and send it to your friends, then update your status with your answer. DON’T TELL THE GUYS.”
[I couldn’t stand all the misspelled “it’s,” so those I fixed. The rest I left “as is.” Pathetic, for a piece of writing; another gripe.]

HORRIBLE. Don’t do this inane “campaign.”

SPREAD THE WORD about breast cancer and give to fund the cures: http://www.bcrfcure.org/

BCRF logo

Missing Mouse

Thank you, again, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Anupadin.com for posting this poem about #impermanence, #rebirth, #death, #life. http://wp.me/p16gSN-1H7

The Search For Enlightenment

The Wheel Of LifeThe passing of my pet rat Mouse led me to think about a Buddhist poem about death, from the Buddhist viewpoint.

Though we may relinquish our body in this lifetime, we are not gone, nor will we ever be. Animals are no exception to this, they are simply closer to the start of their path than are humans.

We are all animals after all …

This body is not me.
I am not limited by this body.
I am life without boundaries.
I have never been born, and I have never died.
Look at the ocean and the sky filled with stars, manifestations from my wondrous true mind.
Since before time, I have been free.
Birth and death are only doors through which we pass, sacred thresholds on our journey.
Birth and death are a game of hide-and seek.
So laugh with me, hold my hand, let us say good-bye…

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My first meeting with Oscar Wilde was an astonishment (W.B. Yeats)

Fascinating record of a meeting between WB Yeats and Oscar Wilde, from Yeats’ perspective.

Biblioklept

My first meeting with Oscar Wilde was an astonishment. I never before heard a man talking with perfect sentences, as if he had written them all over night with labour and yet all spontaneous. There was present that night at Henley’s, by right of propinquity or of accident, a man full of the secret spite of dulness, who interrupted from time to time, and always to check or disorder thought; and I noticed with what mastery he was foiled and thrown. I noticed, too, that the impression of artificiality that I think all Wilde’s listeners have recorded came from the perfect rounding of the sentences and from the deliberation that made it possible. That very impression helped him, as the effect of metre, or of the antithetical prose of the seventeenth century, which is itself a true metre, helped its writers, for he could pass without incongruity from some unforeseen…

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The Latest Research on Traumatic Brain Injury (#TBI): Causes, Diagnostics, Treatments

While waiting at my neurologist’s office for my second appointment (at which I was cleared to return to regular activities, unrestricted, like WRITING MY BOOKS! YIPPEE!), I read a fascinating article, “Tracking Traumatic Brain Injury: What New Biomarkers May Reveal About Concussion Over the Short and Long Term,” by Gina Shaw, about the latest and greatest advances in Traumatic Brain Injury (#TBI).

Having suffered a “mild-to-moderate” #concussion myself on April 6, I have a keen interest in all of these topics.

The links and website for the article and magazine are below. First, my favorite parts are summarized or quoted, here. [There were no images with the article, so I went and found some (Thanks to Google images!).]

1. “Despite years of research into traumatic brain injury (TBI), the tests currently available to neurologists, emergency physicians, and other experts can’t reliably identify who has sustained a TBI after a blow to the head, and who has not.” [emphasis is mine]

2. “Damage to neurons occurring after a mild to moderate TBI–called axonal injury–is not revealed on these [CT] scans.” [emphasis is mine]

The image I found, below, is generated by one of the latest diagnostic tools, Diffuse Tensor Imaging, or DTI (see #6, below).

TBI Diffuse Axonal Injury

image from trialexhibitsinc.com, “Diffuse Axonal Injury (TBI)”

3. “‘Some studies indicate that having had even a “mild” TBI in early or midlife may increase the risk for dementia in late life, probably at least twofold.'” states Ramon Diaz-Arrastia, M.D., Ph.D., Fellow of the AAN [American Academy of Neurology], director of clinical research at the Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine at the uniformed services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. [emphasis is mine]

4. Even a mild to moderate TBI causes an Axonal Injury = one that disrupts the brain’s structure and chemistry on a cellular level. [emphasis is mine]

TBI Amyloid Plaque over time

image from http://www.alzforum.org, “Amyloid plaques in a cross-section of TBI patients.”

5. 2013 research shows that the same plaque (made of amyloid, a brain protein) that is distributed widely in the brains of and that causes dementia in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is found at the site of a TBI, even a mild one. Some researchers are using the anti-amyloid drugs given to AD patients on TBI injuries to avoid or lessen the likelihood of later dementia.

6. There is a new type of MRI called Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) that is promising for seeing the neurological damage caused by TBIs in ways no other diagnostics are currently able to do. This will also aid in detecting where an injured person is in their recovery.

DTI of mild TBI

image from http://www.adlergiersch.com, “Advances in Neuroimaging in Detecting Brain Abnormality in ‘Mild’ Traumatic Brain Injury”

The article describes many other “in the field” (literally, athletic fields, for one) diagnostic tools about to become widely available to determine the extent or presence of a TBI in someone who was knocked on the head.

Read! Share!

http://journals.lww.com/neurologynow/Fulltext/2014/10030/Tracking_Traumatic_Brain_Injury__What_new.16.aspx

http://www.NeurologyNow.com

Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly: Call for Submissions, Cyborg Theme

#Sci-Fi #Romance short story #writers: Get on this! #SFRB Quarterly submission call!

SFRQ-button-300x200Sci-Fi Romance Quarterly seeks short stories for publication in online magazine focused on Science Fiction Romance.

Length

1,000 to 7,500 words. For Issue #4, we are accepting SFR stories of a Cyborg theme; that is, they must include cyborgs and SF and Romance elements with an upbeat ending. We also prefer stronger heroines to passive ones.

Payment

US$30 paid upon publication, promotional biography with two links, and a complimentary quarter-page advertisement. (We’re working on increasing the rate, but it all depends on how much ad revenue we get in.)

Deadline for Issue #4

August 15, 2014.

Rights sought

Six-month exclusive world digital rights from date of publication; non-exclusive thereafter.

Other info

One short story will be published per quarterly issue, so please send only edited and polished work, with the understanding that the majority will be rejected. Due to the constraints, we are unable to give personalized feedback on…

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I can #Meditate, Again! Ahhhh!

Good news! First time, since the fall that caused a broken nose and concussion on April 1, that I spontaneously dropped into meditative awareness/rigpa!

Dzogchen_A

image of DzoghchenAh” seed syllable for Rigpa from en.wikipedia.org

As some of you know, since the concussive injury to my brain, meditation was, at first, painful/impossible, then elusive/difficult and NOT recommended by the neurosurgeon (who commanded I REST my brain) (see earlier post on concussions’ effects on the brain regarding meditation and other effects from April).

This week I began returning to intentional meditation, slowly, in small sessions, coming up to the day (TODAY, 6/23/14) the doctor will (hopefully) clear me for all mental activities.

Reading a blog post in which the word “wisdom” appeared is what triggered the “ahh” moment! Thanks to fellow bloggers!

It’s like returning home. Tearfully happy today.

Rigpa3-225x300

image from http://www.artsyshark.com (Terri Lloyd): “Rigpa 3″

As I kept reading others’ posts and perusing online sites, every slightly related word or image seems to trigger the same spontaneous meditation response!

I feel a bit like Helen Keller in Patty Duke’s depiction of her in The Miracle Worker: after Helen first realizes that the finger spelling Annie Sullivan has been doing for so many weeks has meanings, Helen runs around touching things and people and returning to Annie, asking for the spelling/word that goes with each.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUV65sV8nu0

I’m in that dashing-around phase, testing my new meditative “chops.”

It’s a kind of ecstasy!

Heartfelt and many lifetimes of gratitude to my wonderful teachers, especially my root teacher, Lama Padma Drimed Norbu.

Lama D laughing on throne

Lama Padma Drimed Norbu at Rigdzin Ling, 2008

May all beings benefit, may all of our precious our teachers’ lives be long, healthy and happy, benefiting all beings in all lifetimes.

Submission Call!

LGBTQ Youth and Adults/Community Short Stories submission call, here!

Vampires, Crime and Angels...Eclectic Me

Submission Call!

Hope & Love, a Charity Anthology Charity Anthology
Submission Call

THEME: LGBTQ Youth and Adults / Community
Short story submissions must be centered on LGBTQ youth and adults. The goal is to make a place where they can fully identify & express themselves without fear of ridicule & harassment. Stories should feature happy or promising endings.
*All proceeds from this charity anthology will be donated to MKE LGBT Community Center*
Short Stories: 3k – 10k words. Manuscripts shorter or longer will be considered but will have to be extraordinary.
Deadline: August 1st, 2014.
Heat Level: YA, NA, Adult (must have plot, no explicit content).
Genres: Any
Pairings: GLBTQ (couples & poly) No previously published work, from new and established authors. Send all submissions to Áine at apmassie@gmail.com. List the anthology title in the subject line of your e-mail. Ex: LGBT Anthology submission. While there is no guarantee that your work…

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#60for60: 60 ACTS OF #KINDNESS AND GRATITUDE– each of the days before my 60TH

#60for60: 60 ACTS OF #KINDNESS AND GRATITUDE– each of the days before my 60TH (birthday)
June 21, 2014 to 8/22/14

happy-60th-birthday-5-x-3-flag-3922-p

I may not do these in the order listed, but I do intend to do them by August 22. I plan to blog about any that merit mentioning. Otherwise, just assume the following are occurring, somehow. I hope this inspires YOU!

Those with a $ next to them require some money to be expended (not much, usually).
1. $
Give a very good tip
2. $
Pay for someone’s gas.
3. $
Pay someone’s fees to foster a dog or cat from shelter
4. $
Leave change in a vending machine
5.
Volunteer
6. $
Donate a random amount of money to a homeless person
7.
Open doors for people
8.
Give genuine compliments to someone’s very unseen blogs
9.
Donate supplies I don’t use
10. $
Donate to classrooms at local school.

support teachers

11. $
Give someone an umbrella
12.
Let someone behind me go in front of me in a line
13.
Clean a neighbor’s curb area or put their garbage cans back after pick-up
14. $
Buy someone’s groceries in the checkout or provide what someone on assistance is “missing” to complete a purchase
15. $
Pick up the tab for a random family/person
16. $
Buy some carry-out lunch and deliver it to a homeless person
17.
Give compliments to at least two people.
18. $
Buy some toys a child might like and leave them on their porch.
19.
Post about something useful to others
20. $
Go to the bank and deposit money into someone else’s account
21. $
Pay off someone’s layway at a store
22. $
Cook lunch for someone I know and bring to them
23. $
Buy a college student’s textbook or lunch

college textbooks

24.
Leave a thank -you note at farmers’ market vendor’s stall (or more than one)
25.
Collect coupons and leave at laundromats 
26.
Leave Buddhist magazines at homeless shelters
27.
Donate clothes, coats, shoes
28. $
Reserve a coffee at coffee shop
29.
Read someone’s writing and give constructive feedback
30.
Send a thank-you note to a family member (or more than one)
31.
Send a thank-you note to a friend (or more than one)
32.
Offer to edit, rewrite, or help write something for someone for free
33.
Respond to someone’s comments with positive statements in FB, LinkedIn, Google+ groups
34.
Thank group moderators in above groups
35.
Tweet about someone else’s writing, music or art

SUPPORT-INDIE-ART

36.
RT or repost someone’s great quote
37.
Vote up someone’s submission on Reddit, StumbleUpon, Youtube
38.
Thank every cashier and waitron I can’t tip
39.
Offer to help someone who seems to need help at stores, farmers’ market, library
40.
Donate books to library book sale
41. $
Donate food to food bank
42.
Offer a ride to someone with burdens walking to the BART or bus
43. $
Buy a BART (public transportation) ticket and give it away
44. $
Leave tips in tip jars even when I don’t buy anything
45. $
Donate to my spiritual teacher even when I don’t see him
46.
Get and give coupons for free ebooks to teachers 
47.
Write positive reviews for books and rank them on Amazon or businesses on YELP or other sites
48. $
Visit one church or temple per month and donate to charity tray/basket
49.
Send thank-you notes to musicians, writers, artists whose work I appreciate
50.
Send thank-you notes to teachers or their children/spouses
51.
Scan then post/email photos from albums for friends, family and let them know
52.
Make youtube vids thanking writing support groups leaders/members and cover artist, Willowraven, reviewers and beta readers, then post
53. $
Pay someone’s parking meter or give a hard-to-find space up to someone else

parking fairy
image from: http://offhandcomics.com

54.
Compliment a parent on their parenting in public place
55.
Compliment/thank a public servant in person or online
56.
Write letter to editor of local paper thanking honest, dedicated local politicians
57.
Blog about gratitude to my/one’s ancestors
58.
Share positive stories about people I knew who are now dead to their living descendants
59.
Thank Buddhist sangha members and/or support one’s retreat
60.

Find someone else whose birthday is today and wish them “Happy Birthday!”

60 BD

Link to 6/11/14, Barry Eva’s A Book & A Chat, #interview with #author, Sally Ember, Ed.D., 7 PM EDT

If you missed it live on 6/11/14, Barry Eva, A Book & A Chat, interview with #author, Sally Ember, Ed.D., 7 PM EDT, you’re in luck!

bookchat3

You can listen to the show ANY TIME: http://www.newvisionsradio.com/index.php/en/2014-02-26-19-59-03/a-book-and-a-chat

Also, Barry’s previous shows are archived: http://abookandachat.blogspot.com

We discussed. laughed and exclaimed about MANY topics (with a few surprises), including Volumes I and II of The Spanner Series, her background, inspirations, dreams, meditation, multiverse timelines, future memory, quantum physics and interspecies research, utopian science-fiction, speculative fiction, romance’s place in science fiction, paranormal stories without werewolves and vampires, plans and much more.

logoAuthorsDen

http://www.newvisionsradio.com/index.php/en/2014-02-26-19-59-03/a-book-and-a-chat

Who is Barry Eva and what is this show?

http://abookandachat.blogspot.com/

A Book and a Chat has proved a hugely popular radio program with people of all ages. With over seven hundred shows already recorded, Barry’s format of ‘a chat over a cup of tea’ has received nothing but rave reviews from guest and listeners alike.

“The writer of a successful young adult romance book, Across the Pond, Barry has himself appeared on a large number of radio and TV programs.

A Book and a Chat is a program for writers and readers, not so much a literary show, more like… let’s sit around have a cup of tea and a few laughs.”

More about Barry Eva (from his website):
“Born in Barnet, Hertfordshire, Barry, also known as ‘Storyheart,’ left his beloved England in 2000, moving to the USA. Better known for his short romance stories on the ‘net and in his book, Stories from the Heart. Barry is popular for narrating his stories on local TV or as a guest on other media stations,where his whit, oratory, and old-fashioned English charm make him a popular interviewee.”

His shows are usually on Tuesdays and Sundays at 6:30 PM ET and Wednesday at 7:00 PM ET

Want to listen to earlier shows?
Barry used to be on Blog Talk Radio, so here is that link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/across-the-pond

If you do get to listen, please comment there or here: http://www.sallyember.com

Link to 6/11/14, Barry Eva’s A Book & A Chat, #interview with #author, Sally Ember, Ed.D., 7 PM EDT

If you missed it live on 6/11/14, Barry Eva, A Book & A Chat, interview with #author, Sally Ember, Ed.D., 7 PM EDT, you’re in luck!

bookchat3

You can listen to the show ANY TIME: http://www.newvisionsradio.com/index.php/en/2014-02-26-19-59-03/a-book-and-a-chat

Also, Barry’s previous shows are archived: http://abookandachat.blogspot.com

We discussed. laughed and exclaimed about MANY topics (with a few surprises), including Volumes I and II of The Spanner Series, her background, inspirations, dreams, meditation, multiverse timelines, future memory, quantum physics and interspecies research, utopian science-fiction, speculative fiction, romance’s place in science fiction, paranormal stories without werewolves and vampires, plans and much more.

logoAuthorsDen

http://www.newvisionsradio.com/index.php/en/2014-02-26-19-59-03/a-book-and-a-chat

Who is Barry Eva and what is this show?

http://abookandachat.blogspot.com/

A Book and a Chat has proved a hugely popular radio program with people of all ages. With over seven hundred shows already recorded, Barry’s format of ‘a chat over a cup of tea’ has received nothing but rave reviews from guest and listeners alike.

“The writer of a successful young adult romance book, Across the Pond, Barry has himself appeared on a large number of radio and TV programs.

A Book and a Chat is a program for writers and readers, not so much a literary show, more like… let’s sit around have a cup of tea and a few laughs.”

More about Barry Eva (from his website):
“Born in Barnet, Hertfordshire, Barry, also known as ‘Storyheart,’ left his beloved England in 2000, moving to the USA. Better known for his short romance stories on the ‘net and in his book, Stories from the Heart. Barry is popular for narrating his stories on local TV or as a guest on other media stations,where his whit, oratory, and old-fashioned English charm make him a popular interviewee.”

His shows are usually on Tuesdays and Sundays at 6:30 PM ET and Wednesday at 7:00 PM ET

Want to listen to earlier shows?
Barry used to be on Blog Talk Radio, so here is that link: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/across-the-pond

If you do get to listen, please comment there or here: http://www.sallyember.com

Hugh Howey on Indie Publishing and Marketing

Love this: “‘It isn’t like my books go stale. They’re all e-books and print-on-demand paperbacks. They are brand new and always in print, just waiting to be discovered. I firmly believe that if a well-read author commits to honing their craft and writing two novels a year for ten years, they will be able to make a career out of writing. The beauty of self-publishing is that you can give yourself that ten-year chance. You don’t have to rely on being discovered by an agent. You don’t have to waste your time querying and spending the two or three years it can take to get a single book published. And you aren’t limited to the narrow window in which your book will be displayed on a store shelf. You can publish now and publish forever. That’s a huge benefit, one that I recognized very early on.’”

Nicholas C. Rossis

howey-hughFor those unfamiliar with Hugh Howey, he’s a very successful hybrid author who’s been behind the Author Earnings revolution – the publication of estimates on the financial side of Indie publishing.  His main contribution was to help find reliable data on the self-publishing side of things.  This has made him a darling of the Indie scene, as his data supports the feeling that self-publishing is here to stay, since it’s much more successful and profitable than usually realized. It has also made him a hate figure for many supporters of the traditional publishing model.

In his interviews and comments, he comes across as a very sweet and gentle guy, keeping his cool even when flamed to a crisp.  In a recent interview on Tech Crunch called “Making it Big in Self-Publishing”, he shares his views regarding book writing, book publishing and book promotion.  Since he is one of the most…

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#Sexist, #Racist Dress Codes? What is “Proper #School Attire” in the 2010’s?

There have been numerous stories in social media pulled from the news regarding dress codes and who supposedly is violating them in public schools. These stories usually focus on the sexist or racist policies or sexist/racist implementations of vague policies and I usually agree with most of what they say.

We read about African-American girls’ natural hair is being disgraced and disallowed. We read about many minority girls and boys whose choices of colors are questioned and assumed to be gang-related. We read about girls who are sent home because their choices of clothing are deemed to be “too distracting for the boys,” as if the boys’ mental states are their responsibilities.

HOWEVER…

What is the world are kids wearing to school these days?

bra-strap-visible

image from sunshinemaryandthedragon.wordpress.com

When our public schools first relaxed the dress codes, I had just started high school (tenth grade, St. Louis County, Missouri, 1969). When I say “relaxed,” I mean abandoned. We went from being sent home for having skirts that were “too short” and only being allowed to wear pants on “pants day” for girls to there being NO RULES at all. One year, almost a nun. The following year, could be a hippie, harlot, burlesque dancer, athlete, beatnik intellectual or whatever we wanted, costume-wise.

It has been a downhill slide ever since, except for those schools that read the research which claimed that youth dressed in ad surrounded by those wearing more “respectful” and less “distracting” clothing learned “better.” These schools decided to incorporate uniforms to dispense with the entire parade of values, class conflicts, racism, sexism, gang colors and underwear displays most schools were dealing with by then. I applaud them, even though I am sure most of the kids hate the uniforms. It is much simpler, cheaper, and easier on everyone to have school uniforms.

school uniforms

image from galleryhip.com

However, when schools don’t cover the costs of uniforms for indigent families, what then?

Or, when schools don’t utilize uniforms, we have the current chaos involving underwear displays by many, questionable appropriateness of attire, skin in usually private areas or those reserved for the beach or pool showing in math class, and gang colors’ problems. Then, some have tattoos, piercings, transgender clothing, other body art and hairstyles that bother some adults enormously.

teen boy boxers showing

image from http://www.sptimes.com

I wish kids had more self-respect. I wish parents exerted more authority and control. I wish schools would be clearer and more fair in their policies and enforcement. I wish transgender- and homo-phobia, sexism and racism were not in the mix.

No one is granting my wishes, so far.

UK girls school clothes

image from http://www.dailymail.co.uk

We are left with random, biased enforcement that is sexist, racist, individual- or group-oriented (often homo- or trans-phobic) nastiness visited on minors by petty administrative bureaucrats (paid by our tax dollars), all because someone in authority doesn’t like what they’re wearing/not wearing/showing.

transgender prom queen

image from weblogs.sun-sentinel.com

See? We CAN do better.

If these schools with so many dress code “violation” problems refuse to become more clear, fair and obvious in their codes and enforcement and also refuse to require uniforms, the ACLU or some similar entity needs to step in and protect these kids’ rights to free expression through body art, clothing and hairstyles.

belly piercings

image from teenmomtalk.com

When schools provide more interesting material to view, interact with and learn–more important things to think about and see–than each other’s attire, students will find attire to be less distracting. There is that.

Infinity + One by Amy Harmon is LIVE!!!

My second ebook, “This Changes My Family and My Life Forever,” also goes LIVE today, so hop on over and visit that after you CLICK on this one! Best to you all!

K&M's Book Haven

INFINITY + ONE COVEROne of my most anticipated books of the year is NOW LIVE!
I just started it and am already in LOVE! I highly recommend that you hurry up and one-click so you’ll know the book that everyone will be talking about this week!
(it’s inevitable…everything Amy Harmon writes is pure genius <3)

Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter | Website

Synopsis

When two unlikely allies become two unwitting outlaws, will two unforgettable lovers defy unbeatable odds?

Bonnie Rae Shelby is a superstar. She’s rich. She’s beautiful. She’s impossibly famous. And Bonnie Rae Shelby wants to die.

Finn Clyde is a nobody. He’s broken. He’s brilliant. He’s impossibly cynical. And all he wants is a chance at life.

One girl. One boy. An act of compassion. A bizarre set of circumstances. And a choice – turn your head and walk away, or reach out your hand and risk it all?

With that choice…

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Release Day Blast & Excerpt: SECRET LOVE by Christine Warner

We’re releasing on the same day, Christine! Best to you. Reblogging!

Girl meets Books

Tour Banner - Secret Love

Secret Love - Hi RezTitle: Secret Love
Author: Christine Warner
Series: The Sweet Fifties Series Book #1
Genre: Sweet Nostalgic Novella
Length: 69 pages
Publishing Date: June 9, 2014
Buy Links:Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Lizzie Tarleton has always done things her own way—including the time at the tender age of thirteen when she confessed to her brother’s best friend she loved him. But now she’s a new teacher at the local high school, and independent enough to know that you can’t force love. She’ll find love when the time is right—even though her parents are adamant the time is now. The only downfall to her idyllic life is the fact that her childhood crush—who broke her heart—is now her boss. If only she could stop daydreaming about him.

Wayne Whitmore grew up on the wrong side of the tracks and worked hard to get where he’s at in life. Even though…

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RT and SHARE: Release Date is TODAY! #THISCHANGESMYFAMILYANDMYLIFEFOREVER, Vol II, #THESPANNERSSERIES on sale NOW!

Looking for some great summer reading in the sci-fi/ romance/ paranormal/ multiverse/ utopian/ speculative fiction genres? Adults, Young and New Adults will all be intrigued and entertained, informed and inspired by The Spanners Series, by Sally Ember, Ed.D.

Just released for sale TODAY, 6/9/14, is This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, Vol. II.

for RELEASE DAY 6/9/14: GIVEAWAY RULES:
1) Visit my website sallyember.com or my boards on Pinterest.com/sallyember, sallyember.Tumblr.com or Google+ or FB Spanners Series’ page and FOLLOW no later than midnight PDT (California, USA) 6/9/14.

2) DM me on what you Followed

3) and what you thought of your visit!

4) I will then DM you a coupon for FREE download of Vol II!

Sci-fi/ Romance /Multiverse/ Paranormal/ Utopian ebooks, The Spanners Series, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, is on sale EVERYWHERE ebooks are sold starting today, 6/9/14, when all Pre-orders download! Smashwords, Kobo, iBooks, nook @ $3.99, while VOL I, This Changes Everything, is permafree!
http://www.sallyember.com/ for all links, OR qualify for the GIVEAWAY!

Or, be a GRWAT supportive fan and PURCHASE/DOWNLOAD, RANK/RATE, REVIEW, SHARE about my ebook on Amazon:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KU5Q7KC

How would YOU do with the changes after finding out we are not alone in the multiverse?

This Changes My Family and My Life Forever is the story of the first five years After Public Contact with the Many Worlds Collective (2013-2018), “The Transition” to full membership for Earth. Many of the changes, reactions, struggles and circumstances accompanying these years are related from the points of view of the main character, Dr. Clara Branon’s, adult son and his cousins as well as some of those cousins’ children. One of Clara’s nephews in particular, Moran Ackerman, who becomes Chief of the Psi-Warriors and all OverSeers, tells of his experiences and training in assuming those roles for Earth after having been a Rabbi and middle school teacher.

TCMFandMLF‘s content is edited/curated and also partly narrated by Esperanza Enlaces, Clara’s Chief Media Contact, a contemporary of Clara’s son, so some of Espe’s story and many parts of Clara’s are included as well.

final cover - digital and web

all cover and logo art by Aidana Willowraven

Reviews, Excerpts, Interviews, and more, including all buy links: http://www.sallyember.com Follow Sally on Twitter @sallyemberedd or this blog on WordPress or Tumblr http://sallyember.tumblr.com/ for excerpts from and news about upcoming Volumes!

Only $3.99 everywhere ebooks are sold.

Vol I, #THISCHANGESEVERYTHING, is PermaFree!

This Changes Everything, Vol I, The Spanners Series, includes anecdotes and events from the entire span of the series, with specific details as to how it all begins. Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, 58, begins having secret visits from holographic representations of  beings from the Many Worlds Collective, a consortium of planet and star systems in the multiverse.  When Earth is invited to join the consortium, the secret visits are made public. Now Earthers must adjust their beliefs and ideas about life, religion, culture, identity and everything they think and are. Clara is selected to be the liaison between Earth and the Many Worlds Collective and she chooses Esperanza Enlaces to be the Media Contact. They team up to provide information to stave off riots and uncertainty.

The Many Worlds Collective holos train Clara and the Psi-Warriors for the Psi Wars with the rebelling Psi-Defiers, communicate effectively with many species on Earth and off-planet, eliminate ordinary, elected governments and political boundaries, convene a new group of Global Leaders, and deal with family’s and friends’ reactions. In what multiple timelines of the ever-expanding multiverse do Clara and her long-time love, Epifanio Dang, get to be together and which leave Clara alone and lonely as the leader of Earth?

This Changes Everything begins the 30-year story of Clara’s term as Earth’s first Chief Communicator, continuing in nine more Volumes of The Spanners Series.

This-Changes-Everything----web-and-ebooks

Thanks to everyone in my family, friendship and authors’ support circles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and LinkedIn for helping these Volumes and future ones get into YOUR hands! Special thanks to Aidana Willowraven, Cover Artist Extraordinaire!

Are YOU ready for the changes?

How to STUPENDIFY my #Ebook’s Release with a Virtual Book Tour

Thanks to Dvorah Lasky and many others, especially Nina Amir and her Virtual Book Tour advice and tips, I am better prepared than ever to release my next ebook in The Spanners Series, Volume II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, 6/9/14.

Buy links, reviews, interviews, excerpts, more: http://www.sallyember.com

Thanks, all, in the Book Marketing Challenge 2014! Great month of activities, events, blogs, webinars, teleseminars and more. Much appreciated.

Today, 6/7/14, we culminate this month of learning and sharing among #authors by asking you to visit each of the sites in our Blog Hop and learn more!

blog-hop-150x150 BMC 2014

Here is Nina’s checklist, in case you were wondering:

Virtual Book Tour Checklist

Before you begin your virtual book tour, be sure you have everything in place to ensure your appearances build your mailing list as well as sell books. Here’s a checklist you might find useful:

  1. Place the cover of your book and the links to the online bookstores where it can be purchased in a prominent location on your website.
  2. Create a free product, eBook, report, or autoresponder series.
  3. Sign up for an email service.
  4. Create an email subscription form that promotes your free product.
  5. Get the URL of your email subscription form from your email service provider.
  6. Place your form on your blog or website (or both).
  7. Create a page (or pages) on your website to offer a free downloadable gift only redeemable after filling out an email form.
  8. Create a teleseminar, webinar, or social media event related to your book.
  9. Find strategic partners who might be willing to promote your event to their list or joint venture with you in other ways.

Nina also offers 5 ways to build one’s email list during this virtual tour. Read more of her posts, get her books, learn from her experience: http://ninaamir.com/

For a complete list of articles and experts gathered for this great month: http://buildabusinesswithyourbook.com/author/dvorah/

However, this author is behind the curve and hasn’t set up to capture followers’ emails, yet. WILL DO SOON!

Best to all you #authors! Check out the other blogs on this HOP (partial list below):

Destinations on the Blog Hop Trail

Hop 1: Sara F. Hathaway: Survival in The Changing Earth’s Book Publishing World
Hop 2: Connie Dunn: Blog Hop Fun
Hop 3: Astrid Nicholls: The Book Marketing Challenge: An Important Lesson
Hop 4: Anne Lorene Tezon: Baby, We’ve Just Birthed a Book Business!
Hop 5: Gina Briganti: Welcome, Book Marketing Challenge Blog Hoppers!
Hop 6: Peggy M McAloon: A Concise and Proven Book Marketing Plan
Hop 7: Donna Winters: Goodreads for Authors
Hop 8: Moreen Torpy: Organizing a Book Marketing Project
Hop 9: Pam Fitros: 30-Day Book Marketing Challenge – A Literary Antipasto
Hop 10: J.Q. Rose: Time to Celebrate at the Book Marketing Blog Hop
Hop 11: Roxanne Smolen: Marketing Equals Visibility
Hop 12: Elizabeth Armstrong, Ph.D.: Lifestyle Transformation with the Help of Author Ecosystem
Hop 13: Marilynn Dawson: Blog Hop Stop Wrapping up The Book Marketing Challenge
Hop 14: Desiree Cox: Write it and They Will Come, Right?
Hop 15: Kateryna Kei: The Book Marketing Challenge: a Lucky Coincidence for Authors 😉
Hop 16: Gloria Oren: I did it! I complelted the 30 day Book Marketing Challenge
Hop 17: Loretta Alvarado: Facebook Fanpage First Friday Artwalk
Hop 18: Hayley Clarke: ‘Bribe’ Idea’s That can be Used to Build an Email List
Hop 19: Kate Loving Shenk: The Book Challenge is a Rewire
Hop 20: Patti Tingen: I Have a Plan
Hop 21: Renee Alter: A Book Marketing Challenge
Hop 22: L. Shoshana Rhodes: The 30-Day Book Marketing All-You-Can-Eat Buffet!
Hop 23: Kim Miller: Why You Should Blog (It’s Not Just About Marketing!)

5-Star #Review of #THISCHANGESMYFAMILYANDMYLIFEFOREVER, Vol II, #THESPANNERSSERIES

TITLE HERE

June 4, 2014

“Clara Ackerman Branon is back, and Earth’s Transition continues.

final cover - digital and web
cover art by Aidana Willowraven

“I actually read Vol I and Vol II back to back, so for me it was like I’m reading one continuous book. I think though that one would need to read Vol I really to fully understand what is going to happen.

“In this volume, we get introduced more to Clara’s family (they are a large family!) who all get interviewed about how they experienced Clara’s first contact with the aliens and earth’s transition (when the news first broke, what changed for them, any difficulties, what are they planning for the future). One of the main narrators is Clara’s nephew, Moran, a Rabbi before Transition, who will now become the Chief in the fight against those who resist and fight the transition. There is also more info about Clara, snippets about her life from young woman to past transition, we learn about her jobs, relationships with both man and woman and in communes, what does she listen to, read etc. Though I’m still confused about her relationship with her lover / not lover, Epifanio – but hey, more volumes are to come.

“One thing I like very much about The Spanners Series is the message that we can all live together in peace, learn from each other, be there for each other. All differences (religious, racial, gender, and even between species and inhabitants of other planets) are overcome. I mean, how cool would that be to be able to communicate with animals – and not in a jokey, Eddie Murphy Dr Dolitle kind of way, but accept them and their needs / interests as equal to humans. And those people who resist change (yes, there will always be those, even if it is clear that the change is for the better) will not be eliminated, but gently persuaded to recognise at what is best for them.

“Another thing I really like is the cover artwork and I hope the author doesn’t change the cover art throughout the series, that would be a shame. It’s pretty , imaginative. once you read the first few chapters and about the first encounter with ‘The Band’, have a look at the cover again and you will go ‘ahhhh’.

“I very much enjoyed this series and the somewhat unusual structure of the book with interview. It is blurring the lines between fiction and non-fiction. One of the great pluses for me was that abbreviations or foreign language used (one of the main characters is Hispanic) are always explained in brackets straight away. Because of the non-fiction style, it does not halt the flow of the story at all, but is in fact very helpful. On the minus side, as there are several of Clara’s relatives are interviewed, it can sometimes be a bit ‘samey’ at some stage. But the writing is easy to read, so it is not a big deal and I found myself skipping over a few pages.

“A satisfying continuation from Volume I – let’s see what’s coming up in the next volume.”

[NOTE: Please forgive her English mistakes: English is not her first language.]

Visit Peggy Farooqi’s Reviews and blog: http://thepegsterreads.blogspot.co.uk/2014/06/review-this-changes-my-family-and-my.html
and on Amazon.com

Her review of Vol I, This Changes Everything, appeared last month (May, 2014)!

TCE is PERMAFREE everywhere; TCMF&MLF is in Pre-Orders through 6/8/9 @$1.99 and releases @$3.99 6/9/14. Links, excerpts, more reviews and info: http://www.sallyember.com/spanners

4-Star #Review for #THISCHANGESVERYTHING, Vol I, #THESPANNERSSERIES

Sci Fi which challenges your ideas

May 26, 2014

“Finally, a Sci-Fi Series that is not exclusively aimed at teenager. Don’t get me wrong, there is a market and this book can be read by everyone. But it does challenge you mentally. What I like is that the main characters are not teenagers caught in some intergalactic wars.

This Changes Everything cover
cover art by Aidana Willowraven

“Dr. Clara Ackerman Branon, a middle-aged, Ph.D., school teacher, narrates the book (in most parts). She gets contacted by aliens from the MWC = Many World Collective. Led, Mick, Ringo and Janis – Diana (as Clara names them *geddit?*) appear to Clara in her bedroom as holograms and tell her that she is chosen to be earth’s first Chief Communicator with the MWC. They have come to prepare earth for membership of the MWC. Clara is not too spooked by their appearance, as she had visions since childhood. For me, she is a very likeable character and I took to her straight away – she has a great sense of humour.

“These aliens are actually friendly, and want to help earth and all its inhabitants (and that incl human and all other life) to live peacefully together. Reference John Lennon and “Image” here! Being aware of everything that went on at earth, they feel now the time is right to come forward and help earth with its transition to a more peaceful future.

“While the book in most parts is narrated by Clara, the chapters are also interlace with interviews, press conferences and diary entries written by others. This may sound confusing and it was at first when I read the contents pages. But the title of each chapter, whilst long, explains exactly what it is, so you will always now where and when you are. And there are a lot of ideas to take in, so a very helpful section at the end explains main phrases / concepts / abbreviations. But while it challenges your reading experience, it is not difficult to get your head around the ideas presented here.

“I found the idea that the MWC have been watching earth and are responsible for some of the disasters on earth (when things have gone wrong…) thought-provoking and absorbing. The concept of ‘timulting’ was more difficult for me to take in – Clara (and others) can see different timelines at any one stage. And than there is Clara’s love interest Epifanio whom she is / isn’t married to depending what timeline she is in and I struggled a bit with it. But I think I ‘got’ it at the end.

“I loved the idea of a ‘re-set’ on your life where you can change an event once. For Clara, that was the fact that she had a car accident as a teenager which left her with a degree of disability, which than ruled her life. When she can ‘re-set’ this event and watches how her life plays out without this disability in a different timeline, she realises that she would certainly be more outgoing, but the life of those around her (mostly her son) would also change significantly – at a price.

“Loved that. So, would you ‘re-set’ if you could?

“This book is the foundation for The Spanners Series, and while I understand that the following books can be read independently, I really think one ought to read Vol I to get the main ideas and concepts on which the author can now build upon. There is certainly a lot of scope to develop the ideas introduced in Vol I.”

[NOTE: Please forgive her English mistakes: English is not her first language.]

Visit Peggy Farooqi’s Reviews and blog: http://thepegsterreads.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/review-this-changes-everything-by-sally.html
and on Amazon.com

Her review of Vol II, This Changes My Family and My Life Forever, appears later this week!

TCE is PERMAFREE everywhere; TCMF&MLF is in Pre-Orders through 6/8/9 @$1.99 and releases @$3.99 6/9/14. Links, excerpts, more reviews and info: http://www.sallyember.com/spanners