Saturday, September 26, 2020

Social Distancing Book Signing - How we made this happen.

 

I was invited by my local library and Friends of the Library non-profit to do a book signing the second week of September.

However, this town was under a level two evacuation order and covered in ash the day of the signing so we rescheduled.

Then came the rain storms that were an answer to prayers.

This is the Pacific Northwest and rain never stopped anyone so we did the book signing outdoors, under a canopy, in the middle of the storm. 

In order to do the book signing I had to follow some specific rules.

All the books had to be pre-signed and then sealed for SIX days. 


I stayed up late one night with the kitten and signed 200 books. (Thinking positive).








Notice the hand sanitizer on the table.

The whole book sale was outdoors and under a canopy.




This young man was my helper. Book sales are totally his thing and he bought a whole bag of new/used books and a "Texas size" doughnut with hot chocolate.
Perfect for this cold, rainy day.




Over all 88 books found new homes. 
Not bad for a small town, recovering from a natural disaster and evacuation, in the middle of a pandemic, and in a heavy rainstorm. 

I owe the success to the Friends of the Library organization for helping to organize this event and advertised me as the featured author. They also put my table right next to the cashier, "Kathy", who also helped to pitch my book to everyone checking out ;) - Thank you, Kathy!

My favorite part of the day was a mom who brought her tween daughter (an aspiring author) to see me and get Watcher books for their book club. They asked me what my number one advice is for someone wanting to be an author. Simple: "Don't give up. Keep going, keep learning, keep trying."



Follow your local COVID guidelines.
This post is not medical or safety advice, only an explanation of how I did this in my area under local direction.


Friday, August 7, 2020

Now Available The Watchers Series books 1-6, by Deirdra Eden

 



Now Available
The Watchers Series books 1-6, by Deirdra Eden


The Watchers Series has been described as Lord of The Rings meets Supernatural. The Watchers are supernatural beings in human form whose duty it is to protect and guard mankind from the armies of darkness. Unfortunately, some of these Watchers go bad.

Deirdra Eden's, The Watcher's Series, is written in a traditional fairytale style with a young girl's discovery of incredible, but dangerous powers within herself, a cast of humorous side-kicks, a quest for greater self-discovery and purpose, and villains of epic proportions.​ Great for readers ages ten and up.

The main themes are Fighting for Your Dreams, Always Having Hope, and Spreading Light.

The Watchers Book Trailer 2014:

The Watchers Book Trailer 2020:

Link to get your copy of The Watchers Series:

Paperbacks:
Kindle editions also available.


Link And Promo To Free Coloring Book:
and enter coupon code AZ54J


Follow The Watchers On Your Favorite Social Media:

Saturday, August 1, 2020

The Watchers, Traditional Version and International Version

Hello My Friends,

I wanted to let you know about the two different versions of The Watchers books:
the Traditional version and the International version.

Right now Amazon is my exclusive distributor and they have certain print guidelines to qualify for international distribution. In creating the International version our friends overseas can now purchase physical copies of The Watchers.

There are a few differences.
1. The size.
The International version is about one inch taller. Because of this the book is slightly thinner, but the whole story is still in there (not abridged).

Traditional 6 x 8



International 6 x 9


2. There are a few international editing changes that are very minor, but that are more acceptable to a wider audience.
A few of these are spellings such as gray to grey, armour, honour, harbour, and other words Americans take the U out of.

3. Most American forms of measurements has been changed to metric in the international version.


I am excited about the response from my overseas friends who have been waiting for a physical copy of the book.

If you have already purchased the first part of the Watchers Series and want a complete set with the books all the same size, just be mindful of which version you are purchasing.







Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Medicine and Miracles in the High Desert

 



Book Summary
 
This is the true story of a young white woman, Erica Elliott, who comes to the Navajo Reservation in 1971 as a newly minted schoolteacher, knowing nothing about her students or their culture. After several blunders and misunderstandings, and beset by loneliness and despair, Erica makes a determined effort to overcome the barriers of language and culture. From the moment she begins learning the Navajo language, the people open their hearts and homes to her, inviting her into a world that will profoundly impact the rest of her life.

Erica falls in love with her Navajo students—along with their enchanting land, healing ceremonies, and rich traditions. She witnesses many miracles during this time, and experiences her own miracle when the elders pray for her healing. She survives fearsome encounters with a mountain lion and a shapeshifting “skin walker.” She learns how to herd and butcher sheep, make fry bread, weave traditional rugs, and more.

Erica returns years later to serve the Navajo people as a medical doctor in an under-funded and under-staffed clinic, where she treats myriad ailments, delivers countless babies, and performs emergency procedures. When a medicine man offers to thank her with a ceremony, more miracles unfold.

Print Length: 202 Pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Babloa Press

Medicine and Miracles in the High Desert is now available to purchase in print and as an e-book at 
Amazon.comIndieBound.org, and Barnes and Noble. Add it to your GoodReads reading listing as well.



 About the Author Erica Elliott, M.D.

Erica Elliott is a medical doctor with a busy private practice in Santa Fe, New Mexico. A true adventurer, she has lived and worked around the world. She served as a teacher for Indigenous children on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona and in the mountains of Ecuador.

In 1976, she was one of the first American women to climb Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the western hemisphere. She taught rock climbing and mountaineering for Outward Bound and, after her first year of medical school, she led an all-women’s expedition to the top of Denali in Alaska.

In 1993, Erica helped found The Commons, a cohousing community in Santa Fe where she continues to live. She gave a TEDx talk about living in cohousing. Referred to affectionately as “the Health Detective,” she treats patients who come to her from all parts of the country with mysterious and difficult-to-diagnose illnesses. Erica is a frequent radio guest and has given workshops at various venues, including Esalen and Omega Institute.

Find her online at:

Author website: 
https://www.medicineandmiraclesinthehighdesert.com/

Professional website: http://www.ericaelliottmd.com/




Also, my book was an Indie finalist in the general non fiction category.

Also, my professional website is www.ericaelliottmd.com 
And my author website is www.medicineandmiraclesinthehighdesert.com 

Seeker: A Sea Odyssey by Rita Pomade



Book Summary

Seeker: A Sea Odyssey is the story of two people who meet in Mexico and fall in love. Rita is an American part-time English language teacher and freelance reporter for an English language tourist magazine struggling to raise two young boys on her own. Bernard is a French geologist under contract to the Mexican government to search for underground thermal springs. She dreams of finding Shangri-La after witnessing a bloody government crackdown from which she barely escapes. He dreams of having a yacht and sailing the world. Their dreams mesh, and they immigrate to Canada to earn the money to build their boat.

Print Length: 330 Pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: MiroLand

Seeker: A Sea Odyssey is available to purchase at Amazon.comBarnes and Noble, and Books-a-Million. You can also add this to your Goodreads reading list.




About the Author Rita Pomade

Rita Pomade, an intrepid nomad originally from New York, now lives and writes in Montreal. Her work has appeared in literary magazines and poetry reviews, and her monologue for auditioning actors was selected for inclusion in the Monologue Bank. An excerpt from her forthcoming memoir Seeker: A Sea Odyssey was included in two travel anthologies. 









Praise for the book, Seeker

"A crackling sea story, an adventure yarn to stand with any of them – except that this sailor is not a swashbuckling, peg-legged pirate with an eyepatch but a soft-spoken, introspective woman with a keen eye and (although she never mentions it) bottomless courage... an experience most of us can only read about." -  Jack Todd, winner of the Mavis Gallant Award for Non-fiction and the Quebec Writers Federation First Book Award.

"This book will appeal to the nomad hidden in those with a dream to roam, to those who love to meet others, try their foods and languages, and it may spark something even in the most sedentary reader. Travel with Rita and Bernard in this wonderful tale of adventure!" – Goodreads Reviewer

About the Author
Rita Pomade, an intrepid nomad originally from New York, now lives and writes in Montreal. Her work has appeared in literary magazines and poetry reviews, and her monologue for auditioning actors was selected for inclusion in the Monologue Bank. An excerpt from her forthcoming memoir Seeker: A Sea Odyssey was included in two travel anthologies.

Monday, June 8, 2020

Guest Post by Desiree Villena - How Self-Publishing on Amazon is Like Playing Dungeons & Dragons

How Self-Publishing on Amazon is Like Playing Dungeons & Dragons

While Dungeons & Dragons might not be the very first thing you think of when you sit down to write, it’s easy to see how playing D&D is similar to writing a novel: both are modes of storytelling that involve immersing others in a fictitious world.
But would you believe this tabletop game of make-believe also has a great deal in common with the self-publishing process? If not, this post will prove it to you! Here's how self-publishing on Amazon is like playing Dungeons & Dragons, as demonstrated by four essential steps you’ll need to follow in either situation. Let’s start with the most important...

1. Preparing a strong campaign

In D&D, a campaign is like a storyline. The DM will set out the guidelines of a campaign before the playing starts, and one campaign will usually carry on through many sessions.

When it comes to self-publishing, campaigning is also a long-haul “game.” Self-publishing requires lots of preparation and attention to detail, just as devising a D&D campaign does! Though you won’t be sending your book on a crusade through hostile lands in a search of treasure, you will be sending it into a highly competitive landscape for indie authors (as those who have previously self-published on Amazon will already know).

The crucial thing here is to familiarize yourself with Kindle Direct Publishing before you publish, just as a Dungeon Master would plan a campaign far in advance. After all, putting it into action isn’t what takes the most time and effort; it’s all about the planning that goes into it!

To that end, do a dry run of setting your book up on KDP at least a week before you actually want to publish it. You’ll need to create a new title from the dashboard, upload your manuscript and book cover image, write your book description, select your keywords and categories, and decide which special features of KDP you want to enroll in (more on that below). Going through all this will show you what to expect, and if you’re unsure about anything, you have some time to refine your approach before your launch date arrives.

Finally, keep in mind that when you are ready to publish, it will take 24-72 hours for your book to appear on Amazon. This is another reason why prepping your materials and testing the process in advance is important! Just as you wouldn’t want your DM to phone in the campaign prep at the last minute, readers expect a thoughtfully rendered, professional-looking listing on Amazon — otherwise, you haven’t got a chance at success.

2. Creating your hero/heroine

Speaking of success! Like most fantasy stories, D&D is all about the hero or heroine emerging victorious from a difficult quest. Needless to say, your book also needs someone to champion it — and in the realm of self-publishing, that person will be none other than you!

With that in mind, pay close attention to your author bio as you’re setting up your book. Building a great author bio is like creating a strong hero in D&D: it gets others invested by making the figure in question seem interesting, knowledgeable, and psychologically relatable. (I almost put “human,” but realized the analogy falls apart if your D&D character is a rock gnome sorcerer.) In any case, try to tell your personal story as concisely yet engagingly as possible, so readers will care about the hero or heroine behind the book — not just the characters within.

Speaking in more figurative terms, your book will have a few other self-publishing “heroes” as well. These include your Amazon description and categories, as mentioned above, to help the readers find and purchase your book... but perhaps your most important inanimate champion will be your book’s cover. Just as certain campaign details and character qualities provide a bit of color to a game of D&D, your book’s cover gives readers a vivid taste of what’s inside!

More seriously, your cover is your number-one marketing tool on Amazon, so you’ll want to get this cover design exactly right. Hire a professional designer if possible, and ask yourself lots of questions throughout the design process: How will this cover reflect other covers in my genre while also standing out? Can I include all the elements I want without making it look too busy? Will the final version look good in thumbnail format?

If you don’t think visuals are as critical as story, think again — to return to our central metaphor, even the most elaborately planned D&D campaigns are massively elevated by maps and character illustrations.

3. Deciding which chances to take

Just as each turn in D&D involves a decision from the player in question, Amazon self-publishing requires a series of decisions as well, some a bit riskier than others. Fortunately, if you take the time to understand your options, you’ll be in a good position to choose among them! I’ve already covered the basic steps of setting up your book to self-publish, but here are the Amazon-specific features that you can opt in or out of during this process:


       KDP Select is a 90-day program that, among other things, allows you to run free and discounted price promotions on your book. These price promotions can really help you gain visibility and attract readers to your book!
However, you can only run one promotion per 90-day period, and you’ll need to be Amazon-exclusive during this time — you can’t distribute your book anywhere else while it’s enrolled in KDP Select. The program does have other advantages, though, such as...

       Kindle Unlimited inclusion, which gets its own bullet because it’s such a substantial factor to consider here! Millions of people are subscribed to Kindle Unlimited, which offers them access to a library of thousands of books.

But unlike standard purchases and downloads through the Kindle store, Kindle Unlimited royalties accumulate based on number of pages read. So subscribers can access your book without paying any extra, but some of their subscription money will still go toward your royalties — and they don’t even need to finish your book for you to get it!

       Kindle Matchbook and Kindle Book Lending are two other enrollment options to consider. The good news for indecisive authors is that they’re both pretty much no-brainers! Neither requires you to enroll in KDP Select, and they basically just offer incentives for your readers, which is never a bad thing.

Like I said: some are riskier than others. You’ll probably have to do some independent research to decide which combination of choices is right for you. Read some testimony, think about your target audience... and then roll the dice. Because the truth is, you can never be 100% sure how things are going to shake out, and that’s okay! It’s all part of this thrilling adventure.

4. Role-playing

Aside from the camaraderie, role-playing is the coolest part of Dungeons & Dragons; hopefully, it will also be the best part of self-publishing for you. Let’s talk about some of the roles you might have to play as a self-publishing author.

Anytime you self-publish, you become — at minimum! — project manager, researcher, editor, and marketer. (You may also play the roles of typesetter and cover designer, though again, professional design is always preferable if it’s in your budget.) But among these, marketer is probably the most important in terms of getting your book into the right hands. Yes, Amazon offers various features to help, but you will ultimately be in charge of your book’s success.

On that note, you’ll want to get it reviewed on as many relevant book blogs and other promotional venues as possible! To achieve this, you’ll need to tap into various sub-roles as a marketer: outreach expert, salesman, and sympathetic indie author, to name a few. You’ll need to become a prolific cold-emailer who’s not afraid to make requests, someone who has utter confidence in their book and its value. Luckily, as most D&D fans know, it’s a lot of fun trying out these new roles –– and who knows, a marketing wizard’s cloak might look good on you!

Indeed, Dungeons & Dragons exercises your imagination in countless fun and exciting ways, and the same is true of self-publishing your book. Like playing D&D, publishing your book on Amazon will be a unique and unpredictable experience, with the choices left totally up to you. Hopefully this post has helped you think about which paths you might go down, and given you the right attitude to enjoy the journey, wherever you might end up.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Trauma as Initiation by Carrie Ishee


Trauma as Initiation

What if the world is undergoing a profound call to initiation?  An opportunity for the transformation of consciousness that could awaken us to a deeper, more authentic, more connected way of being?

I proposed this blog post as part of the launch for my memoir “Seduced into Darkness: Transcending My Psychiatrist’s Sexual Abuse,” that articulates the potential for growth and maturation that a descent into darkness can offer.

But that was before the coronavirus stopped mankind in its tracks.  Now the entire species is confronted with what it will take to survive this pandemic, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.  How will we renew ourselves and not sink into despair and hopelessness?

In traditional cultures, initiation rites are consciously integrated into the fabric of society, forcing its young members to begin a quest of some sort, without the support of the tribe. Next, something happens that is physically, emotionally, or psychically rupturing, and the initiate fears she will not survive the test.  Finally, having confronted her fears, and risen to the challenge, the initiate returns to the tribe where the depth of her learning is celebrated as she is welcomed back as a wiser, more respected member of the tribe.  

In western culture, we have abandoned intentional rites of passage. Initiations often occur randomly, appearing as traumas that disrupt the psyche of the victim.  Alone and terrified by a shattering experience, many such victims are abandoned by their communities, blamed for their encounters with darkness.  Isolated and judged, they have no safe place to share their stories, process their feelings, or celebrate the gifts of the journey that could help to heal their tribe.

As a trauma therapist, I am honored to provide a safe space where trauma survivors (initiates) can share their stories, process their grief, rage at the injustices they suffered, and make meaning of their experiences.  In such a nurturing container, trauma survivors can transform themselves from hapless victims, into wise, balanced men and women capable of guiding others through underworld journeys. 

Ancient myths from the beginning of time have articulated the challenges and gifts of the hero’s journey.  I find it healing to view my own journey in the context of the Greek myth of Persephone – the young, innocent maiden who is abducted by Hades, God of the Underworld, raped, held captive, and then rescued.  In the end, she becomes not only the Goddess of Spring, overseer of the cycles of nature, but also Queen of the Underworld who guides lost souls navigating a trip through Hades.

The opportunity for renewal that trauma affords is held deep within our collective psyche.  More recently, the term “post-traumatic growth” describes how many underworld travelers, or trauma victims report transformative outcomes from staying committed to a process of personal growth and development.  Gifts of the journey include: 1) claiming the strength that allows them to survive horrifying experiences, 2) relating to others with more openness and compassion, 3) seeing new possibilities for meaningful service as their priorities shift, 4) a greater appreciation of life where they may have taken things for granted and 5) an enhanced ability to find meaning in life.

As the world begins to emerge from the corona crises how can we support the potential for our own growth and a global awakening? 

1.  We must talk through all our feelings, share our experiences, grieve our losses, and share our hopes and dreams.
2.  We must serve as witnesses who listen deeply and help ourselves and others make meaning of our losses, our trials, and our growth.
3.  We must find a way to serve our communities – to reweave the fabric that was ruptured during our isolation.
4.  We must not succumb to avoidance through addictions, busyness, denial.
5.  We must recognize what became “essential” on our journey and let go of excess, the distractions, the ego gratifying, but soul dimming material accumulations.
6.  We must claim our creativity and nurture our individual and collective souls through writing, art, music, storytelling.

Let us create a culture that welcomes back our initiates with open arms and ears, eager to hear the stories, their pain and sadness, joys and accomplishments.  Let us help them make meaning of their powerful journeys and accept the medicine that their perspective brings.

Let us embrace the wisdom of our underworld journeyers – the medical people who held the hands of those dying alone, the grocery store workers who smiled at us beneath masks and gloves, the people who got sick, faced death, and came back to tell their tales.  And let us mourn for the many we lost, and let them not die in vain.

We must not go back to business as usual, but open our hearts and minds to the oneness this pandemic has made us acutely aware of, and listen to its call to a great awakening.



About the Author, Carrie T. Ishee

Carrie Ishee has been a student of healing, human potential, and consciousness for more than 35 years. Her quest to know herself began in college when a severe health crisis compounded by her psychiatrist’s seduction and sexual abuse shattered her physically, emotionally, and spiritually. After doctoral studies in clinical psychology, she worked as a behavioral therapist, pursued a master’s degree in art therapy, and later completed a two-year training program in life coaching. Her work today is focused on helping victims such as she once was break free from the suffocating shroud of trauma.

Follow her on FacebookInstagram, and GoodReads.

Seduced Into Darkness: Transcending My Psychiatrist’s Sexual Abuse



Seduced Into Darkness: Transcending My Psychiatrist’s Sexual Abuse is a vivid and captivating story of hope for survivors of abuse as well as a case study in a skilled manipulator’s tragic exploitation of his professional power.

This poignant memoir chronicles the traumatic psychological abduction and sexual exploitation of depressed college student Carrie Tansey at the hands of her psychiatrist, Dr. Anthony Romano―thirty-one years her senior. For three years, their secret “affair” was carefully calculated and controlled by Romano, as Carrie’s mental and emotional health continued to deteriorate, bringing her closer and closer to the edge.

Their dual-relationship―clinical and clandestine―finally came to light when Carrie’s suicide attempts landed her in a world-renowned psychiatric hospital. Gradually, she began to reclaim her power, reported Romano to the state licensing board, successfully sued him for malpractice, and testified before the state legislature to help pass a law aimed at curbing such abuses.

As Carrie tells her tale, it is a journey paralleling that of the mythical archetype Persephone, the naive innocent who was abducted into darkness, reemerged and regenerated herself, then fearlessly returned to the prison she had fled, this time to help free others. Today, Carrie Ishee is a widely respected art therapist and life coach as well as a teacher specializing in the issues of ethics and boundaries for mental health professionals.

Print Length: 286 Pages
Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Terra Nova Books
ISBN-10: 1948749483
ISBN-13: 9781948749480

Seduced Into Darkness is now available to purchase at Amazon.comBarnes and Noble, and Thrift Books. 







About the Author, Carrie T. Ishee

Carrie Ishee has been a student of healing, human potential, and consciousness for more than 35 years. Her quest to know herself began in college when a severe health crisis compounded by her psychiatrist’s seduction and sexual abuse shattered her physically, emotionally, and spiritually. After doctoral studies in clinical psychology, she worked as a behavioral therapist, pursued a master’s degree in art therapy, and later completed a two-year training program in life coaching. Her work today is focused on helping victims such as she once was break free from the suffocating shroud of trauma.

Follow her on FacebookInstagram, and GoodReads.