Feeds:
Posts
Comments

ROSEMARY AND LARRY MILD, cheerful partners in crime, coauthor mystery, suspense, and fantasy fiction. Their popular Hawaii novels, Cry Ohana and its sequel Honolulu Heat, vibrate with island color, local customs, and exquisite scenery. Also by the Milds: The Paco and Molly Murder Mysteries: Locks and Cream Cheese, Hot Grudge Sunday, and Boston Scream Pie. And the Dan and Rivka Sherman Mysteries: Death Goes Postal, Death Takes A Mistress, and Death Steals A Holy Book. Plus Unto the Third Generation, A Novella of the Future, and three collections of wickedly entertaining mystery stories—Murder, Fantasy, and Weird Tales; The Misadventures of Slim O. Wittz, Soft-Boiled Detective; and Copper and Goldie, 13 Tails of Mystery and Suspense in Hawai‘i. 

mild5ROSEMARY, a graduate of Smith College and former assistant editor of Harper’s, also delves into her own nonfiction life. She published two memoirs: Love! Laugh! Panic! Life With My Mother and the acclaimed Miriam’s World—and Mine, for the beloved daughter they lost in the terrorist bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. On her lighter side, Rosemary also writes award-winning humorous essays, such as failing the test to get on Jeopardy; and working for a giant free-spending corporation on a sudden budget: “No new pencil unless you turn in the old stub.”

LARRY, who was only called Lawrence when he’d done something wrong, graduated from American University in Information Systems Management. In 2019 he published his autobiography, No Place To Be But Here: My Life and Times, which traces his thirty-eight-year professional engineering career from its beginning as an electronics technician in the U.S. Navy, to a field engineer riding Navy ships, to a digital systems/instrument designer for major Government contractors in the signal analysis field, to where he rose to the most senior level of principal engineer when he retired in 1993.

Making use of his past creativity and problem-solving abilities, Larry naturally drifted into the realm of mystery writing, where he also claims to be more devious than his partner in crime and best love, Rosemary. So he conjures up their plots and writes the first drafts, leaving Rosemary to breathe life into their characters and sizzle into their scenes. A perfect marriage of their talents.

THE MILDS are active members of Sisters in Crime where Larry is a Mister in Crime; Mystery Writers of America; and Hawaii Fiction Writers. In 2013 they waved goodbye to Severna Park, Maryland and moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where they cherish quality time with their daughters and grandchildren. When Honolulu hosted Left Coast Crime in 2017, Rosemary and Larry were the program co-chairs for “Honolulu Havoc.”

Over a dozen worldwide trips to Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Cambodia, Burma, Great Britain, France, Italy, Israel, Egypt, and more have wormed their way into their amazing stories. In their limited spare time, they are active members of the Honolulu Jewish Film Festival committee, where Larry is the statistician and recordkeeper for their film ratings.

Website: http://www.magicile.com

INTERVIEW:

Congratulations on the release of your latest book, Copper and Goldie, 13 Tails of Mystery and Suspense in Hawaii. To begin with, can you give us a brief summary of what the stories are about and what compelled you to write them?  

ROSEMARY and LARRY: Copper and Goldie is a collection of 13 fun-filled stories, each one a complete little mystery. Homicide detective Sam Nahoe takes a bullet in his spine in the line of duty. Disabled, his career with the Honolulu Police Department shattered, what now? Jobless, divorced, and lonely, he becomes a Checker Cab driver and adopts a golden retriever with a touch of Doberman as his partner. Somehow trouble always finds them. Sam and Goldie take on the criminal side of Honolulu: bank robbers, kidnappers, vengeful wives, even killers. Hobbling on two canes, Cane and Able, he orders Goldie to chase the baddies. Snitch/card-sharp Sophie asks him: “You still walkin’ wit’ dem giant chopsticks?”

Cover ARt

What triggered the stories? Larry invents all our plots and dreamed up Copper and Goldie several years ago. We published nine of the stories individually in Mysterical-E, an online quarterly mystery magazine. He also found a perfect outlet for our love of golden retrievers. In Locks and Cream Cheese, the golden retriever Shana helps foil a thug. But dogs, cats, and birds find their way into many of our books. In Cry Ohana, a stray Black Lab becomes homeless Kekoa’s only friend. Lord Byron in Death Goes Postal is a brave kitty who sleeps in the poetry stacks and helps nail a killer. In Boston Scream Pie, Detective Paco teaches his macaws to talk.

What do you think makes a good (traditional “cozy” mystery)? Could you narrow it down to the three most important elements? Is it even possible to narrow it down?

ROSEMARY: One, an inventive, well-paced, plot full of conflict. A crime has been committed; or the threat of a crime hangs over the characters. Or, there is no hint of a threat, and then a happy scene suddenly erupts into mayhem. Two, characters who are three-dimensional—way beyond their façade, deep into their minds and hearts. Even the villains must be flesh and blood. Three, An amateur sleuth like a Miss Marple or Jessica Fletcher; or a private investigator; or a detective/policeman/inspector solves the crime(s). But solves it by way of a convoluted path that keeps the reader guessing. And always with the author keeping his/her promise to the reader. No unsubstantiated off-the-wall conclusions. So we’ve narrowed the three elements down for you. In truth, we could go on and on in rapturous detail. So fasten your seatbelts, we’ve got mysteries for you.

How did you go about plotting your story? Or did you discover it as you worked on the book?

ROSEMARY: Larry insists he’s more devious than I am, so he makes up all our plots and writes the first draft. Often I find a tantalizing scene told low-key or second-hand. I really love turning it into real-time drama and dialogue.

LARRY: I work from a ten- to fifteen-page statement of work, so I know where I’m going in general. The central plot develops from the characters, their situations and reactions. Subplots may pop up at any time. Rosemary has her say in pushing and pulling the growing plot too.

Tell us something interesting about your protagonist and how you developed him or her. Did you do any character interviews or sketches prior to the actual writing?

ROSEMARY: Larry has an image in his mind of who the protagonist is; he might make notes on it. In Copper and Goldie, Larry gave Sam his own chronic back trouble; he also walks with two canes and calls them Cane and Able. Often I’ll pick out photographs  in magazines or newspapers that match my concept of some of our characters.

LARRY: Sam and I are simpatico. It goes along with the idea that there is something of the author in every character.    

In the same light, how did you create your antagonist or villain? What steps did you take to make him or her realistic?

ROSEMARY: Larry and I work hard to give all our characters realism and credibility. For Hot Grudge Sunday, I found a photo of a former Congressman looking down from a balcony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. He had the perfect commanding demeanor for our antagonist, a mercurial corporation president. It was a start.

LARRY: Antagonists and villains are created from their motives. What is it that they want most and how far are they willing to go to get it? The psychology, subterfuge, skills, preparations, opportunities, and execution take you to the next layer. Our goal: getting the reader into the characters’ minds.    

How did you keep your narrative exciting throughout the novel? Could you offer some practical, specific tips?

ROSEMARY: If you’re dozing off writing a scene, delete it! Your readers will do the same. Using The Da Vinci Code as an example, end each chapter with a cliff-hanger—meaning a sense of danger or a seemingly hopeless dilemma.

LARRY: Conflict and resolution! Action! Conflict and resolution! Action! And more of the same. Well, almost.

Setting is also quite important and in many cases it becomes like a character itself. What tools of the trade did you use in your writing to bring the setting to life?

ROSEMARY: We love drawing on our own experiences for our settings. In Copper and Goldie you’ll hang out at Sam’s favorite eating places and parks, which are ours too. In Murder, Fantasy, and Weird Tales, we placed a story in a Cambodian jungle, where an American helicopter pilot and local boatman struggle for possession of a stolen sapphire. In that very setting, we witnessed the massive fig tree roots wrapped around decaying temples.

LARRY: Our short stories are set in at least a dozen countries. There’s nothing like first-hand experience. Our photographs are great tools in recalling those experiences.

Did you know the theme(s) of your novel from the start or is this something you discovered after completing the first draft? Is this theme(s) recurrent in your other work?

ROSEMARY:  Larry knows the general theme when he conjures up each plot. Together we hammer out the details. The theme (or more than one) and outcome evolves in each book. Sometimes the characters lead the way to a surprising conclusion.

Where does craft end and art begin? Do you think editing can destroy the initial creative thrust of an author?

ROSEMARY: First step: Disgorge (yes, disgorge!) your story. Write the first draft without obsessing over each word and paragraph. Get the whole story out. Then edit. Think about it, mull over it.  When you’re rewriting true craft begins. Did I use an adverb like “he said angrily” when I should have said, “He slammed his fist on the table.” Show, don’t tell. The Maryland Writers Association newsletter once had a cartoon showing a speaker before an audience of writers. On the wall behind him was a large sign: “Adverbs and Adjectives Anonymous.”

LARRY: The art lies in your creativity—the realism, the settings, the conflicts, and the characters who must endure them. The craft comes in how you manage that art—allowing and drawing the reader to see that art. Sure, editing can both destroy and make a story. If the writer(s) and editor(s) work toward the same goals as Rosemary and I do, then a carefully crafted editing job will do wonders for any writing. 

What three things, in your opinion, make a successful novelist?

ROSEMARY: If “successful” means making lots of money, that “success” doesn’t include us. If we had to live on our earnings from our writing we’d be on welfare! But secretly, we’re proud to admit we don’t need ATMs. Our true success comes from this:  One, a fan of our books coming up to us in our booth at a fair or festival and wanting our newest one. Two, a daughter saying her mother has read all our books and needs to buy her the new one for her birthday. Three, seeing our books in print on shelves. They’re our legacy. On the most practical side, the digital revolution—Print on Demand—means our books will never go out of print.

A famous writer once wrote that being an author is like having to do homework for the rest of your life. Thoughts?

ROSEMARY: You better believe it. It’s “Work work work work work” as Mel Brooks manically said in one of his crazy films. But we love it. The work keeps us going.

LARRY: So is it a labor of love or is it just lovely work and we do it?

Are there any resources, books, workshops or sites about craft that you’ve found helpful during your writing career?

ROSEMARY: Umpteen resources are available. The wittiest, sharpest advice comes from Elmore Leonard (Get Shorty) in Writers on Writing. He lists ten rules in his essay “Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points, and Especially Hooptedoodle.” Join a writers’ critique group. Take writing classes at a community college or university. Join writers’ organizations such as Sisters in Crime. Subscribe to The Writer, Writer’s Digest, etc. (they’re also online). Keep a notebook with you so you can jot down ideas, observations, dialogue you hear at the grocery store or during an argument between your parents. First and foremost, just start writing. Try not to get bogged down by advice; there’s no end to it out there. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share with my readers about the craft of writing?

ROSEMARY AND LARRY: The golden rule of writing is get something down on paper. So what are you waiting for? Start writing. Read in your genre of interest and learn from it. And for happy escapes, read our books!

 

 

 

 

Pattie Palmer-Baker is a recognized award-winning artist and poet. Her artwork has been exhibited in galleries throughout the Pacific Northwest. Locally and nationally she has won numerous awards for her art and poetry.

An accomplished poet, Pattie had been nominated for the Pushcart Poetry Prize. Her work has appeared in many journals including Calyx, Voicecatcher, Military Experience the Arts, Minerva Rising and Phantom Drift. In 2017 she earned first prize in the Write to Publish contest, and in 2019 she won first, second, and the Bivona prize in the Ageless Poetry contest.  She has served as the poetry co-editor for VoiceCatcher: a journal of women’s voices and visions.

Del Sol Press awarded MALL first prize for the most promising first novel in 2017.

Pattie lives in Portland, Oregon with her beloved husband and rescued dachshund.

Her website is www.pattiepalmerbaker.com/.

You can follow her at Facebook at https://tinyurl.com/yykrz36e.

About the Book:

A Novel by Pattie Palmer-Baker Winner of the Del Sol Most Promising Novel, 2017

MALL is a sparkling alternate world where everyone is beautiful, employed with enough income to consume and to experience a myriad of pleasures including drugs, gambling, theater, holographic adventures. No poverty and little or no crime. A lot of sex.

But what about the Mall Code? And what happens when Sara, a 21st century woman, accidentally finds her way into this alien yet familiar world? Nona, a MALL mental health practitioner treats Sara upon her arrival and goes against the Code to help her acclimate. Sara seems to be just what she needs, an antidote to Nona’s secret and growing boredom.

At first Sara desperately wants to get home, and, as she seeks a way out as well as answers about her new reality, Nona begins to see MALL in a new light. Is abundant gratification enough?

Things aren’t all beauty and pleasure. Sara experiences dancing in a dangerous orgiastic dance club on a lower level. She attends a gambling session where people bet on living more years when their “number’s up” and a “passing ceremony,” where Mallites are supposedly resurrected into a new life.

Junkers, outsiders lurking on the fringes of MALL, have been fighting Mall Management’s control by creating increasingly dangerous disturbances. For years they have struggled to discover an exit, based on rumors of those who made it Outside and were never heard from again. Through them Sara and Nona meet someone who might help them escape. They both must make the choice that will change their lives forever.

Who will risk leaving and who will decide to stay?

MALL by Pattie Palmer-Baker was recently published by Del Sol Press and winner of the Del Sol Press Most Promising Book, 2017.

ISBN: 978-0-9998425-5-3.

PRAISE:

What a suspenseful journey Mall was—a real “page-turner”-  imaginative with firm command of psychological expression and dialogue! Pattie Palmer-Baker captures some of the sexual contradictions, insecurities, and darker motivations of her female characters, and the complex relationships between women. The “surface” allusions to sex and violence throughout the story line work well with the superficial world she describes. Sex all the time—and yet, really, not much explicit writing about actual sexual encounters—the same for violence. This tension of content and form works well for me. What gives pleasure? What gives pain? The many hallways and mirrored rooms give the setting a creepy fun-house effect and increase the sense of a closed world and claustrophobic doom. Her descriptions of the Mallites’ physical appearances and their individual choice of costume in this strange place is creative—a breath of lightness in this frank examination of our quandary about the meaning of freedom in an existential existence. What is real? I was “on the run” with Sara for the entire read! And what a turn at the end!

— Cathy Cain, Portland poet and artist

ORDER YOUR COPY AT AMAZON

Would you call yourself a born writer?

No, although I wrote poetry when I was a child. However, I have always had a vivid imagination. I made up stories all through my childhood and sometimes still do. It wasn’t hard to come up with the idea of an alternative world.

What was your inspiration for MALL?

Years ago, a city planner friend and I were talking about different ways to organize cities. He mentioned grouping residences close to malls. And it came to me. What would it be like if people lived inside malls? The more I thought about it, the more complicated this alternative world became. Too unwieldly to keep straight in mind, I decided to write my ideas. And before I knew it my writing took on the form of a novel.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

MALL is the only novel I have written. I explore all kinds of themes in my poetry. I do tend to write a lot about my mother and father; in fact, I have recently finished a chapbook of poems examining the effects of my father’s alcoholism on my mother and myself. In Mall I wanted raise some questions. What is the effect of rampant consumerism? Would a place offering endless and diverse amusement attract you even if you had to give up close relationships? Are deep attachments worth the pain involved? Do we really know what we want and why?

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

Twenty years! Well, not really because I spent great swathes of time away from MALL to work on my artwork and poetry.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

No, not really unless I have a deadline. I write a little after coffee in the morning and then a little after a walk, sometimes in the evening before dinner. I write in spurts. I admit anxiety causes me to avoid writing, especially something new. I really have trouble getting the first words on paper. I do enjoy revising, often wondering how I wrote the first draft. Where did it come from? I think I and many other writers have to be in a kind of altered state to write, especially fiction and poetry.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

The final revision. I had a demanding, no nonsense editor, but did she ever know her stuff! Sometimes I felt like giving up.

What do you love most about being an author?

This is my first time as an ‘author.’ It’s hard to believe I actually wrote a novel and had it published. I sort of like talking about it. What I love and sort of hate about writing poetry is how much each and every word matters.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision?

I never thought about publishing until a couple of friends read a draft and encouraged me to try. I don’t think I was very serious about the process.  I submitted to a few small presses and a few contests. Winning the Del Sol Prize for Most Promising First Novel, 2017 absolutely shocked me.

Where can we find you on the web?

www.pattiepalmerbaker.com

Title: VIEWS FROM THE COCKPIT: THE JOURNEY OF A SON

Author: Ross Victory

Publisher: Independent

Pages: 268

Genre: Memoir

BOOK BLURB:

Views from the Cockpit: The Journey of a Son by Ross Victory is a memoir born from pain. Intimate journal entries morph into a phenomenal dialogue of tender father-son memories, loss, strength and turbulence in a young boy’s life on his journey into manhood. When the author discovers that his father is terminally ill and a victim of elder abuse, he embarks on a journey of reflection and discovery which soars and nosedives, chapter by chapter. Decorated in airplane analogies, with writing you can feel, Views from the Cockpit serves as a catalyst for readers to take perspective of their lives from the highest point. Views is a narrative that provides emotional assurance that readers’ unique experiences of pain, love and loss cannot be recreated or erased, but can be processed in order to not lose sight of their life journeys.

★★★★★ORDER YOUR COPY★★★★★

Amazonhttps://tinyurl.com/yxoywnx9

 Barnes & Noblehttps://tinyurl.com/y2ydegrg

Book Excerpt:

Dried diarrhea and urine were splotched across the carpet of the bedroom floor. Sections of bed sheets were stained in indistinguishable yellow marks and unknown fluids. The final stages of his disease were in full bloom. Bowls of half-eaten split pea soup, days-old Cream of Wheat, and withered apple cores lay abandoned throughout the room. A crusty, half-full, portable urinal with traces of blood crowded his side table. The room was stale and reeked of body odors. This is how I found him—in a crime scene of filth and neglect.

He had been living for nearly six months in a home nestled in the hills of Northern California. He rented

two rooms in the home of an Iranian used-car salesman. Serene views of San Francisco Bay illuminated the backyard patio every night. The home was encircled in blooming shrub roses, in shades of yellows and ruby reds, with an overgrown tomato garden along the property border. A giant oak tree and three dusty used cars greeted visitors as they approached the large double doors. The double doors unveiled a living room with a cream-colored chaise lounge and matching love seat. Oversized Persian paintings leaned graciously against the white-washed walls. A tangerine sunset sparkled o the bay and beamed through the pane glass doors of the lavish, unused living room. The smell of Persian spices and beef kebab filled the home. Mysterious gray soup bubbled in the kitchen next to large bags of rice, plates of Chinese pan-fried pancakes, and frozen bags of what appeared to be thawing chunks of flesh-colored meat.

I walked down a narrow, dimly lit hallway that connected his room to the living room and bathroom. Shoes and blankets tumbled peacefully in the dryer. A ray of light flickered from underneath the bathroom door.

“Dad?”

About the Author

Ross Victory is an American Marketing professional, travel enthusiast, and author of the new memoir, Views from the Cockpit: The Journey of a Son. He spent his early years collecting pens, notepads and interviewing himself in a tape recorder. With an acute awareness for his young age, he was eager to point out hypocrisies and character inconsistencies in children and adults through English assignments. He delighted in provoking a reaction from his English teachers with writing that seemed to wink and smile.

He enjoys writing non-fiction and fiction projects–stories of captivating, complex characters expressed in all their dimensions usually on a path to self-discovery through suffering. After the loss of his father, Ross has married his love for writing to create a compelling memoir to inspire the world. Ross received his B.S. in Business Administration & Marketing Management.

Website: http://www.rossvictory.com

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/rossvictoryofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rossvictoryofficial/

 

I’m not on holiday, she told herself, but it’s my first time out of Germany, and I’m not going to waste it. She’d wanted to help with the war effort, and now she had her chance. Even after the invasion, everyone back home still thought Germany would win—Hitler told them so, and the propaganda films left no doubt. Why wouldn’t she believe it as well?

–From Wolves At Our Door by Soren Paul Petrek

Soren Paul Petrek

Soren Petrek is a practicing criminal trial attorney, admitted to the Minnesota Bar in 1991. Married with two adult children, Soren continues to live and work in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Educated in the U.S., England and France Soren sat his O-level examinations at the Heathland School in Hounslow, London in 1981. His undergraduate degree in Forestry is from the University of Minnesota, 1986. His law degree is from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota 1991.

Soren’s novel, Cold Lonely Courage won Fade In Magazine’s 2009 Award for Fiction. Fade In was voted the nation’s favorite movie magazine by the Washington Post and the L.A. Times in 2011 and 2012.

The French edition of Cold Lonely Courage, Courage was published January 2019, by Encre Rouge Editions, distributed by Hachette Livre in 60 countries. Soren’s contemporary novel, Tim will be released along with the rest of the books in the Madeleine Toche series of historical thrillers.

Wolves at Our Door

Book Description:

The Allies and the Nazis are in a deadly race to develop the ultimate weapon while supersonic V-2 rockets rain down on London. Madeleine Toche and Berthold Hartmann, the German super assassin who taught her to kill, search for the secret factory where Werner von Braun and his Gestapos masters use slave labor to build the weapons as the bodies of the innocent pile up. The Allied ground forces push towards Berlin while the German SS fight savagely for each inch of ground.

Finding the factory hidden beneath Mount Kohnstein, Hartmann contacts his old enemy, Winston Churchill and summons Madeleine to his side. While she moves to bring the mountain down on her enemies, Hartmann leads a daring escape from the dreaded Dora concentration camp to continue his revenge against the monsters who ruined his beloved Germany.

Together with the Russian Nachtlexen, the Night Witches, fearsome female pilots the race tightens as the United States and the Germans successfully carry out an atomic bomb test.

Germany installs an atom bomb in a V-2 pointed towards London, while the US delivers one to a forward base in the Pacific. The fate of the Second World War and the future of mankind hangs in the balance.

Welcome, Soren! Your new historical/action/adventure novel sounds thrilling! Can you tell us how you came up with the idea?

Soren: Wolves at Our Door is a sequel to the anchor book of the Madeleine Toche Series, Cold Lonely Courage. In Wolves, I wanted to directly address aspects of the Holocaust, the race for an atomic weapon and to feature Madeleine and her mentor in the field fighting together.

Can you tell us a little about the main characters?

Soren: Madeleine Toche is a young French woman who found her way into the Resistance during WWII, helping Jewish children escape the Nazis. Later, after she’s raped and has exacted revenge by killing the German SS officer who raped her, she escapes to England and finds her way into the British Special Operations Executive, Winston Churchill’s army of the shadows.

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point where the reader just can’t put the book down. What is one of the pivotal points in your book?

Soren: I try to keep the readers hooked from the beginning. I have hundreds of reader and editorial reviews that mention, I couldn’t put the book down. What a joy it is to read that and know that those readers will remember my books fondly.

In Wolves, when we first meet Madeleine Toche her remarkable talents, skills and courage capture readers who then cheer for her, worry about her and most of all wonder what she’s going to do next.

Do you proofread and edit your work on your own or pay someone to do it for you?

Soren: I use Grammarly and have a professional editor who works for major publishers both as a freelance editor and ghostwriter. Her name is Hannah Eason. I couldn’t have a better fit for the way I write.

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

Soren: The cover needs to draw attention but should have a clear connection to the storyline. I like covers that are unique.

What did you want to become when you were a kid?

Soren: A Marine Biologist. I loved everything Jacques Cousteau.

What is one thing you’d like readers to know about you?

Soren: I want people to be happy. If I can contribute to their joy of reading, then I’ve accomplished a great thing.

Is there anything you’d like to tell your readers and fans?

Soren: I write for everyone. My characters appeal to men and women alike.

Pump Up Your Book logo

 

LOVE NEVER QUITS: SURVIVING & THRIVING AFTER INFERTILITY, ADOPTION AND REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER
by Gina Heumann
* Memoir *

Title: LOVE NEVER QUITS: SURVIVING & THRIVING AFTER INFERTILITY, ADOPTION, AND REACTIVE ATTACHMENT DISORDER
Author: Gina Heumann
Publisher: MadLand Press
Pages: 246
Genre: Memoir
WHACK… At three in the morning Gina was sound asleep, yet somehow she
was smacked in the head. She looked over at her husband, thinking
perhaps he accidentally rolled over and flopped his arm on top of her,
but he was sleeping soundly and facing the opposite direction. She
turned to the other side and glaring back at her was her eight-year-old
child.“Did you just hit me?”

“Yes, and I’d do it again.”

“Whyyyy?”

“Because you took away my video games.”

“That was EIGHT HOURS AGO. And you’re still mad about it?”

“I wish I could kill you.”

This is the true story of the hell one family lived through parenting
a child with reactive attachment disorder, a severe diagnosis related
to children who experienced early-childhood trauma.

This inspirational story covers over a decade of daily struggles
until they finally found resolution and made it to the other side. The
family remained intact, and this once challenging son is now achieving
things never thought possible.


https://amzn.to/2Z8tGOD
______________________

 

So let’s talk about this diagnosis
that we now suspect: Reactive Attachment Disorder. RAD is a fairly
controversial diagnosis as far as psychological afflictions are concerned, but
one that is extremely serious. Although this is not a diagnosis that is solely
reserved for adoptees, it is by far more prevalent in children who had some
sort of disrupted attachment. The
Institute
of
Attachment and Child Development defines Reactive Attachment Disorder
as “a disorder in which children’s brains and development get disrupted by
trauma they endured before the age of 3. They are unable to trust others and
attach in relationships.” Since adoption is a result of a disrupted attachment,
it is most common in children who are adoptees, foster kids, and step children,
but it can also occur in biological children who’s primary caregiver was
hospitalized, in prison, deployed, or had some other traumatic event that
separated them, even for a short time. Not all adopted children have RAD. And
not all children who suffer from RAD are adopted.
Symptoms of RAD include: severe
anger, lack of empathy, inability to give or receive affection, lack of cause
and effect thinking, minimal eye contact, lying, stealing, “mad peeing”
(urinating all over the house when angry or bedwetting into the teen years),
indiscriminate affection with strangers, inappropriately demanding,
preoccupation with fire, blood, and gore, hoarding food, abnormal eating
patterns, learning lags, and lack of impulse control. These can be more serious
in some patients than others, of course, but over the years, Maddox suffered
from most of these. In extreme cases, symptoms can include verbal, physical,
psychological and emotional abuse of the mother (yes), self-harm or threats to
others (yes), and hurting or killing pets (thank god, no). As hard as things
were for us, I read this list and know it could have been a lot worse.
RAD was in the news recently as
one of the descriptors of Nikolas Cruz, the school shooter at Stoneman Douglas
high school in
Parkland, Florida. Internet support groups for parents dealing with Reactive
Attachment Disorder were a buzz with comments like “that could be my kid
someday.” Honestly there was a time I thought the same thing. And of course,
the comments about the school shooter were focused on the parents: “why didn’t
they spend more time with him?,” “they should have given him more hugs/love,”
“why wasn’t he in therapy?,” “he needed more discipline,” “a good spanking
would have whipped him into shape”… judgments, judgments, judgments. I was so
accustomed to judgments from other parents, strangers, and even my own family.
Relatives gave us books on “Love and Logic,” gave Maddox timeouts that only
made him angrier, and yelled at me for my lack of mothering skills. No sticker
chart was going to resolve this issue.
In the heat of a rage, a child
with Reactive Attachment Disorder seems to be afraid of nothing. Maddox didn’t
respond to typical parental requests, bribes, or threats. If we would yell, he
would yell back, louder and meaner. “Go to your room” was never met with compliance,
and running away from home was an ongoing issue.
But underneath it all is a
powerful sense of fear. Fear of never being loved or accepted. Fear of not
making friends. Fear of not fitting in with normal society. As a mother, I
feared he might grow up to be the next school shooter.
Starting even before he was born,
his birth mother, desperately poor and managing a special-needs child at the
age of 17, was sending stress hormones to his brain in the womb, setting him up
for a lifetime of anxiety.
After his birth, he went directly
to a foster home, where he was neglected. Mistrust of adults and caregivers was
ingrained in his brain, and anger was his primary emotion.
It is hard to believe that the
first six months of life can have such a profound impact on a child and make it
so difficult to lead a normal life without serious intervention and extreme
love and care.
Being a RAD parent is one of the
hardest and loneliest jobs on earth, and that’s true without even counting all
the judgment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gina Heumann is a true Renaissance woman: wife, mother, architect,
designer, instructor, author, speaker, and sales rep for an
award-winning Napa Valley winery. She and her husband, Aaron, adopted
Landrey in 2001 from Guatemala and then went back for Maddox three years
later. Gina’s love of learning and dedication as a mother inspired her
research of different treatments and therapies that eventually led to
this inspirational success story about conquering Reactive Attachment
Disorder.Her latest book is Love Never Quits: Surviving & Thriving After Infertility, Adoption, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website Link: www.ginaheumann.com

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/loveneverquits

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

Vernon Ennels grew up in Baltimore, Maryland and now makes Arizona home for he and his family. After a long day at work in the business world…he found that writing his book was most productive in the evening hours sitting by his swimming pool. Vernon holds a BS and an MBA in Business Management.  “I was inspired to write my book thinking of my own six-year-old son,” he asserted.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Author website: www.vernonennels.com

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/vernon.ennels

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Vernonennels

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vernonennels/

About the Book:

Page six of Vernon Ennels, Jr. book, THERE’S SOMETHING YOUR SON NEEDS TO TELL YOU, reads, “I still remember his face, his breath, and hear his voice demand me to lie on my stomach. He would down my pants my mother so proudly dressed me in. And then my Superman underwear…When he was done, he walked me to school and warned me, ‘If you tell anyone, I’ll kill your mother.’”

Author Vernon Ennels, Jr. lived with the horrible secret of being sexually abused and ashamed for some 40 years before he was able to recently summon the courage to tell his own family. “Studies show that one in six men have been sexually abused,” said Mr. Ennels. “Most are afraid to talk about it.”

This book reflects the experiences of males, specifically black males, but encourages both men and women and those from various racial backgrounds to recognize the signs of sexual and mental abuse and to combat the epidemic. “My book,” emphasized Mr. Ennels, “is a mirror of my abuse to shed light on an on-going issue to inspire others to take immediate action when they suspect child sexual abuse. #Saveoursons is my mission to help spread awareness and spark change to save current and future victims of sexual child abuse.”

Forty-something Vernon Ennels, Jr. says his new book THERE’S SOMETHING YOUR SON NEEDS TO TELL YOU  is an “open letter” that prompts other men to step forward and share their very own experiences of child sexual abuse in order to save other young boys from the hands of an abuser.

My moniker ‘Save Our Sons’ encourages discourse and social activism to help boys and men who have been sexually abused,” said Mr. Ennels. “Many, many people believed these victims were lying, making up a story for attention. Since I am a certified ‘non-celebrity’ I wrote my book for every child abuse victim out there who is terrified of stepping forward.”

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2ROniJL

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/30fPMzh

Xulon Press: https://bit.ly/2Ns26L6

Would you call yourself a born writer? 

No, this is my first book. Never thought I’ll ever write a book.

What was your inspiration for There’s Something Your Son Needs To Tell You? 

My 6 year old son. When I look at him I saw myself at his age and realize I was abused at 6 years old.

What themes do you like to explore in your writing?

Sexual Abuse, Childhood Trauma, Mental Illness, Masculinity, Christianity, and Empowerment

How long did it take you to complete the novel?

I completed the novel in 3 months.

Are you disciplined? Describe a typical writing day.

In order to stay focus I had to cut a few people off. Because I travel for work I found myself writing at night in the hotel room or next to the pool when no one was around.

What did you find most challenging about writing this book?

Reliving my experience was extremely difficult.

What do you love most about being an author?

Hearing others stories and how my book gave them a voice to share their story.

Did you go with a traditional publisher, small press, or did you self publish? What was the process like and are you happy with your decision? 

I decided to self-publish my first book. I was happy with my decision at the end but it was a little stressful during the process. When you self-publish the all the weight falls on you.

Where can we find you on the web?

Website: www.vernonennels.com

Instagram: @vernonennels

Facebook: Facebook.com/VernonEnnelsOfficial

Facebook.com/VernonEnnels

Twitter: @VernonEnnels

 

Pretty girl with violin

The dark background to Farewell My Life: War, Revolution and Pogrom

By Cynthia Sally Haggard

Writing about vanishing, dissolving and the crumbling of comfortable lives, assumptions, and civilizations, it seemed appropriate to end Farewell My Life on 9 November 1938 when Kristallnacht, the Night of Broken Glass erupted. This was a pogrom against the Jews living in Nazi Germany, carried out on the night of 9-10 November by paramilitary forces and German civilians. The Oster Conspiracy was one of around twenty attempts between 1934 and 1944 to assassinate Hitler and destroy the Nazis. It was foiled by the actions of Neville Chamberlain, who sought appeasement to prevent another war. I was fortunate in being able to find a recording from the BBC Sound Archives of Chamberlain’s return from Munich on 30 September 1938.

Nowadays, the 1920s is celebrated for its glamor and embrace of modernism, when young women shrugged off the restrictions of Victorian society, abandoning long skirts and tight stays for shorter, lighter modern clothes. Just how revolutionary this was can be gauged by looking at the archives of The Washington Post, where several inches of copy were spent in discussing women’s clothes in much the same way that people discuss iPads or iPhones today. But 1921 and 1922, when much of Farewell My Life is set, occurred before the rest of the 1920s, before the freedoms of the flapper era took hold. Those were the days when women still had to worry about their reputations, when it was still common for girls to marry in their late teens. The period of the early 1920s is equidistant between our time and that of Jane Austen (1775-1817), but in cultural terms it was much closer to her time.

After the Communists overthrew the czar of Russia in 1917, Russian émigrés flooded into Berlin. It is true that previously wealthy Russian aristocrats fled with nothing but the clothes on their backs, and so the scene in which Violet and Grace encounter a Russian grand duke waiting tables would not have been uncommon in 1920s Berlin. Amongst those Russian émigrés coming to Berlin were the Nabokov family, including the celebrated novelist Vladimir Nabokov (1899-1977), who wrote a number of novels during his time in Berlin, including King, Queen, Knave and Laughter in the Dark.

It is true that Berlin had a drug culture. It is also true that there was a dancer called Anita Berber (1899-1928) who created dances based on her drug-inspired fantasies called the Morphine dance or the Cocaine dance. The activities and the settings I describe in the nightclub scene were true. (Some things you just can’t make up!) By the end of the 1920s, Berlin had acquired a solid reputation for homosexuality, avant-garde art, left-wing politics, jazz, and erotic cabaret. It is well-known that Adolf Hitler hated the place and after his ascent to power in January 1933, was determined to destroy the city’s culture.

About the Author

 

Cynthia Sally Haggard was born and reared in Surrey, England. About 30 years ago she surfaced in the United States, inhabiting the Mid-Atlantic region as she wound her way through four careers: violinist, cognitive scientist, medical writer, and novelist.

 

Her first novel, Thwarted Queen a fictionalized biography of Lady Cecylee Neville (1415-1495), the mother of Richard III (whose bones were recently found under a car-park in Leicester,) was shortlisted for many awards, including the 2012 Eric Hoffer New Horizon Award for debut authors. To date, sales have surpassed 38,000 copies.

 

Cynthia graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University, Cambridge MA, in June 2015. When she’s not annoying everyone by insisting her fictional characters are more real than they are, Cynthia likes to go for long walks, knit something glamorous, cook in her wonderful kitchen, and play the piano. You can visit her at www.spunstories.com.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cynthiahaggard

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.haggard

 

About the Book:

Angelina led a life which required her to fib. When Angelina, the black sheep of the Pagano family, meets the mysterious Mr. Russell, she has no idea that she has seen him before…in another country.

And so begins Farewell My Life, a novel in three parts, which spins an operatic tale of dangerous love and loss.

The Lost Mother, the first part of this novel, slices back and forth between time and space, opening in the charming village of Georgetown, Washington D.C. while reflecting a family’s troubled past in the lovely village of Marostica in the Italian Veneto.

An Unsuitable Suitor, the second part of the novel, is a Cinderella-ish tale with not-so-charming princes who inhabit the edgy setting of 1920s Berlin.

Farewell My Life, the last part of the novel, set again in Berlin, Germany, during the dark 1930s as the Nazis gain power, takes comfortable lives, assumptions and civilizations and crumbles them into ash.

And all of this revolves around Grace, Angelina’s younger daughter, whose fabulous talent for the violin promises a shimmering career.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

 

 

%d bloggers like this: