Temper your words wisely… they can be a dangerous weapon


Most of us in the Indie writing community have heard about the recent drama on Facebook. There was an accusation made against someone, an Indie Designer, Lee Ching… that accusation (unsubstantiated as far as I know) led a group of 80+ people to attack the accused through messenger. The messages alledgedly ran the gambit from accusing her of being a theif, to encouraging her to take her own life. From what I understand, the attack was relentless, to the point that this talented individual tried to take her own life. Thankfully her cousin found her in time, and she is, I hope, recovering, which I’m sure will continue, at least emotionally, long after she is released from the hospital.
I don’t know Ms. Ching, but I do remember a time that someone, another Indie author, who is now one of my best friends, was attacked by several individuals on Goodreads. It occured because she had the audacity to express her opinion. I know about this first hand, becasue it occurred on my book’s review thread. A 1 star review was left, which isn’t the issue, the reviewer made mention of several incidents that didn’t occur in the book, which led several people to make the statement that if the reviewer couldn’t be bothered to pay attention, maybe he shouldn’t have left a review.
The bullies, under the guise they were defending the reviewer against bullies, attacked. But they didn’t attack everyone who had an opposing view to the reviewer, they only attacked my author friend, who only said she agreed with the assessment of a blogger that it appeared the reviewer hadn’t been paying attention. They targeted her.
These individuals attacked her facebook, her twitter, her blog, whatever they could find. They left vitrol everywhere, it was relentless. She’s a fighter,and fought back which only fueled their attack. I advised her to walk away. I’m not sure that was the best advice, but it was taking a toll on her well being. They eventually relented, and kudos to the reviewer, who actually asked them to stop. But God forbid, someone come back to the original thread and support this author. Like true trolls, they lurk in the shadows, waiting for an oppurtunity to strike, and they will.
They didn’t know this writer. What they felt they did know was that because of her profession, she shouldn’t have an opinion about another book. They felt that she couldn’t possibly be unbiased. They felt she shouldn’t have a voice. When I researched who they were, I discovered they felt it was their right to target Indie Authors, yes, target them. they wanted to take them down. Why? I could never figure it out. Eventually theses 3 individuals (yes, 3) moved on to bigger game. But in their wake, they left destruction and while I don’t dwell on it, I’m reminded of it everytime something happens in the wake of bullying. This incident with Ms. Ching is such an event.
There is no evidence that she stole anything. It’s my understanding that she used a stock photo, which most designers use, especially Indie. Quite often if the photo isn’t manipulated enough, some covers will look the same, it doesn’t mean anyone stole the cover of another individual, it just means the designer did what they were asked, or liked the image as it was. but let’s play Devil’s Advocate, what if she did steal it? Then you send a cease and desist letter, you report her to the publishing companies. You don’t go on the assault.
Street Teams are few and far between now because of the bullying tactics employed by more than one author out there, encouraging their “fans” to go after other authors.  And even if the authors didn’t encourage bad behavior, they did nothing to stop it.
Accusations are everywhere. I saw on the other day where one author accused another of publishing her book. It wasn’t true. The Publishing platform had made an error as both books had the same title. When the accused author contacted the platform, they agreed to fix immediately and apologized and when she explained to her accuser what happened, the accusing author would not relent, still accusing her of stealing the book.  To my knowledge, she still has yet to apologize.
I have thought long and hard about writing this post. We live in a society of innocent until proven guilty, yet many people have forgotten this. The pitchfork mentality is running rampant and Social media has led many people in the world to believe that because its the internet, it’s okay to do whatever you want. Those people think that the anonymity of being “invisible” gives you the right to say whatever you want, whenever you want… it’s not.
If someone has committed a crime, then report them to the authorities. If someone’s behavior is blantantly unacceptable, let your friends and family now, so they are aware. If someone posts something you don’t like, feel free to tell them in a “grown-up”, respectable way, then walk away. Everyone has an opinion, and chances are you aren’t going to agree with a lot of them. Freedom of speech is Freedom of speech, even when it’s hateful and ugly, but that doesn’t mean you get to attack and harrass someone because you don’t agree, or you feel they did something wrong. Again, if they did something crimnal, report them to the appropriate entity.
I have been a part of the Indie Author community for 8 years now. In that time, I have seen my fair share of ugliness, but mostly, I have seen the comraderie and beauty in our community. We need to get back to be professional adults. We are writers. We tell our stories. We are not in competition with each other, even though some will say we are, but we aren’t. We all have our own style. That goes for all the other professions in this community as well. Editors, Proofreaders, Marketers, Bloggers, Swag and Cover Designers. We are a family, and while we fight, and disagree, there should always be respect, admiration and love for one another.
From this day forward, temper your words wisely. Don’t fly off the handle, and say something that you might regret. Stop making assumtions about things until you have the facts… the facts, not someone’s opinion about what may or may not have happened.
And remember, words are powerful weapons, and as easliy as they can build you up, they can tear you down. They can rip out your heart, and crush your soul.
Use them wisely.
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My Daddy – Things I remember


It’s been just over five years since my dad left us, and as Father’s Day approaches (and I am feeling the hole in my heart grow just a little) I have been thinking about the past. Those days filled with laughter and adventure, and I remember how lucky I was that for over forty years, I got to have him with me. That I got to have Michael A. Dearing as my father.

I remember him teaching us to play football, how to box. I remember 4th of July sitting on the roof and watching fireworks. I remember being tossed into the deep end of the pool, then swimming back to his arms and begging to be thrown again. And he did it again and again. Backyard Bear hunts and Big Foot Adventures in the park. Running from the Goose on the Westlake Gold Course. I hated that goose!

I remember being tickled and dog piled on. I remember watching TV, eating popcorn, stealing Cheetos from his plate, which was met with total disdain. I remember seeing him couched on the floor hugging and kissing my dog when he thought no one was watching. The Dearing Roll, weeding, BBQs in the backyard. RV shows and Greek Festivals.

I remember eating at new restaurants, driving around Ensenada, watching USC football. making new friends, taking my friends to visit every summer. I remember him walking through a room and everyone watching him. He could hold everyone’s attention and mesmerize people. I know I got my ability to tell stories from him. he was a Great storyteller.

I remember all the times he took care of me, and that one time I got to return the favor and take of him. Even when the power went out for 4 days after that huge storm in Cantu. I read to him from the Chronicles of Crime by candlelight, and we laughed (don’t judge until you’ve read it yourself – Magic!) and we would watch a few episodes of Harper’s Island on the laptop.  And he got better for a little while. But you can only hold off the inevitable for so long.

And that beautiful soul left us a year later. Your exit was peaceful and everything we hope for it to be. But you’re gone and we are left with a piece of us missing. That’s was true love does. It takes a piece of you with it when it leaves.

Life is short. Don’t waste it. Tell the people you love, how much you love them. Don’t hesitate to share stories, and see your family and friends. Tomorrow is never promised. And for those of you who still have your daddies, please hug them, and tell them you love them, and laugh and make memories, so that you can remember all the glorious days you’ve spent together.

Father’s Day… Five Years Later


Dad and Shan - 1969

It’s been five years since my dad left us… and when I say left us, he died. Some of you have read my post, “My Father, My Hero, ” which was written a few days after he left. Raw emotions left on the page from fresh wounds, and now five years later, they are scars.

They prickle and hurt from time to time, reminding me about how much I miss him. The sound of his voice, his laughter, his wisdom. I learned so much from him. Some things obvious, other things not so much.

He taught me how to laugh. Introducing me to comedy in all forms, and allowing me to make my own decisions. Enjoying food… now, maybe I enjoy food too much, but because of he and my mother making me try new foods, I have a diverse and demanding palate. I think more parents need to do this (just my humble opinion). He taught me to work hard in sports and academics. He taught me how to be creative when disciplining a child.

He gave me an older sister, different mom ;). We didn’t get to meet until we were adults, but she reminds me of him every day. We look like him. She plays drums like him. She has his wild streak. She in turn has given me a niece and nephew.

He was one half of my parents. He gave me the other half. He gave me my mother. He fell in love with my mom. She is exceptional. Talented, logical, and loving. My mother and I have had a bumpy ride, but we came out the other side. Today our relationship is stronger than ever.

Together they gave me my younger brother and sister. My Rocks. We share the same memories. We share moments that he was a part of. We have shared a life that he was an integral part of. My sister gave us a neice.

Earlier this year, my father-in-law left us. Such a  lovely man. So full of life, and joy. It was difficult to be around him and not smile or laugh. He loved to mock my American accent, introduce me to English foods. He would make jokes with his son, that only the two of them would get. He loved his wife and his children, and did for all of them.

Now, I get to help my husband through this diffcult time. Hold his hand, dry his tears and help him to move through the pain of missing his dad. Nothing can prepare you for the loss of a parent. My sister explained it best. We were a unit. Even though my parents were divorced, we were a unit, and now a piece of the unit is gone and it can’t be replaced. That is the best description.

I miss him every day. But I don’t cry every day now. Don’t get me wrong, I still have my “daddy days”, but they are fewer. Every once in a while, it hits me like a mack truck, and for a little while it’s the same as it was when we first left. But them I cry it out, and it’s okay for a while.

The mourning process never ends. That piece of you is missing. It will never be filled. Despite that, I carry him with me. I see him when I look in the mirror, or around my home. He is always in my heart. Thus, he is always with me.

I am so blessed to have had him for a father, and a best friend.

Bloodlines by S.L. Dearing – Cover Reveal


 BOOK INFORMATION

 Title: Bloodlines
Author: S.L. Dearing
Expected Publication Date: March 2, 2015
Available on Amazon, Free on Kindle Unlimited

SYNOPSIS


When Sascha and Eduard Engle flee nazi occupied Germany and arrive at a
small cottage in the deep woods of France, they have no idea what is in
store for them or who the kindly old man is who is taking care of them.
But on a cold winter the night, they will learn everything about
their… Bloodlines.

EXCERPT

The bright light of the moon shone through the little window above the bed of Sascha and Eduard Engel, illuminating the tiny room where they slept. Eduard breathed deeply, lost in the world of sleep as his sister lay quietly next to him. She stared at the sky through the glass, the tiny flakes of snow gently falling from heaven. She twirled an oval, bronze pendant in her fingers and smiled. She remembered her mother. Her mama had always told her that snow was God’s way of sending little pieces of heaven to his people on earth so they would remember Him. Sascha missed her.

Her mother had been gone for almost six weeks. The soldiers in the black and silver uniforms had taken her away. Mama had made them hide under the floors and told them to not make a sound. The soldiers broke through the door and Sascha remembered hearing the glass as it smashed against the wooden planks above her head. She closed her eyes, the tiny shards slipping through the spaces of the floorboards as they fell against her face. She heard her mother yelling at the soldiers and felt Eduard grasp her hand. Then she heard his voice. Sascha opened her eyes when she heard that voice. It was different from the others. She remembered how it cut into her soul like a knife through a potato. It hurt her. She had felt Eduard’s hand tighten. It must have hurt him too. The soldier argued with her mother and they began to yell. Suddenly, Sascha heard the smack and a great thud above her head. She saw her mother’s eye looking down at her for only a moment before it was yanked away.

AUTHOR CONTACT INFO

 
 
 
 
 

Cover Reveal of Immortal Rising by My Friend, Magen McMinimy


May I proudly announce the new cover for the last book in
the Immortal Heart Series by Magen McMinimy.



Title: Immortal Rising

Series: Immortal Heart
Author: Magen McMinimy
Cover Design by Magen McMinimy
  
Synopsis
When the Fates meddle, everything changes… All the things the warriors had come to accept, what they thought they knew, will be tested.
Death and loss have formed the man that Cree has become. One wrong move—one misstep in battle—and the love that once heated his soul was taken from him. While trying to find solace in his remaining family, he is haunted by dreams of a future he can’t reconcile. Awoken from one of those dreams, Cree finds himself wandering the Light Fae castle, when a familiar form appears in the silent halls of his home—and nothing will ever be the same.
Confused, with no memory of herself or her life before the time she spent in the Immortal Three’s domain, Rowan is back among her people and struggling to unlock the memories that are just beyond her reach.
Pain and joy battle within the walls of the warriors’ home as they try to jog Rowan’s memory, while keeping her return a secret from everyone outside their inner circle. Meanwhile, Esperanza, now queen of the Dark Fae, schemes to take down the Fae she once called family, with a secret weapon of her own.

Come get lost in love, longing, betrayal, and passion in the final installment of the Immortal Heart series.

 
Pre-Order Immortal Rising at these Retailers
https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id950881474

 

 

That’s not all!
Check out the new covers for the rest of the series

Immortal Blood |  Immortal Craving | Immortal Promise | Immortal Rapture | Immortal Awakening

Stalk Magen!  
She encourages it!

Cover Reveal – Winter Kiss: A Holiday Romance Collection


Title: Winter Kiss
A Holiday Romance Collection
Authors:
S.L. Dearing | Magen McMinimy | Rene Folsom
Release Date: December 15th, 2014
Cover Design by Phycel Design


Synopsis


When the chill of winter drives you under the covers, snuggle up with this romantic collection of three steamy holiday inspired stories about hope, love and passion.


One Wish: A North American Pack & Half-Blood Princess Christmas by Magen McMinimy
In a forgotten mining town, deep in the Bitterroot Valley, the Montana faction of the North American Pack of werewolves prepares for the holidays. When an innocent wish and a powerful spell is cast, vampires, witches, and weres are forced together for one unforgettable night, causing everyone involved to reevaluate what is truly important and what is needed to make them whole.


The Wager: A Game Changer Prequel by Rene Folsom
You’d think the masks would come off once the ball drops at the New Year’s masquerade, but tossing caution to the wind, Liam and Maci decide to have a bit of fun by continuing to keep their faces hidden from each other during a night full of games and passion.
Get to know these two game-playing lovers before they even know each other in The Wager, a prequel to the new novel in the Playing Games series, Game Changer.


The Gift by S.L. Dearing
It’s been eight months since Kate and Matt met, fell head over heels, and moved in together. Now that the holidays are upon them, can they combine their two celebrations and families into one, or will an unexpected problem tear them apart?
From the imaginations of the authors behind Rising Indies United come stories of romance that are bound to fill you with holiday spirit.
**This collection is intended for readers 18 and older.**


Stalk the Authors of Winter Kiss



Add Winter Kiss to your TBR on Goodreads!

Hidden Truths by Brenda Youngerman


I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began reading Hidden Truthsbut I found a truly wonderful book about moving past the horrible things that happen in our lives and finding the best in others and ourselves.

HiddenTruths

     Brenda Youngerman has written an amazing book about the lives of four children who experience a loss and subsequently their lives change forever.  Two of the children grow up in loving families and the other two are subjected to lives with parents who are not there.  Their journeys, all tragic in some form, come full circle and giving the reader a satisfying ending.

The subject matter could have been horribly depressing, but the author shows us how each of these children grow and change, finding hope and rising above their past.  This book was truly inspirational and a great read.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Hidden-Truths-Brenda-Youngerman-ebook/dp/B0042ANYH0/