New Nonfiction Release from Anita Stafford - Confessions of a Cell Phone Loser, and other essays, published by Dreaming Big Publications
PUBLISHER: Dreaming Big Publications
AUTHOR: Anita Stafford
Available in Paperback and Ebook
Whether you’re looking for a good laugh or expert parenting advice, you’ll find it here. Anita Stafford, a Licensed Professional Counselor, gets real when she writes about breast cancer, aging, marriage, and raising kids. Pour yourself a cup of tea, get comfortable, and prepare to be entertained.
Anita Stafford is a Licensed Professional Counselor and was an educator in public school before becoming a full-time writer. Anita is the mother of three grown children and is the author of two books of middle grade fiction.
Other books by Anita Stafford from Dreaming Big Publications include - The Legend of Sassafras House, A Vegetable Garden is not for Cows
REVIEWERS: Email Kristi at firstname.lastname@example.org to request your free electronic review copy today!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
When an abused paramedic with little to live for rushes headlong through gunfire toward a call of “officer down,” the last person she expects to find is the officer she has had a crush on for years. He is grievously wounded, close to death, and she is the only one brave enough to defy direct orders to get to him. Together with her partner, they are able to pull him from the scene, unconscious, bleeding profusely, and barely breathing.
Due to her heroic actions, he survives to tell her that he isn’t ready for a real relationship due to a nasty divorce that has left him emotionally crippled. His focus is on healing and finding the ability to walk again against astronomical odds, depression, and wanting to give in to hopelessness, while hers is surviving her abusive boyfriend that leaves her mentally broken and badly bruised; and making the decision whether to leave him, or stay with him.
During their individual struggles, the two come together in an unlikely fashion to form an inseparable team that can overcome any obstacle, or so they believe. Will a combination of the bullet that paralyzed him, a bad divorce, and her frightening, stalker, ex-boyfriend keep them apart? Or will they overcome all of the odds to love and stand beside each other through the trials they face?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sara Loggin was born and raised in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, and attended Mid State Technical College in Wisconsin Rapids where she obtained her EMT-Basic license in 2006. Taking no time off, she pursued her Paramedic certification and was proud to show off her new licensure in 2008. She also obtained her Firefighter certification in 2009. It was during a car accident call on a cold February morning that she met the man who would become her husband. He stood by her side as she struggled to overcome her challenges and leave an abusive relationship. With her husband’s support, Sara went on to obtain her Flight Paramedic certification.
Several years later, she left the flight industry and settled back down on the ground, where she happily lives with her family. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family, exploring the mountains, writing, and horseback riding.
REVIEWERS/BLOGGERS: Email Kristi at email@example.com to request your free electronic review copy today! We would also love it if you could do a blog spot promotion to alert your readers of this new release! Thank you for all that you do to help us spread the word!
Hi! Kristi here, owner of Dreaming Big Publications.
As you may or may not know, we have an internship program. One great thing about working remotely means that all interviews and everything are handled remotely, through email. Therefore, the only thing I know about a person when I decide to bring them on board is their resume and their name. I do not know their gender, their skin color, sexual orientation, disability status, or anything else. Everyone who comes to us is judged strictly on their skills and merit as an intern (or author), and that's the way it should be! (Not that things would be any different if I were meeting them face to face).
It can be more difficult getting to know people when we are all working remotely from our own homes. I recently asked the group of wonderful interns we currently have if any of them would like to participate in a recognition spotlight for the blog. In response to that, Sydney sent me a picture and brief paragraph about herself.
From Sydney: "My name is Sydney and I identify as asexual. Which means that I don’t really experience sexual attraction, but rather I am drawn to how a person acts. I also identify as bi-romantic. Same idea as bi-sexual, but without the sexual attraction! Many people don’t believe that asexuals exist, or otherwise pretend that they aren’t part of the LGBT community, or the Straight community. Because of this we have a tendency to represent ourselves with mythical creatures like dragons. Asexuals are part of the lgbt community and deserve to be known, so please treat them right!"
Sydney, we are glad you are a part of the Dreaming Big family. Thank you for sharing a little about yourself, and for providing education about what it means to be asexual. - Kristi
A Guide to Dying for the Devoted
By Rinn Packard
It had been ninety hours, five minutes, and fortyish seconds since Adley first sat down on her living room couch. She did not intend to get up, no ma’am. She intended to sit there until she died, which would hopefully be soon, God willing. Ninety-two hours ago, she had been sitting on a far less comfortable church pew, praying for this exact purpose. She figured immediately post-funeral was the best time to do so, banking on the hope that God might be feeling particularly bad for her in that moment. Did God grant the prayers of those he pitied at a higher-than-average rate? She sure hoped so.
Adley wasn’t entirely oblivious to the pitfalls of her plan. She was young, healthy, about as death-resistant as a person could be. Not even a family history of heart disease, and everyone had a family history of heart disease. So it would take some time, that's alright. She could be patient. She had waited a full month longer than strictly necessary to come into the world, causing all sorts of grief for her mother, stubborn as hell right out of the gate. She could wait a month to die. She could wait longer, if that’s what it took.
Though she was prepared for the worst, she had to admit that she had high hopes for a speedy death. She had watched enough medical dramas to know that old spouses often died one right after the other, the depth of their commitment to one another a blissful death sentence. She always thought that was quite romantic. Old people were so cute. Even if she wasn’t elderly, normal people died of heartache all the time. She had faith it could take her out too, if she really leaned into it.
She had tried the whole healthy grieving thing, and decided it wasn’t for her. The folks in her support group were way too self-absorbed to focus on anyone aside from themselves. Not to sound melodramatic, but no one understood what she was going through. It was exhausting, having to explain to everyone in that middle school multipurpose room why her grief was more significant than everyone else’s. She wasn’t very popular there, much like her actual middle school experience. Also, Gracie, who had lost her son four years ago in a freak swimming accident, had complained about her to the facilitator. Called her an insensitive affliction on the group. An affliction, can you believe that? How’s that for insensitive? I mean, come on, it had been four years. Get over it already. Four years is enough time to have had another kid. Blubbering about the hole in your heart every Wednesday night to a group of people actually going through something was just inappropriate, rude even. Adley was given the choice to leave or be kicked out, which was quite literally a textbook example of the lack of a choice. Why would she want to be in a group that relied on bullshit semantics to deal with their problems anyway? Conflict-avoidant pussies, the whole lot of them. That’s why they’re unable to handle their grief. She didn’t need their help; she was better off on her own.
Delaney had been dying from cancer for about as long as Gracie’s son had been dead. In the end, Adley was glad to see her die. Dead was better than dying, she thought. And in certain special cases, such as her own, dead was better than alive. She believed that if most people were given the choice to be alive with no will to live or to be dead, completely freed from the burden of having to experience things, feel things, remember things, and so on, they’d leap at the opportunity to die. Even on the best days, being alive was mostly shit. Being loved certainly helped, but with Delaney freshly in the ground, one could see her predicament.
Adley knew that it was not Delaney’s fault that she had died, but she didn’t quite know who else to blame. Blaming herself was too easy – a trope even. Besides, Delaney would hate to see her beat herself up like that. These days, her self-named Last Days, she had decided her best bet was Delaney’s parents. Bad genes. Bad, cancerous, spiteful, homophobic genes. How dare they? Adley couldn’t even look at them during the funeral. They had killed Delaney, and now they were killing her. They hadn’t even looked that sad standing over her casket. She thought they had probably been wearing sunglasses in order to hide the joy in their eyes.
Before she had been unceremoniously dumped by her support group, she had brought up her plan to sit to death. At the time it was still in its early stages. She had yet to work out the kinks. The facilitator, Greg, tried to convince Adley that vocalizing the plan was evidence of her not actually wanting to die. That it was a cry for help rather than a strategizing invitation. Greg was stupid, no question about it. Adley wasn’t sure what qualified a person to be a grief support group facilitator, but she had her suspicions about the legitimacy of Greg’s credentials. Gracie, surprisingly, was the most helpful. Why don’t you just shoot yourself or jump off a bridge? If you’re really trying to kill yourself it’d be much more efficient than rotting on a couch. God, she was such a bitch, but she was right. That night, Adley laid on Delaney’s side of the bed for hours, mulling it over. In the end, she decided that it came down to symbolism. Delaney had rotted on a hospital bed. Adley would rot on their couch. She was paying homage to her wife, something Gracie wouldn’t understand.
In her wedding vows, Delaney had said that she loved Adley so much she would let Adley die first. At the time, Adley had thought that was morbid. Now, she wondered if it was a lie. Maybe if Delaney had really loved her, she would have murdered Adley before succumbing to her own illness. It’s not like they would have arrested a woman on her deathbed. Now she had to do it herself, which felt unfair. Maybe Delaney was more selfish than Adley had given her credit for.
Adley spent much of her time on the couch speculating about who would find her body. A part of her hoped it would be Gracie, just to prove a point, but she recognized that that was next to impossible. It would probably be the police, having come to investigate a weird smell reported by her neighbors. How disappointing. News articles about people dying alone in their apartments were always so depressing. She should leave a note explaining that she wasn’t some loser. She was a grief-stricken widower, proving her devotion to her late spouse. It was honorable, admirable even. Maybe Gracie would see it in the paper, then, and feel bad about getting her kicked out of the group. She hoped Gracie would carry that guilt with her to the grave.
For now, Adley would take a nap. That would kill a couple hours. She left Law & Order: SVU playing on her television, so quietly she could barely make out what was being said. She imagined herself as a fetus in her mother’s womb, being lulled to sleep by voices she couldn’t understand. When she woke up, she’d write that note, and hopefully, soon after, be with Delaney again.
New Children's Picture Book Release! A VEGETABLE GARDEN IS NOT FOR COWS from Dreaming Big Publications, and author ANITA STAFFORD
Available in Paperback and Ebook
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1947381296/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Farmer Ben’s cows have everything they need.
They have a shade tree for sunny days, a barn for rainy days, and a fence to keep them safe.
They have all the tasty green grass they want to eat.
But one of the cows has been eating the vegetables in Farmer Ben’s garden.
How will he find out which one?
Annabelle knows someone needs to step up and be honest.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Anita Stafford makes her home in northern Arkansas where she grew up on a dairy farm surrounded by a large, loving, and always entertaining extended family. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor and was an educator in public school for more than twenty years. Anita is also the author of The Legend of Sassafras House and Treasure in Catclaw Canyon.
Hi! Kristi here. Recently, in response to our nation's headlines concerning racism, I asked all of our interns if any of them wanted to be featured on the blog. Princess Berry responded and sent me her picture and a brief bio, that I am sharing with you below.
Here at Dreaming Big, we all work remotely and never meet face to face. All interns and authors are accepted based on their skill level and the work they do, which is how it should be! It would still be that way if we were meeting face to face, but working on the internet adds another layer of anonymity because unless they show a picture or mention anything about themselves, I have no idea what their skin color is, their sexual orientation, or even gender in most cases because names are not always enough to tell.
I want Dreaming Big to be a safe place where people can embrace being themselves without fear of being mocked, bullied, or not accepted. Everyone has an equal playing field here, and nothing like gender, skin color, or sexual orientation is going to give one person an advantage or disadvantage compared to another. Tattoos, piercings, wild hair color or style - all are welcome!
From Princess Berry - Princess is a full-time nerd who earned her B.A in English this year after graduating from Centenary University. Along with being Black, Native American, and Portuguese, she also proudly identifies as panromantic. Her ultimate goal is to become an editor and an archivist. When she is not being productive, she enjoys playing video games, reading, writing, and getting tattoos.
Tips & Tricks to Overcome a Reading Slump
By Elizabeth Dubos
A reading slump can be a bookworm’s worst nightmare. A reading slump is when you have the desire to read but cannot choose or enjoy a book. One of the biggest signs you’re in a reading slump is when your favorite or most anticipated books don’t excite you. There are numerous reasons to what can cause a book slump. This includes feeling overworked, stressed, distractions, and finishing a beloved book and nothing competes with it. Here are my tips and tricks to overcome a reading slump.
1. Don’t force it. If you force yourself to read, then you’re going to prolong your reading slump. Plus, it might ruin a book if you’re not fully invested. Instead, try to watch a movie, TV show, listening to music, gaming, or crafting.
2. Switch genres. Maybe you’ve outgrown a particular genre without noticing it. Maybe you’ve been reading too much of the same genre and you’re bored. Explore various genres and sees which ones pique your interest. Then, you can download e-book samples to see if you like it before purchasing it. As a reader, your taste in books is allowed to change and evolve.
3. DON’T REREAD AN ALL TIME FAVORITE! I know this an unpopular opinion, but hear me out. Rereading your favorite book or series can be damaging because nothing compares to its greatness afterwards. Plus, if you already know the ending, then there’s nothing stopping you from putting the book down.
4. Browse Goodreads. If you’re unsure about authors or genres, explore the browse tab on the Goodreads home screen. The browse tab offers recommendations, the Goodreads Choice Award Winners, new releases, and lists. If you’re looking for a general recommendation, I suggest checking out the ‘Most Popular Book Lists’ because it offers numerous genres, age groups, and authors to choose from. For example, Best Young Adult Books, Books That Everyone Should Read, or Best Books of the 20th Century.
5. Reorganize your bookshelves. Do you toss books onto your bookshelves and over time they’ve accumulated into looking messy? Try reorganizing your bookshelves by author, height, color, genre or series. You might discover books that you thought were gone or decide to read a book based on its cover design.
6. A reading routine. Does it feel like there’s never enough time in the world to read? Try to schedule a minimal time to read whether it’s in the morning, afternoon, or evening. You can set an alarm on your phone to ring to remind you, so you don’t forget. Plus, if you have an issue of people interrupting you during reading, they will notice you reading at particular times, therefore, they will not bother you.
7. Watch BookTube videos. BookTube is a special corner within YouTube that houses an online bookish community. They create all kinds of bookish themed content from book recommendations, challenges, read-a-thons, vlogs, and more! BookTubers discuss various genres and age groups, so everyone can join in on the fun. My favorite BookTubers are ArielBissett, jessethereader, PeruseProject, abookuptopia, BooksandLala, readbyzoe, and a ClockworkReader. Even if watching bookish content doesn’t inspire you to pick up a book, you can still be a part of the literary community. Maybe this might inspire you to start your own BookTube channel!
8. A reading nook. A reading nook is a special area in your home where you can sit and enjoy reading. You might put your favorite book quotes, candles, a comfy chair, or a stack of your favorite books. A reading nook can help motivate you to read because you’re surrounded by all your literary favorites. A reading nook can be a cubby in your closet, a corner in your living room, a wall in your home office.
9. Join a book club. Book clubs are great for reading slumps because you only have to read one book a month and then you get to be surrounded by other literary lovers. If you’re having trouble finding a book club, then I would highly recommend checking out the Barnes & Noble book club. Barnes & Noble has one for teens and adults. Plus, they offer virtual book club meetings! If you’re interested in learning more about the Barnes & Noble book clubs, I’ve attached a link below. https://www.barnesandnoble.com/h/book-club
10. Audiobooks. Yes, I’m part of the club that believes audiobooks count as reading. I think audiobooks are great because it allows bookworms to enjoy the content in a different format. What happens if your eyes are tired after working hard all day, but you still want to enjoy a book? You can easily listen to the book, so you can enjoy your literary hobby. Plus, depending on the narrators, they might improve the story because it allows you to further visualize the setting, characters, and plot. There are numerous ways to access audiobooks via subscriptions, online libraries, or purchasing it through a major retailer.
Edited by Emily Chance