by Eric Swanson
In his debut novel, Eric Swanson hits it out of the park with this book. It is a science fiction
book that makes you think. When 100,000 people all over the earth at kidnapped by aliens
it is traumatic for everyone. The people on earth fear a return and know that the aliens are far more advanced. The aliens have much more knowledge and advanced technology than the earth’s inhabitants. Micah Trace is a result of that knowledge and technology. He has been groomed for a special mission, but when develops a conscience his role changes.
The author does a great job of intertwining social status, racism, genetic entering, and slavery into an action-packed adventure. This book is book one in the trilogy and Mr Swanson has done an excellent job of making us want more.
Build A Neurodiverse TBR (To Be Read) Library
There’s been plenty of buzz about diversity in fiction for several years, especially in the Young Adult genre. Stories like The Hate You Give, and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before feature characters who are BIPOC (black, indigenous, and people of color).
But there’s one area that this push for diversity hasn’t reached yet—neurodiversity. Neurodiverse refers to anyone who has a neurological difference such as autism, ADHD, Tourette’s, synesthesia, and others. A few books have included characters with these differences, the most notable, Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. It’s a very well-done young adult contemporary story that explores OCD and the accompanying anxiety. The ending is hopeful—it
doesn’t rip your heart out like, say, The Fault in Our Stars. Pick it up if you get a chance.
Still, there aren’t many choices in young adult fantasy (my favorite genre and the one I write in). I was optimistic when I started the Percy Jackson series. Percy had ADHD and dyslexia, but the author pulled a bait and switch. As Percy begins to discover who he is (and who his father is), he’s told his ADHD is like an energy boost, a side effect of being a demigod, and the dyslexia is actually an ability to read Greek. Huh? I still haven’t forgiven author Rick Riordan for side-stepping the opportunity. He could’ve showcased neurodiversity and educated readers.
According to the latest data, 9.4% of children ages two to seventeen are diagnosed with ADHD. Six in ten have related mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders, like anxiety or depression. And it’s believed thirty to forty percent of the population is considered neurodiverse.
So why aren’t we seeing more of this in YA fiction? While writing the earliest version of Spark, Book One of The Firebrand Chronicles, my
youngest daughter was diagnosed with ADHD inattentive. It’s a sibling of ADHD hyperactive, which is more commonly known. As I became educated in what this diagnosis entailed, I realized there were precious few role models in YA fantasy. I wanted her to be able to find herself in the pages of a story, and I wanted others to understand some of the struggles ADHD kids face. Since ADHD people are creative, out of the box thinkers, I created a heroine who’s aware of her neurodiversity, accepts it, and uses it like a superpower to discover new solutions to problems.
There’s so much misinformation out there—“ADHD is really just bad parenting”,
“ADHD doesn’t exist”, “those kids are just bad kids,” the list goes on and on. But by finding and reading about neurodiverse characters, the reader can experience the world through their eyes and hopefully walk away with understanding and compassion.
Books for a neurodiverse TBR library:
Award winning author J. M. Hackman loves thunderstorms,
bookstores, and happy endings. She’s never met a reading nook
she didn’t like and prefers soul talk to small talk. When she’s not
writing or reading, she spends quality time with her greatest
She’s written Spark, Flare, and Burn (her YA fantasy series the
Firebrand Chronicles) and has had her stories published in
She spends her days writing stories, consuming massive
quantities of dark chocolate, and looking for portals to other
worlds in the mountains of Pennsylvania.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
Newsletter, True North Tales: can sign up on my website or at http://eepurl.com/cNuDkP
Pyromaniacs: where we talk about chocolate, current projects, and books. But not necessarily in that order. ☺
The Firebrand Chronicles (Spark, Flare, Burn)—available on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, iBooks, and Nook: https://www.love2readlove2writepublishing.com/bookstore/
Ten years ago, my grandmother (aka Mama) died from complications of Alzheimer’s. Before her death, Mama underwent numerous tests and tried various prescriptions. But the doctors refused to label her with Alzheimer’s and instead branded her bizarre reactions as “old age.”
For example, Mama watched the TV show Dora the Explorer and spoke to Dora as if she were a real person. Other days, Mama stomped on the ground killing the roaches in her room, but there were no insects there.
As we watched the downgrade of my grandmother’s mental capabilities, my family mourned and felt powerless to help her change.
In time, we judged that her prescriptions were worthless. They served only to subdue her symptoms, but they could never restore Mama to her once vibrant self. Near the end of Mama’s life, the doctor’s diagnosed her with Alzheimer’s, but it was too late, and she passed.
Now, years later, I wrote Between Us to show both sides of Alzheimer’s. The family side struggles with the diagnoses, and the medical side that tries to cure the disease. On one side, we see a surgeon diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and fears his disease will destroy him. Thus, in a desperate attempt to keep his mind clear, he volunteers, as patient one, for clinical drug trials. But that decision will not lead to relief but a guilty conscience when other patients die from the same drug.
Meanwhile, a nurse learns of several patients that are dead from suicide. Her investigation of their death leads back to the same trials the doctor underwent. Her journey will reveal that the Scientist behind the clinical trial forfeited her good intentions for unethical practices and greed.
Between Us is a fictionalized story that looks at a medical community that compromises their ethics and ultimately fails to see the pain and suffering of families who suffer from the heart-wrenching disease.
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She waited 20 years for him to return to her. Now four of her patients are dead,
and the cause of their death leads back to the man she loves.
Mimi de Soto is the Administrator of Hope for Another Day convalescent home. Known for her devotion and duty to her profession, Mimi takes on the dilapidated rest home and vows to restore it so her patients will have a safe place to call home.
One night, the Nurse’s Call Board lights up, and the facility is in a panic. Three patients have committed suicide by hanging, and in a matter of days, her staff will find two more seniors who have died in the same manner.
Soon, she reunites with Noah Taylor, her childhood sweetheart. But their reunion sours when Noah’s father begins to share secrets that will expose Mimi to a world of drugs, lies, and murder.
Can Noah and Mimi come together and expose the deception killing the seniors in her nursing home, or will the attempts to destroy them prevail?
Harper Gale graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Master’s University in Valencia, California, with a
Bachelor of Arts degree in Christian Ministries. She’s a Technical Writer, blogger, and a Non-Fiction
author with articles and books under another name.
Her goal is to write stories that will lift the heart, but also encourage her readers to think deeply about
God and their relationship with Christ.
In Harper’s spare time, she loves to dabble in armchair investigations, handcrafts, computer graphics,
photography, and baking.
Harper lives in Los Angeles, California, with her family.
Storm at Keizer Manor by Ramcy Diek Genre: Historical Time Travel Romance
A Multi Award Winning Historical Time Travel Romance While college graduate Forrest tries to find a job, quick witted Annet works at the Keizer Manor, the museum where the oils from 19th century master painter Alexander Keizer are exhibited. After a fight, the couple strolls through the dunes to talk. When dark clouds roll in, the beautiful sunny weather turns into a thunderstorm so violent that they get separated. The next morning, Forrest finds himself alone. So does Annet. Regaining consciousness in a monastery, Annet is convinced the nuns are playing a prank on her. It can’t be the 1800’s! She’s a pregnant Twenty-first Century woman and doesn’t belong there. But how will she get back to her own time? Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo
Ramcy Diek fell in love with the United States during her travels with her husband. The Pacific Northwest became the Dutch couple’s home, where they built their RV Park and raised their two sons. During this time, Ramcy also made a slow transition from reader to multi-genre writer. Her debut novel Storm at Keizer Manor received multiple awards. This inspired her to spend more time doing what she loves most: writing stories. Eagles in Flight, a romantic suspense novel, is her second book. Her third novel Overland, a romantic and dramatic thriller, followed soon after. Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads
Raised in a Bottle: FREE yourself from a childhood with alcoholism by Kristina Hermann Genre: Nonfiction, Self-Help
FREE yourself from a childhood with alcoholism Growing up in a family with alcohol abuse can leave you significantly scarred as an adult. The addiction robbed you of a caring, nurturing, secure and playful childhood, forcing you to become an adult too early. A lack of attention and compassion stifled your ability to grow into a whole person. As an adult, you might experience personal and professional problems related to feelings of abandonment or loneliness, relationship problems, low self-esteem, unhealthy coping strategies, and lack of clear boundaries. If you have felt traumatized, anxious, and depressed throughout your life, this is the book for you. Through in-depth chapters and exercises, you will: · Understand how families are shaped by alcohol addiction · Gain insight into how trauma affects your body and your mind · Learn how to build your self-esteem and become aware of your own feelings · How to identify unhealthy patterns and relationships and break free of them · Reshape your thoughts and beliefs about yourself and your future This book offers extensive insight into the dynamics and consequences of growing up with addiction. It provides the help and compassion that addiction stole from you when you were a child. In short, Raised in a Bottle offers new hope for reclaiming your own life. Goodreads * Amazon
Kristina Hermann is a psychotherapist and author with a clinic in Copenhagen, Denmark. She has worked with families afflicted by alcohol abuse since 2000 and has written extensively about adult children of alcoholics. In 2015 she published a self-help book in Danish: Du er ikke alene: en opvækst med alkoholproblemer (“You are not alone: An upbringing shaped by alcohol problems”), now in its third printing. Raised in a Bottle: A Workbook for Adult Children of Alcoholics (in progress) is her first book in English. She received her Master in Psychology from the University of Aarhus, Denmark in 2012. In addition to her work as a psychotherapist, she also teaches seminars, conducts workshops, and is a supervisor of the work of other therapists. Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon
His training as a pilot never prepared him for a terrifying trek across wild crocodile-infested swamps…
On January 11, 1945, Major Donald J. Humphrey had his B-29 Superfortress directed at Singapore Island. After navigating the 1900-mile trip from India through dangerous weather, they had just successfully bombed their target. And that’s when Japanese Zeroes shot off the wing and sent the mighty aircraft death-spiraling into the Malayan jungle.
Jumping to safety, Humphrey and a few of his remaining crewmates found themselves lost in the middle of occupied territory. Enduring vicious crocodiles, deadly snakes, and crippling malaria, the Americans battled just to stay alive. And though they made contact with Malayan resistance fighters, they could never be sure their benefactors weren’t pulling them even deeper into danger…
In this harrowing true account, Major Humphrey’s son shares the extraordinary story of his father’s grueling ordeal. Told in the first person, this highly personal narrative puts you inside the mind of a man fighting for his country while struggling to survive.
Eight Miraculous Months in the Malayan Jungle is a gripping memoir about overcoming unexpected peril. If you like World War II heroes, incredible stories of courage, and inspirational reads, then you’ll love Donald “DJ” Humphrey II’s captivating biography of his father.
Order your copy of Eight Miraculous Months in the Malayan Jungle to join his fight for freedom
Donald J. “DJ” Humphrey II is the son of Lt. Col. Donald J. Humphrey, a United States Army Air
Force B-29 bomber pilot in World War IIDJ enjoyed writing in college, which likely helped him
graduate as valedictorian of his class with a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies. His education
and experiences prepared him for this unique opportunity to write his father’s fascinating true
story of survival, faith, and salvation.
Now retired after a 30-year career as a real estate broker, DJ had the time to write his father’s
book. He hopes his father is looking down from heaven with a proud and pleased smile,
knowing that his son finally wrote the book he had always wanted to be written and published.
As we enter 2021, I wish our readers the best. I personally am still trying to finish 2020. LOL Between the holidays, our son’s wedding, and life in general, I am behind on everything. But that’s ok. Life goes on and I’ll get caught up in no time.
This blog will remain free of political posts and opinions. The wonderful thing about America is that we are free to believe and follow what we choose. The wonderful thing about reading is we can explore whatever topics we choose. We can use it for education or escape. The choice is ours. This year I challenge you to read a genre you would not normally read. You might be surprised and find a new author you really love.
Here’s to fantastic reading in 2021!