Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Fire Molten & Ash by Clarence Barbee

Oh, the weather outside is cold, and I mean super frigid. For me, living in New Orleans, I'm not used to it being this cold. I can only imagine what everyone is going through in the North or in Alaska. I am a tropical kind of girl. So, when I discovered today's author, Clarence Barbee, and his book "Fire Molten & Ash, my first thought was getting warm. So, I built be a fire in my fireplace, moved my laptop to the living room, and made a cup of hot chocolate. I needed this warmth and a good book to read by the fire. I hope you enjoy learning about the book and the author.
Stay warm everyone and remember to keep your pets warm and safe too!
Molten Fire and Ash is a collection of intense poems. This collection is confident in the fluid environment that has been created where time and space become suspended. Divided into 3 sequences, this work remarkably summons themes on self reflection, fatherhood, politics, mental health, and family values, in an imaginative and animated way.

Strong word-play is exhibited as the author finds diverse ways to engage and stimulate his readers. This collection will speak to the reader who loves the page, as well as fans of spoken word. If you’re looking for a book where words are performed with force, then you’ve found it.

Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
I'm a writer originally from Omaha Nebraska. I attended Clark Atlanta University an HBCU in Atlanta GA. I am a family man who now resides in Aurora, CO, which is just outside of Denver. I enjoy people watching and working with people; that's where the inspiration comes from. People do absolutely crazy things, and sometimes I get the opportunity to write about it. I also work with mentally ill people and high-school students--they too provide really good stories. We're all living life and doing time; I hope my writing makes your time enjoyable and enriches your life in some way, form or fashion.
What inspired you to author this book?
This book has really been about ten years in the making. In 2013 I published two chapbooks, e-book, on Lulu. They were Shattered and On The Brink. 2013 was a difficult time for me personally. Both my parents had recently passed, I made some difficult life choices. I was mad with my sister. And I had just recently finished a stint with being homeless. So I published these two e-chapbooks with a lot of poetry from 2008 because I hadn’t done much writing in 2012/2013. And last year, early this year, I looked at those chapbooks and was like, those books were/are crap! I was mad at myself after reading them. And then I looked some more, and some weren’t so bad, but still overall--crap! I wanted to do something about it. And it’s like I said earlier, there must be growth to be a good writer. So I wanted to prove to myself that I could do better. I also wanted to chronicle my “writing life” better. I wanted to chronicle the fact that this is the first work of me as a writer and as a father, and husband.

So Fire Molten & Ash is about all that. Sometimes you have to go through the fire, with some parts coming out as ash and fly in the wind. Fire is rebirth, becoming something anew. There are four themes of self-reflection, fatherhood, politics, and family values. These were also big themes in the previous two chapbooks. Fire Molten & Ash is the death of a former life (burned it), rebirth (reborn of Fire), and seeing what the growth is.
Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?
I actually contacted several people from Fiverr for the cover design. I knew I wanted something simple, but classy and stood out. I feel I got that. The design looks like smoky mountains and that fits since I'm in Denver, but also because it speaks to the title of the book, and the meaning of fire and being reborn through it. When birth happens there is smoke, ash, and the new person before you.
Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
My biggest influence comes from my father. He was a true Dad who helped teach me how to cook and be a good person. He taught me discipline and seeing a project through till the end regardless of the outcome. My biggest influences in writing come from two people, my 8th grade English teacher Ms. Mobley, and my good friend Eryk Moore. Ms. Mobley because she was a great teacher who believed that all her students would become great writers. I actually dedicated my 1st book "Chicken Soup & A Shot of Jack" to her. And Eryk because he always tells me he's my biggest fan. Eryk is an excellent writer, spoken word poet, and businessman. I could not get through any project without his guidance and support.
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
My biggest struggle was finding the time to write the poems. As a new Dad of two kids, one being two, and the other currently being 11 months, time is a premium. Also, I work two jobs. So trying to find time to write or edit was challenging, but being the creative person I am, I found time to get it done!
Tell your readers about your book.
Fire Molten and Ash is my third poetry book and in my opinion, my best work. It focuses on four themes; self-reflection, fatherhood, politics, and family values. I am by no means a perfect person or perfect writer, but I wanted to address these themes as they are at the forefront of my life right now. I spoke on this earlier, but as a writer, we need to take time to reflect on ourselves, our lives, and eventually our writing. Are we improving? I looked at fatherhood, because I love my children, and I want to be a good father. Is this easy all the time--uh, no, by any means, but it's worth it every single minute. Politics have always been a big part of my life. I like to stay informed in national politics as well as local ones. We need to be informed as to who the leader is, what they're doing, and how they're representing us. In America, we live in a diverse and very rich country. We have to be cognizant of how we're being represented through the world, and if we don't like that representation, then we need to change it. And the final being family values, because I have some family issues that I wanted to address, both good and bad. One of the biggest lessons I learned through writing this book is that my parents sacrificed for our family, and I have learned the power of forgiveness. So buy the book and see how I represent these things!
Who is your target audience, and why?
My target audience is poetry lovers and non-poetry lovers. Poetry lovers are obvious because I love good poetry, and want to produce it for the canon. But also non-poetry lovers because I want to be able to pull people into the power of poetry. I think poetry is feeling. It's frustration and beauty, short lessons, and reflection, it is love and making hate look fantastic. So really my audience is a lot of people. I will say because of some strong language I would not allow elementary-aged children to read it, but definitely 8th grade and up.
What do you consider your greatest success in life?
My greatest success in life is the building of my family. I'm learning through this new role as Dad, that family building is like nation-building. It's not the easiest thing when you have kids who want to run wild because they're toddlers. You have your wife who has her needs, and you as Dad, have to support that because she supports you, and both support the kids. So as long as I'm building a strong, self-aware family, and they're happy, then I will call it a success.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?
I think my age sets me apart. The poetry market is diverse but also very young. When I google contemporary poets, so many young slam poets come up. I've been writing and performing poetry for over two decades, so I'm not new to this. However, I'm not an MFA writer or poet. I'm in-between and old. (lol) But I feel that in time, there is wisdom, and the refinement of life where words can become powerful and unyielding is what I offer. I'm learning the self-publishing game through different projects. Many people say poetry doesn't sell; one of my goals is to prove them wrong!

Reverse Depression During the Holiday Season

Dear Readers:
Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way..... Wait! Not all is merry and bright during the holidays. Some of us are flat out depressed with what is going on in our lives. And, if you are depressed, somehow during this time of year you seem more depressed. I know for me I am feeling a little blue -- my mother is being moved to hospice care today. Her cancer has spread throughout her body and there is nothing else the doctors can do for her except manage her pain. Yesterday, the doctors told us that she has weeks to live and that we might want to move Christmas up if we want to spend it with her. Wow! Now, that's depressing.
My mother is my bestfriend and this is the first Christmas she will not be able to come to my house. So, I'm taking a tree to her.
Don't get all gloom and doom on me. I am at peace with my mother and so is she. Somehow God has managed to put the right people in my life and the right authors in my life to help me through this. Today's author, Mickey Bell, is one of those. His book, "Reverse the Course of Depression" arrived across my desk just in time. I can highly recommend this book to my readers.
Whether an adult or teenager, man or woman, having to deal with depression is impossible to manage on your own. When you think about what comes with the illness, low self-esteem, anxiety and stress... most of the time it can become impossible to manage on your own. And why should you? “Reverse The Course of Depression” is a self-help book which teaches us that setting small, reachable goals is definitely the right choice when it comes to providing the necessary guidance you need to deal with the affects of depression.
What makes this book stand out, you might ask? The concept of self-help is taken a step further, by first helping uncover the real reasons for depression and reaching out individually to each and every one of its readers. Secondly, it proposes a step-by-step approach on living the daily life and dealing with your emotions as they emerge. Feelings of shame, the need for crying or dark thoughts are tackled in a practical and easy to understand manner, with real results and visible improvements. This book is great to have at your side when you start feeling those anxious moments come upon on.
“The Self Help Guide to Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression and Living Daily with a Sound Mind” can be a thoughtful gift for a loved one in need for themselves or for a parent who is currently dealing with a child or teenager battling depression.
Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
I am a standup comedian from Birmingham, Alabama. I use laughter to help break the barrier so we can talk about the issue of depression that no one seems to want to talk about.
What inspired you to author this book?
After learning to live with my own depression, I wanted to encourage others on how they kick depression in the butt one laugh at a time.
Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?
It's a picture of how I felt when I was in the pit of depression.
Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
Melissa Caudle - she has given me insight and motivation to raise my standards in my book.
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
Learning the Do's and Don'ts in marketing.
Tell your readers about your book.
Each day you deal with depression, you deal with so many emotions. One day you just want to sit and cry while on other days you have to fight off the thoughts of wanting to take your own life. Each chapter of this book reflects the many emotions I felt in my darkest hour of the depression fight.

This is not just a book you read through but rather a handbook that is available to you to fight each day's emotion.
Who is your target audience, and why?
Suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death for those 15-24 and the leading cause of death for those 34-54. I am want to reach anyone who feels the need to give up.
What do you consider your greatest success in life?
Being able to face the depression demon head-on and winning.
 What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?
I don't shy away from the hard topics. I don't sugarcoat the steps you must take if you want to be happy while dealing with depression.


Monday, December 9, 2019

2020 Human Relations Indie Book Awards

Dear Readers:
It is with  pleasure that announce the 2020 Human Relations Indie Book Awards. If you are an author, here is your chance to enter a fabulous contest and gain the recognition your book deserves.
The purpose of the Human Relations Indie Book Awards is to recognize indie authors who have written books with a human relations focus related to various interactions among people in different settings such as work, organizations, school, home, family or in personal lives. This is the fifth year of the Human Relations Indie Book Awards.  We had a diverse group of indie authors for the previous years’ awards that ranged from professional perspectives to indie author’s personal journeys of self-reflection and human relationships. Book entries for the 2020 Human Relations Indie Book Awards should be published between 2013 and 2020 and must be received in print version (no eBooks accepted) and written for an English speaking audience. Books can be self-published, independently published or have a creative or scholarly writing approach from smaller publishing companies or presses where the author had a voice in the publishing process.
Each contest category (depending on the number of entries) will recognize Gold, Silver and Bronze award certificate winners and Honorable Mention (s) may also be given to recognize honorable writing in the area of human relations. All book entries will also be considered for the Director’s Choice awards who exhibit outstanding writing in the area of Human Relations. The number and type of Director’s Choice Awards varies each year according to the type of entries received and the selected Director’s Choice winners will receive the award certificate and a gift card.
Each author should complete a book submission form with two copies of the book and the entry fee for each entry. Do not send more than two books no matter how many categories you enter. Authors may enter more than one book category, but will need to mark the additional categories on the book submission form and add the additional entry fee for each category. Entry fees should be paid in check in U.S. dollars or sent with a U.S. postal service money order or American Express money order. No books will be returned after the contest and will be donated to libraries, charities, educational programs or those in need. Entry fees start at $75.00 for the first category ($65.00 for the first category if entry is postmarked by March 1st, 2020), $55.00 for the second category, $45.00 for the third category and $35.00 for the fourth category.
2020 Human Relations Indie Book Awards final deadline for entry is April 1st, 2020- but earlier entries are encouraged to allow more time for judging the book entries. Winners will be announced in May 2020 when judging is completed.
Judges names will not be posted due to confidentiality. Books will be judged on book content, book organization, book presentation and the human relations message conveyed in the book. Judges decisions are final.
A broad range of book categories will provide authors the opportunity to enter one or more categories that may be related to the book’s human relations content. There are approximately 45 categories that include topics related to human relations issues, memoirs, children’s books with a human relations focus, poetry and the arts human relations books, fiction human relations books and general human relations book categories.
Additional information on the 2020 book categories and book submission information will be posted on this website in Jan. 2020. Thanks! 
If you would like to be on the 2020 mailing list for information please send an email to:   



“Be Brave” By Ronald Destra

Dear Readers:

I have another cute children's book for you and the children in your life to read, “Be Brave” By Ronald Destra. Take a look and add it to your child's Christmas stocking.


Poignant tales of bravery that will inspire your children to be the bravest version of themselves in hairy and upsetting situations!

Are you looking for a non-trivial storybook to inculcate positive values in your kids? Do you want to discover a great way to teach your kids real courage to help them stand against injustice and abuse in today's world? If yes, then this little book might be your answer.

Follow the actions of different people from different backgrounds as they struggle to make tough, courageous and brave decisions even in the face of overwhelming fear.

From a little kids trying to nip abuse in the bud, to a man about to rescue his daughter from a burning house, this storybook is filled with stories that will inspire your little ones to live a life of courage and bravery.

Filled with lucid, colorful and attention-grabbing illustrations and powerful snippets of different people standing up for their rights, this wonderful little book is one that belongs on every family's bookshelf and is perfect for cozying up with your kids for bedtime reading before tucking them in for bed!

Scroll up and click the "add to cart" button to buy now and teach your kids the value of courage, bravery and taking a stand against injustice!



Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
I am a best selling children author, illustrator, and publisher of educational storybook.

I grew up in Miami, Florida, USA.

I attended Little River Elementary, Robert E Lee Junior High / Horace Mann Junior High, Miami Jackson Sr. High and Miami Edison Sr. High

I currently reside in Florida, USA.

He has also authored the following books.

His books include:
  • Best Friends
  • Santa’s Little Helper
  • The Birthday Party
  • Hoppy the Frog
  • Tommy the Giraffe
  • The Little Hero
  • Fluffy the Bird
  • The Tattoo
  • Scrappy the Dog
  • The Zoo
  • A Teddy for Jackie Jr
  • Be Brave (December 31, 2019)
What inspired you to author this book?
The people who inspired me to author this book: Renald Destra, Suzanne Clervil, Juanita Destra, parents, kids, and bullying issues in this world.

Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?
I received the inspiration in my dreams and vision.

 Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
My father Renald Destra and Juanita Destra have been the most significant influence on my personality and as a writer.

 What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
I had to overcome the process of being patience.

Tell your readers about your book.

I published 12 children books so far. My latest book is Be Brave (Moments of Bravery) - Fun stories about kids confidence, fear and brave story for young readers - short bedtime stories for children ages 6-12

Be Brave is a poignant tales of bravery that will inspire your children to be the bravest version of themselves in hairy and upsetting situations!

 Who is your target audience, and why?
My target audience are parents with children ages 6-12 and kids who are ages 6-12

 What do you consider your greatest success in life?
I consider my greatest success was taking control of my mind and found my purpose in life.

 What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?
I do not give up! I keep moving forward toward my goals.


Sunday, December 8, 2019

"The Hunt For Love Monster" by Susanne Young

Wow! I feel overwhelmed with all what is going on in my life with my mother. I guess, I should update everyone what is going on since last week. My mom is still in the hospital and the cancer has now spread into both lungs and into her liver. After they did the procedure to fix the fracture in her L3 with cement, her T7 fractured and she has four other ruptured discs. The doctors hypothesize that the cancer has spread to her bones. My mother has now refused any further treatments of any kind and wants to live out the remainder of her life as much as she can. She has that right, and my sisters and I support her in her decision. Yes, is it difficult? Yes! I want to thank each of you who have reached out to me over the last couple of weeks and especially the last week as you lifted her and my family up  in your prayers. I am humbled. Please keep praying for her that God's will have His hand in her last days until she sits at the right hand of His throne.

Now onto happier stuff -- the things that keep me going and that I love to do. I have a new book for you and a new author I can't wait to tell you about. Meet Susanne Young, author of "The Hunt for Love Monstor." With a title like that, can you imagine the treat you are in for? Take and look at the book and meet the author in today's featured author interview.


All Brighton wants is a friend, after the many difficult changes in his life recently. When he comes across something unusual on his walk home from school one day, he is eager to find out all about it. Could this be the answer his loneliness?

Susanne Young
Tell your readers a little about yourself, where you grew up, where you live now, where you went to school etc. Let them get to know the personal you.
My name is Susanne Young. I live in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, but I was raised in Prescott, Ontario, just a 45-minute drive south of where I live now. I moved to Ottawa when I was 24, after having graduated from St. Lawrence College from the Child and Youth Worker program.
That was my second time attending a college program, although the first time was online. I was enrolled in Early Childhood Education. I finished everything but unfortunately because I was working while doing school, I couldn’t do my placements. I have plans to take care of that this Spring, as I have enrolled to finish those requirements completely.
What inspired you to author this book?
What inspired me to write this book was the fact that one day I had the idea pop into my head. It had all the parts; the characters, plot, setting, everything was given to me.
I think it stemmed though from my dog, and working with children, and knowing their innocence, and sometimes, unfortunate issues they deal with. It all helped to make up the book.
I sat down in my craft room and wrote the whole thing one afternoon.
Where did you get the inspiration for your book’s cover?
The book cover came from the illustrations that I had done of my Adif. He drew the pictures based on my ideas, and when I saw the picture of “Brighton," imagining the Monster, I knew that had to be the cover.
The fact that it told people looking at the cover that this boy was thinking of or imagining a big happy Monster convinced me that it would make people want to pick up the book.
Who has been the most significant influence on you personally and as a writer?
This is such a hard question. Growing up I didn’t read a lot. I found it hard to find books that kept my attention. I did read some novels here and there, but for the majority of my life, this was and has been my struggle. To say who my influencers is to writing though, is a question I can’t completely finish.
I mean anyone who has ever written a book and had it published or more so got it self-published because they had a dream and knew the challenges of getting a publisher would be hard so they did it on their own. Those for starters are my inspiration.
Definitely! People who have self-published their own books and worked hard at making their dream a reality. Total inspiration.
What were your struggles or obstacles you had to overcome to get this book written?
In terms of writing the book, I really didn’t experience any, but getting it published was a bit harder. I had to put it aside when I found out I was pregnant with twins, and also finding an illustrator in my budget was a bit tricky. I didn’t send it to the publisher until my babies were just over a year.
Tell your readers about your book.
This book is about a little boy who is dealing with some difficult issues in his life. He moves to a new town and has no friends. He finds something interesting on his walk home from school one day, and his attention is drawn to finding out what it is. He eventually finds out, and his life is changed forever as his heart is full of love again.
Who is your target audience, and why?
My target audience is young children aged 5 to approximately 9. Any child will enjoy this story, but it may appeal more to those who are struggling with difficult times. Parents whose children are dealing with those issues will find it helpful to their little ones.
What do you consider your greatest success in life?
I would have to say that my greatest success in life would be my children. At 38, I didn’t think that I could have kids. I had never been pregnant before or even had a scare. Then one day I found out that I was expecting, and a week later found out it was twins. I love them immensely and vow to give them a rich, fulfilling life.
What one unique thing sets you apart from other writers in your genre?
What sets me apart from other writers in my genre is the fact that I have hands-on experience with the issues that I write about. I’ve experienced first-hand challenging times, which makes me empathetic to the experiences as well as basing my story on more facts that imagining.