We'd been married for almost eleven years. Our union had produced two healthy, beautiful children. Our lives were filled with the routines most people flourish on. There had been some rocky times like most couples experience, but overall my husband and I were living unassuming lives. We never anticipated our world could change in a short amount of time, but on a cold winter night at the beginning of January 2011 it did. Suffering from pain in his groin, Eric was sent by our family physician to a hospital thirty minutes from our home to get an ultrasound. Our doctor suspected a contortion of the right testicle, and he acted quickly. Upon further investigation, Eric was found to have two masses contained in his right testicle. The preceding months would test our strength as a couple. It was hands down the darkest period of our lives to date. I chose to document what we went through in the hopes our experience can give comfort to those on a similar journey. The battle against Testicular Cancer was one my husband won, but it's a battle my family will never forget. From the beginning, I've emphasized Testicular Cancer is to men what Breast Cancer is to women. Because more women are affected by Breast Cancer every year, than men are affected by Testicular Cancer, this disease gets publicized with greater frequency. By revealing the everyday struggles we encountered, and the hardships Eric faced as a cancer patient, I hope to educate, enlighten, and bring attention to a disease that affects thousands of men all over the world. I can't emphasize enough to every man how important yearly check-ups are to maintaining his well-being. Pain is an indication something's wrong and should never be ignored. Testicular Cancer is a fast growing threat many men could catch in time if they just make sure to look for the warning signs. I want to thank in advance all those choosing to read our story. It's a personal one that wasn't always easy for me to write down, but by doing so I knew I might be able to inspire others to fight when faced with a cancer diagnosis.

eBook available for purchase @  Amazon and Amazon UK

A Sojourn in Hell focuses on the tragic romance of a young woman. Losing the love of her life in combination with a dysfunctional upbringing help to shape the subsequent decisions she makes.

It's a multigenerational tale spanning almost eighty years. From the Great Depression through WWII and beyond, the reader is witness to the changes one woman’s life undergoes as she becomes a wife, mother, and grandmother as well as the trials and tribulations her own children end up going through. Alcoholism, untimely deaths, physical and mental abuse, adultery, and life-long regrets abound in this heartbreaking character study of human emotions.

A Sojourn in Hell was the first manuscript I wrote back in 2009. The greater part of last year I revised it to be a much deeper, thought-provoking read! I thoroughly believe no one's life is supposed to be happy all the time, but I don't believe anyone should use "crutches" such as alcohol to deal with sorrow or stress.

Unfortunately, there are millions of dysfunctional families all over the world that are headed by individuals dissatisfied by life for whatever reason. These individuals take out their frustrations on the children they chose to bring into the world. By examining one such situation, I hope readers will learn there are always ramifications when unhealthy behaviors and attitudes are involved. It creates baggage that will have to be hauled around for the rest of someone's life. 

eBook available for purchase @ Amazon & Amazon UK

When the Pursuit of a Dream Turns Sour

Those of us who’ve made the decision to pursue a career by expressing ourselves through the written word have done so because we’ve felt compelled to follow a passion. Regardless of what we’re inspired to write, we feel if we don’t honor that passion then we’ll always regret it. We’ve labored for weeks, months, and sometimes years to form stories that entertain readers as well as help them escape the boredom of their everyday lives. The sensible would-be writers don’t quit their day jobs. These are the smart ones who choose to pour out their souls here and there when time permits. They refuse to be labeled starving artists.

I’m not one of those individuals. I moved from stay-at-home mom status to stay-at-home thinking I was going to get more writing done without the burden of an “outside” job. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your perspective, my husband has been very supportive of my dreams despite the fact it’s damaged our finances. Yes, I was aware this could happen, but I thoroughly believed that eventually I’d be able to earn enough money through my stories to make it worth my while and appease my husband’s desire for me to add to the family income. After six years I’ve been proven wrong. I don’t want to elaborate too much on my misfortune, because I own it completely and blame no one but myself. I’m not writing this to garner anyone’s sympathy nor am I begging anyone to buy one of my books. I’m writing it to educate those individuals who might be contemplating going down a similar path. 

I tried to acquire a literary agent for several years so he or she would be the one to try and sell my work to one of the big six publishing companies. When that failed I decided a different approach was needed. At the time I was intimated by even the mere mention of creating an eBook by myself, so I turned to an indie publisher who was more than willing to help me distribute my literary masterpiece. Of course, this was at a substantial price. The publisher of my first book, Snow Escape, has made more of a profit on the book than I have, and did absolutely nothing to promote it. Hell, my murder mystery/thriller was published with a plethora of errors, because the copywriter didn’t, and probably still doesn’t, do editing.

Being a novice at the time, I didn’t realize this would be the case. Nevertheless, I educated myself and made sure to make the necessary corrections before the paperback was released six months later. I was assured the eBook version would be updated with the necessary corrections, but some who have reviewed it claim errors still exist. I embrace the fact it’s an imperfect piece of work, because I don’t have the money to hire a competent editor to read it and correct it. Even if I did, I’d have to give those corrections to the publisher who doesn’t have time to go back and change an eBook that has been on the market for almost three years. Even I understand it wouldn’t be worth it, considering the book hasn’t sold in months.

Once I figured out what a schmuck I’d been signing over 60% of potential profit, I decided it wasn’t going to happen again. For my second and third books, A Sojourn in Hell and Persevering through the Unforeseen: One Couple’s Experience Conquering Testicular Cancer, I turned to self-publishing. I re-wrote both, meticulously going over the manuscripts looking for errors. I taught myself how to find the errors hiding in the HTML when creating the eBooks, because I knew anything that wasn’t supposed to be in the HTML would completely destroy the formatting of my books. I created both covers via Photo Shop. I purchased a photo from an online stock photo company for my tragic romance/family saga, and I used my own photos for the cover of my memoir. I published A Sojourn in Hell in June 2013, followed by Persevering through the Unforeseen in October 2013 on Amazon and B & N. I ultimately removed both books from B & N due to no sales, opting instead to utilize what’s now known as kindleunlimited. 

Throughout my pursuit of finding success in the indie writing community, I’ve always made it a point to help those in similar circumstances to my own. The dreamers who’ve put in long hours, without pay, hoping readers buy their books and tell everyone they know how blown away they were by the latest book they’ve read. In turn, many fellow authors have supported me for which I’ve always been appreciative. I believe those who generously spread the word about others are under the assumption they can make a difference by promoting others’ work. Unfortunately, I’ve come to change my opinion back to the one I originally held many years ago before I ever had a book available for purchase. 

If authors don’t have support from people with power like: literary agents, huge publishing houses etc., and a shitload of luck, I don’t care how much money they spend on marketing, time doing author interviews, guests post on blogs, or internet radio shows, because it won’t result in selling a significant amount of books. Yes, they might get lucky and sell a few hundred, but at the end of the day all the sacrificing of time they could’ve spent with their kids, money they could’ve saved but chose to spend on their budding careers, and hours spent typing away at a keyboard won’t pay the bills. In fact, it will probably result in debt beyond anything they could’ve imagined, financial and emotional, and a decision to end a pursuit that hasn’t fulfilled them.