My Bully

Free Today on Amazon

This morning, while checking out the Kindle freebies, I found a book on bullying. It’s a subject that’s been in the media a great deal and one that is close to my heart. If you have kids, you’re probably dealing with the issue in some way. If not, you were once a kid and may have been bullied, or you might have been a bully.

In my novel, “Fake,” one of my protagonists, Rhian, deals with a bully in school, while her mother, Bridie, deals with the adult variety. Bullying does not end when we graduate high school. Bullies can be found everywhere and in any age group.

I still remember the name of my grade school bully, though other names have faded away. For privacy sake, I’ll call her Cheryl. She took an instant dislike to me for reasons I will never know. A big, loud, intimidating girl, she hounded me from second grade until fifth, turning other girls against me and driving me out of our Girl Scout troop.

I lost many friends due to her. At the end of the fifth grade, Cheryl caught me alone and, with a sneer on her face, announced, “You have no friends.”

I stood up tall, put my hands on my hips, and said in a loud, “Yes, I do. I have Deana and she’s my best friend.”

Cheryl looked stunned. She walked away without saying another word. To this day, I don’t know why this affected her so much. I can only speculate that perhaps, despite her gang of girls, she didn’t have a best friend.

In sixth grade, I became friends with a wonderful, boisterous girl who let it be known that bullying me was not allowed. I have no memories of Cheryl from middle school and few from high school, except for one poignant incident.

Cheryl was absent for a lot of high school. When she did show up, she often wore some kind of cast, either on her arm, her leg, or even a neck brace. I didn’t give it much thought beyond thinking she was accident prone. In my heart of hearts, I thought, “Karma.”

One day, while I was at my locker, she pulled up next to me on her bike, her arm in the ubiquitous cast, and said, “Hi, Lori! How are you?”

She seemed so friendly and eager to talk to me. I brushed her off with a cautious “Hello.” and a lame excuse that I had to get to class early. I can honestly say I wasn’t trying to be mean. I simply didn’t want to give her the opportunity to start in on me again.

Looking back, thinking of her absences and her injuries, it’s very likely Cheryl was a battered child. She was a target and her way of coping was to place the target on someone else and spew her hurt and wrath on them. I can sympathize with that. I have forgiven her, but despite her pain, her actions are not excusable.  Bullying is never justifiable.

I know that’s a lot of heavy stuff. After that, we all deserve a little comfort, so along with the book on bullying, I included a couple of freebie comfort food cookbooks to lighten the load.

  Help! I’m Being Bullied – 10 practical strategies to stop bullying by Dr. Emily Lovegrove
A fast-track approach to helping children who are experiencing bullying. Dr Emily Lovegrove, an expert on the psychology of bullying, has written this book to help both the children who are being bullied, and their parents. It is based on her research and work with many hundreds of young people and their families. Whilst there are books aimed at teachers on this topic, this is the first book on the subject written especially for the parents of bullied children. It features a new approach to bullies and bullying that has been enormously successful largely due to the fact that it was developed in collaboration with teenagers.

  Easy Coffee Cake Recipes by Jeen van der Meer
It is not like baking a loaf of bread, nor is it as complicated as making a regular cake. Coffee cakes combine effortlessly and bake up into a nice hot sweet treat in a matter very little time. You can go from scratch to eating a slice in less than an hour, and coffee cakes are best piping hot right out of the oven.

  Hot Soups for Winter Warmth by Carol Becker and Linda Wilson
Girl Talk Cookbooks combine stories from actual real-life experiences while growing up and learning to cook with great recipes. This edition focuses on Hot Soups for Winter Warmth. Take a few minutes and remember your own childhood memories along with Carol and Linda. Then create some new memories as you prepare the scrumptious soups. In each cookbook from the Girl Talk Cookbooks series the recipes will change as well as the stories.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Books that I have previously listed will occasionally come up free again. I add those to my current posts for people who didn’t see them the first time.

Teens and Teachers

Free Today on Amazon

As an adult writing from a teen perspective, I’ve encountered some challenges. I remember being a teen and certain memories can spark feelings of profound alienation, intense joy and a giddy sense that I will live forever and am not accountable for my high risk behavior. Until, of course, accountability bitch slapped me in the face and told me to grow up.

Even with those memories, it’s difficult to capture what it felt like when everything was new and you had to take it all in while trying to fit in at school, get good grades and deal with imperfect authority figures, and tap dancing hormones.

Reading young adult fiction can help, but nonfiction is essential as well. I can highly recommend “We Are Absolutely Not Okay,” a collection of biographical essays by 14 teens attending an alternative high school. These at-risk youth lay it all out there, letting the reader into their hearts and minds as they describe painful turning points in their lives. This book is not free, but at $2.99 for the Kindle edition it is more than worth the price.

The freebies below are both teen oriented. One is by a high school teacher who describes his experiences in the classroom. The other is a YA fiction sampler, which contains sample chapters from six different books.

Stories from a Teacher by Jonathan Flores
In 2008, Jonathan Flores surprised his students as one of the youngest, most energetic teachers they’d ever seen. After only four years, Mr. Flores turned in his resignation, and his students showed up to find out why. But instead of describing a single moment that made him quit, he told them his stories – each one, an insane memory from his teaching career. While he describes how he fell in love with the job, he also describes the harder realities that followed. As the world demands ‘superhero’ teachers, Flores shares experiences (from hilarious to heartbreaking) to reveal that teachers aren’t invincible. Each memory offers deeper insight into the teaching life, and the obstacles teachers face from day to day.

Product Details  New Teen Voices
A free eSampler from the hottest new voices in YA. Includes excerpts of Fury and The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer! Put down that textbook and pick up this free eSampler with excerpts from the hottest new voices in YA Lit! This collection features excerpts from: Fury by Elizabeth Miles; Witchlanders by Lena Coakley; The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin; Virtuosity by Jessica Martinez; Dark Inside by Jeyn Roberts; and Still Waters by Emma Carlson Berne.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Writing Guides – Free and Full Price

Writing Guides

I want to shout out a writing guide which I have found incredibly useful. “The Emotion Thesaurus” is a great resource for when you’re trying to best convey a character’s emotion.

For example, when I sit down to write, I open the “The Emotion Thesaurus” using the Kindle app on my computer. The TOC contains hyperlinks that take me directly to the emotion I’m looking for. As I write, I might come to a part where a character is nervous. I don’t want to tell the reader, “Rhian was nervous.” I want to show it. If I come up blank, I’ll go to the thesaurus, look at the suggestions for nervousness, and perhaps write something like, “Rhian gnawed her thumbnail.”

I paid full price, $4.99, for “The Emotion Thesaurus.” It is worth that and much more. This isn’t copy and paste text. Their suggestions are meant to lead to inspiration and to turn on that light bulb over your head.

Another guide I’d like to call out is one I picked up today for free. It’s a writing guide for teens, but looks like it would be great resource for beginning adult writers, and a good refresher for more experienced writers of any age. Check it out below.

  The Emotion Thesaurus: A Writer’s Guide to Character Expression by Becca Puglisi and Angela Ackerman (costs $4.99)
One of the biggest problem areas for writers is conveying a character’s emotions to the reader in a unique, compelling way. This book comes to the rescue by exploring seventy-five emotions and listing the possible body language cues, thoughts, and visceral responses for each. Written in an easy-to-navigate list format, readers can draw inspiration from character cues that range in intensity to match any emotional moment, including situations where a character is trying to hide their feelings from others. The Emotion Thesaurus also tackles common emotion-related writing problems and provides methods to overcome them.

Product Details  Writing Advice for Teens: Creating Stories by Mike Kalmbach (free today)
When all you have is a blank page, it’s often tough to begin writing. Writing Advice for Teens: Creating Stories aims to help you overcome that initial hurdle by making it easy for you to write down simple, focused ideas and craft them into stories. However, coming up with ideas is not enough. Teen writers need to understand basic story structure so they can avoid typical writing problems. Filled with plenty of tips, advice, and examples to help any teen writer, the first book in the Writing Advice for Teens series focuses on getting ideas down quickly and pounding out that first draft. After following the advice and using the techniques outlined in this book, you should understand how to bring the stories locked in your mind to the surface.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

This freebie is a limited time offer and there is no guarantee it will still be free when you click on the link. Grab it sooner rather than later.

Kindle Freebies – July 11, 2012

Today I Loaded My Kindle With…

Some fun travel books, including one for the 13 most haunted places in the U.S. It just so happens I’ll be staying in one of those places next month. The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, was the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s “The Shining.” It has been featured on the paranormal reality show, “Ghosthunters.” My friend and I will be going on a couple of the ghost tours. I’ll report back later.

The Stanley Hotel

Going to get my Shining on at the Stanley Hotel.

Other freebies include fantasy novels of varying genres, including steampunk, suspense and Arthurian, and four cookbooks by two authors. Last, but not least, a book of true stories by troubled teens who attend Scriber Lake High School in Seattle, Washington. This looks like a must-read for writers like me who have teen protagonists.


 Tiger Lily by K. Bird Lincoln
Lily isn’t supposed to hunt game in the Daimyo’s woods. She’s just the cook’s daughter. It isn’t her place to talk to nobility. And she definitely isn’t supposed to sing the forbidden old, Jindo religion songs. But Lily was born in the year of the Tiger, and can’t ever be like other village girls. In the woods snaring rabbits one day, she finds instead the Daimyo’s son, Ashikaga, wounded, in the gooseberry brush. When the Pretender Emperor’s men arrive to kill Ashikaga, Lily, desperate, sings a forbidden Jindo song.

 Eve of Destruction by C.E. Stalbaum
The reign of magic is broken. A technological revolution sweeps across the land, and the once invincible Magi caste has been usurped by factory owners and railroad tycoons. Industry spreads like wildfire across the country, and the source of magic recedes in its wake. Now, on the eve of a devastating war between the Magi and the Industrialists, the only hope for the future rests in a gifted but impetuous young sorceress and her motley band of unlikely allies. Together they must survive the battle raging around them long enough to unravel a twisted political conspiracy before all magic is extinguished forever.

 The Last Son of Camelot by M.J. Bryant
Jordan Shade was an ordinary teenager until the night of his 18th birthday — the night he found out he was the heir to an ancient power. Now with the fate of seven realms hanging in the balance, he must discover the truth about his destiny all the while fighting off an evil unlike anything he’s ever seen before; an evil that will stop at nothing to obtain that power.

Waking Lazarus by T. L. Hines
After he fell under the ice and died, eight-year-old Jude Allman came to life again. Worse, from his point of view, he died and was resurrected twice more in his life. It turned him into a celebrity but also a freak, and he leads a reclusive life, barely holding on to a janitor’s job. He is stalked by demons, but then a kind of clairvoyance stalks him, and he learns to divine evil before it has had its way, which leads to a sort of healing. Hines makes the most of his unusual tale, characterizing his hero realistically but with humor and holding on to his secrets to the end. (Review by John Mort. Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved)


 We Are Absolutely Not Okay by Students Scriber Lake High School
Imagine being asked to pull a gun on a stranger. Or having a gun shoved in your face by the man you call stepdad. Envision feeling so depressed you cut yourself repeatedly or down a bottle of pills to make the pain go away. Consider what it takes to tell your parents that you are transgender, or what it feels like to have the dad you love addicted to meth. We Are Absolutely Not Okay is a collection of true stories written by fourteen teenagers who have experienced life at its darkest but have made it through and are now picking up the pieces. By writing and sharing their stories, they are coping with their past and seizing their future. They are also reaching out to other teenagers—to let them know that they are not alone and that even if their life now is Absolutely Not Okay, they have the power within themselves to make it better.

Recipe Books

 How To Make Iced Coffee by Jeen van der Meer
Iced Coffee recipes aren’t just delicious, they’re REALLY EASY to make, as well. How To Make Iced Coffee will tell you how to make the best iced coffee you have ever had. And they are all so easy to make, these mouth-watering cold drinks. We have collected 20 of the most popular and best recipes. There is something for every taste and preference. Impress your guests and family with a delicious iced coffee drink.

 Cool Coffee Creamer Secrets by Jeen van der Meer
If you love coffee and have an appreciation for exquisite tastes and luxuries, you are going to love the recipes contained in Cool Coffee Creamer Recipes. If you appreciate the zest and flavor of coffee – whether it is cold or hot – have an appreciation for unique blends and flavors and want to wake up to something different each morning, Cool Coffee Creamer Recipes is for you!

 Grandma’s Best Casseroles by Marg Ruttan
One of the easiest meals to make is a one-dish casserole that you can serve with garlic toast, a quick salad or some other accompaniment that is quick and easy to make. This cookbook is full of those types of recipes. You’ll find recipes that use up your leftover turkey and ones for ground beef, chicken, pork and seafood. All have easy to find ingredients and can be made and left to cook while you’re doing other things.

 Grandma’s Best Chocolate Recipes by Marg Ruttan
These recipes come from three generations of cooks and have been chosen for their flavor and the fact that they are easy and quick to make. You’ll love the recipe for Mom’s Fabulous Fudge and the decadent Death By Chocolate Dessert. It will be hard to pick which recipe you want to make first, but you can and will come back to this cookbook time and again for all your favorite chocolate recipes.


Destination Frightville: 13 U.S. Haunts to Visit If You Dare Destination Frightville by Harrison Clancy
Looking for interesting places to go on your next vacation? Destination Frightville: 13 U.S. Haunts to Visit If You Dare, explores thirteen of the most haunted places in the United States that you can visit and tour. Seven of the thirteen you can even spend the night! This book describes the location and background stories as well as what type of haunting is occurring currently. Included is tour information and video links that will help you decide which destination to visit first!

Product Details101 Free Things To Do In Disney & Orlando by Daniel Davidson
On my last trip to Disney, I was determined to find some free ways the whole family could have some fun without me hearing that giant sucking sound in my wallet. Not only was I able to find free activities, attractions, souvenirs, and entertainment, but we actually stayed under budget. At Disney! Can you believe it? I even figured out ways to get free entrance to the parks and upgrade tickets.

 The Philippines: 100 Travel Tips by Jessie Voigts and Rissa Gatdula-Lumontad
This insider’s guide covers when to visit, what you need to enter, how to get there, what you can and should bring, cultural reminders, language, what to wear, getting around, accommodations, dining, health and safety, family travel, shopping, must-see attractions, top sports activities, locals favorites and recommendations, and more. The book is filled with beautiful photos by Filipino photographers – showcasing the magic and wonder of these islands in Paradise.

Descriptions provided by Amazon

Disclaimers and Disclosures

I found these books via Amazon’s Kindle eBooks store. Resources for free Kindle and other format eBooks are listed in my sidebar.

These freebies are limited time offers, so there is no guarantee any of these books will still be free when you click on the links. Grab them sooner rather than later.

Books that I have previously listed will occasionally come up free again. I add those to my current list for people who didn’t see them the first time.