Mandy White Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

Congrats to Mandy White, the readers’ choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge.

The winning entry is recognized with a special feature here today and a place in our collection of winners which will be published as an e-book at year end.

Without further ado, here’s the winning story:

Continue reading “Mandy White Wins Flash Fiction Challenge”

Book Brief – The Forgotten Mourners: Sibling Survivors of Suicide

Forgotten MournersThe Forgotten Mourners: Sibling Survivors of Suicide
by Magdaline DeSousa (pen name John’s Sister)
Genre: Self-Help; Death and Grief
Word count: 30,255

This book is meant for anyone who has lost a brother or sister to suicide – the forgotten mourners – and those who want to provide them support. Any loss is difficult, but a loss to suicide is heightened because of the helplessness and confusion surrounding it.

A sibling loss to suicide is even more unique because the sibling(s) left behind are often forgotten – mourning the loss of their brother or sister alone in the shadows of their parents’ grief. This book discusses some of the challenges sibling survivors of suicide will face, both individually and as a family unit, including:

  • What can I expect during the grieving process as a sibling survivor of suicide?
  • How can I set boundaries to take care of myself?
  • Will my relationship with my parents change?
  • How do I answer questions about my now-departed sibling?
  • Who am I without my sibling?
  • What can I do to get through the holidays and anniversaries?
  • How do I keep my brother or sister alive in my life, without him or her physically present?

These questions and more are answered directly from the author’s experiences following the loss of her eighteen year-old brother to suicide in November 2001. Hopefully, her experiences will give sibling survivors of suicide strength, hope, and peace in navigating the long road to healing ahead.

This book is available from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Continue reading “Book Brief – The Forgotten Mourners: Sibling Survivors of Suicide”

Reviewing 101 – Part 2

BookglassesIn Part 1 of this series we started with a tutorial on how to enter a customer review on Amazon. That’s the easy part; now it is time for the hard part, actually writing that review. One of the reasons the first part is easy is it has simple steps that are straight-forward to define with no alternatives or choices to be made. There is only one right way. Writing the review is hard because none of those things are true of that task. There is no one right way. There are no clearly defined steps. And just like the contents of the review, which is largely personal, how you go about writing it probably will be too.

There is a good chance this post will be as full of opinion as a review, but I’ll at least try to explain my reasoning. While I’ll primarily be focused on writing a review of a book to post on Amazon, most of the ideas I’ll throw out would, with a little tweaking, be applicable to writing a review of anything to post anywhere. (I spent several years reviewing music for a magazine and a few websites before I started my book review blog and found more similarities than differences between the two.)

A good place to start is establishing what the purpose of a review is. It’s simple and maybe shouldn’t even need to be stated. Yet, this purpose is easy to forget. Many people who haven’t bothered to consider this write reviews with no value, get upset with reviews that are written, or create conflict in the process some other way. It’s so important I’m going to emphasize it. Continue reading “Reviewing 101 – Part 2”