Networking Skills

We live in an interconnected world with the internet. People can send a message and get an instant connection. Because of this, it seems that traditional networking has gone by the wayside. However, nothing could be further from the truth.

Social media is a great avenue for people to exchange ideas and meet new contacts. But, it never will have the same power as a face-to-face meetup with someone. Communication is at its strongest when two people can see each other. People learn more about others in a few seconds of in-person contact than they ever could with a strictly online one.

Another point to remember is that online people may not be who they say they are. Think about how easy it is to create an online persona. People are capable of being anyone they want online. That means the connections you make could be phony, which won’t help you when asking people to help you.  Networking is about engaging with others and a certain give-and-take involved in the exchange.

Online connections do have their place. They can be a great starting point in the networking hierarchy of events. They can be a great way to hook up with people who you would never have using traditional means. However, as specified, you need to take the exchange further and try to arrange an in-person meeting. The contact gives people confirmation that the people you connected with are real. It’s the reason why people often use the phrase, “it’s nice to put a face with the name.”

If you don’t believe that in-person meetups are important, ask yourself how many online-only connections have become your friends. It’s likely to be a small number and even more likely to be none. While you won’t become friends with everyone you meet face-to-face, the number will most likely be larger than online-only connections.

It’s not practical to meet face-to-face with every person you connect with online. Some people live far from you. However, people should not treat the internet as the only way to connect with others. A great way to use the internet for networking is to use websites like Meetup.com. You can find people that have similar interests to your own and attend meetings. You can even create meetups yourself if a group doesn’t currently exist on the website.

There is no magic formula for networking, although some techniques may work better than others. Using face-to-face connections is one technique that should yield better results than a purely cyber strategy.

November 2021 Featured Author Jameson Ketchum

Name Dropping purchase link: https://amzn.to/3kFjYQP

Author Interview

  1. What is the first book that made you cry?

It had to have been Where the Red Fern Grows. It was the first “big kid” book I read when I was little and I remember realizing how much more impactful the book was than the movie because I had created my own movie in my mind haha!

  1. What is your writing Kryptonite?

Definitely YouTube. Even when I’m trying to use it to clarify an idea I’m writing or some fact, you end up falling down a rabbit hole of stuff like “When Celebrities Fight Fans” or something silly.

  1. Who is one author are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

An author I really enjoy is Nadine Vanders (@nadia_vanders). She has taught me a lot about building friendships and networking with other authors as well as fun ways to connect with your readers.

  1. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Write every day! I don’t care if it’s good or not, just the act of writing every single day is so important and something I still need to remind myself of daily.

  1. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

I think the editing process will be what changes my outlook the most moving forward when I go to write any other books. If I can cut down on overused words and mistakes in general, hopefully that part of the process will go a lot smoother and a lot quicker.

  1. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? If you have not made any money, dream about it?

That’s a good question. It would certainly be making sure I have a comfortable and fun space to write. I have a home office but it can feel cluttered and uninspiring so make sure you have a space that is all yours and reflects how you want to feel when you write. Make sure you have plenty of room and surround yourself with things that make you happy. Mine is a simple desk set up with a record player and a comfy chair. I’m surrounded by my favorite books, photos and records.

  1. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

Definitely a fox. I have always loved them and they’ve always felt somehow like an inspiration. I can’t explain why, but they remind me of creativity and writing specifically.

  1. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have several half outlines and pages of ideas or notes. Right now I’m working on a comedy and trying to stick to writing something every day of November. I’m only about 40 some pages deep but it’s a story I really want to tell and one that I haven’t really worked on in almost a year. I’m glad to be playing in this world again!

  1. Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?

Oh definitely the book Go Now by Richard Hell. Not only does he write in voice I envied and could never explain fully before I read the book, but he can get so silly, making indirect jokes to the reader then saying “just kidding” and moves on without addressing this weird thing he just did. I recommend checking it out!

  1. How do you select the names of your characters?

For fiction I’ve realized that I start off by naming them people I know, but that can get tricky because often my brain will box them into traits that those real life people have. To keep track however I’ll often keep those real life names or name them something just slightly off, like Ray for Ryan, that kind of thing. In the end I’ll brainstorm something completely unrelated and use those.

  1. What is your favorite childhood book?

Either Where The Red Fern Grows or The Outsiders. I think The Outsiders really kicked off my love for that time period and it felt like reading something more adult than I had before. There are so many great YA books I’m probably missing here!

 Bio: 

Jameson Ketchum is a writer, podcaster, and publicist. He currently hosts The Godspeed Podcast where he continues to interview musicians, authors, actors, and comics. Namedropping: Seeking Creative Truth Through Trendy Altruism and Punk Rock is his second book. 

Summary:

Detailing Ketchum’s time touring with Christian heavy metal bands and trendy non-profits, Namedropping: Seeking Creative Truth Through Trendy Altruism and Punk Rock is a fly on the wall perspective of trends in “hip” Christian culture told through the eyes of a self-doubting rock journalist begging to belong. Witnessing healings, demonic possession, and the ever-present rock star ego, Ketchum’s stories are hilarious and heartfelt. One minute he’s sleeping under vans in Wal-Mart parking lots and the next he’s staring A-list creatives in the face, likely asking how he can work for them one day (or in the case of world-renowned rappers, fumbling over the simplest of questions).This book shows Ketchum exploring artistic doubts while pursuing truth in all aspects of his professional life. Name Dropping is one part memoir and one part self-help. It’s Saved! meets Almost Famous sprinkled with a healthy dose of The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Name Dropping purchase link: https://amzn.to/3kFjYQP

RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS

This report includes powerful tips related to Random Acts Of Kindness.

It also includes 3 actionable steps you can take right away and a list of suggested reading for those people who are looking for even more information.

TOP TIPS

Kindness isn’t trendy. It isn’t a hot button topic. It doesn’t get as much press as happiness, passion, or determination. We think about it, but it’s not something we strive to acquire. That is a pity because kindness doesn’t just help the people around us; it helps us too. It is the proverbial no-brainer.

If you are interested in simple ways to invite kindness in your life, consider these nine random acts of kindness.

Give Someone A Genuine Compliment

This is a great habit to get into in general. Simply hand out more genuine compliments. This will boost your mood and might make someone else’s day. It might feel awkward, to begin with, but it will become second nature eventually.

Buy the Person Behind You a Coffee

If you have the means, next time you are in the Drive-Thru, pay for the people behind you as well. This random act has a way of being passed on, or at the very least, talked about and shared.

Tell A Boss About a Good Employee

We live in a society where people seem all too willing to scream at retail workers. Instead of complaining about a bad job, why don’t we mention good service more?  Please make an effort to let a manager know when one of their staff does a great job.

Find a Charity You Believe In

If you have the means to make a charitable donation, your money will go a long way for someone less fortunate. The best way to connect with a charity is to do your research and find something that truly speaks to you.

Volunteer Somewhere

If you don’t have extra money, do you have an extra hour? Volunteering your time can be just as effective as a charitable donation. Not only are you helping people in need, but you are also getting social interaction. You might even learn something new or meet someone interesting.

Help Someone Who Needs It

Is there someone in your life who needs a little help? Go ahead and offer them a hand. Reach out with a call or a text and ask if they need anything. Sometimes, that gesture alone makes a world of difference to somebody.

Offer to Help People Who Seem Lost

You ever see people while you are out who seem lost? Maybe they are looking at a map or their phone, pointing in different directions. Ask them if they need help finding something. Often people will be too shy to ask for help on their own.

Offer Workers a Drink

If you have some people working in your neighborhood, or even working at your place, offer them a drink. This is especially important on really hot days. You could play the hero with a well-timed delivery of ice-cold water.

Leave Positive Comments on Social Media

Social media can be a real cesspool. Everyone is trying to get a quick laugh by taking someone down. Other people post negative reviews of everything, Take a week, and only leave positive social media comments. See how you feel after that week. I bet you keep doing it!

ACTIONABLE STEPS

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  Leave a Loved One a Note – Whether your child, partner, or someone else, leave a little note of appreciation somewhere for them to find. A lunchbox is a great choice, but so is a random pocket in their clothes.  Check-In with a Loved One – Reach out to someone you haven’t checked in within a while. If you are missing them, they are likely missing you. You might really make their day.  Help Someone Without Them Asking – Do something for someone you care about without being asked. Maybe take on a sibling’s chores or check something off your partner’s to-do list. It doesn’t have to be big to be appreciated.

FURTHER READING

  1. The Hidden Power of Kindness
  • Deep Kindness
  • The War for Kindness
  • Channel Kindness: Stories of Kindness and Community
  • The Power of Kindness

5 Barriers to Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is essential to using your overall experience, background, common sense and other attributes to become more aware of how your efforts for success are being spent. When you have barriers to the critical thinking process, it can seriously harm your ability to move forward.

When you’re aware of these barriers, you can better overcome them and focus your thinking on what’s going to move you forward rather than getting stuck behind a barrier – unable to move forward.

Here are five barriers that can impede the critical thinking process:

  1. Thinking in Black or White – Some people ignore a situation’s complexities by thinking that there’s only one way to solve a problem. The problem is placed in a category, given a label and that’s the only way that matters. Thinking in black and white comes from our need to have certainty in our lives, but it’s false logic to assume that everything is totally one way.
  2. Thinking with the Ego – Egocentrical thinking is thinking with a lack of understanding others wants and needs. It limits your thinking to only your point of view and doesn’t have room for others’ ideas. This thinking process is deeply embedded in our psyches, and it sometimes takes deliberate effort to overcome it.
  3. Social Thinking – The drone mentality of social thinking only lets us see things in the way of the popular point of view – or the way that our spouse, companions, parents and friends think. Thinking outside the box is almost impossible when you have a barrier of social thinking and it can greatly impede the critical thinking process.
  4. Authoritative Thinking – Just because someone in authority says it’s true doesn’t mean it is. You’ve likely been swayed at one time or another by political leaders who say one thing is true only to find out later that it was a lie or a misleading way of thinking. The authority could be a person, peer group, institution or anything that makes you think that they’re right because they’re in an authoritative position.
  5. Judgmental Thinking – When you judge something or someone based on moral evaluation it’s usually done in haste and based on our past in some way – such as the way we were raised, educated or other values and mores. Judgmental thinking is usually non-rational thinking and can block understanding and insight about a person or an issue.

It’s important that we recognize our own barriers to the critical thinking process and replace those barriers with rational and reasoned thinking and then make a concentrated effort to avoid them.

Grey Dawn of Dharaven- Katz Island Update

I can’t believe I am 15 or so days away from the release of my book, Grey Dawn of Dharaven: Katz Island. I am excited about this release and can’t wait to hold my first book in my hands. It will be sold on Amazon. I do not have links yet or a cover, waiting on my publisher for those things.

Book Description:

A fantasy adventure book about an archeology expedition that heads off into uncharted areas on Katz Island on the planet Dharaven. Earth Dragon Clan born archaeologist Grey Dawn Fields leads to a team of explorers and archaeologists into the wilds of Katz Island looking for a human underground settlement. She’s seen it on an ancient map found in an antiquarian store. That’s when the problems start, and they’re not only coming from the island. When they arrive on Katz Island the expedition is forced to wonder why they are even there when they find little in the first valley the team ground searches. The second valley is more promising as it shows signs of old habitation in its cliff caverns. It’s still not what Grey is looking for.

When an Earth Dragon attacks the second camp looking for food, then dies leaving a baby Earth dragon behind; Grey realizes she has trouble on her hands. Between training a baby Earth Dragon and her archaeology expedition duties Grey is required to stretch her problem solving capabilities and is forced to rely on her friends, colleagues and even her Earth Dragon Clan for help.

Is there an ancient human underground settlement on Katz Island or is Grey on a crazy quest to find something that does not exist? Grey’s archaeology career rests on her ability to solve every problem that stands in her way of success.  Readers of fantasy adventure books will be captivated by this book.

October 14th or 21st are tentative dates I have been given for it to be published! I will be sure to let you all know!

How to End a Blog Post and Leave Readers Hungry for More

Students are taught there are parts to an essay. There is the introduction, the three main paragraphs and then the conclusion. Blog posts also have parts to increase the readability rates and to help readers find the post. Certain things in a blog post can help search engines find it to make a post popular or even go viral. One important part of a blog post is the conclusion. Why write a conclusion to a blog post? This is the last chance to get the reader to stay to see more of what is available on a blog or for them to learn about a product.  It’s the last hurrah on the topic. Writers want to leave their readers hungry for more; more information, more articles from them, and more ways to help them with everyday problems. Readers are often looking for more, too.

When writing a conclusion keep the goal of the post in mind.

Consider the goal of the post. Why was it written?  Write few sentences or highlight the main points in the post. This is a good starting point toward writing a great conclusion.

There are several ways to conclude a blog post.

Fifteen Ways to Leave Readers Hungry for More

  1. List your key takeaways. What are the key points in the post that the reader is to remember? Highlighting the key points throughout the post, then writing them at the end in the conclusion reminds the reader of the important points.
  2. A Call to Action. Tell the reader what they can do with the information given in the post.  The call to action for this post might be: “In a blog post consider writing a great conclusion using one or more of these ideas.”
  3. Ask the reader to share the post. Something a simple as “If you learned something from this post, would you please share it with someone else?”
  4. Give immediate actions that can solve the problem. What is one or more actions the reader can take today to solve the problem brought up in this post? What are steps to be taken now?
  5. Write a tagline for the reader to remember. Taglines tend to stay in a reader’s mind if it is kept simple and memorable.  McDonalds “I’m Loving It” is a key tagline to their commercial.  If the business has a tagline for the product being sold, consider using it in the end of the article.  If you make up one, keep it short and sweet. “End your blog post with a bang not a whimper.”
  6. Tell the opposing viewpoint. If there is an opposing viewpoint bring it up. Make the reader aware that it was considered, but that it is not a major point. “Why not just stop writing and call an end to the post?” might be an opposing viewpoint to this article.
  7. Place links to more content or more information. Put a link to more information on the topic or to another blog post on your blog that addresses a similar issue. Help your reader to find more information on the subject. 
  8. Ask a question. Ask the reader if they agree or disagree with the post. Did they have another way to do it? Ask a “what would happen” question. “What would our world be like if everyone planted a tree next week?”  “What would happen if we chose to pay it forward every week?” “How do you end a blog post?”
  9. A cliffhanger ending that leads the reader to another blog post or to a sneak peek at what is coming next to your product or blog. “Go see https://katherineesoto-author.com for more interesting articles on writing.
  1. Offer the product or next offer in the funnel. Always use a blog post to sell or upsell a product. “To learn how to write better get one of the writing bundles off Ultimate Bundles.”
  1. Write a summary. Try not to rewrite the post.  A summary of the main points reminds the reader of what they have read. “Say what you are writing about, explain it, then remind the reader about what was said.”
  2. Start a discussion. Ask a question that will start a discussion in the comments below about the post topic. Be careful in your wording. Readers can have volatile opinions on subjects. Only do this if a discussion of the topic will be worthwhile for the readers.
  3. End on an inspirational note with a quote or idea. End with a quote that has something to do with the topic. “Great blog posts take time and effort to write.” (K. Soto 2020)
  1. Include more than one of these ideas in the conclusion. Some of these ideas go well together and can be used in the conclusion of a blog post. Combining them will make for a stronger conclusion.
  2. Sometimes there is no conclusion at all. This is for when everything has been said and there is nothing to add to make the blog post better.

After careful consideration of goals and choosing how the blog post should end, write the conclusion. Write down several ideas or thoughts.  Keep in mind this is the last chance to reach the reader or sell a product.

Notes to write a conclusion for this article.

Key Takeaways: Writing a conclusion to the end of a blog article is putting the last stamp on it.  It is often the stamp of belief in stated ideas.

Call to Action: In your next post of a blog article consider using one or more of the ideas from Fifteen Ways to Leave Readers Hungry for More.

 Cliffhanger or a link: “Go see https://katherineesoto-author.com for more interesting articles on writing.

Offer product or upsell: “To learn how to write better, consider getting one of the writing bundles on Ultimate Bundles.”

Quote: “Great blog posts take time and effort to write.” (K. Soto 2020).

Tagline: “End your blog post with a bang not a whimper.”

Conclusion:

Writing a conclusion to a blog post is putting the last stamp on it.  It is the stamp of belief in the written ideas. It should make the reader hungry for more. When writing the next blog post consider using one or more of the ideas from the list of Fifteen Ways to Leave Readers Hungry for More.  Also go to https://katherineesoto-author.com for more interesting articles on writing. To learn how to write better, consider getting one of the writing bundles from Ultimate Bundles. “Great blog posts take time and effort to write” (K. Soto 2020). Remember to end a blog post with a bang not a whimper.

Featured Author of the Month- September 2021 Peter D’Hollander

Available on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09FFZRKY9

Author Interview

  1. What is the first book that made you cry?
    The EarthSea trilogy of Ursula LeGuin. I generally dislike books with magic, but this one always made me dream of a world where magic didn’t always solve everything – but cause its fair share of issues as well.
    Maybe this is one of the reasons why I added a magic system in my book. It doesn’t solve everything, but it’s another tool in the box to use.
  2. What is your writing Kryptonite?
    I write too fast. Once a teacher told me that I could write the most beautiful text if only I wrote slower. Thoughts things through. Chose the correct words. I once wrote a non-fiction book (about a software package I had never used before – Adobe Premiere Pro) in 10 days flat. I was lucky enough to have the software itself (of course) and the internet could always help me out – but that was… Murdering. I was dead tired after those 10 days.
    The sad thing is that I write  (and don’t think things true) as fast when I create fiction books. I learned that the hard way to slow that down. And edit. So, nowadays, I edit and edit and edit and… I edit once more. Maybe that’s where my new Kryptonite sits. I can’t let a story go before I find it perfect and flawless. Except – and you all know the drill – no story is exactly as what you saw in your mind. I need to let go of things and take a distance. In the last editing round of my book, for example, I still wanted to make large changes. I had to stop myself from doing that.
  3. Who is one author are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
    I couldn’t name one author. I guess it’s the Rhetoric Askew Publishing family. I’ve met some awesome authors, there. If there is anything I learned from them, then it’s to write with passion and to keep on writing. We can do it. You can do it.
    No matter which dream your pursue, the one thing that is important is not to let others keep you from that. If they say chances are small you ever get published (more so in a language that isn’t your own) then they are probably correct – statistics wise. It just doesn’t say a single thing about what you can achieve. Remember that when you’re out there, fighting for your dream.
    Just remember that everyone can fall. It’s quite a different story for those that rise and fall again. That takes courage. And perseverance.
  1. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
    Keep writing fiction. I have never stopped writing (I have 45 non-fiction books published in Belgium and the Netherlands), but I stopped writing fiction for almost twenty years because I was too busy writing non-fiction. And while that’s a far easier entrance into the publishing world, it’s different, too. As one of my students once asked me when I told my class I wrote a book on the subject of what we were studying at the time: “And when does your real book get published?”
  2. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
    My debut fiction novel is my book 46. So, it really didn’t change my writing process. I knew I had something publishable, I just had to find a way to get it published and Rhetoric Askew Publishing gave me that chance. They saw a possibility and shaped a very rough diamond into what it is today. I learned to spot some of the flaws I didn’t see earlier (I hope, though I also know that most writers – if not all – keep repeating their first mistakes over and over again). Actually, if anything, you write and rewrite and do that again. At least ten times over. Maybe that’s the biggest difference between fiction and non-fiction: the rewrite. You don’t always rewrite stuff when you write non-fiction. If anything (and I’m in a position to compare), non-fiction is a much easier world to break into. Really.
  3. What was the best money you ever spent as a writer? If you have not made any money, dream about it?
    Buying more books. I have a collection of comic books (Belgium is well known for its comic books: think Tintin, the Smurfs, etc…). I have around 3.500 of them and part of the money I made as a non-fiction author, went into that. But with my fiction book, I want to do things differently, though I secretly have some dreams, of course. Like buying a Chevrolet Corvette (my dream car). Not that it ever happens, but a man got to dream, I guess.
  4. As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?
    A Dragon, for sure. I’m born in 1964 – the year of the dragon. It’s the only mythical beast in the Chinese zodiac and I can’t help but often feel out of place. I’m an introvert, probably high sensitive, too, who looks at the world in a slightly different way. I’m not normal in that sense (have been told that once in a while as well).
  5. How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?
    I’m presently working on part two of Children of Little Might (Children of Little Fight), have another book that’s sitting on my shelf (but needs a rewrite) and have at least three or four more fantasy novels (barely started or never finished) and the same with at least as many Science-fiction books.
  6. Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
    The first book I ever read (we talk about it later) pulled me right into a world I was eager to reside in. I guess that was what mattered to me: creating a believable world with characters (however flawed) you could love living adventures you would otherwise run away from. I never thought I would write them myself that many years later, but back then I looked at awe at the way the author sculpted and painted her (historic) world with nothing else but words. I wasn’t yet thinking of doing it myself (that came on the age of 13, but that’s a story on its own), but it drew me right in. My teacher read the first chapter out loud in class and at the end of that chapter he said: if you want to know the rest, you have to read it on your own. And I did. I kept on reading, too, after that book.
  7. How do you select the names of your characters?
    Names generally come to me (first names, that is, I don’t always mind so much about last names) when I make up the character. In Children of Little Might I picked names with a specific meaning (because Monty knows what they mean). So, I went hunting online in several baby name sites that not only give you the names, but explain where they come from, too. I start with what I’m looking for generally and then try to land there as close to as possible.
  8. What is your favorite childhood book?
    The first book I ever read. It’s a Dutch book, but it’s translated: Crusade in Jeans by Thea Beckman. It’s about a boy who travels through time and arrives at the Children’s crusade (a historic thing, apparently – it did happen and was meant to sell a whole bunch of kids off into slavery).

Authors’s Bio

Born on the third rock of the Sol solar system, called Earth, Peter D’Hollander is a Tech Writer by day, a blogger (in a foreign language) by night and a Young Adult Fantasy writer all moments in between. For as long as he remembers, he creates worlds he one day hopes to live in. Not because they are so perfect – they are probably as flawed as ours and equally marred with little imperfections and twists, but because they accept the craziness that inhabits the author. Not that they have another choice. Nevertheless, he inhabits his worlds with characters you hopefully fall in love with and sends them on the adventures he enjoys to read himself.

He started to write at the age of 13 because he couldn’t do sports for three months. And what else do you do when you sit in a study all alone while your colleagues have fun outside? You sit and you write. Stories set in the Star Wars and EarthSea universes. Still, some claim he wrote his first story when he was told to write his first essay at the age of six. He wrote: The chicken leaks. He never won any rewards for that and people didn’t even understand it, until he explained them and he told a story of a chicken that got shot. Hence, she leaked.

He quickly learned non-fiction was the fastest route to publication, so he wrote books on IT subjects, such as games, spam, Office and several other tools available at the time. In between 1998 and 2007 he wrote 45 IT-related books in a foreign language, of which one even got translated into Italian. But his real love was fiction – science fiction and fantasy.

When he first met people on the spectrum – long before he even knew how it was called – he wrote his first story on the subject. But it was not until he met a boy and a girl – a brother and sister – that he delved deeper into what autism was and how it affected people. While the boy accepted he was on the spectrum and felt it finally explained why he did the things he did, the girl didn’t want to accept it. One day she flat out said it would never make her happy; more so since people called her handicapped. And she wasn’t.

During his youth the author struggled with his own image of weirdness. Finally accepting that, he wanted to create a story for those children in which autism played a large part. He didn’t want to focus on the issues – everyone else does that already – but he wanted a positive story; in which they learned that autism has its limitations, but also offers possibilities.

Today the author lives and writes in a little town at the other side of the pond together with his wife, his three kids and a cat with a troublesome character. Born a few years before the Landing on the Moon, his biggest flaw is that you find more secrets hidden in his stories than you truly want to know about (including the name of the city he lives in).

Like dragons, he has a vivid imagination – so vivid that he more than once heard he had too much of it. He never buckled and that resulted in Children of Little Might, a book about a boy with autism who discovers that with a few friends who believe in you, you can do anything. He learns he doesn’t have to change to make friends because friendship has nothing to do with change, but everything to do with accepting the other for who he is.

Book cover: Available on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09FFZRKY9

Five years ago, Montague ‘Monty Hill’ Glupie, a sixteen-year-old boy with autism and a penchant for languages, found a book that promised to grant his every wish once he translates it. He has two: return his father and get rid of his autism.

Today he planned to translate the last sentence, but instead Monty ended up in his high-school principal’s office after he broke a bully’s arm. With punishment just around the corner and no other way out, Monty escapes from his high-principal’s he sees no other exit, he escapes from his office and heads to his family’s ranch house to translate the last sentence.

Finally ready for his wishes, Monty hesitates. What if it isn’t real? What if his high-school principal plays yet another game? He settles for an impossible wish; for the princess of the book he translated. He calls her his Paper Girl and he wants her to fall in love with him.If she appears, wishes get granted. If she likes him, magic exists and if she falls in love with him, miracles happen.

Yet, no one comes. Disappointed and lost, Monty goes home and returns to school the next day to face another horrible day. It goes from bad to worse until a new girl arrives; Aislinn. Is this his Paper Girl? And what does she see in a boy who has but one friend? It’s the start of an adventure that takes him to a kingdom in another world where he lands himself in hot water when he fights his own high-school principal. He can win, and maybe find first love, but will he accept that his autism might be his ‘superpower’?

Blurb

What happens when a boy with autism finds a book that promises his every wish once he translates it? It lands him in hot water as he tries to defend his Paper Girl’s kingdom. Will Monty believe his autism might well turn out to be his ‘superpower’?

Available on Amazon at: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09FFZRKY9

Katherine E. Soto’s Book Review

Children of the Little Might by Peter D’Hollander

Monty is an unusual character; He is a teen age boy who has been told he has autism.  He wants to be normal. To top off all his own problems, Monty wants his dad to not be dead.  He decides to wish for things to be different.  He wants to be normal, he wants his friend who is in a wheelchair to be able to walk, he wants his Dad to be alive, but instead, when given the chance to make a wish, he wishes up his Paper Girl.

This book is written from Monty’s point of view.  Monty has a different way of seeing the world because he is part of the broad spectrum diagnosed Autism world.  The author does an excellent job of staying within Monty’s viewpoint throughout the book.  It provides a fascinating look at another person’s viewpoint of the world and their wish to escape what is happening to them. I recommend this book to anyone who wants a good YA adventure to read.

A New Book to Read

Glen Dahlgren has a new book coming out at the end of August 2021: The Game of War.

Book Blurb

Never meet your heroes—especially if they’re dead.

Years before the Child of Chaos makes their fateful choice, young Dantess faces his own reckoning.

Dantess wants to follow in the footsteps of his dead grandfather—a legendary priest of War—but his father forbids it. In fact, his father’s hatred of War lands him in a cell within the god’s temple.

The only way to free him is from the inside, so Dantess must choose: let his father die or defy his upbringing, become a priest, and win his father’s freedom in the temple’s deadly Game of War.

Torn between the legacies of his father and grandfather, Dantess finds that both paths hide secrets that threaten to destroy everything he cares about, including his sanity.

Dantess must decide who he wants to be—but if he’s wrong, everyone will pay the price.

The Game of War is a standalone, full-size prequel novel to the Chronicles of Chaos.

“Game of War, like its predecessor, Child of Chaos, is riveting and compelling. Introducing new, fascinating characters, adventures and relationships, Glen Dahlgren weaves another magical book that is a must-read for any fan of fantasy literature.” —Barbara Blackburn, Knights of the Dinner Table

My Review

The Game of War by Glen Dahlgren

Review by Katherine E. Soto

Once again this author has written an adventure that keeps the reader’s interest in turning those pages until the end of the book wanting to see what happens next.  Dantess, the main character, is swept into the Temple of War trying to do what is right. Somehow it all ends up wrong as he faces obstacles within his path of trying to save what he holds to be most valuable.

Based in the world from Child of Chaos this book takes you into the prehistory of Dantess the Great War God warrior and his beginnings in the War Temple. The reader learns more about the world in which these characters live and what the Temple of War is truly like on the inside. 

Of course, a few friends are at Dantess’ side as he ventures forth. Warren and Jyn, two kids who go with Dantess to the Temple of war, Jyn’s Mother and even Dantess’ father manage to get involved in the chaotic adventures played out. As always, the enemies Dantess makes are not very nice as they create several more problems for him to solve and make attempts on his life for various nefarious reasons.

This book is a standalone with its own characters based in the world from Child of Chaos. It is a prequel book to Dahlgren’s previous book. There are many twists and turns the author can take to bring more of this world and his writings to his readers. I sincerely hope he does.

Want to Reduce Stress? Get Some Sleep

If you don’t get the right amount of sleep, your mind cannot be at its best. You won’t function properly and may make some serious mistakes. Unfortunately, stress can cause people to stay awake at night. However, getting the right amount of sleep can help eventually reduce your stress levels.

To get better sleep, start exercising on a regular basis. While exercise may give you energy throughout the day, when you go to bed at night, it will help you to sleep better. You will have a quality sleep as well. Some people find that exercising in the evening causes them to be wired, and they can’t get to sleep. If you fall into this camp of people, consider doing your exercising in the morning. This way, you’ll use that energy burst throughout the day and will give you time to become tired.

Avoid Alcohol

Try to avoid using alcohol in excess. Although this seems counterintuitive as alcohol makes you sleepy, it causes you to fall into a deep sleep. You then wake up in the middle of the night and have a difficult time getting back to sleep. Without the alcohol, your sleep will be more even and allow you to sleep throughout the night. If you feel you must have alcohol, don’t have more than one drink.

See a Doctor

See a doctor if you have sleeping problems that persist. Not getting enough sleep can lead to a decline in your health. Sleep recharges the body and allows it to function properly, including building up antibodies to fight off diseases. When you are deprived of sleep, a bunch of problems can arise because of it.

Hopefully, if you do resort to seeing a doctor, he will find solutions that are not drug-dependent. This may help your sleep problems in the short term but doesn’t do much to fix the reason why you are not getting sleep. Press your doctor for alternative solutions if drugs are being prescribed.

Meditation

Consider learning meditation as that can relax the mind. It’s much easier to get good sleep when the mind is relaxed than when it is thinking about all the problems you are facing. Meditation won’t solve those problems. But, getting to sleep can help you to come up with solutions faster.

Eating a Proper Times

Eating at the proper times during the day and eating the right kinds of foods, can help you to sleep better at night, as well. If you have a heavy meal right before you are going to bed, you could suffer from indigestion, which will not lead to a good sleep at all.