Monday, July 30, 2018

Read The Packing House on Inkitt--FREE!

You can read my debut YA novel, The Packing House, for free on Inkitt. I have posted it there in hopes readers will connect with this #ownvoices story of my heart and vote for it to move toward a publishing contract. Books that are greenlit for publication receive editing, cover art, and are printed in eBook, paperback, and audiobook formats.

Many of you know that my previous publisher went out of business, and my first edition copies are now only available from third party sellers. If you'd like to read it, please do, and please post your honest feedback and review. I appreciate you taking the time to read and let me know what you think. My final question for you is this: would you like to read book 2, Unpacking the Past?

Please note the trigger warning at the beginning of chapter one. Thank you. I've been receiving fantastic feedback so far, and I'd love to hear what you think.

Happy reading!

And here's what readers have been saying so far:

Sunday, April 22, 2018

In the #MeToo and #MeTooRising Era, Why Speaking Out is Essential for Survivors of Sexual Assault

It seems there's always a news story covering the topic of sexual assault, rape, or rape culture. Crimes involving sexual assault are far too commonplace. Sexual assault happens in the workplace, on college campuses, in every industry from the Olympics to Hollywood, the music industry to the publishing industry, and, yes, among school aged children. As a country, we are appalled and horrified by the Sanduskys and the Nassars who prey on victims who initially trust them in positions of power above them, and later testify as survivors of sexual assault. And yet, these stories come and go, and sexual assault, rape, and child sexual abuse all continue to happen at an alarming rate.

Silence and shame largely empower the abuser to maintain their position of power over victims; thus, speaking out and handing shame back to the abuser are essential tasks survivors need to utilize early on in recovery in order to begin the healing process. Other key resources necessary for survivor recovery include: being heard and not blamed for being a survivor, having healthy boundaries, and gaining education about grooming and gaslighting among other key terms specific to survivors of sexual assault. I highly recommend a great, free resource on YouTube: subscribing to Trauma Recovery University for over 200 hours of free videos you can watch at your own pace and educate yourself on recovery as a sexual assault survivor:

Unfortunately, I know this all too well, because it happened to me, too. Which is one of the reasons I wrote my #OwnVoices young adult novel, The Packing House (read the first 3 chapters here), as a fictionalized version of my own survivor story, and am writing the sequel, Unpacking the Past, to complete the duology. It's why I have joined the Bristlecone Project, as a Male Survivor (see It's why I have joined the ranks of Survivor Knights, an organization that incorporates the arts as a pathway of recovery among the survivor community (see

It's also why I joined the project, Things We Haven't Said: Sexual Violence Survivors Speak Out, an anthology of 25 sexual assault survivors speaking out. I am also working on another survivor's anthology I've recently been invited to join, and will eventually develop a curriculum for survivors to use as a map to their own recovery. I myself have been walking out my recovery for the past 40 years, as my sexual assault occurred when I was four years old.

Clicking the link below the book cover above will take you to the Amazon Page. Click here to see my previous blog post on Things We Haven't Said being available, and the full list of sites from which you can purchase the anthology.

Here are a few highlights of the response so far regarding Things We Haven't Said:

Here's the link to our Kirkus Starred Review

Here's the link to an article featured on Publisher's Weekly

Here's the link to an interview featured on School Library Journal

Here's the link to an interview on Foreword Reviews

Here's the link to the 5 Star Review of TWHS on Foreword Reviews

Here's the YouTube link of our book panel presentation at The Strand Bookstore in NYC featuring our anthologist's editor: Erin Moulton, and fellow survivors: Barbara McClean, Maya Demri, myself, and Jane Cochrane. We had an amazing crowd and great questions.

Saturday, February 24, 2018

THINGS WE HAVEN'T SAID is now available!

If you've been following the publication journey of THINGS WE HAVEN'T SAID, an anthology of 25 survivors of Sexual Assault, you probably know this has been a long 2 years. However, the end has come: Things We Haven't Said has been published as of March 13, 2018 and will be available everywhere books are sold.

One thing especially important for books such as these, which may otherwise be missed by some readers, is to post your honest reviews as soon as possible on as many sites as possible. Your review may help other readers find books they might otherwise miss out on. Thank you very much for your support!

As you follow the links below, please note the website stores where reviews are lacking, and share your review there so other readers can find books you recommend they read. Again, thank you very much for this critical support.

Amazon especially promotes books with 50 or more reviews. Early word can help us reach more readers and help more survivors. Remember, proceeds are being donated to and to the Voices and Faces project, at

Here's a listing of those sites who currently list THINGS WE HAVEN'T SAID for pre-order:

1. Amazon:

2. Barnes & Noble:

3: Book Depository:

4: Books-A-Million:

5: Indiebound:

6: GoodReads:

Please note that the majority of the proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to:

The contributors have donated their time, their talents, and their poems, stories, and essays to speak up and speak out on the issue of sexual assault. In light of the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, survivors have stepped out and choose to remain no longer silent about sexual abuse, sexual trauma, rape, incest, and sexual assault. By remaining silent, power remains with the abuser. By speaking out, survivors regain their voice, and begin to heal. Each of us who have contributed, myself included, have experienced healing as a result of speaking out. It is our hope that readers will also find hope and healing from their own Sexual Violence experiences.

For many survivors, it's hard enough to face the truth that sexual assault has even occurred, let alone, speak up about it. Unfortunately, many are ill-equipped to handle such trauma and the very real aftermath from which survivors suffer daily across years and decades. Obviously, there is a huge need for such a resource as this one, detailing from fellow survivors themselves the ways we have learned to heal and move forward in our treatment and recovery. Many families, even those with the best of intentions to support and help survivors heal, have no idea what to say or how to even begin the healing process. Thus, a book like THINGS WE HAVEN'T SAID, provides such a resource for teens and adults to slowly process their experiences and co-journey with other survivors who have made progress toward healing on their recovery journey.

Please consider purchasing a copy for yourself, your loved one, your children, the people you love, and for your community crisis center, your local women's shelter, your local churches, and your local libraries. We appreciate each and every one of you, and welcome you to share the word so others know there is hope, there is a resource, and when you purchase this book, know that you are making a difference, and the majority of your purchase will be donated to and

Thank you!