Opening Lines

{Book Attraction} Slave Day by:Rob Thomas

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From the creator of Veronica Mars comes a timely novel that looks at a high school fundraising tradition of auctioning off students as “slaves.”

At Robert E. Lee High School, the traditional fundraising event is Slave Day, in which the student leaders and faculty are auctioned off as slaves for the winning bidders. Keene Davenport is outraged and plans to stay home to protest this racist practice. But his mom won’t let him skip school, and he finds that none of his classmates took his protest seriously. So instead he decides on an alternative path of civil disobedience—he will “buy” Shawn Greeley, the school’s first black student body president.

Told in eight alternating perspectives, Slave Day is a powerful novel featuring beauty queens, geeks, class clowns, and football players—and none of them will come out of it the same.
Release: 7/31/18
Click to purchase: (Paperback) or (Kindle)
Ages: 12 And Up, Grades: 7 And Up

{Excerpt} White Hot Truth : Clarity for Keeping It Real on Your Spiritual Path from One Seeker to Another by:Danielle LaPorte

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White Hot Truth Highlights

Chapter 1: excerpt
THE CHURCH OF SELF-IMPROVEMENT: When worship becomes work …On the way to my first meeting at the White House, I tucked crystals into my bra for protection—they weren’t detected by security because that’s how magical amethysts can be. I’ve dropped mushrooms but refused painkillers. I’ve popped blue-green algae to pull all-nighters, brewed kombucha for my cha-cha. I have meditated while having a coffee colonic (and let me tell you, if you can meditate with a tube up your ass, you are definitely headed toward enlightenment). I’ve read channeling transcripts on how to find my Soulmate—for which I blame at least two breakups and a few missed opportunities to get laid by good men. If I’d been less fixated on the perfect twin flame, I might have been more easy…going. I temporarily broke up with the New Age to date New Physics. Everything happens for a reason. Being on stage a lot as a “motivational speaker,” I was sermonizing about healthy boundaries and self-Love being a divine responsibility. Most people seemed to think, Well, she doesn’t suffer fools. But behind the scenes I was suffering some serious foolishness. I took a lot of crap from lovers and other collaborators because I thought tolerance was the “spiritual” course of action, or non-action as was the case. I practiced being less attached to my wants and more attached to my needs—but it was really hard to tell the difference. I chose Freddie Mercury as my Spirit Animal. He helped. The show must go on. … You can’t seek approval on your way to sovereignty. Freedom is not something you need to earn. Joy does not come from a checklist.

Chapter 5: excerpt
FULL OF YOURSELF: The curiosities of self-hatred, and the only guarantee of self-Love …we’re missing the deeper dialogue when it comes to self-Love and determination: Loving yourself, even when you do it most humbly, can attract some not-so-Loving responses. When you start to care more deeply about your own well-being, a whole new set of inner—and outer—challenges will surface in your life. Self-respect can create conflict. Just get used it. …How to know that you Love yourself… You will Love more people, more deeply. This is the best part. Self-Love expands into Loving others. It’s so perfect, and beautiful, and right. You’re not trying to attain your own sequestered happiness. You look into your heart and see that it’s connected to everyone else’s. You feel that mystical and palpable kinship, and you want the same freedoms and fulfillment for others that you want for yourself.

Chapter 6: excerpt
YOU’RE SPECIAL—BUT NOT THAT SPECIAL: In search of worth The need to feel special is a healthy human need. It means we’re being seen and are loved for what’s seen. But when you combine spirituality with an unchecked hunger to be “special,” you get spiritual glamour. And it’s some nasty, nefarious stuff. spiritual glamour (noun/verb): 1. regarding your spirituality as a qualification for special treatment; superiority 2. New Age douche Spiritual glamour–pusses always and a way to insert their esoteric resumé into the conversation. “I’ve been meditating for twenty-five years,” or “My work with the orphans…” or “Parmesan Yogi Wannawanda is a personal friend of mine and when I was yachting with him, he told me…” We get it. You’re buds with an Enlightened Master, so you must be special. …On the ego’s role in spiritual growth: Befriending our ego is a step to befriending our whole self. You’re an original. If we’re always looking to see how “spiritual” others think we are, we will never tap the depths of our authentic selves. Their perceived opinions of us will be the greatest distractions to hearing and feeling our Truth. The desire to evolve must come from internal inspiration, not external motivation.

Chapter 8: excerpt
OPEN, GENTLE HEART. BIG FUCKING FENCE. Boundaries for spiritual people …I saw the same boundary issues with my Soul Sisters as well. Other- wise remarkably powerful, get-shit-done women who couldn’t tell their adorable but freeloading brother that it was time to move out of the guest room and get a job; or the gorgeous and articulate friend who kept quiet about the tantra teacher who crossed the line with her; or the whip-smart entrepreneur who couldn’t put a “stop payment” on the check to the “socially responsible” consultant who gave her nearly fatal business advice. We were all so accustomed to directing our compassion outward that turning the tide of protective Love toward ourselves was discombobulating. We fought for causes, for relationships, for our children, for our co-workers, but it was terrifying to fight for ourselves.

Chapter 10: excerpt
THE SOUL OF SERVICE: Conscious optimism and giving from your fullness …according to a lot of spiritual perspectives, all is well in the Universe. Our enlightenment is inevitable. It’s all progress. I do believe that we will get to where we’re headed—to a more enlightened way of living and co-creating… I also believe that over-spiritualizing our global tragedies doesn’t heal them—it perpetuates them. And I believe in free will. So we have a choice: stubborn ignorance can slow us down and make us take the long way ’round to our destination, or we can make some radical shifts and get there with some efficiency. The Universe operates on free will—and that means that both ascension and devolution are options. It’s up to us.

Chapter 11: excerpt
YOU ARE THE GURU: The hottest truth of all …I wasn’t at the ashram for long but, as it happens for me in any situation of extreme restraint, I started feeling hornier than usual, and craving other circumstantially illicit things—like a pack of smokes and some Led Zeppelin cranked really loud. Oh woe. My mind was having a fairly predictable reaction to discipline, but so was my heart. It was becoming clear that I was not made for this scene. …Your breakthroughs have more to do with your own power than that of the expert or guru. Outside sources can be Soul resources—but not because THEY know something that you don’t. They are merely showing you your own wisdom. Wisdom is built, not bestowed.

Chapter 12: excerpt
FAUX FREEDOMS When sacred sex goes sideways …Between oppressive culturalization and the shifting expressions of feminism, I get why Yoni Puja empowerment workshops or an orgy at Burning Man might be appealing—truly healing, even. For some of us, getting greased and going wild is exactly what we need to break the psychological chains and move up our own evolutionary spiral. I also understand why so many progressive, spiritually focused women think they might look like prudes if they demur on the free Love. It can be easy to feel ever-so-slightly shamed for not being “freer,” as if they’re repressed just because they don’t want to go to the Proud and Powerful Pussy Power Summit and pair up with a guy they just met to find their orgasmic sweet spot. Going wild isn’t necessarily freeing. And restraint isn’t always restrictive. What is the modern goddess to do?

Chapter 15: excerpt
DISCERNMENT IS EVERYTHING When the negative serves the positive You can’t have the Light without the dark. It’s a primary function of metaphysical teachers to emphasize the power of the Light, but they can neglect to address the realities of dealing with the darkness. I was at an angel workshop (don’t judge me), and a woman who was mentioning some government conspiracy theories was hushed by the workshop leader, “We can’t talk about negative things like that, it gives it energy.” Please, if you can’t talk about whacky conspiracy theories at an angel reading workshop, then where can you talk about them? …Sometimes, you have to go right to the heart of an issue and call people on their bullshit-making—which might not seem like a very “spiritual” thing to do. But let me tell you…opinions used for raising standards are sacred indeed… Being discerning is not the same as being judgmental. Discernment is big-minded and awake. Judgment is narrow-minded and operates in the dark. Discernment is our wisdom coming to life.
Release: 5/15/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or  (Hardcover)

{New Release} Holding Out for a Hero: A Men in Uniform Novel by:Codi Gary

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Holding Out for a Hero by Codi GaryHe wasn’t looking for love . . .

Two years after the death of his wife, Sergeant Blake Kline is still hurting. He isn’t ready to date, but whenever he stops by his local diner and sees the friendly smile of his favorite waitress, he feels a spark of true happiness again. And when her life is unexpectedly threatened, Blake discovers his feelings for her might not be as platonic as he thought.

She was holding out for the hero of her dreams . . .

Bookworm Hannah York has always been a hopeless romantic—preferring book boyfriends to blind dates—and she’s been day-dreaming about Blake since the moment he came into her diner. She’s convinced they’ll never be more than friends . . . until Blake kisses her and “weak in the knees” becomes more than just a line from her favorite romance novel. The closer Blake and Hannah get, however, the harder he fights to keep her at a distance.

But forever has a way of sneaking up on you . . .

When their blossoming relationship takes a complicated turn, Blake will have to face his past . . . or risk losing Hannah forever.
Release: 11/8/16
Click to purchase:  (Kindle)


{Excerpt} Why Me by: Aleta L. Williams

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Chapter One 

Monica was in her room drawing up a few sketches for a dress that she would be wearing to her man’s going away party. When Popsicle walked into her room, Hey we need to talk,” Popsicle announced. The fallout the two had was almost two months ago and neither of them had really spoken to each other since. Monica was being stubborn. She wanted Popsicle to apologize for coming at her like that. She was all for trying to build a mother daughter relationship if that’s what Popsicle really wanted, but she knew that wasn’t the case. Popsicle wanted to control her and she wasn’t going for it. Popsicle didn’t care one way or another if they spoke. But she thought enough with the bullshit it was time for Monica to pay her dues. “What do we need to talk about,” Monica replied never looking up from her sketch book. Popsicle removed Monica’s pencil from her hand, “I said we need to talk.” “Yes. What would you like to talk about? I hope it is not Donte. If it is I don’t want to hear it, “she was done with the situation; Donte was her man and no one would change that. Popsicle walks to the center of the room. She then turned and admired her tall slim frame in the mirror that was on the back of the door. Popsicle was beautiful on the outside; people said that she looked as if she was drawn with perfection. Her hair was long, silky and jet black. Her skin color was of Caramel. Popsicle almond shape eyes and high cheek bones were to die for. Popsicle was drop dead gorgeous, but the bitch had an evil heart. She turned to Monica. “Beauty will have them admiring you. You know stroke your ego. Female and male is attracted to a cute bitch. That could be a blessing and a curse depending on how you use it.” Popsicle fanned her hand at Monica, “but you don’t have to worry about your beauty ever being a curse.” Monica twisted her lip and rolled her eyes; she had no idea what Popsicle was talking about and at that moment she didn’t care. Monica picked up another pencil and continued to do what she was doing before Popsicle walked in. Popsicle continued, “You know what we do around here to make money and since you are fucking it’s time for you to join team. Your beauty and your pussy is the best gift the most high gave you. That shit will make you very wealthy.” Monica jumped up from the bed. She couldn’t believe how her mother had just step to her. She knew what Popsicle and the others did to make a living and she respected that. That was their hustle but it damn sure wasn’t hers. “Are you suggesting that I sale my body for money?” “You can put it like that too.” Popsicle shrugs her shoulders. She wasn’t trying to sugarcoat shit. Either the bitch does it willing or by force; it didn’t matter, but she was going to do it. “I can’t believe you. I’m your fucking daughter. Isn’t that what you told Cobra that night? Your daughter,” Tears began to lace Monica’s face, “I will never sell my body. When I graduate next year I am leaving to be with Donte. I am going to be a fashion designer. That is how I will make my money.” “Oh; really. You’re leaving for college and you are going to be a fashion designer? I see!” “That’s what I said. I also said that I will never be a whore. Now please MOM gets out of my room?” Monica pointed to the door. Popsicle threw her hands up in the air. “My bad “Hotcakes” I shouldn’t have come at you like that,” Popsicle smiled, turned and walked out of the room. It was time to put her plan in motion. “And my name isn’t Hotcakes.” Monica screamed. I know, but it will be thought Popsicle! 

Release: March 16,2013
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