From Ice and Snow — Free April 19-23

Have you or a loved one been the victim of religion gone wrong? Or as I look at it, ever been firebombed by the blood of the lamb?

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My first book, The Protest, was inspired by the real-life religious hijacking of my two daughters, ages 10 and 12. The sequel, From Ice and Snow, the sequel, published April 1, 2017, tells how I got my daughters back.

Today through April 23, From Ice and Snow is available free on Amazon.

Get the e-book *on sale today* at Amazon.comFrom Ice and Snow is #1 on Amazon’s free Memoir store.

The Protest — if you’ve ever wondered how brainwashing is possible, this memoir explains how it happened to my only two children.

The Protest, Memoir Cover

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From Ice and Snow Coming April 1

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. If you are reading this, thanks for your patience.

You see, I’ve been writing the sequel to The Protest.

From Ice and Snow is also a fictional memoir. It picks up where Jane Bernard lost her two daughters to a religious hijacking. The sequel begins with Jane’s life six years later – six years in which she has not seen her 12-year-old twin daughters who were victims of brainwashing in the name of God perpetrated by their father, Reverend Logan Churlick.

Jane is heartbroken and embittered by the loss, causing her to jeopardize her once-happy marriage with her great love, Bolivar Bernard. When her daughters are 18, Bekah reaches out to her mother. But her twin sister Darcy spurns Jane and now wants nothing to do with Bekah. Churlick thwarts Jane’s attempt to reunite with Darcy, and fueled by Bekah’s allegiance with her mother, his obsession to possess Jane grows more twisted. In the meantime, Bekah has to come to grips with her new life: new rules, new friends, new values, and a mother she was taught, in the name of God, to hate.

Dealing with the divisiveness Bekah brings with her when she moves in with Jane and Bolivar creates increasing stress between the couple when the edges of their marriage are already frayed. But Jane will not forsake her daughter as her marital situation worsens. Bekah, accustomed to rebelling against the authority of her father, struggles to leave behind her coping skills of the past and trust that she is safe and secure now. Still, Jane’s heart aches to connect with Darcy, who resents Jane’s abandonment and is terrified to reconnect with her mother for fear she will be cast into hell’s eternal lake of fire and brimstone.

After Darcy graduates from high school, she vanishes. Bekah stumbles upon where her sister is and decides to go after her, hoping she can get through to Darcy and re-establish their close bond. But Reverend Churlick and his wife maintain their hold on Darcy and cause her to question the legitimacy of both Bekah’s and Jane’s motives. The plot questions? Will Churlick be successful in keeping Jane and Bekah from reconnecting with Darcy? Will Jane regain her daughters only to lose Bolivar? Will the strategy Jane sees as her only chance to save the marriage she has all but destroyed work?

Find out April 1 when From Ice and Snow goes on sale on Amazon (paperback and ebook).

Ice-and-Snow-Cover-72res_4x

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Did you get my text?

Love this blog piece on the culture that’s grown up around texting (click on the link below). I have learned the hard way that this is my life now — by that, I mean a year or so ago when I left a phone message for my daughter and didn’t get a reply, and finally did get a hold of my daughter, she said she doesn’t call anymore; if I wanted to reach her, I should text. Wha–???

Texting is so quick (most of the time) that I do love it — but it’s also frustrating. I’d love a real phone call once in a while, a voice I can be excited about hearing, I’d like to enjoy the luxury of no misunderstandings because writing is so easy to read the wrong way, whereas voice inflection is harder to misread, especially if you check back to see if the meaning you’ve made of the person’s words is correct. And there’s nothing to replace the spontaneity that happens when you’re in the moment of a phone call.

Sigh, the good ol’ days.

Did you get my text?.

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The frustration of depression

This piece was very informative about depression to a person who has never had the misfortune to be faced with such a nebulous nemesis. I’m reposting because I learned about what I can do to help someone who is suffering from depression. Being aware of what someone who’s depressed is going through and also, seeing some simple things that can be done to ease their suffering is worth a lot.

Some Small Solitude

In November 2012, I was diagnosed with depression. Depression is an illness which provokes a wide range of reactions in people, depending on their own experiences. It is, to me, something intangible- just when I think I’ve understood its impact on my life and those around me, it slips away and mutates into something else. Some days I am able to brush it aside, other days it lies on me like a hot, heavy, suffocating blanket, preventing me from doing anything and leaving me tearful with frustration. I think for sufferers and for those who deal with them, be it friends, family or colleagues, depression is the most frustrating illness of them all.

When I was diagnosed, my doctor suggested anti-depressants and that I be signed off work for a few months. I was, after some initial hesitation, happy to try the anti-depressants, but signing off work was an impossibility…

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How Can I Tell You How Important This Is?

The Protest, Memoir CoverI would love to just write my stories — writing is what writers do best. But  in today’s world of publishing, professional writers must also ensure the success of our work.

So I have a favor to ask.

It’s been a little over a month now since The Protest          e-book was released and made it to #1 and #2 on Amazon during its promotion days. Thank you for your help in making the book such a success in Amazon’s ranking!

You may have had time to read it, or The Protest may be waiting its turn, keeping the many other books on your kindle company. But if you have read the story and thought it a worthwhile read, I’d like to ask for the two things writer Cindy Dees says are so very important to a book’s success:

“If you find a book you love, do 2 things for it:
1) Tell a friend about it
2) Write a review on Amazon
Authors MUST have reviews for their books to be successful!”

If you’re scratching your head trying to figure out what to write, here are the guidelines: a review should be simple, write what you liked about the book, or did not like about it, and why.

Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Protest-Fictional-Memoir-Calling-ebook/dp/B00UW51OLW/ref=cm_cr_pr_pdt_img_top?ie=UTF8

If you would write an honest sentence or two about The Protest in a review on Amazon,      I would appreciate it so much. Thank you!

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Would you say that to a man?

This post is an amazing, yet subtle, example of the sexism that attempts to keep professional women on a different level than men. As the piece says, “If you find yourself inclined to defend some comment, think about whether you would say the same thing to a man…Rather than getting defensive, learn from your mistake and don’t do it again.”

Of Means and Ends

sexism

“I’m not going to apply for the job because I want you to get it.”

I was in my mid-20s and a promotion opened up in my division at work and I planned to apply for it. Given the hierarchy in our department, one male coworker and I were the natural ones to consider for the job. When the topic came up, that’s what he said to me: “I’m not going to apply for the job because I want you to get it.” I don’t remember what I said in the moment, but I remember quietly seething and thinking, “Don’t do me any favors. Go ahead and apply and I’ll still get it.”

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Against All Odds–What’s Our REAL Chance of Becoming a Successful Author?

I’ve become enamored of a particular blogger, a writer who is very good at looking at what it takes to write, to not give up because writing is hard work, and to feel energized with a renewed sense of purpose that leaves you feeling like a member of the elite corps of those who create something out of nothing.

Below is a recent post of Kristin Lamb’s blog that I’d like to share with those of you who are writers. Hope you are as inspired by her as I am.

Against All Odds—What’s Our REAL Chance of Becoming a Successful Author?.

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A New Work in Progress — Help?

I’m working on a story that’s the second book in the series, Life Is Calling, and I hope to release it this summer.

Jane Bernard  (in her 40’s now) has lost her husband of twenty years after his battle with cancer. She grieves the loss of what she calls a great love, and after a couple of years have gone by, she longs for the companionship and closeness of a partner. Then a friend introduces her to internet dating. The plot thickens.

Plot Thickener

I’m looking for stories you may have had in this arena. Anyone have any noteworthy experiences with someone you met on a dating site? Good or bad experiences will work. If you wouldn’t mind seeing your story woven into my next book, I’d love to hear from you.

— Dianne

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Final Day The Protest Is Free on Amazon

Click here for your free e-book.

The Protest went to #2 on Amazon Kindle free downloads of memoirs yesterday, and it’s still at #2 this morning.

So once again, thank you for your support! Today is the final day to see if my story can become “The Protest heard ’round the world.”  My cautionary tale shows many of the same underlying principles about the perils of brainwashing as the Going Clear expose’ on Scientology — but with a lot more humor.

The Protest, Memoir Cover

As I’ve shared before, The Protest was introduced at one reading I gave at a university in North Carolina with this Kafka quote: “If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skulls, then why do we read it? …A book must be an ice axe to break the sea  frozen inside us.”

See what my ice axe is all about.

Then feel free to come back to Literal Lessons of Life. I’d love to hear your story after — or while — you read mine.

— Dianne

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April 5 & 6, Last Two Freebie Days for The Protest

Today and tomorrow (April 5 & 6) are the final two days on Amazon you can download a free copy of The Protest.

The Protest went to #1 on Amazon Kindle free downloads of memoirs thanks to your support! Do you think we can do it again? What if this story becomes “The Protest heard ’round the world”? This cautionary tale about the perils of fundamentalist Christianity right up there with the Going Clear expose’ on Scientology that’s hot on HBO and in some theaters.

The Protest, Memoir Cover

Click here for your free e-book.

A favorite review says: “I laughed my ass off and cried my eyes out.” Another favorite says: “I figured out how to read the book while I was blow drying my hair.”

Check out the resources in the appendix of the book for dealing with cults and brainwashing if someone you care about has been “firebombed by the blood of the lamb.”

Feel free to come back to Literal Lessons of Life. I’d love to hear your story after — or while — you read mine.

— Dianne

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The Protest is #1!

Just wanted to express my heartfelt gratitude to everyone who helped support my fictional memoir, The Protest. It made it to #1 in the Amazon Kindle free downloads for Memoirs this afternoon! Wow – I’m overwhelmed, and so grateful.

Ho boy…this afternoon when I wrote this post, suddenly I looked up and saw a beautiful rainbow over the field below that used to be a sheep pasture. I feel like I’ve gone over the rainbow — thanks to all of you. Enjoy my story — and let me hear from you.

 

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The Protest is #7 in Amazon Kindle Free Memoir Downloads!

How does viral start? I don’t know, but I’m hyperventilating a little, thinking maybe my book could take off today. It’s a little after 1 p.m. and there have been so many downloads of my fictional memoir that Amazon has ranked it #7 of their free memoir downloads for today. I would love it if my story became the poster child for those who’ve had their lives damaged by religion and my book became “The Protest heard ’round the world!”

A memoir group that allowed me to post asked this morning, “Since this is a ‘fictional’ memoir, is it a real story?” To which I replied that I was advised by legal counsel that to keep me safe from a lawsuit, all of the story’s characters needed to be fictional. I went even further — even the setting, the town of Rathcreek in eastern Washington, is made up. I also injected humor and irony, so it would be a very compelling story, not off putting. Took me ten years to write The Protest, and #7 means, not bad.

The Protest, Memoir Cover

Click here for your free copy of The Protest.

A favorite review says: “I laughed my ass off and cried my eyes out.” Another favorite says: “I figured out how to read the book while I was blow drying my hair.”

Check out the resources in the appendix of the book for dealing with cults and brainwashing if someone you care about has been “firebombed by the blood of the lamb.”

Feel free to come back to my blog, Literal Lessons of Life. I’d love to hear your story.

— Dianne

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The Protest, FREE Today, April 3, on Amazon!

Take advantage of the promotion going on today on Amazon and get your free copy of…

The Protest, Memoir Cover

Click here for your free e-book.

A favorite review says: “I laughed my ass off and cried my eyes out.” Another favorite says: “I figured out how to read the book while I was blow drying my hair.”

Check out the resources in the appendix of the book for dealing with cults and brainwashing if someone you care about has been “firebombed by the blood of the lamb.”

Feel free to come back to my blog, Literal Lessons of Life. I’d love to hear your story.

— Dianne

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Kick-Ass 90’s TV Femmes: Hellmouth

Great blog post about the power of kick-ass women, beginning with Buffy!

Deranged Writers

The 90’s was undoubtedly an era where females dominated television. The ‘SFC’ exploded onto screens, showing herself as not just kick-ass, but, who really could (and would) kick every ass regardless of gender and age, or whether those asses were human or not.

Still, masses and masses were conditioned for too long to believe girls needed to wait to be “rescued” by the hero, or be one of several ‘victims’ the serial killer goes after because his Kindergarten teacher punished him once for eating cookies in class, and looked sexy doing it in her pleated flannel skirt.

However, Joss Whedon (bless his feminist heart) was so sick of the same old, same old, he was all like ‘Fuck that tripe.’

Soon, we were graced with a little blond waif appearing on our television screens, who at first, second and even third sight appeared to be quite frivolous, cutsey and 100%…

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The Protest, FREE on Amazon Today, April 1, No Foolin’

Take advantage of the promotion going on today on Amazon and get your free copy of…

The Protest, Memoir Cover

Click here for your free e-book.

So be my guest, and tell a friend who may be looking for a good read – it’s always great to have someone to discuss a gripping story with, right?

Check out the resources in the appendix of the book for dealing with cults and brainwashing if someone you care about has been “firebombed by the blood of the lamb.”

Feel free to come back to my blog, Literal Lessons of Life, if you have any questions or comments you’d like to share with me.

— Dianne

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The Protest, FREE on Amazon Today!

Take advantage of the promotion going on today on Amazon and get your free copy of…

The Protest, Memoir Cover

Click here!

And then click on “Buy Now with One Click” for your free copy.

So be my guest, and tell a friend who may be looking for a good read – it’s always great to have someone to discuss a good book with, right? And feel free to come back here if you have any questions or comments you’d like to discuss with me.

No obligation, of course, for you to write a review on Amazon, but a short, honest review would be very much appreciated. Happy reading!

— Dianne

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Excerpt from THE PROTEST, #13

From The Protest:

“Shut up!” Bolivar bellowed. Steam rose from his mouth and nostrils like a bull.

Bull with Steam Rising

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Being Pro-Choice Was a Nail in the Coffin for Me

Part of what went into brainwashing my daughters was that they were taught that you can’t be a baby-killer and expect to make it to heaven. I was placed in that group because I supported a woman’s right to choose in the matter of whether or not to have an abortion.

I tell you this, because if you happen to belong to a “divided house,” with one spouse holding a Christian mentality that believes they have the direct pipeline to God, and therefore, can damn you in your children’s eyes — beware! It does happen, and put the nail in my coffin in my daughters’ eyes. Find out more at Amazon.

Baby Killer

 

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Excerpt from THE PROTEST #12

Writing is another means for truth to escape, besides crawling out the hole it’s eaten in the author’s belly. Available on Amazon.

Writing Is Another Means for Truth

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