Friday, June 23, 2017

New Launch: THE FIVE MANNERS OF DEATH, by Darden North


The5MannersOfDeath_coverfinal
Title:  THE FIVE MANNERS OF DEATH
Genre: Mystery
Author: Darden North
Publisher: WordCrafts Press
Find out more on Amazon
About the Book: The Five Manners of Death is a taut, tense, and gripping tale about a long-buried secret that once unleashed will begin a countdown of the five ways to die.  For Mississippi surgeon Diana Bratton, the novel’s protagonist, pages torn from a 1960s college yearbook reveal that murder is a family affair…
About The Five Manners of Death:  When a construction worker unearths  a decades-old human skull on the campus of the University of Mississippi, he sets in motion an eerie chain of events that leaves one  woman desperate to rewrite history and another woman desperate to find the truth.
After the discovery of her Aunt Phoebe’s 50-year-old note detailing the five manners of death, surgeon Diana Bratton is surrounded by bodies.  Suicide, accident, natural cause, and one death classified undetermined are soon crossed off this grisly list—leaving Diana to believe that only homicide remains. But the police prove her wrong:  Phoebe is linked to murder—not only by those skeletal fragments uncovered on the University campus but also to the recent deaths of two local men. Diana is torn:  should she try to prove her aunt’s innocence or accept police theory that her beautiful, beloved aunt is a woman who harbors dark and deadly secrets?
Stealing precious time from her young daughter, her surgical practice, and her hopes for a renewed romance, Diana launches a pulse-quickening quest to clear Phoebe’s name.  However, as she searches for evidence, Diana finds that her desire to reach the truth may be eclipsed by Aunt Phoebe’s need to rebury the past. When reality finally emerges, Diana faces the cold fact that murder is a family affair.  After all, things aren’t always what they seem. And some things never die…
With the precision of a surgeon, Darden North has crafted a confident and chilling tale about lies, secrets, deception and the conflict that erupts when the past and present collide.  Meticulous plotting, richly-drawn, engaging characters and a shocking storyline combine to create an extraordinary thriller resplendent with twists, turns, and the unexpected.  A unique but realistic story teeming with the right mix of medical authenticity, The Five Manners of Death plunges readers deep into the minds of the novel’s characters as each learns that no one can be trusted—and that everyone has his own agenda. With this sensational, skillful and highly suspenseful tale, Darden North claims a solid spot among today’s finest thriller writers.
About the Author: A board-certified physician in obstetrics and gynecology, Darden North writes murder mysteries and medical thrillers. His novels have received national awards, most notably an IPPY in Southern Fiction for Points of Origin. A native of the Mississippi Delta, Darden lives with his wife Sally in Jackson, Mississippi, where he practices medicine.

Connect with the author on the web:
Instagram and Twitter: @dardennorth
CHAPTER 1
     Phoebe struggled against the sheets, pushing up with her arms. The glass of water on the silver tray rocked back and forth on the bed.
“Is the funeral home here?” she asked and settled against the pillow.
“No, because you’re not dead,” Diana said. “At least not yet.”
Diana blotted the sweat from her aunt’s forehead—skin hot enough to singe fingertips. She jerked away from the rattling cough that followed. Diana could not be sick too.
Phoebe managed to cling to the bed sheets instead of rolling to the floor. She shook her head when the hacking passed. “I told you to use one of the linen handkerchiefs, the ones with my initials.”
“Forget the Emily Post,” Diana said. “Here, take a sip of this.” She put the fresh Waterford tumbler from the nightstand to Phoebe’s lips. The red mane swung free of the pillow, strands of hair matted on Phoebe’s forehead. Diana bent and tried to fluff the pillow back into shape. The satin felt moist, almost gummy. She gave up and flipped the pillow over to the unused side.
“For heaven’s sake, please fill that glass with something besides water,” Phoebe said, swallowing hard. She almost floated back against the padding. Despite the cigarettes abandoned a few years ago, cocktails every afternoon, and a two-day fever racking her delicate frame, Diana Bratton’s aunt remained beautiful. No one judged her a day over 40, much less over sixty.
“Vodka and soda is in the rosewood cabinet inside my dressing room,” she said, handing the glass of water back to Diana. “Get it, please, and refresh the philodendron in the corner with this.”
“You should have listened to me about that flu shot,” Diana said.
Phoebe took the monogrammed linen handkerchief from her. “This is a family heirloom—my family. It belonged to my mother.” She blotted her forehead, then tossed the handkerchief atop the used pile near the lamp.

“I’ve never been much for free advice, even from you, Dr. Bratton,” Phoebe said. She reached for a fresh piece of linen from the Chinese porcelain tray near the bedside table, one of the pieces of china left uncrated for the move.
“I should have sneaked that syringe of flu vaccine out of the office and popped you with it myself—a real freebie.” Diana shielded her face just as more coughing and hacking racked Phoebe’s body. “It’s never too late for the pneumonia vaccine, but I give up.”
Diana opened the drawer in the bedside table and unwrapped the small package underneath the magazines, ink pens, and note pads. “Will you at least take a breathing treatment?”
Phoebe grabbed the nebulizer, inhaled twice and sputtered. “You mentioned your office—makes me think of your surgery partner. A woman I play bridge with calls men like that arm candy.”
“Brad’s been real busy. We just had our seven-year anniversary.”
“Should have been a wedding anniversary, my dear.” She grabbed an extra puff on the nebulizer. “Not long ago, you and your Doctor Brad Cummins were all but married—except for the ring.”
“I’ll ignore that,” Diana said. “Here’s a fresh handkerchief.” She dodged the path of the next coughing spell.
Arm candy,” Phoebe gasped. “Just thinking about that Dr. Brad Cummins makes an old lady feel better.”
“This thing isn’t doing you much good, even if overused,” Diana said. She tossed the nebulizer at the oxygen tank. It landed near the head of Phoebe’s four-poster mahogany bed and slid along the floor to behind the drapes.
“You sound worse.” She dug a digital thermometer and stethoscope out of her purse. “Inhale and exhale, deep,” she ordered.
Phoebe obeyed with deep breaths and release. “Where’s that other thing going?”
“In that know-it-all mouth of yours,” Diana answered. She put the stethoscope aside and placed the thermometer under Phoebe’s tongue. “Your lungs sound horrible—like a tornado—not to mention that your temp is still up.”
“I probably have pneumonia.”
“That’s another vote for the vaccine; and instead of a hearse, I’m calling Metropolitan for an ambulance.”
“Please, please, Diana, don’t. This is such a close-knit neighborhood, lots of busy-bodies. Sirens will cause such a stir.”
“You’re moving out of this place. You don’t care what the old neighbors say,” Diana said.
“Thank goodness we closed on the new house before I got sick, and I’m glad that I bought a place in town.”
“Regardless, I should have insisted you go to the hospital sooner,” Diana said. “Except for Kelsey, you’re the closest thing I have to blood kin.”
“I give up. Maybe you’re right.” Phoebe reached for the thick white cotton robe at the foot of the bed. The new silk one from Neiman Marcus remained boxed in her closet. “Here, help me with this thing and then get me to your car. Seeing your beautiful daughter once I’m settled into my room would really cheer me up.”
Diana wrapped the robe around the sheer pajamas, moist from sweat. Phoebe’s skin felt clammy. “Covering up is probably wise. This slinky outfit may get you arrested when we roll through admissions,” Diana said. She eased Phoebe into the silk slippers waiting on the Oriental rug. “Better yet, maybe we should change you into something less provocative. I’ll check your closet.”
A long row of cocktail dresses and tailored suits on hangers lined the walls to the left and right of the master bedroom closet. A built-in bank of drawers was located at the end of the space. Diana searched and found a pink fleece set neatly folded in the bottom drawer.
“I’m glad everything is not already boxed up,” Diana said. “Let’s slip you into this.”
“No, no. I’m much too weak to change clothes.” Phoebe stood, unsteady at first, then grabbed her purse from the dresser, clutching it to her chest. She coughed and sputtered as they moved down the hall toward the living room. “Doctors and nurses make note of expensive pajamas. I won’t part with these,” she said.
Diana caught Phoebe before she stumbled over the stuffed boxes and cartons piled in the entrance hall. “OK, you win. We’ll go as you are, but once I turn you over to the hospitalist, I’ll come back and pack a bag for you,” Diana said. “You won’t need much. The gift shop will have toiletries.”
She took Phoebe by the elbow and guided her out through the front door, past the white columns that anchored a wraparound porch extending across the front and along the sides of the house. Down the steps, at the foot of the narrow driveway, a dumpy, red-faced man in his sixties stopped to fumble with a plastic Wal-Mart shopping bag.
“Wouldn’t you know it,” Phoebe whispered under her handkerchief, “that fool, Carvel Eaves.”
“Afternoon, ladies. Lots of tidbits on my afternoon stroll,” he said. Like a pendulum, he swung the bag stuffed with empty soft drink and beer cans, crumpled fast food bags, and gum wrappers in Phoebe’s direction.
She frowned and opened the door to Diana’s car. “Interesting hobby you have, Carvel—keeping our Belhaven neighborhood free of litter during your walks. But I don’t have time for …” (The comment was stalled by another round of coughing, topped off with a protracted wheeze.) “… time for your nonsense today.” She slid inside the car into the passenger seat.
Carvel Eaves leaned toward Phoebe. “Never know what people will toss out into the streets,” he said. “Most of the time it’s teenagers throwing beer cans out the window before mom and dad see or discards flying out the back of their pickups. Sometimes it’s just careless trash collectors.” Carvel took a second look at Phoebe. “Looks like you’re a little under the weather, Miss Phoebe.”
“You’re not listening, Carvel,” she said. “My niece and I are in a terrible rush.”
“A rush? Just like during last Saturday’s bridge tournament?”
“That wasn’t me with the mistakes. Your game was off,” she answered. “When I trumped you and closed you out, I was just trying to end the misery for us all.” Phoebe tilted her head past him through the window for an even longer, deeper coughing episode—this time punctuated with two wheezes.
Diana opened the driver’s door and tossed her white jacket out of the way to the back seat. She patted Phoebe on the back until the coughing and wheezing ceased. “Tell Mr. Eaves goodbye. We need to get to the hospital,” Diana said.
“You do sound rough, Phoebe,” Carvel said. “Guess you’ll miss this weekend’s bridge tournament and your master points?”
“Seems I will. My niece thinks I’m on death’s door and insists on the hospital. She’s a doctor, you know … a surgeon.”
“Everybody knows that, Phoebe. She fixed my golf buddy’s hernia.” Eaves reached low for the plastic cup lid and drinking straw spotted near the curb and stuffed his bag. He smiled. “No complaints since.”
“Carvel, we have to go. Start the car, Diana.”
Diana pushed the ignition switch.
“Funny you said something about death’s door,” he said. Carvel leaned closer, then seemed to think better of it. He smoothed the piece of paper. “Let’s see … The paper is old. It’s some type of list … The printing is a little smeared and definitely faded, but at the top it says The Five Manners of Death.” Carvel tipped his Ole Miss baseball cap. “Better be careful at that hospital, Phoebe. Seems there are several ways to go.”
“My God, Carvel. Those were notes from a college English composition class, creative writing. I found that when packing for the move and threw that ancient garbage away,” Phoebe said. “Even now, I can’t seem to get rid of those papers—thanks to busybodies like you.”
He spotted a weathered, rolled-up newspaper flattened against the curb across the street. “I better get that. Newspaper decomposes quick.” Carvel stuffed the sheet of paper back into his makeshift trash bag and headed across the street.
“Unique little man, that Mr. Eaves,” Diana said and closed her door. Forgetting the car was already running, she again pushed the ignition, then placed her cell in a compartment on the console.
“Never mind that old fool. He tried to convince my bridge partner to go to the golf party at the country club last Christmas, practically begged her to date him.” Phoebe fished a fresh disposable tissue from her purse, which nearly disintegrated under more coughing and hacking. Then there were sneezes. “Her husband hadn’t been dead a month.”
“Maybe you should just rest quietly,” Diana said. “Let your seat back with that button between the seat and the door.”
Diana reached for her cell but remembered the Bluetooth. “I better give a heads-up to the hospitalist at Metropolitan,” she said. “He won’t mind; he gets paid per admission.” Diana pushed CALL on the steering wheel and spoke the name.
A voice blared from the stereo speakers. “Dr. Bahrain here.” Startled, Diana swerved to miss the edge of a brick pillar marking the entrance to a driveway.
“Diana!” Phoebe screamed. “Is it too late for that ambulance?”
Diana straightened the vehicle and slowed at the four-way stop to turn the corner. She took a deep breath and answered the hospitalist. “Ahmed, this is Diana Bratton. Can you take a look at my aunt? She’s not any better. I think pneumonia has complicated her asthma.”
“Sure, Dr. Bratton. Bring her on in. I’ll expedite the admission and fix her up in no time.”
“Thank you. We’re 15 minutes away.” They ended the call just before Phoebe started to wheeze and cough. Diana reached behind to rummage through the pockets of her lab coat in the back seat. “I think there might be an extra inhaler in here,” she said, “a sample from the office medicine closet.”
“Diana!” Phoebe grabbed Diana’s shoulder. “Something’s ahead in the street.”
Diana dropped her lab coat and swerved to miss the crumpled mound lying on the pavement. She slammed the brakes, the shoulder straps jerking them against their seats. Diana checked the rearview mirror, unbuckled her seatbelt, and sprang from the car.
Several aluminum cans, a rolled newspaper, and a plastic sack were nearby. It was Carvel Eaves. The note in Phoebe’s handwriting lay next to him.

Monday, June 12, 2017

BOOK LAUNCH Q&A: ANDI O'CONNOR AUTHOR OF CALL TO WAR #booklaunch



Title: CALL TO WAR
Author: Andi O’Connor
Publisher: Purple Sun Press
Pages: 258
Genre: Fantasy

Blurb:

Darrak's adventure concludes with this thrilling finale of The Dragonath Chronicles!  

Following the betrayal of two of his trusted companions and a devastating battle in Mystandia, Darrak's talents are desperately needed by the citizens of both Earth and Dragonath. Torn with the decision of where his loyalty should remain, he finally decides to confide in Andillrian. Together, they craft a plan they hope will save Darrak's home planet, but their optimism is short-lived.

The Hellborn's army has begun the march to war.

With less than two weeks of preparation remaining, their weaknesses become unavoidably apparent. Planning for defeat suddenly becomes as important as planning for victory. Darrak's insecurities continue until the moment the first arrows begin to fly. He can only hope that help from a few unlikely sources will be enough.

For if they fail, Dragonath will fall.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

 


Chapter One:



DARRAK STARED INTO THE FIRE, SHIVERING DESPITE the intense heat radiating from the flames. Three days had passed since he'd read the entry in Mionee's journal revealing the spell to save Earth. And he had yet to tell anyone.
He'd memorized the spell that first day, bewildered that he'd been handed the very thing he'd spent weeks tormenting over. Despite everything happening here on Dragonath, he'd never lost sight of saving his home planet. He'd spent almost every waking moment obsessing over finding a way to nullify the effects of Mionee's spell.
Then suddenly, the very woman who'd caused his people so much suffering, and who had ordered the murders of his parents, provided him with all of the answers he'd needed. In an instant, she'd lifted a tremendous weight from his shoulders. He could go home. He could save his people. He could help those on Earth repair the damage that had been done to their planet.
But he hadn't. He'd stayed on Dragonath, training to fight a war by day and mulling over his predicament at night. He couldn't leave. The people here needed him as much as those on Earth. Only he stood a chance of defeating the Hellborn, and even then, he'd need the help of every single person in Krémarra.
If he left, people all over Dragonath would be forced into slavery or killed. But if he stayed, he'd send billions of people and animals on Earth to extinction. His home would be a barren planet devoid of any life.
Running his fingers through his shoulder-length hair, he groaned, suppressing the scream lingering on the edge of his tongue. For three days, he'd kept knowledge of the spell a secret. Détaldin had pointed Darrak to the last page of the journal, obviously knowing it contained the spell. But Darrak hadn't told anyone, and he knew the warrior had remained silent. It was his responsibility to inform the others, not Détaldin's.
The stress of his deceit had begun to take its toll. He barely slept, averaging less than two hours a night. He scarcely ate, and the tiny amount of food he did manage to consume was hardly sufficient for a child less than half his size. Between his intense training and lack of calories, he'd lost so much weight over the past few days that his companions had to notice soon. It wouldn't be much longer until one of them confronted him.
Until he'd have to own up to his deception.
Just the thought of telling his dearest friends that he'd kept a key piece of information hidden from them made him want to cry. Putting an end to Earth's annihilation was partly what they'd fought for. They deserved to know their efforts hadn't been in vain. They had the right to know the spell had been found.
But he couldn't bring himself to tell them.
Why?
The question had been nagging at his conscience for days, admonishing him with its candor. He knew the answer. He feared admitting to his friends that he'd been considering abandoning them, leaving them to fight the impending war on their own. They had stood by him, following him unquestioningly even when he couldn't give them any concrete reasons for doing so. They protected him, repeatedly putting his life above their own.
And he was contemplating repaying them by doing something they'd vowed never to do to him—desert them in their darkest hour. That wasn't something any decent person would do, let alone someone who claimed to be a dear friend.
Darrak lowered his gaze to his hands and stared at his bony fingers with disinterest. He recalled how angry and confused he'd been when Ipzaag and Anarra had abandoned him. They'd been completely unwilling to accept Andillrian's account of the dragons' history or welcome Wystra into the company.
Anarra's betrayal particularly stung. She'd been the first person outside of his parents that he'd ever felt comfortable opening up to. She'd seemingly cared enough to persist with her questions and break through the walls he'd built around himself. He'd felt an unexplainable connection to her. A sudden connection. At the time, he thought it was love, but he'd been mistaken. Still, they'd shared something special. Something he’d believed would never be broken. Something he'd been looking forward to cherishing for the rest of his life.
And then in a matter of seconds, it had vanished.
The pain of losing that connection was almost as bad as the pain he’d experienced when he realized his parents were dead. No, he thought, ashamed that the comparison had even popped into his mind. That wasn't quite accurate. Nothing could ever equate to the deaths of his parents.
All the same, Anarra's betrayal had left him with an overwhelming sense of loneliness. It reaffirmed part of why he had always been reluctant to befriend anyone. He'd trusted Anarra when she told him that she’d always be there for him. But he shouldn't have. Instead, he should have followed the instincts that had served him well for the first nineteen years of his life.
And now, he pondered becoming the very thing he despised. He sat on the edge of his bed, having practically convinced himself to turn his back on those he loved.
I can't leave.
The thought popped into his mind so forcefully it took him by surprise. Letting Earth fall victim to Mionee's spell was an unforgivable act. But with his parents dead, he didn't have anyone on his home planet that he cherished. Hardly anyone there knew of him, and no one was aware of his power to save them. If he turned his back on Earth, he wouldn’t betray anyone’s trust in him.
Here, that wasn't the case. Here, everyone in Krémarra knew him and expected him to lead them to victory. Here, he had friends he cared deeply for: Wystra, Iornwen, Selantia, Rorend, Thraklauz.
Andillrian.
Just thinking her name caused his heart to flutter. He honestly had no idea why. After the failure of his relationship with Anarra, he was reluctant to call any emotion love. But something definitely existed between him and Andillrian. Whatever it was, he couldn't tell her he'd decided to return to Earth. He couldn't leave her and the others here to die knowing all his words of loyalty had been utter lies.
His gaze shot up in surprise when a knock sounded at the door adjoining his room to Andillrian's.
“Come in,” he said, staring straight ahead into the fire. He was taken aback at how weary his voice sounded. The tone was almost hollow, as if he'd been drained of his soul.
The familiar squeak of the door opening resounded from behind him. Keeping his gaze fixed on the dancing flames, he listened to the sound of Andillrian's footsteps as she made her way across the stone floor. Expecting her to sit next to him like she usually did, he met her gaze in confusion when she stopped before him. Even though she was only about five feet tall, she seemed to tower over him.
“You aren't eating,” she stated pragmatically.
“You certainly don't mince your words, do you?”
“You aren't sleeping either,” she continued, ignoring his statement. “I hear you pacing around your room at all hours of the night. You can't go on like this, Darrak. You're killing yourself.”
Darrak's heart began to race, and he tried to control his breathing. This was the moment he'd been dreading. “I knew it wouldn't be much longer until you said something,” he admitted.
“Of course I said something. I noticed almost immediately and thought perhaps you'd come and talk to me. But I couldn't stay silent any longer. I'm surprised you haven't yet collapsed during your training, and I wasn't about to wait for you to do so.”
Andillrian held up her hand, and for the first time he noticed she held a yal fruit, a small, yellow fruit similar to an apple, but with a distinct bitterness that he had yet to learn to enjoy.
“Eat,” she ordered, dropping the fruit into his open palms.
Holding it up to his lips, he reluctantly took a bite. His lips puckered as the sour juice rushed into his dry mouth. Closing his eyes, he chewed, wishing away the horrid taste. It usually took two or three bites until he became accustomed to the bitterness of the fruit, but somehow, he knew this instance would take longer.
He swallowed, cringing when the fruit slid down his throat. He looked up expectantly at Andillrian, hoping that since she had seen him take a bite she'd be satisfied, but her stern expression didn't budge. It was like she'd taken on the role of his mother waiting for him to eat his peas, prepared to stand over him for the rest of the night until he'd finished the task.
Slumping his shoulders forward in defeat, Darrak braced himself and took another bite. Andillrian continued to stand over him while he begrudgingly ate the rest of the yal fruit. It seemed like hours until he finally had nothing but the core remaining. Doing his best to suppress a burp, he wrapped the remains of the fruit in a hanky and placed it on his bedside table.
His stomach felt like it was seconds away from bursting, and he had to force himself to ignore the pains beginning to ravage his abdomen. He didn't want Andillrian to see how much discomfort eating one small piece of fruit had caused him. It stood as proof that he'd been more reckless with his health than he wanted to admit, particularly to Andillrian.  He didn't want her to know exactly how delicate his situation had become in just three short days. She worried enough about him as it was. He didn't need to add to her concern.
“That seemed to prove more of a chore than it should have been,” Andillrian said, still not budging from her spot. “I've seen you eat those before. You may not be fond of them, but it's never taken you that long to finish. Your stomach can't even handle that tiny amount of food, can it? Were you planning on starving yourself to death?”
“No, I...I don't know. I just...I've had a great deal on my mind lately. It's taken away my desire to eat. I've developed an aversion. Even the thought of food makes me queasy.” He looked up at her. Her rich brown eyes overflowed with a combination of sternness and compassion. “I know that's not really an excuse,” he admitted, suddenly feeling like the most selfish prick in the universe.
The harshness in her tone didn't abate. “No,” she said, “it isn't.”
Not knowing what to say, he averted his gaze and stared at his hands in silence. No words seemed appropriate. An apology didn't make up for how self-centered he'd been acting. Nothing could take away the pain he'd caused both himself and Andillrian. Talking with her had brought everything to light and made his dilemma over leaving seem so straightforward.
Instead of wallowing in self-pity and mulling over the situation himself, he should have discussed it with her and worked to come to a logical solution. In doing so, he would've saved both of them a great deal of emotional grief, and he wouldn't have put himself in such a physically fragile position. Rather than taking the sensible course of action, he'd allowed everything to become more convoluted and stressful than it needed to be.
“I brought you another for later,” Andillrian said, breaking the silence. She tossed him a slightly larger yal fruit; he caught it, unable to keep his lips from creeping into a slight smile. “I'll sit here again and watch you eat if I have to.”
A small laugh escaped his lips. “I know you will. And I appreciate it more than you'll ever know.”
Finally letting down her guard, she sat next to him on the bed, like she'd done every night since their arrival in Krémarra. Their shoulders were less than an inch apart, and her warmth seeped through his thin linen tunic to his skin beneath. The faint vanilla scent of her hair wafted through the air. Breathing in deeply, he relished the simple yet glorious sensation with every part of his being.
He wanted to put his arm around her and hold her close, clinging on to the moment for all eternity. But instead, he sat rigidly next to her, continuing to stare at his hands resting in his lap.
“What's on your mind?”
The seriousness of Andillrian's question jerked him away from his thoughts, reminding him that until this mess was sorted he couldn't allow himself to indulge in even the simplest of pleasures. People on both planets were dying. He needed to save them.
Not answering, he reached beneath his pillow and slid out the worn leather notebook. “This belonged to Mionee,” he said in answer to Andillrian's quizzical look. “Détaldin gave it to me shortly after he arrived with Katriel. It's Mionee's personal journal and contains some extremely interesting and rather heartbreaking information. Some of what she's experienced, particularly at the hands of King Denthald, are the most horrific accounts of abuse and rape I've ever read about. Though, I don't think her experience under the Hellborn will fare any better.”
The compassion in Andillrian's voice touched his heart. “I've always known you to be an extremely empathetic person, Darrak. I can only imagine the graphic details of Mionee's entries. It's natural for something like that to affect you so deeply.
“I've spoken with Détaldin a number of times over the past few days. Despite all of the atrocities Mionee has committed, he loves her. He sees the honesty in her repentance. He saw the good in her when no one else did. Truthfully, it's appalling and rather unfortunate that most of the people throughout Dragonath will never come to see her as anything but the villain she once was.
“Mionee not only recognized her mistakes but admitted to them—not just to others but to herself. She rose above the despicable path she'd set for herself and transformed into a better person than most who will continue to judge her long after she's dead. Like Détaldin you're a truly wonderful man to recognize the person Mionee has become and sympathize with the terrors she's faced. But you can't allow the recounts of her torture to rule your life. Use it. Learn from it just like Mionee did. Use it to make our world a better place.”
Darrak shook his head. “No. You don't understand. Although what you say is true, that's not what's been consuming my mind.”
Opening the leather notebook to the last page, he handed it to Andillrian. Cocking her head in an unspoken question, she took it and began to read. Long, gut-wrenching moments passed before she closed the journal. Looking up, she met his gaze, a sense of understanding finally evident in her large eyes.
“You don't know where to go,” she said, compassion evident in her voice.
She reached for his hand but pulled it back quickly. Her eyes widened in horror.
“You don't know who to save.”
“I want to save everyone!”
He grabbed the journal from her and clutched it against his chest. Standing abruptly, he started pacing before her.
“I want to save both planets and the billions of people suffering! I want to help those on Earth rebuild their communities, and I want to do the same for those here on Dragonath. I want to make sure neither world endures the same kind of carnage again. I want to make sure Halla or any magic is never again used for such corrupt motives!”
Tears of frustration began to run down his gaunt cheeks. “How can I? How can I be on both planets at once? I can't! I can't turn my back on my people! But I also can't turn my back on my new home and those I love!”
Andillrian pulled him toward her before wrapping her arms around him and holding him tightly. He buried his face in the crook of her neck, sobbing uncontrollably. Stroking his hair, she gently rocked him back and forth. “It'll be all right, Darrak,” she whispered into his ear. “I'm here for you. We'll find a way to save both planets. I promise.”
After what seemed an eternity, his sobs slowed to short, pathetic whimpers. Grasping his shoulders, Andillrian pushed him away slightly and lifted his chin, forcing him to meet her gaze. She had such a look of determination in her eyes he couldn't help but believe her words.
“You won't need to turn your back on anyone.”



About the Author


Andi O'Connor is the award-winning author The Dragonath Chronicles, The Vaelinel Trilogy, and The Legacy of Ilvania. She’s written multiple books, including the critically acclaimed Silevethiel, which is the 2015 Best Indie Book Award winner for Science Fiction/Fantasy, and the 2015 New Apple Official Selection for Young Adult. Silevethiel was also named to Kirkus Reviews' Best Books of 2013. Andi's short story collection, Redemption, is a 2014 Kindle Book Awards Semifinalist.

You can frequently find Andi as a guest panelist at Comic Cons throughout the country including the Rhode Island Comic Con, Philcon, Conclave, WizardWorld, and Chessiecon. Andi also writes for Niume where she provides writing tips, advice, and insight on her career as an author. You can connect with Andi on
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. For more information, visit Andi’s website.

Interview:



After your book was released, what was the first thing you did when getting ready for your book launch?
           
Getting ready for the book launch starts months before it’s actually released. The first thing I do when I have a release date set is start pumping the hype on social media. Both ebook and print cover reveals, engaging my followers by asking them questions such as what they’re looking forward to the most, scheduling a blog tour, attending comic cons and discussing my book and series on panels, etc.

After that, what was your next step?
           
Continuing the hype and building interest. It sounds a lot easier than it is! Social media plays a big part in this, but as I said before, I also travel to ComicCons and speak on panels. This is a great opportunity to mention the upcoming book and talk about my work. The tricky part is consistently being in the public’s eye without it sounding like a nonstop infomercial. 

Did you do anything different to spice up your website in lieu of your upcoming book release?
           
I update my home page with the book in the ‘Upcoming Book’ section. I make sure to include buttons to take visitors to Goodreads and the pre-order links. I also update the book’s page on my website with the cover, pre-order information, release date, and any review quotes I get beforehand.

Did you ever consider using a PR agency to help you promote your book or did you prefer the DIY route?
           
I have used a PR agency for one of my previous books, but I don’t think it worked any better than what I’ve done myself, particularly now that I’ve built up contacts.

Were finding reviews a top priority for you and, if yes, how did you approach that?
           
Yes, reviews are always a top priority, even after the book is out! I contacted people on my newsletter list asking if any of them wanted to be an early reviewer. I also contacted bloggers, many of whom I worked with in the past, to see if they wanted to review the book. I also use review sites such as Kirkus, ForeWord Reviews, and the US Review of Books.

What are your views on social media for marketing your book?
           
I was recently on a panel at Comicpalooza in Houston, TX where we discussed this exact topic. Social media is absolutely essential in getting your name out there and marketing yourself and your book, but authors can’t use it as a platform to say, “Buy my book! Buy my book! Buy my book!” That gets annoying and puts people off. Social media needs to be used in ways that get people interested in you. If they get interested in an author, then they also get interested in the book.

What social media has worked best for you?
           
Facebook and Instagram have worked best for me lately. I’ve been getting the most feedback and interaction from my fans who follow me on those two platforms.

Did you write a press release and do you think it worked for you?
             
I have tried press releases in the past, and honestly, they didn’t work for me, so I didn’t write one for this book.

Did you revamp your author’s page at Amazon in any way to prepare for the launch (https://authorcentral.amazon.com/)?
           
The only thing I do to the author central page is add the book so it shows up as being mine. I also double check to make sure my bio is the most recent!

Did you have other books you offered for free in order to help sell your present book?
           
I don’t offer books for free. In the past, I’ve tried offering the first book in the series for free in hopes that people would stimulate sales for the rest of the series, but it doesn’t. People download free books because they’re free, not because they necessarily have any intention of reading them. Offering free books only hurts yourself and the industry as a whole.

Did you set up booksignings and, if so, how did that work for you?
           
Book signings really don’t work unless you’re a huge well-known author. I’ve tried a couple thinking that I’d attract people already in the store, but that doesn’t work. Most of the time, they don’t even realize I’m an author, and they think I work in the store!

Did you create a book trailer?
           
I have never used a book trailer, and I’ve spoken to many authors who have and who have said it didn’t benefit them in any way. I also never use them myself as a reader, so for me, it’s not something I’d see as being a worthwhile investment.

Did you time your book launch around a certain holiday?
           
I never have, though my last book The Speaker was released on December 1st, and sales were terrible. Again, unless you’re already extremely well known, I wouldn’t release a book during the holiday season if it can be avoided. Unfortunately, for The Speaker, I didn’t really have an option, but I would have preferred if I could have done it another time. During the months of October through January, people aren’t looking for things to get themselves. They’re looking for gifts for other people, and unless you’re an author they know someone will like, they’re not likely to buy your book. Then, once the new year rolls around, people have spent their money and aren’t looking to buy anything!

What was the best money you ever spent on your book launch?
           
That’s a wonderful question! I’m going to have to say it’s getting my books on NetGalley. Not only does it generate reviews, which many of the reviewers will post on Goodreads and Amazon, it also gets my book in front of the eyes of librarians and bookstore owners. I’ve had a number of people tell me that they chose one of my books for their library or bookstore because of finding it on NetGalley.

Any tips for those authors wanting to set up a successful book launch?
           
Get your book as many reviews as possible, and not from friends and family. You’re need honest reviews from bloggers, book reviewers, and review sites. Build hype over your social media platforms, get it up on your website, and use quotes from any reviews you might have gotten. The more places you can get your book in front of potential readers, the better! Most of all, be creative! There’s always new ways to market yourself and your book to potential fans!





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BOOKLAUNCH Q&A: IRENE WOODBURY AUTHOR OF POP-OUT GIRL #booklaunch



Irene Woodbury’s third novel, Pop-Out Girl (2017), pushes a lot of buttons. It’s a gripping look at the tumultuous life of a 23-year-old showgirl-wannabe named Jen Conover who pops out of cakes at special events in Las Vegas for a living. The novel offers riveting glimpses into the loves, lives, triumphs, and tragedies of Jen’s family and friends as well.

Irene grew up in Pittsburgh, and has lived in Chicago, Los Angeles, Honolulu, and Denver. The University of Houston 1993 graduate also called Texas home for seven years. Her writing career began In 2000. After five years as a successful travel writer, she switched to fiction. Irene’s first novel, the humorous A Slot Machine Ate My Midlife Crisis, was published in 2011. The darkly dramatic A Dead End in Vegas followed in 2014. Pop-Out Girl is another dramatic effort. With her husband, Richard, editing, Irene completed the novel in eighteen months. She hopes audiences will enjoy reading it as much as she enjoyed writing it. 

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



About the Book:

When Zane Hollister returns home to Las Vegas after two years in prison and discovers his showgirl-lover is with another guy, he goes ballistic. After stalking and taunting the couple for
months, his toxic jealousy takes a darker turn. To wipe out Colton, Zane masterminds a devilish zip line accident and a terrifying car crash. When those fail, he resorts to kidnapping Jen and forcing her to marry him. And it gets even worse when Zane shoots Colton’s boss, Matt, by mistake as he aims for Colton in a horrific drive-by shooting.
        
With Matt lingering in a coma, Jen’s cocktail-waitress mother, Brandi, absorbs a seismic shock of her own. After hearing Matt’s name on the local news, she realizes he’s her first love of decades past—and Jen’s real father.
        
Will Matt emerge from his coma to reunite with Brandi and Jen? Do the cops nab Zane, who’s hiding out in Hawaii? And can Jen and Colton’s love survive Zane’s lethal jealousy?
           
There’s a happy ending for some, but not for all, in Pop-Out Girl.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Smashwords


After your book was released, what was the first thing you did when getting ready for your book launch?


I did some Tweets, contacted friends who wanted PDFs, and sent an e-mail to Dorothy at Pump Up Your Books. She organized my virtual book tour in 2014 and it went really well. Her company gets the greatest exposure and has the best bloggers, so I wanted to schedule a tour.


After that, what was your next step?


I spent the day after the launch celebrating with a friend. We went to the Denver Botanic Garden and had a lovely stroll among the spring blooms. Then we indulged in afternoon tea at an elegant Victorian hotel downtown called The Brown Palace. My friend is a novelist, too, so while nibbling our scones and sipping our tea we chatted about the agony and ecstasy of writing and how we were going to market our books. We also discussed all the personal stuff we needed to catch up on now that we were emerging from the cave.


Did you do anything different to spice up your website in lieu of your upcoming book release?


This is so embarrassing, but I haven’t updated my website since I had it built in 2011 when my first novel was published. I loved it so much that I didn’t want to change it. So my second novel isn’t mentioned and neither is the new one, Pop-Out Girl. It’s really awkward because the first novel was a humor book, and the next two were dramatic. I’m sure it confuses people when they click on it. But I have a great idea on how to revamp the website—and I plan to have it done soon.


Did you ever consider using a PR agency to help you promote your book or did you prefer the DIY route?


Yes I did, but it was expensive. How would I ever make the money back? I would rather do it myself and purchase marketing services as I need them.


Were finding reviews a top priority for you and, if yes, how did you approach that?


Yes, getting reviews was, and is, a top priority. I wrote to many bloggers and some have agreed to read and review my book. But it was a bit difficult because the book isn’t in print yet. It’s an e-book, so reviewers had to accept a PDF or Kindle copy. Most of them prefer a print book.


What are your views on social media for marketing your book?


I think Twitter and Facebook are great ways to get the word out. I love seeing book covers with a synopsis on social media. I’m always intrigued and curious. I’ve purchased books that I found on social media, so I know it works.


What social media has worked best for you?


Twitter is very good. I have many followers who are writers. We re-Tweet each other’s Tweets day in/day out. We’re there for each other in our own strange, electronic way.


Did you write a press release and do you think it worked for you?


I had press releases written for my first two novels. It caused a bit of a stir, but no lasting results. I don’t think I’ll do one this time.


Did you revamp your author’s page at Amazon in any way to prepare for the launch (https://authorcentral.amazon.com/)?


Yes, I wrote a new biography that included the new novel. I also changed my photo. That’s about it


Did you have other books you offered for free in order to help sell your present book?


No. None of my books have ever been free. It seems to work for other authors, so it might be worth a try.


Did you set up book signings and, if so, how did that work for you?


I had one at a book store in Las Vegas. It was a signing for me and a couple of other writers. We had a great time exchanging marketing tips and talking about our book-writing experiences. I signed some books and got to meet a dozen or so readers. It was a joyful, upbeat event. Maybe I’ll do it again with Pop-Out Girl once it’s in soft cover.


Did you create a book trailer?


Not yet.


Did you time your book launch around a certain holiday?


No, but I did want a spring release so it would be available as a summer read. My first book came out in late August, my second one in September. I finally got a spring release with this one. The only downside is that it’s one of the busiest times of year for book publishing, so everyone is “booked,” including reviewers and bloggers.


What was the best money you ever spent on your book launch?


Pump Up Your Books blog tour for my second book in 2014. I also bought an author package for my first book that included radio interviews, reviews, and a long profile on me. Very enjoyable. I met some nice people and my book got great exposure.


Any tips for those authors wanting to set up a successful book launch?


Spend your money wisely—like on a PUYB virtual tour. Find blog and websites that need interviews and are willing to do reviews and guest posts. And have your book put into both print and e-book formats early on so it’s easier to get reviews.


Thursday, June 8, 2017

BOOK LAUNCH: TAPPED OUT FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS




Title: TAPPED OUT FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS: STRESS RELIEF USING EFT
Author: Kelley Pryor Amrein & Becki Stevens
Publisher: Creative Spirit Books
Pages: 236
Genre: Nonfiction/Self-Help/Stress-Relief

Book Blurb:

You’re in college and college is stressful. Your stress impacts every facet of life, from classes to grades to work commitments. Even your physical health can be affected. Studies show that college students like you now face more stress than ever, leaving you with less time for relaxation and self-care. When you’re already overburdened, the idea of finding a way to relieve stress sounds like one more way to add extra stress to your life. But, what if you can relieve the stress of college in minutes? What if homework didn’t have to be so hard, and you did have time for school and fun? Tapped Out For College Students: Stress Relief Using EFT, is a guidebook that empowers college students like you, allowing you to reduce your level of stress and opening the door to success in college and in life.

In Tapped Out, college students are introduced to our unique BESD (Because, Emotions, Sensations, and Distress) system, which easily guides them through the tapping process. Once you’ve defined your personal BESD related to a specific issue, you can easily translate this into a tapping session. The book is full of tapping scripts relating to the most common stress-inducing issues you face in college. Students can tap through the scripts as they are written, or they can personalize them, using the responses they develop using the BESD system. 

The Table of Contents is the perfect starting place, allowing students to pinpoint their issue and flip to the appropriate section of the book. Some of the topics covered in the book include time management, homework, exams, relationships, money, health, and preparing for the real world following college.
Students no longer have to be stressed throughout their college career. With Tapped Out as a companion, college students can face the college landscape calmly. This unique book, intended to be used as and when needed, empowers students to control their reactions and respond to each situation successfully. College is stressful. Tapped Out for College Students can help.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon


Book Excerpt:


What is Emotional Freedom Techniques or EFT
Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) is a do-it-yourself healing tool that alleviates stress, reduces physical pain and increases your potential for success. It is a non-invasive energy therapy using gen- tle finger tapping on specific meridian points beneath the surface of the skin. The meridians come from Chinese medicine. They create pathways through which Qi (chee), or energy, flows to all parts of the human body. The meridians form the basis of the practice of acupuncture. This idea of energy flowing in the body is, then, certainly not a new one, and it is this theory that EFT works from. In fact, EFT is often termed acupuncture without the needles.
So, how does EFT actually work? EFT’s magic rests in its ability to smooth out disruptions in your energy system. EFT was developed in the 1990s by a Stanford University-trained engineer named Gary Craig. Gary Craig was a student of the forefather of EFT, Roger Callahan, who had previously developed a system of meridian tapping called TFT or Thought Field Therapy. Gary Craig took TFT, a process which used tapping on specific meridian points depending on the emotion you were feeling, and simplified it. He designed the system to stimulate the major meridian points in an unchanging sequence. It does not matter what emotion you are feeling because the tapping remains the same whether you are experiencing anger, fear, sadness or pain. By tapping on the points identified in EFT, you are able to access all the major energy circuits and find relief.
The underpinning of Gary Craig’s work is his discovery statement, which says, “The cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system.” Using EFT, we tap on the negative emotions from a specific event, for instance the overwhelming stress we feel due to an upcoming examination. Tapping on the stress, the negative emotion, allows the emotion to be released and the energy disruption is then straightened out. This release of the negative allows the flow of positive energy back into your life. With the brain no longer feeling overloaded you are then able to retrieve the information needed to ace the exam.
Here comes the science part of this explanation. Part of the human brain is ancient and has been in operation, working to keep our species alive, for thousands of years. The limbic brain is the oldest, most primitive part of the brain and a part of the limbic brain is a small, almond shaped area called the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain triggered when you are in danger, the relay station that sends out the message for your fight or flight response to kick in. When this response is activated, it signals the body of danger and the hormones adrenaline and cortisol are released. In ancient times, when this part of our brain developed, it was essen- tial for our survival. The release of adrenaline and cortisol fueled our ancestors who were able to flee rather than being eaten by a tiger for lunch. Good for them then, and for us; we’re still here, after all.
You might wonder how this relates to your exam. After all, you are not running from a beast. Interestingly, however, this primitive portion of your brain, the amygdala, cannot detect real “tiger” danger from imagined “stress” danger. Your body senses exam stress as a danger and releases the same fight or flight hormones our ancestors needed to stay alive. Keep in mind that our ancestors did not have stress on a daily or even hourly basis like we do. The brain reacts to this modern-day stress just as it did to the tiger stress; it causes adrenaline and cortisol to be released.
Cortisol has been deemed public enemy number one. When cortisol floods our bodies, we have to physically move to get rid of it. But when there is no tiger to fight or flee from, when the danger is, instead, exam stress, all the stress hormones in our bodies have nowhere to go. The cortisol hangs out and wreaks havoc on our minds and bodies, weakening our immune system, causing damage on a cellular level, leaving us vulnerable to infection. Tapping on the meridian points calms the fight or flight response, allowing our bodies to relax and cortisol levels to drop.
Dr. Dawson Church has done several studies on how tapping affects our bodies. In one randomized controlled study conducted by Dr. Church and his peers, cortisol levels and psychological symptoms of eighty-three patients were tested before and after treatment. The patients were divided into three groups. One group received no therapy but only an hour of rest. Another group received one hour of conventional talk therapy. The third group had a one-hour session of EFT tapping. Subsequent testing revealed that the symptoms in the EFT group decreased more than within the other groups and cortisol levels also dropped significantly. The group which received talk therapy had a reduction in cortisol of 14% while the group receiving EFT had an average reduction in cortisol of 24%.
Another interesting study was released in Energy Psychology Jour- nal in 2013. In this study, a group of college students was divided into two groups to work on various emotional responses using either mindfulness techniques or EFT. The purpose of this work was to determine whether EFT worked or was, instead, simply a placebo effect. The research found that the students using EFT experienced a greater increase in positive emotions and a greater decrease in negative emotions.The students did not experience any significant change in emotions using mindfulness techniques. The conclusion of the researchers was that EFT is not a placebo and can be effective for students experiencing emotional conditions.
EFT has been shown to be effective time and again in scientific studies. It is not a placebo but is an effective energy psychology technique that calms your amygdala, causing a reduction of the stress hormones in your body. Reducing stress may result in relief from physical pain and emotional suffering because stress is often an underlying part of any problems you are facing.
As you tap on the meridian points used in EFT, you will be saying negative statements. You may feel that saying something nega- tive only reinforces its negative power. Actually, that is not true. Imagine that you fail your most important exam of the year. Of course, this has an impact on your GPA and you know you and your parents will not be pleased. So, you decide not to tell your parents about this grade and hope that it all goes away. After all, you are an adult and no one is going to send a note to your folks tattling on you.
Your plan works fine until, somehow, the truth comes out. Maybe you never recovered from that grade. Perhaps it had further reach- ing repercussions than you had anticipated. Whatever the reason, your parents find out. Now what do you do? Perhaps you are relieved. After all, a secret is a big burden to carry. That is how it is with stress and negative emotions we hold inside. They don’t go away until we face them. There is a sense of relief when the secret, or the emotions, are finally revealed.
Tapping is a little like revealing the secret. You cannot feel truly good inside until you face the negative emotions holding you back. Once you recognize and acknowledge the negative it can finally go away.
We follow the expression of our negative emotions with a state- ment of acceptance. This statement could be as simple as “I accept myself.” The acceptance statement is important because, in order to heal you have to accept, or be okay with yourself, right where you are at the moment. This can be a difficult statement for some people to make. If you are having a tough time saying “I accept myself,” use a different statement, one that may be less triggering, such as “I am okay” or “I am open to accepting myself ” or “I accept the situation and am open to change.”
EFT works energetically by releasing the disruptions in your ener- gy system to quickly and easily reduce stress, ease pain, and return you to a calm state. EFT is an energy therapy and, as such, allows your system to heal naturally and easily. It’s time to learn how you can use this technique in your life.
How to Use EFT to Tap It Out!
EF T is easy to master. It doesn’t require any special tools, just your fingers and your words. With a little practice, you’ll be tapping away emotions like stress, anger, sadness and fear as well as physi- cal sensations, like pain or butterflies in your stomach, in no time. This part of the book is designed to give you an introduction into the mechanics of tapping. Here, we’ll show you where you tap, called the tapping points. We’ll talk about how you measure your tapping success. And we will tell you what to say by providing sample tapping scripts. When you are ready, you can add your own words. This is easy and we will take you through the process step- by-step. Soon you will be tapping it out, on your own, like a pro, whenever and wherever.
The BESD: Because, Emotions, Sensations, and Distress
There are four quick steps to follow before you tap; 1) Discover the Because, the situation that has triggered a response or emotion; 2) Identify the Emotion associated with the Because; 3) Notice any physical Sensations associated with the Emotion(s) you’ve identi- fied; 4) Assess your current level of Distress.
Before you begin a tapping session, it’s helpful if you can take a couple of minutes to sit quietly and evaluate what’s going on. Relax and take a deep breath. Ask yourself what’s troubling you right now. It is possible that you will be in a public place and your circumstances may not lend themselves to this part. And some- times the situation and the associated emotions are easy to figure out and you can start tapping immediately. This is especially true once you’ve tapped a few times. But if you aren’t quite sure what’s bothering you, try to find a place to be still and tune into yourself.
Maybe the first thing that comes to mind is the fight you had with your significant other or your roommate. Or maybe you have a test coming up and you have no idea how you’re going to get all the studying done that you know you need to do. You’ve identi- fied what’s bugging you. We call this the because, the situation that triggers an emotional response. Once you know the because, you can find the emotion that relates. Let’s break this out further.
As an example, we will use the upcoming exam as the because. This examination is big; it counts for fifty percent of your grade. It is the one covering a million chapters and pages of notes. Yikes. The test is the because, but what is the emotion you feel when you think about that test? Maybe the emotion is fear. Maybe it’s stress or ten- sion and a resulting sense of overwhelm. All of this is important information to have before you begin to tap.
Let’s talk a minute about the physical sensations that might accom- pany the emotional reaction to your because situation. Maybe you don’t associate your pounding headache or sore shoulder muscles with your emotions, but guess what, they are definitely related. Mel Pohl, MD, FASAM, has found that emotional pain contrib- utes to the chronic pain his patients experience. He believes that approximately 20 percent of chronic pain is sensory but 80 percent of the pain is actually emotional.13 So pay close attention to any physical sensations that arise before or during your tapping. Also, notice if any physical issues get better after EFT. You might recog- nize that your shoulders feel looser or that nasty headache is gone. Yep. EFT can take care of that and more.
We’re almost ready to tap, but before we get started let’s assess the level of distress you feel associated with the exam and the corresponding emotion. Because stress is a common emotional re- sponse to test-taking, let’s use stress in this example. To assess your level of distress, once again take a moment to tune in to your body and ask yourself how bad the stress is on a scale of 0 to 10. Zero equals no stress, which is the goal you would like to achieve through tapping. Ten equals intense stress, as intense as it can get. This scale is called the Subjective Units of Distress or SUD in EFT. In this book, we will simply refer to it as Distress.
No two people respond to something in the same way. Plus, you may feel like your stress is a 5 one moment and it bumps up to an 8 in the next. Additionally, you may feel something is an 8 while someone else may feel it is a 3. EF T empowers you to take control of your emotional response to any situation. It’s okay. Be honest, acknowledge your feelings, and tap them out. Your goal with tap- ping is to reduce your distress level to a point that it’s no big deal.
I Have So Much Homework
Homework and studying can become overwhelming, especially when something is due in every class. Below we’ve designed a general script that you can use to release the stress you’re feeling around homework. If you want, add in the class that is worrying you or the specific homework or exam that you are concerned about. Being more specific is always best.
Take a deep breath in and a long breath out. Tune into how you are feeling about all the work you have to do for your classes. Focus on the emotions and body sensations that you feel. Rate the distress level and begin tapping.
1.  Because: I have so much homework and I don’t know how I’m going to get it all done (add in specific class or home- work)
2.  Emotions: Stress, feeling overwhelmed
3.  Sensation: Tension in my neck, headache
4.  Distress: 0-10 ______
KC: Even though I am stressed and overwhelmed because I have so much work to do, I accept myself.
KC: Even though I am so stressed because I have so much work to do and I have no idea how I’m going to get it all done...it’s overwhelming, I accept myself.
KC: Even though I have so much work to do, I am so stressed out...my neck and head hurt, I accept myself.
EB: I have so much work to do
SE: I don’t think I’ll get it all done and I’m so stressed
UE: All this work (specify class or homework)
UN: I just can’t keep up, it’s overwhelming
CP: I’m never going to get it done on time
CB: All this homework and studying makes my neck and
head hurt
UA: How do other people get it all done?
TH: All this work...(specify class or homework)
EB: How in the world will this apply in real life?
SE: I’m so stressed, I just can’t do it all
UE: So much homework
UN: What if I fail?
CP: What if I do it all wrong?
CB: What if I work so hard and still get a bad grade?
UA: This sucks! My neck is so tight and I have a headache from all this stress...
TH: I’m never going to get through all this homework...
Take a deep breath in and a long breath out. Tune into the feeling and reassess your distress level. Let’s try getting more specific and tune into where you feel the stress in your body. Again, add in your specific class, homework, exam or project.
EB: All this work...(specify class or homework)
SE: I feel the stress in my body
UE: I feel tension my neck
UN: All this stress and tension give me a headache
CP: I’m never going to get all this work done
CB: All this homework and studying for (specify class or homework)
UA: I just want to relax or hang out with my friends
TH: All this stress, I feel the tension in my body
EB: I feel tension in my neck and it’s causing a headache
SE: All this work to do; I’ll never get it done
UE: This sucks so much!
UN: My body is really feeling this stress
CP: I’m never going to get this work done (specify class or homework)
CB: And I won’t get to hang out with my friends with all this work to do
UA: Sometimes I just hate college and all the work I have to do
TH: All this homework, I feel the stress in my neck and head
Take a deep breath and assess your level of distress. If it is higher than a 2 keep tapping through the script above.


About the Authors

Kelley Pryor Amrein is a writer and EFT practitioner. Kelley first discovered Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) in 2007. She used EFT personally and with her family before becoming certified as an AAMET Level Two practitioner in 2014. As a coach, Kelley has witnessed the power of EFT to release negative emotions, relieve stress, and lessen physical pain. As the parent of college students, Kelley believes that Tapped Out is a much-needed resource on college campuses, where stress levels are on the rise. The book provides students with a life-long tool, allowing them to easily alleviate stress and enjoy a healthy and successful life.

You can find Kelley on Amazon at amazon.com/author/kelleyamrein and amazon.com/author/kdpryor




Becki Stevens is an AAMET certified Advanced EFT Practitioner. For the past two years she has owned a successful EFT practice in southern New Hampshire. She works with people of all ages, including college students, to ease their physical and emotional distress. Becki focuses on how a person’s emotions can sabotage their success. Becki believes that Tapped Out For College Students is an empowering introduction to EFT for college students, giving them a tool they can use throughout their lives to relieve stress and foster healthy relationships, creativity, and overall health.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

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