Clean Indie Christmas

After you’ve filled your Kindle with Smashwords sales, you may be interested in Clean Indie Reads.

No smut allowed!

This sale only runs December 26 – January 6.

This sale offers 40 free or discounted books in a variety of genres.  Something for everyone, without the stress of unnecessary indecency. Clean doesn’t mean religious though.  In fact, my clean books have no mention of religion at all.

Some of the authors in this sale have other books that may not be as clean, so if you follow their lists check for their ratings on their own books.

https://mariannesciucco.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-clean-indie-reads-12-days-of.html  #CR4U #CIR12DaysofChristmasClean Chriastmas.jpg

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Heath Braley

Heath Braley has been a good friend for longer than I care to remember.  I am happy to share links to his art works.

Daniel Heath Braley (or dhbraley on deviantart.com) is a hobbyist artist and photographer originally from Crab Orchard, KY. He currently resides in Lexington, KY with his girlfriend, Cynthia. When he isn’t working, drawing cartoony arts, or binge watching things like Doctor Who, Sherlock, or various other such things, he sings with the Lexington Singers.

Heath’s Art work can be found on:

Deviant Art

Braley Creative

Facebook Braley Creative

Heath’s photography is featured on Trails 4: Trails Through the Garbage Mines

Check out his art pages, and spread the word!

Trails 4 Cover from Heath.png

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Johanna Harness Author of Spillworthy

Johanna Harness is the creator of the successful Twitter tag #amwriting.

Her novel was published in May 2014.  My review is full of spoilers, though it attempts to connect with the characters.

Spillworthy is an upper middle grade novel, perfect for all age readers.  There are spoilers in this essay.

Spillworthy by Johanna Harness

Before you read this, don’t get me wrong.  This is the way it touched me.   This is a heartwarming, uplifting novel of hope for all of those society has left behind.  Abusers, abused, ignored, and children.  Your words matter.   Their words matter.  They will touch someone, even if you never know who, where, or when.  They may never know who you are.  You may never know who they are.

Normally, when I r

ead a novel, I can only connect with one, or maybe two characters.  In this case, I can relate to nearly every character, and even the ones I can’t, I can understand how they became who they did.

Ulysses Samuel Finch – The first character introduced.  A homeless 10 year old boy who already understands the importance of sharing thoughts with the world without expectation.   An easy character to connect to.

Long-legged Janetta –  Ulysses’s mother.  The one parent who didn’t completely abandon him.  She is a long term drug addict, among other addictions.  And yet, she

values her son.  While I have never been a drug addict, I have known some.  Well portrayed character.  Many people say they never understand how anyone can become an addict.  My recent experience with the “medical” system we have in our country has given me a more in depth understanding of why.  Women need medical care without false accusation.  And to be respected, as Janetta likely never was.

Samuel Finch – Ulysses missing father.  He likely never knew he had a son.  The reader eventually finds out why he left home before he knew.  What is this missing character like now?  No one knows.

Gem Isobel Rost – A twelve year old girl who wants to find her missing mother.  She eventually finds out many secrets of her birth that her father didn’t want to tell her. She

learns the importance of not keeping secrets, and what can happen, when a person does.  I often wish I knew the truth of who I am.  And yet, does it really matter at this point in my life?

Estella – A sixteen year old girl who knows her father, and despises him.  She deals with this every day.  She has an apparent strong exterior, with a soft heart.  She would likely have found

Ulysses father if given enough time.  I was lot like that at sixteen.

Estella’s mom – Referred to as a “Sally.”  Someone who stands up for others, especially children.  She is strong, and left the man who had abused her. The reader never finds out if the abuse is physical, mental, or emotional.  They all leave scars.  Often, the mental and emotional leave more permanent scars, as other people can’t see the original scars, and frequently (and often unintentionally) rip them open and pour salt into the wounds.  Yes, I’ve done that as well.

Blake – The seventeen year old boy who left an ugly home and tried to escape abuse.  He returns each day to check on his mother’s welfare, as she will not leave the man she married.

The reader never finds out if she knew about the abuse, or, if she too were abused and could not admit it.  He rescues the little girl, Crystal Barnes.  An easy to connect to character who has a rough exterior, and a heart of gold.

Crystal Barnes – A six year old girl who rarely spoke, and who had been kidnapped and hidden on the Wildlife Refuge.  She would escape most days, and return to her hidden cell.  Like many abused children, she returned out of fear to her abuser.  Also easy to connect to character.  A starved child, only one outfit, and no ability to communicate her needs or wishes.  In fact, many abused children go home to their abuser everyday.

Norma – the dog walker.

A person who had once survived an unknown abuse, and never recovered.  She was afraid to reach out to others.  Easy to relate to.

So, the question becomes, was there anyone in the story I didn’t relate to?

The kidnapper?  Well, I don’t personally relate to him.  I have seen how power can easily become abuse of power though.  Ulysses grandmother?  No.  She kicked out her abuser.  She stayed with him for too many decades because of social requirements.  She finally determined what was important in her life.  I think, she’d search for her missing son.

Are there any characters left?

Gem’s dad.  He was a nice person.  He kept secrets for many reasons.   He learns that eventually, he has to share them.

The other characters in Portland?

They are mostly unique, and each come alive on the page.  The reader doesn’t really learn their stories, though they can sense what a few of those stories might contain.  Sally, Doogy, the music store owner, and a few others were part of his “family” network.  Those who listened and cared.  Every person of every age needs people like this.

All in all, a great novel of hope for those society chooses to leave behind.

Merri Halma

Author Merri Halma

I have followed Merri Halma on Facebook for about a year now.  She is a good friend, and a good writer of middle grade, early YA novels.

Merri Halma’s Bio

I was raised in Sunnyside, Washington the youngest of three girls. I always had an active imagination. As we drove across country in the summer, I would see the Indians on horseback on the mountain ranges. Sometimes I would even see them riding down towards the open range. My parents and sisters would laugh. But to me, I really saw the Indians. They were real.
I had a severe speech impediment, so as I approached my teen years, I had few friends. I felt alone, lonely and like no one really understood me. Writing became my outlet for sanity. I wrote in journal, started writing my first novel at 12 or 13 and also wrote poetry.
I went to college after high school, denying myself what I most wanted to do. I wanted to study writing and drama. My mom had assured me if I went into writing, I would lose my mind, because all writers go crazy. I was afraid of losing my mind.
I am real, Because I felt pain deeply, I knew I was real. I had to stay in touch with me. I had to feel the deep hurt I did, otherwise I would be denying myself. It was difficult for me to get into a character because I was afraid of losing my mind. Also, most drama professors wouldn’t accept me for speaking roles because of my speech impediment.
I ended up with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis in Social Services and the Humanities.  Later, a Master’s of Science in Counseling-Psychology.
All my life I have sought God or some reason why no matter what field I endeavored to go into, the door was slammed in my face.
My search for God and reasons why my life sucks eggs so much lead me to want create characters who also search for why their life is the way it is. Writing called me so strongly, I couldn’t ignore it. My mom wasn’t too happy about it. At 56, I still have my sanity. I live what I want to. I just would love to find readers who really can identify with my characters.

Links to books and blog
Spiritual Muses

Indigo Traveler: Book I (Indigo Travelers 1) by [Halma, Merri]
Indigo Traveler – Paperback
Indigo Traveler – Ebook


Keys to the Shadowlands – Paperback
Keys to the Shadowlands – Ebook

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Tony Noland – Verbosity’s Vengeance

Tony Noland is a long time writer friend whose writing encourages me to long for a simpler time.  The super hero, Alex Graham, harkens back to the memory of a time long forgotten, though gladly preserved in comic books.  And yet, it is a modern, or even post-modern tale.
“Tony Noland lives and writes in the suburbs of Philadelphia, PA. A lover of language, wordplay, and complex thoughts, Tony nevertheless limits himself to 140 characters at a time on Twitter as @TonyNoland.”
 “Verbosity’s Vengeance“From the Amazon page for “Verbosity’s Vengeance”:
“Alex Graham’s genius designing video games brought him happiness and made him a fortune, but he never expected to see his work misused by military scientists. The collapse of the mysterious Project Unicorn left Alex with scars, nightmares, and strange powers unlike any other superhero. Years later, as the Grammarian, he uses the strength of supple syntax and the power of perfect punctuation to fight for justice on the mean streets of Lexicon City. “

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Marian Allen Author of Sage

Marian Allen was born in Louisville, Kentucky and now lives in rural Indiana. For as long as she can remember, she has loved telling and being told stories. She writes science fiction, fantasy, mystery, humor, horror, mainstream, and anything else she can wrestle into fixed form.

Allen has had stories in on-line and print publications, including multiple appearances in Marion Zimmer Bradley’s SWORD AND SORCERESS anthologies. Her latest books are the SAGE fantasy trilogy, her science fiction comedy of bad manners SIDESHOW IN THE CENTER RING, her YA/NA paranormal suspense A DEAD GUY AT THE SUMMERHOUSE, and her collection of science fiction stories OTHER EARTH, OTHER STARS, all from Per Bastet Publications.

She is a member of the Southern Indiana Writers Group.

Allen is married, with three step/adopted daughters and one birth daughter.

She has pages on FaceBook, Twitter, GoodReads, Google+ and LinkedIn and she posts at the group blog Fatal Foodies on Tuesdays, monthly on The Write Type, and daily at Marian Allen, Author Lady http://MarianAllen.com/.

SAGE, a trilogy

The four Divine Animals are afoot: Dragon, Unicorn, Phoenix, and Tortoise – the Divine Creature who “forgets” the rules of right and wrong. Hold on tight.

Karol, the hereditary ruler of Layounna, vanished while hidden away with her lover, leaving her consort-husband to claim the throne. Shortly afterward, all the children in Layounna’s orphanages also vanished.

Ten years later, Karol’s consort-husband claims an obscure young woman as a second wife, and she also vanishes. The consort’s mother and sister dabble in dark matters, including blood sacrifice and poison. Opposed to them are the country’s “unimportant” folk, including a silversmith, a disgraced adept, a shapechanging thief, a couple of kitchen maids, and at least one cat.

Book 1: The Fall of Onagros
In the first book of the SAGE trilogy, a legacy is lost, a woman vanishes into thin air, wisdom is found in unexpected places, and a man hopes to defeat a tyrant with tall tales and gossip.

Click here to read the Prologue and Chapter 1. http://marianallen.com/novels/sage/sage1-prologue-and-chapter-1/

Buy it at Amazon in print. http://www.amazon.com/dp/1942166508

Buy for KINDLE. http://www.amazon.com/Fall-Onagros-Sage-Book1-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00N1BFLGS/