In 2009, the infamous Santelli Rant ignited a nationwide grassroots movement against wasteful government spending. Known as The Tea (Taxed Enough Already) Party, the phenomenon spread like wildfire across the fruited plain, with the specific purpose of restoring Constitutional principles and fiscal sanity to Washington, D.C. By 2010, the everyday Americans who comprised the bulk of the Tea Party had made tremendous inroads by swinging the House of Representatives back to Republican control. It seemed that this political tour de force was well on its way to recapturing the Oval Office in 2012. But a funny thing happened on the road to the White House. What began as an earnest movement comprised of America-loving patriots was soon sabotaged by opportunists with a self-serving agenda. Combined with the naïveté of inexperienced candidates for office, nefarious schemes from Republican Party operatives, and a glaring lack of organization, it s no wonder the Tea Party s efforts to influence elections has fizzled out spectacularly. All is not lost, however. In his new book, Ego in a Tea Bag: How Greed, Corruption and Deceit Threaten a Great American Movement, author, blogger, and political activist Ken Crow delves into the roots of the Tea Party, exposes the profiteers of patriotism, and lays out a practical, workable plan for achieving the goal of limited government and securing the promise of the United States of America for generations to come.
I’m honored and excited to be ghostwriting a memoir for a truly courageous and honorable human being, retired Brevard County fireman, Keith Schneider. While we don’t as yet have a cover image, we’re working to have one ready by the end of March. As soon as it’s approved, I’ll share it here.
Thus far we’ve only had two sessions, during which I ask questions and then (mostly) listen. In a short amount of time, I’ve developed a better understanding and a much greater appreciation for first responders and their unwavering commitment to preventing the tragic loss of life to the best of their ability, whenever possible.
In Keith’s case, I’ve also discovered how deeply the emotional wounds penetrate the soul and seer the memory when it’s humanly impossible to defeat death. As Schneider says about the fine gear firemen are issued before they start the job, “They teach you how to put it on. The problem is, they never really teach you how to take it off.”
Without divulging too much detail, spending time on this project has opened my eyes to the reality of PTSD, which not only affects military members but also first responders. One of his goals for penning this memoir is to make the public aware of what firemen endure on a daily basis. Hopefully after reading the book, the next time a taxpaying citizen is tempted to chide a first responder with, “I pay your taxes,” they’ll stop and think about the priceless sacrifices they make for the public safety.
Look for a Fall of 2016 release and plenty of updates in the coming months.
Last year, I edited Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz’s incredible memoir, Getting to Heaven by Going Through Hell, which details his physical and spiritual recovery in the aftermath of a horrific crash caused by a drunk driver. Yesterday, he posted an update on his Facebook Author Page, which included a link to this excellent review in Readers Favorite.com:
In an extremely inspirational and wonderful read by Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz, Getting to Heaven By Going Through Hell is a book that readers will not easily forget. Follow the true life story of Scot as he recovers from the effects of a horrific car accident caused by a drunk driver. Recounting his experiences with anger, despair, and addiction to pain medications after the accident had left his body mangled and his spirit shattered, this story is highly personal and emotional. When God finally breaks through to him, even in his very darkest times, the story takes a dramatic and wonderful turn, one that will keep readers rapidly turning the pages until they get to the very satisfying ending.
I loved Getting to Heaven By Going Through Hell. Loved. It. How’s that for a review? Author Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz has done a wonderful job in writing an extremely private story in such a way that offers hope and healing for many. This book brought tears to my eyes, not once or twice, but many times. It is written in a highly engaging manner and readers will find themselves loath to take a break from it. I am so pleased to highly recommend this book to any reader looking for an inspirational true story with a strong Christian focus. I wish the very best to author Dr. Scot Hodkiewicz and hope that he will consider writing another book in the very near future. If it’s anything like this one, it will certainly be a must-read!
I’ve worked with multiple authors in ghostwriting and editing (as is the case here) on both fiction and nonfiction. Getting to Heaven by Going Through Hell has been my most inspirational by far. It reminded me that amid tragedy, there is hope; amid pain and sorrow, there are always earth angels ready to assist; and that seemingly terrible events do occur for a good reason. Dr. Scot and his family are exceptional people who have recognized the gift they’d been given and demonstrate appreciation to God by passing along the kindness they received at their lowest point to others.
Note: Cover Design by Kia Heavey.
Domino has always relied on tooth and claw to keep the barnyard vermin-free for his employers, the Browns. When he’s not on patrol, his main concerns are prowling with housecat friends and trying to impress the mysterious, lethal female that lives in the nearby woods.
Then a brilliant and charismatic tom moves into the neighborhood, purring strange notions and introducing new “friends,” and Domino soon learns there’s no way to bite or scratch a poisonous idea. As the evil grows, life-long friends become unrecognizable, once-proud felines renounce their very identities in fear, and the natural order is turned upside-down. Locked in a deadly rivalry, Domino must rely on his wits to save his territory, his family, and a time-honored way of life from the bloody scourge that descends.
A tale of courage, strength, and love, Domino is a bracing tonic for a world gone mad.
After dedicating myself to reading a few chapters each night before going to bed (the hardest part was finding the discipline to stop), I finished it yesterday. I plan to write a review this weekend, which I hope does Domino justice. It’s hard to put into words just how exceptional this modern-day Aesop’s Fable truly is. If you’re a cat lover, you’ll appreciate the way in which the author brilliantly captures the mannerisms, personality, and primal instincts of felines and draws a contrast between Domino, a barn cat with important responsibilities, and his domesticated neighborhood friends. Of course, she even takes time to craft a relationship between her main character and his ladylove, Celine, a fellow predator who has spent much of her life hunting in the woods.
But this isn’t simply a cute story of animal courtship, mating, and parenthood: Domino makes a strong statement concerning private property rights, the natural order of life, and the value of hard work — and the disastrous results that occur when over-educated elites, in this case, a haughty Siamese names Socrates (a fitting name) attempt to manipulate, or to use Socrates’ word, “transcend,” nature. The book’s major theme is reminiscent of the fable about the scorpion and the frog, except the scorpion has been replaced by a rat. Actually, a multitude of rats. An infestation that has been emboldened by self-loathing, stupidity, and gullibility housed in the furry, four-legged body of a former “apartment pussy” (love that term!) with no concept of the real world.
Socrates’ utter lack of self-awareness combined with his endless supply of arrogance compels him to impose his vision of utopia upon the peaceful rural/suburban “territory” to which he relocates with his “people.” And in spite of Domino’s warnings, many of his feline companions fall under the spell of this devious interloper — with tragic repercussions.
Social justice, white guilt, white privilege, the Occupy movement, Agenda 21…you name the destructive movement/belief plaguing our current society, it all came to mind as I was reading Domino. I’ll further add that given this surreal primary season, I can easily relate to the poor cat’s frustration when he attempts to reason with his friends before it’s too late. In this example, you might say the silver-tongued feline sports orange hair, an abrasive personality, and little evidence based on past word and deed that he understands or supports the principles of limited government.
But I digress.
While I wouldn’t recommend Domino for young children (mainly because of the author’s accurate descriptions of predator kills and hunts, along with several violent rat confrontations), it should be required reading for young adults (a la Animal Farm), millennials and those of us old enough to remember civics class and the lessons of history.
It’s promising to note that the author received a Kindle Scout contract after submitting her manuscript to Amazon, which is hopefully a precursor of things to come. We need many more books that tell a good story while presenting a positive message about freedom, life, and liberty.
Congratulations to Kia on another excellent achievement!
If you want to hear her share her insights about Domino, tune in to Writestream Tuesday on February 26 at 1 p.m. Eastern. Feel free to call in with your questions at (347) 945-7246. We hope to see you there!
Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing two exceptional authors on Writestream Tuesday: Adrian Abarca (February 9) and Mariana Llanos (February 16). This week, each of them sent me beautiful testimonials about the experience, which I’ve posted at Writestream Radio:
“I’m grateful for the opportunity to be interviewed on Writestream Radio. It was such a rewarding and fun experience. As an independent author, I’m always looking for new venues to promote my work, and Daria provided that, and more. The interview was informative and entertaining, just like two friends talking and sharing, and oh so easy to connect. Thank you for this amazing interview, Daria!”
— Author Mariana Llanos
If you would like to be a guest on any of our Writestream programs, contact us here. Depending on your genre and/or area of expertise, we may be able to book you on more than one. Visit WritestreamRadio.com for the full line-up of hosts and shows.