Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that a lot of people have been stricken by really bad luck this year? Maybe it’s the same every year, but it seems to have hit a disproportionate amount of people I know in 2018. Illness, death, unnatural and natural disasters, financial crises–you name it, it’s happened. It makes the stuff I usually write about seem downright pleasant in comparison.
While I promise to treat you to an epic ghost story next week–a ghost story featuring a serial killer! Hard to beat that–please bear with me as I tell you a little about two friends who could really use your help.
First, let’s talk about C. Lee McKenzie. Lee is one of the kindest people you’ll ever meet. I know that’s said about a lot of people, but in this case, it’s actually true. She spends a large majority of her time promoting and helping other writers, rarely asking for anything in return. When you least expect it, she’ll quietly buy your books and read them, not letting you know until the (positive) review comes out. She never wants people to feel obligated to return the favour.
Sadly, Lee–who is also hilarious, adventurous, and talented–suffered a family tragedy recently. I don’t want to violate her privacy, so let’s just say it was life changing in the saddest of ways. To make things worse, Lee’s life imploded right when her latest middle-grade fantasy was released. Who has time to worry about things like book promotion when all your energy needs to go towards putting one foot in front of the other? So her friends are doing it for her.
What you can do to help:
For the most impact, please buy and review Lee’s Some Very Messy Medieval Magic. If you know anyone with kids, share this book with them. Give it a shout on social media. Any help is most welcome. Here’s the blurb. Feel free to copy and paste it anywhere you like.
There’s only one solution – fledgling wizard Pete must take the page’s place. Accompanied by Weasel and Fanon, Pete’s alligator familiar, they travel to 1173 England.
But what if the page remains lost – will Pete know what to do when the critical moment arrives? Toss in a grumpy Fanon, the duke’s curious niece, a talking horse, and the Circle of Stones, and Pete realizes he’s in over his young wizard head yet again…
$13.95 Print ISBN 9781939844460
$3.99 EBook ISBN 9781939844477
Juvenile Fiction – Fantasy & Magic (JUV037000) / Boys & Men (JUV005000)
“A gripping adventure back in time, with action around every corner.” – Stephanie Robinson, author of The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow
“A great addition to middle school classrooms and libraries, as well as your own private library.” – Beverly Stowe McClure, award-winning author of stories for children and teens.
“This third book in the Adventures of Pete and Weasel series was as much fun as the first.” – Kai Strand, author
“A rich cast of characters who bring the story to life – both in modern and historical times. I highly recommend librarians and teachers get this series on their shelves.” – Hall Ways Reviews
C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days her greatest passion is writing for young readers. When she’s not writing, she’s hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot questions about things she still doesn’t understand.
Website / Facebook / Twitter
Still with me? Good. Let’s chat a little about Brian Keene. Brian is extremely well known in the horror-writing community, not just for his books, but for his outspoken podcast The Horror Show with Brian Keene. Brian isn’t afraid to be contentious, offensive, inflammatory, or downright cantankerous, and if there’s an injustice in his community, you can be sure he’s going to shine a light on it.
That was exactly what he did in 2017, when a guy who sexually harassed me at a horror writers’ convention was revealed to be a “missing stair”–a habitual predator who managed to escape punishment, even though a lot of people were well aware of his crimes. After I was molested and the guy’s publishers continued to turn a blind eye, I agreed to talk to Brian about what had happened. Not only did he treat me respect, he did the show even after the creep in question threatened him with legal action.
During the show, Brian did something monumental, something I hadn’t even known I needed. He said he believed me. I broke down sobbing. The power of those words to anyone going through a sexual assault or harassment case cannot be overstated.
Just last week, Brian was badly burned in an accident. He faces a long and painful recovery, complete with skin grafts and other nastiness. As a writer, he has no health insurance, and as an American, he faces hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. He cannot work, and finds it too painful to hold a pen or his phone.
What you can do to help: A friend of Brian’s has put together a GoFundMe campaign to help cover medical and living expenses. Even small donations can add up and make a difference. Or, purchase Brian’s books. If you like horror novels, there’s a wide variety to choose from.
Thanks so much for reading. Please feel free to share these posts far and wide. The more people they reach, the better.