Need a boost in your writing or editing? Check out Holly Lisle’s books and courses.

If you’re looking for some good writing technique books or online courses, I highly recommend Holly Lisle’s books and courses. I have her Create a Character Clinic, Create a Plot Clinic, and How to Write Page-Turning Scenes, and I’m seriously looking at her How to Revise Your Novel online workshop. Her books and courses are easy to understand and relate to, written in a conversational, approachable style, and full of useful information with an understanding of psychology and emotional depth and layers. She has a fresh way of presenting material, and it’s based on her years of experience writing and editing fiction (she has more than 23 novels published). I think I can always learn to make my writing better, deeper, more powerful…so I’m glad when I find more that helps my work. I hope these’ll help you, too!

I love it when my talks on my books move people. My STAINED talk was a success! A post in pictures and words.

I was nervous before my talk on STAINED yesterday at Chapters Scarborough. I’m always nervous before I give a talk! (Part of it is that whole “we’ll-kill-you-if-you-talk” thing my abusers used to tell me, and part of it is that I’m an introvert. I’d rather talk one-to-one with readers.) But being nervous means I practice a lot–and that’s good for my talk.

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So it was lovely to see copies of STAINED on display, next to books by Gayle Foreman (If I Stay), John Green (The Fault In Our Stars), and Holly Black and Cassandra Clare (The Iron Trial). STAINED was in such good company!
Stained-next-to-if-i-stay-john-green-and-more

And it was reassuring to find Christie from the teen section of Chapters Scarborough and bibliophiliacs there, who helped organize everything so beautifully–and who came in when it wasn’t even her shift to help out, hear me talk, and buy two copies of STAINED and get them signed! I was honored. She is smart, kind, knowledgeable, and knows a ton about YA books.

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I set out the free book swag I had for readers–some positive-message stickers, positive-message wristbands, and of course bookmarks. I also had a draw for readers for a Chapters giftcard and an audiobook copy of SCARS.

free-book-swag-Stained-chapters-scarborough

Christie introduced me. She had such nice things to say about me and about STAINED (which is a Bank Street College Best Book of the Year for Ages 14 and Up, 2014).

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I talked about why I write the books I write, the need for strong girls, emotionally strong boys, and diverse characters in books. I talked about how I used to write instead of speak (my abusers told me that they’d kill me if I talked, and since I’d seen them murder other children I knew they could do it, so I turned to writing and art to speak), and how that lead to me writing books, mentioned #WeNeedDiverseBooks, the need for everyone to see themselves reflected back in books and popular culture so we don’t feel invisible, other, or like there’s something wrong with us, and how important books that deal with painful issues can be to some readers. Sometimes a book is the only “person” a teen has to turn to, the only way they can know that they’re not alone, not crazy, and that they can get through. That was true for me as a child and teen, and it’s true for many teens today.

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After my talk I did a short reading from STAINED to gain readers’ interest. :)

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I love how the audience always gets so quiet when I talk–they’re really listening!

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After the talk and reading comes my favorite part–talking to readers, signing their books, and hugging them. :) It feels so good to hear that I’ve opened up their eyes to an issue like self-harm and the reasons it happens, or the effects of rape and abduction, or the strength of survivors, or just that I’ve moved them.

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Talking to my readers–readers who’ve read one or all of my books, and readers who are just discovering them–is rewarding!

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And one of my very favorite parts of a talk is hugging readers afterward if they want a hug. Here’s me hugging Laurie, who’s read and loved my books. Laurie’s written some poetry, and she and her daughters love to write and read. I love hearing that!

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And here I am hugging reader and activist Casey Anne. This hug and meeting her meant so much to me. Casey Anne has read all my books, talked with me online–and she drove more than 10 hours from the US to Toronto to come meet me and hear me talk! Casey Anne has such a good heart, so meeting her was a delight.

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Mary, who drove down with her daughter Casey Anne, and I also had a few good hugs.

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And so did reader Kaitlyn and I. Kaitlyn’s a tween, not yet a teen, so I left it up to her mom and grandmother about whether my books would be good for her. Kaitlyn read them, and so did her family, and they all enjoyed them. What a good feeling!

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Casey Anne and I spent a good long time talking together after my talk and signing. I wanted to make sure that she had some time with me after driving so far to come meet me! It was a fantastic talk; I enjoyed it so much. Casey Anne is smart, kind, and talented, and she’s got such a good heart. Her visit was a highlight for me. She brought four of my books for me to sign, and I wrote special messages in them for her. I also gave her an audiobook copy of SCARS and a rainbow pencil. I am honored that she drove so far to meet me! I have such fantastic readers.

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After my STAINED talk, reader Casey Anne gave me this beautiful journal she painted with a lovely quote and moving inscription inside because I write, and reader Laurie gave me the copper ring on my finger because of the copper jewelry in HUNTED. I was so surprised! I always have things to give readers; I didn’t expect them to give me anything. I have such thoughtful, kind readers!

painted-journal-and-ring-gifts-from-readers-STAINED-Chapters-Scarborough

And after I’d spent good time with Casey Anne (and part way into it, too) I signed the stock of STAINED and HUNTED that Chapters Scarborough had–all with special messages inside. I also enjoyed seeing a teen and her mom grab a copy when I was signing stock.

I heard many lovely things from readers after my talk. Then this morning I met a man on my walk with Petal who told me he was at my talk and how very inspiring it was. That felt so good to hear!

All in all, I think it was a lovely talk and signing. I so appreciate everyone who came by to hear me speak and to get a copy of STAINED or get their own books signed. Thank you all so much for a lovely day!

And thank you so much to Christine Hipper for so many fantastic photos from the event!

If you’re in Toronto on Sat., Sept 13th at 2pm come join me at Chapters Scarborough

If you’re in Toronto, join me at

Chapters Scarborough
(20 William Kitchen Road, Kennedy Commons – just below the 401 and off of Kennedy Rd.)
on Saturday, September 13th at 2pm

to hear me talk about STAINED (Best Book of the Year for Ages 14 and up)–why I wrote it, the need for strong-girl characters, and more–and get a signed copy of STAINED, SCARS, and/or HUNTED. Everyone who attends will get free positive-message stickers, bookmarks, and be entered in a draw. I hope to see you there!

stained-launch-cheryl-signing-via-jean

I draw on my own trauma experiences to write all my books.

In STAINED, Sarah is abducted and must find a way to rescue herself.

Cheryl Rainfield has been said to write with “great empathy and compassion” (VOYA) and to write stories that “can, perhaps, save a life.” (CM Magazine) SLJ said of her work: “[Readers] will be on the edge of their seats.”

I hope you’ll join me.

STAINED-display-Yorkdale-Indigo-cropped

Win a Copy of STAINED and 7 other YA books!

Enter to win a copy of STAINED and 7 other great YA books! You have 25 days more to enter.

You can win:

STAINED by Cheryl Rainfield







The Caged Graves by Dianne K Salerni







Grunge Gods and Graveyards by Kimberly G Giarratano







Thin Space by Jody Casella







The Headhunters Race by Kimberly Afe







Touching The Surface by Kimberly Sabatini







Shattered Souls by Mary Lindsey







Catherine by April Lindner







Good luck!

My Birthday Gift To You – A Free Copy of My YA Fantasy Parallel Visions

It’s my birthday today. To celebrate, I’d like to give you a free ebook copy of Parallel Visions, my YA paranormal fantasy.

In Parallel Visions, Kate sees psychic visions of the future and the past—but only when she’s having an asthma attack. When she “sees” her sister being beaten, she needs more visions to try to save her, along with a suicidal classmate—but triggering her asthma could kill her. Parallel Visions is the story of one brave, caring psychic teen whose unusual gifts put her own life in danger.

If you’ve got a Kindle or a Kindle App (for Windows, iPad, etc) you can download it for free from Amazon today (August 19) and tomorrow, just in case you see this late.

If you need another version–for your Nook, Kobo, iPad, etc.–then email me today or tomorrow at Cheryl (at) CherylRainfield (dot) com with the version you need and I will send you that version. I won’t be sending them out today, but I will in the next week or so.

I hope you enjoy it!

Alex London guest post, GUARDIAN blog tour, first chapter read, and giveaway!

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I LOVE Alex London’s YA dystopian PROXY–it’s one of my favorites and deals with oppression in a fast-moving, emotional and satisfying story–so I’m happy to have him here today to talk about his next book GUARDIAN and invite you to enter his giveaway! If you haven’t read PROXY yet, I suggest you get yourself a copy, and then go read GUARDIAN. (smiling) They make good #WeNeedDiverseBooks reads! PROXY and GUARDIAN have characters of color and LGBT, and are great reads. Take it away, Alex. :)



Alex London
What I wanted to explore with the oppressive systems in PROXY was how the most insidious forms of oppression are often the ones that pass themselves off as freedom. In PROXY’s world, the market gives the illusion of freedom. The powerful think that it’s a person’s choice to go into debt and if they don’t want to pay for what they can’t afford, then that’s their problem. And the powerless in many cased buy into that system because they have to in order to survive, to participate in society in any way and because the other options–making deals with criminals, eking out survival at the fringes of civilization–are pretty horrible options.

The Patrons are just as much trapped by this system as the Proxies, although they get the better end of the deal. Knox could no more drop out of being a patron than Syd can drop out of being a Proxy. He could, of course, be less of a self-centered jerk, but that’s his journey.
So in Proxy, the system is oppression masking itself as the absolute freedom of an unregulated market. It is, essentially, the fantasy of present day neoliberal economics. It’s Ayn Rand’s market ideology taken to extremes.

In GUARDIAN, that system is reversed. It’s a nightmare of collectivism, the kind of economy the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia tried to create.
Essentially, if there was a coherent philosophy behind these books–and I’m not saying there is!–it would be that any system can be become oppressive when it puts its ideological purity above the humans who make it up.

The stories are, at their cores, about real people, real teenagers, asserting their own right to exist with all their contradictions, needs, and desires in the face of merciless ideologies. In the end though, I really just tried to write a gripping tale. The ideas are there, but my loyalty is always going to be to the story.



Thank you, Alex. Read on for chapter one of GUARDIAN, the giveaway, and more about GUARDIAN and Alex London.


GUARDIAN (Proxy, #2) by Alex London
Release Date: May 29, 2014
Hardcover, 352 pages
Publisher: Philomel
Genre: YA / Dystopian / LGBT

The pulse-pounding sequel to Proxy! Inspired by The Whipping Boy and Feed, this adrenaline-fueled thriller will appeal to fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent.

In the new world led by the Rebooters, former Proxy Syd is the figurehead of the Revolution, beloved by some and hated by others. Liam, a seventeen-year-old Rebooter, is Syd’s bodyguard and must protect him with his life. But armed Machinists aren’t the only danger.

People are falling ill—their veins show through their skin, they find it hard to speak, and sores erupt all over their bodies. Guardians, the violent enforcers of the old system, are hit first, and the government does nothing to help. The old elites fall next, and in the face of an indifferent government, Syd decides it’s up to him to find a cure . . . and what he discovers leaves him stunned.

This heart-stopping thriller is packed with action, adventure, and heroics. Guardian will leave you breathless until the final page.

A fast-paced, thrill-ride of novel full of non-stop action, heart-hammering suspense and true friendship—just as moving as it is exhilarating. Fans of Anthony Horowitz’s Alex Rider series, James Dashner’s Maze Runner, Patrick Ness’s Chaos Walking series, and Marie Lu’s Legend trilogy will be swept away by this story.

Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | Goodreads

Author Bio:
Alex London writes books for adults (One Day The Soldiers Came: Voices of Children in War), children (Dog Tagsseries; An Accidental Adventure series) and teens (Proxy). At one time a journalist reporting from conflict zones and refugee camps, he is now a full time novelist living in Brooklyn, NY, where he can be found wandering the streets talking to his dog, who is the real brains of the operation.


Chapter One – GUARDIAN by Alex London

At night, they disposed of the bodies. There was no ceremony, no ritual, no remembrance.

“They’re human,” some argued.

“They were human,” said others. “Now they’re meat.”

“We have to study the infection,” said the doctor.

“We have to contain it,” said the counselor and gave her orders. “Burn the bodies.”

A work detail was tasked with the burning. One by one, in the dead of night, green uniforms with white masks hauled corpses to the pile. The corpses were webbed with black veins, their entire network of blood vessels visible through the pale skin. Dried blood obscured their faces and each had a single hole in the temple by the eyes, where the killing bolt went in. They were put down like livestock, burned like sacrifices.

As the bodies crackled, the doctor watched the flames, her face half in shadow, half dancing in firelight. “I believe there is a cure for this,” she said.

The counselor, standing beside her, nodded, but did not turn to look her way. “Your cure is worse than the disease.”

“You believe that?”

“It’s the truth. Your way is treason.”

“You’re in denial,” the doctor said. “This is going to get worse if we don’t stop it.”

“It’s a new world, Doctor,” the counselor replied. “We can’t turn back the clock.”

“Even to save people’s lives?”

“These”—the counselor gestured at the bodies—“are not people.”

“If it spreads?”

“Is it spreading?”

The doctor watched the young members of the work detail tossing the bodies on the pyre. They moved with the assurance of youth, the kind of attitude that allowed them to stare infection and death in the face and believe it would never touch them. “I don’t know.”

“It is your job to know.”

“I can hardly understand it. The blood turns against the body. Itching, burning. Then, expulsion. Half of them bleed out.”

“And the other half?”

The doctor clenched her jaw. “They haven’t bled out yet.”

“They are in pain?”

“They can’t communicate, but we have to restrain them to keep them from scratching their skin off with their fingernails.” The doctor sighed. “So, yes, they are in pain.”

“Put them out of their misery,” the counselor ordered.

“But, we can still learn—”

“Those are the orders.” The counselor walked away, two green uniforms trailing her into the jungle. The doctor took off her white smock, pulled the blue gloves from her hands with a loud synthetic snap, and stood before the flames.
She watched her latest failed experiments turn to smoke and ash in the bonfire, every bit of blood boiled away, with all the information it might have contained.

She had ideas, dangerous to share; but if she didn’t find a way, she feared, this sickness would go further than any of them could imagine. She would record a message in case she failed. She hoped that someone would still be alive to receive it.

Sneak Peek Chapters of GUARDIAN

Read the Exclusive 3 Chapters from London’s new release, GUARDIAN.

You can read the short story PUNISHMENT, the PROXY prequel on Wattpad for free right now! Meet Syd, Knox, and Liam (from Guardian) at 15…


a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you or your teen or someone you know is thinking of suicide–talk it out.

If you or your teen or someone you know is thinking about suicide–get help. Talk to someone (or many someone’s). Make sure you (or your teen) have people to talk to. It helps to talk it out.

Check out this fantastic video on what to say and what not to say to a teen (or anyone) thinking of suicide. It helps to talk it out.

Also see my post on Reasons Not To Kill Yourself.

Guest post by Tracy E. Banghart: Alloy Entertainment Partners With Amazon To Create A New Digital-First Imprint, and her previously self-published book is included. Enter to win $25 Amazon gift card.

Hello! My name is Tracy and I am so excited to be here today, celebrating with my blogger buddies! WHAT are we celebrating, you ask? Well, today marks the launch of a very exciting, special new program. Alloy Entertainment (of Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants fame) has partnered with Amazon to create a new imprint! As a “Powered By Amazon” imprint, it will be exclusively distributed by Amazon. Here’s more info from the official press release:


“Today, Amazon Publishing and Alloy Entertainment, a division of Warner Bros. Television Group, announced a digital-first imprint that will focus on young adult, new adult and commercial fiction. The new imprint, named Alloy Entertainment, will be part of Amazon Publishing’s Powered by Amazon program. Powered by Amazon enables publishers and authors to leverage Amazon’s global distribution and personalized, targeted marketing reach.”


I am super super proud to share that my previously self-published novel, Shattered Veil, is one of the inaugural books in this program! It has been retitled REBEL WING, given a new cover (check out the beauty below!), fully edited, and I am so, SO excited to share it with you today! In addition, two other books are part of the launch, and they are AWESOME. Read on for more info and purchase links for EVERY UGLY WORD by Aimee L. Salter and IMITATION by Heather Hildenbrand.


REBEL WING


YA Scifi Adventure


“I’ve never been actively jealous of a fictional character .  . . until now. Aris’s adventures set my imagination on fire, and made my heart take flight.” ~Kass Morgan, author of New York Times bestseller The 100


Description


The Dominion of Atalanta is at war. But for eighteen-year-old Aris, the fighting is nothing more than a distant nightmare, something she watches on news vids from the safety of her idyllic seaside town. Then her boyfriend, Calix, is drafted into the Military, and the nightmare becomes a dangerous reality.
Left behind, Aris has nothing to fill her days. Even flying her wingjet—the thing she loves most, aside from Calix—feels meaningless without him by her side. So when she’s recruited to be a pilot for an elite search-and-rescue unit, she leaps at the chance, hoping she’ll be stationed near Calix. But there’s a catch: She must disguise herself as a man named Aristos. There are no women in the Atalantan Military, and there never will be.

Aris gives up everything to find Calix: her home. Her family. Even her identity. But as the war rages on, Aris discovers she’s fighting for much more than her relationship. With each injured person she rescues and each violent battle she survives, Aris is becoming a true soldier—and the best flyer in the Atalantan Military. She’s determined to save her Dominion . . . or die trying.


About Me

Award-winning author, Army wife, and mom Tracy Banghart has an MA in Publishing and an unhealthy affection for cupcakes. Her quiet childhood led to a reading addiction, writing obsession, and several serious book boyfriends. Rebel Wing is her third novel.  She can be found at www.tracybanghart.com 


EVERY UGLY WORD

By Aimee L. Salter

Description

When seventeen-year-old Ashley Watson walks through the halls of her high school, bullies taunt and shove her. She can’t go a day without fighting with her mother. And no matter how hard she tries, she can’t make her best friend, Matt, fall in love with her. But Ashley also has something no one else does: a literal glimpse into the future. When Ashley looks into the mirror, she can see her twenty-three-year-old self.

Her older self has been through it all already—she endured the bullying, survived the heartbreak, and heard every ugly word her classmates threw at her. But her older self is also keeping a dark secret: Something terrible is about to happen to Ashley. Something that will change her life forever. Something even her older self is powerless to stop.

Perfect for fans of Thirteen Reasons Why and The List, Every Ugly Word is a gripping and emotional story about the devastating consequences of bullying.

About Aimee

Aimee L. Salter lives in Southern Oregon with her husband and son. She writes novels for teens and the occasional adult who, like herself, is still in touch with their inner-high schooler. She never stopped appreciating those moments in the dark when you say what you’re really thinking. And she’ll always ask you about the things you wish she wouldn’t.

Aimee blogs for both writers and readers at www.aimeelsalter.com. You can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Every Ugly Word is her debut novel.


IMITATION

By Heather Hildenbrand

Description

Everyone is exactly like me.
There is no one like me.

Ven wrestles with these contradicting truths every day. A clone of wealthy eighteen-year-old Raven Rogen, Ven knows everything about the girl she was created to serve: the clothes she wears, the boys she loves, the friends she loves to hate. Yet she’s never met the Authentic Raven face-to-face. Imitations like Ven only get to leave the lab when they’re needed—to replace a dead Authentic, donate an organ, or complete a specific mission. And Raven has never needed Ven . . . until now.

When there is an attack on Raven’s life, Ven is thrust into the real world, posing as Raven to draw out the people who tried to harm her. But as Ven dives deeper into Raven’s world, she begins to question everything she was ever told. She exists for Raven, but is she prepared to sacrifice herself for a girl she’s never met?

Fans of Cinder, The Selection and Sara
Shepard’s Lying Game series will love Imitation, a thrilling, action-packed novel sure
to keep readers guessing until the very last page.



About Heather

Heather Hildenbrand was born and raised in a small town in northern Virginia where she was homeschooled through high school. She now lives in coastal VA, a few miles from the Atlantic Ocean, with her two adorable children. She works from home, part time, as a property manager and when she’s not furiously pounding at the keyboard, or staring off into space whilst plotting a new story, she’s lying on the beach, soaking in those delicious, pre-cancerous rays. Heather loves Mexican food, hates socks with sandals, and if her house was on fire, the one thing she’d grab is her DVR player. You can find out more about her and her books at www.heatherhildenbrand.blogspot.com 

Heather is a co-founder of Accendo Press, a publishing group she operates with fellow authors: Angeline Kace and Jennifer Sommersby. Accendo (a-CH-endo), A Latin word, means “to kindle, illuminate, inflame, or set fire.” This is something Accendo strives to do inside a reader’s imagination with every title released.

Please join me, Aimee, and Heather, along with some other great YA authors for a Facebook party this afternoon to celebrate the big launch! And don’t forget to enter the giveaway below!  

Thanks so much to my wonderful bloggers friends who are helping me spread the word!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Join Cheryl Rainfield on Sat, Sept 13, 2pm at Chapters Scarborough in Toronto

If you’re in Toronto, join me at

Chapters Scarborough
on Saturday, September 13th at 2pm

to hear me talk about STAINED (Best Book of the Year for Ages 14 and up)–why I wrote it, the need for strong-girl characters, and more–and get a signed copy of STAINED, SCARS, and/or HUNTED.

stained-launch-cheryl-signing-via-jean

I draw on my own trauma experiences to write all my books.

In STAINED, Sarah is abducted and must find a way to rescue herself.

Cheryl Rainfield has been said to write with “great empathy and compassion” (VOYA) and to write stories that “can, perhaps, save a life.” (CM Magazine) SLJ said of her work: “[Readers] will be on the edge of their seats.”

I hope you’ll join me.

STAINED-display-Yorkdale-Indigo-cropped

Bookselfies – STAINED, SCARS, and HUNTED #bookthroughphone and #bookishstar

I joined Instagram about two months ago, and I’ve been enjoying the vibrant book community there. It’s fun to see others’ photos of books, and to share my own–and also, I have to admit, it’s fun to share photos of my little dog Petal as well. (grinning)

I love how easily I can share my photos through Instagram on Twitter and Facebook and Tumblr. It’s also been lovely to connect with some of my readers who were on Instagram, but weren’t finding me through other social media. I love the posts, tweets, private messages, and emails I get from readers; they’re so rewarding. And I love seeing photos of my books out there with readers!

Two of the great bookish photos I saw people recently taking on Instagram were #bookthroughphone and #bookishstar. So of course I had to join in the fun and post some with my own books. I’m sharing a few here with you–and one or two of Petal. (smiling)

bookthroughphone-stained
STAINED as #bookthroughphone. It took me a few tries before I got it to work. I had fun!

bookthroughphone-scars
SCARS as #bookthroughphone. Not perfectly matched up, but pretty close. :) I think it’s kind of cool; kudos to whoever thought this up.

bookishstar
My #bookishstar
Books from top left clockwise: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, Hunted by Cheryl Rainfield, Stained by Cheryl Rainfield, Scars by Cheryl Rainfield, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Crank by Ellen Hopkins, When She Hollered by Cynthia Voigt, Are You Alone On Purpose? by Nancy Werlin, Please Excuse Vera Dietz by A S King, Breathing Underwater by Alex Flinn.

And here’s a few of Petal. She is such a sweet, happy girl. :)

petal-rolling-around
Petal loves to roll around–on the grass, the hall carpet, the couches. :)

petal-about-to-catch-ball
Petal LOVES catching her ball. :)

petal-a-blur-as-she-catches-ball
And here’s Petal, all a blur as she catches her ball–even with her hair (and ears) in her eyes. :)

I hope you enjoyed these photos. What do you take photos of the most? What or who do you have the most fun taking photos of?



Reasons Not To Hurt Yourself


If You're Thinking of Suicide


Tips On Dealing With Self-Harm


10 Ways To Improve Your Body Image And Feel Better About Your Body


Girls Are Strong (And Boys Are, Too). 17 Ways To Be Strong


Writing Technique Books I Recommend


Writing Technique Books & Online Courses I recommend by Holly Lisle


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