Tag Archives: self published author

Team Grant

11 Apr

 

A very dear friend of mine has been suffering, she has been tested, but throughout it all she has remained positive….for her son.  On March 14 her sixteen-year old son was on his way to weight training at his high school, he was running a little late. Hurrying down the low traffic road something happened, no one will probably ever know for sure. He went off of the road at a high speed. Was he avoiding another car, a deer, or did he look down at his phone? It doesn’t really matter, it could have been anything.  His car went down the embankment into a culvert, when he overcorrected to get it back onto the road, at the speed he was going it rocketed his car eleven feet into the air, clipping a telephone pole midair crumpling the car back onto the road.

He was taken to the local hospital and then airlifted to St. Louis Children’s Hospital.  In a moment your entire world can change.  Steve and I were on our way home from our Atlanta Georgia book event. We were exactly at the crossroads when the call came in and we took the next exit and headed to St. Louis, praying for this wonderful family.  Bryant and James jumped into their cars to be by their side as well.

 TBI’s do not discriminate, they can happen to anyone at anytime.  This was the first time that it has happened to someone else that I love, since our son’s accident.  The five-hour drive was difficult for us, on many different levels.  This young man is the nephew of the two brothers “from St. Louis” that I reference in The Year of the Cicadas. They drove across the country to be by our side when Bryant had his accident.  We think of them as an extension of our own family, this is personal.  I prayed that I could be of some help, but I knew that just being there was important.

When we arrived and the mother fell into my arms crying and my heart broke for her.  Steve and I know the uncertainty that they were facing, the many decisions, and the helplessness of it all.  Their experience was different than ours, but the emotions were the same. In the few days that we stayed, we prepared them for what was to come, the weight loss, the possible outcomes, how to be an advocate for their child who cannot speak for himself right now. We remind them that this is a marathon, not a foot race, and that they need to take care of themselves so they can be there for their son when he wakes up. He will need them to be healthy and sharp witted.

Children’s hospital was an amazing place.  Here they treat the “family” of the accident as well.  They have lockers for their belongings, shower facilities, tables and chairs in the waiting room, you could even have your meals brought in by the kitchen staff.  It is a “children’s” neurological ICU and they expect parents to be there.  Our son was twenty-one, and they expected us to not be there.  Isn’t every accident victim someone’s child?  We found this facility to be humane and I was impressed and knew that this family that I love, was in good hands.

The rewarding part for me was that his mother had read The Year of the Cicadas, and she was prepared for what was to come! I wrote the book, hoping that it could help just one person who was in the same position that we were in, and she allowed me to accomplish that goal.  I never thought that someone I loved would hear my words in her ears even when I wasn’t there.  Writing and self-publishing this book has been a lot of work, time, money and effort and she helped me to realize that it was for a greater good.  Baring my soul and telling the truth about my emotions and what we experienced helped to prepare her, and I am grateful for this.

His wonderful mother is now learning the lesson of “receiving.” She has always been such a giver and sometimes you have to put your self aside and let other’s give to you.  Friends and family feel so helpless in a situation like this and they want to do something, anything to help. One of the greatest loves is to allow someone else to love on you, but it’s not easy to do. Many of you are aware of this accident because of my Facebook posts. Thank you for your prayers, they have made a great difference.  Grant is now in rehab, and he is recovering quickly.  His brain injuries appear to be slight, but things will be different from now on for him and his family.  You can go to his Facebook page, Prayers for Grant Henry if you want to know more about this amazing  young-man and his family.

Steve and I will be in St. Louis on April 19 at Left Bank Books on Euclid Ave at 7 p.m. We will be donating the proceeds of our book sales that day to “Team Grant.”  We hope you can attend, or tell someone you know to attend, help us to spread the word.

 

Catie

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Our marketing plan is driven by one person at a time, and you play an integral role in helping this book find it’s way into the hearts and the minds of the people it was written for.

Want to help? Here are some of the things you can do:

Write a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or our website www.theyearofthecicadas.com

Tell a friend about our book or purchase a copy for them as a gift.

Take our book to your or your friends book club, church group, or start a small group to read the book together. We have study guide questions on our website to help guide you through conversations about the book.  You can get a discount through our website for multiple books purchased.

Write your local newspaper book reviewer and tell them how much you like our book.

Send a copy of our book or write to one of your favorite shows, like the Ellen Show, Oprah, The View or Kathie & Hoda, tell them what you think about it.  It only does so much if I say my book is good, you the reader carry a lot more weight than I do with the outside world.

Pray for our message, that our story will reach the hearts and minds of the people who can help us to open the doors.  Pray that our story will help to inspire people who are in need and that our story finds a way into their lives.

Without you, the readers of  The Year of the Cicadas, this story would be in a shoebox in the top of my closet waiting for my grandchildren to discover it after my passing. Thank you for letting me see it find the light while I am still here.  You rock.

Being Brave | Fourth Deployment

21 Mar

My oldest son, Paul, deployed last week for the fourth time.  We are a battle weary nation and I am a battle weary mother. However, as a nation, we need to remember the men and women and their families who honor their commitment to a “greater good.”  I have a quote in my book, The Year of the Cicadas; “to be brave is to behave bravely when your heart is faint” by Pat Henin.  I would like to remind you that these men and women who are serving may be weary as well, but they continue to move forward. So, I ask you, the reader, to put forth some zeal and continue to support these brave people and their families with as much support as we showed them during 2001. 

My son will be gone for a minimum of  ten months. During his last deployment he missed the birth of his first child. This time around he has already missed his youngest son’s first birthday  and he will miss seeing him take his first steps. He will not be there for Easter egg hunts, anniversaries, Halloween, Thanksgiving and on and on. Sacrifices are not made only on the battlefield, but on the home front as well.

My daughter-in-law does not have him around to share these moments with, to celebrate or to be a shoulder to lean on when she grows weary.  Yes, she has made the choice to support and encourage him in his career, but that support requires that she must put on a brave face and move forward on a daily basis.

Traumatic brain injuries are the most frequent injury from our “war.”  The body armor protects our military personnel so well that their brains are shaken by a blast that would have killed them in a previous war.  Post traumatic stress disorder, PTSD is also common.  My son is a Marine Infantry man.  He is the “boots on the ground, the tip of the spear.”  By the grace of God, my son appears to have come back unscathed from his previous deployments. As he leaves again, the fear a mother has for her child’s safety is constant, as well as the fear of the unknown.

My book, The Year of the Cicadas takes you through the difficulties of recovering from a TBI, and the ripple effects it has on families.  Although our other son’s injuries happened nine years ago and medical advancements have made the hospital journey somewhat different, the effects and the emotions remain the same for both the patient and the families. 

March is Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness month, so please pass this blog and our book along to remind people to reach out to the family of a TBI survivor, to the survivor themselves or to our military personnel and families.  Remember that “to be brave is to behave bravely when your heart is faint.” Go out there, be brave and offer your support.  You will never know how much it is appreciated.

Catie

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Our marketing plan is driven by one person at a time, and you play an integral role in helping this book find it’s way into the hearts and the minds of the people it was written for.

Want to help? Here are some of the things you can do:

Write a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or our website www.theyearofthecicadas.com

Tell a friend about our book or purchase a copy for them as a gift.

Take our book to your or your friends book club, church group, or start a small group to read the book together. We have study guide questions on our website to help guide you through conversations about the book.  You can get a discount through our website for multiple books purchased.

Write your local newspaper book reviewer and tell them how much you like our book.

Send a copy of our book or write to one of your favorite shows, like the Ellen Show, Oprah, The View or Kathie & Hoda, tell them what you think about it.  It only does so much if I say my book is good, you the reader carry a lot more weight than I do with the outside world.

Pray for our message, that our story will reach the hearts and minds of the people who can help us to open the doors.  Pray that our story will help to inspire people who are in need and that our story finds a way into their lives.

Without you, the readers of  The Year of the Cicadas, this story would be in a shoebox in the top of my closet waiting for my grandchildren to discover it after my passing. Thank you for letting me see it find the light while I am still here.  You rock.

Foreward Review

13 Mar

Being a self-published writer and learning as I go, I was a little slow getting my book: The Year of the Cicadas sent to the “right” reviewers.  I held my breath when the top number 30 and the top number 250 Amazon reviewers read my book.  When they both gave me a five star rating, I was elated and felt so blessed. I knew there was no way that they were the friend, of a friend, of a friend.  Friends can be so kind when it comes to rating a book, but it’s always nerve wracking to hear the opinion of someone who doesn’t know me.

I have sent The Year of the Cicadas off to be rated by some of the top raters in the field and the first one is back; you can view it here.

Foreword Review gave our book four out of five stars!  They also said, “it should be mandatory reading for all nursing students.” I especially loved the fact that the Foreword Review said my choice to write it in first person was a wise one. I was adamant about this decision even though it was a challenge on many fronts.

Since publishing The Year of the Cicadas I have found that everyone who reads our book reads a different story because of their own personal perspective.  This review was excellent, especially because the reviewer came at it from a different angle than anyone else.  This is the strange thing about our book, it is so multi-layered that whoever reads, The Year of the Cicadas reads it completely different than the person before them.  Depending on where a certain individual is in their life, they will relate to different aspects of the book.  It may be an eating addiction, a traumatic brain injury, the struggle to overcome insurmountable odds, a troubled marriage, taking on the role of a caregiver, a working mother deciding to make a change in her life, God and miracles, or someone simply trying to find their own voice. 

So, our journey continues as I wait for the other “reviewers” to get back with me. In the meantime I will continue to travel around on my book tour meeting new people and sharing my story. If The Year of the Cicadas has touched you in some way I would love to hear from you!

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Our marketing plan is driven by one person at a time, and you play an integral role in helping this book find it’s way into the hearts and the minds of the people it was written for.

Want to help? Here are some of the things you can do:

Write a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or our website www.theyearofthecicadas.com

Tell a friend about our book or purchase a copy for them as a gift.

Take our book to your or your friends book club, church group, or start a small group to read the book together. We have study guide questions on our website to help guide you through conversations about the book.  You can get a discount through our website for multiple books purchased.

Write your local newspaper book reviewer and tell them how much you like our book.

Send a copy of our book or write to one of your favorite shows, like the Ellen Show, Oprah, The View or Kathie & Hoda, tell them what you think about it.  It only does so much if I say my book is good, you the reader carry a lot more weight than I do with the outside world.

Pray for our message, that our story will reach the hearts and minds of the people who can help us to open the doors.  Pray that our story will help to inspire people who are in need and that our story finds a way into their lives.

Without you, the readers of  The Year of the Cicadas, this story would be in a shoebox in the top of my closet waiting for my grandchildren to discover it after my passing. Thank you for letting me see it find the light while I am still here.  You rock.

Taking a Leap of Faith

3 Mar

I occasionally hear the phrase, “taking a leap of faith,” and that leap can come in many different forms.  However, on this January day of 2005, this leap of faith actually required that Bryant, after falling 180 feet off of this very spot, leap (with a repelling rope) off of the same cliff eight months later.

This story is chronicled in Catie Hartsfield’s book, The Year of the Cicadas. After facing an unbelievable battle to relearn how to walk, eat, and communicate, Bryant now wanted to face his adversary square in the face. He felt that he needed this to overcome the traumatic life-altering event that fractured his neck, cut his carotid causing temporary paralysis on his left side, and a traumatic brain injury. Bryant wanted to conquer this huge obstacle to get his self-esteem and future back.

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Going over the edge

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At first, Steve and I, as his parents were not behind his repelling, or even returning to the spot. Our own fear of him being injured once again was too much for us to face. Once we realized he was set on doing it with or without us, Steve and a friend of Bryant’s, accompanied him back to the very spot where this traumatic life-altering trauma happened.

It was a quiet event, no fanfare, just the three of them. Bryant faced his fear and went over the edge, changing the course of his life forever. The man that arrived at the bottom of the cliff this time was not the same young man that had been at the top a few moments before.

Bryant, victorious after finishing his repel down the cliff

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Steve is physically and emotionally wiped after watching Bryant’s repel.

Facing your fears is not without risk, not without fear, and not without faith.  What is holding you back?

You can hear Bryant and Catie talking to Scott Sloan from 700 WLW about this here.

Catie

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Our marketing plan is driven by one person at a time, and you play an integral role in helping this book find it’s way into the hearts and the minds of the people it was written for.

Want to help? Here are some of the things you can do:

Write a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or our website www.theyearofthecicadas.com

Tell a friend about our book or purchase a copy for them as a gift.

Take our book to your or your friends book club, church group, or start a small group to read the book together. We have study guide questions on our website to help guide you through conversations about the book.  You can get a discount through our website for multiple books purchased.

Write your local newspaper book reviewer and tell them how much you like our book.

Send a copy of our book or write to one of your favorite shows, like the Ellen Show, Oprah, The View or Kathie & Hoda, tell them what you think about it.  It only does so much if I say my book is good, you the reader carry a lot more weight than I do with the outside world.

Pray for our message, that our story will reach the hearts and minds of the people who can help us to open the doors.  Pray that our story will help to inspire people who are in need and that our story finds a way into their lives.

Without you, the readers of  The Year of the Cicadas, this story would be in a shoebox in the top of my closet waiting for my grandchildren to discover it after my passing. Thank you for letting me see it find the light while I am still here.  You rock.

From the trunk of my car to bookstores…

28 Feb

In the matter of a few short months I have gone from selling my book, The Year of the Cicadas, out of the trunk of my car, to book signings in friends homes and business’s, to having my book stocked in the largest independent local book store around and just heard that Barnes & Noble has sent a letter of intent to a large distributor to perhaps stock my books.  As an independant writer, self publisher, and self promoter this is a really big deal to me. Pinch me, am I dreaming? 

This has been quite the journey, and although you can order our book through Barnes & Noble it is not stocked there yet.

inspirational true story, tbi, brain injury

This photo says it all.  When I did the interview with Erin Campbell Ministries, Erin put it so well.  “Without the grace of God, Bryant and his entire generation to follow, would have been dust.”  This photo of Bryant with his son, and the book, my testimony to those miracles says it all.

I could not be prouder at this moment.  All of those hours of writing, editing, rewriting, editing again….  All of those moments of self-doubt, all of the months spent on my computer and standing in line at the post-office promoting The Year of the Cicadas, are all summed up in this photo. Here it is: The Year of the Cicadas, being prominently displayed at a book store while Bryant and his son stand behind our story.  I wrote this book for my grandchildren, and for their children to come.  I could have never done it without the backing of my family.

Our Most Excellent  Book Tour adventure continues…….

Catie

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Our marketing plan is driven by one person at a time, and you play an integral role in helping this book find it’s way into the hearts and the minds of the people it was written for.

Want to help? Here are some of the things you can do:

Write a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or our website www.theyearofthecicadas.com

Tell a friend about our book or purchase a copy for them as a gift.

Take our book to your or your friends book club, church group, or start a small group to read the book together. We have study guide questions on our website to help guide you through conversations about the book.  You can get a discount through our website for multiple books purchased.

Write your local newspaper book reviewer and tell them how much you like our book.

Send a copy of our book or write to one of your favorite shows, like the Ellen Show, Oprah, The View or Kathie & Hoda, tell them what you think about it.  It only does so much if I say my book is good, you the reader carry a lot more weight than I do with the outside world.

Pray for our message, that our story will reach the hearts and minds of the people who can help us to open the doors.  Pray that our story will help to inspire people who are in need and that our story finds a way into their lives.

Without you, the readers of  The Year of the Cicadas, this story would be in a shoebox in the top of my closet waiting for my grandchildren to discover it after my passing. Thank you for letting me see it find the light while I am still here.  You rock.

Facing Your Fears…

27 Feb

Sometimes book signings are a huge event, lots of people showing up, lots of books being sold.  Sometimes they are small intimate gatherings instead.  We recently had our third book signing in Cincinnati, on a rare sunny/warm late February Sunday afternoon, in the middle of flu season and during the Daytona 500. So, needless to say, unlike our other events, not that many people actually made it to this book signing.  It is a little like your worse nightmare, that dream that you are naked, and now have to walk around in public!!!

the year of the cicadas

I got to face what I thought was my worse book signing nightmare, an event where hardly anyone shows up, and it was actually okay.  It was better than okay, it was great!  Michelle and Tracy put so much effort, thought and time into prepping for this event.  Steve and I brought food and drinks, everything looked lovely, and the time for the event came and went with only one extra person showing up.  Yes I know, my worse book signing nightmare.  If only one person shows, I have to go on. Like my daughter-in-law Amanda reminds me, if our story helps just one person, it will make it all worth while.

Slowly over the course of two hours, a couple of other people drifted in, and we really have a lovely afternoon.  Sitting closely together, sharing our story with others, answering questions, and then eventually others sharing their stories with us.  We ate, hugged, talked and communed. What a gift! Now I know that no matter what happens at any event, I am prepared. I will have that lovely afternoon tucked away in my mind and now know that “your worse nightmare” is really only your mind trying to convince you that you are not worthy, but the reality is really what you make of it.  Thank you Tracy and Michelle for a very important lesson as our most excellent book tour adventure continues.  It turned out to be one of my most favorite events.

Catie

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Our marketing plan is driven by one person at a time, and you play an integral role in helping this book find it’s way into the hearts and the minds of the people it was written for.

Want to help? Here are some of the things you can do:

Write a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or our website www.theyearofthecicadas.com

Tell a friend about our book or purchase a copy for them as a gift.

Take our book to your or your friends book club, church group, or start a small group to read the book together. We have study guide questions on our website to help guide you through conversations about the book.  You can get a discount through our website for multiple books purchased.

Write your local newspaper book reviewer and tell them how much you like our book.

Send a copy of our book or write to one of your favorite shows, like the Ellen Show, Oprah, The View or Kathie & Hoda, tell them what you think about it.  It only does so much if I say my book is good, you the reader carry a lot more weight than I do with the outside world.

Pray for our message, that our story will reach the hearts and minds of the people who can help us to open the doors.  Pray that our story will help to inspire people who are in need and that our story finds a way into their lives.

Without you, the readers of  The Year of the Cicadas, this story would be in a shoebox in the top of my closet waiting for my grandchildren to discover it after my passing. Thank you for letting me see it find the light while I am still here.  You rock.

Becoming an Indie Writer – A journey Through Self-Publishing

26 Feb

As an author of a book, you think that you are going to write your book, hopefully find a publisher and then be done. Maybe, but certainly not if you self-publish your own book, and become what is known as an “Indie Writer.” Promoting my book The Year of the Cicadas has taught me so much about the business, and about my own drive and tenacity, and even more about the power of prayer.

I work each day hopefully for a full 8 hours, some days only 4 or 5, but generally 30 to 40 hours a week learning how to promote my book The Year of the Cicadas.  I accomplished a real coup a few weeks ago by having a top 250 reviewer on Amazon review my book and give it five stars, this week I accomplished an even bigger coup by a Amazon Top Fifty Reviewer reading “The Year of the Cicadas” and giving it a five star review.  This is virtually unheard of with an Indie Writer, and I know it is an answer to a prayer, backed up by a lot of hard work, and sprinkled in with some dumb luck. To view our review from a Amazon Top 50 Reviewer click here. To view our review from a Amazon Top 250 Reviewer click here.

When I wrote this story down, I knew that God had given our family a miracle and I felt that he was asking me to record these miracles for people who may be struggling, to give them hope. I felt that this was my life’s purpose, something I needed to accomplish before I leave this earth.  After writing this story down, I prayed and asked him to open the doors if it was His will that the book see the light of day…well here we are, three months after printing our books.  The people keep coming forth to open the doors, and I believe the miracles keep happening with our story, via the book.  These top reviewers are bombarded daily with large publishing houses wanting them to review their books, and to have them take the time to accept our book, read our story and write such wonderful heart felt reviews about it, is truly the power of prayer.

I pray over our book each day and ask God to open the hearts and minds of the people who this book is intended for.  If  you are feeling moved by our story and want to help, there are many ways you can do this.  Our marketing plan is driven by one person at a time, and you play an integral role in helping this book find it’s way into the hearts and the minds of the people it was written for.

Want to help? Here are some of the things you can do:

Write a review on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or our website www.theyearofthecicadas.com

Tell a friend about our book or purchase a copy for them as a gift.

Take our book to your or your friends book club, church group, or start a small group to read the book together. We have study guide questions on our website to help guide you through conversations about the book.  You can get a discount through our website for multiple books purchased.

Write your local newspaper book reviewer and tell them how much you like our book.

Send a copy of our book or write to one of your favorite shows, like the Ellen Show, Oprah, The View or Kathie & Hoda, tell them what you think about it.  It only does so much if I say my book is good, you the reader carry a lot more weight than I do with the outside world.

Pray for our message, that our story will reach the hearts and minds of the people who can help us to open the doors.  Pray that our story will help to inspire people who are in need and that our story finds a way into their lives.

I hope you enjoyed the reviews from Amazon and thank you all so much!  Without you, the readers of our book, this story would be in a shoebox in the top of my closet waiting for my grandchildren to discover it after my passing, thank you for letting me see it find the light while I am still here.  You rock.

Catie

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