Wednesday, October 18, 2017

#Humans4PuertoRico Grand Prize Giveaway

I’m doing these smaller posts to focus on explaining the categories in the #Humans4PuertoRico Giveaway.

Remember, this giveaway will run to 11:59 PM EST on October 31.


In case you haven’t seen from other posts, this giveaway is part of my efforts to bring more attention to the current situation in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. In addition, it’s also a call to action to support any cause that helps people in other affected places like Mexico, Oregon and Canada Wildfires, Houston, Florida, USVI, The Caribbean, California, and Las Vegas. Basically the intention is to get people to add some action to their thoughts and help others.


The Grand Prize for this giveaway includes an Estrada Crate with 13 books. To participate, you just have to make any $ dollar donation to a reputable cause in support of the places mentioned above and send me evidence of that donation. I don’t want personal information, just some way to verify that you indeed did make a donation since the prize is so hefty.


It will ship to anywhere in the US or any US territory. There’s an international giveaway too so be sure to keep an eye out. But for now, here’s a lineup of the books that are up for grabs.


The Weightless One by Anaïs Chartschenko

Every bit of food I eat Is turning into more thoughts And what do I do with the thoughts I am too afraid to say? After a party changed everything, Miranda loses her appetite. She is placed in an eating disorder treatment program, where she must be brave enough to face the truth she was trying to bury. A novel told in verse.

The Prophet - Sunshine Sommerville

Hazen Stephenson grew up pampered, and he knows it. But he's never had it easy. Hazen's nightmares aren't merely products of his imagination, and he wrestles daily with guilt, responsibility, and questions of fate. Setting off across the globe, he meets people he's dreamed about and changes their lives...for better and for worse.


The Kota from the Kota Series by Sunshine Sommerville

Mankind is stricken. Brought to its knees by a devastating virus, the world is further crushed by the Dominion tyranny. Humanity struggles to survive this apocalyptic nightmare, and there's only one hope - the ancient promise of an annihilated people.

Anatomy of a Darkened HeartChristie Stratos

A pair of eyes underlined in weary darkness and punctuated with a knowing stare. These are not the normal eyes of a newborn baby. Abigail Delilah is the firstborn of three Whitestone children - and she is the most regretted.

But is it really her fault?

She can't help that the revelation of Father's wretched secret coincides with her birth. She can't help the fear she feels during Mother's psychological - and physical - assaults. As the shadows grow stronger over her soul and the noose of pain tightens around her neck, Abigail will find out which is stronger: her family's wicked assumptions about her or her true self.

AnaerfellJoshua Robertson and JC Boyd

Drast and Tyran might be considered a bit black-hearted, or even immoral. Drast is cunning but reckless, hunting for admiration. Tyran is calculating but tactless, searching for affection. When the two brothers set aside their ambitions to fulfill their father's desire for immortality, they readily discover many opportunities for redemption. Now, while wielding a powerful magic that drains their life, Drast and Tyran will embark on a maddening quest, facing skin-switchers, dragons, and the God of the Dead.



Since her father’s sudden death, all Evie wants is comfort and security for her family. Especially from dragon cagers. The two-tongued serpents are said to take the shape of a man, woo their ill-fated victims, and then devour them whole. But no one ever told Evie she could be kindred to the creatures.

When Evie is framed and exiled, a cager called Lachlann discovers her roaming in the barren dragon country. Now, while being hunted by the same slayers seeking his magic-imbued heart, Evie must put her trust in Lachlann and seek out his clan for help. Only then will they discover what ancient blood flows through her veins.


Strange Luck Amie Irene Winters

All Daisy Darling wanted was to be a writer. What she got was more than she bargained for. As it turns out, the quaint little town of Sea Salt,California houses more than adorable cottages and huge redwood trees.Beneath the coastal charm rests a strange world where wizards, fairies,time-altering portals, and dark magic looms.

A world where memories can be your greatest currency--and weapon.

A world where you can never reclaim what's been taken from you.

After stumbling into the mysterious world, Daisy's memories begin to rapidly disintegrate,but she doesn't even know she's losing them. As if things couldn't get any worse, Daisy learns she is the only one who can save herself.

Daisy's very identity is at stake, but the odds aren't in her favor. Can she discover the secret to win back her freedom before it's too late?

A spine-tingling fantasy, Strange Luck will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes fairy tales.


Hinting At ShadowsSarah Brentyn

Delve into the deeper reaches of the human condition and the darkness that lives there.

A girl haunted by her sister's drowning. A boy desperate for his father's affection. A woman forced to make a devastating decision. A man trapped by his obsessions.

Experience tales of love, loss, murder, and madness through this collection of flash and micro fiction.

Take a peek behind the smile of a stranger. Get a glimpse inside the heart of a friend. Scratch the surface and discover what is hidden beneath.

These stories will open your mind, tug at your thoughts, and allow you to explore the possibility that, even in the brightest moments, something is Hinting at Shadows.

Author's Note: Each selection is approximately 100 words, with a bonus section of Microbursts in which each story is told in 50 words or less.




Whispers to the gods are like honey from a poet's lips. Wn several poets raise their voices together, it's a sacred feast of memories and dreams. Poetry is divine food for the soul, full of emotional and celestial feeling. Join us in our longing, our pain and passion, heartache, logic and insanity, fear, faith, confusion, hope, unity, solitude, daily life, political strife, and more.

From the creative minds of Eric Keizer, A.L. Mabry, Sam DeLoach, Alyssa Trivett, Mello Sakia, Stacy Overby, Phillip Matthew Roberts, Veronica Falletta and Stephanie Ayers.

The Poets of this project have partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and all royalties will be donated to this charity.
Splintered shields. Sharpened swords. Blood and death. The Everlands Kingdom is threatened by the Master of Death himself, and Elle is determined to stop him. After years of living under someone else's shadow, Elle's quest for the mystery that her forgotten past holds will turn her life into a sea of uncharted confusion and endless adventure. Once the truth is revealed, only then, will all the stars align to illuminate Elle's path and the clouds that blocked her way to fulfill her destiny fade. But before darkened skies change into their daylight gown, blood must be spilled, hearts must be broken and truth must light the way.



Yours Truly – 3 Books, YOUR pick.



Up to this moment there are NO participations for this giveaway so the field is wide open for you to win some epic reads and just for helping other people out.


If you’re curious as to some causes I’m supporting in Puerto Rico, click here for a list of reputable causes I’ve found. Also, if it’s not too much trouble, please share this post on social media to keep some attention on Puerto Rico. The situation is still pretty intense and the Island needs a LOT of help. That said, if you’d like to share causes from any of the other places I mentioned, feel free to include them in the comments.


Thanks so much and best of luck to all you book lovers.


Peace, love, and maki rolls.


JD

#Humans4PuertoRico Giveaway update

It’s been 4 weeks since Hurricane Maria did a number on Puerto Rico. In its aftermath, lack of organization, red tape, and confusion have all been the order of the day… but so has the wonderful help people are offering to the Island in its time of need.

To promote awareness of the situation on the Island after the hurricane, I’ve done many things and a variety of efforts, including the Humans 4 PuertoRico giveaway that ENDS ON October 31.

People have offered a lot of support but I’ve also noticed a low level of participation in the giveaway. Unlike other giveaways, participation is pretty simple: if you’ve made a donation to a reputable organization in support Puerto Rico, Mexico, USVI, The Caribbean, Oregon & Canada Wildfires, California Wildfires, Florida, or Houston, all you need to do is send me proof of the donation without including personal information to enter you into the giveaway. You can do this in Private messages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or via email at jdestradawriter@gmail.com.

The main intention here is to promote Thoughts and Action while also promoting some amazing authors who have offered their support. I’ll do blogposts for each effort and tier specifically so these don’t become a super long thread. To document who is in the running and what the support has been, below I will include the different tiers and the prizes you can win along with who has participated.


GRAND PRIZE - WIN OVER 10 INDIE BOOKS in the US and US Territories.

How to participate - Make a donation of any amount in the US and share evidence via private message or email to jdestradawriter@gmail.com.

Participants:
  • N/A
2nd and 3rd prizes - eBook giveaway to win up to 14 eBooks

How to participate - Make a donation of any amount in the US or do the Hurricane Maria Tag on your blog or social media.

Participants:
  • Barbara Elin - UK
International Grand Prize – All my books signed and dedicated sent ANYWHERE in the world.

How to participate - $100+ donation to any applicable cause with evidence

Participants
  • Larysia Woropay - Canada
  • Quentin Zach Cooper - Canada


Any help to promote this effort will be greatly appreciated to continue motivating people to help others in need in Puerto Rico and other places that have been hit hard this year. Thoughts and Prayers are always welcome, but the power of Thoughts & Actions is evident in times of need. Thank you for all the support and here’s to all #humans4Humans.

Peace, love, and maki rolls.

Friday, October 6, 2017

White Terrorist Attack Shocks the Nation

THAT’S the headline that should be on the news. Instead we hear about a lone gunman, thoughts and prayers, and a vast array of people saying the following two things:

1.  “There’s not much we can do.” Followed by Chicago statistics of how strict gun laws do nothing to deter or reduce gun crime.

2.    He was mentally unstable.

In regards to #1:

This has been the attitude for years and once for a change, I’d like to see someone at least try to do something. I hear people defending the second amendment while chanting mantra-like "you won’t take our guns", but what I don’t see is someone (ANYONE) implementing things to try and deter these horrendous events from happening. That this happened is a tragedy, that we’ve lost count of how many people have been lost because of terrorist events like this is heartbreaking and infuriating. Because we let the dust settle and do nothing. I'm not saying what I or anyone else suggests is the way to go... but let's just try something. Anything. 

I have gun owning friends. I have gun loving friends. I have friends who hunt. I’m not for any of these things but they have the right to do so responsibly and I don’t think less of them for their decisions. I know men and women who want to carry firearms and hell I have a friend who knows how to handle a crossbow pretty damn well. But they all have gun permits and do their best to be responsible gun owners because they know this is a serious matter.

Throughout the years I’ve seen a LOT of pushback in regards to new gun laws and as recent as this year, new legislation has passed to make purchasing a firearm even easier… which obviously makes me twitchy. Imagine you want to put new and better drug testing procedures in your company and a ton of people fight it tooth and nail. What would your reaction be? That’s my stance in terms of firearms.

I don’t understand how the resistance can be so solid and insistent and I can only see two things in this equation: gun lovers that don’t want people to know what they own or to be questioned why they own it and gun manufacturers who don’t want to lose business. Different people have been targeted and on this occasion it was a white terrorist opening fire on mostly white Americans. There was a white terrorist who opened fire on children in a school in Connecticut and killed 28 people, including defenseless children. There was an American terrorist who opened fire in a gun club in Orlando killing 48 people. A white American terrorist opened fire in a theater in Colorado during the screening of the Dark Knight Rises killing several people in the process. My question is what is the line that needs to be crossed for there to be action taken.

Now after the above paragraph, some people might be shocked that I used the terms American terrorist and white terrorist. For me, I’m shocked at the amount of people who have died because of firearms in the hands of people with bad intentions. Which brings me to my second point.

#2 Dialogue of mental conditions and terrorists/murderers

Calling the terrorist from Las Vegas mentally unstable, a lone wolf, or crazy is a knee jerk reaction. I’m not saying it’s OK, I’m saying it’s a natural reaction… but I do have something to say about this. I know people who are bi-polar, have massive anxiety, chronic depression, have had suicidal thoughts, have attempted suicide, and some who have unfortunately succeeded. I know people in the autism spectrum, that are gender fluid, bisexual, asexual, agender, that have severe eating disorders, and suffer from severe insomnia. I know people who have post-traumatic stress disorder, who have been abused by relatives or family friends, who have survived sexual assault, who have been shot, who have had a stroke, who have Parkinson’s Disease, who have lupus and lime disease, who are fighting cancer, are undergoing chemotherapy, have been left for dead, are recovering addicts, are currently fighting addiction, and countless other things… and many of them are some of the kindest, most selfless, most genuine, hard-working, pay it forward humans I know and because our language is limited, we put them under the same box than a white terrorist.

This is not only wrong, it is bullshit.

We need to take of the veil off in regards to yet another “isolated” case which isn’t isolated. There’s plenty of precedent of people who have done things like this and we keep hearing “well what can you do?” or "this is not the time to talk about policy, we must respect the victims in this." And to me, any answer is better than what is being considered, which feels like a big pile of nothing. In addition, I'm wondering when the right time to discuss gun policy is because there never seems to be a right time for people who don't want to do anything about this situation. 

I’m not saying my ideas or what people whom I support say is what has to be done… but something. Anything. Is better than thoughts, prayers, and turning the page yet again with no action.