My Books!

Friday, July 28, 2023

A Voice Out of Poverty


A Voice Out of Poverty

by Jillian Haslam




GENRE: Memoir






A woman’s ascent from devastating poverty and childhood trauma to international standing as a prominent advocate for the poor and helpless.


As a young girl, Jillian Haslam saved a life. Herself tiny and aching from malnutrition, she stood for hours at a tea shop, begging for a ladle of milk to try and prevent her newborn sister from dying of starvation.


From the slums of Calcutta to the executive floors of a global bank, A Voice out of Poverty offers an unflinching look at one woman’s journey from destitution to success.


Throughout, Haslam demonstrates an inexhaustible drive to rise above adversity and find beacons of positivity in impossible circumstances. But her rise doesn’t stop at the top; she returns to her roots again and again to extend a hand to those left in the impoverished communities that she so narrowly escaped.


British by ancestry and born in India after its independence, Haslam and her family suffered degradation and prejudice. They were forced to live on the streets, flee danger in the middle of the night, and face persistent abuse and starvation.


This treacherous environment is the backdrop of an unlikely story of resilience and an unshakable family bond. From squalor and powerlessness, Haslam finds countless moments of grace, community, gratitude, and love.


A Voice out of Poverty is a raw and inspiring memoir that shows how beauty can be found in improbable places, and how “success” is not just the act of making it through. Rather, it is the act of reaching back to bring others with you.







A bristly, grey rat jutted its head through a wide crack in the peeling stucco wall, its long tail draped behind and hidden. It squinted its beady eyes and sniffed the air, as a light drizzle started to dampen the ground.


A few feet away, an older homeless woman, sitting under a precarious building canopy, shifted her eyes towards the rat, without moving her head. A stray dog nestled next to her, one of three gathered snuggly around her, bared its teeth, and growled at the rodent, without rising.


The woman swiveled her head in the rat’s direction and shooed it away with a claw-like hand slicing the air. The rat withdrew, vanishing inside the wall. The dog returned its head to rest on its paws and closed its eyes.


The drizzle turned into a light rain.


My mother and I took in the rat scene side by side as we ambled down the street. My eyes remained riveted on the homeless woman. I wondered if she had a family or young children like me. Then, the noisy “pop-pop” of a Vespa flew near my eyes and broke my concentration, causing me to pull my head back abruptly. I gripped my mother’s hand as tightly as I could.


The rain was now steady but not enough to flood the crowded streets or inhibit the pace of the fast-moving foot and vehicle traffic. I looked up to see an old man pulling a rickshaw coming towards us. I stared at him. His emaciated body looked as if his skin could peel off in thin layers, like a stale onion. He stared at me, sharing his single black tooth. I held my stare.


The rickshaw puller veered off the line of his path, forcing a dilapidated scooter that packed an entire family to swerve near us. The scooter splashed mud onto my legs and dress, and I started to cry. My only proper dress was drenched with filth. I now would have to undress to underclothes while it got washed. My mother stopped and crouched in front of me. I didn’t hide my disgust.




AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Jillian Haslam was born in 1970 and raised primarily in the slums of Calcutta. Despite the severe devastation of her family’s living circumstances, she completed her education and landed her first major employment as a personal assistant to the CEO at Bank of America in India.


Jillian rose through the ranks, and Bank of America appointed her president of its Charity and Diversity Network in India, where she spearheaded charitable work in four different cities. This led her to receive three philanthropic awards from Bank of America: the Star Recognition award, the Service Excellence award, and The Individual Achievement award.


In 2011, she published the first version of her memoir, Indian. English, which chronicles her life growing up amid dreadful poverty, abuse, and tragedy. The book sold over 150,000 copies, mostly while she was on the speaking circuit. Her story also incited interest from Hollywood and British film directors and producers, leading to the development of a feature film.


Charitable giving became Jillian’s life work. In 2012, she received the first runner up award for The Asian Woman of the Year in the “Social and Humanitarian” category. In early 2015, The Telegraph of Calcutta presented Jillian with the True Legend award for her exceptional contribution to social and humanitarian causes. In mid-2015, she was recognized as a finalist for the Role Model of the Year award for her work delivering speeches in educational institutes across the UK. In late 2016, she received an award for Excellence in Humanitarianism. And, in 2017, she received her greatest accolade, the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award.


Jillian became a speaker in demand and is a Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM). She has delivered several TEDx talks, among other prestigious speaking engagements, on various topics that flow from her life story. Jillian speaks on topics that include entrepreneurialism, the power of the mind, and human resilience.


She has also been featured on various TV networks, including Channel 5 and the BBC, and a wide range of print media, including The Independent, The Pioneer, The Times, The Telegraph, The Metro, Gulf News, and other major media outlets. Jillian’s charitable work continues under the auspices of the Remedia Trust where she oversees several separate charities: Ageing Smiles (for the elderly poor), Happy Hearts (for children), Empowering Girls (for teaching various workable skills), India’s Disabled (for building a mobile medical unit), E3 Growth (focused on education, employment, and employability), and the Mother Teresa Project (for women and single mothers).


Jillian currently lives in London with her husband.


Connect with her here: (all available buy links are here)





One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $25 Amazon/ gift card.




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Thursday, July 27, 2023

Reticent Hawke

Title: Reticent Hawke
Series: The Hawke Family Second Generation Book 2
Author: Gwyn McNamee
Genre/Tropes: Reverse Age Gap/Best Friend's Older Sister/Forbidden Romance/Billionaire Romance 
Release Date: July 27, 2023


Sometimes, I wish I weren't a Hawke...especially because I'm in love with one.
Years of living on the streets taught me one hard lesson…
Don’t trust anyone.
People are inherently bad and will do bad things any chance they get.
So, when the Hawkes took me under their wings…
I put up walls so high that no one could ever climb over them.
Most stopped trying.
It was the way I liked it.
Locked away in my own little world.
Protected from anything that could hurt me.
But the very person I try so hard to keep out is the only one I want to let in.
I dream about her touch.
Crave her in a way I have no right to.
She’s my best friend’s older sister.
No matter what…I have to keep my hands off Angelina Hawke.

Reticent Hawke is the second book in The Hawke Family Second Generation Series from USA Today Bestselling Author Gwyn McNamee. Grab this angsty forbidden, reverse age gap, best friend’s older sister, contemporary romance about a broken man, an older woman, a danger neither of them sees coming, and desire neither of them can deny.

Gwyn McNamee is an attorney, writer, wife, and mother (to one human baby and two fur babies). Originally from the Midwest, Gwyn relocated to her husband’s home town of Las Vegas in 2015 and is enjoying her respite from the cold and snow. Gwyn has been writing down her crazy stories and ideas for years and finally decided to share them with the world. She loves to write stories with a bit of suspense and action mingled with romance and heat.

When she isn’t either writing or voraciously devouring any books she can get her hands on, Gwyn is busy adding to her tattoo collection, golfing, and stirring up trouble with her perfect mix of sweetness and sarcasm (usually while wearing heels).

Gwyn is the author of The Hawke Family series, The Slip Series, The Deadliest Sin Series, The Inland Seas Series, The Supernatural Love Stories in the Absurd (written as her alter-ego, DP Payne), and several stand-alone novels.



Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Beyond the Book: Pet Sitting

 Have you ever been a pet sitter?

Oh, yes I’ve been a pet sitter before. Bruno and Gunner pictured above are the ones I last sat with, but you have to be careful about pet sitting. Several years ago I was asked to pet sit, and the person never came back for the dogs. They live with us to this day. We love them very much, but they bring the dog total in our house to three, which is a lot.

I really can’t see that ever happening to Bruno and Gunner, though. They are loved and cherished as my own dogs are. They’re nice dogs, but I’m glad they have a good home.

Bruno is the larger dog. He came from the animal shelter. When they got him he was about fifty pounds and about the size of my own Izzy. He had so much love to share that if you pushed him away he’d lick the air in front of you. For years everyone tried to teach him not to jump on people, but we might as well not have tried. He loved people so much that he really couldn’t contain himself. Eventually, he got too big to play with my dogs so his owners decided to find him a friend who’d be about his size. Enter Gunner who was a rescue dog. This picture was taken months ago. Today Gunner is about the size of Bruno. 

It may give you a clue to Gunner’s personality to know that I always called him Little Monster. He wanted to play with me so bad, but every time he did I ended up with scratches that oozed blood. He didn’t mean to do it. He was just so exuberant he couldn’t help himself. He also ate part of my shoe strings when I sat down and didn’t pay him any attention. I warned his owners, my son and his wife, that they should send him for training, but they never did. My son likes him wild and crazy, which I think may be a concern when he’s grown. Gunner makes Bruno seem sedate.

Whenever the family goes somewhere we baby sit the dogs. We have a fenced back yard so we let them out to run and go wild outside. After they calmed down we let them inside where they got treats. Our dogs always get excited so we have five dogs running like the wind through the house. Of course they eventually lie down in one of the dog beds we keep here for them. They’re both loving and sweet dogs. My son asked me if I would take care of them if something should happen to him and his family, and I agreed that I would. If you have dogs or cats yourself you should make arrangements for them too. I have. I know exactly where my dogs will go if I should pass away. 

Sometimes it’s annoying to deal with young, lively dogs, but when push comes to shove, I don’t mind. What about you? Have you ever been a pet sitter?



Monday, July 24, 2023

Hidden Away at Promise Lodge


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Returning to the fan-favorite world of the closeknit Amish community of Promise Lodge, the small-town Missouri setting of her beloved Amish inspirational romance novels, Charlotte Hubbard continues to delight readers with uplifting tales of faith, family, and the blessings and happiness of true love and caring partnership.

There are no secrets among Missouri’s Amish community of Promise Lodge, as they share their joys, burdens, and blessings. But two visitors with a hidden agenda bring some surprising revelations—and unexpected saving graces…

When Karen Mercer and Andi Swann come to Promise Lodge for a week’s stay, the Kuhn sisters quickly detect the guests are not Plain folk, despite their kapps and homemade dresses. Entranced by the idyllic Amish lifestyle they’ve read about in romance novels, the visitors have gone undercover to revisit the place that was once the church camp where they spent happy summers. They mean no harm—but when the truth is uncovered, their deception has an intriguing impact on the faithful, hard-working community . . .

Meanwhile, amid bustling preparations for a spring wedding, a shy horse trainer is encouraged to share his colorful world with a newcomer awaiting a miracle . . . while the widowed baker of luscious Promise Lodge Pies sees a long-time friendship in a romantic new light. And in the wake of a destructive storm, Karen and Andi’s insider knowledge of the grounds may offer the safe passage they all need to renew and rebuild—stronger than ever . . .

Read an Excerpt

“Look at how this place has changed since we went to church camp here,” Andi remarked as they stood at the entry to Promise Lodge. “This must be a new metal entryway sign, because I don’t remember it having sunflowers and wheat sheaves, do you? And this plot to the left was a mowed pasture for horseback riding, and now it’s planted in green beans and tomatoes—”

“Probably to be sold at this produce stand,” Karen said, nodding toward the wooden structure at the roadside. “And look at all the houses! And there’s a tiny home with a dock on the far side of Rainbow Lake. How cool is that?”

“The old timbered lodge and the cabins look just the same as I remember them,” Andi said wistfully. “Except the Amish here have obviously done a lot of painting—and that looks like a new roof. The summers we spent here as campers and counselors were some of the best times of my life.” “Yeah, they were.” Karen pointed toward a large white barn. “And look at those adorable black and white cows! Everything looks too neat and perfect to be real—”

“But what about us?” Andi interrupted, her smile falling a notch. “Do we look authentic? We’re wearing these calf-length dresses we made and the kapps we ordered from a store in Lancaster County—and we’ve read hundreds of Amish novels—but what if they call us out as fakes? What if they make us confess in front of everybody at church and then—”

“They can’t do that, silly!” Karen reminded her with a chuckle. “We’re just taking a little trip down memory lane while we live the Amish life instead of just reading about it. If we stick to our script and imitate the way these folks do things, we’ll be fine, right?”

Andi sighed as though she wasn’t too sure about that. “But we made our phone reservation request and sent our money as though we were Plain, and the Amish think it’s a sin to lie. Maybe we should’ve—”

“But we didn’t,” Karen pointed out quickly. Her pulse was pounding with anticipation as she picked up the old-fashioned suitcase she’d bought at a thrift store. “If we follow our plans, we won’t have any problems. We’re just a couple of Amish maidels who’ve come to Promise Lodge for a week to check it out because we read about it in the Budget newspaper—which we did. Let’s walk to the lodge before you get cold feet and back out on me.”

About the Author
In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 50 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband and their Border collie, Vera.


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Thursday, July 20, 2023

Gracefully Broken


Gracefully Broken: The Resilient Woman

by Michele Williams




GENRE: Spiritual/Religious






This world is full of many offenses that we never could have imagined years ago, many are so deep in their troubles and worries that they believe that there is not a God that can heal them. But I’ve grown to learn and understand that God is sovereign, He is waiting with arms open and offering his grace to us. A woman in labor endures the pain and suffering of giving birth, but through this process brings forth a beautiful child. Although you may be a diamond in the rough when under pressure and being weighed down for a long period of time, the suffering will cease the end result is a beautiful stone that is brilliant and bright. The trials of your life are just a testimony for the glorious work that god is doing in you. Hold onto the faith, fight the good fight and don't quit. This is the key to being Resilient.






A large crowd followed and pressed around Jesus. A woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal while under the care of many doctors. She had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better, she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind Him in the crowd and touched His cloak, because she thought, If I just touch the hem of His garment, I will be made whole. Immediately, her fountain of blood had stopped. She felt healing in her body. She was free from her suffering. In an instant, transformation had come. At once, Jesus realized that His virtue was gone out of Him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched Me?”


The disciples responded and said, “You see the people crowding against you, and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ Jesus continues to search, looking around to see who had touched Him. Then, the woman, knowing what she had done, came and knelt at His feet, and trembling with fear, told Him the whole truth. He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be whole of the plague.”


Mark 5:25-34


We see in this scripture that the woman suffered for 12 years. This woman was suffering from hemorrhage, which made her weak. She had used up all her finances on doctors. Now, she was left with no means of support for housing or food. She was considered ceremonially unclean and anyone she touched would be also. This problem was related to something from her past. She had an infirmity, an issue of blood that no physician could heal, but she had faith and she heard about a man named Jesus and pressed through and touched His garment. Instantly, she was healed. Jesus called it out, that infirmity of times past. He spoke to the sickness, the issue, and the power of His Word healed her instantly. Jesus was the prescription she needed after suffering 12 years when she was healed.


Faith Hebrews 11:1


Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.


Not later, but now, when you believe it is done. I love this scripture.


This woman was at war with her body, a war inside of her. She was suffering physically, but some of us suffer in the mind and in our emotions.


And behold, there was a woman with a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together, and could in no wise lift up herself. And when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him, and said unto her, Woman thou art loosed from thine infirmity. Luke 13:11-12


No matter how long you have been in bondage, you can be free from the chains that have you bound. We must trust God and walk in faith. All that we hope for and all that we need is in the healing power of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.


Therefore, I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark 11:24



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Dr. Michele Williams currently serves as an ordained Evangelist under the leadership of Pastor Dr. Suzette M. Myles For His Glory Church Ministries in Hartford, Connecticut. She was baptized and received the Lord as her Savior in 1985 along with her son Michael at Little Zion Church of Christ in South Norwalk. She was ordained as an Evangelist in 2005. She is also a professor at North Carolina Bible Institute-New England. She attended Mattatuck Community College for two years and completed and graduated in 1983 with an Associate degree in Science from South Central now, Gateway Community College. In 2009 She received a Certificate of achievement from Side Street to Main Street 12 Business and Leadership Development Program. In 2012, she graduated with her Master’s degree in Biblical Studies, from Elohim Christian Center. In 2017, she received her Doctorate in Biblical Studies from NCBI-New England. The author is a retired worker from the State of Connecticut she served as a School Instructor after twenty four and one half years of service. Evangelist Williams currently resides in East Hartford, Connecticut with her daughter and granddaughter. The author’s life experience is proof that she is a testimony of what God can do. Her love, commitment, and passion for others stem from her belief in Jesus Christ; she believes that there is nothing He can’t do. Delivered from drugs, alcohol, low self-esteem, rejection, abandonment, depression, and PTSD, she continues to walk in integrity as a servant of God as she matures into a virtuous woman. In this book, she discusses how you too can be made free. Discover the truth as you read and compare your life with those women in the Bible who have suffered in their time as much as women today, but found faith and strength.


Amazon Buy Link:





Michele Williams will be awarding a print copy of the book to a randomly drawn winner (US ONLY) via rafflecopter during the tour.


Readers follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:



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Wednesday, July 19, 2023

This Too Shall Pass


Write Now Literary is pleased to organize a two-week book tour and Amazon gift card giveaway for This Too Shall Pass by David Yuen. The book tour will run from July 17-28th, 2023. 

 ISBN: 979-8218186210 

 Genre: Christian. Poems, Prose & Essays

Meet The Author


Born and raised in NJ as a second-generation Chinese American, David Yuen received a B.A. from Rutgers University and has been writing poetry along with other writing styles for over twenty years. His works have appeared in other publications including Poetry East and Romantics Quarterly.  

About The Book

 Life is a gift. A fleeting, complicated, painful gift. Life holds death, it holds struggle with God, and it holds precious relationships we easily take for granted. And with every event that threatens life as we know it, our perspective on it changes, whether it’s a pandemic, a shift in politics, the tragedy of war, or personal loss. This Too Shall Pass is an exploration of life—sorrowful, mysterious, funny, and beautiful—through a collection of poems, prose, memoir, and commentary written from a mostly Christian perspective. Life is no small thing. Life is no easy thing. Life is uncertain. But one thing is certain about life: it’s miraculous.










Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Beyond the Book: Favorite Scenes

Sometimes it’s hard to pick a favorite excerpt from your work. After all, an excerpt taken out of context might not mean as much to readers who don’t know the whole story. Nevertheless, I think most authors do have some favorites. One of my favorite excerpts comes from the only fantasy romance I ever wrote. The book got nice reviews, but unfortunately it was one of my Clean Reads titles so it isn’t available now. So I’m starting with an excerpt from a book that isn’t even available now. No matter. I kind of like this topic, so I intend to do a few more. They’ll be from books that are available. Anyway, this excerpt comes from a book called The Enchanted.


Morgane rolled over and faced him. He felt surprised to see

anger on her face. “Why do you torment me, Prince Alan?”

Alan pushed back from her. “I? I torment you?”

“Yes! You torment me night and day. Your face is never far

from my thoughts. In the morning my eyes fall upon you, and my

heart sings to have another day in your presence. We were not

supposed to have a common life at all! I tried very hard to run

away, and you angered your father so much he put you through a

year of torment to bend you to his will.” A little smile came to rest

on her face. “But you did not bend, did you? Nor did you break.

You remained the same man you always were. I know this in my


With a suddenness that took his breath away, laughter and

light fled from her face. Bleak resignation and hopelessness turned

her eyes into two wells of sorrow. “If I were as beautiful now as I

once was, then you would find it difficult to turn away from me.”

Her lip quivered. “I know that no man wants a scarred woman, but

I had hoped…”

“What had you hoped?”

“That you could love me.”

Her voice had dropped so low it was hard to hear. Alan

seized her and pulled her against him. “And I do. I do not see your

scar. I see you with your lovely face and fine, spirited soul, and

unless you love me, I cannot go on.”

Does anyone have a special scene they'd like to share?

Bad Henry


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Henry Louis Wallace terrorized Charlotte, North Carolina, from May 1992 to March 1994. Wallace preyed on lower economic class Black women between 17 and 35 years old. He knew most of his victims, some through his job at Taco Bell, and gained their trust with his friendly demeanor and gentle nature-concealing a monster fueled by drug abuse and rage against women.


Read an Excerpt

Shawna Hawk murder

Kirkpatrick felt helpless. He tried to reassure Sumpter. “She’ll be back. Don’t worry.” Sumpter called Kirkpatrick again around 8 p.m. that night, frantic. “Where is Shawna?” Sumpter wanted to know. Kirkpatrick told her he would come right over.

When Kirkpatrick came over, they decided to look systematically through each room in the house. “I was kind of worried, but I didn’t let on,” Kirkpatrick revealed. “I was trying to keep Dee calm. I looked all around the house, even under Shawna’s bed, but found nothing. I really didn’t know what we were looking for.”

We eventually stopped looking and went into the living room and watched television. Dee was real upset. I felt helpless. I told her we should call the police. Dee agreed. We thought about filing a missing person report, but when we called the police, they said it hadn’t been twenty-four hours, so there was nothing much they could do. So, we were sitting there, nervous, anxious. Then for some reason I got up and walked into the downstairs bathroom.”

Kirkpatrick looked around. He noticed that the carpeting was soaked, and when he went into the bathroom, he noticed that the shower curtain was not tucked in place. Through the translucency of the curtain, Kirkpatrick thought he could see something or someone crouched behind the wall of the tub. He pulled the shower curtain back.

There was Shawna in the bathtub, curled up, and completely submerged in water. “I screamed and ran back to Dee,” Kirkpatrick explained. “All I could say was: “Call the cops! Call the cops!”

About the Author:
Ron Chepesiuk is an optioned screenwriter, documentary producer and the award-winning author of more than 40 books. He is a former professor and head of the Archives at Winthrop University in South Carolina. He is a two-time Fulbright Scholar to Indonesia and Bangladesh and a former instructor in UCLA's Extension Journalism Department.

His articles, which number in the thousands, have appeared in such publications as FHM, USA Today, Black Enterprise, Woman's World, Modern Maturity, New York Times Syndicate, Toronto Star, Los Angeles Times Syndicate, Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, among others. His documentary on Frank Matthews, legendary drug Kingpin, which he produced and directed, won the Silver Doc award at the Las Vegas International Film Festival. Four of his screenplays are currently in development for feature movies and four of his books have been optioned for movies. His script Death Fences was the grand winner of the Amsterdam, Holland-based 2019 New Visions International Film Festival.

As an expert in crime history, he is a consultant to the Gangland TV series the and has been interviewed on numerous TV programs, including Discovery, NBC Dateline, History, Biography, ID, Reelz, Black Entertainment Television, Starz, and TV 1. As a journalist, Ron has reported from more than thirty-five countries, including Cuba, Northern Ireland, Colombia, Kenya, Hong Kong, and Nepal, and his 16, 000 plus interviews include such luminaries as Gerry Adams, Yasser Arafat, John Kerry, Evander Holyfield, Jimmy Carter, Andy McDow, Abbie Hoffman, a former president of Nicaragua, and three former presidents and two vice presidents of Colombia, South America.

Ron is also radio host of CRIME BEAT Radio Show. The Crime Beat show has been on the air since January 2011 and has listeners in 160 plus countries. Guests have included Robert Kennedy, Jr., Henry Hill, Noam Chomsky, George Jung, Joe Piston (aka Donnie Brasco), F. Lee Bailey and Chris Kyle, American sniper

Amazon Author Page

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