Today, I have a guest post from Ken Toppell. First though, here’s the book info. Second Cousin Once Removed is due for release on the 8th September
Henry Atkinson’s boring life as an attorney comes to a screeching halt one day when idle research into his own family tree results in the discovery of a distant relative-with a criminal record. Henry suddenly finds himself on the run from this mysterious cousin, wondering who he is, what he wants with Henry, and whether Henry himself will survive to see the next day.
When my granddaughter became a teenager, I started thinking about what I could give her. I didn’t know if she was into perfumes or jewelry, especially since her idea of getting dressed up was a pair of jeans with holes in them. She’s the youngest in the family and, as the oldest, I realized I could gift her with family memories.
Today I have an extract from When Darkness Begins, courtesy of the author and Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the Book
Today I have a guest post from Ido Kedar, a non speaking autistic young man who has written two books.
This is Ido’s second book, In Two Worlds.
Seven-year-old Anthony has autism. He flaps his hands. He makes strange noises. He can’t speak or otherwise communicate his thoughts. Treatments, therapies, and theories about his condition define his daily existence. Yet Anthony isn’t improving much. Year after year his remedial lessons drone on. Anthony gets older and taller, but his speech remains elusive and his school lessons never advance. Life seems to be passing him by. Until one day, everything changes.
In Two Worlds is a compelling tale, rich with unforgettable characters who are navigating their way through the multitude of theories about autism that for decades have dictated the lives of thousands of children and their families. This debut work of fiction sheds light on the inner and outer lives of children with nonspeaking autism, and on their two worlds. As one of the only works of fiction written by a person with non-speaking autism, it offers readers an unprecedented insider’s point-of-view into autism and life in silence, and it does so with warmth, humor and a wickedly sharp intellect.
Now over to Ido…
Imagine that you can’t speak, handwrite or gesture because your body can’t move the way you want it to due to a breakdown in communication between your thoughts and motor system. You are born this way, so no one knows you are smart. Your body betrays you through erratic or impulsive movementsthat convince theprofessional experts that you lack understanding of language or even awareness of the world around you. You can’t tell anyone the truth about who you are; that you are present, smart but trapped.
This is the experience of Anthony, the hero of In Two Worlds. He is a boy, trapped by autism, unable to communicate, and living in two distinct realities. He lives in his mind, isolated from others, intoxicated by overwhelming sensory experiences, and entertained by jokes he can only share with himself. It is a solitary, sensual life. Nearly hallucinatory visual input at times makes his inner world an escapist wonderland. His other world is less enticing, inundated in therapies and remedial education with specialists who have no idea that the strange boy is a thinking boy. This is monotony and tedium caused by good intentions.
My life has many parallels to Anthony’s, though he is not me. I am real and he is not. But I too can’t speak. I too move erratically. I too was thought to be an empty head when I was young. And I too made a breakthrough when I learned to touch letters to communicate. I lived an escapist life as a boy. My inner autismland offering a reprieve from the pointless boredom of simplistic drills that mocked my intelligence and proved my stupidity.
But once I learned to control my hand to type out my thoughts at the age of seven, my world opened. Gradually I made my way into the world of neurotypical education, my ideas liberated from their prison within my mind. I observed my lonely status in school. I was the only nonspeaking autistic in regular education. My autistic peers stayed in remedial class. No one bothered to inquire if they too might possess the ability of typing out letters with one finger to express ideas. The assumption was that I was an anomaly.
I began a journal to express my feelings at this tough time in my life. I was twelve years old. For three years I wrote and my journal developed into an insider’s view and explanation of nonspeaking autism. This became my memoir and first book, Ido in Autismland. It has had a bigger impact than I could have ever hoped. Parents have used my book as their path to communication with their children. Teachers have rethought theories, and autistic people have read that they are not alone.
In Two Worlds is my second book, but unlike Ido in Autismland, it is fictional. It feels real so people ask me if it is my story. It is the story of autism as seen through my autistic eyes, but it is fiction, nonetheless. I waited a long time to communicate. A long time before my first conversation. But I was seven. Still young. My protagonist, Anthony, waited until he was sixteen! Imagine going all the way to high school age with not one conversation ever, with no one, not even your own family knowing you had a thinking mind.
My experiences made me write true experiences for Anthony. I understand the people who populate his life and the way he is treated. I understand his sorrow, anger and budding hope. I understand the obstacles he faces when most of the professionals dismiss his communication as fantasy and fallacy.
The journey of Anthony tells the truth about autism, and because it is fiction it is all the more powerful. Through fiction you ride the schoolbus with Anthony, seeing streams of light and color with him. Through fiction you hear his thoughts, when no one else knows he has any. Through fiction you overcome the most basic human need with him, to connect with others and to share ideas. Anthony teaches that not talking is not the same as not thinking. He shines a light on the most maligned and misunderstood people, those who have historically been called “dumb,” because words don’t tumble from their mouths.
In Two Worlds is a journey into the life of a person who lives intelligently inside and stupidly outside. It is an insider’s perspective into nonspeaking autism and this is something wholly new to literature.
About the Author
Imagine being diagnosed with a disease that relegates you to the sidelines of life. You are seen as different, maybe even dumb. You are unable to communicate with others and feel trapped in a body that fails you every step of the way. Even those who are with you don’t realize what you are capable of. You could easily grow depressed and remain a silenced outcast. Well, one young man is fighting back. He has found a way to overcome so many obstacles and to share an inspiring story on behalf of those with severe autism — and for all who cannot speak for themselves.
Meet Ido Kedar, a phenomenal 23-year-old Californian who, through the saving grace of technology and perseverance, now has a voice in his life and is using it to lobby for huge changes. Through the use of an iPad and other devices, Ido has learned to communicate with others despite not being able to speak. He has written two books and serves as a board member for a non-profit group that advocates on behalf of all non-speaking humans.
“Ido’s story is one of triumph of the indomitable human spirit,” says Tracy Kedar, his mom, who is also a mental health therapist specializing in helping non-speaking autistic individuals. “He is an inspiration to anyone who has struggled.”
Ido is believed to have written the first novel by a non-speaking autistic person, In Two Worlds, which was praised by Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly Booklife Prize. He also is the author of a book at age 15, Ido In Autsimland, a stunning memoir that brings tears of frustration and joy from every reader. Completely silenced for the first seven years of his life – and now still without the ability to speak save for the use of technology – Ido remains quiet no more. His human interest story also provides insights on parenting, education, and how the experts fail to treat those who can’t speak for themselves.
“I hope to have people outside the autism community discover my books,” says Ido. “I believe they have the potential to shed light on the most misunderstood people – non-speakers – who are trapped by their own bodies. In reviews, readers compare my novel to other major works that exposed prejudice and ultimately led to societal change. Perhaps society is ready for a breakthrough.”
You can find out more on Ido Kedar’s website
Today I have a guest post from author Harold Benjamin, whose new book Judenrein has recently been published. First of all, here’s what the book is about…
Zack Gurevitz has had a checkered past. A Yeshiva boy, turned Green Beret, turned junkie, excommunicated by his one-time faith and now the potential savior of people he doesn’t even like. As a white supremacist movement stealthily takes the reins of power in America, it is again the Jews who are made out as scapegoats. Stripped of wealth and citizenship, they are made to live in 21st century ghettos that hark back to a sinister and murky past that many had thought would never return.But things are about to get much worse. With the revealing of a planned terror attack that will place the blame firmly at Jewish feet and condemn millions to death, Zack is contacted by Jewish leaders in Detroit, begging for his help. Reluctantly he agrees and before long he is mired in a conspiracy that will have far reaching consequences for his country, the Jewish population and even his own sanity.As the clock ticks down, can Zack find a way to avert a looming disaster? Who is behind the conspiracy? And can he really trust anyone?
Now over to Harold…
Contemplating the Reality of America Becoming “Judenrein”
Today I’m delighted to welcome K.T. Findlay with a guest post, courtesy of Rachel’s Random Resources.
About the Book
Today I’m delighted to welcome Alys West, author of Beltane (Urban Fantasy) and The Dirigible King’s Daughter (Steampunk) My reviews can be found here and here.
Alys’s latest novel, Storm Witch, is set in the beautiful islands of Orkney. It’s contemporary fantasy with lots of magic, mystery, romance and stone circles. Storm Witch will be published on Friday 17th April and is available to purchase/pre-order on Amazon
Today I’d like to welcome Dr Anay Ayarovu with her post about creating a world in seven days. First though, here’s what STAZR The World Of Z: The Dawn Of Athir is about
A strange and mystical prophecy was found in the city of Treebarad. On a piece of parchment, old long-forgotten events come back to life, the memory of which was intentionally erased. A mysterious prophecy now gives hope to the twisted ruling race that the power they seek lies behind an ancient gate. On the reverse side of the oracle are coordinates to the location of the Chosen One.
Lael is an introverted and naive writer who grew up with a book in one hand and a quill in the other. All his life, he has lived in a peaceful solitude, reading and writing his short stories and dreaming big of one day becoming a prestigious author. To his surprise and delight he must now become savior of the Star people and take the journey to find answers that do not exist in books.