Famous Flying Hands

Earlier today, I had a chance to sit down with Michael Krysiewicz, founder of Famous Hands Flying to talk about his involvement with the Deaf Community and what he does to not only raise awareness, but to spread the knowledge of sign language to celebrities people look up to.

“My name is Michael Krysiewicz and I was born Deaf. I cannot hear nor speak and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love being Deaf and being involved in the Deaf community as much as I possibly can. I have always enjoyed meeting celebrities…It’s actually a hobby of mine. So, I decided to create Famous Hands Flying to spread Deaf awareness and to share with the world the beautiful language of American Sign Language with a famous person’s hands!”
(Michael says before he started, there were people he wanted to meet and talk to, but he couldn’t because they didn’t know sign language. He wants to help them learn so others can communicate with them.)

I have been working with Michael for a few months now and he has vastly helped me improve my sign language and I’m very excited to keep working with him and learning more. When I started, I knew some basics. I knew my alphabet, I knew the signs for thank you, good morning, good night, and a handful of others, but since working with him, I have learned more and I continue to learn new signs each and every day.
It has been an amazing experience working with him and getting to know him,  and I would love to help him spread awareness of the Deaf Community.

 

FHF

 

What is your favorite part of being involved with Famous Hands Flying?

Michael loves meeting celebrities, ever since he was a little boy and when starting Famous Hands Flying, he had found a way to combine two aspects of his life and raise awareness of the Deaf Community all at the same time.

What inspired you to start Famous Hands Flying?

When asked about what inspired him, Michael had directed me to another Facebook page – Meet Stars with Sign Language – another page with the same concept (meeting celebrities and teaching them at least the basics of sign language), but it was located in England and dealt with British Sign Language. He had looked around and hadn’t seen anything like that in America and he had messaged the owner of the page if he could set up his own and the owner encouraged it, wanting to see more done to raise Deaf awareness.

Who has been the most recent celebrity you’ve met?

Rick Hurst was the most recent person Michael has met and described him as always happy and really interested in being a part of Famous Hands Flying. He has met with Rick a few times and always loves seeing people who are interested in being a part of the Deaf community!
Rick Hurst is an actor. He known for his role as Cletus, Boss Hogg’s cousin in The Dukes of Hazzard (1979-1982). He has also acted in many TV shows and movies such as Steel Magnolias, M*A*S*H, In the Line of Fire, Earth Girls Are Easy, W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings, On the Rocks, and many more!
You can find out which celebrities have been a part of Famous Hands Flying by clicking HERE!

RICK

(Rick Hurst, Michael, and his wife and son)

What has been the biggest struggle about Famous Hands Flying?

Sitting down with Michael, he had said that the biggest struggle of Famous Hands Flying has been finding more celebrities, whether it be from lack of interest or finding funds to travel to them. On top of that, hearing back from them has been another problem, but he is still optimistic that more will follow.

What action would you like the readers to take away from this experience?

When I had asked Michael this question, he spoke about what he wished people would do. Michael’s wish is that everyone would at least learn the alphabet in sign language and not to be afraid to be social with someone from the Deaf community. He said that most of the time, people in the Deaf community are patient with people who are learning and it’s a good way to learn new signs as they’re usually happy to show you the sign if you’re spelling it!
He encourages everyone to learn the alphabet and practice all the time. “When you’re stopped at a red light, look at the signs and spell them out,” he told me. “Learning to sign isn’t hard, it just takes practice and people in the Deaf community will appreciate you trying to learn.”


Earlier in the interview, Michael had mentioned another author, Chris Barcomb, had been writing a comic book with a deaf character based on Michael himself! He has been excited about it and I had reached out to Chris about the project and just asked for a little bit about the project and I wanted to know what his inspiration was for the project. This is what he said:

“The next issue of The Amazing Adventure of Superior Sam revolves around a boy named Michael. Michael is new to Superior Sam’s school and is also deaf, and because of this, he immediately becomes the target of Brad and the rest of the Bad Boys Club. Since the bullies won’t leave Michael alone, Superior Sam and the rest of his superhero team decide to do something to make Michael feel more welcomed at the school. Their idea appeared successful until Brad and the rest of the BBC catch-up to Michael afterwards. Superior Sam, with the help of his superhero friends, come to Michael’s aid and afterwards welcomes Marvelous Michael to their ranks.

The motivation behind the story came from meeting Michael Krysiewicz at a signing and him explaining the goal of Famous Hands Flying. While we were talking he also explained how it can be disappointing to deaf fans when they meet a hero or celebrity and are unable to communicate with them. Michael suggested maybe having a deaf character in the series, and it got me thinking this is definitely something we could do. The series is all about how being different is okay. So I started coming up with ideas for the story, but I also wanted to do something more. I came up with the idea using this issue to teach people sign language, so throughout the issue certain words will be highlighted and below the panels will be instructions for how to do the sign(s).”

CHRIS
(Michael, Chris Barcomb, and Superior Sam)

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#CockyGate

Okay, guys, so there’s a long story here.

So, some author has decided to go ahead and trademark a commonly used word in romance titles and this has gone so far. The word “Cocky” has been Trademarked by Faleena Hopkins and now said author is messaging, emailing, and tweeting all romance authors with the word Cocky in the title to remove said book, retitle it, and put it back up or she will sue. She owns the rights to the word, right? But let’s say we all started going around and trademarking common words like Love, Lust, Seduction, or such. We’ll have very limited words to use for titles, right?

But then it gets worse. Amazon is taking down books as a “action first, ask questions later” and many author’s books with the word “cocky” in the title are being taken down or the threats made by said author are making authors change their titles before being published. I don’t blame them though. The threat of being sued for any money I make off the book is quite a threat, but there are many pushing to get the Trademark cancelled.

Here’s an example of the emails the author is sending out to others:

cocky

This is the author who wants others to change their books and titles in a day, but also the author who issued an apology to Marines for her book “Cocky Soldiers”, saying that Marines would never call themselves soldiers but since the book was already on preorder, she couldn’t change it. Check her comparisons HERE.

On top of everything else, things have gone farther. It has been noted that the Trademark that has been issued for the set font (and word in general) seems to have been made with a font purchased on Creative Market, a font in which the creator has noted it cannot be Trademarked or Copyrighted by anyone else, which in itself could invalidate the Trademark Faleena had obtained. Of course, if she did, it would open a lot more problems for her because while obtaining the Trademark, she would have had to sign something claiming she had all rights to everything involved with the title.

Now, again, there are many who are trying to get the Trademark revoked, so we are all hoping. There are some petitions around ( CLICK HERE TO SIGN ) and there are hastags to stay up to date about what is happening ( such as #cockygate #freecocky #byefaleena ).

Don’t forget to support these authors who are having their books forced off of amazon! These authors need your support now more than ever. These are books that have nothing to do with Faleena Hopkins other than they sharing one word, “cocky”, in the title.

Tara’s books have been removed from Amazon for having the word “Cocky” in the title.

 

Jamila Jasper is defying the Trademark in the best way possible. I love the new title for her book!

 

Finding Inspiration

So the hardest part about writing to me lately is finding inspiration. But not only inspiration, it’s finding the will to put words onto my laptop once again. I’ve been in such a writing rut that I didn’t know if I was going to publish anything else after The Making of a Queen Part One (which I know would have been cruel not to finish the story for that book, but I didn’t know what else to do).

Writing isn’t easy. It never has been for me and for those who have it flow and come naturally all the time for, I’m completely jealous of you, but I have difficult characters who never let me follow my plan. They change it. And that alone is completely frustrating.

Most authors will tell you that if you wait until you have inspiration to write, you’ll hardly ever write. And I’ve discovered that to be true. For awhile now, I’ve been waiting for inspiration to write and that hasn’t been working out very well. None of my characters have been speaking to me. Their choices seem wrong though and they’re digging me into a hole, deeper and deeper. It’s something that is hard to counteract.

But I want to let you guys know that I am getting myself there, slowly. I’m putting words back into the stories that I nearly gave up on and I’m counting myself thankful that I didn’t give up like I’ve wanted to for so long now.

So, my next question is what do you want to see on this blog? Email me your thoughts and opinions on things you want up here and I will see what I can make happen!

Email me at author.bree@gmail.com

The Making of a Queen

The Making of a Queen is a story about Kressara and her struggles to get everything that she once had back, but not all of it can come back. With her parents murdered and her throne taken away from her, Kressara is in a foreign country since they are the only ones with a strong enough army to protect her. The deal was if she married their prince as she was betrothed to do so, they would help her get her throne back.

With so many twists and turns, Kressara is finding out that she can only trust one person, Ezra, who was sent with her as an advisor to the Princess. The only downside is he was falling in love with a woman he would never be able to be with – Kressara.


I’m loving Kresara’s story and I’m loving how the words for this story are flowing once more. Kressara has been through a lot and in a way, it hurts my heart to put her through such hell, but it’s needed to make her the character she needs to be to reach her goals. In the end, I don’t know what will happen either and I am eager to find out ❤ ❤ ❤

 

Multi-Author Giveaway

i know, I know. ‘m terrible with updating my website and my blog lately, but I bring LOTS of good news! I’m here to announce that my writing for The Making of a Queen is back on track and it’s up to 60,000 words with still a lot more left to go! To celebrate, and to celebrate other authors, we are having a multi-author giveaway with a LOT of of amazing prizes ❤

Be sure to check it out! Giveaway opens tonight at midnight EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

News, News, News

So. There has been a lot going on that I am still trying to organize and wrap my head around. On top of all that, I’ve finally been reading a lot more. I’ve signed up for Kindle Unlimited and I’ve gone through about 8 books this month, so be sure to expect some new book reviews from me. 

Now, on to my writing. 

I’m still working on the second Ophelia book and The Making of a Queen. I’m pushing through them and making them ready to publish. On the other hand, I am adding another book that I hope to publish, titled The Witch’s Rising! 

This idea was inspired by the story behind Enchantress after I went and saw Suicide Squad, but I’m still rather excited about it. Are you?

For those who don’t know, I still do editing and formatting, a part of what I do for indies and those I am friends with as well. My company – Midnight Dreams – Designs and Editing – will be expanding. I know a few people that will be joining ranks to take on a few more projects and we will be expanding. More cover designs. More editing projects. More formatting. 

New and exciting changes are underway! Are you ready? 

The Sinned Drown

On Facebook, I had posted a teaser for The Sinned Drown (Book Two of the Ophelia Moriarty Series) and I thought it only fair if I posted it here for you guys as well!

I hope you like it and there will definitely be more to come for it!

Fallen copy

Indies 4 Change

Indies 4 Change has a new page set up and we will be working on a website for all 🙂 We are super excited, but please be patient with us!

Also, Authors Against Bullying is waiting on formatting to be finished before being republished. We are halfway through the formatting on the books and as soon as they’re done, they will be re-released into the world ❤

 

News

In everything that I have updated, I have neglected to tell you the new things coming up!

Authors Against Bullying is getting a newer, fresher look! New covers and new formatting are in the works and I’m hoping to be working closely with Indies 4 Change on getting the first two books out by the end of next month! I cannot wait for this new and more positive change!

I’m going to be in some new anthologies! A group of four other writers and I are compiling our writing to create a book from the point of view of Allison Starkwright as she tells of her journey to writing her first novel! While having high hopes, she’s faced with many struggles that have to do with her goal, but also her personal life!

Also, there will be a Dystopian anthology that I’ll be a part in with several different authors! This will be one of many of the different genre box sets that will be published by Indies 4 Change, the royalties going towards the ICAF!

Before anything, I would like to thank you, the readers and supporters above anything else. Without you, none of this would be possible, so from the bottom of my heart, I thank you ❤

I4C Black

What about the ICAF?
***The International Child Art Foundation is a charity that encourages children to get involved with art. It seemed perfect and it’s on many lists for the top children charities. it seemed perfect and the donations will be made as the royalty payments come in.

 

 

Indies 4 Change

Indies 4 Change is a new publisher who will work solely with books that will be for Charities. Among them will be Authors Against Bullying, recently pulled from RRSMS.

Indies 4 Change was created by Bree Vanderland and Zara Elise Thelms, in attempts to create a change in the world by raising concerns and awareness for many different issues in the world. Teaming up with multiple authors for anthologies and books, they only hope for the best with all of it.

With a new publisher comes new formatting and new book covers, all of which will be revealed as soon as possible. We are hoping to get all four volumes out as quickly as possible, but making sure that they still look professional and clean at the same time.

Please bear with us as we make this change. In the end, we know that it’s for the best.

 

Burn – L.L. Hunter

I had the pleasure of reading BURN by L.L. Hunter, Prequel to the Dragon Heart Series and overall, I’d give it TEN STARS (if our scale went that high!)
We meet Emmaline, who is born to a powerful magic, a magic that she doesn’t want to be a part of. She wants to be a teenager, to experience life and fall in love. Meeting Darcy changed her life. In just one night, her whole life is turned around and she’s the queen of a supernatural community.
It’s a short read, but overall, well worth it ❤
Title: Burn: Hidden Magic Series, Book One
Author: L.L. Hunter 
Genre: YA paranormal fantasy/ urban fantasy

Blurb:
Emmaline was once the most beautiful princess in all the lands.
She was also the most powerful.
You see, she was from a long line of powerful Dragon Shifters, and the magic in her blood was pure and strong.
Everyone wanted it.
This is the story of the girl with the fire in her eyes – —the first and the last.
Eva’s ancestor, Emmaline, was once the most powerful being in existence.
She was one to be feared.
But when she fell in love with a vampire, she knew she had to make a decision: surrender her power or let it consume her.
After all, her father warned her of Darcy.
She only found out too late.
In the exciting new spin- off to the Dragon Heart series,
Discover why some loves are never meant to be.
When you play with fire, you are bound to burn

L.L. Hunter is the author of over 20 published works, including The Legend of the Archangel Series and The Garden of Eden. She has studied everything from veterinary nursing, forensic science, and dramatic arts, but has always known her true calling was to be an author. 

She has been writing since her teens – everything from fan fiction, to song lyrics, to plays and musicals. When not working on her next paranormal romance, she can be found at home in Australia, reading somewhere comfortable with one or both of her “fur babies.” Follow her on Facebook, Twitter @llhunterbooks, and her blog – http://llhunter.blogspot.com.au.
Stalk links
Buy Links:
*Thirst*
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/1U0KnFI
  




SoulSpark – Eliza Tilton

Going into this book, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Most of what I read is fantasy, so being thrown in a world that’s truly inspirational was new. Overall rating – 5 stars. I loved this book. I loved the reality of this book and how I could relate to the characters and all the real life situations they were going through. On top of that, the details, something I look for myself as I’m also an author, were spot on.
This is one of my favorite YA books so far this year. Cannot wait to read more from Eliza Tilton.
Title: Soulspark
Author: Eliza Tilton
Genre: YA Romance
Blurb:
Dealing with the loss of her mother, seventeen-year-old Jessica Stone tries to find an escape from pain by secretly medicating herself with Xanax, but the anxiety increases, crushing her and her grades.Then she meets Caleb Jonas, the pastor’s son at her mother’s church. Between his cute dimples and love of fast cars, Jessica is completely smitten, and the feeling is mutual. But dating a Christian boy isn’t easy. He doesn’t party, and he never goes past first base. Jessica struggles with his faith, since it makes her question her own, but for the first time since her mother’s death, she can breathe. Life is finally shifting into a state of happiness.

But the differences between them grow until one act of betrayal forces to rip them apart forever. Hurt and love collide into a storm neither can break free from, and Jessica must decide if she’s ready to trust her heart, one last time.

Eliza graduated from Dowling College with a BA in Visual Communications. When she’s not arguing with excel at her day job, or playing Dragon Age 2, again, she’s writing. Her stories hold a bit of the fantastical and there’s always a romance. Crimson Tides: Book Three in Daath Chronicles releases May 2016 from Curiosity Quills Press.
Author Links:
Web: http://elizatilton.com/
Buy Links:
Caleb’s eyes sparkled in the bright light of day. I studied his relaxed posture, resting back on both elbows, his hair ruffling in the breeze.
“I’m glad we came,” he said.
I scooted closer and rolled onto my stomach, knees bent, feet swaying back and forth. “Me too.”
He leaned onto his side and our gazes locked.
“Want to play a game?” I asked.
His lip curled into a grin. “Sure, what do you have in mind?”
“What’s your favorite.”
“Huh?”
“That’s the game.” I could tell he hadn’t played this before. “I’ll start. Favorite color.”
“Blue.”
“Favorite movie.”
“Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back.”
“Wow. Usually that one takes some thought.” I picked at a loose thread on the blanket. “Okay, next question. Favorite food.”
“Chicken parmigiana.”
I sighed. “I should’ve known that one. Okay.”
“Wait,” he interrupted. “What about you? Don’t I get to ask you any questions?”
I tilted my head to get a better view of his glowing face. “Green. Labyrinth. Cheesecake.”
“Isn’t cheesecake considered a dessert?”
“Yes, but it’s still a food.
He played with the curls hanging around my shoulders. “I love when you wear your hair like this.”
“Really?” My hair was a frizzy mess, half-up, half-down and all over the place. He twirled a finger into my hair, playing with the curls. The brush of his finger against my neck made my little game seem unimportant. A streak of boldness hit me and I asked something a little bit more daring. “What’s your favorite part of a girl?” My heart pounded when he gave me a sexy smile.
He untangled his hand from my hair and trailed it down my back. “This.”
“My back?”
He shook his head. “No, this curve right here, that leads right there.” He touched the patch of skin that connected my back to my butt, his fingers trailing the top of my jeans.
His eyes narrowed into a sexy glance, one that made my toes curl.
I leaned over, my heart pounding, and kissed him, then inched across the blanket until I was directly beside him and kissed him again, drawing him closer with my hand.
Caleb’s lips were soft and full. I loved the way he cradled me in his arms, never too hard. I’d made out with a few boys, but none of them could stand a chance against Caleb’s hot kiss.
From this position, I couldn’t move my arms or hands, and I wanted to be closer. With my lips still locked on his, I shifted into a sitting position. The minute I moved, Caleb moved with me. One hand holding my face, the other grasped my waist, drawing me into his chest. Everything in me raced with bliss. My pulse sped, my heart jumped, and my mind only thought of one thing: more.

News

So, after a bit of thinking about it, I’ve made some decisions that I’m super excited for!

First, I decided on an author logo and it’s in the makings RIGHT NOW! I’m waiting on final edits and I cannot wait to release it to you guys! It’s amazing and fits both genres that I write! Upcoming for sure!

The Making of a Queen is still in the works as well as a Dystopian piece that will be available in a box set with other authors. I’m excited for both since they are something that I don’t usually write.

On the other hand, I have some more news! The Arrival of Dawn, my first published book, will be getting a rewrite, new details, and the story continued on. This has been on my to-do list for awhile now and I think after The Making of a Queen and Nameless, I’ll finally get around to it. After The Arrival of Dawn is sorted, The Goddess’ Lament will be completed as well. I’m so excited for all of these, so be on the lookout for all of them!

Thanks and much love!

 

 

Mark My Words… Amber Garza

When I first was asked to read this book, I wanted nothing more than a break from the dystopian, apocalypse, horror things that I had currently been reading other than my own historical fiction book that I was writing myself, but what I got was so much more than just a break.

In Mark My Words, there’s this one character, Colin, who you see staring at a blank page on his computer screen, being where we’ve all been before, wondering where to start when in walks this woman that he knew in high school, the one and only Lennie, the one who encouraged him to write this book to begin with.

And thus it begins.

You are taken into a world where Colin and Lennie spend more and more time together, Colin giving away very little about himself at the time. Lennie doesn’t quite give away much at one time either, leaving in the middle of scenes abruptly multiple times. But still the flow of the words drew me in and the story intrigued me. I wondered what Colin’s story was going to be about? What was wrong with Lennie and why wouldn’t she give Colin the time of day half the time when he seems nothing more than that boy next door who’s a nerd and only wanted the love and attention from the girl he had been crushing on for years.

But things got twisted. Not only twisted, but things got dark too. I couldn’t put the book down, to be honest. It was something that made me turn the page, over, and over again. Colin pulled me in and as things seemed hopeful for Lennie and for Colin, I couldn’t help but hope for a happy ending between the two.

I won’t say what happened, but I will say that this book touched home. The writing, grammar, and word choice was superb. Everything was described perfectly. The emotions were there. The feelings were there. And the secrets and lies were all there. You’re taken to a new world with Colin leading you down a path where you don’t know what is true and what isn’t, but you will love every second of it.

 

It’s sad to say that Amber has decided to take Mark My Words down from availability and I don’t know why for sure, but I’m sure that she can’t keep a book like this out of the public for too long. It’s an amazing story and for those who love psychological books and romances, this is definitely a book I would recommend to you.