Speak Up Talk Radio Network

I just had my interview with Pat Rullo of Speak Up Talk radio podcast. She runs everything on the site and there are different programs to stream or listen to on demand. Topics are varied with health and safety podcasts as well as many more to peruse once you get to the site. She interviewed me as part of the author series showcased on the site. It was great fun and I hope you go the the site and listen to the interview.

Karen Bell Speaks Up About Women’s Roles and Her Books

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My query letter

Ive been sending out my query for my latest book, When a Stranger Comes… with an almost nonexistent hit rate. If I don’t catch an agent or independent publisher, I’m prepared to publish it myself on Amazon. I’m in the midst right now of creating an audible book for Walking with Elephants and the product is pretty good. As soon as I’m done with that, I’ll publish When a Stranger Comes… ACX will have to approve of the quality of the audible book, so I’m not sure if it will pass their minimum requirements, and if not I can sell it myself on my website. So who needs to be legit anymore? Well, it would be nice. But hey, whatever. Anyway, I thought I would post my query letter as an experiment for my myself. I am reaching out to all my readers of this blog to offer any suggestions to make it better. Like crowd sourcing or crowd funding but only for an assessment. Here it is for your feedback.

Satisfying one’s greed can come at a devilishly high cost.
Achieving what you crave can also bring the gnawing and terrifying fear of losing it. For Alexa Wainwright, this truth has become her nightmare. Her debut novel, A Foregone Conclusion, soared to number one on the bestseller’s list and became an international sensation. The accompanying fame and riches were beyond her expectations. Unfortunately, her subsequent work has yet to achieve the same reception by critics and readers. Yes, they have sold well based on her name recognition, but she dreads the possibility of becoming a mid-list author forgotten and ignored. She vows to do whatever it takes to attain the heady ego-stroking success of her debut. But is she really?
Witnessing an out-of-the-blue lightning bolt whose giant tendrils spread over the blue sky and city streets below her loft window, Alexa doesn’t realize that this vow will be tested as she’s magically  transported to an alternate reality. In this universe, the characters from her books are given the breath of life and she meets publisher, King Blakemore, who just might be the Devil himself. At first, she shrugs off her doubts about this peculiar publisher and very lucrative book deal offer because the temptation of riches and refound fame is too strong. But all too soon, Alexa realizes she’s trapped in an underworld of evil from which she desperately wants to escape. For starters, she finds herself in an iron-clad book contract that changes its wording whenever she thinks of a loophole. Desperate to get her life back, she devises schemes to untether herself from this hellish existence. She’s also aided by the forces for good who attempt to remove King’s hold on her. However, King Blakemore is cleverer and more powerful than she or her guardian angels can begin to understand. Playfully, King decides to give Alexa a second chance to save herself from eternity with him and to be free. He offers her the prospect of a rewrite, as most authors do as part of the writing process. Given this chance, will Alexa make the same choices and the same mistakes again?
Alexa, as the MC, is relatable, likable, and vulnerable with a keen sense of humor. Her world is very small because writing is her life and so she is an easy target for entrapment. Her pact with the Devil is an allegory for the evil lurking in our midst. The social decay of modern society with its excessive greed, the ignorance of our political leaders, and our indifference toward the survival of all species from the effects of climate change, among other environmental pressures, are perhaps brought forth by the darkest forces of human nature. When a Stranger Comes… is a fast-paced psychological thriller in 94,255 words. It is written to appeal to a wide audience who enjoy irony, sarcasm, passion, tears, as well as a good laugh. I would be happy to send you the completed manuscript, if you are interested.

Thanks folks for your help.


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I remember

I remember what it was like before the ACA. My annual mammograms hit my deductible so it cost me $250. My annual check-up with my gynecologist cost $25 and my annual check-up with my primary care doctor was $15. Nearly $300 every year. Since the ACA, I no longer have to pay anything for preventive medicine. My insurance is with BCBS through my husband’s employer. But all health coverage must comply with the stipulations of the ACA. People think it’s only for insurance bought through the exchanges but that is just plain ignorance and listening to the negative BS hype from the con man-in-chief. Everyone who has insurance from anywhere is protected in this fashion.

I remember reading about horrible cases where a family had a child with a catastrophic illness, leukemia. That family would reach their lifetime cap and never get anymore money from any insurance company, ever again. A family in that situation had to go on Medicaid and to qualify had to lose every asset that they had. Become destitute, to save the life of their child. With ACA, there are no more lifetime caps. The evil GOP wants to cut Medicaid.

I remember, if you changed jobs and had asthma, you could not get your medication covered from your new insurer or have doctor visits covered for months or years because you had a pre-existing condition. I remember having to fight Aetna because they wouldn’t pay for an MRI that showed my daughter’s bones in her foot had fused together as she grew to adulthood because they called it a pre-existing condition.

I remember when doctors working for insurance companies got promoted for devising ways to deny coverage. I remember when my daughter moved back home after attending a university and not being able to be part of our health insurance plan because she aged out.

This is what Trump Republican world wants to take us back to. Anyone thinking it will not return to this is just plain stupid. The GOP has one, and only one, group of people they serve. It is the wealthy donors that support their campaigns. Their new plan cuts taxes for the wealthy. Those sheep who have supported the GOP have been brain washed into thinking the ACA is a disaster. That is a lie. People screaming at town halls to not repeal the ACA is the truth. The disaster facing us is the Trump administration and the Republican controlled Congress. These people are not kind, and not public servants. They get great health insurance that is paid for by us. Yet they won’t give us the single payer they get.

Every other country in the industrialized world looks at the United States as freaks. You cannot live in Germany unless you buy health insurance. Great insurance with no copays, free drugs, free hospitals, free MRIs and other tests, free nursing facilities. Health insurance should be a non-issue. Health coverage should be non-negotiable and yet here we are.

ACA is life line. It is a plan with heart. A plan that cares about helping the average person get the care needed. Move it to single payer to fix it. Not go back to the model where your health is a profit center for an insurance company. We’ve been there. The ACA fixed that.

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Strange times

Here we go again. We are not a full month into this administration and I dread turning on the news. I am horrified that this administration wants to dismantle environmental protections right off the bat. Put someone in charge of the EPA that wants to dismantle it. Is repealing a rule the prevented the mentally ill from buying a gun. And a gun means an automatic weapon in this country. These are obvious disasters waiting to happen. Why is the Republican party so evil? You can’t eat money, drink money, or breathe money. Yet they give not one thought to protecting our planet from man-made destruction. What happened to their brains, to their cognitive abilities? To their brainwashed selves statistics about our fragile environment are fake news. Sometimes I get so angry, I want to shout in their faces, Why are you so stupid? Don’t you care about your children and grandchildren?

Don’t you care if a schizophrenic individual has a shooting rampage at a mall, at a school, at a movie theater? No, they’ve been fed to believe that the ones who will kill us come from Muslim countries, or have brown skin and slipped in here illegally. They are not white kids who have stolen their idiot parents’ easy-to get-to guns or easy-to-buy guns because of unfettered access thanks to the evil NRA. Folks, the second amendment was put there to protect our young country from falling back into tyranny. To form a militia to protect itself. Not to carry weapons to kill each other. Automatic weapons are not needed to hunt deer, or bears. And we have no need to hunt anyway for our food. It’s just for the sick need for blood lust. To kill innocent creatures for fun. And when this blood lust is making species go extinct, it’s appalling.

Now that the Muslim ban has been halted for several weeks have terrorists slipped passed our borders in droves as our so-called president would have you believe? All you terrified brainwashed fools at least can post sentries by your front doors armed with military style weapons in case a terrorist passes your way. I hope you don’t kill your wife, your child, or some frightened refugee that lost her way.

Wake-up America. Vote these subhumans out of office. Save our country and save yourselves. Let the human experiment last a few more centuries. I’m begging you.

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Life’s challenges

Four weeks ago I had a total knee replacement. I did my homework by asking people who had one about their experiences. All told me it was rough but worth it. Worst time is the first two weeks. I took all this in and weighed my options. The arthritic knee would probably get worse as I age, if I do nothing, and I will probably lose the protection of the elimination of pre-existing conditions when the GOP gets through dismantling the ACA. It was a no brainer considering how gleeful the GOP is about destroying out health care protections and how ignorant were the voters who voted against their own self-interest. Now that precipice has been reached, and I watch in dismay how the GOP has no heart or care for the American people. Good thing I did the surgery while it was covered.

The recovery part is not fun. Not fun at all. I was hoping the pain would lessen significantly by now. It will be four weeks. I thought two weeks was the magic number but alas, I still need pain meds. Not as many, but I need them. Physical therapy is a killer but necessary. I knew that but only intellectually, experiencing it is another matter. I have made progress. I’ve gone from a walker to a cane. That’s good and easier to get into tight places. I have a great club chair placed in front of the TV and have been binge watching The West Wing. Seven years of The West Wing. An amazing show that gives some insight to how politics works in the WH. It also became an example of how things work when there is a sane president, in stark contrast to what we are facing in just two days.

Get ready America for the pain akin to a total knee replacement when Trump is sworn in. Here’s my advice. Keep your meds handy.

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