Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Today's Honoree Guest Feature with Alethea J Salazar

Check out my guest feature on Today's Honoree!

Today’s Honoree is Alethea Salazar

Alethea J. Salazar is the author of Angels of Redemption, a single mother  of four boys and owns a consulting business for builders and developers in the amazing  city of Las Vegas, NV.
Alethea  always had a love affair with literature.  She dreamed of becoming a published author and to fulfill her lifelong
passion to become a writer—
Her  inspiration for Angels of Redemption  came from life altering experiences—Like so many other Americans she  struggled to make ends meet in a faltering economy. For years, Alethea worked  as an architectural manager in the building industry…and was making a handsome  living…when she found herself jobless and collecting unemployment for the first  time ever in her 20-plus year career.
“Talk  about a very humbling experience,” said Alethea.  “Unable to find a job to save my life…even Wal-Mart  wouldn’t hire me.  My family convinced me  to start my own business. I became a consultant for builders that no longer had  the staff to run their businesses efficiently due to downsizing. But even going  out on my own I’ve never come close to replacing my lost income. We found  ourselves quickly losing ground financially. At one point, we were even days  away from having our home of 10 years auctioned off. I was in quicksand…and  sinking fast.”
As  she continued to slide down the slippery slope of financial devastation the
fear of failing her sons gripped her like nothing ever had and the thought of
being homeless after all those years was more than she could bear. Fear,
despair and persistence quickly took over—
That  is when the idea for her book, Angels of  Redemption, took hold. The story is about a woman struggling with her own  loss and despair as she is faced with the ultimate decision that will change  the fate of her life and soul forever.
Now—Alethea  has been inspired to write a second book…Please visit her at: and Facebook
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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Guest Author Monique Pilgrim-Pruitt gives somes thoughts on 9/11

Random Ramblings on September 11, 2011
written by Monique Pilgrim-Pruitt

I genuinely believe that I was born a Jeffersonian Democrat.... seriously, I cannot remember a time when Jefferson's ideals, heavily influenced by French philosophers, did not dictate my world view. There was no time in my life when I did not know what I believed. There must be reincarnation, or divine education or something because I have just always “known.”  I am entirely sure that I did not learn these things from the adults in my young life, because I started arguing with all of them about the way the world should be by the time I was three....... Just what everyone needs, a precocious, politically minded three year old who is going to tell you how the world should be run, and wants to grow up to be a diplomat, or the Toothfairy, whichever job is open at the time......

My family background is extremely diverse, my mother is German, my grandparents brought my mother, her twin sister and their two brothers to this continent in 1953 seeking, what else, The American Dream. I am happy to say that my grandparents accomplished their dream. My father's family is part of my great unknown, they come from Mississippi and I know very little about them except that's where I get my striking blue eyes, my freckles and my sense of humor. They have been in this country much longer, but that's all I've got on them.

Anyway, back to present time, today is the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the failed attempt at the White House. Almost 3,000 people died on that day..... It was America's second “Day that shall live in infamy” and the U.S.A. is still shaking. 

Just like with Pearl Harbor, 9/11/01 is a scar that will never completely heal. Part of the reason that the scars are so deep and so profound is because our country is very young. Rome has scars that make 9/11 look much smaller and less significant, London endured nightly air raiders for years, the people slept in the subways, went to work in the morning and sent their children to live in the country so they could have some kind of a life. My own grandmother gave birth to my uncle in a German hospital during an American bombing raid and almost bled to death because there were wounded coming in.

9/11 and Pearl Harbor hit us so hard because we have never been taken over and run by a bigger, badder bully...... Every other nation in this world has had to succumb to foreign rule, we have not..... We could not believe that anyone really hated us badly enough to try to change us and take over what we have...... Hello, for centuries that was just how life went..... Look at our language, English, a language that exists only because the British Isles were invaded so many times, by so many people that they had to combine all the spoken languages and come up with some common way to communicate, English is an amalgamation of invading languages.......... Yet we, as England's upstart, snot nosed, younger, albeit larger, sibling think that we should be exempt from the historical pains of the rest of the world. I am not making light of what our country has been through, and I would never discount the lives lost for this nation, I am just saying that the amount of American blood shed since July 4th, 1776 is a drop in the enormous bucket of international blood that has been shed. Our wounds are new, our losses are fresh. We come from countries that have been fighting with each other for thousands of years, we are babies, and we have a lot to learn.

We are young, and not very tough. We may have the best military in the world, but we are not the strongest country in the world. Thomas Jefferson knew this, that's why he flipped out when he got home from France to find the Constitution written, but seriously lacking....... Our founders had a dream,  a vision, a plan and a lot of heart and intestinal fortitude, but they came dangerously close to throwing the baby out with the bathwater. The way I see it, we are standing on the porch, bathtub in hand, baby still in it, getting ready to do some tossing, again...... The frightening part  is that the Constitution has already been written and Thomas Jefferson is not in France. We have allowed our government to become something it was never intended to be, yet none of us know what events need to occur to realign it.

For a few weeks, after 9/11/01 we all drew together and were one in a way that hadn't been seen in 60 years.... That lasted until the shock wore off..... then we were in a Boston Tea Party or Harper's Ferry mindset, “We must do something! We must do something to draw attention, something to be a catalyst, we must do something!! Even if it is wrong!!”  We did something, now what?

In the last 5 years our economy has collapsed, we are carrying on a war on two fronts, (correct me if I am wrong, but historically, a two fronted war has been a bad thing, right up there with invading Russia in the winter.) Our government is so far removed from being “Of the People, for the People and by the People” that I am sure there is a huge historical “FACEPALM” going on in “Founding Father Heaven.”  I actually expect an invasion of Founding Father and Influential Philosopher ghosts to come down and kick our collective asses at any time! I think Thomas Jefferson would introduce himself to President Obama, express his approval of a person of color in the Oval Office then look at him and say, “Pardon me Mr. President, but WHAT THE HECK HAVE YOU GUYS DONE WITH WHAT WE BUILT??? More importantly, what are you and the PEOPLE, yes the PEOPLE, not the politicians, going to do about it?? Oh, and were you absent on the day your history teacher covered my beliefs on SMALL government???? Because, really, I mean REALLY???” I am quite sure FDR will be standing behind Obama saying “I get it son, you HAD to do something, I know.....” and patting him on the shoulder. Eleanor and Teddy Roosevelt will be there too saying “Man up!! It's true, you need to do something, but not this!” 

In our own history, and if we cross the pond; economic and political situations such as the one's we are in currently in have lead to revolution...... They were bloody and bad, we don't like bloody and bad, so we wrote into our Constitution the right to peacefully change our government, but what we don't have is anyone like our founding fathers to show up and lead us, add to that the fact that our country has become just what we hoped we would be, socially, religiously and economically diverse, and we have a problem...... So are diverse that we can never agree on anything, we lack a unifying force.......

Do I have a sound, all encompassing answer? No, I do not; however, I do have an understanding of history, and I know that people do not feel compelled to act and make drastic changes until they are extremely uncomfortable, uncomfortable to the point of  serious pain. The United States of America does not like pain, we do not like to see anyone or anything suffer. Our country was created to end suffering and discomfort, to end religious persecution, to end foreign rule, to end excessive taxation, to end injustice in the court system, to create rights, to create opportunity, and to give hope; for a very long time we did just that. We still have a higher standard of living than a good portion of the world's population, we have a social safety net that is in place and we have an entertainment industry that is the envy of the civilized world. We are generous to a fault, and selfish to an extreme, we want to help “those less fortunate” yet we will not act to help ourselves. We will write a check to feed someone, but we do not know where our own food comes from. We have too much food, and not enough health, we have money for video games, but not for education, we have time to go to watch TV and complain, but not enough time to become informed and vote. We complain about our government and elected officials, yet only an average of 50% of those eligible to vote do......

Quite simply, we are not uncomfortable enough to take action, we are like the wealthy Romans under Marcus Aurelius,  we know that the government is broken, yet we are not yet compelled to fix it..... We are still too fat and happy and we continue to feed our politicians, who are much too complacent, they know how to work us, they are masters of persuasion, masters in the art of ethos, logos and pathos, and we continue to be their puppets, we continue to be Oliver Twist, we continue to be less than we can be and we say to our government, “Thank you very much sir. May I have some more?” 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

New Book Cover

I'm revamping my book cover before my upcoming book signing in October and November!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Unwanted Feast

      My heart and soul have become so empty...nothing more than a withering and hollow shell. Now vacant of the life that once thrived in its shining existence I am threatened with the contemptible starvation that has sunk its unrelenting teeth into my soul. I grieve as it shreds the very essence that once made me human. 
     I watch with envy and regret as so many others sit at the table and feast on the bounty before them. Their bellies quickly swell has they so greedily gorge themselves on the love that overflows from the table before them. I long to join feast on the plentiful bounty, but my appetite is all but gone...where it's hiding I do not know. So here I heart and soul wasting away as I stand back from the table and watch...wanting so desperately to feed. Perhaps just a nibble would be enough...
      Many others beckon to me...they plead with me to join them in this beautiful feast. And yet I still do not badly as I want to partake in the joyous pleasures of the abundant love before me, my desire to swallow a single morsel is outweighed by the retching pain inside my gut. The broken heart I have suffered now dictates even the most simple...and necessary...functions that sustain the very life that so many fight for. My mouth waters as I observe the glorious love being consumed and shared by others...oh, how I long for even the smallest of bites. 
      My husband and his new partner sit at the table...side by side they devour the overflowing love being served to them like an endless buffet. They look over at me with loathing as I stand in the corner alone and watch their gluttony with a heavy sorrow in my heart. They taunt me...they laugh at me...they torment my soul to its very core. As they shovel this boundless feast into their mouths they yell to me...telling me that I will never eat again. They shout that I will never be welcome to feast on the bounty of love ever again. They tell me I'm not worthy of such a feast, they say I'm a waste of the flourishing love that spills over the table and onto the floor. Nothing more than an insignificant void in the vast universe of humanity.
    My body starts to shake with anger, my heart quickens and the taste of bile begins to burn my throat as my stomach retches with anguish. I want to show them that I CAN eat...I want them to see me at the table stuffing my face with the love that is boundless. The love that I too am worthy of overindulging myself with...I want to prove to them that I too deserve to feed my soul with a love that is immeasurable. So I take a bite...but it is tough and undeniably bitter. My stomach begins to churn and I cannot force another piece upon myself. So the feast continues on without me.
      The bitter taste still lingers in my mouth...I hope that if I take another bite the banquet will become desirable once again. So over and over I try to join the others at the table and eat...and again my body begins to reject the love that I so desperately need to survive. 
      Conceding to my unforgiving failure I back away from the table and tuck myself into a corner, hoping that no one will see me. The humiliation of watching my love dine with another is more than I can bear. I watch and wait as others flow in and out of this banquet of love...someone will glance over at me from time to time and motion toward the table. Yet I remain frozen where I stand...terrified that I might actually become ill if I ingest even the tiniest of crumbs...never realizing that I already am quite ill.
     I cry out in sheer vexation...knowing that even if someone reached out to help me I'm still incapable of grabbing their hand. So I wait...hoping that my desire to indulge in the bountiful feast of love will once again flood my heart and soul. The levy I've so carefully constructed inside my heart cannot hold back the fear and pain forever. Someday my soul's need to nourish itself will outweigh the selfishness of my stomach.
     And so I wait...

Monday, September 5, 2011

Going Indy!

Coming soon, my new publishing company...d'ArchAngel Publishing Inc. I can't wait to go out on my own and hopefully start to make things happen for Angels of Redemption as well as my upcoming projects! Wish me luck...I may need it!