YA Coming of Age – My Ladybird Story

My Ladybird StoryMy Ladybird Story
By Magus Tor
Publisher: Beyond His Words
Published: February 2015
ISBN: 978-1517309633
ASIN: B00TPB2AYY
Genre: YA, Coming of Age

John Bird has never fit in. He can’t be the all American boy his dad wants him to be, he’s bullied at school and he can’t bear to look at himself in the mirror. While most boys his age are playing sports and kissing girls, John can only find comfort in the secret he keeps hidden away in a box in his room…

When feisty Aureus crashes into his life, John starts the long process of realizing that it’s what is inside us that counts and that true friends love us, no matter what our secrets are.

It’s time John learns to embrace the school taunt, “Ladybird” and grow into the person he is meant to be.

Praise for My Ladybird Story:
*****5 stars***** “My Ladybird Story by Magus Tor was a fascinating read for me. While I cannot speak from experience, the story of how John slowly makes the transition from hating his body, to understanding the source of the hate, and then moving towards the solution (i.e. the transformation into a woman) was very realistic and very emotional, too. The writing was well done, and you could not help but feel for John. His fears and emotions were very well described, and I liked that the reactions of the people around him also seemed to be very realistic, i.e. not just “Oh yeah, it’s all fine.” I enjoyed reading this book very much. It had a nice flow, and shows that you don’t need action and violence to make a story stand out.” By Kim Anisi for Readers’ Favorite

“… An inspiring, empowering chronicle of self-discovery and fearless pride sure to entertain and inform both cisgender and transgender readers.” Kirkus Reviews

“I admire the confidence of Tor in approaching the subject so unwaveringly. If you’re looking for a basic story of young love, friendship, and identity focusing on the subject of what it is to be transgender, this is a story of hope at its core. The intention of the material and its positive outlook for LGBT issues should be applauded.” 3. 5 stars on Self-Publishing Review

“… Magus Tor honors those who are mistreated and bullied for the beautiful souls they truly are. The writing was so clear it made it easy to understand the fascinating and love-filled plot from beginning to end. My Ladybird Story is absolutely unforgettable. I didn’t want to lay it down. The message within its pages reaches far beyond just the transgender and lesbian communities. It truly is a message filled with light and love that can touch the heart and soul of anyone has ever experienced feeling as though he or she was an outcast. I highly recommend reading Magus Tor’s My Ladybird Story.” – 5/5 Originally reviewed by Liz Cooper of AuthorsTalkAboutIt.com.

6.0/10 “Tor’s YA novel is a sensitive but preachy story about a boy named John Bird — called Ladybird by his classmates — struggling with his sexuality and gender. While John is well developed and the author ably expresses his protagonist’s feelings and thoughts, the reaction to John’s transition is unrealistic and will take readers out of the story. The prose and story are workmanlike, but the pacing sometimes slows and some minor characters are underdeveloped.” – Review by The BookLife Prize in Fiction

My Ladybird Story Author Magus TorAbout the Author:
Magus Tor is a dreamer who enjoys dreaming varied dreams of being a doctor, a lawyer, a police officer and a teacher but never in the wildest dream to become a writer. Since starting to write in 2007, Magus continues to explore creating worlds in his imaginative mind. Although he wishes to specialize in writing fantasy but his mind twisted his will and he ended up writing more Science Fiction than Fantasy. So far, his only fantasy novella is D-Nine: Protectors of the Crown.

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Coming of Age/Family Saga – Shadow Heart

shadow-heartShadow Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 1
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0989952903
ASIN: B00IICDHO8
Pages: 340
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

What if you were afraid to even turn the doorknob to your front door when coming home because of what might wait inside? What would it take to make you step out of your shadows, to once and for all break free from the twisted security of familiarity, and take a chance, a little risk, that could change everything?

Nicky Young is a woman who has come of age and is beginning to realize the first layer of her fears carried through her childhood from growing up in a family battling alcoholism. They have impacted her severely when forming relationships.

Abandonment, devaluing, fear of everything good ending—all are why she has been happy to stand back in the shadows. Watching. Observing. Stepping out only when safe. Until Ryan Tilton, a professional baseball player who also has abandonment issues of his own, promises her a relationship that could be like no other.

Now, in order to transition into a life she’d always imagined, she needs to take the first steps of risk to embrace the rise and fall, the love and heartache, and joys of life. Through small steps she struggles to trust, most importantly herself, but also others, enough to let them a little closer. The rage of her father’s addiction pushes and pulls her back, but with all her heart she wants to break free and start a life that is brilliant and unafraid of failure. But can she?

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Other Books in the Broken Bottle Series:

fire-heart-broken-bottles-series-book-twoFire Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 2
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0989952927
ASIN: B00NE5DSSO
Pages: 367
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

My heart is on fire. For the first time in my life I am awake and the desires I’ve pushed down are smoldering. The shadows of my youth are daring me to step away from them, and new visions are circling through my head that include having intimacy in a way I never dreamed of.

My name is Nicky Young. This is my coming of age story and family saga. I have begun to understand if I want to live differently than my parents—an alcoholic father and co-dependent mother—I need to love, forgive, trust and live with an open heart. As I look in the mirror, I am seeing a new woman emerging—one I’m not sure of and trying hard to discover.

Through family dysfunction and by the lack of affection in my household I learned not to get too close. Rage and violence lurked when we became vulnerable and the way I learned to protect myself was to build high and thick walls of defense around my heart. I dream about having a full, open, and intimate relationship. I want a real adult romance with every beat of my heart. But I can’t trust anyone enough—especially myself.

That was until I met Ryan Tilton, a very sexy professional baseball player who lost his father at only fourteen. In many ways we seem to be ancient spirits. He promises to hold me in his arms like I’ve never been held, and is offering me a chance to step out of fear and experience what is like to ask for what I want without being afraid. I feel my heart opening. I feel . . . joy.

This is my battle: A fight to break generational chains of dysfunction and addiction, to understand the choices of my parents, to love and trust myself, so that I can love and trust another. This story is about transitioning into joy. I invite you to follow me on my journey and the struggle I’m desperate to overcome.

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jagged-heart-broken-bottles-series-book-3Jagged Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 3
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0989952958
ASIN:  B01E81MGUS
Pages: 264
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

Swept into a romance with professional baseball player, Ryan Tilton, we’ve just had an evening of dreams—until I wouldn’t have sex with him. I couldn’t risk it. To me, sex means marriage. It means love and forever. I tried to explain. I didn’t hide it. But to him, it means love, acceptance, and that he wouldn’t be abandoned the same way he was when a boy of fourteen and his father was killed in the Middle East. He’s pleaded with me to tell him my feelings and openly tells me he loves me. I can’t repeat the words. Once I do, he’ll abandon me just like my parents—discounting my feelings because they can’t deal with their own. I couldn’t risk it. I knew he’d leave.
Dad battles his alcoholism. Mom embraces her co-dependency. They’ve gambled with their daughters’ mental and physical safety multiple times over the years.

I’m at a crossroads trying to understand this threshold of being an adult, yet emerging from childhood. It’s as if a tornado has taken me into it’s roar spun and tossed me around, breaking me away as I cling to the twisted security of my family—even the word “secure” sends a shiver through me. I’ve never been.

Being raised in an dysfunctional family battling alcoholism whispers, stay hidden in the shadows, be safe, don’t be noticed or share too much.
I know this is it.
I need to take a risk.
I need to let go of old fears, forgive my parents, embrace intimacy and move forward. I need to trust—especially myself—so that I can transition into joy.

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amazing-heart-broken-botles-series-book-4Amazing Heart
Broken Bottles Series, Book 4
By Pamela Taeuffer
Publisher: Open Heart Books
ISBN: 978-0996380614
ASIN:  B01E886M9M
Pages: 2336
Genre: Literary Fiction, Coming of Age, Family Saga

It’s Amazing, but for the first time in my life I have let go of the control. I’ve battled so hard to hold onto the twisted security of my family’s battle with alcoholism—it’s what I’ve known—never risking too much, holding back, so the hurt didn’t cut too deep. Now?

I feel a new life
An unknown.
Vulnerable.
It’s magnificent.
It’s . . . intimacy, being held, letting someone see into my dark places so the light, hidden since a little girl, can finally become brilliant.

It’s amazing. I’m about to shout my love for a man who seems to understand me like no one ever has. After I do, will everything fall apart? In my heart of shadows, the fear of being abandoned beats inside my head with regular rhythms.

“Please take me in your arms,” I say silently. “Accept my dark places. Help me understand you won’t leave me.” Maybe I’m dreaming when he says, “Whatever path we choose, whatever arises, we’ll overcome our fears.”

Have a finally been set free from generational mistakes that are passed forward in our family? Dare I ask for what I want and trust myself enough to share my thoughts, wishes, dreams . . . dare I actually hope in another person? Will he break his promises like my parents did to me? Can I really, really, be alive, be vulnerable, open and reach for deep, sensual intimacy? Can I take a risk and transition into joy?

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shadow-heart-author-pamela-taeufferAbout the Author:
My passion is writing books that tell a love story and family saga of leaving old fears behind as the characters embrace intimacy and transition to joy. My first series, Broken Bottles, details those fears of growing up in a family battling alcoholism. Along with the struggle and pain of a parent’s rage, there is intelligence, strength, and survival. How to love intimately in all relationships is the challenge. For children of trauma, it can take years to let another person come close. When they do? It’s like rainbows cover their heart.

Slowly, you’ll read how my characters become vulnerable, reach for deep, sensual intimacy, and try desperately to let go of their fears. They struggle and risk everything to trust others—and themselves. My stories are about daring to take the baby steps that let them really come alive and in every way, experience and give love.

MAKING MONEY TO CREATE: The small, vacation rental/ property management company I run with my husband and son in Sonoma County, California allows me to have the money for my creative life. I love that I was born and raised in San Francisco. My father introduced me to baseball when I was six. I’ve rung a cable car bell, and went to concerts in Golden Gate Park with my sister where Jimmy Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and Santana once played.

WHAT I’VE DONE/AM DOING – IT’S A JOURNEY OF DREAMS: Broken Bottles is a four part series. Two books, Shadow Heart and Fire Heart, are ready. Soon to follow are Jagged Heart and Amazing Heart. I’m honored to have 3 poems in an anthology called The Beats Go On, and a story in Sisters Born, Sisters Found. I have released the first book in a series for Introverts called The Introverts Guide to the Galaxy: Attending Conferences.

My Dream? To create beautifully decorated and custom journals with gorgeous paper that accompany each book series: The Introvert’s Journal, A Family Saga Journal, My Body’s Journal, and Trauma: You Can’t Stop Me Journal. Journaling was a lifesaver for me. I was in shock. You may be in shock. Don’t let that keep your heart frozen!

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Coming of Age Historical Fiction – Till the Rivers All Run Dry

Till the Rivers All Run DryTill the Rivers All Run Dry
By Jim Lester
Published: July 2016
ISBN: 978-0692750742
ASIN: B01J6JL1Q2
Pages:  266
Genre: Coming of Age, Historical Fiction

In 1941, when thirteen-year-old Ricky Parker’s family is uprooted from their home in Arkansas and relocated to Venezuela, Ricky thinks his life is over. But what he finds in a rough and tumble oil camp on the banks of Lake Maracaibo is the adventure of a lifetime. An adventure filled with Nazi spies, treachery, betrayal, true love, and even murder.

While touching on issues that remain relevant today, such as racism and America’s reliance on foreign oil, this coming-of-age novel is a page turning, high-octane suspense tale of star-crossed young lovers set in exotic wartime Venezuela.

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Till the Rivers All Run Dry author - Jim LesterAbout the Author:
Jim Lester is the author of two previous coming of age novels-Fallout, which Booklist called ” a fast paced, clever coming of age story, Salingeresque in spirit and The Great Pretender, which received consistently excellent reviews on Amazon. He is also the author of the sports history book Hoop Crazy: College Basketball in the 1950s.

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Women’s Fiction – Hello, Agnieszka!

hello-agnieszkaHello, Agnieszka!
Between Two Worlds, Book Two
By Evy Journey
Publisher: Sojourner Books
Published: June 2014
ISBN: 978-0996247429
ASIN: B00L5IHKZ4
Pages: 284
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Coming of Age

Elise thought she knew her mother. But when her oldest brother attempts suicide, painful secrets are about to be revealed. Agnieszka Halverson must now tell her children a past she has kept from them.

As a child in the seventies, Agnieszka discovers a passion for music when she hears her grandaunt Jola, a concert pianist in Poland, give a piano recital. Jola hones her talent and feeds her dreams. But too poor to continue professional training and with a mother who fails to support her ambitions, her dreams of being a pianist are shattered.

Agnieszka meets Lenny Weisz and they fall in love, renewing her hopes for happiness. But her hopes are thwarted  once again by forces beyond their control.

Weighed down by its roots, her family casts her aside. Can music and memories of her first love help Agnieszka make a life for herself all alone? Can she rise from the loss she has suffered and get a second chance at happiness?

Book 2 in the family saga Between Two Worlds (BTW), Hello Agnieszka explores mother-daughter relationships in a tale of a mother’s youthful dreams, thwarted and renewed amidst the exciting promise of the 70s,  In three standalone  novels of loss, love, second chances, and finding one’s way, BTW tells the stories of three strong women who cope with issues contemporary women face.

Praise for Hello, Agnieszka!
“…a beautiful narrative …an intricate, heart-wrenching coming-of-age story about family and love.”―GoodbooksToday Reviews

“…character descriptions written to perfection with a unique POV that places you deep in her thoughts and feelings.”–★★★★★Michael Alexander Beas for Readers’ Favorite

“…interesting, enlightening and, in some respects, heartbreaking. … All families struggle with issues, this one more than most.”–★★★★ Kathryn Bennett for Readers’ Favorite

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Other Books in the Between Two Worlds Series:

hello-my-love-between-two-worlds-book-1Hello, My Love
Between Two Worlds Book 1
By Evy Journey
Publisher: Sojourner Books
Published: December 2013
ISBN: 978-0996247412
ASIN: B00FIDG12U
Pages: 330
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Coming of Age

What would Elizabeth Bennet be like if she had been born today? What things would she have to cope with? In this modern-day tale inspired by Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, bright, beautiful law student Elise Halverson looks forward to a promising career. The last thing she needs is to fall in love with well-known playboy Greg Thorpe. Besides, he’s engaged to be married.

Greg finds Elise so unlike the women he used to date and he’s deeply intrigued. But distrusting the image she has of him, Elise tries to keep away.

Elise’s parents invite Greg to their frequent dinner parties. There, Greg and Elise butt heads. She’s surprised to find that, behind his rich playboy persona, he’s intelligent and engaging. They can’t help feeling drawn to each other.

The night before his wedding, they give in to their mutual attraction. Although Elise expects nothing more from that night, Greg is in for trouble. His jilted fiancée strikes back, intent on revenge.

Two years later Greg and Elise get a second chance but they find that the way to their happy-ever-after is not so easy. For one, Greg is in for a surprise. Then, his former fiancée comes back and trouble returns to haunt Greg and Elise again.

At the core of this women’s fiction is a literary and realistic romance spiced with a twist of mystery. Hello My Love is Book 1 in the series Between Two Worlds, a family saga about three strong women. In three tales of loss, love, second chances, and finding one’s way, they cope with issues contemporary women face.

welcome-reluctant-stranger-between-two-worlds-book-3Welcome, Reluctant Stranger
Between Two Worlds Book 3
By Evy Journey
Publisher: Sojourner Books
Published: May 2015
ISBN: 978-0996247436
ASIN: B00VETSCZ6
Pages: 314
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Coming of Age

Leilani’s mother has never set foot in her school until the day she whisks her children out of their Pacific Island country, without their father and without explanation. Eighteen years later, Leilani just wants to leave the past behind, move forward.

She has settled peacefully in California and like her long-lost father, she heals people. But her tranquil existence is disturbed one evening.

A computer nerd and culinary whiz with a biting sense of humor, Justin is brokenhearted from the loss of his girlfriend who has left him after seven years. All he wants is to drown his sorrows. But he finds more trouble than he’s looking for when thugs assault him.

On her way home from work, Leilani sees the assault. An ace with a gun, she rescues him.

Weeks later, they meet again and find themselves attracted to each other. Fearing Justin is on the rebound, or has a rescuer complex, Leilani doesn’t want to get involved.

But Leilani cannot deny her feelings. As they begin to fall in love, her past comes back to haunt her.

A friend of her father arrives with news which forces her mother to reveal a shocking, shameful secret—the truth about the role Leilani’s father played in a deadly political web.

Can Leilani deal with the truth? But hero or villain, he is her father and only she and Justin can rescue him from the island she’d left long ago.

At the core of this women’s fiction is an Asian woman-white man interracial romance spun with international political intrigue and a young woman’s acceptance of her past. Welcome Reluctant Stranger is Book 3 in a family saga. In three tales of loss, love, second chances, and finding one’s way, three strong women cope with issues contemporary women face.

hello-agnieszka-author-evy-journeyAbout the Author:
Evy Journey is a flâneuse (a female observer-wanderer) who writes about, and illustrates (oils, pastels, digital) what she sees that intrigues her.  In a past life, with a now-dormant Ph.D., (University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana), and the primacy of her left brain, she researched, evaluated and developed mental health programs. But writing was her first love.

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New Adult/Coming of Age – The Blink of Oenomel: Epoch Wonders

the-blink-of-oenomelThe Blink of Oenomel: Epoch Wonders
The Blink Epochs, Book 1
By Jeremy T. Ringfield
Published: September 2016
ISBN: 978-1537465296
ASIN: B01KH99OJG
Pages: 306
Genre: New Adult Fiction, Coming of Age, Romance

There is trouble in Valdosta, Georgia. And a whole lot of it.

Abram, a methodical 23 year-old, previously homeless, hopeless romantic, has a fierce devotion to his rendezvous with love, which is seemingly not on his schedule of life. Jec, an unassuming 19 year-old feminist and natural optimist, entertains her current relationship and search for a forever kind of love that is threatened by both, what her co-workers see in Abram that she refuses to believe, as well as what she does not see: Abram’s last seventeen minutes in jail before they met.

Everything around her tells her that her obsession with dragging out what Abram offers in their courtship will end in turmoil, but something about him keeps her coming back for more, leading her to a series of exchanged love letters that do not quite make sense, at least to everyone else. Just what makes sense for her is something hidden in her past, which nobody else may ever discover as far as she is concerned. Her stubborn focus leaves no room for distractions from the masses, and she does not want to hear it.

On the other hand, Abram has a secret he is adamant about keeping that way. He enrolls into college and moves into the apartments that Jec is employed by with his refund check to get off of the streets, catching a glance from the beautiful receptionist that would present an opportunity he had not seen before. Little did he know, his transition from his tent in the forest would be one from jail to his first room in almost two years. The jail cell talk without any cameras around to record make his last seventeen minutes in the pen with a sketchy bunkmate a do or die conversation that may explain why he became homeless, why he wrote the love letters in the first place, and if both were random at all.

Determined to see this fling thing through, both Abram and Jec play their hand meticulously, while navigating the blink of their memories of which help link their understanding (and misunderstanding) of each other, to see just what the other has to offer in this rendezvous with destiny: love or something much different.

the-blink-of-oenomel-author-jeremy-t-ringfieldAbout the Author:
Jeremy lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He grew up in the south Atlanta area, where he eventually earned a football scholarship to Duke University. After experiencing enough life to form his own opinions, he enjoys sharing some with friends, reading, watching fantasy thriller and romance films, listening to music, and jogging when he is not writing.

He writes new adult fiction.

Jeremy would love to hear from you. Follow him on Twitter @JTRingfield, friend him on Facebook, or visit his webpage at www.jeremytringfield.com

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