Tampa Pro is my favorite event of the year. And there are many reasons for that. You can get a tattoo or a massage right at the contest. You can get free drinks each day of the contest. And you can literally walk right up to hometown heroes like Jake Illardi or Olympic athletes like Felipe Gustavo and wish them luck. Yet, my favorite thing about Tampa Pro and as an extension visiting Skatepark of Tampa is the hospitality and love you feel when you walk into the shop, the park, or talk to anyone who works there or is a fan/spectator themselves.
Heading to the shop on Friday to buy a Tampa Pro tshirt to commemorate the event, we talked to one of the guys in the shop helping ring us up for the shirts.
“It’s true. We love everyone at Tampa Pro.”
Everything about the contest screams that message including this year the course design by french artist Lucas Beaufort.
It is true. I’ve been visiting the contest since 2006 and back then the contest was run by the SPOT, they had one hot dog cart and a beer cooler.
And I remember how cool I thought it all was.
Then, later that year, I returned to SPOT to be an extra in the indie film Street Dreams. It was ghetto for a movie set but this was my chance to be caught on camera next to the sport’s heavy hitters. We were filming a scene until all of a sudden Rob Dyrdek was in front of me and said that I had to move to the back of the scene. He put his hands on my shoulders as everyone in that hot metal warehouse was looking at me.
It was a surreal moment of divine timing and alignment. And those are commonplace for SPOT and at Tampa Pro but what stands out is that I always feel welcomed, accepted, and a part of something bigger than myself.
One thing is for sure at Tampa Pro, you will come for the hype and good vibes but you will leave with love in your heart, every single time.
Chelsea DeVries to give Author Talk at Centenniel Park Library
Author To Read Poems From Her Collection ‘Sticks and Stones’
Chelsea DeVries, local poet and author of Sticks and Stones Poetry and Prose: Full Story Edition will do a reading/discussion or author talk at the Centenniel Park Library on Wednesday May 25, 2022 from 4-5:55 p.m. A small signing will follow the live reading and discussion of her poetry. The author talk event is Chelsea DeVries’s first live local appearance regarding her poetry collection that details the story of her experience working in a toxic workplace with themes of mental health, suicide, love and heartbreak. The Centenniel Library is hosting her during May in order to honor Mental Health Month, and the library is located at 5740 Moog Rd, Holiday, FL 34690. For more about the event, visit https://pascolibraries.evanced.info/signup/calendar?&lib=1 or contact Chelsea DeVries at email@example.com
About The Book: In Sticks and Stones, DeVries paints a poetic picture of rising above toxicity, love found and love lost, and delves into what it means to find strength in the human spirit. Through poetry, the reader finds a voice of strength and the rebuilding of one’s heart a home with all the sticks and stones thrown upon it. Newly expanded with more full color photos, 41 new poems, and a rewrite of Drowning in An Ocean of No Tomorrows, DeVries shows a full poetic picture of turning pain into poetry in order so you can rise above whatever is pulling you under.
Author Bio: Chelsea DeVries wanted to be a writer at the age of 7. Her first publishing credit came at the age of 14 with a poem in a student anthology. She then wrote nonstop while doing IB classes in high school. She published two YA novels while still in high school which after over 10 years she rewrote as a NA romance that she looks to put out as her next publication. She is a seeker of justice and uses her words to free this world’s outcasted, peculiar, and underdogs from the chains that bind them. When not writing she runs and does PR for authors and musicians with her bookish brand The Smart Cookie Philes. Though she’s Florida born and raised, she has New Jersey in her veins. She currently lives in Port Richey, FL with her squad of two dogs.You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @onegirlrevolution26_, and her squad at @dasquad26. In October 2020, DeVries was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome which is a form of Autism.
Sticks and Stones wins 2021 Book of The Year in Poetry from OnlineBookClub.org
Sticks and stones by Chelsea DeVries, which is a collection of prose and poetry for anyone healing from a painful experience bringing up themes of mental health, suicide, and love and heartbreak, voted by fans and readers, the poetry collection took the title of 2021 Book of the Year in Drama & Poetry by OnlineBookClub.org.
The book is available in both hardcover and ebook wherever books are sold.
About the Book: In Sticks and Stones, DeVries paints a poetic picture of rising above toxicity, love found and love lost, and delves into what it means to find strength in the human spirit. Through poetry, the reader finds a voice of strength and the rebuilding of one’s heart a home with all the sticks and stones thrown upon it. About the Author: Chelsea DeVries wanted to be a writer at the age of 7. Her first publishing credit came at the age of 14 with a poem in a student anthology. She then wrote nonstop while doing IB classes in high school. She published two YA novels while still in high school which after over 10 years she rewrote as a NA romance that she looks to put out in the coming year. She is a seeker of justice and uses her words to free this world’s outcasted, peculiar, and underdogs from the chains that bind them. When not writing she runs and does PR for authors and musicians with her bookish brand The Smart Cookie Philes. Though she’s Florida born and raised, she has New Jersey in her veins. She currently lives in Port Richey, FL with her squad of three dogs.You can follow her on Instagram and Facebook at @onegirlrevolution26_, and her squad at @dasquad26. In October 2020, DeVries was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome which is a form of Autism.
It happened. The dreaded moment in an author’s book launch when social media was no longer pushing sales.. so i took a page out of the book I always use for my clients as their publicist and said: you need to be out in the open and meet people in real life. So I found […]
The Festival’s Author Expo will feature books by authors of many genres from around the country, as well as indie presses and literacy organizations. The Main Stage will boast several excellent panels like Framing History through Fiction, Middle Grade Magic, and Get Lucky: Romance, featuring authors like Amanda Quick and Simon Van Booy. The Kids’ Stage will feature book readings all day long, while the Poet-tree Stage will explore some spoken word, readings, panels, and more, emceed by Virginia’s first ever…
Being a female to me has always been such a blessing. I have always honored my femininity and relished in surpassing obstacles left and right in order to show myself and the world that a woman of both strength and power is one who doesn’t back down from a challenge, one who looks to break records and defy stereotypes, and always is there to lend a helping hand to any and all, but especially to fellow women.
Releasing my poetry book was a very trying experience for me. Not traumatic as that would have been ironic as my collection is about my traumatic experience working in a toxic workplace, falling in love, and getting my heartbroken, also while discussing my asexuality, my perserverance despite mental illness and struggling with suicidal ideation multiple times in my life, and being unaware that I actually was suffering with symptoms of Asperger’s Syndrome since birth.
It took me a bit to wrap my head around this diagnosis following my book release but honestly I didn’t get the fanfare I thought I would have with my release but I think it just takes time and resilience.
Yet, as March is Women’s History Month, I decided I wanted to ride and die alongside 11 other writers that I’ve befriended over years, months, and even weeks before and since releasing my own poetry collection.
Without further ado, let’s celebrate these 12 powerful women and their incredible feats in literature and poetry.
My review for this book is forthcoming but this book is a great mix between Dracula, 1917, and the Vampire Diaries. It’s only 170 pages so it took me a few hours to read, and the battle scenes will have you on the edge of your seat. Sayda Hope’s series Das Herz is a part of a forthcoming series. Read this first installment today so you are ready for the next book’s release.
This book opened doors for me I always believed I would never walk through. It opened up my personal discovery of my mental health which then led me to find out I had Asperger’s so I basically feel very attached to this book but if you or someone you know is struggling with anxiety or any other mental health issue, this book has practical entries like a devotional that allow you to read it and apply the tips each and every day. It’s something I plan to re-read often throughout the rest of my life.
This book has yet to be released but the summary looks enticing if you are looking for a Danielle Steel novel with a whodunnit spin. The author, currently resides in Germany, has written several other books that are historical fiction or Christian fiction. Definitely set your alarm for April 3, 2021 and get a copy when it releases exclusively on Amazon.
My review of this book will be available in April but as soon as I found this poet was releasing a poetry collection, I rushed to support her because it’s what you do, and her words were filled with absolute brevity and truth. Plus, I am aiming to support more black voices as well because once again, it’s what you do.
Did you really think I would share about fellow female writers without including myself. This book is broken up into two sections: Sticks and Stones. It is a themed around the overall metaphor that you can and should turn your pain into poetry, whether that pain was from undiagnosed Asperger’s, being bullied and ostracized, bullies in the workplace, falling in love with the wrong person, or falling in love with a twin flame who ran away, and broke your heart.
It is written with the intention to help all those who hurt find healing and strength that resonates no matter what obstacles or giants we face.
So far: It’s been an Amazon India best-seller, nominated for Book of the Year, and turning readers who don’t read poetry into fans.
For me personally, it is the beauty in the ashes of a terribly dark time and I have no shame in sharing it as well as what may come from it being out in the world in book form. I just pray it reaches those who feel stuck or as if they have no way out in time, and reminds them their story, your story, our story is far from over.
I didn’t know of this poet when I published my collection but as someone who is also a fan of poetry, I found this poet recently and found her words to be relatable, timely, and cookie-cut for Instagram-sharability. She’s also from Florida and I’m honored to be among her company as a fellow female poet.
Talk about fierce. This poet announced she was releasing her first poetry collection and I was eager to support it. The other day, March 16, 2021, she did a surprise launch and became #1 best-seller on Amazon. Since her book was released only three days ago, she has remained within the top 5 of all three categories her book fits in on Amazon. That’s definitely what I should have did with my poetry collection but next time, I will be consulting with Shayla to ensure my launch reaches the same heights.
Following moving Instagram accounts due to toxicity on my old one, I was searching for poets to follow to connect with. This poet is very sweet and has actively engaged with anything I’ve commented on her work or story. And she made me feel like I finally belonged in the community which is why I made a new Instagram in the first place. Originally published by Blurb, this collection about heartbreak and healing will help you find the light in the darkest of nights.
Talk about somebody who’s just the kindest despite that she’s got a huge audience and has so many cool book reader photos.
This poet wrote and published this collection in 2017 but it is still charting as a best-seller on Amazon this year even. I happened to spot it on there and reached out to congratulate her because that feels entirely huge for anyone who struggles or suffers with any and all forms of mental illness or also dealt with several traumatic events.
The little wins are the moments when you feel like your strength through your trauma or struggles truly has dug roots and bloomed nicely.
She popped on my IG feed and I was like ok, she’s gorgeous. Then to find out she was a poet too was also inspiring. Then, I learned about her heritage and how she struggles with anxiety and depression. My review of this collection is forthcoming but there isn’t much about Kleio Musa that doesn’t act as a muse for me, as both a female and a writer.
She doesn’t need this feature nor does it makes sense to me that someone so cool follows me on Instagram but ever since I announced that I found out I have Asperger’s, Liane has been so engaging and supportive. Reading this book for me was very cathartic as some of the same struggles also existed with myself but Liane’s story inspires the reader and proves that disability isn’t an inability just a societal label that seeks to limit the beauty and educating that people with autism and asperger’s bring to this world.
There you have it. Please be sure to add some if not all of these women to your TBR, your next book haul, and to your Instagram feed.
Each and every one of these women inspire me to keep at it, push past the disappointments and hurts, and share my empathy and caring poetic soul with the world.
Venture Into the World of The Undead With Das Herz by Sayda Hope
In Das Herz, soldiers who survive a devastating battle to become less than human, must get the help of a woman who makes the heartless army commander recall when his dead heart could feel. Das Herz is a forthcoming series. The first installment is called Buch Eins. Sayda Hope offers a story all humans will resonate with and love to escape to.
About the book: Untoten… Undead. Eber Soldat, a soldier named Soldier.A heartless man who was thought a monster of war, until the day he truly became one. Returning from the dead, he and his men, Captain Mikhail Koza, Lieutenant Johan Thayer, and Lieutenant Adolpho Ermanno, embark on the next assignment, guarding Ambrozij Kasimir, the head of the church, a man whose power rivals even that of King Berin’s. Wanting to keep their new existence a secret to protect themselves, Eber seeks the aid of an old ally, Lorelei Zima, a beautiful woman who makes Koza wonder if she had been more to the heartless Commander at one time in their past. Her nature is playful and her abilities deadly, Lorelei proves to be of great help and at times… a little harm.
With each soldier undergoing his own session of rigor mortis, the men learn the lies and truths of the unique untoten of their homelands as they discover their differing strengths and hungers. Reaching their destination, the soldiers expect peace finally as Kasimir arrives in the tattered village of Hieb, yet it steadily becomes clear there is no rest even for the dead as the village is swarmed by untoten. The starving undead burn at the touch of Hallowed ground, giving salvation for Kasimir, but his sanctuary will be his tomb as the days pass and the untoten do not leave, forcing Kasimir to face his own starvation.
With Eber’s new mission of getting the Holy Man out of the village alive, his heartlessness may prove to be a weakness or what saves him.
About the author: My name is Sayda Hope, and I’m just someone with an imperfect life who loves escapism! I rarely write about things which echo my real life as it’s a pretty boring place. Instead, I’d rather take you to worlds no mortal eyes will ever see except within the pages of my books. Places of mystery and danger, on adventures guided by characters you’ll come to love.
Everything from other planets on outer regions of space, filled with people you connect with as though they’re beside you, to reflections of the world we know in the guise of a Victorian era New York City, morphed into something different by court trials and murder mysteries of folkloric creatures in “monster” versions of crime dramas. In the end, I strive to make unique experiences with each one of my stories because I am the one who wants to go on these adventures, to these places, with these people. I only hope that some of you wish to come along with me.
It all started with a dream five years ago…just like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I was not going to let anything come between me and my dream of helping authors and artists get the right exposure for their project.
Like a fairy dust kiss from above, only one month after launching the site, I got the news that I was selected as a member of Rachel Platten’s Wildfire Tour Crew.
And I will never forget her words before she sang her anthem “Fight Song” the night of the concert. They had me tearing up and I knew without a doubt that this was what I wanted to do, where I belonged, and I wanted others to feel this way too.
So I began by building my audience. I started posting book and music reviews that nobody paid me for. And I launched both my Twitter and Facebook page so I could network with the people in my niche: other writers, musicians, and people who were just looking for a place to express themselves freely without any judgement.
I created a hashtag game to get people aware of my brand messaging without cramming it down their throat.
#ESPRESSOYOURSELF was a trending hashtag on Twitter when the game launched and it was fun for a while.
Yet, it became more of a burden than a blessing and I ended it in 2018. Yet, the site began to get offers for affiliates, brands that wanted to work with us, and even a queue filled to the brim with review requests.
I took a leap of faith the following year and launched my PR firm in hopes that I could be paid to do the work that I earned a college degree in. Turns out, authors were willing to work with me because they knew me to be a genuine supporter of all things creative and especially authors. (I am a bibliophile to my core).
Today, my first ever signed client is still with my firm!
In 2018, I wanted to begin giving back in a new way so I created a merchandise line through Teespring that is 100% cause based. Each design is created with love for a cause that I believe in. And I felt like maybe there were other people who would believe in them too. In 2021, we now have over 19 products currently available and 6 cookie based designs that 100% came from my brain, although I hired an artist to create them for me, and 7 causes that they 100% support.
In 2019, I gained the most clients I ever had at one time in my firm but sadly lost most of them at the beginning of the 2020 pandemic. Yet, do to supportive donations and an ad campaign featuring my dogs, I was able to withstand the stormy weather and I learned how freeing it is to dance in the rain.
My reviews and marketing services are sought after from traditionally published authors, independent authors, other publicists, and even independent music blogs and musicians. My clientele and brands that we’ve worked with span from small to huge but it hasn’t at all changed the reason why I began this site: if I have a dream and a vision, chances are other people like me do too so why not work together to create a community that is inclusive and welcomes art and projects from people of all walks of life.
This year I am excited to announce that my goal for 2021 was to READ MORE and Worry Less.
With that being said, I am making reading a daily priority this year because books are the world I choose to live in, and I refuse to apologize for that. Yet, this is a business that I truly care about and want to continue to see it succeed which is why I am revamping all my services this year.
First I am launching my review service for a nominal fee and you get a lot for a little chunk of change (As always). And this week only, if you request a review for your book, I will guarantee you I will get it done in 20 days or less or it’s free. For me, I want to be accountable this year and every year to come so this guarantee will allow me to do that to start. The guarantee is only good for this week only. After 1/24/21, it’s $40 regardless of how long it takes me to read your work. Sign up here today! This unfortunately means I will no longer offer free reviews so please let people know that I no longer offer those.
Second, I am re-launching my PR services. There will be two types I offer: freelance and contract.
My freelance services are perfect for artists or authors on a limited budget or local businesses looking for marketing assistance.
Lastly, I am pleased to announce that I am raising my publicist fees. Anyone who now signs with my firm will now be required to sign an annual contract and agree to the monthly retainer fee to secure me as your publicist. Big time agencies charge way more than I am but I am willing to believe the value of my work is worth every single dollar. And besides, every dollar earned is always re-invested in making my services or my brand more curated to fit the needs of any and all clientele, and with these new prices I hope to do that but I honestly also hope to attract clients that value my services 100% and want to grow together, and trust me above anything else.
Before I end this rather long personal statement, I wanted to announce that The Smart Cookie Philes is featured in a Book Promotion Directory for 2021. It includes 180 bloggers who will feature your book as well as 40 companies (mine included) who want to help you promote your work at affordable efficient rates.
As always, you can reach me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org 24 hours a day!
And thank you to everyone who has allowed me the chance to work with you, given you a safe haven to belong to, and supported me and this dream for five years!
I am so glad I took a page out of Dr. King’s book and boldly declared “I HAVE A DREAM…”
To the unicorns, the outcasts, and the dreamers,
We welcome you and I just want to say thank you all so much for sticking around.
Resident funnyman and Canadian author Willie Handler will be LIVE on your favorite streaming platform on Beyond The Trope Podcast in one week from today. The episode will be available on I Heart Radio, Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.
If you have not listened to Beyond The Trope Podcast, it is the perfect excuse to let all your nerdiness out.
You can find out more about the podcast here and keep up to date with Willie Handler here.
Listen to the episode here or on the above platforms.