#WomensHistoryMonth Celebrate Independent Female Writers

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.

  1. Das Herz by Sayda Hope

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.

2. Betty by Tiffany McDaniel

I already reviewed this book, I raved about this book, if you can’t tell this book really resonated with me.

There is so much power in this story, the main character is a female, the poetic prose is lyrical, and it was nominated for a Goodreads Choice Award.

I personally got excited for Tiffany the other day while in Books a Million browsing and seeing her book on the store shelves was very cool for me.

This female writer also waited 20 years to see this book published and in print as it’s inspired by the true story of her mother Betty’s upbringing.

3. When My Mind Winds Up by Jennifer Ervig

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.

4. Grandfather’s Will by Rebecca Lange

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.

5. I Found My Heart by Stacie Ann Green-Taylor

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.

6. Sticks and Stones by Chelsea DeVries

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.

7. The Evolution of a Girl by L.E. Bowman

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.

8. All the Things I Should’ve Told You: Poems about Love, Grief, and Resilience by Shayla Raquel

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.

9. To Walk on Moonbeams by Zombear Writes

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.

10. Bare Roots by Molly S. Hillery

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.

11. The Sunflower With Thorns by Kleio Musa

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.

12. Pretending to Be Normal by Liane Holliday Wiley

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.

#IndieAuthorSpotlight: Venture Into the World of the Undead with Sayda Hope

For Immediate Release

March 16, 2021

Chelsea DeVries

Publicist

smartcookiepr26@gmail.com

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.

For scheduling and PR inquiries, please contact the author directly at authorsaydahope@gmail.com

You can download her press kit below.

You can purchase Das Herz on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. An audiobook is in the works and you can hear a recent podcast spot with Sayda Hope here.

Happy 5th Birthday to The Smart Cookie Philes!

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 smartcookiepr26@gmail.com 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.

It means so very much to me!

So much love,

Chelsea DeVries

Publicist and Founder of The Smart Cookie Philes

Willie Handler LIVE on the Beyond The Trope Podcast…

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.

#SuicidePreventionMonth: Four Reasons You Should Vote For Jen Ervig for Book of the Year!

Why hello there!

If this is your first time on my site, I welcome and offer you a virtual yet warm chocolate chip cookie welcome. 🙂

In case you didn’t hear, Jen Ervig’s amazing book When My Mind Winds Up is up to win Book of the Year!

Here are four reasons why

Vote now HERE and make sure after you vote you check your email and verify otherwise that vote you just placed does not count toward Jen’s rank in the contest.

Feel free to save this graphic and share it on your favorite social network!

#SmartCookiePR: Willie Handler to Appear on Between The Lines Podcast

Willie Handler, resident funny man and friend to Martians, will appear on Between The Lines Podcast with Corine La Font.

They will discuss his science fiction novel Loved Mars, Hated The Food.

You can find all previous episodes of the podcast here and check out his book here.

Make sure to connect with Willie at all the networks below and subscribe to his email newsletter. Sources say he doesn’t give out top secret government information but you would only know if you subscribe.

Willie Handler Press Graphic

 

#SmartCookiePR: Inspirational author Jen Ervig set to appear on Living and Thriving with Rustie MacDonald

Author of When My Mind Winds Up and When My Mind Unwinds Jen Ervig is set to appear on Living and Thriving with Rustie MacDonald.

The podcast offers listeners insight for the mind, body and soul.

You can find all previous and current episodes of the podcast here and check out Jen’s books here

Connect with Jen at all these networks below.

Jennifer Ervig

#SmartCookiePR: Willie Handler to appear on Ghostman Podcast

Willie Handler, Author of The Road Ahead and Loved Mars, Hated The Food will appear on Ghostman Podcast and the episode will be available soon after the recording date of June 13.

Ghostman Podcast discusses horror stories, paranormal stories, and all things extraterrestial.

You can find all episodes of the podcast here and you can check out Willie’s science fiction novel here.

You can keep up to date with Willie at the networks below:

Willie Handler Press Graphic

Willie also puts together a very informative email newsletter so if you are a fan of his writing, his humor, or his cooking, make sure to subscribe. He doesn’t provide recipes but he does have all the ingredients necessary to keep up to date with him and his books.

You can listen to the podcast here: https://ghostmanraines.blogspot.com/2020/06/willie-handler-author-wwwwillehandlercom.html?m=1

#SmartCookiePR: Jennifer Ervig to bring her message about defeating anxiety to Dove and Dragon Radio

For Immediate Release

 

May 24, 2020

 

Chelsea DeVries 

 

Publicist

 

When My Mind Winds Up: Book where Author Shines a light on her own struggles with anxiety to help you defeat your own.

 

Author to Appear on Dove and Dragon Radio Podcast Hosted by M.L. Ruscsak

 

  Award-nominated author Ervig writes with a conversational and authentic tone sharing about her own personal struggles with anxiety while like a best friend lifting you up with encouragement and hope to help you defeat your own. Her episode of Dove and Dragon Radio will be recorded on June 9, 2020 and available soon after. Dove and Dragon Radio is hosted by Author M.L. Ruscsak. A

podcast where you can find out what the world of indie and small press publishing is up to.!

 You can listen to all episodes of the podcast here: Blog Talk Radio .

 

About When My Mind Winds Up:

When My Mind Winds Up is a unique help for the reader who finds their mind constantly tangled up in anxiety. Jen brings her faith and personal journey with open hands in hopes that she can take what’s helped her and “pay it forward”. You’ll be shocked at what you read and it will hurt, but hopefully it will “hurt so good”.

 

About the Author: 

Jen is a Seattle area pastor, wife, mom, event speaker and award nominated author. Her book, As My Mind Unwinds, has been heralded as a hilarious, non fluffy, unique take on a devotional surprising even non Christian readers again and again. She loves to laugh and firmly believes that “Jesus doesn’t care about your happiness if your joy is at stake”.

Download This Press Release

Jen Ervig to be a guest on Dove and Dragon Radio

#SmartCookiePR: Dove and Dragon Radio to welcome children’s book author and inspirational leader Oscar Redden IV

For Immediate Release

 

May 23, 2020

 

Chelsea DeVries 

 

Publicist

 

Albert The Albatross Taking Flight In Quarantine

 

Debut Children’s Author To Appear on Podcast Dove and Dragon Radio with M.L.Ruscsak

 

  Oscar will be sharing an inspiring and encouraging message with all listeners of the Author Talk with M.L. Ruscsak. His episode will be recorded on May 26, 2020 and will be available soon after.Dove and Dragon Radio is hosted by Author M.L. Ruscsak. A podcast where you can find out what the world of indie and small press publishing is up to.! You can listen to all episodes of the podcast here:Blog Talk Radio. A live book review of Albert The Albatross will be available after June 4, 2020.

About Albert The Albatross:

Albert the Albatross is on a journey sharing wisdom and Knowledge while traveling around the world.On the way he will meet and greet lots of his friends and we will learn what they do, and why they do it ( and what Albert thinks about it all )A rhyming story for the young and old !

 

About the Author:

Oscar Redden IV is the author of “Albert the Albatross: Attitude Equal Altitude”- a book developed to function as a blueprint to teach and inspire the youth about the values of integrity and respect.  Oscar grew up in Sanford, Florida- a close-knit community where everyone knows each other, and family is monumental. Oscar has a Master’s in Business Administration from Saint Leo University and has spent over 6.5 years in Logistics with Walmart Supply Chain. Oscar believes that a positive attitude is more important than all skill-sets and is the X-factor to achieving your dreams. Recently, Oscar transitioned his career and is now a 5th Grade: Math and Science teacher. There he continues to share his influence about the power of a positive attitude and motivates the youth to be the best representation of themselves. He currently lives in Ocala, Florida with his Wife. Please visit his website at Albert The Albatross.

Dove and Dragon Radio

Hear Oscar Redden IV on air!